Gas masks are one of the most iconic pieces of survival equipment. They are mainstays in survival and post-apocalyptic movies. Unfortunately, they are not just for show.
If recent events have taught us anything, anything is possible. Full face respirators or gas masks are an essential piece of survival gear, and it’s too late to buy one when you need one.
There is a wide variety of military grade gas masks available on the market. Knowing the suitable gas mask to keep you and your family safe can be a challenge. To provide some clarity, I’ve identified several of the critical factors you should consider before buying a gas mask.
Additionally, I’ve reviewed one of the best tactical gas masks on the market, the Mira CM-6M tactical gas mask.
Keep reading to find out why gas masks are not just for the military and how you can select the suitable gas mask to keep you safe in a survival situation.
The MIRA Safety CM-6M Tactical Gas Mask
The MIRA CM-6M gas mask is one of the premier tactical gas masks on the market. It features a full face shield and will protect your face and internal organs from harmful gases, toxic fumes, and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) agents. It also protects you from toxic industrial chemicals (TIC).
The Mira CM-6M is the perfect gas mask for industrial accidents near your home or business, as well as apocalyptic events.
The Mira CM-6M comes with all the essential features you would expect to find in a modern tactical gas mask.
The CM-6M features a five-point head harness and a built-in hairnet. The five-point harness ensures that the mask achieves a tight seal on your head. Additionally, the harness allows the one-size-fits-all design to fit comfortably on any head shape for extended periods.
The built-in hairnet is a small but essential feature. Anyone with long hair runs the risk of compromising the seal of a gas mask with their hair. The hairnet prevents this from occurring.
The Mira CM-6M also has a large and clear viewing area. The large viewing area gives you an effective field of vision of 77.6% and an overlapping field of vision of 83.3%. This large field of vision is essential in survival situations and will help you stay aware of your surroundings.
The CM-6M has a hypo-allergenic inner mask. The inner mask ensures a tight seal without irritating your skin. Additionally, the inner mask prevents exhaled breath from fogging up the visor. The inner mask also reduces carbon dioxide within the mask, making it more comfortable and practical for long-term use.
The CM-6M gas mask must be stored in a dust-free, dark, and cool location. The storage room should not undergo sudden temperature changes. Additionally, the space that the mask is stored in should be ventilated and kept free of fuels, solvents, lubricants, and chemicals. There also must not be any machines or appliances that produce sparks.
Finally, the CM-6M is compatible with the 3M Safety 6878 Spectacle Kit. This kit is sold separately and allows users to mount prescription spectacles on this gas mask. The spectacle kit is an excellent feature as it is not advised to wear contacts when exposed to chemical hazards.
Specific Features of the Mira CM-6M
In addition to its basic features, the CM-6M has several outstanding features that are not standard on most gas masks.
If you have worn a gas mask or full-face respirator before, you know how difficult it is to communicate with others. The same features that keep the harmful fumes and chemicals out also silence your voice.
The CM-6M solves this problem with its integrated speech diaphragm. This design feature allows for at least 95% speech intelligibility. Unlike many other gas masks, you can easily communicate with your teammates while wearing the CM-6M.
This gas mask is designed to meet government and police specifications for communication. The Mira CM-6M is compatible with the TAPR-M Microphone and RVA VPU unit if you need to amplify your voice.
Communication can mean the difference between life and death in a survival situation, and the Mira CM-6M is designed with communication in mind.
Staying hydrated is essential in a situation where you are exposed to toxic chemicals or gases. Studies have shown that even low levels of dehydration can dramatically impair decision-making.
Staying hydrated can be a challenge while wearing a full face respirator or gas mask. The Mira CM-6M solves this challenge with a built-in hydration system and canteen. The hydration system allows the user to drink water without breaking the gas mask seal.
The mask has a drinking straw in the inner mask. It is easy to reach the straw when wearing the mask.
The CM-6M comes with a 900ml canteen that is attached to the mask via tub. Alternatively, a user can connect Mira M-6M to a CamelBak water bladder with a type M adapter.
The facepiece of the Mira CM-6M is made with bromobutyl rubber. This type of rubber is designed to be resistant to chemicals and is certified to protect from CBRN threats. It also has a tested resistance to mustard gas for up to 30 hours.
The facepiece of the CM-6M is compatible with a helmet and meets the European standards for impact protection, quality, and sustainability standards. For this reason, the governments and police forces of the Czech Republic, Norway, Portugal, Chile, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Latvia, and Lebanon use the CM-6M tactical gas mask.
Even in physically violent environments, the Mira CM-6M will keep you safe. Unfortunately, it does require the user to be clean-shaven.
Due to the high-quality materials used to manufacture, the Mira CM-6M has a shelf life of 20 years. The CM-6M will be ready when you need it.
