When looking for the best paintball mask in 2021, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the variety of masks in the market. Some of them come with a price tag that will turn you away from the hobby, concerned about the expense. But there are plenty of masks that get the job done at a reasonable price.
Are you looking for paintball helmets and masks that tick all the boxes? Or are you in the market for the best of the best, a serious enthusiast ready to up his game? Different masks come with different features and a higher price tag doesn’t always mean better in this market.
Whatever your utility for the mask may be, we have compiled a list that covers all budgets and contains all those masks which give you the best bang for the buck.
Empire E-Flex Paintball Goggle System - Perfect Mix
Virtue VIO Paintball Goggles - Stealth Design
V-Force Grill Special Edition Mask/Goggle - Samurai
If you’re still not decided about what paintball mask to purchase, read on to find out the general buying guide at the end of this article. We’ll have you equipped to make the right choice by yourself!
Table of Contents
Best Paintball Mask for 2021
In order to decide on the best paintball mask in 2021, follow our extensive list below, complete with a mask for every kind of use! The top paintball masks are all here.
1. Virtue VIO Ascend - Budget King
The Virtue VIO Ascend is a paintball helmet and mask that ticks all the boxes without going overboard on the price tag. If you’re looking for a mask that doesn’t break your bank because you’re a casual hobbyist, this is the mask for you. With many useful and comfort-enhancing features, the Ascend is Virtue’s mid-range contender.
Comfort matters to anyone who is paintballing for longer periods. The VIO Ascend is a single body mask that doesn’t compromise on the build materials. The final result is that it’s lightweight and comfortable. It features a removable multi-layer eye foam and flexible build to suit your head shape.
Talk about lenses and the Ascend brings to the table many key features that made VIO masks so popular in the first place. You can quickly swap lenses with the hinge lock system. The lenses themselves are coated with anti-fog and UV protection coating so that you can use them in all weather conditions.
The mask design offers a reasonably good field of view that is perhaps the most important part of any good paintball mask and comes with a smoke lens to use in sunny conditions. But other than its practical use, the smoke lens gives the mask an incredible aesthetic that we absolutely love.
Make it yours
Customization is where the Ascend shines. You can upgrade goggle straps and swap the stock lenses for advanced chromatic ones. You can choose from 16 different visors and even install the stealth visor fan. These are great quality-of-life options that we don’t normally see at this mid-range price point.
As you cut back on the price going from high-end to mid-range, you do indeed lose some things. The Ascend doesn’t have ear foams that other VIO masks do, and it’s missing some advanced personalization options like customized facemask and options for multiple sizes.
The VIO ascend is then the mid-range sibling of the top tier renowned VIO masks and it doesn’t disappoint. A decent and capable all-rounder is what we would call it: one of the best paintball masks around.
If the legendary VIO ascend doesn’t do much for you, then we have a vast line of cool paintball masks for you to sniff!
2. Dye i5 Paintball Goggle - Wireless Air-Sync Technology
The Dye i5, at its price point, cannot afford to cut any corners. And so it doesn’t: the Dye i5 is a premium paintball helmet and mask that comes loaded with all gimmicks you could ever hope for. You get what you pay for and its paintball reviews are great. One of the top paintball masks around.
Comfort comes first in our criteria and this is where the Dye i5 distinguished itself from the competition. Equipped with the GSR Pro Strap, you get precise tension control so that the mask fits your features just the way you want it to. It can hence accommodate different head types without a hiccup.
The mask brings with it best-in-class safety thanks to its ability to evenly distribute the force over your head. With the Dye i5, your paintball endeavors aren’t likely to end in bruises.
Wide Peripheral Vision
Optics is another strong suit for this mask. The Dye i5 comes with a 290-degree anti-fog lens, the most peripheral vision you’ll find in commercial paintball goggles. And only a few other masks can match its rapid lens change technology that allows you to enter the battle with the best lens for the situation.
Breathe better, play better
And let’s not forget how useful it is to have a mask that breathes well, especially when you’re sprinting in a paintball match. And with the quick foam replacement capability, you can replace your worn out, uncomfortable foam with a new one in seconds before entering the field.
But that’s not all that the price tag pays for. The i5 is loaded with electronics, allowing you to connect your i5 and M2 in seamless communication using Dye’s Wireless Air-Sync technology. You get audio alerts and reports to keep you on top of your game during a paintball match.
