Are you on a quest to find the best paintball masks?
Then you’re in the right place. Because I have done the hard work for you and have reviewed dozens of products to bring you the best paintball masks.
In addition, I will introduce the following related topics.
- Product Details (Including advantages and disadvantages)
- Buyer’s Guide
- Paintball Mask Advantages
- Paintball Face Protection Types
- Dual Pane or Single Pane Lens
- Glasses Vs. Contacts
I will also answer some common questions.
- Why is a Paintball Mask a Necessity?
- How Do I Keep Myself Protected During a Paintball Game?
- Is It Possible to Wear Glasses with Paintball Mask? Will It Fit Properly?
- If I’m Wearing a Pair of Glasses, How Can I Prevent It from Fogging?
- How to Properly Clean a Paintball Mask?
- Will a Paintball Mask Work Well with Airsoft Too?
- Should I Get Clear Lens, Dark, Light Smoke or Subdued Colors?
- How to Properly Store a Paintball Mask?
- Do All Paintball Masks Come with a Built-in Fan?
Without further ado, let’s begin!
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Best Paintball Masks
When stepping out onto any paintball field, it is vitally important to protect your eyes completely. Since the protection of your eyes is crucial when playing paintball games, your paintball mask is one of your most important safety accessories. Due to this, quality and comfort should be of the highest priority rather than what the mask is going to cost you. If the mask feels uncomfortable, causes scratches or itching, or fogs, you may feel tempted to remove it and this could result in injuries to your face.
It is not always necessary to spend a small fortune on a paintball mask. Here is our buyer’s guide, where we will tell you about a few of the best paintball masks on the market, along with their advantages and setbacks, along with buying considerations like comfort, price, durability, and quality. Carry on reading to determine the best type of mask for paintball games that match up to your needs.
- I4 rapid lens change system allows you to change lens in 10 seconds
- Comfortable anatomic mask fit keeps it in place and makes it...
- The retention strap system keeps the mask where you want it
- 290-degree of peripheral vision means you see more then any other mask
- This mask is coming with just a clear thermal lens as displayed in the...
High-tech and better looking, the Dye Precision I4 Thermal Paintball Mask is a really cool and awesome paintball mask. This sophisticated and sleek paintball mask offers outstanding protection, a really comfortable fit, and among the best fields-of-view when it comes to this industry.
This low-profile mask comes with a radius advanced-compound lens for superior vision in any type of environment, a lightweight, stylish design which achieves a great look and the ultimate comfort. When taking into account the excellent ventilation, dual-stage foam interior, the compression formed-ears, I4 rapid lens-change system, along with other design elements that are clever, the Dye Precision I4 Thermal Paintball Mask definitely deserves a place on this list.
Regardless of whether you are shopping for a custom paintball mask, youth paintball masks which perform well and look great, you will never make the wrong choice when it comes to the Precision I4.
- Quick Release System
- Anti Scratch / Fog Lens
- Low Profile Design
- EXCEEDS ASTM STANDARDS
- Visor NOT included
This mask is one of the more basic versions of paintball masks, yet at the same time, it is also rated among the more popular options. The main reason has to do with a very cheap price.
Everything about this XVSN is extremely basic:
- It features a single-pane lens that offers average vision with no distortion. Yet the single-pane lenses are more prone to fogging up.
- The foam on the interior of this mask is not very comfortable. It is designed more towards durability and affordability rather than comfort.
- The ventilation is average but that is where it ends. There is a lot of ventilation that comes from the front part of the mask but not much else elsewhere.
So you may be wondering whether the XVSN is a poor quality mask, seeming that it is so basic? Well, it is not a bad mask, but you need to manage what you expect from the mask before you use it. It does protect your face, yet if you are in search of something that is not going to fog up and feels comfortable, then this is not the mask for you.
The XVSN is the common mask that is rented out on paintball fields. This has to do with these businesses looking for a way to achieve returns on their investments, and this is a cheap mask made to last for a long time. The XVSN can become beat up and worn for long periods of time and it will still be okay to use. In addition, these are cheap masks to buy so if they do become damaged, they are not expensive to replace.
If at this stage you are only able to afford the GXG XVSN, and you are amped to start playing paintball, we recommend this mask as one of the better options. It won’t offer you the best in comfort and it may fog up when you start sweating a lot, yet the mask is still safe to use.
3. Empire Paintball X-Ray Single Lens Goggle
- Includes visor
- Anti-Fog Clear single lens
- Solid faceplate
- Adjustable strap
- Louvered vents help draw warm air out of the paintball mask interior
The Empire name is popular in the industry of paintball, and they are also known for producing a few premium products. However, the Empire is a product that is associated with recognizing that not every person necessarily needs or wants the best. Certain paintball players may just need a cheap and simple mask that is not too uncomfortable.
