It’s a paintball battle and you’re running, ducking, hiding and taking sniper shots at your enemies on the battlefield.
It’s a tough game, and you don’t want to be caught with a naked face which could leave you with a black eye or worse. Paintball can get violent, and although wearing a simple paintball mask will do the trick, why not go beyond the boring and choose from some of our cool paintball masks reviewed below?
Not only is your paintball mask mandatory in paintball battles, but any expert will tell you – Avoid wearing your ski goggles on the field. Your eyes are what matter, and ski goggles just don’t protect your face from paintball pellets flying at high velocities, like how one of our cool paintball masks actually can.
There’s a certain check list your awesome paintball mask should have, before you actually purchase it. These are the top 5 criteria the team at Extreme Sports Land suggests your choice should meet, so that not only are you safe on the field, but you look simple AWESOME as you kick everyone else’s ass on the battlefield.
5 Things To Look For In A Cool Paintball Mask
Lense and Frame:
The lens and frame are the most important pieces of the paintball mask since they are the most important safety features of the mask itself. The lens is usually made out of a polycarbonate material, like Lexan, making it strong and shatter resistant.
The lens must fit well in the frame, with no gaps around it in order to prevent it from popping out and keeping the paint from coming inside of the mask. The top masks will have both anti-glare and scratch resistant coating, ensuring that your mask will help your line of sight clear during battle.
While the safety features are essential for a good paintball mask, you also need to make sure that it fits well. If your mask slips at all, it is not going to ensure your safety. Likewise, you cannot have a mask that fits too tightly, making you uncomfortable. If it is overly uncomfortable, you might be inclined to take it off when you absolutely should not.
The most awesome masks will have a dual layer foam, adding more comfort while also absorbing sweat. Good masks will also have a comfortable strap that does not slip as you move throughout the day.
Another factor that you should consider when you are looking for a paintball mask is what the airflow inside is like. It is incredibly frustrating to find your mask fogging up during a paintball game, making it impossible to see and putting you at risk of lifting your mask to wipe it off. In the event that you mask does fog, under no circumstance should you lift it to wipe it off.
If your mask has good venting, there should be enough airflow to prevent fogging. There are also mask fans available, but the jury is out whether they do anything to prevent fogging.
Mask Profile (Vision):
The profile of your mask is your ability to see from different angles out of your mask. The profile that you need will depend greatly on the type of paintball that you play.
If you play speedball, for example, you would need a small profile mask to let you see without exposing much of your mask if you are hiding. With woodsball, your ability to see with little exposure is not as much of a concern as you are generally not as exposed. You can use the smaller profiles with either type of paintball, however. In the case of woodsball, wear what is comfortable.
You might be surprised that flexibility is a feature that you should pay attention to, but having a flexible mask can make a huge impact when it comes to your comfort. The flexibility refers to its ability to conform to the shape of your head, ensuring that you have a good fit and that there are not any uncomfortable parts that can wear on your throughout the day.
Remember you will have your mask on as long as you are on the battlefield so having the maximum amount of flexibility will make sure that you are not thinking about how your mask is fitting when you should be thinking about the battle.
Now that you know the essential factors in choosing your paintball mask, let’s look at the coolest paintball masks that you can get.
5 Cool Paintball Masks For 2018
1. Dye Precision I4
2. Virtue VIO Ascend
3. Dye E-Flex System
4. HK Army KLR Mask
5. JT Spectra Flex 8
1. Dye Precision I4 Thermal Paintball Goggle
Coolest Paintball Mask Overall (Editor's Choice)
Our choice for the coolest paintball mask is the Dye Precision I4 Thermal Goggle. Not only does the Precision I4 have an anti-fog thermal lens, but it has Tiger Teeth retention that will ensure that the strap is the last thing on your mind on the battlefield and is long enough to customize to fit your jawline.
The Precision I4 also has the ability to change out the lens easily. With the horizon peripheral vision ability, the Precious I4’s lens wraps more than other goggles on the market, increasing your vision. With its small profile the I4 also works well in either speedball or woodsball. The venting in the I4 is also impressive, allowing for breathability and comfort. The multi-directional venting provides excellent communication, allowing your voice to travel farther while being easier for your teammates to understand.
The I4 is also extremely comfortable, with an anatomically correct fit with dual-core foam inserts for ultimate comfort and sweat absorption. The I4 also has taken into consideration the comfort of your ears, giving you compression formed ears. The compression form means that the ear protection is lightweight and fits well, but it is not bulky and still gives the best ear protection possible.
2. Virtue VIO Ascend Thermal Paintball Mask
Our second choice for a paintball mask is the Virtue VIO Ascend. Not only is it a cool paintball mask, but the Ascend is comfortable with a large field of view. The dual-core foam inside of the mask are soft and designed with player comfort in mind. Your ears will also be protected with the Ascend with a solid cover that does not leave you with any echoing to distort the sound.
