FYI: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you click through and purchase.
Gone are the days of using shop goggles to protect your eyes during a game of paintball. The best paintball masks will offer optimal protection with undeniable comfort. After all, paintball masks are designed to be abused and worn for hours at a time.
Today, paintball masks are purpose-built to protect you in the most comfortable and stylish ways possible. The technology has advanced light years ahead of the 1980’s eye protection that the sport of paintball started with. Safety is the most important aspect when playing paintball. And if you think about it, you are more likely to be let on a paintball field with a mask and no paintball gun than you are to be let on a field with a gun but no mask. Safety comes first!
That being said, there are so many different paintball masks that are designed for a variety of different tastes. There are full head paintball masks, thermal mask and even UV protected masks. Modern paintballs masks offer more than just eye protection. Some cover the entire face and head. While some go as far as protecting users’ necks from direct paintball strikes.
It is okay if you are not sure what the best paintball mask is for you. We carefully selected the five best paintball masks that you can buy right now.
Top Paintball Masks For 2019
1. Dye Precision I4 Thermal Paintball Goggles – Optimal Comfort and Natural Fit
The Dye I4 is one of the best paintball goggles around. Its tried and true design offers a natural contour while offering optimal comfort. The anatomical design is meant to make the I4 part of your face, rather than something bulky hanging from it.
The reason the I4 fits so well on most people is for a couple of reasons. The foam inserts inside the mask are designed to mimic the roundness of the human head. Not only that, but the foam itself is quite comfortable. Its dual-stage foam is designed to evaporate moisture and keep you cool during long play sessions.
When it comes to vision, the lens is designed to wrap around to the sides of the mask all the way up to the top of the forehead. The larger surface area of the lens allows for optimal peripheral vision. This design gives the I4 a unique look compared to other paintball masks. The lens itself is rated to withstand an impact greater than any modern paintball gun is capable of outputting. The thermal lenses are also fog-resistant, keeping your vision clear no matter what the weather.
The I4 is one of the best thermal paintball masks on the market. Foam inserts and lenses can be removed and replaced with ease, extending the lifespan of the paintball mask. Along with a unique design, the I4 is a high-quality paintball mask. Click here to see the best price.
2. Virtue VIO Ascend Thermal Paintball Maks – Mid-tier Price with High-End Quality
The Virtue is a great mid-range thermal paintball mask. Its single-piece and dual material design give it rigidity and flexibility in the spots that matter. This makes it extremely durable. The only removable piece is the goggle piece itself. This feature is important in case the goggle becomes damaged it can easily be replaced without needing to buy a whole new mask.
The goggles of the Ascend have a couple of great features. The lens is thermal keeping fogging to an absolute minimum. The smoked lens will keep the harshness of daylight out of your eyes keeping visibility at optimal levels. While the goggles protect your vision from paintballs, they are also 100 percent UV protected keeping your eyes shielded from the harmful rays of the sun. This all comes with the stock mask. But if you want to stand out the Ascend has got you covered.
Even though the Ascend is a mid-range paintball mask it is highly customizable. Users can purchase aftermarket visors, lenses, and straps that speak to your sense of style. If you are in the market for a mid-tier paintball mask, the VIO Ascend is the best paintball mask for you. Click here to see the best price.
3. Dye Special Edition (SE) Thermal Lens Paintball Goggles – Provides Precise Vision
The Dye special edition is another great mid-tier paintball mask if you are in the market for one.
The lower price tag shouldn’t scare you away as it has many of the features of a high-end paintball mask. With a dual pained and ventilated goggle to reduce fog, you will not need to worry about losing a potential target. The lens itself is an SL5 Tirodial lens. This will give users a superior 260 degrees of peripheral vision. The lens itself can be removed in ten seconds or fewer thanks to the patented SLS lens system.
The body of the mask also has some neat features. Often times hearing can become muffled when wearing a paintball mask. Well, the Dye Special Edition comes with multi-ported pieces around the ear so you can hear crystal clear chatter from your squadmates. The SE also comes with a built-in visor to keep your eyes shaded while in direct sunlight. Venting in the front portion of the mask also helps to project your voice along with keeping the goggles fog-free.
At under $40 the Dye SE is one of the best paintball masks available. It is packed with premium features at a mid-tier price. Click here to see the best price.
4. Dye I5 Paintball Mask – Modern design for a Mordern Paintballer
The Dye I5 is the next iteration in Dyes “I” line of paintball masks. The I5 builds upon the foundation the I4 provided, only making it better.