For the pros
You get the best of the best with this mask if you can stomach the price tag, which we feel is the only con. Buy this if you’re an enthusiast who means business in paintball. It’s one of the best paintball masks out there.
3. Empire E-Flex Paintball Goggle System - Perfect Mix
A common feature of paintball mask reviews, the Empire E-Flex is all about comfort, and that is why you’ll love at its reasonable mid-range price. Tired of uncomfortable paintballing experiences? This is just the mask for you!
The perfect fit
Featuring E-Flex foam from the spectra, you are guaranteed satisfaction. Comfort is where this mask stands out among the rest with users frequently appreciating their experience. What the Empire E-Flex loses in design aesthetics, it makes up for in well-designed foam that keeps you snug.
The mask conforms to facial features and ensures a good tapering to your face from below.
Better design, better breathing
Breathability is another important factor that determines how your paintballing weekends turn out. Frequently, masks for paintball skimp out on the all-important vent design when going for looks. You won’t fall prey to that flaw with the E-Flex as it features one of the best venting systems we’ve ever reviewed.
Great anti-fog lens
Not only can it dissipate heat during intense battles, but good ventilation also prevents your lenses from fogging up. And to add to that, the E-flex has anti-fog thermal lenses. The optical clarity is great and we have no reasons to complain at this price point.
Team play prioritized
Team communication benefits as well: one’s voice doesn’t muffle a lot, again thanks to the vent design. Face coverage is good as well, and you won’t be worried about vulnerable spots left uncovered on your head.
At this price point, there are some things in which the Empire E-Flex disappoints on. Its build materials aren’t especially lightweight but we think this minor con is outweighed by the comfort that it offers when fitted.
The perfect mix
Moreover, lens switching takes some time and we would expect and more rapid system with this price tag. If you’re okay with spending a little longer changing out lenses, this shouldn’t be a problem for you.
The E-Flex makes up for its shortcomings with unbeatable comfort and should be your go-to mask for paintball if that matter to your above everything else!
4. Virtue VIO Paintball Goggles - Stealth Design
Another all-rounder on our list, the virtue VIO can be your ticket to a satisfactory paintballing experience leaving nothing to complain about in particular. At its current price, you’ll be surprised by how many boxes this mask ticks. It’s one of the most unique paintball masks out there.
There are no compromises on comfort. Featuring specially designed ear pads, you’ll hear all the sounds around you, and good cushioning inside. Eye foam is replaceable with ease and helps keep your mask clean and comfortable to wear, even when you have successive matches.
The mask is lightweight and easy to holster. Some masks have a tendency to use flashy colors that make you stand out in the field. The VIO impresses us with its sleek design, reducing your hit-box, and natural colors that will make allow you to fit into the environment.
The classic VIO lens experience
Virtue is known for creating high-quality lenses and the case with the VIO is no different. Enjoy a clear view with great peripheral vision. The lenses are dual-pane, thus eliminating fogging inside the mask. Fogging can otherwise ruin your match when you feel in control.
And did we talk about the characteristic quick lens change feature found in Virtue masks? Forget about spending minutes trying to change your lenses to suit the situation. Swap them out with a quick-release feature. Additions like these are what consolidate VIO’s domination in this budget.
Lenses also come with UV protection so that your eyes are safe not only from the paintballs but also from direct sunlight exposure.
Communicate like a pro
Ventilation is also in this mask’s strong suit. It had vents right in front of where your mouth will be, allowing you to breathe efficiently as required. The vents on the sides also allow good transmission of voice to your teammates, be it shouting warnings or orders!
All things considered, this mask ticks all the boxes but isn’t the best at anything. A solid investment if you’re just getting into the hobby.
5. V-Force Grill Special Edition Mask/Goggle - Super Light
An underrated addition to our list: if you’re looking for an ultra-light mask with unparalleled comfort, this is the one for you. Competing with some of the best paintball masks at its price, the Grill Special Edition mask is one definitely worth considering!
The brand uses special ultra-light materials for the build of this mask. You’ll barely even feel it there. Then this mask goes one step ahead and uses something called Integrated VFlector. Let us clarify that for you in simple terms: it’s a forehead bounce panel that will fit your head seamlessly.
