If you are a paintball player, you know how important protective gear is. The most important part of this equipment is on your head – your mask. Only the best paintball mask will protect your eyes, ears, and head properly, so you should not take this lightly.
But what is the best mask like? Simply look for a breathable, comfortable mask which has good lenses and which will make you safe in the field. Everything else, such as design, color, and accessories are secondary, although they do make a difference.
Since there is a wide variety of masks out there, and you can easily get confused, we bring you very detailed and helpful paintball mask reviews, which will guide you through the process of finding the perfect mask.
Best Paintball Masks
1. Dye I5 Thermal Paintball Goggles
This first mask comes from Dye and it is one of the favorites among fellow paintball players. When it comes to the most important features of the mask, this one has it all. Thanks to the high-quality thermal lenses and good airflow, the I5 is completely fog-proof. Also, these lenses allow you to see clearly, without any distortion, and you can change them in only 10 seconds. What is really special is that the vertical and horizontal peripheral field of view you will have with the I5 does not have any match in the market – you really cannot find anything better. It is also up to par when it comes to comfort. Its special anatomic fit and functions will ensure you play carefree without your mask getting in the way, and the dual stage foam will a keep the sweat off your face and eyes. Once you adjust your mask, the special Tiger Teeth buckles will keep the strap in place. Besides protecting your eyes, the I5 has a specially designed flexible and lightweight ear protection, as well as UV protection. Because of the scratch-resistant coating on both sides of the lenses, and a sturdy build, you can count on this mask in any weather conditions and rough situations. It will also not get in the way of your communication with your team since Scream multi-directional venting allows your voice to go far and be heard. In addition to all of this, users are praising the I5 for the lightweight, futuristic design.
- An anti-fog thermal lens which can be easily changed
- Great peripheral vision
- Anatomic fit ensures comfort
- Glasses can be worn under the mask
- Dual stage foam prevents sweat and heat from disturbing you
- Does not protect the back of your head and forehead
- Can be small for people with larger faces
2. Dye Special Edition Thermal Lens Paintball Goggles
This next model is also from Dye and it features upgraded double painted SLS thermal lenses which prevent your mask from fogging. The SLS stands for Switch Lens System which ensures that taking out the lenses and replacing them is effortless and finished in 10 seconds. As for the lenses, they also allow a pretty wide view of 260 degrees so the mask will not affect your capability to spot the enemy even if they are on your side. As for the comfort, it is achieved thanks to the Dye’s superior comfort foam and the anatomic design which fits like a glove. Keep in mind that this mask, like many other Dye’s models, is a bit smaller. In any case, the mask is very lightweight so it is also suitable for children. What is unique is the built-in visor which shields you from paintballs. With this mask, your ears will be protected as well by multi-ported ear pieces which will not get in the way of your hearing. As for the airflow, it is ensured by the unidirectional venting system, however, some users do complain that there is sometimes not enough air when they are running.
- Thermoformed, double painted lenses which prevent fogging
- SLS for changing your lenses quickly and easily
- Unidirectional venting to keep you cool and ensure good airflow
- Ear protection
- Some users report that the mask is a bit tight for them
- A couple of users pointed out that they had difficulty breathing
3. JT Spectra Flex 8 Head and Face Coverage Thermal Paintball Goggles
The next model comes from JT and it is one of the most praised for its performance, considering the price point. First of all, this mask will ensure extra protection if you would like to shield the back of your head as well. Therefore, it is perfect for children who are often required to wear helmets like this one on the field. As for the lenses, they are dual-pane, thermal lenses, so the fog will never be your problem. You will have a 260 degree undistorted, clear view. Even though this is a helmet, the venting system is amazing and you will never feel hot or like you are not having enough air. The mask is sturdy and pretty stiff, but still comfortable thanks to the thick, soft foam. When you adjust the JT mask, it will not move. This is ensured by a well-made strap with silicone beads. Ears are, of course, also protected by sturdy earpieces.
