Protect Against CBRN with the NH15 Escape Hood from Avon Protection - ITS Tactical
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Protect Against CBRN with the NH15 Escape Hood from Avon Protection

By The ITS Crew

If you’ve ever wondered how you’d escape during a Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear attack, look no further than the NH15 Escape Hood from Avon Protection.

Marketed as the world’s smallest NIOSH-certified emergency escape hood, the compact unit protects your face and respiratory system during these occurrences and provides you 15 minutes to evacuate the contaminated site.

We’ve been fortunate enough to obtain a loaner unit from Avon Protection in order to demonstrate donning the mask on video, which you’ll find below.

CBRN Protection

As you’re probably thinking to yourself, what good is a single-use mask like this going to do in the event of a true disaster? The fact is that it’s not marketed for TEOTWAWKI, it’s for use by first responders and those in harms way to provide a fifteen minute window to get to an uncontaminated environment.

The protection the NH15 provides is against certain solid and liquid respirable particles, gases, vapors and small splashes of liquid agents. If you’re interested in the NIOSH certification that this mask has and all that it protects against, please view this PDF that Avon Protection has created with technical specs as well as visiting the CDC (Center for Disease Control) Website.


NH15 Escape Hood 07The escape hood comes vacuum-packed in a multi-layer barrier bag contained within a semi-rigid pouch that protects the packaging and has the ability to be mounted to a belt. In the photos you’ll see that pouch can be mounted with a webbing loop that’s secured with velcro and a button snap, but also has a smaller loop to be used when mounting upside down for quick access to the unit via the pull tab.

In our donning that you’ll see on the video below, the escape hood truly lives up to the ease of use and ability to get it on in under 30 seconds. It was also worn around for a few hours with no issues in fogging or discomfort. Of course the mask is only supposed to be used for 15 minutes or less, but we figured a few hours would be a good test for comfort.

Directions on the enclosed information sheet within the pouch, as well as the drawings on the packaging itself, are easy to understand and there’s really nothing to putting the mask on. What you have to pay particular attention to when donning the mask, is ensuring that the nose cup is unfolded before you place the mask on your head. When the mask is on you should have a seal around your nose and mouth.

The NH15 can be used by many different facial types and those with glasses, long hair or beards. A large rubber neck seal is provided that will fit neck sizes from as small as 12″ to as large as 18″. Truly a one size fits all design.


  • Small enough to carry on a utility belt, thigh rig, or in a briefcase
  • Self adjusting harness, designed for all hair types
  • One size fits all design
  • Twin filters for lower profile and breathing resistance
  • Clear hood with Anti-fog eye lenses for easy user identification
  • Reflective exterior label for easy identification by first responders in dark environments
  • Maintains five-year shelf life between 5ËšF and 105ËšF storage temperatures
  • Does not require annual OSHA-specified (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) fit testing.
  • No maintenance required
  • Training hoods available
  • Packed size: 6” x 4” x 3.4″
  • Weight as carried: 1.7 lbs.


One thing we would have liked to have seen is for the NH15 to protect against smoke. It’s currently not to be used for this or in oxygen-deficient atmospheres. We’re not sure if that type of technology could even be incorporated into an already feature-rich device, but that would definitely make it more versatile.

From what we’ve seen, the price point for these devices is around $200 and not a bad price at all for what could mean the difference between escaping with your life from a CBRN environment.

This review does not take the place of formal training required for the NH15 Escape Hood.

Update 10/21/10: We’ve just been made aware that the NH15 is currently only available for the specialist market and unfortunately not available for the general public. Pricing for law enforcement agencies and the government buyers is available by calling any of Avon Protection’s authorized distributors: Avon Protection Authorized Distributors.

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