With its bounce panel, your skull won’t take direct force if you hit your head or take a fall. Even when running around, it will absorb force as required and ensure you feel comfortably fitted. Make no mistake, this doesn’t mean that your mask will be loosely fitted.
Its post-clip strap stays on, and that’s a guarantee! Moreover, it can be replaced quickly whenever you need to!
Time is money
This mask features a lot of quick change features. Replacing the face foam is effortless. No longer do you need to be worried about sweat on your foam as you transition from one match to another. Stay dry and comfortable with a snappy change.
The lenses are satisfactory and do not get any fog. Their sheer clarity isn’t great but you lose something to get something else and comfort is the V-Force’s strong suit! Nevertheless, as long as you can see well enough, you shouldn’t have any problems playing long sessions.
A lot of top tier brands charge high premiums on wide peripheral vision. But if you want to save some money this is a good place to do so. You can see around satisfactorily with this mask and that’s all you need. In return, you get incredible comfort that helps endurance.
A visor will protect you whether playing in the sun or in the rain. Adding to this, the special edition Samurai finish on this mask is sure to turn some heads. A real stand-out piece that is among the most unique paintball masks.
6. Sly Profit Full Camo Goggles - Seamless Fit
The Sly Profit Full Camo Goggles has an exceptional design, full of details. It is a one size fits all mask, which will not leave you with any doubts about your purchase. It will enhance the quality of your occasional hobby.
Look like a pro
This incredible design will give you a kickstart for paintballing. It is a unique and petite design that delivers a classy look. The Sly Profit Full Camo comes in a range of bright colors including, red and neon green. A new paintball mask deserves to be flashy.
The mask is created with high-quality materials. It looks and works as a durable battleground mask. Get the real power, robotic feel with the use of Sly Profit Full Camo Goggles.
It has a non-replaceable paintball lens. Sly usually comes in tinted black but also available in a smoked gradient and clear lens. The lens has a fog protection coat on the inside, preventing any lag in your activity due to heavy breathing.
The lens also features a thermal protection layer. Moreover, a protective film that protects the interior and exterior of the lens from scratches, isn’t that all we need? To protect and keep your mask safe from damage, Sly provides a microfiber bag.
The unique protective qualities of this mask do not add to its weight. However, as the lens are irreplaceable, any crack or distorted vision will lead to it being completely useless. It won’t be possible to replace the lens if you feel any discomfort or it is not suitable for your wants.
Comfort over your ears
A fashionable mask can add the spark to your paintballing character. The Sly has ear protection foams and two straps for adjustment around your face along with a chinstrap.
You would not find any difficulty in vision with its wide frame. There is a possibility you won’t feel the mask sitting on your face as it is so lightweight. Sly is one of the best masks you will find, so do not miss out on this opportunity.
7. Special Edition Paintball Goggles - Superior Peripheral Vision
Are you looking for a product with the most features? Dye Special Edition will not disappoint you! It includes functional, quick, and easy to use features that will give you the finest experience. Do not hesitate in a purchase that will last you a lifetime, a favorite in paintball reviews.
Superior peripheral vision
An important detail to look at such a product is the vision it will provide you. The Dye Special Edition’s lens gives you a 260 view and the highest vertical and horizontal edgy vision. Take a glance at every little thing around you.
A key feature is the quality of the lens. Dye includes a double painted lens, which provides thermal protection. Never miss out on going paintballing just because of the temperature, as this mask will give you the required UV protection.
Its unidirectional venting element will keep you fresh and sweat-free. The mask has a built-in visor and lightest weight. Weight matters as it would not be a burden on your head and cause any discomfort.
No fogging, no compromises
Along with thermal protection, its lens allows fog-free vision. No more deformed and distorted views will come in your way. For precision and clarity, this is one of the most excellent lenses, you will be able to find. It can compete with some of the best paintball masks because of this.
It can compete with some of the best full-head paintball masks because of this.
Other than that, you have the option to change from one lens to another as it suits you. The fascinating aspect is how fast you can change a lens on this mask. Its innovative ¼ buckle lets you change the lens within 10 seconds. It is easier and faster than other masks you’ll find.
