When the subject of buying paintball protection masks, the subject that usually comes up first is their look. After all, what paintball player in their right mind would approach a field without seriously considering whether he looks as badass as possible? The trouble is that looking tough is not the primary function of a Paintball mask. That might be hard to believe, but it’s true. In the paintball game, masks are for your protection. Badass comes second.
So, after you have eliminated badass from the equation, what do you consider when your objective is to buy a paintball mask that really is protective?
In the early days of paintball, most players used ski goggles. And even when things got rolling, many continued–and still do–wear ski goggles for protection. Plainly stated, this has always been unsafe, and continues to be so.
After the sport began to prove itself as a sport, makers began getting more focused on goggles, especially on their design and safety. Fortunately, as things progressed, more guidelines were issued until today, where any goggles must pass ASTM standards. This is passage of four main components:
Goggle Lens. The standards give the lens considerable leeway, but they must protect the eyes from both the impact and the spray of paint.
Goggle Frame. Sometimes the goggle frame is one piece, sometimes two. The frames that separate the goggle is most expensive because it’s two parts, but it’s also easier to clean. There is usually foam that creates a seal between you and the lens. This is important because it makes the mask more comfortable on your face and prevents heat rising from your breath from fogging your lens.
Protective Mask. To a great extent, the mask is the wild card of the whole piece of equipment. A lot of the goggle and what it entails is dependent on what the player wants. Coverage is the name of the game. Most less experienced players go with a larger mask, but they end up paying when it comes to weight. Experienced players tend to side with the smaller mask in order to minimize their target space.
Goggle Strap. All things considered, the goggle strap is what often gets little consideration when players go out to buy a mask. Unfortunately, the goggle strap really is important since what good is a mask if for whatever reason it comes off? You should buy a mask with a strap that has a strong feel to it. It should be wide enough that it will keep the mask on your face even when it gets hit. See more information and paintball product reviews here.
So there you have it. These are some good guidelines for buying everything you need in a good protective mask. Follow these ideas, and chances are very good you will buy a mask that will protect you well. The badass part you will have to provide yourself.