If you want to experience the sport of paintball but don’t want to lose an eye or a tooth in the process, you are in the right place. Serious injuries can be avoided by following the safety rules and regulations of the game that have been in place for years. One of these rules involves the use of wearing the best paintball mask possible when playing on the field.
Wearing a paintball mask keeps you safe by protecting the sensitive areas on your head such as your ears, eyes, and mouth. With these areas, protected players can focus on having fun whether they are playing professionally or recreationally.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing ideal paintball goggles. By law, every single mask on the market has been tested rigorously, so the safety of the mask is one less factor to consider when trying to decide which one to pick. As far as brands are concerned, many seasoned paintballers swear their allegiance to a specific manufacturer and rarely ever change even when excellent options are made available.
Since all the brands build high-quality accessories that are safe, there are 10 factors that you should focus on before making a purchase. The factors to consider before buying a paintball mask are comfort, ear protection, weight, airflow, field of view, UV protection, a durable strap, durability, flexibility, and price. I will go over choosing the perfect mask in this guide. Learn more after you read this about the best paintball brands in the industry.
Things To Consider Before Buying a Paintball Mask
Consider the factors below in this ultimate guide, and you will avoid all the frustrations and bad experiences that most newbies must face. After all, these paintball masks aren’t cheap so you need to make sure you will be able to keep yours for at least a few years if you desire it.
If you aren’t comfortable while playing with your paintball mask on, you will find yourself focusing more on how cramped it feels than you are on winning the game. Most new paintballers don’t consider this, and they end up wasting money having to buy a replacement that fits them well. Depending on where you buy your thermal paintball goggles, there is a good chance you will be able to return it if it is too big or small. Try it on in advance and if you feel uncomfortable, return it for one that feels like the perfect fit for you.
Nothing hurts more than getting pinged in the ear with a paintball headed straight at you at a speed of close to 190 mph. If you are lucky, you will just feel excruciating pain and keep playing, but if you aren’t, it could cause permanent damage. Don’t put your hearing at risk if you don’t have to. Buy a paintball mask that will envelop your ears to keep them safe and secure on the field when you are out with your paintball gun. At the same time, buying a mask that covers your ears usually means it will also be comfortable so you can kill two birds with one stone.
Some masks may not feel like they weigh you down in the beginning, but once you have had them on for a decent amount of time, you will start to feel like there is a heavy brick on your head. Stick with masks that weigh anywhere from 1 to 2 pounds. Your primary objective should be to win the game, and a lighter mask will help you do that.
Breathability is critical so make sure that whatever mask you buy has vents in the front. On a hot day, this will allow you to move around more efficiently without feeling out of breath. Vents also will enable you to interact verbally with your teammates. When you are playing competitive tournaments, communication with your teammates will be essential if you want to be victorious.
Field of View
Seasoned players tend to move quickly and stealthily all over the field. If you don’t have a right field of view and are not able to react quickly, it will not go well for you. Steer clear of masks that impede your vision because you will be caught by surprise when opponents shoot at you and you could also get injured by tripping over obstacles. Pony up whatever funds you can to get a mask that will give you a high field of view.
You will find yourself playing on some fields that are south facing which means if it is a sunny day, the UV rays from the sun will be intense. This is precisely the reason why you should buy a mask with UV protection, so you don’t hurt your eyes and won’t have to squint every 5 minutes. Always remember that one small error like a squint at the wrong time could cost you the win.
Paintballers who buy masks with weak straps end up having issues with their masks falling if their faces. This can put you at risk so it is essential to obtain a mask with a sturdy strap that will wrap around your head tightly and securely. Take my word for it, and you will thank me later when you are able to be aggressive on the field without having to worry the risks that come with owning low-quality strap.
If you are frugal and want to get the best bang for your back, you will want to buy a high-quality mask that will last you for years to come. This is doable if you one that is made up of high-grade plastic and rubber. Also, getting hit in the face can be intense so make sure it has hardened materials so you can quickly absorb multiple shots without getting hurt. You will experience this a lot when you play with paintballers who are excellent marksman who love getting credit for headshots.
While having a mask that fits snuggly is essential, you also need one that gives you a little wiggle so you can move around in it when you need to. As I mentioned before, the right combination of rubber and plastic will give you the comfortable fit you need without holding back your head movements.
For most people, paintballing is just a hobby, and they can’t afford the higher end equipment. If you are just a hobbyist, try your best to stay away from the cheaper quality masks though and pay the funds for medium quality masks that are durable. Think about how often you like to play before making any final decisions about your budget.
Our Comprehensive Best Paintball Mask List
V-Force Grill Paintball Mask
The V-Force Grill contour thermal paintball mask is at the top of my list of best paintball masks for the money. It is priced well for the paintballers on a budget without having to sacrifice on quality.