The X-Ray comes with all the necessary features linked to entry-level masks. This includes a single-pane lens, average comfort-foam, and a hard frame. Yet it does come with an overall decent design. The ventilation is great from the front, yet it is lacking a bit on either side. Yet at this price-point, it is not a bad product.
The X-Ray also features a handy visor which will keep the sun from blinding you. It has a basic google strap which is easy and quick to adjust, however, this mask is not functional like the mid-range masks.
This is a mask that is suitable for paintball players with a limited budget that only play occasionally. If you require a maks to play more frequently, we recommend that you rather save your money until you are able to afford a comfortable and more functional mid-range mask.
Yet if you only play the game of paintball occasionally, and you would rather buy a mask than rent one, then this is a great option.
4. Invert Helix Thermal Paintball Goggles Mask
If you regard yourself as one of the neophytes in the industry of paintball, a protective mask that matches up to your need may seem difficult. But if you require full-face coverage along with added head protection, the Invert Helix Thermal might be a great selection for you.
This paintball mask is reasonably priced that you can add a detachable visor to, which will keep the sun out of your eyes, along with adding in another level of protection.
The inside of the mask comes with a soft foam which achieves a customized and comfortable fit. The exterior shell offers a sturdy and reliable construction which provides ample protection when it comes to paintball hits. The clear and large lenses mean that disruptions are kept to a minimum while allowing you to gain a great angle and view of all your targets across the field.
If you are looking to use your paintball mask with prescription glasses of average size, the Invert Helix will fit and is one of the better choices to use a mask with glasses which comes in at an attractive price.
In addition to these handy features, it also comes with an olive-shade which helps you to blend more into your surroundings. In addition, the light-smoke thermal lens offers a bit more shade which protects your eyes from glare and it won’t compromise your view. They are also fog-resistant which means you can keep your game running smoothly without having to worry about your mask fogging up.
Ventilation is one of the most important features for all paintball masks. The Invert Helix has attempted to match up to these standards, yet it could do with a few improvements. The overall size of this mask does not work well for players that wear eyeglasses which feature large frames.
5. Virtue VIO Contour Thermal Paintball Goggles/Masks
- See More – With a large field of View
- Breathe Easier – With maximum airflow
- Hear Clearer – No echoing
- Speak Louder – With more venting
- Most Customizable – Goggle Ever
We are sure that your experiences with paintballing will become more exciting and fun when you try the Virtue VIO Google. What grabbed our attention about this mask was its innovative and versatile design. This means that it becomes possible to change any aspect of your paintball mask very easily.
This includes the mask itself, the interior foam, the strap, the ear pads, and the foam. Another feature that stood out, is the exceptional venting system. This mask comes with generous-sized vents across the bottom of the mask which help to keep the hot air out. They also stop any paint from getting onto your face.
The Virtue VIO also performs well when it comes to keeping you safe during every game. It is durable and strong and made from high-quality foam and hard plastic materials. It can withstand blows and hits and stops you from getting injured. This is also a shock-absorbent mask.
The Virtue VIO is fog-free, which does away with having to stop play because your mask has fogged up. It also comes with a big lens, which enhances your vision across the playing field. It also features UV protection and a great field-of-view. One of the only drawbacks about this mask is the fact that it doesn’t come with a visor.
6. Sly Goggles Profit-Titanium
- Patent-pending lightning-quick release system
- Velvet lined soft cell frame foam, combined with SBR foam for shock...
- Integrated double strap for goggle angle adjustability
- UV, IR, and water resistant inner lens gasket locks out moisture and...
- Tough co-molded nylon frame with soft TPR lower to prevent ball...
It is made with an impact absorbent foam protecting the wearer from blows, and also acts as an additional layer for comfort. It comes with a deep vent, a hard exterior, and a thick interior foam that is responsible for absorbing shock.
The mask’s exterior, in general, is made up of stylish yet durable nylon which also lets you change your lenses even at the last minute. This mask’s backing also comes with two straps so you can easily adjust the angle and the mask’s overall retention.
For the earpieces, they are made of up of foam and has an impact absorption quality – thus, doesn’t defer your hearing abilities.
We’ve mentioned earlier that it comes with a deep vent, made of molded TPR. This material ensures proper heat dissipation along the mouth and nose, which also helps prevent fogging thanks to its thermal sealed lenses. The mask is then finished with a coating that’s abrasion-resistant. You can also add a carry bag to prevent scratches.
