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Old 11-03-2013, 01:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The Mask Project. Picture Aplenty, slow connections beware.

The Mask Project, or, The Mask I got with my Starter Package is Really Bad and I Want to Upgrade

The purpose here is simple: an apples-to-apples comparison of mid- and high-end masks in use today, so players can see the size, profiles, and coverage of each. Finding and compiling pictures of each mask isn't particularly difficult, but finding pictures that facilitate comparisons is. So, here are most of the masks that one might consider when they want to upgrade, or just want to switch, on the same face, from the same angles.

Here is the list of masks I used:
Dye: Invision, i3 Pro, i4
Empire: Avatar, EFlex, EVents, Pro-EFlex (EFlex frame, Proflex bottom)
HK: KLR
JT: Boat bottoms, E-Proflex (JT frame EFlex bottom), Flex 8, Proflex, Proteus, Spectra Proshield
Proto: Axis Pro, Switch FS
Sly: Profit
VForce: Grill, Profiler, Vantage
Virtue: Vio
And a couple of homebrews.

You can find reviews of most of these masks right here.

I shot each from the front, with my head turned about 45 degrees, turned almost 90 degrees, and from the side. The last two are pretty similar, but I think different enough that it's worth showing both.

A few notes:
I couldnít get a hold of all of the masks I wanted within my budget. Specifically, I didnít evaluate a Save Phace or Empire Vidar.

I have a narrow head, so some of these look pretty tight, but theyíre actually on the wider side. Sly Profits and JT Boat bottoms benefit from this. On the other hand, I have a somewhat long face, and a beard, so my chin might be (or appear to be) exposed in some cases, while yours may not be.

In other words, donít take my word for it. Try the mask on before you make a decision.

Also, use the beard as a convenient way to gauge coverage. If I was really hardcore, Iíd have sharpied 5mm-spaced tic-marks on my face and neck, but alas, I have a job and want to be able to walk around in public.

And feel free to download any of these for a side-by-side comparison. Help yourself.

Without further ado, here we go, front shots first:

Dye I3 Pro:


Dye I4


Dye Invision:


Empire Avatar (yeah it was Invert and now BT, but it's all Empire):


Empire EFlex:


Empire EVents:


Empire E-Proflex:


HK KLR:


JT Boat Bottoms:


JT Pro-Eflex:


JT Flex 8:


JT Proflex:


JT Proteus:


JT Spectra Proshield:


Proto Axis Pro:


Proto Switch FS:


Sly Profit:


VForce Grill:


VForce Profiler:


VForce Vantage:


Virtue VIO:


Custom JT/Empire thing:


JT Flex 8, bottoms cut, custom ears (not much of a difference from this angle):



Now at a roughly 45 degree angle:

Dye I3 Pro:


Dye I4


Dye Invision:


Empire Avatar:


Empire EFlex:


Empire EVents:


Empire E-Proflex:


HK KLR:


JT Boat Bottoms:


JT Pro-Eflex:


JT Flex 8:


JT Proflex:


JT Proteus:


JT Spectra Proshield:


Proto Axis Pro:


Proto Switch FS:


Sly Profit:


VForce Grill:


VForce Profiler:


VForce Vantage:


Virtue VIO:


Custom JT/Empire thing:


JT Flex 8, bottoms cut, custom ears:


Turned almost 90 degrees:

Dye I3 Pro:


Dye I4


Dye Invision:


Empire Avatar:


Empire EFlex:


Empire EVents:


Empire E-Proflex:


HK KLR:


JT Boat Bottoms:


JT Pro-Eflex:


JT Flex 8:


JT Proflex:


JT Proteus:


JT Spectra Proshield:


Proto Axis Pro:


Proto Switch FS:


Sly Profit:


VForce Grill:


VForce Profiler:


VForce Vantage:


Virtue VIO:


Custom JT/Empire thing:


JT Flex 8, bottoms cut, custom ears:



And from the side. Differences in coverage are readily apparent from this angle:

Dye i3 Pro:


Dye i4


Dye Invision:


Empire Avatar:


Empire EFlex:


Empire EVents:


Empire Pro-EFlex:


HK KLR:


JT Boat Bottoms:


JT E-Proflex:


JT Flex 8:


JT Proflex:


JT Proteus:


JT Spectra Proshield:


Proto Axis Pro:


Proto Switch FS:


Sly Profit:


VForce Grill:


VForce Profiler:


VForce Vantage:


Virtue VIO:


Custom JT/Empire thing:


JT Flex 8, bottoms cut, custom ears:



Things I learned and/or opinions I formed doing this:

Wow, the Switch FS is really heavy.

The Proteus and Axis Pro have about the same face coverage (Proteus wins on ear coverage), but the Axis is WAY more comfortable.

Flex 8ís: Great value, surprisingly good coverage. Except for ears, comparable to Profilers.

Dye i4ís are absurdly tight, but donít feel like it. Boat bottoms are surprisingly tight, but they feel like it.

JT/Empire is the only manufacturer that seems to have put any effort into their foam. Theirs is clearly the best, and it doesnít matter whoís #2-5, because theyíre all pretty similar (except Sly, which is love-or-hate).

JT/Empire doesnít monopolize the ďflexible bottomĒ thing. Grills, Profits, and the Switch FS are pretty close to Proflexes, and Avatars arenít far behind.

Goggle manufacturers need to make ear coverage as important as eye coverage. Except for VForce and Sly, they donít seem to care.

I wish Empire still made the Avatars in solid black. That was a great mask, and Iíd probably still be using it if I hadnít broken mine a few years ago.

For great coverage and a thermal lens, hard to beat the Vantage.

HK KLR's are absurdly small.

Alright, thatís my take after all this. A big thank you to everyone who sold me a mask or two on the cheap so I could do this. I hope this helps people pick a mask.
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Last edited by Diomedes; 05-01-2014 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's not an i3, it's a plain 'invision'. Good project you have going!
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for doing this!
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Old 11-03-2013, 02:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Awesome that you took the time to do this! This is incredibly helpful.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you for putting the effort helped me already
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Self_DeFenCe* View Post
It's not an i3, it's a plain 'invision'. Good project you have going!
Noted, thank you.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Great job! This should be stickied! It is good to see how they "line up" on your face. I wear a flex 8 full helmet because I wanted ear protection and back of the head protection (not to mention it takes the weight of my helmetcam off my nose and puts it on the top of the head so it isn't noticable).

I also HATE getting hit in the forehead, and looking at those pics, lots of the popular masks have a good 1 inch part of your forehead exposed. Which would make for some nice "work" welts on Mondays... Especially if you have 1/4 inch hair like me...
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeEnterprise View Post
Great job! This should be stickied! It is good to see how they "line up" on your face. I wear a flex 8 full helmet because I wanted ear protection and back of the head protection (not to mention it takes the weight of my helmetcam off my nose and puts it on the top of the head so it isn't noticable).

I also HATE getting hit in the forehead, and looking at those pics, lots of the popular masks have a good 1 inch part of your forehead exposed. Which would make for some nice "work" welts on Mondays... Especially if you have 1/4 inch hair like me...
I was thinking of the flex 8 helmet for the same reasons you talk about here. I use a grill and a contour mounted on the right side of my mask. I've missed a lot of good shots with it over there and want to mount the camera on top of my head. I also keep taking bell ringers to the forehead and top of the head due to my play style. Sounds like the flex 8 is my next purchase.

Thanks!
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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^full head Flexes are great,bought 2 for my 12 yr old nephew
Thanks for this post,really informative
Agree the ear protection is lacking for most masks
I still use my original Spectra 7 Proshield I bough new in 1995
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