ZANheadgear Coolmax Extreme Balaclava

01 Feb

I am always on the lookout for new winter cycling gear and the colder it gets the less likely I am to wear products that were specifically manufactured for cyclists. Some of my winter gear was designed for hunters, while other pieces of clothing were meant for cross-country skiers. One of the coolest looking balaclavas I’ve purchased, a ZANheadgear Coolmax Extreme Balaclava with a skull on the face, was as intended for motorcycle riders.

ZANheadgear Coolmax Extreme Balaclava

ZANheadgear Coolmax Extreme Balaclava

The ZANheadgear Coolmax Extreme Balaclava has a full neoprene face mask, but the rest of the material is thinner which makes it perfect for riding with a helmet on. The thinner material around the head and neck seem to breathe well and not retain moisture. The thicker neoprene face mask area really blocks the wind well. This product is only available in one size (“one size fits most”), and it fit me perfectly.

ZANheadgear Coolmax Extreme Balaclava

Close-up of the ZANheadgear Coolmax Extreme Balaclava

The main concern most cyclists would have about this mask would be how well you can breathe with it on. If you look carefully at the close-up photo you can see the small holes which allow air into and out of the mask, as well as the opening for the nose. Personally, I think this mask is fine for recreational riders, but if you are riding at top speed you are definitely going to have difficulty breathing with it on.

Balaclava and Airfoil Goggles

Balaclava and Airfoil Goggles

I own a dozen or so balaclavas and I bought this one for one reason, i.e., it looks cool! If you are stopped at an intersection with this mask on you are going to have some fun! Some car is going to pull up next to you and a little kid is going to point at the mask—then you can hear his mother tell the child not to stare and watch her burn rubber as she flees the intersection. I am a totally harmless person, but I do have a rather warped sense of humor.

The ZANheadgear Coolmax Extreme Balaclava retails for $27, but you can find it on for only $16. If you want to make this product even cooler looking you can always couple it up with the Airfoil 7617 Goggles I reviewed last year. However, while this balaclava is fun to wear, I would high suggest you refrain from entering your local bank with it on. By the way, the folks at ZANheadgear make a lot of other cool balaclavas and other forms of head gear—some of their products even glow in the dark (how cool is that?).


Tags: , , , ,

22 responses to “ZANheadgear Coolmax Extreme Balaclava

  1. xcountrypearl

    February 1, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    That looks like fun to wear!

  2. pushingmiles

    February 1, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    That’s actually a pretty interesting thing to do! I haven’t thought of using motorcycle face gear for cycling. Also, I do think that balaclava would be hard to breathe in for more than the recreational cyclist. Do you think it’d be easy to cut a few extra holes in it? Or maybe expand the ones it has?

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 1, 2013 at 3:14 PM

      Breathing through the nose is no problem at all since the nostrils are entirely open. However, sometimes when I am climbing I can’t get enough air that way so I have to breathe thru my mouth. I think it would be very easy to enlarge the air holes a bit with a razor blade or something like that.

  3. snosler

    February 1, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    I love it – but I think if I ran with it (I run on pretty busy streets) I might scare a few folks – then again I’ve never much cared for what the other people are thinking when I’m the one doing the work :) Damn cold here – 3 this am … wonder if that would have helped??

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 1, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      We were at -2F this morning — this would have helped a lot, but I have reviewed a few other balaclavas that are more effective in those temps (just do a search for “balaclava” with the search tool at the top of this page).

  4. Wild Juggler

    February 2, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    I love this! I’m seriously thinking of getting one, it’s fun scaring the locals and it’s great for protection from the cold too.

  5. MG

    February 2, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    Wow, this got my attention, especially since we’ve been experiencing colder temps out in D.C. Even if it offers warmth, I don’t think I could wear it. Too intimidating! I think my style is slightly more demure. Also, you’re right about looking like a threat in some areas. I would say that applies not only to banks, but also to any convenience stores you might stop into during a ride as well.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 2, 2013 at 7:35 PM

      I hadn’t thought about the convenience stores — might have to rethink the use of this product on longer trips.

  6. Jean

    February 2, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Hope there will be 1-2 other design choices. But the semi-skull choice is a great start!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 2, 2013 at 7:36 PM

      They have a LOT of other choices (different colors and patterns).

  7. Coach Eamon

    February 2, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    “The colder it gets the less likely I am to wear products that were specifically manufactured for cyclists”
    I love Icebreaker/Smartwool underwear for retaining warmth under whatever training gear I wear. Warm and odour-free!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 2, 2013 at 7:37 PM

      I’ve seen a few pieces of Icebreaker underwear at R.E.I but have not bought any yet — I’ll have do do it before next winter.