If you love to play speedball and need a lightweight mask that allows you to move quickly without hindering your field of view, then you are have just found a match. Its low profile gives you the agility you need to move around while keeping you safe. It doesn’t matter what level you are at currently. This mask is perfect for the newbie but still good enough for the veteran that has been playing for years who likes paintball masks with lenses that are low maintenance and great for cold weather.
A lot of low quality masks give players a hard time when they always fog up. You will not have that problem anymore with the V-force mask. It is treated thermally to avoid fogging and is thermos-cured, so it is difficult to scratch. Manufacturers were influenced by sunglasses when they made its shape rounded so you can see as much of the environment around you as you can.
The grill on the front is perfect for deflecting paintball, so they don’t burst in your face. Because of its soft rubber material, you will be able to communicate freely with teammates giving you the edge you need.
Most players need a cool paintball mask whose parts can be replaced so they can customize it according to their style and preferences. Personally, I think it looks great, but if you do choose to customize it, you will have that as an option.
Essential features of the V-Force Grill Paintball Mask
- Light-weight construction – ideal for speedballers
- Lenses can’t be scratched and are fog proof
- Rubber materials cause paintballs to ricochet off your mask
- Face safeguarded by sturdy visor
- Parts replaceable so style can be tailor-made to your preferences
One fact to be aware of is that you will need to spend additional money if you want to protect your neck, forehead, and hair. Other than this the V-Force is the best deal on the market for both beginners who want to get started and experts who know how to identify a high-quality paintball mask that is light weight.
Empire E-Flex Paintball Mask
This perfect mask called the “Empire E-Flex” is known for its reliability and durability out on the field. It is a lightweight mask that is made with a flexible skirt for your face, earpieces made of thermo-foam, and a lens system that can be changed quickly.
Between the silicone strap and the foam material, the Empire E-Flex will give you a lot of comfort and breathing ability. It won’t even limit your hearing ability either, and you’ll be able to project your voice loudly under the mask.
As far as the optics go, you’ll enjoy a dual lens with total clarity that can withstand fog and thermal activity. You will be able to see up to 270 degrees around the front of you. If you need to change the lens, you can do it within a couple of seconds, and you won’t even need tools to do it.
Since the face skirt is flexible, it is much easier to avoid getting hit with this mask. If you usually wear eyeglasses for seeing better, the interior of the mask gives you room to wear those glasses underneath it and it is the best anti fog paintball mask.
Highlights of the Empire E-Flex:
- The design is light and made to be comfortable on your head.
- The dual-plane lens is thermal resistant and interchangeable. You can see 270 degrees around you, and there is no distortion on the lens.
- Eyeglasses can be worn underneath the mask without any problem.
- The facial material is made of foam, and the earpieces are made of thermo-foam.
- Breathing under the mask is effortless.
As soon as you put on the Empire E-Flex, you can start your paintball match immediately. You won’t have to worry about adjusting the mask for better sight or comfort. The lenses will never be fogged either.
Of course, since this mask has a low-profile design, your head will still need some extra protection. But again, those who wear eyeglasses will find this mask particularly beneficial for them.
JT Spectra Flex 8 Paintball Mask
If you like to play long paintball games and you need a mask that gives your whole head protection, then the JT Spectra Flex 8 is perfect for you. Professional players who play in tournaments or events which take the entire day will often use this mask.
You won’t experience any fogginess in the detachable visor because it has treated with a thermal formula which prevents distortion. You will also be able to see 260 degrees around you. For the ventilation, there is a fan system called the “Vortex 2” which is compatible with the mask. The venting built into the mask has dual layers which makes it easy to breathe and protect yourself from getting paint on your face.
The flexibility of the face skirt makes it easy to deflect paintballs. At the same time, the mask is durable and built to last for a long time. The inside foam touching your ears is soft and comfortable, while still allowing you to hear through it. Despite being a mask that is really like a helmet, the JT Spectra Flex 8 is lightweight and allows a lot of air to flow through it.
The JT Spectra Flex 8 is recommended for professional paintball players who need to wear a mask regularly and need a customized mask to give them comfort for a long duration.
The main features of this mask include:
- The lens provides a 260-degree view in front of you. They are heat resistant and stay clear.
- The mask gives you protection around your whole head, even the back, and top of it.
- The JT Spectra Flex 8 is excellent for tactical purposes because of its versatility, high performance, and quality comfort.
- Breathing is natural due to the ventilation that is dual-layered.
- The durability of the JT Spectra Flex 8 allows it to last for a very long time.
- There is enough room inside the mask to wear eyeglasses, but it takes some getting used to.
As far as the price goes, the JT Spectra Flex 8 is affordable and provides excellent value to any seasoned paintball player. Anyone who needs a tactical helmet that covers their entire head will love the JT Spectra Flex 8.
Virtue VIO Extend Paintball Mask
If you like to play woodsball or speedball, then you will get total protection for your face with the Virtue VIO Extend Paintball Mask when you play these paintball games with it.
The Virtue VIO Extend is excellent because of its lenses that are more like goggles. The wide visor is mirrored so you can see a lot of what is around you. The lenses also don’t fog because they’ve been thermally treated to give the user the most clarity possible.