7. Virtue VIO Ascend Thermal Paintball Goggles
- See More – With a large field of View
- Better Comfort – Soft dual layer foams
- Breathe Easier – With maximum airflow
- Hear Clearer – No echoing
- Speak Louder – With more venting
If you’re looking for a paintball mask that can do more and can be used for other paintball versions such as woodsball or speedball, then this one is for you. This mask is completely customizable, which means that you have the option to change up the mask parts, depending on which game you’re about to play.
It comes with 16 different lens options, which is pretty cool actually when you purchase this mask. You can choose from a wide variety of lens which may include but are not limited to sport, super-bright, chromatic gold, dark and light smoke. Aside from the lens, the straps and visors are also totally customizable as well. You have up to 18 choices for its visor.
Other than its customization options, the mask is also pretty popular for its breathability features. With an outstanding airflow system in place, you can easily breathe as you’re wearing it. The ventilation is pretty awesome too, and you don’t have to worry about your voice getting distorted while wearing the mask.
Other replaceable parts of this mask include the foam. This is one of the best features of this paintball mask as it helps prolong the life of the mask since you can easily replace certain parts to prevent wear and tear. Made with dual materials, you can expect that this mask doesn’t disappoint when it comes to comfort, flexibility, protection, and rigidity altogether.
There’s one thing we don’t like about it though – for some paintball players, the mask tends to get loose.
8. JT Flex 8 Full Coverage Goggle
- 260Degree field of vision
- The Spectra Goggle low profile design
- Performance, comfort and versatility, most upgradable modular mask...
- Full Coverage design for maximum protection
The JT Spectra Flex 8, is one of the latest products from JT, this is now considered to be one of the top choices when it comes to paintball masks for players of all ages because of its full face and head protection.
Unlike other masks, this doesn’t come with a fan, but you don’t have to worry about that as the company boasts about their ventilation system, along with with the increased field of vision up to 260 degrees. While the design may appear as low-profile, Spectra surely created this paintball mask with face and head protection in mind.
With this amazing head protection, you might think that this is an expensive model – but no. Its affordability is another thing that makes consumers become more interested in it. With the super safe features and the affordability, there is no doubt that this paintball mask is utterly hard to beat.
- GSR Pro Strap, Precise tension control, maximum comfort, and...
- Tirodial Horizon 290 degree anti-fog lens, gives you unparalleled...
- SCREAM multi-directional venting, patented blade angling and increased...
- Universal Heads-Up POV Mount included, securely attach you POV camera...
- Quick Release Foam Kit and Rapid Lens Change, patent pending foam kit...
If you’re someone who wants to take your paintball game a step up, then the Dye i5 paintball mask might just pique your interest! Similar to other masks, it has all the other features that you’re looking for in terms of protection, but one of the things that made me super stoked about this model is that it has a Wireless Air Sync. This instantly integrates your i5 and M2 – something that not all paintball masks have. This integration significantly improves your gameplay, thanks to its audio alerts and automated reports.
The technology also comes with an anti-fog feature even on the peripheral vision area, giving you a tactical advantage.
It also comes with Dyetanium lens – this helps protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays. You’ll also be pleased to hear that the i5’s lens can be replaced in a matter of seconds.
In addition to these outstanding features, the i5 has also been designed to keep the wearer’s comfort in mind. The ear compressions will surely help your ears stay protected but at the same time, isn’t too tight to impair hearing while playing the game. It is also a lightweight paintball mask, but also comes with a multi-layer foam to ensure that your head is well-protected during the game.
Changing up a bit and advancing your game with some of these elements are always exciting, however, it also comes with a higher price tag. With all its advanced features, the Dye i5 s considered to be way more expensive than its competitors in the market.
10. VForce Profiler Thermal Paintball Goggle Mask
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If you’re the type of person who prefers a single-pane lens rather than the dual-pane, then this is for you. Some people aren’t comfortable with single-paned lenses, but some others are okay with this most especially if they are used to playing under bright sunlight conditions.
It comes with a visor that is well-known for preventing and even reducing glare. Just like any other high-end masks, it is also comfortable and is lightweight, and also comes with comfortable straps. Unlike other paintball masks, the V-Force is securely snug and tight, yet comfortable enough, and won’t feel like it will fall off anytime during the game.
It offers full face and head protection and comes with big vents for breathability. If you’re looking for a paintball mask that has a bigger head, isn’t too expensive, and most especially if you live in sunny areas, then the V-Force Profiler paintball mask is perfect for you.
More Products (Our Rating: 4 Stars)
Why is a Paintball Mask a Necessity?
