2023 R-Pur Nano S anti-pollution mask review

Derryn Wong

The R-Pur Nano S mask offers comfortable and effective pollution protection for motorcyclists cyclists, and other non-drivers 

R-Pur Nano S anti-pollution mask

Anti-pollution mask for filtering out particulate and gaseous pollutants
Cost : USD99 (S$133.60)
Buy from: R-Pur

High filtration performance
Good face sealing
Works with helmets
Replaceable filter

Expensive compared to N95 masks
Minor ergonomic/wear issues


French company R-Pur’s Nano S mask is one of the most effective anti-pollution masks for motorcyclists we’ve tested. The Nano S is aimed at urban motorcyclists and claims to offer top-of-the-line filtration, but crucially it works well even within the confines of a motorcycle helmet. In our experience, it’s come closest to offering a complete solution for bikers who don’t want to huff the bad stuff.

2023 R-Pur Nano S anti pollution mask review - CarBuyer Singapore

Air pollution : A very serious issue

Before we continue, we need to explain how bad air pollution is. If you’ve no patience for this, skip to the next segment and understand that, very simply, air pollution is Bad.

The long story is, it causes lots of harm, and millions of deaths every year. Earth-shaking pandemic aside, the issue of air pollution has only become more and more important as time rolls on. As CarBuyer readers, you’ll know the EV shift is finally happening, but the majority of vehicles on the roads here are still fuel-burning, and let’s not even get into non-transportation related sources, which account for most of the air pollution here.

As we reported back in 2018, Singapore’s air quality is pretty bad, and even as recently as 2021, every single country failed the WHO’s air quality recommendations, Singapore included. To keep it brief, air pollution is implicated in millions of deaths around the world every year, and scientists have proved it’s also major factor for lung cancer too.

In short, the stuff that comes out of the tailpipe of combustion-engined vehicles is Bad For You, and there is clear proof of this. For those who drive cars, they have a sealed cabin and (sometimes very advanced) filters to help, but for motorcyclists and cyclists, an anti-pollution mask is the only option. 

A tough mask to put up 

2023 R-Pur Nano S anti pollution mask review - CarBuyer Singapore
Creating an effective anti-pollution mask is no easy task

A good anti-pollution mask has to filter out particles (PM10 and PM2.5 pollution), and chemical pollutants including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hydrocarbons (HCOs) and oxides of sulphur (SOx) and nitrogen (NOx). These are exactly the same things that decide a car’s Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) rating, by the way. 

2023 R-Pur Nano S anti pollution mask review - CarBuyer Singapore

R-Pur is a French company that produces anti-pollution masks and was founded in 2016. In our opinion, it’s come closest to producing a truly effective anti-pollution mask for motorcyclists by throwing considerable technology and design at the problem. The company offers a range of masks for different activities. Its ‘regular’ mask for casual use is called the Fiit.

2023 R-Pur Nano S anti pollution mask review - CarBuyer Singapore
The mask comes with a carry bag, authenticity card, and instruction booklet

For urban motorcycling in hotter climates (and also for cyclists) it recommended the Nano S mask, which is lighter and made of a more breathable material. For those in temperate climates, there’s the Nano Light mask, which is windproof. Both have the same replaceable Nano filter tech, and are available in different designs. The Nano S we tested is the black version with an attractive hexagon design, and it’s also available in white.

Pas à bout de souffle

2023 R-Pur Nano S anti pollution mask review - CarBuyer Singapore
The filter has multiple layers, an exhaust valve, and memory foam lip that hugs the face

R-Pur claims a technology advantage with its specially designed Nano filter that boasts an extremely high level of filtration. The mask filter has eight layers, including an activated carbon layer, so it filters out most of the bad stuff mentioned above, including chemical/gaseous pollutants. For particles, according to R-Pur’s laboratory tests, the mask has “filtration efficiencies greater than 97 percent… in the particle size range from 20 nm to 9 micrometres”.

2023 R-Pur Nano S anti pollution mask review - CarBuyer Singapore

20nm (nanometres) means the mask can filter out extremely small particles down to PM0.20 at 97 percent efficiency, which is on paper better than an N95 mask, which filters up to 95 percent of PM0.3 particles. That’s how R-Pur claims it exceeds not just N95, but the highest respirator mask (N100) standards. 