  8. cyclingwithheels

    February 2, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    That looks pretty cool, but I’m not sure I’d want to wear something like that on the streets of London! Something a bit more girlie would be more my style – maybe pink, or floral?!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 2, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      The company does have a “girlie” designs — not sure about the pink, but definitely less intimidating than the skull.

  9. tomlet2237

    February 2, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Oh well… definitely not for me. Well done graphics. Would turn my head. But I guess I’m a type that doesn’t like grabbing attention. It’s probably a blessing that we’re all not this boring. ;-)

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 2, 2013 at 11:33 PM

      It’s really not my style either — I’m not really sure why I bought it in the first place. I guess I just got bored with the other balaclavas.

  10. doctorlynn

    February 4, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Hmmm…I’m laughing thinking about wearing this to the gym for a workout. Bet I wouldn’t have to wait for any of the equipment that day! There are times it’s so cold in there that this seems like appropriate gear. I like the skull…

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 4, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      You would definitely get the attention of everyone at the gym!

  11. jennsmidlifecrisis

    February 8, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    My oldest is an urban arborist and works outside in all weather conditions. He’d love this…but his employer might not! Very cool!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


The Word in Pictures

G2G Fit

"Fitness that adapts stays with you."

Bird and Bicycle

I make. What do you do?

Islam Exposed Online

The Truth About Islam

Tour Divide - Tim & Dave

Helping Break The Cycle of Poverty on 2 Wheels

Mission for Fit

A newlywed fighting fat life forever.

It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

And a 10K and a 200 Mile Bike Ride and an Obstacle Race and Anything Else We Find!

Food for Thought

Student at the University of Tennessee, Nutrition Major, and aspiring Registered Dietitian


Eyes ten degrees above the horizon

The Running Thriver

If I can do it, so can you!


Cycling and Hiking the worlds most amazing places

tiare explores

grow where you are planted.

...Faster than Last

“Bones heal, pain is temporary, and chicks dig scars...”


2 gymphobes attempt to get fit. Lol.

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.

An Amateur Outside

if my ancestors could chase antelope until they died of exhaustion, so can i

fatbeardedandtattooedcyclist's Blog

A great site

Memoirs of the Extraterrestrial Psycho-Cyclist Space Pussies

Official site of Alex Stamas & Tyler Noseworthy's cycling tour from Massachusetts to Key West to San Diego

Cycling My Way

Mike clark - Bristol South C.C

Jenna L. Sexton, PhD

Writer, researcher, perpetual student...

The Limber Lawyer

Because flexibility is power.

" The Obstacle Is The Path "

the drunken cyclist

I have three passions: wine, cycling, travel, family, and math.


Cycling and weightlifting, mostly

Motivation Not Deprivation

Motivation the "Forever" weight loss solution

Long Distance Cycling Cleveland

We host a series of long distance preparation rides each weekend from February - June in the Cleveland, Ohio area


copyright 2013 - no reuse without permission ( see for fiction and fantasy )

The Sweat Angel

Sweat. Smile. Repeat.

Real Food Rosie

Loving & Nourishing my Body with Real, Whole Foods

Emma's Diary

my fab little site!

Inspiring Stories of My Healthy Lifestyle Change

Promoting Change one step at a time.

Purely Nutritious

Let Food be Thy Medicine and Medicine be Thy Food

Kerrie Is Running

Started with the C25k and now we're here!

Naturally Fit...& Well

Strengthen body......mind......spirit


Taking Life Back to the Basics


All things about bicycles and bicycle commuting.

Unchained Iceland



Fitness. Food. Finance.

Ari rides her bike

Love at first pedal


healthy tasty food that I love to make and eat and share

Did cavewomen wear heels?

A city girl struggling to live as her ancestors did. Adopting the Paleo lifestyle. Join the laughter, love and tears. Weight Loss. Cooking disasters. Crimes against fashion. Delicious recipes. Sarcastic remarks. Shoes. TTC. First world problems. Shift work. What more could you want from a blog?

Molly's Journey to the West

A Filmmaker, Writer, and Outdoor Enthusiast Experiencing the World


A site about science, running and health.

Lauren Lost Weight

A new town, a new school, a new me.

The Game Plan

Playing to Lose (Weight)


Diabetes, Cancer Survivor, Cycling, Photographer, Exercise, College Parent, High School Parents, Teenage girls, Twins, Boy Scout Leader, Life


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,168 other followers

%d bloggers like this: