MIRA Safety MB-90 Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) Review
The Mira Safety MB-90 Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) is an enhancement that anyone that uses a gas mask should own. Anyone looking for improved positive airflow into a gas mask should seriously consider purchasing a MIRA Safety MB-90 PAPR.
MIRA Safety – The World Leader in Protective Apparel
MIRA Safety, headquartered out of Austin, TX, is a leader in personal protective equipment. The company makes and sells protective gear such as gas masks, PAPR systems, protective clothing, and HAZMAT detection and protection equipment.
Dedicated to providing affordable PPE equipment to everyone, MIRA Safety has many private sector clients in addition to clients in the military, emergency response, industrial, healthcare, and disaster management industries. The company also has several partnerships with government agencies and law enforcement groups internationally.
Those partnerships exist because of MIRA Safety’s legacy of engineering enhancements that provide cutting-edge protective equipment for use in mission-critical environments. The engineering enhancements have let the company develop and produce more practical and effective emergency and protective equipment for everyone. That includes children, elderly and disabled individuals.
More Than Just a Gas Mask
Mira PAPR takes gas masks to a new level by incorporating an integrated blower that facilitates airflow to the face mask rather than relying solely on the user to draw air into the face mask.
Using only two standard AA batteries, this PAPR respirator is ideal for anyone:
- In a survival situation where air quality is poor or even dangerous
- With limited lung capacity or lung-related illness
- Looking to improve their immediate air quality
- That works in a poor air quality environment requiring gas masks or breathing aids
With a standard gas mask, you have to pull the air through the filters. Breathing through the face mask filters is a lot of work and takes someone with reasonably strong lung capacity. It also wears you down and leads to premature fatigue, which can be deadly in an emergency environment.
There are several reasons for this:
- Filters increase breathing resistance
- Negative air pressure fatigues you
- People who have diminished lung capacity
- Gas masks are heavy and tiring
Designed to Succeed
The MIRA Safety PAPR is a new take on an old concept. Instead of having the head of a gas mask wearer bear all the weight, the MIRA Safety MB-90 PAPR shifts the two 40mm CBRN filters to the belt. The unit is then attached to the gas mask via a hose.
Fans, called blowers, push air through the filter and into the gas mask. Once activated by 8 AA batteries, the unit circulates about 90 liters of purified air per minute to the face mask.
Batteries wear down with prolonged use. When that happens, the unit reverts to the negative air pressure system used by standard gas masks. The batteries are also easily changed out thanks to a modified battery bay.
The entire unit weighs a little under two pounds.
The benefits of this new alignment are instantly clear to everyone that tries out this battery-powered respirator.
The MB-90 alignment shifts the weight from the wearer’s head to their waist. Having to wear a traditional gas mask for an extended period puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the neck, shoulders, and back.
The stress caused by that pressure can lead to fatigue, pain, and even injury.
Shifting the pressure from the neck to the waist reduces fatigue. The attached hose provides clean air to the mask, but because the working part of the unit is on the waste, a wearer has greater mobility. The respiratory unit is also compact, which means greater mobility in tight quarters. Compactness is a huge plus for anyone trying to maneuver after a natural disaster or another emergency event.
The fans do all the heavy breathing work, making it easier for the mask wearer to draw in the air. Aiding in the act of breathing reduces stress on the lungs and the mental stress that comes with fighting to breathe. In an emergency, easier breathing means a person will stay more alert and not tire as quickly or easily.
An electronic air purifier also makes the mask safer because it creates a positive air pressure environment. Increased airflow makes the MIRA Safety PAPR a positive pressure respirator, which can form a protective layer around the edges of the mask, pushing off airborne contaminants.
The Battery Advantage
One great advantage to the MIRA Safety MB-90 PAPR is the new battery system. Most PAPR products on the market run on NiMH and LiSO2 batteries. Both batteries are relatively expensive and can be difficult to find. In a survival or emergency, finding replacements would be difficult.