Ultimately the Ascend is a versatile mask that is anti-fogging, comfortable, and has an excellent range of visibility. The thermal lens on the mask will ensure the sun glare is kept to a minimum, though the mask is one piece, so you cannot change out parts for customization. Since this is an all-around great paintball mask, you shouldn’t need to customize it for improved performance. This mask is really made with a bigger player in mind, giving extra room that you might not find in other masks. It is not low profile, but is still light and durable and gives you an excellent range of vision. Plus, with the echo-free hearing and performance venting, you will still be able to hear and speak well on the field.
3.Empire E-Flex Paintball Goggle System
Beyond a doubt, the Empire E-Flex is one cool paintball mask. It allows for customizable colors, called Click-a-Color, letting you really show off your style. Probably the coolest looking paintball mask, one of the click options is a skull, giving you an extra fierce look in battle. The E-Flex comes with two lenses: Ninja and Clear. Both lenses are anti-fog and will keep you seeing clearly on the battlefield. The lenses are also large, giving you a great range of vision, keeping your targets in sight, which also makes it a great choice for either speedball or woodsball.
The design of the E-Flex is intended to allow you great venting while still making it easy for you to swap out your lens when you want to. The E-Flex is super lightweight and has great breathability, which is due to the excellent venting design. Not only with the mask keep you cool and keep you from fogging up, but it will also prevent your voice from echoing within the mask, keeping your hearing sharp. Even though the E-Flex is lightweight, it can still take quite a beating while ensuring that your face, eyes, and ears are all protected from a direct hit.
4. HK Army Paintball KLR Thermal Anti-Fog Mask
The HK Army KLR mask is definitely an awesome paintball mask, but it is also a protective paintball mask. The design is more unique than other paintball masks, which will make an impression on the battlefield no doubt. The KLR is also designed with your comfort in mind with its dual-density over-molded face shield that will keep the mask in place while keep you from sweating and fogging up the lens.
The high density compression molded earpieces are lightweight and comfortable, but designed in a way that still gives you the ultimate ear protection. The mask itself is made from a thermoplastic elastomer, which makes it flexible and lightweight while being durable and protective. The foam inserts in the mask are three co-molded HDPE inserts. These allow you to customize them in order to fit your face specifically which can give you the best fit possible.
The range of vision in the KLR is not as high as competitors, making this a better choice for woodsball over speedball. Ultimately, the KLR is going to give you the protection and comfort that you need in order to make it in paintball while arguably being the absolute coolest-looking paintball mask that you can get.
5. JT Spectra Flex 8 Thermal Full Coverage Goggles
The JT Spectra Flex 8 is probably the most protective mask that you can get when you are on a budget. Unlike the other masks that we reviewed, the Flex 8 is a full-coverage mask with a visor, protecting your entire head, including the top of your head as well as the sides. It is important to note that players under the age of 18 absolutely have to have a full coverage mask. If that means you or someone you know, the Flex 8 is a great option.
The Flex 8 has a thermal Spectra lens that gives you 260 degrees of vision. Even though it is full coverage, the Flex 8 has a small profile, giving you an excellent range of vision while making you less of a target to hit. The dual fusion co-molding technology provides a unique venting system that not only allows for easy breathing, but also gives you anti-fog and easy speech. Honestly, beyond the extra protection, anyone would look cool wearing this mask. With the camouflage print and full look, you can really blend in on the battlefield, which is essential if you are playing woodsball.
Full Paintball Mask vs Mesh Mask
Before you really settle on the kind of paintball mask that you would like, you should think about whether you would be happier using a full paintball mask or a mesh mask. There are pros and cons for either mask, so you will need to consider how you play to know what you need.
Full Paintball Mask:
Full paintball masks provide the ultimate protection on the battlefield. This style most resembles a motorcycle helmet, covering the top and sides of your head as well as protecting your eyes and your face. More physical players might feel safer when wearing a full mask, though they can feel more cumbersome and hotter. Full paintball masks can also restrict your ability to look down your sights since there is simply just more mask to deal with. Also keep in mind that minors have to wear a full paintball mask, so if this is you, there is no choice in style for you.
The mesh masks, or half masks, are the typical choice for paintball players of any form. The mesh masks are normally lighter and more breathable than the full masks, making fogging less likely and improving your line of sight. The mesh masks do not protect your entire head like the full paintball masks do, but they also make you less of a target to hit. Mesh masks usually have a smaller profile as well, giving you an optimum range of vision as much as possible. There are a lot more options out there if you are looking for a mesh mask, giving you better choices.
Bottom line, when you are looking for a cool paintball mask, you have to look at more than just its appearance. Luckily there are plenty of awesome looking masks that still have all of the features and protection that you need to be effective and safe on the battlefield.
Most paintball players really do not need a full coverage mask, like the JT Spectra Flex 8. Full coverage masks are bulkier, hotter, and interfere with your range of sight. Unless you are a minor, you should be able to use the mesh or half face masks. They still protect your ears, eyes, and face, but do not have all of the bulk of fully encasing your head.
Regardless of whether you play speedball or woodsball, the top coolest paintball mask is the Dye Precision I4. With its comfortable design, small profile, and large range of view, most players will be safe and secure in the I4. If you are still not sold on its great design, you should look at the Virtue VIO Ascend which is a wonderful alternative to the I4. Both masks are going to protect you and keep fog out of your lens, making you unstoppable on the battlefield.