BEST Paintball Masks 2018 – Buyers’ Guide
When it comes to choosing your paintball mask, choose wisely.
If you think your paintball gun is the most important piece of equipment during the game, it’s time to think again!
The mask is by far the most important piece of equipment in paintball – the one that keeps the game what it’s supposed to be, a game.
A poorly fitting paintball mask will not only be uncomfortable but more importantly it will likely not provide you with adequate protection.
Whilst choosing the right gun adds to your chances of victory, your mask protects your face, especially your eyes, mouth and ears from getting hit at 100 m/s by a hard-shelled capsule filled with paint.
Getting into battle with an inferior mask can ruin your play; and if you can’t see your opponents clearly in a paintball battle, whilst they can, you are asking for trouble! 😉
Before we tell you about the 7 best paintball masks for 2018, it’s probably helpful to tell you a bit about the masks themselves.
The mask’s profile is the vision area occupied by the mask from all different angles.
This is extremely important for certain types of paintball, such as speedball, where your mask and gun are the only things visible outside the bunker.
In speedball, a small front profile would be most useful, because it is less likely to be seen or hit by your opponent, and hence get you eliminated.
In woodsball or mil-sim/scenario play the profile isn’t as important.
There are four parts to each paintball mask:
- Lens/Frames: the most important part of the mask, stopping paint and keeping dirt and smoke out of your eyes (Lens #1 & Frame #2)
- Bottoms: everything below the lens, wrapping around the sides and covering your nose, cheeks, chin and parts of the neck (#3)
- Ear-pieces: ear-pieces keep paintballs from hitting either in or on your ear, without obstructing your hearing (#7)
- Strap: it holds the mask to your head, making it comfortable and steady (#6)
So, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…drum roll please…let us introduce:
The 7 BEST Paintball Masks of 2018!
Paintball Masks Reviewed:
Triple-x Airsoft Mask Army of 2
Inspired by the popular ‘Army of Two’ video game featuring 2 fierce – looking mercenaries who fight a brutal war, the Triple-x mask will have you looking hard as nails during game play! (irrespective of how you look off it)
The mask is made of high-quality fiberglass, featuring a far greater durability than most other paintball masks.
It is specially designed to offer more space between your nose and mouth, to facilitate breathing through a hole from the side of the mask. This characteristic affords excellent ventilation, protecting your head from overheating and reducing the chances of vapour concentration hindering your eyesight.
At the same time, it enables you to breathe in a natural way – something really important in a game that requires stamina and good physical conditioning.
Another great feature is the eye protection. The manufacturer has chosen a 5.mm sized acrylic to protect your vision. The lens’ thinness provides excellent visibility – offering an advantage against your opponents – without jeopardising your mask’s integrity.
Being 3.2 cm wide and 7cm long – a relatively bigger dimension than usual in paintball masks – it enables you to keep track of what is happening in your sides and giving you the confidence that no-one will get a easy shot at you from your flanks.
Straps are durable and are equipped with locks for firm and steady fit. The liners are very comfortable are adjustable to enhance firmness.
A fierce looking design to provide the best possible visibility, the Triple-x Airsoft Mask Army of 2 mask is an excellent choice for beginners and intermediate players.
JT Elite Prime
JT Elite Prime Goggle is widely famed for its great design. It is a basic mask with some great features that comes in at a very affordable price.
JT Elite Raptor Single Paintball Goggle features a rather flexible design, aspiring to combine both comfort and safety. Equipped with a really soft inner padding, its full face coverage affords the player maximum protection.
It has an integrated visor, designed to shield your face from paint, dirt, rain and so forth. Its 180 – degree lens offers wide-ranging visibility, allowing you to view the battlefield and opponents and effectively plan your strategy and win the game.
The manufacturer has tried to afford the mask increased fog resistance to keep your vision clear even in misty weather conditions. It’s not high-quality and could be improved, but we feel it does the job. The lens is also fully replaceable.
The mask provides Airsoft protection (meeting all Airsoft protection requirements), for both your eyes and your mouth. However it’s worth noting that it does not protect the back of your head – just the space behind your ears.
