Last Update: July 30, 2017
If you are beginner stepping onto the field for the fist time, it can be a little intimidating. A hundred questions bounce around in your mind and the adrenaline kicks in. Having the right paintball mask for any given scenario is important to maximize your chances of victory as well as personal safety. Paintball is a perfectly safe sport as long as you adhere to all the field safety regulations and pay attention to what is going on around you. Protective paintball gear is a requirement on all fields and many players take pride in customizing their appearance with various accessories and tactical gear.
Luckily there are tons of cool paintball masks available online at decent discounts to meet your needs. Choosing your equipment load out per game type is extremely important. Speedball players tend to dress as light as possible for quick movement, while woodsball players might equip themselves with a more tactical style mask and helmet for longer rounds and in the field equipment. Below are some cool masks we have come across in our search for the best paintball mask. Our choices are based on a mixture of factors such as: price, durability, build quality and of course comfort. We have rated our top picks for the season, ranging from high end professional quality options, to more custom options.
A perfect example of why you need to be wearing a good mask...
Best Paintball Mask 2017 Review Guide
DYE I4 Precision Thermal
Planet PB Review Score
The Dye I4 shares a similar design to the Empire Event, with an easy lens removal system that allows you to quickly replace the lens. The difference with this awesome model however, is the massive visor, which provides a HUGE field of view, with an special coating that works wonders in keeping it fog free and your vision clear. The DYE I5 was recently released, but for the best bang for your buck, the I4 is cheaper and just as good.
There are a ton of cool colors and styles available and all are thermal anti fog dual lenses, with the option to purchase extra lenses separately and easily swap out. This is a great ventilated mask that allows your voice to carry over the field and keeps you cool. The overall build quality and comfort for this mask is fantastic. The interchangeable lenses make it another great option for those who love custom paintball masks.
Perfect for: Players who want one of the best anti fog lenses on the market, looking to invest in their gear and have a wide variety of customization options.
Planet PB Review Score
The V-Force Grill mask has to be one of the most aggressive looking designs ever! With crisp clean lines accenting the low profile design its light weight design makes it great for speedball players. Each part of the mask is individually replaceable and there are tons of different cool colors for the visor your can swap out for quick customization.
This is a super comfortable mask, the foam is great on this one. It is easy to breathe and be heard while talking, but still offers great face protection. This is not a full paintball helmet design however so wearing a bandanna or beanie to protect your forehead and hair is recommended. All in all, one of the most awesome looking designs available on the market today. And of course like any decent design, it features a thermal treated anti fog lens with excellent performance.
Perfect for: Beginner-Intermediate players who want a light weight option that has a great field of view. This mask gets extra points for the soft foam and comfort.
Virtue VIO Extend
Planet PB Review Score
Virtue really knocked it out of the park with their VIO Extend model. An awesome mirrored lens offers a extremely large field of view and this is one of the most comfortable and high quality masks we tested during our search for the best paintball mask on the market. The only downside is the high end design and construction means a high end price tag. However, like they say, you get what you pay for and that certainly applies in this case.
The VIO is available in a large range of colors to match your gear and preferred look, and the internal foam is extremely high quality and comfortable. There were no fogging issues with this mask during our tests. One of the most lightweight and stylish designs available right now and one of the most popular choices among pro level players thanks to the huge lens.
Perfect for: Advanced players who want the best gear that money can buy. High end but extremely durable and well constructed. Consider it a long term investment.
Empire E-Flex Mask/Goggle Combo
Planet PB Review Score
Another rock solid option from Empire. The E-Flex is a lightweight mask with a soft face cover that is well ventilated with a reduced profile, which makes it great for aiming down iron sights or optics. It features the same awesome quick lens swapping system as the Empire Event mask and comes with a great dual layer thermal treated anti fog lens, like all the recommendations on this list. There are a ton of unique designs available including the skull mask shown here.
The foam supports are thick and comfortable, and the included ear protection feels great. While it might be on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, it is definitely well worth it. Some of our team members tested this in the humid Florida heat and experienced no fogging issues, as well as solid ventilation to avoid overheating. A fantastic choice all round and quite possibly the best paintball mask for its price range.
Perfect for: Players with a higher budget who want to find an interesting custom design that will stand out from the crowd, a high quality, comfortable choice.
Planet PB Review Score
Empire is famous for it’s high end gear, but this mask is moderately priced and a fantastic piece of paintball gear. Nice and durable, this Empire mask has a quick release lens for easy cleaning. The lens itself is dual pane, thermal cured which turns it into an awesome anti fog paintball mask.
Rental masks can fog like crazy once you start to run around and work up a sweat. Not the Empire E-vent. It also features soft silicone ear protection that is easily removable should you choose. The strap itself has silicone beading which helps it stay tight and firmly in place. The low profile design looks great and it’s easy to see why this is a fan favorite that won’t break the bank. Available in a variety of color choices.