The better paintball guns launch paint pellets at a speed of 300 feet per second, and at this speed, they have enough force to do you considerable damage. Even on any exposed skin, this force is large enough to create welts and cause bruises. In a paintball war, it is customary to cover all your skin, but some people are inured to the bruising and prefer to fight with thin clothing or even to expose their arms and legs. On the other hand, your face has many softer areas that can suffer damage if they are directly hit by the paint pellets. The loss of any eye is a distinct possibility when playing paintball, whatever others may say. That is why, even before you buy a paintball gun, you need to think of protecting your face with a paintball mask. Masks can not only give protection to your eyes, but they also prevent paint from getting into your ears, protect your hair, and see that you do not have to eat paint.
Wearing a Paintball Mask Has Its Advantages
Once you have chosen a paintball mask that is ideal for your use and suits your style, there are other good things about them that you should know:
- While the game of paintball is one that has exciting strategies, it is no great fun, when the pellets hit your bare skin. It can hurt. But when you take hits while you are wearing a paintball mask, it can save you the pain. Your paintball masks can provide your face and head the maximum protection if they are of the right quality, size, and type.
- The correct fit will allow you to be comfortable and this can be an advantage when you play. It allows you to move freely and enjoy the best views and angles that will never be disrupted.
- When you have clear lenses and peripheral vision it becomes easier to see those who are your enemies in the game.
- You can even get paintball masks that are wide enough to allow you to wear prescription glasses if there is a need for you to wear them. So, you will not have to strain your eyesight and you will be comfortable with the visibility that you have.
- The paintball mask makes you look cool and stylish and gives you the look of a pro.
- You are protected from the UV rays of the sun and its glare when you wear a paintball mask.
- You do not have to worry about any disruptions, so you can focus on the way to get ahead.
- Your face is saved from messy paint stains.
Paintball Face Protection Types
Paintball masks come with face protection features of three different types, and this allows you the freedom to mix and match them and make changes, depending on your personal preferences or while trying to find out which combination works the best for you. There are many types of face protection, but the basic types are goggles, a mesh mask and a full paintball mask.
When the game of paintball first started, people used paintball goggles to protect their eyes, but this did leave the other parts of the face exposed to the harm from pellets.
Even in this present day, some players prefer to use goggles to protect their face, as it does the job of protecting the eyes and at a much lower cost. The other parts of your face remain exposed to harm.
If you have decided that paintball goggles are the only protection you will wear, take care to protect the rest of your face, thus balancing the exposure. A cloth hood can keep the paint from your skin, but the pellets can sill sting when they hit your face. The game of paintball is one that carries with it, a high risk of injury, but if a budget is your constraint and you are ready to take more risks, then paintball googles can be an option for you to consider.
Mesh Paintball Mask
As the game of paintball went forward, the type of equipment and its quality also became better. Most mesh paintball masks are used along with goggles. This combination gives you full face protection, as they complement one another. However, most people buy them separately. Masks cover only the bottom half of your face and your neck and top part of your head will be exposed to incoming pellets. At close range, this leaves you well exposed to any direct hits.
The material of the mesh mask gives the paintball player a layer of protection and it is lightweight as well as affordable. It is a type of mask that many beginners use because of the comfort it affords while playing and its low price.
Choose this material because it is one that is breathable and releases all the body heat and hot air from heavy breathing.
Full Paintball Mask
This mask is a combination of the two prior types, and while it has stronger materials, ones that you can choose. This full paintball mask combines the goggles with a removal lens and affords full protection of the head.
Choosing strong and durable material that will do the job gives your face complete protection, while this full paintball mask is comfortable to wear, and eliminates the need to adjust or have more equipment that can then be a burden when you are playing.
Serious paintball players use the full paintball mask as it allows them to change the lens or clean it while they are playing, while still giving them all the needed protection. These masks can be customized, and this allows you to create a highly individualistic one or one that can be mixed and matched to the equipment that your team wears.
Buyer’s Guide: Things You Need to Consider when Buying a Paintball Mask
You should be paying attention to a number of important factors if you are looking for a high-quality paintball mask, which will match up to your specific needs. Here are some of the most important factors:
Your main goal when shopping around for a reliable and good-quality paintball mask would be to make sure that it will provide you with the utmost comfort. Your mask should fit and sit comfortably over your face. It should also not move around a lot. If your mask is constantly moving it may result in discomfort when you are out on a field. You will also find that you keep needing to make adjustments which will slow down your game.
It may even ruin the way you perform or your gameplay. Also, keep in mind that a paintball session might mean that you are spending several hours or an entire day on the field. It is obvious that you would want to steer clear of a mask which is uncomfortable that requires constant adjustments.
If comfort is important to you, choose the paintball masks which feature a strap-system, which is easy to adjust. It should also come with soft-foam padding which will increase the comfort levels that the mask offers you with. However, there are a few foam pads of low-quality that will be rough and itchy.
