Pictured here are three sets of paintball goggles. From left to right: Empire Helix in black, JT ProFlex 8 in black and grey, and the Bunker Kings CMD goggle in Black Azure.

What to look for when buying a new paintball mask?

A paintball mask is the most important piece of equipment a paintball player owns, even more important than a paintball gun, because it is designed to protect its wearer’s face, including eyes, ears and mouth, from incoming paintballs. Every single moment that a person is playing paintball, a paintball mask will be worn and this means that a player should spend extra time ensuring their mask is perfect for them. Only paintball-specific masks should ever be worn during paintball games, as paintball masks are specifically designed and tested to ensure complete protection from incoming paintballs. Players should try on as many different paintball masks as possible before buying to ensure a comfortable fit, as no two faces are the same. Check for fit around the eyes, ears and head, ensuring all critical areas are covered. It is a good idea to spend the extra money up-front on a paintball goggle equipped with a thermal, anti-fog lens, to ensure the goggle does not fog during play, impairing vision. A paintball player wearing a good-fitting, comfortable, fog-free mask will certainly have a better time during paintball games, and will be less tempted to take it off during play if discomfort or fog are not issues.

What is a thermal paintball lens?

A thermal lens is a similar idea to dual pane windows as apposed to just a single sheet of glass. A thermal lens will have 2 layers to it which helps to avoid the fogging on the inside of the lens. Standard single lens paintball masks are typically only sold in inexpensive entry level goggles or used in rental equipment at paintball fields. 

What is the best paintball mask to use?

It is impossible to recommend one single paintball mask that will work well for everyone since everyones head is shaped differently, they simply fit everyone a little differently. The best thing to do is visit a local paintball pro-shop and try on as many as you can to see what works best for you. The basics that you will want to look for are that the foam makes a good seal around your eyes, all of the foam should be touching your face, it should cover your jaw and mouth when you are talking or yelling, it should have adequate breathing zones, and it should have a thermal lens to prevent fogging.

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