Listen and play
This mask will deliver sound in its highest quality. It has multi-ported earpieces that allow every nearby voice to be heard and to be responded to. Hence, you will not stay behind in terms of clear vision and sound.
A great package
There is nothing that you will not like in this mask, from its lightweight to fantastic features, making it a wise choice.
8. Push Unite Paintball Goggles Mask - Unbeatable deal
The Push Unite is the lightest, smallest mask you will find. Comes within a satisfactory price range, hence not a steal on your wallet.
Adjust it to your face
This mask is highly adjustable according to your face and head shape and size. It has two straps for the back and chin to keep it tight in place. You won’t feel a tiny bit of discomfort. With the use of Allen tools, the nose bridge can be modified to your need.
You will get the exact precise control you need on the mask, that will hug your face features remarkably. When a product cuts on price, usually its features and quality drop down as well, but this is not the case here.
You will not find a mask with an ideal fit. Get a customized fit with improved comfort for your face and an exceptionally functional mask. This extraordinary mask comes in decent grey and black colors with a silver lens and a beautiful olive color with a bright red lens.
Forget about fog
Push unite has a foolproof seal that eliminates fogging caused by heavy breathing. Its ventilation will keep you chill and relaxed throughout your game. Look and play dashingly without any dysfunctional quality of the mask.
Aesthetics are a top priority
It is a sleek design, unlike other bulky masks. It will stand out in a room full of paintball masks due to its efficient, delicately small look. You will not feel a single piece of this mask just hanging around without any function.
Improve the aesthetic of your game without feeling trapped in a mask, as there is plenty of room in the Push Unite Paintball. The protection of the ear is an essential element, and this design fulfills that requirement.
The Push Unite Paintball Mask will be an incredible choice if you like to play for consecutive hours. Communicate and see clearly with this incredible unique sort and compete effectively. This mask ranks well in our top 10 paintball masks list and is surely a badass paintball mask.
9. Dye Precision I4 Thermal Paintball - Breathable
If you love paintballing and are looking for something to help improve your vision without it being overly expensive, The Dye Precision i4 Goggle System is the best paintball mask available for you. It is the tiniest, lightest, and fastest vision goggle device platform available.
Unique anti-fog lens
The i4 sets standards for anti-fog technology in the industry. The thermal lens leads the visual clarity industry and offers a field of vision free of distortion and fog, whatever the environment. That’s a guarantee.
Anatomically correct fitting
The i4 mask design, which is anatomically correct, provides the most exceptional comfort for all facial contours. The i4 is checked twice against the latest ASTM and CE levels of effects.
No matter what your head shape or size is, this mask will mold around your features to keep you snug in a match. Forget about having your mask bob up and down when you run around.
Focus on breathability
Precise blade angling and established venting layout make the i4 breathable and relaxed during long days of play. Protection of the ear is essential, but it doesn’t have to be bulky. The i4 system features a compression designed earpiece that is adjustable, and incredibly lightweight.
Stay dry and fresh
The patented dual-stage foam incorporates cell foam technology, which is open and closed. Built initially to ‘cover’ sweat and moisture away from your skin, dual-stage foam offers an incredibly durable barrier between your eyes and transpiration.
Be ready in seconds
This also comes with a rapid lens change device with a groundbreaking patent, allowing lens changes in ten seconds or less. This is as easy as pressing on each inner tab arm and then moving it forward, freeing the i4 lens for replacement immediately.
Loaded with features
Through taking your voice forward, Scream Multi-Directional Venting makes communicating with teammates effortless. Tiger Teeth buckles are built to bite in during vigorous competition and protect the harness.
It’s definitely a good paintball mask to consider, and can be the badass paintball mask that makes you stand out!
10. JT Spectra Flex 8 - Detachable Visor
Are you looking for a durable, all-purpose, cool paintball mask? Well then, you’ve come to the right place. JT Spectra Flex 8 Full Head and Face Coverage mask is the most upgradable modular mask system due to its high performance, comfort, and versatility.
Its full coverage makes it stand out from its competitors. Strong materials that cover the head, face, ears, and neck protect the wearer from any possible injures. The extra protection does not add extra weight; the mask is lightweight and easy to wear.
Flex 8 is top-notch for protection: the flexible plastic materials. It absorbs the impact of objects and balls thrown in the course of the game. It’s durable and you won’t need to replace them often unlike with other masks.
