If there's one item you don't want to spend as little as possible on when it comes to paintball, it's definitely your paintball mask. Cheaper paintball masks tend to provide less, be less comfortable, and have lenses that are prone to fogging. When shopping for a paintball mask, you don't need to spend over $200 on a high-end mask, but you definitely should plan to spend at least $40 if you want a paintball mask that covers your face nicely, is comfortable, and has a quality lens system.
Most of the paintball masks we carry come with thermal lenses. Thermal lenses virtually eliminate fogging, except in extremely humid environments, so you'll always have clear vision. Unless you get shot in in the lens, that is.
Thermal lenses use a dual-pane design. The main lens is constructed of thick, ASTM certified plastic - just like any other single, non-thermal lens. The secondary lens is much thinner and lighter, as it will never be hit by a paintball. The two lenses are glued to a foam gasket that goes around the edge of the main lens. The seal creates a layer of air that acts as an insulator, which prevents condensation - or fog - from forming on the inner lens.
Single-pane lenses aren't inherently bad - they're just prone to fogging. Many single lenses come pre-treated with an anti-fog coating, but that still won't prevent fog issues.
When shopping for a paintball mask, we recommend choosing one that at the very least has a thermal lens.Goggle Frame Foam
Your goggle frame is where your lens attaches to your mask. It also includes a layer of foam that acts as a nice contact point for your face and your mask. Cheaper paintball masks usually have goggle frame foam that's more rigid and less comfortable. Once you get into the $40 range, though, you'll find the masks have much softer and more comfortable goggle frame foam. Good foam should be plush, and it shouldn't cause any skin irritation. It will also absorb sweat on those hot days, so do yourself a favor and leave enough room in your budget for a mask with some nice foam.Mask Coverage
Modern paintball masks all tend to cover your face pretty well. Still, it's important to make sure your mask fits your
You'll want to choose a paintball mask that adequately covers your forehead, jaw line, and your ears.
Most paintball masks sit fairly high, and many include a visor or brow shield, so you won't have to worry too much about whether your goggle will cover your forehead.
The jaw line and ear coverage is a little trickier because most of that depends on the shape of your head and how low your ears sit. If have any questions about what kind of coverage a particular mask provides, do not hesitate to contact us.