We have reviewed the best PAPR respirator. If you are in a hurry, the table below gives a quick snapshot of the top 5.
If the COVID-19 epidemic has taught us anything, it is the value of clean, breathable air. Today we are much more aware of types of facemasks, face shields, and other protectors, that were earlier used only by professionals for very contagious and hazardous environments such as radiation labs, hospitals, or certain construction sites.
A PAPR respirator is perhaps the next step in clean and breathable air. If you are a medical professional, you are probably already aware of their use in hospital wards with COVID patients. But today, everyone is looking for better protection than simple face masks as the economy opens up and offices and other places have bigger crowds.
A PAPR (Powered air-purifying respirator, for the uninitiated) usually consists of headgear and fan assembly that is powered using a battery-operated motor and can be carried around using a special waist belt. It pumps in contaminated air (through the motor-operated fan), actively removes hazardous materials, and delivers clean air to the user.
PAPR’s have become quite popular these days with people who are working in environments that are more hazardous than others.
In this article, we have explained the donning and doffing procedure of a PAPR kit and why knowing about it is essential before buying one. We have also included a brief buyer’s guide to assist you in selecting the best PAPR respirator. Lastly, we have curated a list of some of the best PAPR respirators based on our research and analysis.
What is Donning?
Donning is the process of putting on your PAPR kit. Before you start the donning process, it is essential to check the airflow using the kit’s device. Place it on the pipe, and if the ball floats and moves, it indicates that the airflow is working well. If in case the ball does not float on the air tube, then either the battery is not charged, or the filter needs to be changed.
Next, after wearing your gloves and the disposable gown, you must also check the air tube by connecting it with the hood or head mask. Wear the belt with the air indicator connected to it. Adjust the strap on to the waist. Start the indicator and then put on the hood.
If the head hood is sealed correctly on the face, there is no way the outer air, dust, smoke, virus, and bacteria can get in. The Hood also has a transparent face shield attached to it that makes visibility clear and does not allow any fogging.
What is Doffing?
The process of removing the PAPR kit is known as doffing. The first thing you need to do is, switch off the airflow and then remove your gloves. Wear a new pair of gloves for extra safety. Take sanitizing wipes and wipe out the whole headgear with it. This process will help you be safe and protected from any virus that may be on the headgear. This process is a must before you take the hood off.
After this, remove the gloves and insert your fingers and get the hood out of your head with ease. Take out the air tube from the hood and then remove the belt. Before using the kit again, it will be better to wipe off the airflow indicator, air tubes, and the strap with wipes. Keep the kit in a clean container. This is a safety measure that one must do before wearing the PAPR kit again.
Buyers Guide When Buying A PAPR Kit For Yourself?
A PAPR respirator should be comfortable to wear and take off. This means that the donning and doffing procedure should not take much time, and during emergencies, you don’t struggle with it.
Battery Life And Indicator
Buy a kit with a battery life of at least 7-12 hours per day. Ensure that the battery consumes less power and voltage. Therefore, check the battery life before you make a decision.
PAPR kits are used in hazardous environments, where the possibility of an emergency is quite high. In such a situation, you will not get time to replace your batteries, if they become weak.
It is best to have multiple, rechargeable batteries that can be used alternatingly.
Check the kit’s airflow
Before buying the kit; and it is better to check the airflow. If in case you are purchasing the kit through an online medium, then see to it that it has at least three modes to increase the intensity of the airflow.
Headset with a face shield
Buying a kit with a face shield attached is much better. The shield helps to provide proper visibility and makes the headgear comfortable to wear.
Check the air tube’s length
A short length air tube is not at all safe as the tube can come out as you move. Therefore, buy a kit that has a long air tube that ensures free mobility.
Best PAPR Respirator
#1 3M PAPR Respirator Versaflo Powered Air Purifying Respirator Kit
The 3M PAPR Respirator Versaflo kit has everything one needs in a power air purifying device. It has a disposable hood with a breathing tube, filter, TR-602N PAPR unit, spark arrestor pre-filters, and an airflow indicator. This is a complete PAPR system perfect for operations, pharmaceutical manufacturing, painting, and lead battery manufacturing and recycling process.
This kit is designed for quick and easy cleaning, with a smooth design PAPR unit and a maintenance-free disposable hood (including an integrated suspension as well).
The kit is intuitively designed and is very easy to use, with colored interactive touchpoints, quick release swivel air tubes, and a Pre-calibrated PAPR unit. There is a single touch indicator on the TR-600 turbo unit.