Choose your fit
Due to the full-coverage design, the mask fits very securely. A chin strap is present and is adaptable to the wearer’s needs. The mask is adjustable as one size fits all. Most of the cover materials are removable. For example, the backplate can be removed as easily it is attached.
Another detachable part is the visors. Made from Dual Fusion co-molding technology, these visors don’t fog up even after hours. The lens is fog-free and the wearer is able to breathe and see easily.
No compromises on vision
Playing a good game without a good vision isn’t possible. The lens has a good vision, and you can see the ground perfectly. The lens isn’t cracking easily but can be replaced if the need arises.
Another strong suit of the JT Spectra Flex 8 is its padding. From the goggle foaming to interior foam pads, the foam is made out of dense, compact material. This way, the pads will outstand the shock from any accident.
With its all-rounder qualities, Flex 8 has another trump card up its sleeve: its affordability. Falling in mid-range prices, Flex 8 not only offers maximum protection and anti-fogginess but all that and more at a reasonable price. It’s a great tactical paintball mask.
Best Paintball Mask 2021 - Detailed Buying Guide
You’re ready to make the decision for yourself. Whatever you choose, you should keep the following pointers in mind so that you select a mask with the most utility to you at its price. When shopping for paintball masks, you need to consider these key aspects: lenses, frame, ergonomics, and additional features.
Pro Tip: There’s no way you can buy a fantastic paintball mask if you aren’t aware of the available brands. Just for the kick, look at our best paintball mask brands and discover your gear!
Lens: Lenses do the all-important job of protecting your eyes while allowing you to look around during a match. As such, you need to consider the following aspects:
- Peripheral vision
- Anti-fog coating
- Lens quality
Peripheral vision: It is intuitive that peripheral vision, especially on the sides, is key to performing well in a paintball arena. You need to look around to see where your teammates are and also to catch the lurking enemy.
You should ideally buy an awesome paintball mask with good peripheral vision as this is more than just a quality-of-life consideration.
If low-price and high-quality is what you need, check out our best cheap paintball masks for a change.
Anti-fog coating: Cheaper masks have single pane lenses that fog easier, despite having an anti-fog coating. Double pane lenses, also referred to as thermal lenses, have two panes sealed together. These are able to maintain the temperature so that the lens doesn’t fog as you breathe in an intense encounter.
For more on foggy lenses, check our Best Anti-Fog Paintball Mask.
Double pane lenses cost more, so if your budget is fixed, you can settle for a good quality mask with single pane lenses too.
Lens quality: Here brand consideration is important and reviews are useful to consider. Cheaper masks might seem like they tick all the boxes, but may skimp on the quality of the lenses themselves which may scratch or have a distorted view.
Frame and ergonomics: The frame is the skeleton of the mask. It is wise to consider the following aspects of a mask’s frame:
- Build materials
- Foam quality
Build materials: Cheaper masks are often built with semi-rigid plastic. Although these provide great protection, they cannot mold to your head. These may be uncomfortable to wear for longer periods of time or if you have distinct facial features.
Awesome paintball masks are made of softer materials that can mold to your face and reduce the surface area exposed to opponent paintballs. Regardless, these have great protection. To be on the safe side, always read about safety certifications when shopping for a paintball mask.
Foam quality: Price plays a similar role in this aspect. Higher priced models have layered foams that fit well to your face, ensuring a comfortable experience. Ear foams are also important to consider as hard, bad quality ones can make the entire experience very uncomfortable.
Some masks also offer a quick foam release feature that allows you to swap foams quickly before a match. If you’re a hardcore enthusiast, you may find this feature useful!
Coverage: Most masks have good coverage over all the sensitive parts of your head. Weight also tends to depend on how these areas are covered. Lightweight construction can make your task much more comfortable, while still ensuring safety is not compromised.
Ventilation: Not only is good ventilation important to dissipate heat and allow easy breathing when you’re out of breath but also to communicate with your team.
Models that skimp on ventilation can make your paintballing experience a choking mess. In other cases, your teammates will be baffled by your muffled voice trying to give orders or spot an enemy. We advise you to put the mask on yourself and see how it breathes before you make the purchase.