With this in mind, it becomes important to find out about the foam padding quality included in a paintball mask that you are interested in. You need to ensure that the foam is not only soft but that it will also not cause roughness or itchiness. Also, keep in mind that whether you decide on a full-on helmet or one of the minimalist designs that only covers your eyes and your face, comfort should always be your number one priority.
Remember that this is an accessory that you will wear for many hours at a time, so comfort is essential. The mask should also offer enough ventilation to make sure you remain cool and comfortable inside.
When it comes to the game of paintball, your vision becomes very important. If your vision is compromised in any way while playing it could result in you leaving the game straight away. This is why you need to carefully examine the lens of any paintball mask before you decide to buy it.
You should be looking for a lens on a paintball mask that provides a field-of-vision that is up to 260 to 270 degrees wide. When possible try to avoid the cheap rentals as these usually restrict or limit peripheral vision. It is usually due to the flat and narrow lens which are used in these masks.
You should rather look at high-grade lenses which are spherical and operate without any distortions. The better lenses will allow you to easily see out of the corner of each eye, especially in close quarters. Also, keep in mind that when you are playing, it is more likely that you will be sweating.
The issue with sweating is that your lens may fog up unless they feature a thermal treatment application. In addition, due to safety reasons, you are not permitted to take your mask off during a game. For these situations, you should be looking for an anti-fog paintball mask, which is easy to attain when you make sure the lens comes with an anti-fog treatment.
The lens should also be sitting slightly away from direct contact with your face. This type of feature can ensure the best type of paintball glasses or mask, as it allows you to wear glasses underneath it, and keeps the heat from your body away.
However, the distance should not be too far away, as this may hinder you or make your mask bulky. You should be aiming to reach a middle-ground. In addition to choosing a mask that won’t fog, you should also look for the lenses that feature an anti-scratch coating.
This coating will increase the overall functional lifespan associated with the lens. Additionally, the interchangeable lenses are a good idea, particularly when you need to replace a broken or damaged one or you when you would like to customize your mask with new optics.
You may also want to look at the masks with chromatic, colored, or mirrored lenses. These lenses can help to prevent glare and serve its overall purpose when you use the mask in sunny conditions. A forehead visor can also help as it provides protection from other weather conditions along with hits.
Dual Pane or Single Pane Lens
The lenses come in 2 different types, but do not make the mistake of assuming that the dual-pane lens is automatically better. The 2 lens types differ when it comes to durability, maintenance, vision, costs, performance, etc.
In general, the single-pane lenses have an anti-fogging coating, yet depending on specific environments they may not work that well when it comes to stopping fogging. Yet they are much easier to clean and maintain. If you invest in a high-quality single-pane lens they will offer durability, while some models are cheap to replace when needed.
On the other hand, the dual-panel lens or the thermal lenses will be your best option to stop fogging. Yet these lenses do require a lot more maintenance and care because these lenses are more delicate. The inner parts of dual-pane lenses can become damaged from scratches. For this reason, you should clean them regularly by wiping them and dipping them in water.
These lenses do require a level of effort and time to ensure they last for as long as possible. They also cost more when compared to the single-pane lens. However, the advantage to these lenses is that they last longer and they are highly durable.
Field of View
Your paintball mask should never interfere with your vision. They also shouldn’t eliminate your peripheral vision which you normally have when you are not wearing a mask. One of the key parts of paintball has to to with your abilities to spot an opponent before this person spots you. You should also be able to notice any incoming attacks. For this reason, the ability to view what goes on all around you is an essential factor that needs to be accounted for when you choose your paintball mask.
If you choose the wrong mask that doesn’t have a great field-of-view it might hinder your visibility, which means you may get hit much quicker by shots from other players and you may also miss obstacles which are placed across the field.
Paintball is by no means one of those static games and you won’t be standing in one place to hit your targets. Your targets not only move quickly around during a game, but you also have to move just as fast. The ability to move freely and having your gear and equipment moving along easily with you will assist you in improving your speed and fluidity in this game. Soft rubber and plastic will make sure the mask stays on your face without restricting your movements. The right mask will also go with you regardless of whether you are sliding, diving, or jumping over or under obstacles.
The next important factor when it comes to choosing a paintball mask has to do with durability. While ensuring that the paintball mask lasts will be possible by making sure you do not put it through too much abuse, it’s still extremely necessary to look for the masks made from highly durable materials.
Every material used to construct the paintball mask needs to be tough enough that it can withstand abuse and wear-and-tear along with other types of rough situations.
