Paintball is increasingly becoming a popular sport. There are a lot of people young and old finding this action packed sport as their go to activity. If you are serious about the sport, then you know how competitive it can get. However, if you are new to the sport, there is nothing to fear as it is a lot of fun!
Paintball requires several accessories to be played effectively and safely. It could be argued that the most important accessory may be the paintball mask. If you want to get into paintball, then you will want to look for the best paintball mask that will suit the shape of your face and budget.
In this article, we will delve into the world of paintball masks to show you the top options available in the market today and how to select them for your requirements.
Why It's Important To Find The Best Paintball Mask
It is highly recommended that all players wear a paintball mask or some type of cover at all times when they are involved in any battles. Well… unless you want to get pelted in the face and be in some severe pain.
While a paintball won't bring about permanent damage to most parts of the body, the eyes, and to a lesser degree the ears, are helpless if hit by a paintball. This is why it is important to find paintball goggles that are particularly intended for the game. It will be important that the goggles are fit for enduring an immediate hit from a paintball as some travel more than 300 feet per second.
The good thing is, wearing these protective masks won’t necessarily make you look stupid. In fact, the best thing about the paintball masks is that there are so many different types of them available and so many customization possibilities, that you can really create an impression to your adversaries and warn them about who they are dealing with.
How To Choose The Perfect Mask
Getting a mask which fits correctly on your face and is super protective may require some experience. Here are some tips which can help you shortlist the aforementioned masks and pick out the best one for yourself:
Budget: It is no surprise that your budget will determine the kind of mask you can get and the options you would have to select from. Some masks can come for almost two hundred bucks while others can come for less than a quarter of that price.
Style: Paintball masks come specialized for particular styles of paintball. If you are going for a battle which would last for many hours and take place on an open space, then you would probably require a mask with comfort, good ventilation and low weight. On the other hand, if you are going for a battle in an environment full of obstacles, you may use a low profile mask to keep out of your enemy’s touch.
Fitting: The level of fitting of the mask is important, especially if you are involved in a battle for many hours. Do not select a paintball mask which is too tight or causes pressure on your face.
While these are just the basic tips involved in selecting a paintball mask, in general, the more experience you have the more your proficiency will be in selecting the correct mask for your game.
Top Paintball Masks of 2016
Now let’s look at the best paintball masks available on the market. The following reviews have been based not only on the manufacturer-claimed features, but also on the performance and customer feedback.
- Its highlights include an adjustable visor with scratch proof and fog resistant polycarbonate lens.
- The quick release system allows the lens to be detached or attached within seconds.
- The interior has an efficient ventilation system to keep up the airflow and a padded body to support your face.
- The padding and the exterior also covers the jaw, chin and ear, ensuring a solid protection, even while the visor is not on.
- The mask comes in a variety of color schemes including plain black, army camouflage and Tippmann camouflage.
The Valor FX is a new product, which comes with an integrated C-Max technology. This allows the mask to produce greater visual clarity, a wider visual scope and a better comfort. The mask looks like a good choice, considering its features and Tippmann’s opinion about it. However, it is still new in market and it remains to be seen how the quality and performance will pan out in the long run.
- The mask comes in a single and a solid body design, with a pure focus on practicality.
- The single pane lens comes with a Switch Triodial technology, allowing you to enjoy enhanced vertical and horizontal vision, while the face directed ventilation keeps the lens stay fog free.
- The latter also helps to keep your head cool, especially during intense paint ball battles.
- The lens is equipped with a patented release system, which makes the removal and attachment pretty quick.
- The interior of the Proto Switch EL is laid with soft and durable material, which will provide you with added comfort, even when you are embroiled in long battles.
- The sides feature multi-ported ear support systems, which let you hear everything around you, without damping the sounds.
Overall, this is a good mask, especially for those battlers who are on a budget. It has enjoyed a favorable rapport among customers as well. Perhaps the only drawback to this mask is the fact that its one-piece body is made from hard plastic, which can crack upon being hit by a ball launched from a close range.
- The lens provides outstanding vision, ranging from the head to the boot.
- The dual-pane body and excellent ventilation makes sure that the lens remains free of fog, during your paintball fights.