To start, there are over 30 different designs and styles that you can choose from. If you want a military camo or a basic white design the Dye I5 has the style for you. The size and shape of the I5 are almost identical to the I4. It is a little longer in the chin area. So if you had trouble with chin strikes with the older model, the I5 paintball mask has increased the vertical length just enough to prevent direct hits.
As for comfort, the I5 paintball mask is equipped with the GSR pro strap. The GSR strap gives users approximate control of comfort. No more having to settle with a paintball mask being slightly too tight or too loose. With an anatomically correct build, the I5 is comfortable to wear, it will almost feel like part of your face. The mask itself has many premium features that make the I5 well worth its price.
To start, the mask is designed with a patented blade angling design that gets rid of unwanted heat and moisture while also projecting the user’s voice. Ear protection is important but many paintball masks fail to take that into account. Well, the I5 does not forget about your fragile ears. It has compression foam earpieces to ensure your ears are protected.
Protecting vision is equally as important as hearing. That is why the I5s lens is rated to withstand pressures from a direct paintball strike well above what a modern paintball gun is capable of firing. The lens and lens foam are also removable and replaceable. The goggles also offer 290 degrees of peripheral vision.
The cherry on top is the POV camera mount that is built into the I5. This unnecessary yet unique feature makes the Dye I5 one of the best paintball masks on the market. Click here to see the best price.
5. Invert Helix Thermal Paintball Mask – Adequate Design for a Moderate Price
While the invert Helix can be considered a bargain paintball mask, it still has many features that make it a steal.
The main function of a paintball mask is to protect the user’s eyes, mouth, and ears. The Helix does a perfect job of that. The body of the mask is hard and rigid, there is little to no flexibility. This provides optimal protection when taking direct hits. There is a removable visor on the top of the mask. It also serves as a forehead deflector as well to protect the top of your head from direct hits. The head strap is basic but is adequate to get the job done. It has silicone on the inside to keep it tight and secure to your head, no matter how sweaty you get.
The lens is the best feature of this paintball mask. It is a dual pained thermal lens. This will keep the goggle from fogging due to weather or heavy breathing. The lens is also removable. You can buy several different lenses that do a better job of protecting you from the sun if the stock lens did not do it for you.
The Helix paintball mask also comes with a chin strap for extra security when playing. The chin strap is completely optional but it is not something you see with most paintball masks, so it is a cool added feature.
Overall the invert Helix is one of the best paintball masks if you are on a budget. Click here to see the best price.
What To Look For In a Paintball Mask
What makes the best paintball masks comfortable will differ from one mask to another. The most basic level of comfort is the size and fit of a paintball mask. Too big and the paintball mask will be flopping around. Too small and the mask will cut off the blood flow to your brain. The best paintball masks will have different sizes for each model of the mask. Although there are some great paintball masks like the number five pic on our list, the Invert Helix, that have one size. So just be sure its a great fit for you before you make a final decision.
Let’s say a paintball mask does happen to be slightly too big. The best paintball masks will have adjustable straps that will create a perfect fit. All paintball masks have straps of course but they are not all made with the same quality. The Dye I5 is a perfect example. The number four paintball mask on our list has its patented GSR pro strap. It allows for precise control of tension while equally distributing comfort on the user’s head.
Comfort is also achieved through all of the parts of your head the paintball mask will be touching. Usually the back of the head, ears, and face.
The most contact will be between your brow and the goggles itself. If low-quality foam is used a couple of things will happen. If the foam is hard the most obvious effect will be discomfort or even pain as the day goes on. If the foam is rigid allowing for little airflow, users can sweat quite a lot as a paintball game drags on. Cool paintball masks will have foam inserts that allow for optimal comfort and airflow. For optimal ear comfort, masks like the Dye I4 have compression formed earpieces that are built into the paintball helmet. They are soft to the touch and provide optimal ear protection. Cheaply made paintball masks might have some rigid foam to keep a separation between the mask and your ears.the first paintball mask on our list have basic masks that will have a couple of pieces of foam.
The last aspect of comfort while wearing a paintball mask is breathability. Paintball is a strenuous sport. You will be running, jumping and sliding. On top of that paintball is played in hotter climates. So the way air enters and exits a paintball mask is important. If the airflow is minimal you for one you will be breathing in hot air but your mask may even begin to fog. The best paintball masks like the Dye I5 have multidirectional air pathways that not only improve breathability but they improve the user’s ability to communicate.
The comfort of wearing a paintball mask comes down to the quality of materials and the build of the paintball mask. Rest assured every paintball mask on our list has optimal comfort. It is all about finding which paintball mask is best for you.