The MIRA Safety MB-90 can work on either type of battery but also works on standard AA batteries. This one development alone would justify the cost of the MB-90 PAPR, even if none of the other advantages existed. AA batteries are easier to find and a lot less expensive than either of the other batteries.
In addition, in a survival or emergency, it is far more likely that something as common as the traditional AA batteries everyone is familiar with will be available. It is also far more likely that any collection of batteries in the average household in a foraging situation would have a stock of AA batteries over the other two alternatives.
The MIRA Safety MB-90 PAPR brings a lot of features to the table:
- Weight (with batteries): 28.9 ounces
- Compatible with any traditional 40mm NATO threatened gas mask
- Belt mounted blowers connect to a gasmask through a 40mm NATO hose
- Filters attach to the blower unit, reducing fatigue and strain on the neck
- Greater mobility and ease of movement
- An exceptionally slim belt unit
- Blowers that push 90 liters per minute of sustained airflow
- Exceptionally durable with an impact-resistant polycarbonate shell and framework
- Has a shelf life of 10 years
- Runs on AA batteries, providing approximately 12 hours of pure air from 8 batteries
- Meets MIRA Safety specifications, some of the most stringent requirements on the market
- The original MB-90 was developed for use by the Israeli Ministry of Defense
- That initial model was taken and modified for everyday use
MB-90 PAPR Accessories
The MB-90 PAPR comes with exceptionally useful accessories. Each one extends the life and convenience of the unit.
This battery cartridge holds 8 AA batteries and extends the life of the respirator blowers by up to 8 hours. The cartridge allows for quick swap out, even under duress, which reduces the downtime needed to put in new batteries. This cartridge was specifically designed to work with the MB-90 PAPR. It is made in Israel.
The MOLLE pouch allows for the MB-90 PAPR to be integrated into a backpack, other MOLLE compatible soft goods, or survival belt. It is made with durable 600D ripstop nylon and can be adjusted for a snug but comfortable fit. The versatility of the MOLLE pouch allows for CBRN functionality, even weight distribution, and a sleek overall fit.
MB-90 PAPR Pros and Cons
Before any discussion of MB-90 PAPR pros and cons, it needs to be emphasized that if a purchase decision comes down to that sort of discussion, the reasons to get an MB-90 PAPR vastly outweigh any downsides. With that in mind, here is a list of the pros and cons of the unit.
- Lightweight and easy to assemble (NATO equipment compatible)
- Reduces stress on the neck and shoulders, helping to avoid fatigue
- Runs on standard batteries that are quickly replaceable
- The eight batteries it requires provide 12 hours of respirator service
- Compact design for uninhibited movement
- Meets and Exceeds all MIRA Safety standards
- There are not many drawbacks to the MB-90 PAPR.
The closest thing to a detriment is the fact the equipment does not come with filters pre-installed. Filters must be purchased and installed separately, which adds to the overall cost of attaining a functioning unit.
The MB-90 PAPR is well worth the money but is, however, a significant investment. This is particularly true when one considers that it is a piece of equipment that may never be used. Making the investment worth it is the peace of mind that you are prepared if you ever need a gas mask.
Finally, if you have a MOLLE system, the MB-90 PAPR is not compatible, and you will need to purchase adapter parts in addition to the unit or purchase a new gas mask. Fortunately, MIRA Safety has developed adapter equipment.
The Mira Safety PAPR is a state-of-the-art respirator system that is a vast improvement over previous gas mask breathing apparatus. Its innovative use of blowers to push air into the mask, creating a positive airflow, greatly increases the likelihood someone will survive the type of event that requires a gas mask.
Compact, simple, and highly compatible with existing gasmasks, the MB-90 PAPR by MIRA Safety is well worth the investment. Even if it never gets used, knowing it is in your emergency response kit and knowing that this battery powered respirator will give you 12 hours of continuous use provides peace of mind no other gasmask on the market does.