Choose your mask wisely.
In paintball and airsoft, the mask is among the most important pieces of equipment. Not only does the mask protect your face and eyes from balls traveling as fast as 200 feet per second, but it also determines a player’s field of vision. Masks must be comfortable enough to wear through an entire game, and durable enough to withstand multiple barrages. When selecting a mask, there are several aspects to consider to ensure the mask is of high quality.
1. Make sure the mask has good lenses. Lenses must possess two essential qualities: they must provide a good range of vision and they must be anti-fog or fog resistant. First, most masks will give their range of vision in degrees, such as 240; and the higher the degree, the better the mask. Second, the lenses with the fog prevention will be thermal lenses. Cheaper masks will be fog resistant and may require anti-fog solution. Additionally, some masks offer interchangeable lenses. These are a good choice because they allow the player the option of switching between lenses of different shades or tints.
2. Look at the foam lining the lenses and inside the mask, as the foam will largely determine the mask’s comfort level. While foams differ depending on who makes the mask, try to find a foam that is double-layered and open-cell. Open-cell foam is like memory foam seen in mattresses and pillows, and much more comfortable than other kinds of foams typically used in masks.
3. Check to see if the mask advertises a ventilation system. Though masks with such systems are more expensive, they allow the player to breathe more easily and reduce the chances of fog.
4. Select a style based on head coverage and your personality. Some players may be comfortable with the minimum required coverage, while others may want a mask that covers the neck and top of the head as well. When selecting the style, keep in mind that the more popular styles will be more expensive than others, even if both styles are of equal quality.