The weight of a paintball mask is important. The last thing you want is your neck to feel like it has a boulder attached to it by the end of the day. The best paintball masks will weigh in at an average of about two pounds or lower. The good news is every paintball mask on our list weighs in at under two pounds They are all made out of high-quality lightweight materials. And with some of the most advanced features you can find in a paintball mask today, it is a surprise they are so light.
The purpose of a paintball mask first and foremost is protection. That being said paintball masks are useless if you cannot see. Optimal vision is important with any paintball mask you will own. There are several aspects to paintball masks that will impact your vision, the first is clarity.
If you buy a low-quality mask scratches can and will build up quickly. And if the lens is fixed to your paintball mask there is no way to replace it without needing a new paintball mask entirely. The best paintball masks are not only scratch-resistant they have several other features that provide the best visibility.
One major problem that early paintball manufactures ran into was fogging. Fogging is caused for a couple of reasons. First is the weather, if you are playing in a humid and hot climate fog will easily build up on the surface of the lens. And second, fog can be created by the user. This happens because of condensation caused by the users breathing. While venting hot breath can help a little, the fog will still build up over time. Luckily there are a couple of ways to fix fogging. The first is with an anti-fog coating. Anti-fog coatings come in a variety of different chemical makeups including the household item rubbing alcohol. These anti-fog coatings work well in the early stages of a paintball masks life-span. But as they become older and banged up the anti-fog coating can and will eventually become less efficient. With this issue, paintball mask producers had to come up with a solution.
The next line of defense against goggle fogging was double pained or thermal lenses. The problem with single pained lenses is quite simple. Your breath is hot, add in heat from your body and the inside of a paintball mask can get pretty warm. As the inside temperature of your mask rises the outside of the mask will typically be cooler. This causes condensation to form on the inside of the paintball mask. Double pained or as some call them thermal masks create a buffer between the hols and cold. With two layers of material, there is an air pocket that keeps condensation from forming. The best paintball masks will have thermal lenses. This is because thermal lenses outperform lenses with a simple coating of anti-fog material.
The last thing that will impact your visibility on the paintball field is the sun. Luckily sunglasses came well before the inception of paintball masks. So designing a paintball mask that also shields the rays of the sun was not too difficult. That being said there are several different styles that are available. Smoked lenses essentially act like sunglasses they simply make everything you see through them darker. Then you have yellow lenses, these are designed not to block light, but to enhance light on darker cloudy days. This works by making lighter colored objects stand out more and causes darker objects to become darker. Yellow lenses really help out when playing in the woods where everything looks the same. So when an enemy combatant pops out they will stand out against their surroundings.
There are also HD lenses that attempt to do the same thing but the lenses are not as yellow so the colors of your surroundings are not as impacted. Mirrored lenses are essentially just smoked lenses with a mirrored finish. Some mirrored finishes have a blue or red finish which then creates a blue or red tint to everything you see. Then lastly there are the polarized UV lenses. Polarized lenses reduce glare while also protecting user’s eyes from damaging UV rays.
So those are all of the aspects that impact vision when wearing a paintball mask. Most if not all of the paintball masks on our list have removable lenses that can be swapped rather quickly.
What’s the difference between the thermal lens and the anti-fog lens?
While they are designed to do the same thing, keep your goggle from fogging, they do it in very different ways. Anti-fog lenses are coated with a chemical that resists condensation from building up. Thermal lenses are double-paned, this keeps the inside of your paintball mask from reaching the dew point and building up fog.
How do you stop a paintball mask from fogging?
The easiest way is to buy a thermal lens for your paintball mask.
Can you wear a paintball mask with glasses?
Yes, you can. Although not every paintball mask will be the best suited for people who wear glasses.
How do you clean thermal paintball lenses?
Wiping your lens with some water and a microfiber cloth should do the trick. Be sure not to use normal wash clothes as they can cause scratching over time.
Best Selling Paintball Masks
- Double pained, Thermoformed Inner Lens for fog and distortion free vision | Lightweight | Built-in visor | 260* Peripheral vision | 10 second lens change | Superior comfort foam
- SLS Tirodial lens gives you the ultimate in vertical and horizontal peripheral vision
- PAINTBALL MASK SIZE: The size of Mask is 9.25" * 10.24" (23.5*26 CM).Black Clear Len.
- SAFER MATERIAL: Use polycarbonate material and ABS plastic impact resistant composite offers full face and head protection.
- Includes visor
- Anti-Fog Clear single lens
- Single Lens Stealth Goggle Mask System
- Hard Plastic Mask for Great Protection