As a beginner to paintball, you should know that the game can be a little intimidating. It is natural for all kinds of questions to run through your mind before the start of your first game. But, once the game starts, there is no doubt that the adrenaline will just kick in. This is where personal safety comes into the picture.
Paintball veterans already know the precautions they have to take when it comes to their safety, while beginners should know that they need to make the best possible preparations right from the start.
Whether you are an experienced paintball player or a beginner, you will need to consider getting a paintball mask. It can be a replacement for the one you’ve already been using for a while or a new one, but you need to make sure that you get the very best protective equipment to ensure the best experience.
Choosing the right equipment before every game is very important. There are different styles of playing paintball. Speedball players opt for lighter protective gear, which allows for more agility and quick movement in tight spaces. Woodsball players go for something more comprehensive and tactical for longer rounds in bigger spaces. Considering the fact that there are so many different masks out there, it can be a bit challenging to decide which one you should go for – even if you are a veteran.
Luckily, we have put together a carefully selected list of the best paintball masks currently available. Once you have read this, you will have an easier time making a buying decision.
- The Best Paintball Mask – Comparison
- 1. The Best Paintball Mask – Empire EVS Paintball Mask
- 2. The Best Budget Paintball Mask – Invert Helix Thermal Paintball Mask and Goggles
- 3. Bunkerkings CMD Paintball Goggles/Masks
- 4. HK Army Paintball KLR Thermal Anti-Fog Mask / Goggles
- 5. JT Premise Headshield Paintball Goggle Single Pane
- What Makes a Paintball Mask Good?
- Maintenance and Cleaning
The Best Paintball Mask – Comparison
1. The Best Paintball Mask – Empire EVS Paintball Mask
Our ultimate choice for the best paintball mask available is hands down, the Empire EVS Paintball Mask. This is one of the most appropriate pieces of gear we could use while playing the game. One quality which stands out is this mask’s incredibly roomy interior.
The issue with most paintball masks is that they are just right in your face and if you happen to be a person who wears prescription glasses, that proximity can be more than mildly annoying – it becomes uncomfortable. The roomy interior of the Empire EVS Paintball Mask allows you to accommodate all shapes and sizes of eyeglasses and enhance the overall playing experience.
The spherical shape of the dual pane lens of this mask is also pretty cool. It works in dominating and beating fog and the EVS also features a thermal barrier that doesn’t interfere with your vision. The ventilation and stimulation of the lower skirt of the EVS is amazing because of the adequate level of flexibility.
Another good feature of the Empire EVS Paintball Mask is that the unit comes with a clear lens and you have the option to buy any other color. You will not have any difficulty swapping out or changing the lens for another one because the mechanism is so easy, you do not even need to use a tool to remove and replace them.
Offering substantial protection, reasonably-priced, easy to use and breathable, the Empire EVS Paintball Mask is our choice for the overall best paintball mask available.
You should know that the EVS has a triple-layered facial foam. While that proves to provide substantial protection from the impact of paintballs directly to your face, the first few experiences of using the mask will be stiff. It will take some time to break into it and it will get more comfortable over time, but you will not enjoy the first few tries.
Veterans of the game who are looking to make a quick swap with a new mask might feel the discomfort more than someone new to the sport. New players will find it odd but if you stick it out, this will be the best investment you will make for the amazing game. While it is a long-lasting piece of equipment, it might feel like a little too much money spent if you are new to the game.
- Flexible and roomy
- Prevents the formation of fog
- Offers good ventilation
We Don’t Like
- Stiff foam at first
- A bit pricey for beginners
- Not a good choice for someone with a big head or nose
2. The Best Budget Paintball Mask – Invert Helix Thermal Paintball Mask and Goggles
Most people tend to look for medium to high-range equipment while looking for the best paintball masks that they can spend their money on. In fact, most of the reviews you will see online cover the medium to high-range paintball masks and consider only those as the best paintball masks your money can buy. But, there is more to it. Take for instance the Invert Helix Thermal Paintball Mask and Goggles.
This is our favorite budget-friendly paintball mask. The Helix proves that you do not always need the most expensive and premium paintball mask to get maximum protection for your face while playing the exciting sport. It is a good entry-level paintball mask, which features a decent thermal lens, which does not fog up the wearer’s face.
The frame does its job pretty well so you know anything that makes an impact on the head will break apart immediately as it comes into contact. The frame is pretty big but not big enough to be bulky. It also does a decent job of protecting the jawline and the chin extends more than a lot of other masks.
Of course, not everything is perfect in the world and the Invert Helix has its drawbacks. After all, there has to be a reason why it is not as highly priced as a lot of other masks on the market, right? The level of comfort and the overall experience does not get better since the facial foam is not very soft. That is also the reason why this should be considered little more than a temporary replacement or a beginner-level paintball mask before you move on to something better.