- Quality thermal lenses at a lower price
- A good venting system
- Maximum protection of the whole head
- Light and suitable for longer games
- Some users report moisture build-up and fogging
- Many users point out that the lenses are difficult to take out and clean
- Can be tight for users with larger heads
4. Virtue VIO Ascend Thermal Paintball Goggles
The next model comes from Virtue Paintball and it is most often described as an extremely good deal. When we look at all the most important features a mask should have, the VIO Ascend meets all the requirements. The plot twist is that the price is mid-range. So, what do you get when you buy this mask? First, you get large, dual-pane, tinted (smoke) lenses, which means you will not have to worry about fog and you will be able to use your peripheral vision to the fullest. These lenses are also extremely easy to change, but since they have a scratch-resistant coating on them, you do not have to worry about changing them right away. As for the breathability, the venting system ensures good airflow, no heat, and your teammates will hear you speak. Comfort is also a feature of this mask. It has a changeable foam, and regardless of its sturdiness on the outside, the mask is comfortable and fits nicely. Users report it is a bit wider than a standard mask, so if you like that, you cannot go wrong. Also, if you are a fan of VIO, this mask is compatible with all lenses, line visors, straps, and replacement foam, so you can accessorize.
- High-quality, smoked thermal lenses with UV protection
- Rubber earpieces
- An extremely functional venting system
- A bit wider, so it fits users with bigger heads
- Covers more area than a standard mask
- A quick and easy way to change the lenses
- Because of the looser fit not suitable for smaller heads
5. Empire Paintball X-Ray Single Lens Goggle
What makes this next mask from Empire special is not the design or the performance, but simply – the price. This is a budget-friendly version of a paintball mask suitable for every responsible paintball player without high standards. It comes with a single-pane lens with anti-fog coating. You can buy the dual-pane lens but it would cost you as a mid-range mask. As for the comfort, it is pretty standard for a budget-friendly mask. The foam is not soft or dreamy, but it is tolerable. You will be able to wear this mask the whole day. It has a pretty good venting system, so you will stay cool and there will be no fogging caused by hot air. The venting system is in the front, and the mask could use vents on the sides as well, but this remains our wish for now. Also, there is a removable visor, so the sun will not be in your way. What this mask definitely does is protect you from paintballs. It is sturdy and rigid and you do not have to worry about being injured. The mask will do its job. It also comes with an adjustable strap, but unfortunately, you will have to readjust it during the day because it does not have silicone beads or anything to hold it in place.
- Budget friendly
- A good front venting system
- A removable visor
- An adjustable strap
- Suitable for occasional paintball players
- Single-pane lens
- Not as comfortable
6. Empire EVS Paintball Mask / Thermal Goggles
The next mask model from Empire has it all. It comes with a dual-pane, thermal, 270-degree field of vision lenses and an improved lens system for easier and faster changing and maintenance. The lens is scratch proof and anti-reflective. Thanks to this and good airflow, this mask will not fog in regular weather conditions, although some users report fogging on very humid and rainy days. One of the best features you get is the triple density face foam which keeps the moisture off your face and ensures extreme comfort. Also, there is a flexible lower skirt which may allow some paintballs to bounce off of you. This mask will protect your eyes from UVA and UVB radiation, as well as your ears from paintball hits. The EVS also features a strap with silicon beads, so once you adjust your mask it will fit and not move.
- A sturdy, thermal, dual-pane lens with UVA/B protection and scratch-protection
- Lenses can be changed quickly, without using any tools
- Flexible mask
- Adjustable strap with silicone beads
- Comes with a microfiber bag
- A 270-degree peripheral vision
- Not very suitable for users with larger heads
- Since it is very lightweight and made out of soft materials, it can be damaged by paintball hits
- Some users complain that their masks came damaged
7. Sly Profit Full Camo Goggles
The next mask is made by Sly and it is their Full Camo with a thermal, dual-pane lens, which prevents fogging. Users praise this mask for comfort, since it is lined with velvety padding and it is very gentle to your face and skin, and it keeps sweat out of your eyes. The lens is sturdy and your eyes will be protected, but keep in mind that the forehead will not, as well as the neck. For these areas, please get a bandana and a neck protector. The lens is easily removable if you follow the instructions so you can maintain and change it effortlessly. The field of view is wide, so the mask will not get in your way in the field. For those who like to look stylish in the field, there are many colors to choose from. However, some users claim that the pictures of this mask are not true to life and that colors are often less metallic than they look online, so keep that in mind if you are choosing this mask because of its design. Also, the mask has a tinted lens in the pictures, but some users report that they have received clear lenses, so this part is not consistent in every package.