The unit is lightweight and comfortable to use, ergonomically designed, and includes a belt with flexible air channels meant to minimize heating. The unit offers multiple airflow rate options as well.
There is a disposable hood along with the kit, that covers the head, face, shoulders, and neck. It has an integrated wide-field visor with reduced curvature so that you can view things without reflection or glare.
The unit’s battery can last for upto 12 hours and is disposable as well. There is a convenient battery indicator, which turns either red or green, depending on the status of the battery charge. The belt to which the turbo unit is attached is adjustable and easy to use.
- This is a complete PAPR kit, with all parts and accessories in one place
- The kit is designed for easy cleaning and a maintenance-free disposable hood
- Ergonomically designed, colored interactive touch buttons, quick swivel release air tubes. All in all, you don’t have to think about much when using this kit.
- 12-hour battery life that can be recharged, and a helpful battery indicator on the unit telling about the charge left
- Multiple airflow options
- Disposable hood has a wide field visor with reduced curvature for better visibility
- Can be used in pharma manufacturing, painting, and even lead battery manufacture and recycling
- The face visor allows the user to have a beard, it is not a tight fit visor
- While it’s an all in one unit, it might be a bit expensive for the first time or budget users
#2 Optrel Clear High-Efficiency Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR)System
The Optrel PAPR e3000x is a powerful air purifier perfect for medical use and works well for a welding environment as well.
It is NIOSH approved, and all the filters are FDA approved too, which makes it an environment-friendly device.
The device is TH3 certified and approved for usage in smoke, aerosol and dusty environments. There is an automatic airflow control mechanism, which can also be used to give out a mountain breeze odor.
The visor is absolutely clear and one can get an unlimited and uninhibited view of their work environment.
There is a rotary switch in the kit, which can be used to adjust the flow of air to feed 20% of the air to the forehead area, where most people tend to sweat a lot. Similarly, direct airflow in front of eyes causing them to dry out is also avoided by the air distribution system.
With the easy to replace DIN5 front cover lens, you can use this kit for plasma cutting as well. The kit weighs only 330g and has an ergonomic fitting for the comfort of the user.
The kit comes with a 2-year warranty from the date of purchase.
- The device is compact and lightweight, it weighs only 330grams
- The TH3 safety class of the filter makes visibility crystal clear.
- Automatic airflow mechanism, which can be customized to direct 20% airflow to the forehead area
- Auto airflow ensures that eyes do not dry out due to air blowing across them
- Can be used by COVID-19 medical front-liners as well
- The battery can work for upto 18 hours on a single charge
- The charger can be plugged in multiple ways as it is Swiss made.
- The hood is a bit heavier than other PAPR Gears
- A battery charge does not last as long as claimed.
- The belt is too long for most average sized people
#3 3 M powerful powered air-purifying respirator kit 6800PF
The 3M powered air purifier helps to protect you against dust, mist, radon’s and even radionuclides.
The full pack includes a medium facepiece, 6800DIN, motor blower unit, battery pack, and flow meter. It does not include a full-body disposable hood for your arms or shoulders
There is no heavy motorized blower unit at the waist, which means that the user can use this PAPR freely without it leading to back pain. The wearer can mount the blower unit on the waist, head, or the face according to the system he\she selects.
The face-mount is lightweight and works effectively with the particulate air filter. Glass on the face-mount is very clear.
It provides respiratory protection with the help of purified air that comes through the filter that works on rechargeable batteries. The device works on a fully motorized system. The person wearing the gear is safe and protected.
The blower pulls the air from the battery-powered system to provide respiratory assistance to the wearer. With 8 hours of battery backup and rechargeable battery, the device can be used for aircraft, ships, vehicle maintenance, and more.
The facepiece is of the 3M 6000 series, and the shield meets the criteria for ANSI Z87.1.2003.
- Very budget-friendly device as compared to others in this lineup
- Its compact design makes it fit perfectly on the wearer.
- The motor need not be worn at the waist, which makes this PAPR less painful for the user’s waist and lower back.
- Lightweight and very clear face mount
- The device is suitable for military, repair operations, and construction business.
- No disposable hood
- Only 8 hour battery life as compared to other PAPR’s
#4 Tristan Clear air-purifying PAPR respirator system with 9HR battery
This is a full-face mask that prevents any dangerous gases or any virus or bacteria from entering the body.
4000mAh lithium batteries are used that are rechargeable within 4 hours, and you can use each battery for upto 9 hours at a stretch.
