Inventor reimagines Beer accessory to create better mask

James McCrimmon is the inventor of a beer accessory to help keep your beer cool. His Alberta-based business relies on major events like CFL football games and the rodeo for sales. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit McCrimmon found his proverbial keg empty. But instead of crying into his frosty mug he decided to reimagine his product into one that could save lives.

His original product is the TUDI Wrap. “It’s the ultimate drink insulator,” says Inventor and president of Vegreville  based Tubmask and Re Tee Inc, James McCrimmon. It secures snugly around your mug, glass or can – or any container really to help it maintain the temperature of its contents.

“But with no functions (allowed under COVID restrictions), nobody can have tournaments. What are we going to do?”  He asked rhetorically. But like any inventor and entrepreneur solving problems and overcoming adversity is all in a day’s work.

McCrimmon credits his sales rep for sparking the idea of what was to come. With a shortage of masks at that time, he asked whether McCrimmon could turn their existing product into a mask. 

“It’s breathable neoprene,” he answered. “I can’t see why not?”

But he wasn’t going to create just any mask. Like his wraps, the masks needed to be reusable and sustainable but also fulfill a number of other important requirements: be stylish, fit snugly and be comfortable. They also needed overcome one thing that plagued those who wear protective eyewear or glasses especially in the winter – it must seal around the nose properly so as not to fog up. 

“Fogging up is not only annoying it’s also dangerous, especially in places like construction.”

So off he went to the drawing board.  

He made the inner layer of the mask with breathable neoprene which also wicks moisture away from the skin. He used tight-weave polyester for the outer layer for better printing of colours and designs. The sides are rounded to give coverage but also to allow for fresh air intake along the chin if needed. And the seam down the centre of the mask gives it stability on the face as you breathe.

He looked to his TUDI for further inspiration. 

“Different stadiums use different sized cups,” he said. “So, we use Velcro on the TUDI to adjust for a snug fit. For really big containers, you can attach two together.” He applied a similar technique to his masks but with a twist. The ear loops are adjustable and removable attaching to the mask using Velcro tabs. He added a Velcro-tabbed lanyard to use as a head strap or so the mask can sit around the neck when not in use.

The fogging up dilemma raised another big question in his mind. “How are we going to do the nose clip?” 

The challenge was to find one suitable for any face that could properly seal the area around the nose that was also durable. 

“We modelled the nose clips after those in the N95 mask but of course unlike N95 that are designed for one-time use only.”

McCrimmon had to find just the right metal for the nose clip in the right size that could withstand extensive use. It also had to be malleable and able to bend many times and many ways to adjust for any nose without breaking. It also had to be anti-magnetic so it could be certified as a non-medical breathing mask. 

The process took two months.

To make it even more versatile, McCrimmon designed the nose clip as a self-contained unit with a Velcro back so it could be removed when washing the mask but also used on disposable masks to make them anti-fog. While McCrimmon preferred to keep his trade secrets close to his chest, he did share the metal was an aluminum, similar to what’s used in Arts & Crafts supplies.

The result is a product he calls TUBMask. He says they can be washed, dried and ready for use in only seven and one-half minutes. He’s also very proud of its sustainability, estimating that one TUBMask will save at least 200 disposable masks from the landfill. And to give back to the community, he’s also donated a number of masks for different causes.

TUBMasks made in Canada and come in different sizes and a plethora of designs.

For those who wear disposable masks, the Anti-Fog Nose Clips are also available separately. They come in black and white as well as pink and blue to match the commonly seen disposables. 

You can find all of these products at They can also be found in-store at a number of retail outlets including Canadian Tire, Peavy Mart, Value Drug Mart and Pharmasave.

The syndicated version of the article also appears at Troy Media and affiliated syndicated sites.

Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator at Crestcom International, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at

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