- Dual-pane, wide, thermal lenses
- A good venting system which prevents fogging
- An extremely comfortable mask thanks to the padding
- Does not protect the forehead or neck, so you will need additional protection
- Users report that breathing is a problem since the vents are pretty small
8. G.I. SPORTZ Grill Goggles
This next model comes from GI Sportz and the user’s impressions on this one are very positive. The lenses are thermocured and have scratch protection, which you can notice is a standard for all good quality paintball masks. Users report that their vision is not distorted and they are very satisfied with the width of the lens and the fact that they can use their peripheral vision. Thanks to the material of which the mask is made, a maximum bounce is ensured. There are the full-flex progrill and a center face soft rubber area which may save your paintball life. The vent system is comparable to some more expensive models and users are extremely happy with the airflow and the lack of heat. On the other hand, this mask fails in protecting the forehead, so make sure that you wear a bandana or a cap if you decide to get the Grill goggles. This mask is very easy to maintain – you can take it apart, step by step, by starting with the lens. Users who wear glasses or have larger heads will be thrilled to hear that this mask has a looser fit and will, therefore, suit you perfectly.
- A very wide, sunglasses inspired lens
- No fogging and no distorted vision
- Extremely good venting system, very breathable mask
- Effortless maintenance
- Glasses friendly i.e has enough space for them
- Does not protect the forehead
9. JT Premise Headshield Paintball Goggles Single Pane & Clear Lens, Black, One Size
The next paintball mask model is from JT, a company with a long tradition and a lot of experience in this field. You can expect only the best from them, and this is exactly what you get – but for the fraction of the price. This JT mask features high-quality anti-fog lens with a 260-degree field of vision and a quick release system, so you can change the lenses effortlessly without any tools. Also, the mask is compatible with all the spectra aftermarket lenses from JT. This mask is very comfortable owing to the soft face foam and the ability to be adjusted with a head and a chin strap with a secure fit and a clasping retention system which will keep the mask in place. Because of this, the JT mask is very suitable for children. Another reason children can use it is the fact that it protects the whole head. However, the top and the back of the mask can be removed without any tools, so if you are a more experienced player who prefers wearing goggles, you can easily turn this mask into your favorite.
- Very easy to take apart and clean – no tools needed
- Comfortable and adjustable
- No fogging
- Comes with a one-pane lens, but can be upgraded
10. Valken Annex MI-7 Goggles
The last paintball mask model we have is a Valken MI-7 and it includes some trademark features such as special double-pane, thermal lenses which are not only scratch proof but also wind and fog resistant. Also, Valken has a patented quick release lens changing system. It was never easier to pop a damaged lens out of the mask and replace it with a brand new one. You do not even need tools for this, so you can replace the lens in the field if it comes to that. The MI-7 has a polycarbonate construction which is very lightweight, so the mask is perfect for longer and more aggressive games. It is durable and can take a beating. The 260 degrees horizontal and 160 degrees vertical field of view will ensure you do not trip or be shot by the enemy you did not see in time. There is also a removable visor to protect your eyes from the sun, but you can remove it and wear a helmet if you need extra protection. There is an overwhelming amount of feedback from the users regarding fogging. They are extremely satisfied with how fog resistant these goggles are and many users chose them precisely because of this reason. According to their impressions, there are no weather conditions which will make this mask fog.