The RD40 air tube is compatible with almost any face mask, and the rubber material wrapped to it makes it corrosive resistant.
The kit’s ergonomic design makes it comfortable to wear and allows the wearer to go anywhere one wants to. Users can turn on the airflow on the standard model that is 2.5 cfm and on the high mode that is 3.5 cfm.
The belt is very durable and adjustable according to the waist size. The blower comes with a warranty of 3 years, and the battery with 9 months warranty.
- Perfect for industrial process filtration and medical use.
- Convenient to assemble and operate the device.
- Very portable and lightweight.
- The face screen gives a full clear vision and does not let fog accumulate.
- Gear is very comfortable and very breathable to wear.
- With one time charge, the battery works for 7 hours.
- The fan works on low noise, making the kit perfect if the wearer wears it for a long time.
- The lenses can get damaged by friction.
- No low battery inbuilt alarm.
#5 3M Versaflo TR300N+ Powered Air-purifying respirator PAPR
The 3M Versaflo TR300N+ Powered Air-purifying respirator PAPR makes breathing and working easier for the wearer.
The gear is easy to use and is customized to provide pure air to breathe. The components of the TR300 are designed to work together to provide integrated protection from harmful gases, fumes, dangerous viruses like COVID, and more. It filters air through the cleaner and makes the breathing process natural for people in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
In the current pandemic situation, the hospital workers, nurses, and doctors can use this to work without any fear of getting in contact with the virus.
It’s a customized system with two color indicators one for changing the filter and the other to recharge the battery. There is a battery indicator that you can press to know the percentage of battery.
The head top has a broader view that helps to connect to the patients and work efficiently. Airflow can be checked with the airflow indicator by holding it upright. PAPR kit provides balanced weight distribution and is lightweight.
The device is robust and does not move from its place when tied to the waist.
- The kit provides balanced mobility and comfort.
- Connects quickly with the breathing tube and makes breathing easy.
- The kit is available with two airflow rates that you can select.
- Filter and battery life indicators are also available.
- Compact design that is convenient to operate in a particulate environment.
- The battery life is only 8-12 hours
#6 VIKING PAPR Respirator With Standard Battery
The VIKING PAPR is NIOSH 42 CFR84 certified and has an assigned protection factor of 25. It has an integrated clear grind shield, which makes vision very easy in circumstances like smoke and smog. The field of vision is clear upto 160 degrees.
The filtration system uses HEPA filtering to weed out 99.97% of particulate material at 0.3 microns and above.
The PAPR uses an intelligent airflow mechanism for dual airflow rates and multi-stage HEPA design.
The PAPR uses a Li-Ion battery that can retain charge for upto 9 hours at a stretch. This is certified as a loose-fitting PAPR, and therefore does not require any medical fit test before use, and can be worn with people who have facial hair as well.
The overall kit includes pre-filter, the PAPR helmet, blower, battery, charger, hose, padded belt, and shoulder strap, head cover, 2 HEPA filters and spark screen and a duffle bag to easily carry all of it.
- NIOSH 42 and CFR84 certified
- Loose-fitting PAPR, requires no medical fittest and can be worn by people with facial hair
- Intelligent airflow mechanism with 2 air level
- Multi-stage HEPA filter
- Integrated clear grind shield with 161 degrees of visibility
- Battery life is only 9 hours, which can be a bit less for emergency situations
In today’s environment, with the pandemic still going strong in most countries, a device to purify the air that you are breathing is not just a good idea but a necessity. PAPR’s are regularly used by medical front liners and doctors and nurses who are facing the pandemic head-on in the hospitals and nursing homes of this great country.
In this article, we have selected the best PAPR respirator based on the features mentioned in our buyer’s guide and the ratings and comments mentioned by actual users on Amazon.
In our opinion, the 3M PAPR Respirator, Versaflo Powered Air Purifying Respirator Kit, TR-600-ECK, Easy Clean, Disposable Hood, Pharmaceutical, Food Safety, Painting, and Lead Battery Manufacturing Recycling is the best choice among the various options that we have considered because it is rich in features and serves the purpose.
If you are looking for a value for money option, you can also consider the , which offers great value and features at a very reasonable price point.
While we make every effort to provide updated and correct information, the advice given in this article and website should not be construed as “medical advice”. Please consult with a certified professional before using any PAPR respirator, especially for circumstances involving COVID-19. A certified professional will be the best person to advise you on the best PAPR respirator for your usage.