Perfect for: Those who are looking for a high quality professional grade mask at a price level that won't break the bank. A durable mask from Empire at a super affordable price point makes this a good choice for entry level to advanced players.
JT Spectra Flex
Planet PB Review Score
The JT Spectra thermal paintball mask is another great option for those looking to gear up and get serious about the sport. It offers full head protection and comes with a great set of thermal anti fog goggles. Speaking of the visor, it offers a 260° field of vision which is far superior to most simple rental masks.
The dual layer venting system helps keep you cool and paint out of your mouth. The Spectra is great for woodsball players who want full head protection when running through the trees and the camo model looks awesome. This is more like a full paintball helmet!. The visor is removable and the spectra is one of the most comfortable on the market. The JT Spectra is one of our personal favorites.
Perfect for: Players who want full head protection, woodsball players who spend a lot of time running through trees, those looking for a good price to performance ratio.
Find Cool Paintball Masks While Avoiding Low Quality Knock Offs!
This should be a no brainer. The most essential piece of paintball protective gear that is required on all fields of play. Protecting your vision is the number one priority. Luckily there is a broad range of awesome masks, helmets and visors available online for great discounts. Often times he choice comes down to personal preference, but we are recommend a full face anti fog paintball mask with goggles for eye protection.
Some cheap designs come with plastic mesh screen eye protectors, and while they do the job nothing beats a solid lens for field of vision and clarity. Above are some of the best paintball masks on the market. We would advise against going for cheap low quality models and invest in something that will last, your vision is irreplaceable. We hope this list has helped you find some cool paintball masks that suit your needs! For a quick comparison, check out the 2017 comparison chart below.
2017 Comparison Chart
|Mask||PPB Review Score||Ideal Player Level||Price Range||Check Price Online|
|Dye Prescision I4||5.0/5||Intermediate-Pro||$$$||Check Current Price|
|VForce Grill||4.7/5||Beginner-Pro||$$||Check Current Price|
|Virtue VIO Extend||4.6/5||Intermediate-Pro||$$$$||Check Current Price|
|Empire E-Flex||4.9/5||Intermediate-Pro||$$$||Check Current Price|
|Empire Event||4.5/5||Beginner-Pro||$$||Check Current Price|
|JT Spectra Flex||4.0/5||Beginner-Pro||$||Check Current Price|
2017 Paintball Mask Buyers Guide
There are really 3 major factors that you should pay attention to when looking for the perfect paintball mask for your needs. The models we have recommended above have been thoroughly tested to ensure they check all the boxes when it comes to Comfort, a strong lens with a wide field of view, and maximizing the value for every dollar spent.
Comfort: Having a mask that fits well and sits comfortably on your face without moving around is critical. A full day of paintball can mean hours on the field and you definitely do not want to have to be constantly adjusting your mask. Choosing a paintball mask with a easily adjustable strap system, and soft foam padding will really benefit you in this regard. Some cheap mask systems come with low quality foam pads that can be rough and itchy, which quickly becomes extremely annoying. Whether you opt for a minimal design that covers the eyes and face, or go for a full on paintball helmet, it has to be comfortable to wear for extended periods of time and should provide a decent level of ventillation to help keep you cool.
The Lens/Visor: This is the second critical element to any well designed mask and optional visor. The wider the field of view, the better. Retaining as much of your peripheral vision as possible can really help up your game, especially when playing indoors in tighter quarters, or clearing structures.
The other key point here is to choose an option with a thermal anti fog lens. This means as your body temperature heats up and you start to sweat and breathe heavily, your vision will remain clear and you won't have to try to wipe the lens mid game, potentially compromising your safety. High quality lenses are treated with a special coating that repels moisture and adapts to temperature fluctuations. All of the models we recommend above have anti fog lenses by default. Trust us, you only need to get stuck with an annoying, foggy mask once to ruin your day on the field.
One of the coolest things about higher end models is the ability to to swap out your lens to for a more custom paintball mask if you feel like adding a splash of color, or to adapt to the weather. Much like ski/snowboard goggles, there are lenses specifically designed for cloudy or extra sunny days. The Virtue VIO and DYE I4 masks have a huge variety of available lenses and you can add a visor that snaps on to help avoid sun in the eyes and tree branches from scratching your lens.
Value: We would recommend considering your paintball mask as an investment, not only for potentially saving your vision, but in general high quality masks can take much more of a beating than low quality flimsy ones. Rental masks have to be constantly replaced due to the sheer volume of use and abuse they receive on a daily basis. Spending a little more on a mask you love and will take care of means if will last you far longer. Having the option to customize or change up your look also means you can spend a fraction of the price of a new mask and get yourself several badass lenses or a new set of straps to shake things up or replace a damaged component. With all paintball gear it almost always comes down to you get what you pay for. Strive for comfort and functionality and you will have a great day on the field! In many respects, this piece of gear is as essential as the paintball guns players choose.