- Dual-pane, thermal, hard coated lenses which are durable and sturdy
- Excellent antifogging system
- A fast and easy quick release system
- Simple and effortless maintenance
- Not suitable for users with bigger heads
Best Paintball Mask Comparison Chart
|DYE SPECIAL EDITION
|JT SPECTRA FLEX 8
|VIRTUE VIO ASCEND
|EMPIRE PAINTBALL X-RAY
|G.I. SPORTZ GRILL
|VALKEN ANNEX MI-7
Paintball Mask Buyer’s Guide – Find the best paintball mask out there
Paintball is a very fun and safe game, especially if you use the recommended protective equipment. There are many parts of this equipment, but one of the most important ones is the mask which will be protecting the most sensitive part of your body – the head.
Since paintball as a game developed greatly, so did the gear for it. Because of that, it is a bit difficult to find the best paintball goggles among the plethora of possibilities, but it is not impossible. There are some features of masks that are very important and you should definitely make sure to check if these features exist in a paintball mask you would like to wear. By following our clear and concise guide, you will surely know enough about masks to be able to make the right choice
Types of paintball masks
First and foremost, before considering any features, you should know what options you have. In general, you can pick between paintball goggles which usually cover your eyes only, paintball masks which cover the lower part of your face (nose and mouth) besides the eyes, and paintball helmets, which cover your whole face and your entire head, just like a motorbike helmet would. Some paintball helmets have the option of removing the part that protects the back of your head, so go for this if you would like something more versatile.
Your choice here will depend solely on your preferences. If you would like the extra protection, a helmet is a good choice for you. If you are comfortable in the field and not afraid to potentially be hit in the head, goggles will be enough.
Keep in mind though, that some fields require their younger players (under 16, for example) to wear helmets, so if you belong to this group, make sure you respect this rule. Otherwise, you risk not being allowed to play on that field. When you decide on the type, there are certain features you should look for in a mask.
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Comfort is one of the most important features. Your mask will be on you the whole time and you should not, under any circumstances, take it off. You can go out to the field without any other piece of equipment, but your mask should never be taken off. Your eyes are priceless so take this seriously. Because of this, it is crucial that the mask you choose is not uncomfortable.
Comfort is provided when you choose a mask that is not too heavy, fits nicely, has good airflow, does not annoy you, hurt you or cause itching etc. To be absolutely certain that the mask is comfortable, the best thing to do is to go to the local paintball store and try some.
Lenses are a part of your paintball mask which will protect your eyes from paintballs and splatters of paint. It is of utmost importance that they are durable and resistant. Because of that, they are usually made out of polycarbonate material so they cannot shatter.
There are two options when it comes to lenses. The first is single pane lenses which consist of one piece and they are very easy to maintain. However, since they only have an anti-fogging coat on them, they are not as effective in preventing fogging as the double pane lenses are.
The double ones consist of a thinner and a thicker lens with the space between them sealed with foam. This prevents fogging very well and if you want this feature (which you should), look for double pane or thermal lenses, as they are also called.
The strap is the part of the mask which holds it in place. It would be wise to choose a strap which has silicone beads or a toothed clamp so that once you adjust the size of the mask, it stays adjusted. However, if you choose one without the beads/clamp, you will have to adjust your masks during the game which can be distracting and annoying, and not to mention dangerous if the mask gets loose and you get hit. Even though these masks are less expensive, we recommend investing in one which will stay adjusted all day.
Lenses are fit into a frame, so this part of the mask is also relevant. There is either a fixed lens system which does not allow you to remove the lenses and clean the mask, or there is a quick release system which does allow this, but these masks are more expensive. The most important part of the frame is not this actually, but the foam that is in contact with your face while you are wearing the mask. You want this foam to be high quality, comfortable, to stick to your face and form a good seal which will prevent fogging.
Depending on the level of the game (recreational or professional/tournament) you may choose less or more coverage when it comes to face protection. Recreational players usually choose more coverage because they do not mind the additional weight since they play shorter games, but they do prefer more protection.