2023 R-Pur Nano S anti pollution mask review - CarBuyer Singapore
The Nano filter element can be removed and replaced

All this filtration would be useless if the mask didn’t work well with a helmet, but we tested the Nano S with both an open face ‘jet’ helmet, and a full-face helmet, and it did a relatively good job of keeping its face-seal intact, something Respro masks had trouble with, esepecially for those with longer or larger faces, as they provided incomplete coverage of the lower chin area.

2023 R-Pur Nano S anti pollution mask review - CarBuyer Singapore
Memory foam lip conforms to your face for a good seal

R-Pur’s advantage lies in its design : the mask section straps around your face, but the filter segment is held in place inside it. The filter itself has a wide aperture, and a memory foam ‘lip’ that adjusts to the contours of your face.

2023 R-Pur Nano S anti pollution mask review - CarBuyer Singapore
You may not want to wear this in daily life unless you want to emulate this video

With a full-face helmet, the mask does get squeezed a little, but the memory foam construction of the filter is able to accommodate some distortion. The Nano S also lacks a central pleat – which some N95 masks have – so it avoids interference with the chinbars of full-face helmets. Overall, the Nano S felt like it sealed better with the open-face helmet, naturally, but it didn’t feel like air was leaking in with our full-face either.

2023 R-Pur Nano S anti pollution mask review - CarBuyer Singapore
The mask costs around S$130, which is the price of looking like Bane. That thousand-yard stare though? Priceless.

We tested the mask over a number of months on our daily commute, and found that it was easy to get used to. On hotter days, you can feel the mask section become a little warm and damp, but it’s not unbearable. Breathing isn’t as easy as it is on the Respro, which has dual outlet valves, but it’s definitely easier than with an N95 mask. On rainy days, the good sealing means an added benefit of it preventing breath fogging up the visor. 

Good, but not perfect 

2023 R-Pur Nano S anti pollution mask review - CarBuyer Singapore

There are downsides to the mask though.

Wearing the Nano mask requires a certain technique. If you put on the helmet ‘forehead first’ as bikers typically do, you’ll dislodge the top strap. To avoid that, you need to secure both straps, then ‘back’ your head into the helmet.

2023 R-Pur Nano S anti pollution mask review - CarBuyer Singapore

For most people, this will not be a problem unless you have long hair, in which case, this will push your fringe down onto your forehead, as you can see above. Also, this makes wearing a balaclava or hairnet extra tricky, and if you wear glasses, sometimes the upper strap fouls the ear pieces, requiring adjustment.

2023 R-Pur Nano S anti pollution mask review - CarBuyer Singapore
Man models facehugger

Secondly, compared to ‘regular’ masks, the R-Pur Nano Light is expensive : The mask with one filter costs USD99 (S$133.60) , while the Nano filter costs USD25 (S$33.8) a piece. R-Pur says the filter will last, typically, 6- to 14-weeks.

2023 R-Pur Nano S anti pollution mask review - CarBuyer Singapore

In our experience, we’ve used the mask with the same filter for around six months, but two or three times a week, which would roughly equate to three months of daily use. By the end of our test, the mask body was a little more pliable but still seemed to seal well. 

Where we could see visible wear was the velcro fasteners that attach to the filter itself, and these came loose over time. There are four in total, which allow the filter to ‘float’ within the mask, although they didn’t impact wearability a lot, it was a quibble on an otherwise well-made product. If they were secure, the filters would perhaps last even longer.  

Lastly, motorcycling is already an activity that requires lots of safety equipment. I know some people who ATGATT, and that means they would need a helmet, gloves, earplugs, neckbrace, boots, motorcycle jacket and pants, and a mask. How to balance convenience and safety is up to the individual motorcyclist of course, but it’s another price to pay for protection. 

We didn’t have a way to methodically test the masks efficacy, but anecdotally, we always regretted foregoing the mask on our 40-plus km commute, because of the resulting scratchy throat and the smell of exhaust fumes. For cyclists, studies have shown the exposure to air pollution is outweighed by health benefits. But if you’re not a driver, the takeaway is that R-Pur’s mask offers a workable solution to pollution.

R-Pur Nano S

Cost : USD99 (S$133.60)
Buy from: R-Pur


anti-pollution cycling mask motorcycle n100 n95 Nano S pedestrian pollution protection R-Pur respirator

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's former chief editor was previously the editor for Top Gear Singapore and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment.

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