- The mask is particularly popular amongst paintballers due to comfort and the safety level it brings to the table
- The interior of the mask is lined with plush material and makes it very cozy inside. As a matter of fact, several experienced ballers have reported the Profit LE to be the most comfortable mask they have ever used.
- The soft inside absorbs any pressure from head shots and together with the dual goggle straps, it ensures that your head is safe, still and free from any shocks.
- The mask can work with glasses on and will usually fit perfectly, irrespective of the glass frame size.
Sly’s Profit LE is a result of years of research and testing, which have culminated to produce a modern and competitive paintball mask. All in all, this paintball mask is a premium product. Users have given it outstanding reviews over the years and still continue to talk positive about it. The mask only lets you down with its ability to protect your neck or forehead, due to a lack of worthy coverage.
- The Event Thermal is a durable mask and can take up quite a few hits, without showing any distress. This makes it ideal for budget ballers, who want to take out the most from their purchase’s life.
- The lens comes with a dual pane system and thermal cure layer which enables it to cope with fog, even when you are in battle for a long time.
- The lens has been integrated with an advanced and optically correct mechanism.
- The lens comes with a quick release system, like most of the other lens mentioned above.
- The interior has a comfortable design and layout. It is supported with a single silicon beaded strap. Both of these features combine to keep your head still, even if you are taking some heavy hits.
- There are two silicone based ear protectors that come with the mask and dampen the sounds, preventing any damage you might get from loud shots and direct hits.
- The mask comes with a low profile framework, which is one of its most appreciated features.
- You can choose one from 5 different color schemes, including Black, White, Blue, Grey and Red.
You would usually associate Empire with high end paintball masks, however with its Event Thermal, the company has introduced a moderately priced product with the same quality and finishing the Event is popular for. As a whole, the Event Thermal is a great offering from a reliable brand. The only negative aspect reported by customers regarding the Thermal is that it is difficult to clean and maintain.
- It is a light weight mask, which does not make your head and neck feel weary during long battles.
- It has a solid plastic construction, with a compact design, making it enjoy an extended life
- The lens is made from an anti scratch material and is supplemented with an anti fog mechanism, which allows you to have an uninterrupted full field of vision.
- The lens is also equipped with a quick release system.
- It comes with an included visor, which will help in improving vision and reducing any glare.
The Gen X Global XVSN is a basic entry level mask and provides great value for the price tag it comes with. All in all, the Global XVSN is a bare bones product. It does not claim to be special, but it still satisfied its features justly. It is a great choice for teens and first-time venturers, in the field of paintball. You cannot ask for more considering the price tag that accompanies the product.
- The mask comes with a dual pane lens system, with a clear visual and a fog clearing mechanism installed.
- The ample ventilation system accommodates the aforementioned fog clearing nature of the mask and also keeps your head cool, as you play intensely.
- The lens is easy to change and does not require any prior knowledge.
- The visor and brow shield have been integrated together.
- The body of the mask is solid and very durable, especially when compared to other masks in the same price bracket.
As aforementioned, Empire is a trusted name in the world of paintball and hence, any products coming from this brand will usually be quality ones. The Helix Thermal is no different.
This mask presents a great option for the ballers who are looking for something affordable. While not the greatest mask ever produced, the Empire Helix is certainly a top product in its price bracket.
- The mask comes with a full head protection and is very robust. Its life expectancy is expected to be long. This makes the Flex 8 a great choice, especially for woodsball players.
- The visor offers a wide range of vision (260 degrees in fact), which is several levels above the typical rental standard. The visor is easy to remove and put back on because of the JT release system.
- The lens has a thermal anti fog mechanism which will make sure that you are able to talk and eye a target simultaneously, without having to face any kind of usual nuisances afforded by other more basic alternatives.
- The double layered ventilation system allows the temperature inside the mask to stay cool and comfortable which is a definite bonus in the hot months of the summer.
- The mask comes with three color options: Camo, Thermal Black and Olive.
The JT Spectra Flex 8 is a recommended mask for the experienced paint ballers who like to test their abilities week in week out. The JT Spectra Flex 8 is one of the best masks available in the market right now. It is truly for the ballers who take their paintball experiences very seriously. While there were a few drawbacks pointed out some users, the only observable drawback seems to be the difficult maintenance and cleaning of the lens. But if you take care of your gear, and enjoy maintaining it, then this is no issue for the benefits it provides.