Tournament players avoid heavy masks since they spend a lot of time on the field and they do not need additional weight on their head. For this reason, tournament masks are usually made out of softer, lighter, but more flexible material, while recreational ones are usually plastic.
We already mentioned air flow as very important for your comfort. Choose masks which have vents in the front. This will allow you to breathe more easily and you will never feel like you are lacking oxygen. Moreover, front vents will facilitate communication with your teammates since your voice will not be
Size and Fitting
The size of the mask you should choose depends, of course, on the size of your head and face. After determining how much coverage you expect from the mask, you should go to a store and try on several sizes to get an idea which one you need. Also, every head shape is unique, so what suits your teammate may not suit you. Of course, you can always adjust the strap so the mask would fit and not move, but the fact remains that your head shape will determine which mask is more comfortable and will fit you the best. Therefore, you should try several models and make sure they fit around your eyes, ears, and head, so the most sensitive parts of your body are protected.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that your vision should not be hindered by your mask. You should still be able to use your peripheral vision, so choose masks with wide lenses, preferably from 260 to 270 degrees wide. Also, the lenses should not be too close to your face, especially if you need glasses.
Since the mask protects your eyes and your head, you want it to be sturdy and resistant to any beating it might take. In general, if you buy a mask which is designed for paintball, you will not have to worry whether it can take a hit. Double pane lenses are usually more durable so you may want to consider investing in them. To make your lenses more durable, you can consider buying ones with an anti-scratching layer. Moreover, if there is an option of changing the lenses when they break or scratch, even better. Also if you can invest a bit more in a mask, do so because higher grade masks are usually made of very durable but very comfortable materials.
Your mask will be useless if it constantly fogs, and since you are not allowed to take it off in the field, you should get one which does not fog. We already mentioned thermal lenses as a great solution for this, but there are other effective methods you can use. Anti-fogging spray, for example, is often used, but the reviews are mixed. Another thing to try out is a mask fan which is placed above the goggles and blows air so the moisture would evaporate. The airflow is also important because good airflow will prevent the hot air from lingering inside your mask and making it foggy.
The weight of the mask can really influence your performance. Generally, you should not be wearing anything heavier than 1.5 lbs on your head, but you should try and see what is heavy for you. Take into account the time you will spend on the field and your experience wearing a mask in general. If you are new to paintball, a mask can be annoying but if it is heavy it will definitely make the game less enjoyable.
Besides your eyes, there is another very sensitive body part on your head – the ears. If you have not yet taken a hit here, do not wait for it to happen. The best paintball helmet will have ear protection which fits well. No part of your ear should peek and they should be protected regardless of the angle of the shot.
Additional protection is always nice, but UV protection is slowly becoming essential. Have you ever spent a whole day in the sun without any protection like clothes or sunscreen? If not, lucky you. However, when playing paintball in the sun for hours, you will surely feel the consequences. To prevent them from happening, masks with UV protection are a must. Your eyes and skin will thank you.
Even though it seems like a minute thing, it is important you get the best paintball goggles you can. Why? Because you want to save your eyes, ears, and head from injury. Because of this, we recommend saving up and investing in a good paintball mask because safety really does not have a price.
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As you can see, the path to the best paintball helmet is not an easy one. There are a LOT of features to take into account and each of them is somehow important. However, since there really are a lot of options you will find one mask that has it all.
We hope you found our paintball mask buyer’s guide useful and we guarantee that your purchase will be a good one if you follow our recommendations. Take note of all the crucial factors and good luck.
These were our picks among hundreds of available options. Not only are there so many choices, but there are many key features you should take into account when you are buying a mask. This is why taking a look at the best paintball reviews is essential for finding the right mask which will take your game to the next level and not get in the way.
You should always keep in mind that the best paintball mask should be comfortable, fog-free, durable and have high-quality lenses. This will ensure your safety above all, but you will also be able to enjoy the game to the fullest. Take note of all the features you want in a mask and good luck!