All our answers to your frequent questions
Q: Business Hours
Our business hours are Monday to Friday, 10 AM - 6 PM PST. For all support inquiries, please allow 2-3 business days to get a response.
Q: How Much are The Masks & What Are Their Advantages?
The VL-M1 is priced at $30, and the VL-M2 is priced at $35. The VL-M1 has a filter insert that houses a BFE98 filter that adds additional filtration. The VL-M2 mask has no filter pocket but is engineered to dissipate moisture and heat, making it built for athletic performance. Both are face coverings and meet the CDC’s recommendations.
Our VL-M3 is our newest design priced at $48. Inspired by the art of origami, this mask provides a high quality fit and feel over your face.
Q: What are the hats made of?
The VL-H1 are engineered from 60% SUPIMA and MERINO WOOL, 19% RECYCLED POLYESTER, 19% POLYAMIDE, 2% SPANDEX/NYLON for the perfect combination of stretch and structure.
Q: What Is the Difference Between VL-M1 & VL-M2?
The VL-M1 has a filter insert that houses a BFE98 filter that offers additional filtration. The VL-M2 mask is engineered to dissipate moisture and heat and is the preferred mask for athletic performance. Our VL-M2 mask is also treated with Swiss engineered HeiQ V-Block, an antimicrobial coating. Both are face coverings and meet the CDC’s recommendations.
Although our masks are not as restrictive to airflow as N95 masks, they are the best high-quality face coverings out on the market to date.
Q: What Is the Difference Between VL-M2 & VL-M3? How Can the VL-M2 & VL-M3 Provide the Same Level of Protection the VL-M1 Offers Without a Filter Pocket?
The Variant VLM2 Mask is treated with Swiss engineered HeiQ V-Block - Swiss antimicrobial technology. It provides antimicrobial protection and will make the VLM2 microbe-resistant, protecting your mask.
Our VL-M3 is lined with CuTEC® anti-microbial technology; the mask's fabric provides anti-odor and anti-bacterial benefits.
Q: What is the inspiration behind each hat?
Our VL-H1 names were inspired by Malibu. They are inspired by nature and knitted in nature.
Q: Where are the hats made?
Our bucket hats are knitted in California.
Q: Where Is the Mask Made?
Our masks are 100% made in the U.S.A., from domestically sourced materials. The mask nose bridge comes from Minnesota, our yarn and filters come from North Carolina, and the mask itself is manufactured in California.
Q: Why Are the Masks Sold at Their Current Price?
The masks are sold at cost; it is knitted with high quality, sweat-wicking materials, engineered by professionals and incorporated with zero waste in a U.S. factory where workers are paid fair wages. Additionally, the VL-M1 comes with EIGHT replaceable filters. The VL-M2 is treated with Swiss eng...
Filter & Materials
Q: How Effective Are Our Filters?
The filter material we use is BFE 98 rated. This material is not N95; it's about equivalent to N92. Here's a list comparing the two standards of testing:
These two scales come from two different government agencies and their representative test methods and goals.
That said, we use BFE 98 rated material, and in the newer filters (since June 2020) we have them faced with a polypropylene material which makes it easier to handle and more splash resistant.
The caveat for any mask maker where the filter is placed inside a fabric covering is getting all the air to go through the filter and not around it. In a typical 3M N95 mask the entire mask is made of N95 material so there is no way for air to go in except through the filter media. In our limited testing with a local University our filter media alone scored as expected (BFE98) while the mask with the filter media scored about where a surgical mask does. As you can see with a surgical mask, there is ample room for air to migrate through on the sides because it does not fit as tightly as an N95 mask. While our mask fits nicely to your face, the space between where the edge of the filter ends and the edge of the knit mask allows air to pass through which did not go through the filter, and therefore we are in a similar situation to a surgical mask.
We suggest if you are trying to stop virus particles from entering your airway in an environment which has particles in the air you try to get closer to the N95 (Respirator) type masks. I think our product along with all cloth face coverings are meant to reduce the particles/aerosols that the wearer puts out, and therefore if everyone in a room is wearing one there are very few airborne particles around. That strategy requires all occupants to be wearing a mask to lower overall virus count.
We know N95's are hard to get, that's part of why we got into this. We're not able to reach N95 respirator quality yet, but we have ongoing research to try and get there and provide antiviral materials as well.
Q: How Many Filters Come With the VL-M1?
Each VL-M1 mask comes with eight replaceable filters, but you can purchase more filters in the Variant store. Ideally, you would replace the filter every day after it is worn. Filters can be washed in cold water and air-dried. However, the filters have an electrostatic charge, which is what makes them effective. With each wash, you remove some of the charge.
Q: What Is the Mask Made Of?