The mask is an excellent option for the budget-conscious player.
Dye Precision I4 Thermal
The Dye Precision I4 Thermal Paintball Goggle is comfortable, without sacrificing protection or visibility.
The Dye Precision I4 Thermal Paintball Goggle was designed to provide comfort to the wearer.
Still, as mentioned in our general introduction, you shouldn’t buy a paintball mask for its looks and comfort, but for the protection it provided. And the Dye Precision I4 Thermal Paintball Goggle succeeds on that front too.
Despite being small and particularly lightweight, the mask effectively protects the front and sides of your head without being too heavy or bulky.
At the same time, the mask features a low profile – just ideal for speedball games – and utilises the optically correct Triodial lenses, designed to afford the player with the best possible visibility.
Another interesting feature is the wide colour variety of the lenses available, including:
- Orange Silver
- Clear Sunrise
- Northern Lights
- Faded Sunrise
- Dyetanium Gold
- Blue Ice
- Blue Flash
- Bronze Fire
- Rose Silver
The mask features a Tiger Teeth retention system protecting your mouth and helping your breathing, while its multi – directional venting system protects you from overheating and excessive sweating. Your ears are protected but your hearing is by no means impeded.
The Dye Precision I4 Thermal Paintball Goggle is great looking mask and a very comfortable too, while, at the same time, it offers the basic protection required by the game.
Created from the fierce intensity of the international competition, the Grill is considered by many experienced paintball players as one of the most famed and reliable mask systems on the market.
The V – Force Grill paintball mask features a highly impressive design that has earned the hearts and souls of thousands of paintball players around the world.
Many admit that Grill’s revolutionised the game with the introduction of its fast and secure quick change lens system, enabling you to quickly and easily clean them between games. The spherical lens affords the wearer an unusually wide visibility, both vertically and horizontally, without distortion.
Being legendary for its precise, un-distorted optical clarity is further enhanced by the absence of corner creases or blurred areas found in other paintball goggles.
Its wide field of vision offers the wearer impeccable peripheral vision and unrestricted view across the entire gamescape.
Moreover, the lenses feature a great Thermo – Cured and Anti – Fog protection, that will prevent moisture and vapours to block your vision. Finally, the lenses are strengthened with anti – scratch membranes, making it a product that you will be able to use for many years.
This mask combines 2 types of material in order to create a faceplate that is tough enough to protect your eyes and face from paint ball, but is also quite soft and flexible in order to bounce off hits. Its ultra low profile design makes it difficult for your opponents to hit and get you out of the game.
The comfort foam and soft side material around your ears makes it possible to wear the mask for several hours without tiring your head, nor causing pain to your neck.
Finally, a few words about the looks: the manufacturer offers the V – Force Grill Goggle with a wide array of colours, ensuring that it will match perfectly the rest of your gear and uniform.
We believe that those who claim that the V – Force Profiler paintball goggle has raised the bar for quality, design and efficiency are 100% right.
Dye I4 Pro – Legion of Boom
The Dye I4 Pro Paintball Goggles, inspired by the legion of Boom, the famed and feared defensive backs of the Seattle Seahawks, features an unrivalled small profile, light weight and one of the best fields of vision available.
Usually we begin our description with the design and the appearance of each mask, but, in this case, we are forced to make an exception.
The i4 features a truly revolutionary and patented rapid lens change system, which enables you to replace your lens in no more than 10 seconds! The only thing you have to do is push on each interior tab arm and then slide them forward. It is simply great.
The second feature that demands our attention is the mask’s anatomic fit, providing comfortable touch all around your face. It has been tested at twice the current impact ASTM and CE standards with great success. Dye’s proprietary dual stage foam successfully unites open and closed cell foam technology, covering your facial sweat and moisture and keeping it away from your skin and eyes and ensuring excellent visibility.
Ventilation has always been within Dye’s priorities: its innovative technology, with the ideally located blade angling and its proven venting configuration, ensures that heat and moisture escapes your mask as quickly as possible and its Multi – Directional design helps you communicate easily with your comrades.