- It has a scary and an aggressive design, which is not found in other top paintball masks.
- The mask comes with a low profile layout and a neat finish, which makes it very attractive. That, combined with the body’s light weight, means that the top players eye this mask for their use.
- Instead of a single piece body, the mask features parts which can be individually replaced. This means that a breakage in any part will not render your mask useless, since you can repair / replace that part.
- The visor can be replaced easily and comes with several colors. In fact, there are 49 colors to choose from in total!
- The interior of the mask is very comfortable. It has been laid out with high quality foam and integrated with a ventilation system, which makes it possible to keep the mask on for long hours.
- The lens are 3D shaped and offer greater peripheral vision, which is unmatched in other alternatives.
- The thermal anti fog means that there is no blurring of vision.
If you are looking to have some push back from the opposition without even touching the trigger, the V Force Grill Mask is the way to go. The V Force Grill is for professionals and comes with a price tag to match its features. Customers who have purchased this paintball mask truly enjoyed their experience utilizing it. While all is good with regards to performance and durability, there is little protection available for the back of the head and you may want to cover it with a bandanna.
- The KLR comes with a PVT lock, which allows you to change the lens without wasting more than a few seconds.
- The interior has been laid out with special 3D memory foam, which generates unmatched comfort and absorbs any stress before it reaches your head.
- The KLR has an inclusive ear protector, made from high quality EVA foam, which will dampen any sound which can hurt your hair.
- The company offers microinjected TPR patches for users to customize their strap. With anti-slip silicone coated on the strap, it offers firm grip and support.
- The mask comes with a high quality polycarbonate lens, which has an anti UV and anti IR coat to protect your eyes.
- The 3M Foam Sealant ensures that there is cool air inside the mask and humidity is kept to minimum.
- The mask comes in 31 different color schemes.
The HK design team has a combined experience of over a century and it truly reflects it through the KLR mask, which, for many professional ballers is a no brainer pick for the best paintball mask out there.
All in all, the HK KLR is a solid deal. Despite its relatively new manufacturing, the mask has earned respect amongst the ballers and despite the minor flaws which may accompany the product, the users are optimistic about the performance of the KLR in the long run.
- The mask comes with a mirrored lens, with an exceptionally large field of view (both horizontally and vertically). The pro ballers have really enjoyed and appreciated this feature.
- The interior features a very high quality foam, laid out efficiently across the whole frame and offering unmatched comfort.
- The body is very light weight yet super durable.
- It is available in thirty four different colors! You can match it with the rest of your kit and look like a true champion.
- The lens is anti scratch and anti fog. This is complemented with the air ventilation in front of the mouth. Moreover, it is quite convenient to change the lenses.
- There is an expandable slot for visor and an option to install a built in fan.
The VIO proved to be a game changer for Virtue and has found a place in the elite paintball masks segment right away. Overall, there are only a few other paintball masks which may leave you as breath taken as the VIO, both in its performance and endurance. Virtue has really produced a product with ingenuity and with the backing of ASTM & CE certification, there is little doubt in mind that this the product to have.
- On the face, the I4 may look like the aforementioned Empire Event.
- However, it leaves any competition behind, due to its large visor and a subsequent super wide visual range.
- The lens is easy to remove and swap. This is a great feature for the ballers who like to customize their kits and show off in the battle field.
- The mask comes with a wide range of color and style options, with 26 original offerings to pick from.
- The lens has been accommodated with thermal anti fog technology and dual pane system, which means that you will have no obstructions in your line of sight.
- The Scream Ventilation system allows you to speak and give out instructions during the battle without blurring out your lens. It also ensures a cool interior environment and low humidity.
- The interior has a comfortable foam layering, which gives support, absorbs sweat and takes in any sudden shocks.
- The interior features a compact ear protection system which, despite being soft and lightweight, is extremely effective.
The Dye Precision I4 is a top quality mask, widely appreciated for its visual properties and ventilation. All in all, the I4 is a respected mask in the market. Its features, all, standout independently and make it a star, but one place in which there is a need for further improvement is the protection coverage. That said, the general outlook of the mask if fantastic.