The knit mask is made of 100% polyester, the ear straps are made from elastic, and the nose-bridge insert is a laminated aluminum strip.
Q: Which Mask Uses Filters?
Only our VL-M1 Masks have a filter pocket. Our VL-M2 and VL-M3 Masks do not have a filter pocket because they are both manufactured in different, unique ways, which allows them to be just as effective.
Orders & Shipping
Q: Are You Able To Customize a Wholesale Order?
Customization is available for wholesale orders only. We don’t have customization options for B2C yet, but we hope to offer this capability in the near future.
Q: Are You Able To Purchase a Wholesale Order?
Q: Do You Ship Internationally?
We do, please select your country at checkout.
Q: How Can I Change My Shipping Address?
Your shipping address cannot be changed if the order has been processed or shipped. Please contact email@example.com or leave your name and email through our live chat for assistance.
Q: How Do I Track My Order?
Once your order has been shipped, you will receive an email notification containing the shipment tracking information. You may also look up your order status through our live chat by providing your order number and email address associated with the order.
Q: How Long Does It Take to Ship My Order?
Orders take 7-10 business days to process before they begin shipping. The lengthy turnaround time is due to our company's nature; all orders are made to order. Once the order ships, you will receive a confirmation email confirming this. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or utilize our live chat option for order status.
Q: Refund & Exchange Policy
Due to the hygienic standards and personal nature of our products, we cannot accept any returns or exchanges on products that have been opened. If your order(s) are still in their original packaging, we are accommodating returns and exchanges on a case-by-case basis. To request a return shipping label for your unopened product(s), you must contact us within 14 days of receipt based on the shipping carrier's tracking information.
Please note: If exchanging, the purchase becomes FINAL SALE. We do not accept returns or exchanges for international orders due to high shipping costs.
Refunds will be issued within 2-3 business days upon receiving a return shipment. A restocking fee/return label fee of $5 and the return postage will be deducted from the refund to accommodate these special requests. This fee may be waived at the discretion of the Customer Service Specialist upon reviewing the situation presented.
Q: Where Can I Purchase Your Products?
Our products are sold exclusively at variantmalibu.com, although you can also purchase our masks at Revolve and Erewhon locations.
Q: Why Is My Order Not Processing Yet?
Orders take 1-3 days before they begin processing. The lengthy process time is due to our company's nature; each order is made to order, preventing inventory waste.
Q: Why Was I Sent Two Tracking Numbers?
Shipping carriers experience issues delivering your order if the tracking information is two to three days old. When your order is halfway through the production cycle, a shipping label is created, but due to production and quality control (QC) issues that can occur, there is sometimes a delay. W...
Q: Why Was My Order Partially Fulfilled?
Some orders will ship partially fulfilled. This is due to our inventory and demand for certain products, as all orders are made to order. If your order partially ships, you will receive a confirmation email with tracking information stating what units from your order are on the way. The rest of y...
Q: How Long Will It Take for a Refund To Be Credited Back?
Q: What Are My Payment Options?
Size & Care Information
Q: What Are The Best Care Practices for My Bucket Hat? How Do I Wash It?
To maintain VL-H1 quality, do not machine wash, bleach, iron, or dry clean it. DRY FLAT.
Q: What Are The Best Care Practices for My Mask? How Do I Wash It?
You can machine wash with warm water and dry on low heat. If not using a washing machine or dryer, you may wash by hand and air dry. When using a washing machine and dryer, we always recommend washing and drying with other garments to prevent the mask from snagging on any moving parts. If you cannot wash with other clothes, another solution is to use a wash bag to house the mask and protect it.
If you need help replacing the filter, there’s a helpful care instructions link on the VL-M1 product page.
Q: What Bucket Hat Sizes Are Available? How Do I Know Which Size I Am?
Our available sizes are Small/Medium and Large/Extra Large. Each hat is knit on demand. Please allow a 1/4" variation and use the size chart to select the perfect size.
Q: What Helps Mold the Mask to the Nose?
There is a laminated aluminum strip in the nose bridge that helps the mask mold to your face shape.
Q: What Sizes Are Available? How Do I Know Which Size I Am?
WE RECENTLY UPDATED OUR SIZE NAMES: SMALL (KIDS), MEDIUM (ADULT), LARGE (ADULTXL)
Our available sizes are Small, Medium, and Large. Each mask is knit on demand. Please allow a 1/4" variation.
Please find the mask you are interested and view the size chart associated with that style below:
VL-M1 - Size Chart
VL-M2 - Size Chart
VL-M3 - Size Chart
Q: Why Are My Masks Different Sizes Yet They're Marked as the Same Size?
We knit all our masks on demand. Because of the unique way we manufacture our products, we advise customers to allow up to a 1/4" variation between each mask