Ski masks that will protect your entire face from the cold

Some options that don’t look like you ripped eye holes in your sweater.

person in a helmet and ski mask
For a warm face on a cold mountain.Joshua Reddekopp via Unsplash

When the British rode into Balaclava in the mid-1800s during the Crimean War, they used the settlement’s name to describe a one-piece head, face, and neck covering. You might also know this item of clothing as a ski mask—a classic hallmark of cartoon villains and overzealous winter parenting. Fortunately, modern balaclavas are sleeker and more fashionable than the stereotype. Choose one of these great options to keep from freezing your face off this year.

Oldelf Tactical Heavyweight Balaclava Outdoor Sports Mask
Most color options. Amazon

Traipse through the forest or run to your local store for provisions on a windy day with this full-coverage fleece protector. It’s like a versatile hood for your sweaters and coats, with added coziness right up to your nose for weathering the bitter cold. Scrunch it down to use as a neck warmer or wear it as a replacement for a hat and scarf.

AstroAI Ski Mask Winter Balaclava
Air moves through.Amazon

Keep the heat in and the cold out by swaddling yourself in this extra-warm polar fleece balaclava. Insulated mesh fabric comprises the part that covers your mouth to improve breathability and prevent glasses and ski goggles from fogging. The design is also sleek enough to layer under a hat or helmet before you hit the slopes.

Under Armour Unisex-Adult HeatGear Tactical Hood
A sleek base layer.Amazon

If you’re looking for a lightweight balaclava that protects your face from the elements, this hood is for you. It will shield you from the harsh wind and wick away sweat from a workout. The anti-odor synthetic material guards against ultraviolet light, fits tight to your skin, and can even be used underneath costumes to prevent excess perspiration that could cause you to break character. Just don’t use it in extreme heat or near flames if you want to avoid a literal face melt.