How to choose a paintball mask
A paintball mask buying guide
You are probably aware that paintball is a broadly-popular game of fun, fantasy and adventure. It offers many opportunities to enjoy yourself with friends, colleagues and family. Whether you are an experienced player or a newcomer, this guide can help you determine how to choose a paintball mask according to your needs.
>> Determine your needs
As you consider how to choose a paintball mask that is right for your style, skill and gaming habits, you can be yourself. Individualization is easy when you see the many design opportunities masks offer to differentiate yourself from other players in paintball sports and outdoor games.
If you are a beginner or an infrequent player thinking about how to choose a paintball mask, then one designed for beginners or learners is likely to serve you well. As your game improves, consider upgrades for your paintball markers and paintball gear.
If you play regularly, investigate masks and air guns that are guaranteed to withstand extended use.
When you buy paintball masks, remember that age restrictions vary by state. If the paintball mask design you are purchasing is for a loved one under the age of 21, check appropriate local laws.
>> Consider paintball mask designs
When deciding how to choose a paintball mask, there are several different styles you can choose, depending on your needs and intended use. The most common paintball mask designs are:
- Partial face mask
- Motorcycle helmet
Partial design face masks are popular because they give you the option to detach the visor and other attachments. This allows you to customize for practical reasons or for stylish appearance. Recommended for professional players, these masks can offer you lighter movement and superior visual performance.
The motorcycle helmet is another popular paintball mask design you can opt for. It offers you complete coverage of head and face while also providing superior comfort.
If you are part of a league, consider choosing themed paintball mask designs. Some have creative images or are movie-themed, while others offer camouflage designs.
Personal preference helps you stand out to your team and opponents. Making a statement about who you are can guide you in how to choose a paintball mask. Consider a good visor
The best paintball masks have good visors. These protect your eyes from the elements as well as from paint that can trickle into your vision. Top paintball masks are flexible and allow ease of movement so that you can play in comfort. For enhanced protection, consider wearing a bandana or backwards baseball cap underneath your mask. Consider ear protection
A top paintball mask covers your ear comfortably and completely while facilitating clear listening. Test the sound quality of a mask you are wearing by rubbing your thumb and index together beside the ear panel. If you can hear the sound, the mask is a good model. Consider fog resistance
You can select between two types of fog resistance features in paintball masks:
- Thermal lens
- Single pane or anti-fog lens
Thermal lenses comprise two panes separated by an air pocket. The durability you gain with this paintball mask design makes it popular among both amateurs and professionals.
A thermal paintball mask or a model with an inbuilt fan can keep you cool and your vision fog-free. If you regularly wear glasses, this option helps you keep your eyes on your opponents. Consider field of view
Paintball goggles with a broad field of view allow you to easily detect peripheral movement. Usually, masks for beginners have a limited field of view and as the quality of the mask increases, so does your field of view. Consider the fit
Finding the right size for your head is a key step in determining how to choose a paintball mask. Consider that you will be jumping, crawling, sliding, running and shooting while wearing your mask. So, take time to make sure that your mask is a comfortable fit and secure.
Most paintball mask designs come with a strap at the back for adjusting snugness around your face. Some brands also have a strap situated at the chin area that allows you to lower or raise the mask as desired. Unless you are looking for a considerably smaller or larger fit, this model is an ideal mask to begin with.
An alternative to fitting paintball masks at the store is to check with players in your local field. Bear in mind that what fits one person does not necessarily fit another.
The best paintball masks for safety tend to be slightly larger and offer you a flexible face shield for nose, mouth and chin protection.
If you wear glasses, look for a mask that comfortably fits over them.
Whichever mask you choose, make sure it has sufficient padding around the lens for comfort and protection against impact.
>> Consider optional features
Assessing your current and future needs is another important step when determining how to choose a paintball mask. Some of the best paintball masks come with replaceable parts such as goggles, visors or ear flaps. If sections of your mask become damaged during the game, having replaceable parts allows you to switch them out and get back to your game sooner.
Consider a throat protector to enhance your safety.
Peruse the stickers and "skinz" available to personalize your gear.
Consider hunting supplies such as army apparel, decoys and game calls to add an element of unforgettable fun to your paintball games and tournaments.