Hey paintball players! Welcome to my best paintball mask review (Last updated 24 July 2022).
I’ve been playing paintball for a decade, and my friends always come to me for advice about paintball gear because I love to research this stuff. I always compare products to each other to determine which ones are the best bang for the buck.
Here are the top paintball masks, in my opinion.
Paintball Mask Review: Top 3 Recommended
That was the quick summary, let’s get into the details.
Top 10 Best Paintball Masks 2022
#1 Dye i5 Paintball Goggles Review: A clear paintball mask
Reduce fog, improve visibility and dominate the game.
The Dye i5 paintball mask has a double layer (thermal) which significantly reduces fog and improves visibility giving you an advantage.
While the other players’ masks fog up and they can’t see anything, your view is clear, and you can rush them and win the game. When you wear the Dye i5, you are playing on easy mode.
Protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays
The “dyetanium” lens protects your eyes from UV rays from the sun. UV damage to the eyes is no joke and can seriously ruin your eyesight if you are not careful. Even on cloudy days, invisible UV rays penetrate the clouds and hit your eyes.
Don’t go blind. Protect your eyes from UV light so you can continue to play paintball safely for years to come and go through the rest of your life with a wonderful sense of eyesight.
Compatible with M2 via e.Voke kit, so you never lose focus
The Dye i5 mask works with e.Voke system, which is a wireless air sync for M2 integration. This system can send you automatic audio alerts to your paintball mask so you can get real-time info about the game.
You can get real-time info about how many balls you have lefts, how much time is left, and a record of your eliminations.
While your clueless opponents have to look at their watch to check the game time, you can always stay focused with automatic alerts and have the upper hand.
The best paintball mask for big heads and large faces
The i5 is roughly 20% bigger than the dye i4, which makes it the most suitable mask for players with big heads.
The Dye i5 is my favorite mask because of its clear view and comfort. It fits well even for my big head, stays cool, breathes well, and fully protects me while keeping me comfortable. And that’s all I could ask for in a paintball mask.
#2 Dye Precision i4 Thermal Paintball Mask Review
There’s a reason the Dye i4 is of the most sold paintball masks ever. It has a scratch-proof and thermally treated lens to protect against UV lights, and you maintain excellent visibility for a long time.
Just like the i5, the dye i4 fits your head like a hand fits a glove, and it is comfortable to wear even in the most extreme conditions. While your opponents are itching, sweating, stressed, and disoriented, you are comfortable, cool, calm, and alert.
Overall the functionality is excellent. You can quickly change the lens in a matter of seconds, and it is even easier than on the Dye i5. If you want to change it, just push the two small tabs on both sides and then push the earpad forwards, and the lens will pop out. In my opinion, it’s one of the best mask designs I have seen.
Dye i4 has super comfortable dual-stage foam inside the mask. It absorbs much of the impact from getting hit, so you feel it less. The foam also absorbs moisture and sweat, so it doesn’t run down your eyes. You can change the foam between games and always start with a fresh, dry mask.
It might be a bit tight for larger-sized heads compared to the Dye i5, but it still provides extra protection and coverage of all sensitive areas.
The Dye i4 is super comfortable and has 290-degree peripheral vision and an anti-fog thermal lens. The visibility is clear without distortions and almost comparable to not wearing a mask at all. It protects well and looks great.
#3 Virtue VIO Contour 2 Dual Pane Thermal Paintball Mask Review
Virtue Vio Contour 2 is a deadly combination of comfort, crystal clear vision, safety, reliability, flexibility, and anti-fog properties. You can also wear it with glasses. With all of these features, it’s no wonder it’s one of the most sold paintball masks ever.
From our Virtue Vio Contour 2 review, we saw that it has many strong points, and there are a few changes from the original:
- a wider backstrap with more padding and 3D foam for more comfort, both for small and big heads, which causes a better and more stable fit and less likely to move or wobble during your game.
- improved earpads with better acoustics. A high-grade foam makes it lightweight, comfy, and flexible without compromising safety. Some masks have too much padding making it hard to hear other players, but that’s not the case here.