Your mouth is protected by a Tiger Teeth system designed to bite down and secure the strap, while its buckles permits you to adjust your woven rubber strap any way you want.
Another interesting feature is its soft compression formed earpiece, made form material that expedites moisture evaporation, and is surprisingly light and flexible.
The i4 also boasts an industry first compound radius lens enhanced with thermal technology, providing you with one of the best peripheral visions in the market, both vertically and horizontally.
Its excellent peripheral visions makes moving around the “battlefield” easier than ever, helping the player instantly discern his foes from his friends. Combined with i4’s optically correct toroidal impact lens, coated with Hardcoat (a high quality anti – scratch coating shielding both of the lens’ sides) offers its fortunate owner not just a great piece of gear, but a genuine tactical advantage against its opponents. The UV coating will also protect your eyes from the sun’s menacing rays during the sunny days.
The Pro i4 is indeed the apex of Dye’s legacy regarding paintball masks and goggles. I4’s thermal lens leads the industry in optical clarity, and its design advantages make it an excellent choice for players of all kinds, age and experience.
Empire E-vent Mask ZN
The Empire E-vent paintball mask is tanked by many among the 2 – 3 top paintball masks in the world in its line of price, made from top quality materials designed to endure the game’s harsh conditions and the rigors of time.
The 2009 Empire E-Vents Goggle System was designed to serve is the ultimate speedball mask, with the lowest possible profile that will make it almost impossible for your opponents to shoot you in the head.
Soft and flexible for maximum comfort, it is carefully designed to glance and bounce off paintballs. Its face plate is strengthened by a sturdy mouth protection that offers the front of the mask flexibility, not allowing paintballs to push through or lift it up.
Another great feature is the venting system that seems to adjust to your breathing! Mouth vents are located in a way that helps breathing and communication with your playmates. Specially designed to drive the deflected breath away from the face plate, the carefully shaped vents direct your voice out to the sides, maximising its reach.
A de-mist guide actually prevents moistened air from getting through vents in the bottom of the goggle and transfer the heat up across the lens of the goggle. While rising, it draws in fresh and dry air from the back and sides of the goggle, offering the player a refreshing flow of air that moves across the lens and prevents fogging!
Finally, we come to ear protection. The mask’s ear pieces cup around your ears, without neither squeezing them and making you feel uncomfortable, nor impeding your hearing. The advanced design made all cosmetic additions totally redundant, thus helping the goggle glance off paint and facilitating cleaning.
If affordability, clear vision and unobstructed breathing are your priorities, you have found what you are looking for.
Proto Switch El Paintball Goggles
We will conclude our list with the Switch EL Goggle System, which comes with a clear toroidal thermal lens and a co-molded dual density mask for flexibility. Its multiple advantages and minor flaws make it another satisfactory choice for paint ball enthusiasts.
The Proto Switch paintball goggle features an innovative 1/4-turn snap lock system, which allows you to change the lens fast and easily: simply turn the locking tabs to the right and unlock the frame.
Boasting a charming low-profile design, the Switch visor is able to pivot up and down to make lens replacement even easier.
The Switch – Goggle System is considered by many revolutionary in its design. The inner frame structure offers a secure platform for the lens and frame to compress together, affording stability even against severe impacts.
As you can see just by looking at it, comfort and style is not an issue here. Moreover, its advanced toroidal anti-fog protected lens and co-moulded combination density construction ensure the visibility you need and the flexibility you want.
Multi-ported earpieces offer you unhindered hearing and, at the same time, maximum ear protection. The inner two-layer foam lining provides total comfort.
The Switch FS Goggle System has all that it takes to be an excellent companion in your paint ball games, featuring full face protection at a reasonable price.
What About Airsoft Masks?
Similar to paintball, airsoft fires a plastic pellet called a BB instead of paintballs. Players have a wider range of airsoft face protection masks available; including shooting glasses, full face masks or goggles.
Paintball players must wear a full face mask to ensure you don’t end up with paint in your mouth!