The paintball mask is the most important piece of paintball gear that you can buy. If you can’t see, you can’t shoot your expensive gun! Buy a quality mask first.
All the masks listed below have been reviewed by various players and are good choices. Masks with significant problems have been excluded.
Players must wear a mask (preferably goggles with a “thermal lense” to avoid fogging) to avoid serious injury to the face, ears, and eyes. Regulated fields require masks, as well as marker plugs or barrel covers to play on the field.
When a paintball hits your lense, it is a good idea for safety reasons to immediately replace the lense (follow the manufacturers recommendations). Look for a mask with the ability to quickly change the lense.
Masks that have low profile are less likely to be hit. They will sit closer to the head, and because of less space between head and mask will offer less protection (it will hurt more). It is a trade off, and you must choose what you prefer.
Flexible masks are designed to absorb the energy of the incoming paintball so they don’t break, and just bounce off. The downside is you are more likely to feel it when the mask hits your head. Solid masks are more likely to break the paintball (then you are out of the game), but you won’t feel the hit. Professional players choose bounce ability over protection.
Any mask will fog given the right conditions. If the review says it doesn’t fog, it still might fog if the condition is extreme enough.
Tips for buying the best mask
- Choose a mask that does not fog; if it fogs, you can’t see.
- Consider the tradeoff between maximum protection and maximum bounce.
- Choose a mask with good peripheral vision.
- Consider comfort, ability to speak and hear, easy lense replacement, and durability.
- Avoid the many cheap paintball masks that sell for $25. For a few dollars more, you can get something that works.
Top 10 Paintball Mask Reviews
1) Proto Switch FS Paintball Mask Review
The Proto Switch FS paintball mask has a 1/4 turn snap lock system to keep the lense in place. Lenses can be replaced in seconds; comes with a thermal lense. Tiger tooth buckles secure the strap so they won’t loosen during game play. Multi-directional venting. 250 degrees of vision. The Switch FS comes in choice of 6 colors.
Summary: An overall excellent mask, the Switch FS protects well without being overly bulky. This mask doesn’t fog, provides quick lense change, is comfortable, breathable, and has good audio. Not intended for use with all types of eyeglasses.
The following points have been compiled from various Switch FS paintball mask reviews. When you read a mask’s reviews, patterns can be seen.
From 48 reviews:
• Outstanding field of vision, the Switch doesn’t obstruct peripheral vision at all. The lense is amazingly clear, it’s almost invisible.
• This Proto mask has a dual-pane thermal lense: no fogging.
• The FS lense is very quick and easy to remove and replace.
• Its easy to hear through the mask.
• The Switch FS offers good paintball bounces. The rubber is so soft, it helps to bounce long shots, but adds a high level of protection.
• This Proto is comfortable; there is a nice amount of foam to soften the hits.
• The FS is breathable and has good ventilation.
• The Switch has excellent protection, good overall coverage with no open areas. The mask covers below the chin, around the neck, and behind the head. One player commented that taking a hit to the head was easier to take than a hit to the body. The structure of the mask keeps it from smacking you in the face.
• The Proto is a very tight form fitting mask.
• The Switch FS is easy to clean.
• This mask is not very compact.
• The Proto has a flex-rubber lower which trades protection (you may take an occasional paintball to the mouth, jaw, or neck) for a chance to bounce a paintball. The upper part of this mask is tough plastic.
• The Switch is a bit heavy, but not enough to make anyone care.
• The strap is adjustable, so wearing head protection is possible with this mask.
• The olive color of the FS is good for woodsball.
• The Proto can be used with glasses if they are the right size; the mask worked for two players, but not for a third.
• Many players suggest this is the best mask.
Note: There are three models of this mask: EL, FS, and HE. Neither Proto’s website nor the user manual makes a distinction between the models. One player explained that the sides of the lens opening on the FS model are curved, and the sides of the lens opening on the EL are straight, and the lower part of the face protector on the EL model is molded as one piece, rather than the two-piece, two-color styling of the FS model. Another player explained that the FS has a soft shell, the EL a hard shell. Other than that, they appear to be the same, but the lense might be different.
VForceMorph Paintball Mask Review
The VForce Morph paintball mask is designed for pro-level players. The Morph has a spherical lense that provides maximum peripheral vision. The thermocured hardcoat of the anti-fog lense prevents fogging or scratching. The VForce has oversized ventilation ports for good air flow. The VForce has a zero-slip silicon strap and a flexible visor. The soft rubber visor and armor provide high bounce. The lense is available in clear, mirrored, or tinted. The mask is available in six colors.