- a mirrored lens for an even better peripheral field of vision, so there are no blind spots.
A dual-pane, anti-fog thermal lens protects you from UV light radiation and makes the mask reflection resistant with 0% color distortion. Since the foam absorbs sweat, you maintain great comfort and visibility.
There is a lot of interior space for wearing glasses.
The ventilation design is next-level engineering. It breathes well and keeps a cool temperature inside the mask. You can speak and be heard and understood easily, but it also protects your face so you won’t be eating paint.
To quickly summarize, the Virtue Vio Contour 2 is a great mask that fits well, is comfortable, has clear visibility, breathes well, doesn’t fog, and protects you 100%.
This one is my personal choice.
#4 Virtue VIO Ascend Thermal Paintball Goggle Review
The top-notch design allows you to customize the whole mask; you can change the thermal lens, multi-layer foam, back head strap, visor, and stealth fan.
It’s super customizable. There are 18 options for the lens, 16 options for the visor stealth fan, and 32 strap options. With this mask, you can develop your paintball style and stand out from the other guys.
The dual-pane anti-fog, scratch-resistant, 100% UV rays protective thermal lens gives you ultimate field vision.
VIO Ascend is molded from ultra-durable and protective material and designed to give you ultimate comfort while on the paintball field.
This budget-friendly beast comes with extra features like quick lens change, quick foam change, and, most importantly, additional vents for better communications and breathability. That’s the reason why experienced players use Virtue masks.
#5 Bunkerkings CMD Paintball Mask Review
- Tailor-made microfiber that helps the mask to stay dry and fresh. You can play without worrying about sweat and moisture.
- Ultra-quality thermal painted lens that protects your eyes from UV light and prevents fog.
- Hi-flow ventilation system for fresh air.
- Multi-directional air exhaust holes that improve breathability by up to 300%, which means no fogging.
- The bounce flex in the mask will absorb the impact of paintballs instead of your head taking a beating.
- The balance between geometry and material offers additional protection while still giving you a tight jawline profile.
I have field-tested it by having a friend shoot some paint directly on the jawline and the lens with a GTEK 170r (please, DO NOT try this at home). Of course, I felt it, but the bounce flex did a great job absorbing much of the impact compared to other masks.
The design of the holes near the ear improves hearing and eliminates echoing. The unmistakable sound and communication make this a fantastic tactical paintball mask.
An integrated micro visor in CMD improves optical performance, reduces glare, and protects the lens from scratches.
Bunkerkings CMD offers supreme comfort; the foam is changeable, bulkier, softer, plusher, and has an extra external layer of super-soft microfiber.
A quick summary is that the Bunkerkings CMD is a wide mask that reduces pressure with a wide strap. Overall great visibility, excellent breathability, and impact-absorbing foam with a soft silicone grip that fits tight but without uncomfortable pressure.
#6 Empire E-Flex Paintball Goggle System Review
- Anti-fog lens: A thermal lens with zero optical distortion.
- Rapid lens change: You can change the lens within a few seconds.
- Flexible face skirt
- Ventilations: Extra vents in the face skirt.
- Face foam: Proflex ultra comfort face foam
- Echo proof
- UV protection: The lens has an anti-reflection coating
- Brand: Empire
- Weight: 1.9 pounds
The main selling point of the Empire E-Flex mask is that it fully echoes proof so that you can easily hear teammates’ instructions. One of my favorite features of this mask is rapid lens change, so you can easily change the lens between games if weather conditions change.
You get flexibility, comfort, and safety with a mid-range price tag.
#7 Push Unite Paintball Goggles Mask Review
- Rapid lens changing functionality.
- Quad layer anti-fog anti-reflection lens.
- Adjustable Nose bridge.
- It comes with a high-quality protective case.
- 16 loud vents.
- Magnetic chin strap.
- Versatile design.
- Shipping weight: 3 pounds
Push Unite is the mask for those with money to spend. And you won’t be disappointed if you do.
First of all, simply by touching this mask, you can tell it’s high quality.
But the biggest reason to choose the Push Unite mask is that it fits every type and size of head and face. There is an adjustable nose bridge, a wide adjustable strap that wraps around the head, and an adjustable strap under the chin.
