Paintball Masks

Here will follow a review of masks I have experienced thru  out time.

Values how to consider masks, (greater value is better):

  • Comfort 1-5: Becomes more important the longer you are wearing the mask. Rental masks are ok for 15 min games at a time but you need a real mask with dual lense if you wear it frequently for hours at a time. The enhanced level of comfort reduces chanses for headace etc.
  • Breathability 1-5: Venting is often valued as to keeping the lense clear from condensed air from the breath. But I can’t stand the taste of my own breath why I want to breath freely. This is why airflow in the mask is of value for me.
  • Voiceb 1-5: This can be difficult to judge for your self. Others evaluate how much the voice echoes within the mask. However how far your voice carries with the mouthpiece in your way is most crucial when communication threats and opportunities to your teammates.
  • Hearing 1-5: This is also very important feature of the mask that you are able to hear where the action is and read what your teammates are communicating.
  • Profile 1-5: If you play your cards right you are not getting flanked and can focus on front play. This is why your marker and mask are the only things revealing your position. This may not be the most crucial feature but for a noob who has little field awareness it is important to slim down ones profile so you won’t tell your location. Noobs do not know what angles exposes themselves before snapping out from cover. The less reaction time a slim profile gives to the opponent the better.
Mask  Comfort  Breathing  Voice  Hearing  Profile
 Virtue Contour

(19)

dsc1345

 4

Quite comfortable but still something to improve

 3

Possible to breath but after some hours you dont want to put it back on after a break

 3

so and so

 4

Ok

 5

Very slimmed and sleak

 Virtue XS

(21)_DSC5480

 4

Quite comfortable but still something to improve

 4

Good breathability and generously venting airvolume under the mask

 4

Ok

 4

Ok

 5

Slimmed and sleak

 JT Proflex

(18)_DSC7130

 3

As new perhaps ok, as used it starts to feel like a rental mask

 5

Good venting volume underneath

Condensed air can drip of

 4

Ok

 4

Ok

 2

Very wide jaw exposes you before geting sight of oponent

 JT Flex8

(18)_DSC7131

 3

Its stifness leaves more to desire however fullhead protection gives additional comfort from skull hits

 4

Good venting volume underneath

Condensed air can drip of

 4

Ok

 4

Ok

 3

It is a bit better than flex8 but still quite wide

 JT Invader

(14)

_DSC9312 (2)

 2

Feels like a rental mask

 2

Did not give good impression of breathability

 2

Despite many round holes the voice needs to filter thru two separate layers before e

 4 Ok  4

Not big nor small, in between and Ok

 Dye i4

(21)_DSC9586

 5

Most comfortable mask I’ve used so far didn’t leave anythin to desire more

 3

I thaugt it would be quite exausting to breath but venting thru the chin is generous

 4

No notiseable decrease of voice at close range

 4

Good hearing

 5

It doesent get any slimmer than this!

 Proto FS

(19)_DSC7129

 3

Its quite comfortable but you will notise som discomfort after prolongued period of usage

 4

Fair breathability

 4

Ok

 4

Ok

 4

Not big nor small, in between and Ok

You see how theese masks scores within few points from eac ohter. Theese gradings are very subjective. In the end it is what features you look for is what decides what is best for you. Rental masks are good for their purposes but for the love of god skip the single lense ones since they prety much prevent any gameplay by fogging up.

Field of vision is quite different on Grills VS. Angel Eyes, and perhaps there is a reason Angel Eyes never emerged from product development and Grills to be ever so popular.

If 2% of the field of view is able to focus on target as the rest of the field is used to detect colours and movement. If you are engaged in target, it doesn’t help how many enemies you see from the peripheral view. You can only choose one target at a time, pick your battles! When inactive and scouting you are able to utilise the peripheral view. But as soon as you investigate a threat you flip to focus as you turn the head. There is no point of guessing where the opponent might move if you can tilt your head and collect correct info of your opponents capabilities. This is why field of view is of litle value in paintball masks.

For me comfort makes Dye i4 overall winner of all time. Vio XS has better volume to vent out my breath and easier when washing paint of the mask without wetting the foam.

I would use i4 on tournaments and XS on walkon scenario games.

 


Subvalues what defines good masks, (greater value is better):

  • Cleaning 1-3: This is important when you are playing more often. You do not necessarily need to clean the mask to play on. It is enough you wipe a mask clean and you are good to play another round. I have however experienced annoyance of paint chips wandering around. Despite pain may dry it can still taint and stain other materials it comes in contact with, not fun on civilian clothes.
  • Lens removal 1-3: A lense does not need to be changed very often why this can be unnecessary for some (~1 year, keeping dual lens foams pristine in fog prevention) I need to clean my mask regularly and do not want to deteriorate the duallence foam with water.
  • Soft ears 1-3: Hard ears are sufficient enough to protect your hearing. Some masks have parts of the ear unprotected yet the eardrum will be covered. My experience of hard ears are more painful than wit soft ears why I prefer soft ears.
  • Bounce factor 1-3: I’ve taken a hit on my face both with hard cover VIO Contour as weel as bouncy VIO XS.  The contour gave me bloody whipped pattern on my mouth and the XS hurt a bit more but didn leave any mark afterwards.
Mask  Cleaning  Lense removal  Soft ears  Bounce factor  Other:
 Virtue VIO Contour

(9)

 3  2  3  1  (with visor the sidemount gives bad camera angle)
 Virtue VIO XS

(11)

 3  2  3  3 (with visor the sidemount gives bad camera angle)
 JT Proflex

(6)

 1 1  1  3 (Tried topmount, but the camera was so frontheavy it didn’t work)
 JT Flex8

(4)

1  1 1  1  Full head protection Despite onezize fits all – good for kids

(Good camera angle when topmounted)

 JT Invader

(4)

1  1 1  1
 Dye i4

(10)

2  3  3  2
 Proto FS

(10)

 2  3  1  3  (good camera angle when sidemounted)

The variation in grade becomes somewhat greater despite the high end mask tags very close to each other. Proto FS snatches a place amongst the premium masks on subcategories.

Despite the same grade on JT Flex8 and JT invader, Flex 8 has still other values which makes it better for my own purposes (full head protection and easy camera mount in descent angle).

I4 and XS are very different masks why one must decide for oneself what values weigh above the other. Despite the foam is not removable on I4 I will much rather trade of that feature if gaining easier lense removal system.


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