When possible choose the high-grade paintball masks made from materials that are genuinely durable. Choose the types made from durable yet flexible and soft materials. Keep in mind, that most of the high-grade masks also feature a skirt and facial area, which is also made from soft, flexible, and sturdy materials.
Another important consideration when it comes to determining the durability of the paintball mask is that the dual-pane lens is typically sturdier when compared to the masks that only have single pane lenses.
Scratches are very common and will have an effect on your vision when your paintball mask does not provide scratch-resistance features. When the scratches start to increase over your mask, you will soon find it harder to spot players or objects in your area. Scratches will affect your vision as you play. So it is best to look for scratch-resistant features to make sure your mask looks like it is new even when it has been used over many games.
If you play paintball regularly and someone has hit you with a paintball you already know how quickly they hit and move. In general, the paintball markers will shoot as fast as 300 fps (feet per second), so you will need a paintball mask which is able to withstand these forces especially when they land near your head or face. Sturdy paintball masks are a wise investment as they will not sustain damages very easily from high-speed paintballs.
It is also important to take the weight into account. It is important to consider the lightweight paintball masks so that they won’t compromise or hinder your gameplay and performance when playing. A mask that is too heavy on your head can become a burden, especially if your sessions last for hours at a time.
You should be looking for the paintball masks that weigh between 1 to 2lbs. These are lightweight and won’t weigh your head down, especially when you are trying to stay ahead of your opponents.
Another important consideration includes what type of protection the mask offers for your ears. If a paintball had to hit one of your ears, it would not only be extremely painful, but it could also damage your ears. You should be looking at the paintball masks that provide complete ear protection.
Today there are even models of paintball masks which come with padded-ear protection. This feature works on absorbing shocks, which means that your ears are kept safe.
Anather most important considerations when shopping around for a paintball mask that is reliable would be airflow. You need to look for the masks that provide some form of venting from the front and the sides. These vents are important to make sure you are able to breathe easily. Additionally, it also assists with a better way to communicate with other members on your team.
Another benefit of these vents on paintball masks is its ability to lower hot air that can become trapped inside the mask. With this feature, you can stay dry and cool while out on the field.
Paintball Masks for Beginners
Paintball masks are available in different designs and they are also constructed out of different materials. Some are made from a tough plastic material and others are made from soft rubber. We advise that beginners should be looking for a strong and sturdy model, which features tough and durable materials on the exterior.
Due to the fact that most beginners are still learning to target opponents and to handle paintball hits, they are usually exposed to a lot more hits. This is the reason to choose a sturdier mask which provides complete protection from injuries and direct hits.
Straps are a key part of getting a snug fit from a paintball mask, and adjustability makes most (but not all) sizes fit most users. Masks with multi-strap systems are particularly nice because they allow for even more flexibility. On many models, one strap can be adjusted vertically and another can be adjusted horizontally.
Some paintball masks include a chin strap, which is a generally useful feature. Chin straps make masks less likely to slip around and deliver added support. Some paintballers find a chin strap to be more trouble than it’s worth, so you need to let your taste be your guide on this point.
Another optional feature, a visor at the top of a paintball mask delivers a little extra protection from paint, water, and overhead sunlight. If you’re looking for the best possible view of your targets, a mask with a visor can reduce glare and improve your visual acuity.
This phrase generally includes every part of a mask that comes down below the eyes. Different designs have different amounts of coverage on the bottom. Some go down to your neck, while others are cut much higher.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure you paintball mask provides solid cover at least down to your jaw. Bottoms protect your nose and mouth. A paintball mask’s bottom is vented to provide plenty of airflow while you play. In a well-designed mask, the vents in the bottoms are angled to further discourage paintballs from penetrating.
The widest choices when it comes to paintball mask materials have to do with the foam padding used on each model. Both manufacturers and players have sharply divided opinions on what the foam in a mask needs to do. Some say it’s strictly for protection; others say it should be designed to insulate and improve breathability, too. High-quality foam in a paintball mask will reduce the impact of paintballs thanks to its elasticity. Another key feature to look for is wicking ability; wicking foams tend to last longer than cheaper materials. Check to see if the foam inside a mask is designed to be replaceable. Replaceable foam can also add to your mask’s lifespan, though it may oblige you to do more maintenance. Study your options carefully on this point; you have many foam options to pick from in good paintball masks.
No matter how much manufacturers would like to pretend otherwise, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all paintballing mask. You need to make sure you choose a mask design that suits your head and face shape; the best paintball mask for you is one that provides ample protective coverage while also fitting comfortably.
This is a specialized feature. Not every player needs a POV camera mount, but those that want it want a good one. If you’re a tournament player or you like to share video of your games online, buying a mask with an integrated camera mount can take one potential hassle out of your paintballing experience.