You can buy it for yourself, lend it to your friends, or keep it as a rental mask for people who come to play at your field. Whether they are beginners, intermediates, or pros, it doesn’t matter.
Ultra comfortable to wear and 16 vents for maximum airflow. A quad-pane thermal lens with anti-reflection and anti-fog properties and a wide-angle view. Overall a wide range of features.
But can you afford the Push Unite?
#8 Empire EVS Paintball Mask Review
The Empire Paintball Masks are some of the best paintball masks in terms of technology and style. The breathability and ventilation are excellent. Hot and humid air flows out, and new fresh air flows in.
Clever design allows for clear communication without distortions in sound or voice, so you and your teammates can talk to each other and be understood without problems.
A bright, thermal, DUAL pane spherical lens kills fog and protects from UV A/B rays. You can replace the lens without needing tools in just 30 seconds. Just rotate the earpieces and pop them out, and then gently push the lens out.
- Color: Black, black/lime, grey/black, tan/black, olive/black, white/black.
- Comfort: Thermo-formed ear for maximum comfort & perfect hearing
- Vision: 270-degree field of vision
- Peripheral vision: Extremely high
- Anti-fog: Dual-pane lens that kills fog.
- Scratch-resistant: Yes. 100%
- UV protection: Maximum. Lens block the harmful UV A/B radiations.
- Ear-protection. Excellent. Beefed up soft foam.
- Glasses compatibility: Yes.
- Changeable lens: Yes. It only takes 30 seconds.
- Strap: silicon-baked head-strap for a perfect, non-slip fit.
- Weight: 1.98 pounds
- Shipping weight: 2.1 pounds
The Empire EVS is super flexible and comfortable, and it protects you from hard impacts just as well as other masks.
The EVS is the mask to get if you want a decent paintball mask that does what it should do and also gives you that Master Chief Halo-soldier look.
#9 V-Force Grill Paintball Mask Review
- Thermo cured anti-fog scratch-proof lens.
- Hard target ultra-protective design.
- Quick dryer padding foam.
- Flexible design.
- Built-in visor.
- Sleek spherical 3D shape lens for a huge field of peripheral view.
- Multi-directional venting
- Weight: 1 pound
- Shipping weight: 1.4 pounds
The V-Force Grill paintball mask is lightweight and impressive. A cutting-edge thermal lens prevents fog and scratches and protects from UV rays.
Ultra-soft rapid dryer padding foam soaks up your sweat within seconds and allows you to stay focused during the game instead of it dripping all over you and your paintball gun.
The mask is a good fit for a beginner-level player, and I have not seen many pros wearing this mask in tournaments.
#10 HK Army Paintball KLR Thermal Anti-Fog Mask Review
- PVT Quick Change Lens System
- Anti-fog anti-reflective lens.
- Soft earpiece.
- Custom adjustable strap
- Loud vents.
- 3D ultra-soft foam
- Weight: 1.37 pounds
- Shipping weight: 1.4 pounds
Hk army is one of the most popular paintball masks in the world because of its built quality and versatile design. Hk manufacturer utilizes their expertise to make this mask highly protective.
It ticks all the boxes and has all the basics that all the other paintball masks have:
- great quality build
- comfortable earpads and comfortable to wear
- absorbs sweat
- protects well from impacts
- KLR anti-fog lens protection from UV radiation and gives a clear view
- Changeable lens
KLR is a beautiful-looking mask. The #1 reason I bought it was because of the style and how it looks, and I ended up painting it in camo colors and customized it slightly. No regrets.
Paintball Mask Buying Guide
In this section, I will outline things you should consider before buying a paintball mask. If you want to know about paintball sports in general, then read about paintball games and this article. Check our latest article on top paintball hoppers.
Here is my ultimate paintball mask buying guide.