Summary: The Morph is comfortable, has excellent vision, no fogging, quick change lense, easy to clean, good audio, good breathing and ventilation, and good bouncing traded for reduced protection which is still good. An excellent choice for a mask.
3rd Party Reviews
The following points have been compiled from various Morph paintball mask reviews. When you read a mask’s reviews, patterns can be seen.
From 50 out of 137 reviews:
• The Morph is very comfortable and fits snug. It’s easy to forget you are wearing a mask.
• The Morph’s lense is quick to change, easy to clean. The mask can be completely taken apart, cleaned, and reassembled in three minutes. The Morph’s lenses really clean up, and don’t scratch easily (but one player thought they did).
• This VForce has great audio, you can hear and be heard.
• This mask has a very clear lense, no visual distortion, and excellent peripheral vision. It’s easy to see the ground (good for running) with this mask. Without the visor you have an unobstructed view upward.
• The Morph has very good breathing, great air circulation, and never gets hot. One player reports his glasses don’t fog.
• The Morph does not fog. One player who sweats “like a pig” had no problem with his mask fogging.
• This VForce fits over glasses.
• The Morph has good front protection and good bouncing.
• The mask’s flexible bottom makes it easy to look down.
• One player reports the Morph is durable and will survive the brush and branches in woodsball, or sliding around in speedball.
• Not a lot of protection for the side of the head with the VForce. Solve this with a pair of JT’s firm ear protectors. Or, get a padded cap. One player wanted more forehead protection; even with a double knit cap, a paintball would find a gap between cap and mask and cut or welt his forehead, but this was minor. Another player stated the Morph was flexible on the ears, which would ring when you got hit there. The mask does not cover much of the neck/chin; get a neck protector.
• The Morph is a little bulky, but not much of a bother.
• The VForce is heavier, due to use of more rubber. The soft panels and front guard are good for deflecting or bouncing paintballs, as is the flexible visor.
• One player complained that the lense of the Morph sticks out a bit far, but this is what gives the mask it exceptional anti-fog properties. And there is more breathing room.
• If you want to trade for more protection and less bouncing, consider the Vforce Shield.
JT USA Proteus II Paintball Mask Review
The JT USA Proteus II paintball mask is designed for maximum protection with a minimum target zone using close fitting. The Proteus II is designed for maximum communication and fog resistance. A radio communication system upgrade is available. Comes in two colors.
Summary: The JT Proteus II is comfortable, has excellent peripheral vision, little to no fogging, good audio, low profile, and good bounces. The Proteus II’s lense is difficult to remove, there is not enough jaw protection for big heads, and some report the mask is hot and muggy.
The following points have been compiled from various Proteus II paintball mask reviews. When you read a mask’s reviews, patterns can be seen.
From 50 out of 82 reviews:
• The JT Proteus II is very comfortable, light (though a few report it’s a little heavy), the foam is soft but durable, you barely notice wearing it. Form fitting snug fit; no movement. There is just enough padding so it won’t hurt if you get hit.
• The JT USA mask has a wide field of view, 260° excellent peripheral vision.
• The Proteus II is easy cleaning, a wipe will remove paint without a smudge. Or a quick rinse with water.
• This mask does not fog unless you sweat like a horse or are breathing hard and its cold out. But one player reported fog just sitting in woodsball.
• It’s easy to hear with the Proteus II, and you can easily be heard.
• This JT Proteus II offers a smaller target, low profile.
• Good bounces.
• The JT USA visor keeps the sun and rain out of your eyes.
• It is difficult to remove and replace the lenses on the Proteus II.
• If your mouth is wide open, your chin is exposed. Depending on the size of your head, the Proteus II may not provide enough jaw protection. The rubber part of the mask that protects your chin could be longer. Not much neck protection; get a neck guard.
• The JT Proteus II lense is a two-piece; water can get in.
• The JT Proteus II ADVANCED COMMUNICATION thing is a nice try, but only works a little; it is not very effective.
• Not a lot of breathing room, the mask is close to your face; this is a trade off with low profile.
• The Proteus II is a bit small if you have a big head.
• A few players report the JT Proteus II gets hot inside, others report it doesn’t. A few report it tends to keep your re-breathed air inside the mask and can get muggy, but others say it is easy to breath with good ventilation.
• Any hat (toque, sock hat, beanie, tourniquet, baseball hat, bucket hat, etc.) will fit under the JT Proteus II comfortably.
• You can get a fan and tinted lense for this mask.
• One player’s comment: Chicks like this mask; buy it!
Our latest reviews of the best paintball masks for 2021.