Stylistic features are what set you apart from the crowd and make it easy for opponents to remember you. A distinctive, impressive look is important for serious paintballers, particularly at the higher levels of tournament play. Great designs can not just make you recognizable but even strike fear into the hearts of your enemies.
There are many additional paintball mask features which might influence your buying decision. Many masks offer quick-change lenses and UV protection, for example. UV protection can be important if you tend to play lengthy high-endurance games – at least two hours or more at a stretch. Quick-change lenses are handy for multiple situations. You can install more heavily-tinted lenses when you need them or snap-in fresh lenses instead of tackling a messy cleanup job.
Paintball masks sold for $100.00 or more tend to come with warranty protection from their manufacturers. There’s no rule obliging the makers or sellers to provide this coverage, though, so check the warranty status carefully before you invest in a pricey paintball mask. Don’t be afraid to ask your retailer to clarify the warranty situation before you commit to making a purchase.
You need to understand that different brands – and even different models offered by the same company – vary a great deal in how much space they offer between your face and the lenses. Some masks fit extremely close to your face while others provide significantly more room. This is a point that is very difficult to gauge without first-hand experience. If at all possible, try on a mask yourself to understand how much space it offers you before you decide to buy.
Interior space can be more than just a matter of taste. If you wear glasses underneath your paintball mask, you must have a mask that provides enough space for them. Always bring the glasses you use on the field along when you’re going to be trying on paintball masks.
A tight mask with minimal interior space can feel claustrophobic, but a mask with lots of interior space can wind up giving you a distorted view through the lenses. Beyond the dictates of personal taste, most players like to strike a comfortable balance right in the middle of the interior space options. Do note, though, that tighter, more streamlined masks are preferred for speedball and roomier, more comfortable masks are preferred for woodsball.
Getting the Coverage Right
Overall mask coverage is another area where you have to balance personal taste against practical considerations. The lightest, most streamlined masks cover only the eyes, nose, ears, and jaw. Full-coverage masks are considerably bulkier, covering the skull and neck as well as the face.
As noted above, one factor in your choice here is the type of paintball you prefer to play. More coverage is better for woodsball games, while lighter masks are better in speedball.
The other factor to consider is the rules imposed by your preferred paintball facilities. In general, most play areas require full-coverage masks for all players under the age of 18. There may be additional rules imposed depending on the type of play you’re engaged in, even if you’re older.
As a general rule, we recommend a full-coverage mask as your primary paintball mask. A properly-designed one will provide full protection without disrupting your play in any way. You can also buy a streamlined mask in addition to a full-coverage one if your tastes and playstyle call for it. But you can always use a full-coverage mask to enter any sort of game; the reverse does not hold true with a streamlined model.
We’ve already brought up the fact that many play areas have age-based restrictions on the sort of mask you can wear. If you or the player you’re buying a mask for are still growing, you should also consider this when investing in a paintball mask. You don’t want to spend money on a mask you’re not allowed to wear yet or one that you’re going to outgrow.
Glasses Vs. Contacts
We noted above that you’ll need some extra space inside your mask if you make a habit of playing paintball in glasses. Make sure that your mask fits snugly and securely over your glasses; stability and security are essential. Consider making the switch to contact lenses, even if it’s just for paintball use. Not only do they make it easier to fit a mask well, but they also provide better peripheral vision than eyeglasses.
The budget you have to work with when you’re buying a paintball mask is obviously a top priority. If you’re serious about paintball, you have lots of gear to spend your money on.
Decent paintball masks don’t need to cost an arm and a leg. Pick a general price point early on in your mask-shopping process and try to stick to it. Saving a little money on your paintball mask means that you have extra cash available for more ammo!
Frequently Asked Questions:
How Do I Keep Myself Protected During a Paintball Game?
Other than wearing masks, there are other ways on how you can stay protected during a fun game of paintball. Despite the fact that it’s an exciting game, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t do anything to stay protected. While playing paintball, it is important that you are practicing different safety measures such as wearing masks to prevent minor or major injuries.
Another thing that you can do is to keep your stowed away if the game hasn’t started yet. When it comes to protecting others, always make sure that you practice the ready, aim, shoot principle. Always aim for your target before you shoot. As fun as it sounds, never aim blindly as you may accidentally fire at the referee, a bystander, or simply another player who’s adjusting their mask.
If you’re not in the battle, always make sure that you turn on the safety on your paintball gun – while sometimes it is not 100% reliable, you may also want to cover it with a sock or a barrel plug if you have one.
For the body, you may wear a long and thick shirt, a pair of gloves and there’s no harm in wearing a beanie mask for added protection, especially if you’re only equipped with a half mask. Once you’re done with the game, ensure that you unload your gun and keep them away from children’s reach.