Strap: This is an often overlooked part of good paintball face masks. Poor quality straps have to be readjusted all the time, and if they come loose in the middle of a heated battle, you’re in a tough spot all of a sudden. Bad mask straps are both an inconvenience and a safety hazard.
Hence we recommend that you pay special attention to how your paintball face mask’s strap is designed. An excellent way to judge the quality of the strap fitting is by trying the mask on. You should make sure that the strap fits your face well and stays at the tension you set.
Look for beads or a toothed clamp as these ensure that your strap is stable. Some higher-end models even offer ratchet straps to precisely configure the tension in your mask strap.
Additional Features: When it comes to added features, paintball masks have a large offering. Some offer brand-exclusive customization options like a range of lenses, visors, straps, and even fans.
Consider aesthetic options when you purchase your paintball helmet mask and look at what provisions it has for upgrades down the road. A good initial investment should of course be future proof. As an enthusiast, you may want to swap out your stock lenses with high-quality chromatic lenses that make you stand out in the field.
An upgradeable strap is an excellent addition that allows you to improve your mask considerably, later down the road. There are plenty of colours available on accessories that can be great for pink paintball masks, red paintball masks, and so on.
High-end models also feature camera mounts to record your favourite moments with an action camera with minimal setup. Other paintball helmet masks have useful gimmicks like automated voice updates with wireless syncing. Choosing the best paintball mask is all about deciding what’s more important for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between single pane and dual pane lenses?
Single pane lenses are made of a single pane of polycarbonate material that gets the job done when it comes to keeping your eyes safe from paintballs. They often have an anti-fog coating but don’t eliminate it completely.
Dual-pane lenses have two panes molded together than ensures good maintenance of temperature. This means much less fogging than their single-pane counterparts but does increase the price! The best paintball masks have thermal lenses
2. Do I need a smoke lens in my paintball helmet?
Smoke lenses are great for use in the sunny outdoors as they naturally mute the sunlight so that you are more comfortable face a direction with the sun. They are a great addition and you can do without them, but we recommend you pick them up if possible.
3. Are different skirts and lenses compatible with my chosen mask?
Compatible lenses are usually supplied by the same brand as your mask’s brand. You should check product descriptions to make sure that your chosen ones are compatible.
4. Are all paintball helmets fit for rainy/snowy conditions?
As a general rule, good anti-fog lenses allow you to play well no matter how the weather turns out. The only problem during rain is fogging and you should opt for good thermal lenses to avoid it.
5. Will any paintball helmet fit my face?
That is not a guarantee at all. You should try out masks personally to make sure that they are your size and that they fit well with your facial features. Many cheaper masks have a single size option that provides a loose fit. Make sure your strap is reliable or your mask won’t seat well during the game.
6. What should I look for in a strap?
Toothed straps are reliable ones that don’t come loose. Look for a good locking mechanism that will endure the blows of battle. Ratchet straps are great for precise control of tension. Choosing the best paintball mask is a lot about choosing a mask that stays in place!
7. Should I opt for subdued colors or flashy ones?
Subdued colors are great to stay stealthy and we recommend this for serious professional players. At the same time, flash colors allow you to stand out in the field, and if you can endure the risk of being extremely easy to spot, we say go for them! Paintball mask designs are very varied.
8. How long does face foam last?
This depends entirely on use. If you have intense rounds with lots of sweating, expect your foam to get dirty and damp. They can be used for as long as you’re comfortable with them and this is a personal decision.
9. Are quick-change lenses for me?
It depends. If you’re starting out and want to save your wallet, don’t opt for features like quick release as they can raise your price point unnecessarily. As long as you’re okay with taking a few minutes to read your gear before a match, this shouldn’t be a problem.
At the same time, you’ll love the ease of quick-change lenses if you’re serious about the hobby.
10. Should I ensure good peripheral vision or save some bucks on it?
We would advise you to ensure you can look around well in your mask. This is something that will compromise your potential in paintballing arenas so don’t cheap out on it.
All things considered, paintball masks are simple purchases but offer a depth of variety. Choosing the best paintball mask in 2021 is all about picking one that suits your use in particular. Don’t be afraid of splurging some more money if you want particular luxuries or want to have an amazing mask design.
If you’re starting, try to get something that works across all measures, and focus your finances towards specific features when you realize what’s more important to you when it comes to paintball goggles.