- Great thermal lens for a beginner-level mask
- Removable visor
- Great vision with no issues of distortion
We Don’t Like
- Thick foam offers below average comfort
- Mask is too hard and rigid
- The chin strap is comfortable but uneasy to remove
3. Bunkerkings CMD Paintball Goggles/Masks
We have seen the best overall paintball mask and the best paintball mask when it comes to a limited budget, but there are a few more options you can consider. Take for instance the CMD by BunkerKings. This is essentially the first ever attempt by Bunkerkings at something big. They have been a significant part of the paintball industry for a while. Bunkerkings have made all kinds of soft goods for paintball equipment, but this is the first time that they have ventured into something this complicated. The CMD is quite similar to masks made by Virtue, especially the lens system. In fact, you will find that this gives you the same experience as most Virtue paintball masks.
The main issue with the Virtue masks has always been that they are not that effective in ventilation and it can become difficult to breathe in a high-intensity action situation while playing paintball. The Bunkerkings CMD removes that problem and breathes very well. In fact, there are few other masks that offer the same level of ventilation.
- It is breathable
- It is an improved version of an already established brand
- Provides a comfortable experience
We Don’t Like
- It is too similar to Virtue’s masks
- Not good for airsoft
- Mouth holes are a little too big
4. HK Army Paintball KLR Thermal Anti-Fog Mask / Goggles
Another alternative you can consider among the best paintball masks is the HK Army Paintball KLR. This is a beauty designed to be completely customizable and by the time you are done making all the adjustments to it, you can have a professional-level paintball mask in terms of performance and style.
There is a variation of materials used in the HK KLR Thermal. The lower area is softer, which provides the opportunity for bounce and much-needed flexibility, which improves the overall wearing comfort. The KLR is also going to allow you to use the PVT Lock to securely hold the lens in place, but remove and replace it easily. The compression formed foam allows for a better hearing experience while you are out on the field and it is available in a wide range of colors.
- The HK Army KLR is fully customizable
- It provides plenty of ventilation
- It is available in a wide range of colors
We Don’t Like
- The foam is not the softest for the price range
- The screws need to be used with Loctite to get the best out of them
- The wings, which unlock the lens are a little flimsy
5. JT Premise Headshield Paintball Goggle Single Pane
If you are playing a game of paintball and you have a unit of the JT Premise Headshield on your head, it does not make a difference which direction the paintball is coming from. You can rest assured that whatever the speed of the paintball and angle, your head is going to be fully protected from the onslaught of the impact. The JT does not fog up because it is quite breathable and it is also designed to accommodate all kinds of heads in terms of shape and size.
It has elastic straps, which allow you to easily put it on and make adjustments to get the right fit. It has a sleek appearance and it comes apart easily for cleaning after a good game. You can easily remove the lens to fit any JT aftermarket lenses in place and the lens that comes with it is already anti-fog.
- Anti Fog lens, which keeps your vision clear no matter what the weather
- Wholesome protection for your head from every angle
- Can accommodate heads of all shapes and sizes
We Don’t Like
- Can make wearers feel hot in warm conditions
- If you have a large nose, there is a chance it may be too tight on the nose
- Lens doesn’t fog up but it can get wet
What Makes a Paintball Mask Good?
It is important to make sure that you get the very best paintball mask before you start playing the sport. After all, a good quality mask can protect your head, face and eyes from any potential damage. The game can be a lot of fun, as long as you have the right protective gear. This means what you wear on your head can make a huge difference to your safety.
There are a few key factors that make a paintball mask so good to wear:
The first and most important factor which you need to consider is how much protection it offers. Options like the JT paintball masks will give you overall protection from back to front. This can come in particularly helpful when you expect to be at a closer range to your opponents and the paintballs fly in at faster speeds. The EVS by Empire would serve better for a woodsball game, but it performs pretty well in close range situations as well. You need to be sure that your eyes, your mouth and your head are adequately protected.
The paintball mask and goggles will be useless if you cannot see where your opponents are. Protection is just part of the function. The amount of visibility you get with a completely protected head is what makes a huge difference to how well you perform on the field. Anti-fog lenses prevent the buildup of condensation, which creates a hazy fog that affects your vision and accuracy. Your choice of paintball mask should come with a decent anti-fog lens.
There is no point playing the game for extended periods of time if you are in pain throughout. Protection does not mean you have to be uncomfortable. There is a balance which needs to be maintained and overall comfort is a key factor to consider when you are choosing a paintball mask.
Ease of Use
One of the final considerations you need to make when you are buying a paintball mask is whether or not it is easy for you to use. If you think you can understand the mechanics of making adjustments and taking it on and off, you should go for it. This can make a huge impact on your experience of playing the sport.
Every paintball mask comes with guidelines and instructions, which cover everything you need to know about how to use it in the best way possible. Always make sure you read everything that the manufacturer has written and recommended as well as third-party reviews, which can give you more information on how to make the experience of using the best paintball masks safer.
Maintenance and Cleaning
Last but not least, you should know that the maintenance and cleanliness of a paintball mask are crucial. You do not want to keep on spending more and more money on a good headgear. Make sure that you take care of the cleaning of the mask after every game. Do give it a thorough examination to check for any damage or loose screws, which you might need to replace so that you are safe from any accidents that can happen in a game.
Now that you know about the best paintball masks you can get right now, go out and buy the one you feel is the best for you. Stay safe and have fun!