Is It Possible to Wear Glasses with Paintball Mask? Will It Fit Properly?
Yes, although you would want to consider getting a paintball mask that’s specifically designed for people wearing glasses. These types of paintball masks usually come with a foam, which is both cut on the sides where your nose pads are, along with the sides of your glasses. This particular design lets you play comfortably without affecting your range of motion at the same time.
Before putting your glasses on, make sure that there’s no fog. This way, when you put on your paintball mask, fogging won’t occur and you would be able to see clearly.
If I’m Wearing a Pair of Glasses, How Can I Prevent It from Fogging?
Fogging lenses can be annoying, and it’s not fun especially when you’re in the middle of the game. There are different ways to keep your glasses from fogging such as using an anti-fog spray. They’re not hard to find and surprisingly cheap too. Thermal lenses on the other hand, are composed of two lenses with an air-filled gap between those lenses. Both of those lenses have a different temperature than what’s outside which then prevents moisture. Another effective method, though unconventional is the mask fan. This fan is situated on top of the goggles and comes with the mask. This battery-operated fan allows evaporation and prevents moisture, which means no fogging would occur.
How to Properly Clean a Paintball Mask?
Keeping your mask clean, especially before and after the game doesn’t just prolong its life, but it also enables you to remain its strength and integrity. With a clean mask, expect to have an improvement in your performance during the game, and of course, increased safety levels – something that we all wanted.
You can keep your mask clean by using a microfiber cloth. Use this cloth to wipe away the accumulated paint. You can make a pass or more depending on the amount of paint. Don’t forget that aside from the mask, you have to clean the lens itself. There are different lens cleaner sprays in the market and you can use those to clean the lens – again, wipe with a microfiber cloth.
Once your lens are clean, take time to perform an inspection and check for damage like cracks or scratches. This is done to check if your goggles and mask are still safe to use for the next game. If there are cracks or damage, you need to discard and replace it with a new one for your safety.
Will a Paintball Mask Work Well with Airsoft Too?
Good news, yes! The great thing about paintball masks is that they are made of durable materials, which make them strong enough to withstand airsoft bullets. These paintball masks are also known for being able to hold the lens securely and tightly, making it a safe option to use for airsoft.
Should I Get Clear Lens, Dark, Light Smoke or Subdued Colors?
The color of the lens that you should choose varies depending on your activity, and personal preferences as well. Clear lenses are a crowd favorite as it lets them see clearly. Dark lenses, on the other hand, prevents eye-straining, especially when viewing from an angle.
If you are wearing prescription glasses, you may also want to take into consideration getting the clear lenses. The only downfall of clear lenses is that they may not offer enough protection especially from the glare of the sun.
Dark lenses, on the other hand, are starting to become popular because of its capability to protect your eyes from the glare of the sun. The downfall with this one though, is that visibility may be limited as compared to clear lenses.
Again, all of these have varying effects and it all depends on the wearer’s preference.
If you’re the type who wants to look good while playing paintball, subdued colors may be a good choice for you. Most often, the outer colors do not limit your visibility and work the same just like how other lenses would work.
How to Properly Store a Paintball Mask?
After the game, and once you’re done cleaning it, make sure that you keep it in its designated case for proper storage. Do not leave it hanging as you would want to avoid outer elements and environmental factors that could potentially cause damage or deteriorate the materials of the mask. Remember though, that you have to ensure that the mask is dry before stowing it away in its storage.
Do All Paintball Masks Come with a Built-in Fan?
As mentioned earlier, not all paintball masks have this option, but it is a good addition if you want to boost ventilation. Most of the time, they can be purchased separately.
We highly recommend that you carefully consider which paintball goggles, mask or headgear you’d wear and treat it as an investment rather than a luxury. This is the only device that will protect your head during the game, and at the same time, finding a quality paintball mask allows you to perform better without visibility problems.
While there are rental masks available in paintball arenas, they are not highly recommended. Consider of it as hygienic purpose, not to mention we don’t know how these masks are being cared for after each player’s use.
Investing in high-quality masks ensures you that they will last longer and you won’t have to keep replacing parts – so you may want to consider shedding a bit more money for added safety. Other high-end models also allow you to design and customize your mask depending on your style and personal preference.
Always remember the different points we’ve discussed in this guide before buying a paintball mask for yourself. At the end of the day, it all boils down on choosing a product that is the best value for your money. A paintball mask is an essential piece of equipment for this hobby, so choose carefully!
Best Paintball Masks
Last update on 2020-02-13 / Rating by Author / Affiliate links, Images, Descriptions & Price from Amazon Product Advertising API