The mask is also water resistant and scratch resistant because of a particular coating placed on it. To give you even more eye comfort, there are a lot of different color choices for your lenses, and each of them offers 100% protection from the UV rays of the sun.
The Virtue VIO Extend is a low-profile mask which means it is suitable for a variety of tactical purposes. Although it is elastic, it is also durable and will last for a long time. It isn’t totally up against the front of the face either, which gives the user more ventilation and breathing ability. And with the soft foam-pads of the interior, you will be comfortable wearing this mask for many hours.
The Virtue VIO Extend’s best features include:
- No distortion in the lenses and a wide field of vision.
- The thermal-treated lenses are dual-layered and mirrored. They’re also specially coated to give you 100% protection from UV rays.
- Great airflow, while still allowing you to hear and talk just fine.
- You can choose to make your lenses chromatic if you want. There are many ways to customize them.
- The mask offers superb protection and performance while remaining comfortable on your head.
The only downside is the price is a bit higher than other masks. However, this mask is suitable for paintball players of all skill levels who need a mask that they can customize to their liking. This is the best paintball mask in our buying guide in our opinion.
Tippmann Intrepid Paintball Mask
If you’re on a budget and still want a paintball mask that gives you excellent protection and visibility, then get the Tippmann Intrepid Paintball Mask. If you’re a newbie and don’t want to settle for a rented mask, the Tippmann Intrepid is a fabulous alternative.
The mask will give you protection for your jaw, ear, and chin. The dual-layered lenses have a spherical shape to them and are thermally treated. That way, they won’t get foggy while you’re playing an intense paintball game.
The interior has a head strap made of silicone and three layers of foam to give you the most comfortable and secure fit possible. There is a removable visor on the forehead area and a system which allows you to quickly remove the lenses so that you can clean and replace them.
The face skirt is adequately ventilated with the soft grille material on the front. If you wear eyeglasses, there is enough room inside the mask to wear them at the same time.
The Tippmann Intrepid’s main features:
- Thermal-treated lenses that are spherical shaped and can be released quickly.
- The face skirt is flexible enough to give you ear protection and extra coverage.
- The visor can be removed.
- Three layers of cellular foam to give you the best comfort possible.
The Tippmann Intrepid may be designed for novices, but it is still durable enough to last for a long time and can accommodate any paintball player who likes to play woodsball or speedball.
Empire Helix Paintball Mask
If you want an affordable paintball mask that is just as good quality as the superior models, then get the Empire Helix Paintball mask. It gives you all the protection, visibility, and comfort that a more expensive mask would give you.
The lenses are easy to change quickly. The downside is there are few ways to customize them, and the face skirt is made of hard plastic. However, its highly dense foam and silicone strap make it a comfortable mask that gives you excellent protection. The visor on the forehead will shield your lenses from paintballs being shot directly at you.
The dual pane lenses have been enhanced to remain clear and not fog up while you have a long paintball match. If you need to wear eyeglasses under the mask, there is enough room to do that too comfortably.
The Empire Helix’s main features:
- Dual pane lenses are thermally treated and can be changed quickly.
- The mask provides a 270-degree view, and the lenses will not fog up.
- The face skirt is made of hard plastic to give you added protection.
- There is a forehead visor on the mask to protect your lenses from paintballs.
The mask is lightweight and made mostly for speedball games. But if you add more head protection, it can be converted into a woodsball mask too.
Save Phace Diss Paintball Mask
If you want a low profile mask with fresh designs and artwork, then the Save Phace Diss Paintball Mask is a good choice.
Since it is low-profile, the top of your head can have more protection added to it. It is best to use this mask in speedball games and any environment with limited room and rapid firing.
The durable shell of the mask is made of hard plastic, which adds protection to your forehead, chin, ears, and jaws. There is no forehead visor to protect your lenses. There are few slits for ventilation, but it still allows you to breathe while preventing you from being able to taste the paint.
The lenses of the mask are made of one polycarbonate pane. They have been thermal-treated to prevent fogginess. The lenses are coated to give you protection from UV rays and to prevent the surface from being scratched up. However, the lenses can still flare up a lot when you’re playing outside in sunny environments.
On the upside, you will see this mask is comfortable to wear because of its cellular foam and sure-grip strap. You can choose to get a black version of the mask or the one with lots of artwork on it. If you want the latter, it will contain a glossy finish to prevent scratches.
The Save Phace Diss’s Main Features:
- Polycarbonate single pan lenses that have been thermally treated.
- The lenses are coated to protect from scratches, fogginess, and UV rays.
- The mask is made of hard plastic to give you durability.
- There is no visor to protect the forehead.
- There are a lot of artwork design options available. Each one is coated with a glossy finish.
The Save Phace Diss Paintball Mask can handle intense speedball games for a short amount of time as well as indoor games too. Good paintball masks don’t get any better than this.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com