Premier Equine Comfort Tech Lycra fly mask
- Good clearance from eyes
- Lovely colour selection
- Tricky to remove
- Forelock hole
- Washed well
- Light colour did get very dirty
- Mesh holes larger than most others
Price as reviewed:
Premier Equine Comfort Tech Lycra fly mask
The Premier Equine Lycra fly mask was the first of this style I’ve tried on my horse, Utah – he’s known for rolling his hay box around the field and putting his head through fences that he shouldn’t do, so I always thought they wouldn’t be tough enough. However, of the fly masks I’ve been testing recently, this one is my favourite – and I’m sure Utah likes it, too, because he’s not put as much effort into removing this one as he has others.
After I bit of fiddling and adjusting the first time putting it on, I found it to be quick and easy. Utah isn’t fussy at all round his head but as it has no fastenings you should be able to slip it on quite quickly if your horse is. No fastenings means it’s not adjustable, but as the mask is Lycra and naturally close fitting this is no problem. It’s most similar to the WeatherBeeta Deluxe Stretch Bug Eye Saver – the main difference is that the WeatherBeeta mask fastens with a zip under the chin.
When I put it on, I immediately noticed how much room he had around the eye – and I was really quite impressed. While some fly masks tend to sit just away from the head, this one stood away from his face and really gave him space. The mesh holes are larger than the other style of fly mask, which I found had a finer mesh in general. The holes are exactly the same size as the WeatherBeeta Lycra mask. I would say this is plenty large enough to keep out all flies – it might only be a problem for you if you’re in an area with the really tiny midges.
Utah has quite a large head considering he’s only 13.2hh, so I tried a medium size. This seemed to fit well – the Lycra was stretchy and I think I could have squeezed him into a smaller size if I wanted to, but this seemed comfortable. It has a forelock hole, which is great news if your horse’s forelock is anything like Utah’s. The ears were a bit long for him, but I expect most horses wearing a cob-sized mask will have larger ears than him.
The mask is lightweight, but tougher than I expected – similar in thickness to a standard single-layer swimsuit. The seams inside are flatlock and haven’t rubbed him – he’s got quite a thick coat and isn’t very sensitive, but I would feel confident using this on a more sensitive horse. It also offers 70% UV protection (on the Lycra parts), which is about average for brands that declare the UV protection.
Another real benefit of a Lycra-style fly mask is that it fits on nicely under a grazing muzzle or turnout headcollar.
The Premier Equine Lycra fly mask is available in six colours – green, blue, navy, red, grey or wine. I loved the light blue as it really suited him and was easy to find in my box of turnout rugs and bits I keep in his field. It has washed well, especially considering how filthy it was – and it dried quickly.
Considering that Utah rolls his hay box from one side of the field to the other every day, I am pleased to say that this fly mask has remained in tact throughout the test. He also hasn’t managed to get it off once – this is probably a combination of him feeling comfortable and it being tricky to remove as I can tell he’s been rolling around in it.
When you compare this fly mask to the similar WeatherBeeta fly mask, the WeatherBeeta offers more UV protection but has a higher price point. If the UV rating isn’t so important to you or you don’t think the zip will be advantageous then it’s not worth the extra money for you. They also has different hems – the WeatherBeeta has an overlock hem, while the Premier Equine one has a double-rolled hem.
Premier Equine products usually tend to have a higher price point compared to many other brands, but this particular fly mask was one of the cheapest we tested – so I’d say this is great value for money.
Initial thoughts – This has become my go-to fly mask and Utah will be wearing it for the rest of the summer. I’d recommend this to anyone who struggles to keep a fly mask on. I just hope it doesn’t lose its shape over numerous washes.
Who tested this fly mask?
Georgia Guerin looks after Horse & Hound’s shopping, fashion and product content. She owns a Norwegian Fjord horse who usually lives out 24/7. He is well known for putting a lot of effort into removing fly masks as well as putting his head in places he shouldn’t, which makes him a perfect candidate for testing.
Find out more about how Horse & Hound tests products
What is a first look review?
These are our first impressions of a piece of kit or clothing based on spending some time with it. We will have had our hands on it and given it a really thorough going over before trying it on ourselves or our horses and using it. The information we can give you after this first look will give you some sense of what it’s like to use, even if it’s only an initial view. As soon as we’ve given it a more thorough test, we will update the review with a full scoring and additional thoughts.
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