Features to consider before buying a paintball mask
Whether it’s a mask or paintball helmet, here are a few things to consider when shopping for paintball goggles:
- customer reviews
- the brand
- eye protection, forehead protection, safety, and protection coverage
- anti-fog lens
- scratch-restistant lens
- ear pads
- durability and quality
- material (polycarbonate material or other)
- chin strap and adjustable head strap
- comfort and foam padding
- removable visor
- visor compatibility
- interior space (especially for those who wear glasses)
- camera mount for GoPro
- design and style
Why should you read customer reviews before buying a product?
Customer reviews will give you an idea about how satisfied customers are with their product. It can help you make a better decision when choosing your next paintball mask.
How do you know if a review is trustworthy or not? If you go to a website that sells the product, look for reviews marked “verified buy” or “verified customer” to identify reviews from real customers who ordered the item. You can also compare reviews of a product across different websites to see if they are consistently good or bad or if there are differences.
Brands can be essential to consider because they tell you what quality you can expect from a product. For example, if you want a high-quality paintball mask, you should look for a well-known brand like VIO or Dye. These brands have a reputation for making high-quality paintball equipment for years and years. Buying a brand product makes it more likely that you are getting a great product instead of a cheap, low-quality product from a brand nobody’s ever heard of.
Price range matters because you can save money. A paintball mask doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be cheap if you prefer, but you should never compromise on safety! And you shouldn’t have to, even at an affordable price.
Consider how often you will use the paintball mask. It’s not worth it to spend a lot of money on something you won’t use often.
Safety and level of protection
Safety is always #1 for a piece of gear that is supposed to protect you when you’re on the playing field. When playing paintball, you want to protect your eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. The entire purpose of a paintball mask is to be the protective gear that shields your most vital organs during a game of paintball. A top-quality paintball gun can launch paintballs at a speed of 60-61 meters per second. If you are new to paintball, you should read How to play paintball: beginner to pro guide.
Besides shielding you from direct incoming paintballs, paintball masks also protect you from indirect paint splatter and debris in the environment around you and high-pressure air from the paintball.
The weight of a mask mostly has a lot to do with the comfort when playing. The lighter the mask’s weight is, the easier it will be to wear while running around. A lightweight paintball mask may not be as thick and give as much head protection as a heavier mask. A paintball mask should never compromise safety. There are a few features that might make the mask’s weight heavier, such as a heavier lens or a GoPro mount.
Comfort is about how the mask fits and how you feel while wearing it. You should be able to wear a comfortable paintball mask for an extended period without feeling discomfort, and it should not restrict airflow or press your face while wearing it.
A paintball mask can fog up in many situations, making it difficult to see. Moisture in the air we’re breathing causes fog, or it can be due to bad weather conditions. Fogging can cause strain on the eyes and be quite annoying. It can also be unsafe if it causes the wearer to take off one’s mask during play.
An anti-fog mask has features that make it less likely to fog up.
A thermal mask helps you see better in bright or dark light conditions and reduces fogging. Thermal lenses are usually made of plastic and are thin and lightweight masks.
Frequently asked questions
Which is the most expensive paintball mask?
The most expensive paintball mask is a custom made mask or special edition. For mass-produced masks, Empire EVS is often on the higher end of the price range.
Can you wear glasses in a paintball mask?
Yes, if there is enough interior space in the mask and your glasses aren’t gigantic. I would recommend the Virtue Vio Contour 2.
How to keep cool in a paintball mask?
To keep cool, you should choose a paintball mask with great ventilation and airflow.
What is the best non-fog paintball mask?
I think the Bunkerkings CMD is the most breathable paintball mask and handles fog well due to its clever ventilation design.
What is the best paintball mask for kids?
Valken MI-3 Gotcha Kids Paintball Goggle is suitable for kids. It’s cheap and protects well.
Which is a good cheap paintball mask?
HK Army HSTL or Valken MI-7 are good and cheap masks with thermal lenses.
When to replace a paintball mask?
It’s time to replace the mask when the lens is scratched making it hard to see. Often you can replace the lens. Other reasons to replace the mask are if mold or bacteria growing inside or if any part is damaged and compromises the safety and ability to protect you.
What is the best paintball mask?
The best paintball mask must provide distortion-free, fog-free visibility, maximum protection, top-notch ventilation and breathability, excellent communication. I recommend the VIO Countour 2.