The Mira CM-6M fits up to two 40mm-1/7′ standard NATO filter cartridges. The 40mm-1/7′ is the industry-standard filter size, and replacement filters are widely available worldwide. If you use a firearm or scoped rifle, the CM-6M can be fitted with a single filter.
The mask will only work with the 40mm-1/7′ filter cartridges. It will not work with any size gas mask filters. If you use a TIC or CWA filter with the CM-6M, the environment must be at least 19.5% oxygen. You must have the right filter for the situation.
The use of NATO standard filter cartridges is a big plus for the CM-6M. This filter size is one of the most common in the world. It may become difficult to find specialized or custom tactical gas mask filters in a survival situation. The Mira CM-6M avoids this problem.
Finally, Mira will give you a discount on additional filters when you purchase this gas mask. Mira’s filters will protect you from a variety of toxins including radioactive fallout, hydroxides, ammonia, amines, arsenic, mustard gas, fluorine, sulfur oxide, organic solvents, bacteria, and viruses.
The Mira CM-6M comes with Mira Safety’s 5-year manufacturer warranty unlike the Mira CM-7M which comes with 1-year warranty. The length of this warranty indicates the quality materials used to produce this tactical gas mask. It will hold up and keep you safe, even in the toughest of conditions.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Gas Mask
Before you purchase a gas mask, it is essential to remember that you do not want to sacrifice the quality. A high-quality gas mask is going to cost several hundred dollars.
However, the moment that your gas mask saves your life, you won’t care if you saved $20 or not. The most expensive gas masks on the market are overpriced and suffer from the law of diminishing returns.
Military surplus stores are one of the most popular places to buy a gas mask. However, I would recommend avoiding this type of store when shopping for a gas mask—the reason, surplus, is in the name.
Military gear is marked as surplus for a reason. It is often outdated, and that piece of equipment has been replaced by something more efficient, effective, or safe. It would be best not to compromise on efficiency, effectiveness, or safety when purchasing a tactical gas mask.
In addition to being out-of-date, the filters that come with military surplus gas masks are often expired. Furthermore, it can be challenging to find the right type of filters for surplus gas masks. Remember, a gas mask is only as effective as its filter.
Finally, military surplus gas masks come with no guarantee or warranty. It is difficult to evaluate the quality of the gas mask you are getting at a military surplus store.
Not All Gas Masks are the Same
Many gas masks on the market look similar. However, it is essential to look at their ratings and certifications. Different situations (i.e., different chemicals, nuclear, and physical contact) require different gas masks.
Before purchasing a gas mask, I recommend taking some time to consider what circumstances you will need the gas mask in. Next, identify the appropriate ratings or certifications and find the proper gas mask for your needs.
Field of View
The classic gas mask has goggle-style eye holes. This gas mask is more durable, less prone to leaks, and limits your vision.
Many gas masks have a wider field of view, including the Mira CM-6M. The broader field of view gives you more situational awareness as it is easier to use a firearm with enhanced visibility.
If you wear glasses, it is not advisable to wear contacts while wearing a gas mask. If you have to remove your contacts at any time, your eyes can become irritated. Therefore, a gas mask that can accommodate spectacles is crucial for individuals with impaired vision.
Before purchasing a gas mask, it is essential to know your specific needs and buy a gas mask that fits your visual needs.
It is easy to overlook the filters of full-face respirators or gas masks. The filters on a gas mask are what make the air breathable. Unfortunately, they do not last very long. In contaminated environments, a new filter will only last a few hours. In a sanitary environment, a filter can last up to a day.
I recommend purchasing a gas mask like the Mira CM-6M that uses the 40mm NATO standard threaded filter canisters. This type of filter is widely available, and as a result, you can find replacements with ease.
The availability of replacements is essential in a survival situation. It may become difficult to find less common filters in a scenario where you might need a gas mask.
Ease of Use
Putting on a gas mask is not intuitive. Gas masks are notoriously difficult to put on and wear. When selecting a gas mask, I recommend finding one that fits well and has an ergonomic design.
An ill-fitting or uncomfortable gas make is a non-starter. Gas masks, which feature a five-point harness, are an excellent choice. This design makes wearing the mask for long periods safe and comfortable.
Remember the Goal
Gas masks help you breathe in compromised or contaminated situations. However, they are not a long-term solution. It is impractical to wear gas masks for long periods. At some point, you will need to drink water, eat food, find shelter, or change clothes.
You will have to remove your gas mask and expose yourself to contaminants at these moments.
If you are using a gas mask as a survival tool, it is essential to plan for the next steps. Having a gas mask will protect you in the short run; eventually, you will have to evacuate to a safer location.
You now have all the information you need to select a suitable gas mask to protect you from various threats. Based on these criteria, the Mira CM-6M is a great tactical gas mask that will keep you safe and operating in the toughest of conditions.
Remember, it will be too late to get a gas mask when you need a gas mask. Stay prepared and stay safe.