Mira Safety MB-90 Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR)
I've been waiting for a product to come along like this for some time, and it is my great pleasure to introduce you to the Mira Safety MB-90 Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR.)
Why have I been waiting for this? Gas masks can be uncomfortable and difficult to wear for long periods, and when you get moving and your breathing rate increases, things get trickier still.
The PAPR solves this problem: it's a battery powered air pump, which attaches to the 40-mm port on a compatible mask (see the Mira Safety CM-6M) and which enables the user to breathe easier with the assist from the pump.
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Consider those whom might have breathing issues, who are elderly, or have undeveloped lungs like children; and you can see where the PAPR respirator becomes almost a necessary prepping tool when using a heavy duty respirator or gas mask becomes necessary, as in a structure or wild fire escape.
Do you and your family live or work in a large house, apartment building, office tower?
Will you have to evacuate down several flights of stairs to get out in a fire?
Will you have kids to carry while doing so?
The PAPR removes the strain of pulling air though the filter substrates with the lungs, and facilitates easier respiration for anyone using it.
During a life or death situation, this could be a lifesaver.
How the PAPR Works
The PAPR does the hard work for you, buy removing the breathing resistance which comes while breathing though a filter.
Filters are kind of like straws filled with cotton, you can breath though it yes, but not as easily as a clear straw, or without the straw at all.
If you've ever been in a life or death situation, you know how quickly you start breathing, how easy it is to get out of breath. Now block it with something.
The PAPR essentially removes that problem, and pushes the air to you, so when your breathing rate increases you wont have to fight the mask / filter to get the O2 you need to deal with the situation.
Setting Up the PAPR
Setting up the PAPR is a breeze. Connect two filters to the front side of it by screwing them on.
There must be two filters, and they should be the same kind. You cannot operate the PAPR with one filter, or cap one hole. You need two filters.
The feeder hose goes from the top to the input on the mask you are using. You will not put a filter on the mask.
You'll need eight AA batteries to power the PAPR, and they mount in the tube along the bottom of the device in a tray.
Mira Safety sells extra battery trays, which provide an extra eight hours of run time if you want to have a backup in your kit.
Carrying the PAPR
You can carry the PAPR in multiple ways. Mira Safety includes a bag which can hook onto your belt loops and around a leg.
They also include a carry bag, which goes around your shoulders and clips around the waist.
There are also loops on the PAPR body itself, if you want to attach it directly to a vest or something else you rig up.
Mira Safety also make a special carry pouch for the PAPR which comes with MOLLE straps on the back side, to make it easier to attach to a tactical vest or MOLLE backpack.
The offer them in Black and Camo, and run $50 a piece.
Using the PAPR
The great news is, the PAPR is a piece of cake to use. There is an ON / OFF switch.
That's it! Turn it on when you need it. Off when you don't. Ta-dah!
Mira Safety MB-90 Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) Review
All in all this feels like a solidly built unit. It's very simple to assemble and operate, which is critical for a device like this.
It does what it is supposed to do, breathing with a PAPR is a much easier experience than without for certain.
We don't live in an apartment / condo tower, but I have in the past and I certainly would have had one a PAPR and respirator by my bedside back then if I had known any better, especially when I lived on the 16th floor!
Do you work in a tall office building? Same considerations perhaps.
The downsides: the PAPR is not inexpensive as they run about $400 each. If you are on the fence about this, what I would suggest is to get a mask, wear it with a filter and go for a run, or do some strenuous work.
If you can breathe OK under duress, cool, maybe you wont need one.
But if you find you're having a hard time breathing, then adding a PAPR to your kit might be prudent if you can swing it. Assess your living situation carefully and consider if the benefits outweigh the expense.
They are noisy! It's like having a small vacuum cleaner attached to you. No big deal, unless you are trying to be quiet. You can always turn the unit off, and breath through the filters as you would have without using the PAPR.
Where to Get One:
Buy directly from Mira Safety, they ship fast and have great customer service.
Typical Price: $400
This detachable unit upgrades your standard gas mask to a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR mask) that uses an integrated blower instead of lung power for improved airflow and positive pressure within your gas mask.
MIRA Safety's PAPR is based on an enhanced design from the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), modified to use standard AA batteries, and available at a third of the closest competitor's price. Anyone will breathe more easily and comfortably while wearing a PAPR respirator. Still, it's ideal for those with a limited lung capacity who may not otherwise be able to wear a mask.
There are three options: no filters $400, two Particle Max 3P filters $440 or two NBC-77 filters $500.