Picking the correct face mask is the most important thing you can do. Like the old quote goes without a good paintball mask “You’ll poke your eye out!” Plus you cannot be as vain as you want to be if your mug is messed up by a hard paintball to the forehead or cheek. So make sure you follow these easy steps and acquire the best paintball mask and face shield.
The first priority in picking up your head protection is ultimate coverage; you want your paintball to cover your whole face, head, chin, cheeks, and ears. You want something that will wrap around nicely and have a good comfortable fit. Most face masks now come with a full head band that wraps around the back of your head, but look out for extra security such as an under chin strap and neck guard these will run a little more expensive but well worth the extra bucks.
Be sure if this is your first paintball mask that you try it on at the store before purchasing. So many times has we seen people show up to a paintball game or field, put on their mask for the first time only to find out it does not fit. If you have a larger or smaller head than average you will need to take extra precautions as well since you will not be able to purchase the standard paintball mask from just any retailer you may need to find a paintball shop that has more than the regular 2 masks at the local Wal-Mart.
Visibility is key as well in selecting your paintball mask. There are plenty of face shields that give you a full view, the more you can see the better. You might even want to pick up a mask that will have interchangeable lens so you can have variations between the terrains you play paintball at. These are great in case your lenses get too dirty, scratched or cracked; you will not need to purchase a whole new mask, only the lenses.
Check your ventilation, if it feels suffocating or hot immediately after putting the paintball mask on then we suggest going on to the next one. The more you play the more your body heat may fog up your mask lenses but if you find one with great ventilation then we strongly recommend purchasing one of these. There a ton of products that has anti-fog properties that are gels or sprays but with the proper ventilation you will be comfortable, cool, and will never have to worry about your mask goggles fogging up.
The last thing is durability, if you are the type of player that is extremely active in running around, crashing through trees like a Liger (lion and tiger beast hybrid) then your basic cheap face mask is not for you. Go with the harder type plastics and stick to masks that have interchangeable parts especially if you are playing more than 4 times a month.
Always thing about long term, if you are just a once in a while player then purchasing any masks that fits well, gives good protection, and has good comfort then any brand masks will do. But if you are thinking about this being a weekend warrior thing, week after week, month after month then you need to look at long term. How you look long term for a paintball mask you need to take a look at the brand name paintball masks, lots of them have good warranties and the higher end paintball masks have the interchangeable parts we spoke of earlier. This way a year down the line you know your paintball mask company will still be in business and have the parts you will need to keep going game after grueling game.