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Outdoor Research Achieves NIOSH Approval for US-Made N95 Flat Fold Respirator Mask


Outdoor Research, LLC. (OR), a leading brand in the tactical and outdoor apparel industries, and the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) announced this week that the U.S.-made N95 Flat Fold Respirator Mask from Outdoor Research has achieved NIOSH approval. 

Early on in the pandemic, Outdoor Research recognized the need for U.S. manufacturing to help address the national shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the medical and defense communities. Because it already had significant onshore manufacturing operations in Seattle and Los Angeles, it was able to quickly adapt to address this shortage. 

Following conversions at its manufacturing facilities, Outdoor Research began producing the 100% American-made, Berry Amendment-compliant Resolute Face Mask and regulated Surgical and N95 respirator masks. It is also producing reusable, technical and functional face masks for the general public featuring integrated filters. All told, Outdoor Research has produced over 2.5 million masks to date.

Approval from NIOSH for the N95 respirator mask is a significant accomplishment. Outdoor Research is one of only 9 organizations to achieve expedited certification. While many companies have entered the mask market temporarily by creating “face coverings” for general public use, Outdoor Research has made a strategic commitment to expanding the company’s manufacturing capabilities to build advanced medical-devices, providing PPE to frontline healthcare workers during and after this current crisis. 

 “This pivot to medical PPE has required extreme dedication by an innovation team that was truly ‘purpose driven’ to help the end user,” said Jason Duncan, Head of Tactical, Innovation and CSR at Outdoor Research. “There was not a deep analysis of the business case but rather an answer to the question: what can our team do RIGHT NOW to help? You can’t motivate people to work this hard for this long without a purpose-driven goal. The NIOSH regulatory approval represents a success for a weary team that has been as obsessed with employee safety as they have with creating medical PPE. “ 

Highly respected in the outdoor industry for developing functional solutions for extreme environments, Outdoor Research has a history of successfully leveraging the best commercial market technologies to serve the needs of the armed services and first responders. Over the past two years the company has conducted a comprehensive review of the U.S. supply chain and is in active development with textile mills and materials providers to expand and elevate the capabilities of products that are 100-percent American-made.

Outdoor Research has made significant capital investments designed to improve and modernize its Seattle factory. These investments allow Outdoor Research to take advantage of the company’s global knowledge of design, materials, and innovative manufacturing techniques while producing the next generation of outdoor and tactical products at its facilities. OR has continued to accelerate its product-development cycle, allowing the latest innovations to be rapidly fielded to the end user, helping increase the mobility and protection of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, first responders, outdoor enthusiasts, and now the medical community.  

For more about Outdoor Research, visit

6 Responses to “Outdoor Research Achieves NIOSH Approval for US-Made N95 Flat Fold Respirator Mask”

  1. Mike says:

    For what it’s worth, I’ve tried a bunch of different masks since this all began. The Outdoor Research one (not N95, but it looks similar) is the only one that is comfortable. All of the others either pull on my ears (big head) or have around-the-head straps (such as Mystery Ranch) that keep it in place but are a PITA when I’m getting in and out of the car and want to put it on or take it off quickly. Or they slip off of my face when I talk. The OR mask is comfortable, fits snugly but and doesn’t slip, has little adjustment rubber thingies on the ear straps that don’t slip but also can’t be felt when the mask is on.

    So… I’m a fan of the Outdoor Research design.

    • Iggy says:

      Typical of OR. Take a design to its logical functional conclusion rather than bling it out with ‘signature’ bullsh!t just for marketeering. Great gear.

    • Jeremy P says:

      OR consistently makes great gear. I’ll be replacing my S.O. Tech masks with these. To my knowledge no one else is making another mask with filter inserts than these two companies, and these are clearly a big leap ergonomics wise from the “first generation” COVID masks I’ve been wearing. Receiving an N95 rating is just a cherry on top.

  2. Matt says:

    I got one of these – and really dont like how the filters sit inside. I wish the filter sat in a full pocket rather that inserting in a tab on each side.

  3. Papa6 says:

    Congratulations to OR! Getting NIOSH certification this quickly is really amazing.

    I’m really excited about all these companies that are bringing manufacturing back to the USA.

  4. lenny says:

    great mask- doesn’t slip off when talking & very comfortable.
    The filter needs a little work…not necessarily in the design, but in the directions. Destroyed 2 (of the 3) before I could figure out how to unfold it to fit the mask- now I need more filters and they are not avail.