A respiration system is provided which is useful to protect a wearer thereof in potentially hazardous atmospheres which are not immediately dangerous to life or health. The respiration system comprises a flexible cape member having an aperture defining a neck engaging collar through which a wearer's head is passed. A ring structure surrounds the aperture and is attached to the cape member to form and hold an inner portion of the cape member in a ruff configuration which extends radially outwardly from the aperture to the ring structure. A conduit passes through a first orifice in the cape member, within the inner portion thereof, for release of respiratory air above an upper surface of the ruff configuration. A head enclosure is sealing affixed to the cape member and surrounds the ruff configuration.