Domestic supplies are dwindling as preppers/govt are acquiring the surplus if there was one.
With the troubles at Fukushima and the fallout cloud impending thereof, these masks are not considered a premier addition to the Bug Out/In checklist anymore.
Despite warnings of war, severe gas mask shortage in Israel - International Christian Embassy (Jerusalem)
GAS-MASK ISRAELI + EXTRA FILTER IDF Issue-w-H20-Tube - nebudchenezzarshipworks
REVIEW BY: Alene (amazon.com)
I bought this (for $33.95--the prices are rising) and think it's very good. I also bought a civilian gas mask for comparison, since I'm acting as "quartermaster" for my family on the West Coast (vulnerable to a variety of disasters), and I'd like to share what I've learned:
BOTH KINDS have steel buckles joining the straps to the mask, which are really hard to force on, but you only have to attach them once - then make adjustments to fit with the straps themselves.
BOTH KINDS have drinking tubes, which I consider essential, letting you drink uncontaminated water from a canteen or bottle without removing the mask.
THE CIVILIAN MASK has elastic straps, which are more readily adjustable at the buckles. Once they're adjusted to fit, the elastic allows you to easily pull the mask on and off over your head. The mask is snug around my face, at least (as I tested by putting my hand over the air intake and trying to breathe in). The nosepiece is a bit loose on me, which means the air I breathe can fog the lenses. You could apply anti-fogging liquid or make the nosepiece tighter by adding cloth tape inside the curved facing to round it out more. This mask also has a neck strap, to keep it with you when you don't have it on.
From what I've read, "adult" civilian masks are supposed to fit teenagers as well as adults. "Youth" masks are supposed to fit children from 3 to 12. (I'd like to see how that works!)
THE MILITARY MASK also needs the strap buckles attached only once. It is a little more difficult to adjust and remove because the rubber straps (not elastic) have a ratcheting surface to make the tightened mask stay in place. To loosen the straps, just pull the buckle tabs forward with your thumbs. The mask fits snugly (with the help of extra material turning inward around the edges), and so does the nosepiece, which prevents my breath from fogging the lenses. There is no neck strap.
(To me the military version looks less scary - actually sort of cute, with its big eyes and "nose," and the filter canister fitting closer to the chin. This may be a factor if you end up working with children.)
COMPARATIVE WEIGHTS with drinking tube:
Civilian: 15.95 oz. - 452 g
Military: 20.1 oz. - 574 g
Filter in canister: 7.7 oz. - 218 g
Neither mask feels heavy while worn, since the weight is distributed around the head.
As other reviewers have noted, the Israelis have really given this a lot of thought and worked out good models (because they feel under greater threat than most of us).
FILTERS: According to an eHow article, you can tell the manufacture date of Israeli gas mask filters from the serial number stamped on the top or side--the first two digits giving the year.
GAS MASK FILTER IDF/NATO Israeli Army Replacement Filter - 40mm - nebudchenezzarshipworks
|GAS MASK FILTER - NATO/Israeli Army Replacement Filter - 40mm-NEW|
An Israeli manufacturer, Shalon Chemical Industries, gives the filter's shelf life as "exceeding fifteen years."