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pearcem 08-07-2016 08:55 AM

Mask Recommendation
 
Well, a friend of mine came to play this weekend, and wants to buy a nice starter/mid end gear set. He is actually heeding the advice to buy a good quality mask, and then worry about all the other stuff after that.

Looking for a good thermal mask in the $50-$100 range. He is ultimately going to make the purchase, so I am trying to get a list of 4 or 5 I can recommend.

1) Need a good thermal lens and venting, it's humid here pretty much year around, and summers are consistently 90+.

2) Not really interested in any type of soft bottom

3) He liked my I4, but wanted something that provides better coverage over his jaw.

No glasses or other special requirements. When I recently got a new mask, I went straight to the I4 and didn't really shop around, so I am just not 100% sure what else might be worth buying in his price range, and don't have any other firsthand experience with other newer masks.

Thanks!

Legolas 08-07-2016 09:41 AM

vforce grillz

loved my previous proflexes, but I had the ones that the lenses were a major pain in the rear to take out. I know that this feature on newer flexes may have been changed, but the grillz are great for what your friend needs:

1) thermal lenses are available and even with the single lenses I never had fogging issues in triple digit texas heat.

2) While you may have a bounce off of the bottoms of the grillz once in a while and they feel pliable, they are not the gateway to a split-lip every time you take a shot to the mouth that the flexes are. They are not hard like some of the cheaper masks, so if you are looking for a hard shield... maybe not. but, the grillz never let me down the way the soft flexes did in the past.

3) always try on masks if you can. The grillz should provide the jawline/ear coverage that some masks lack. It always was a really uneasy feeling using a flex8 with my ears sticking out.

psycho91 08-07-2016 09:57 AM

The best bang for your buck is the jt pro Sheild I believe is want they call it, $50 new and it has hard ears and bottoms and he can change what he doesn't like, and they come with thermal lenses, and there's no short supply of parts, I use an old jt proteus and love it, it's kind of like an old school i4 but fits bigger heads better

JKR 08-07-2016 12:24 PM

I have been researching masks lately and it seems to me that the best bang for the buck right now is the Empire Helix. Comes with the same thermal lens as the eFlex but has no soft rubber in the mask construction. $30 is hard to beat for this mask.

GanonsGrin 08-07-2016 01:27 PM

I wear a proto switch FS mask with an amber yellow thermal lens and absolutely love it. It's a little bit larger than most masks these days, but it gives GREAT jaw protection, has really good shoulder clearance when looking left or right, and breathes very well also. I wore one at Fulda last year and never fogged one single time. Temps and humidity here in East TN are similar to what you're used to and I can't recall a time when I have ever fogged up. On top of all of that, lens changes are crazy fast too.

https://www.ansgear.com/Proto_Switch_...ingleblack.htm

JonM 08-07-2016 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GanonsGrin (Post 3296791)
I wear a proto switch FS mask with an amber yellow thermal lens and absolutely love it. It's a little bit larger than most masks these days, but it gives GREAT jaw protection, has really good shoulder clearance when looking left or right, and breathes very well also. I wore one at Fulda last year and never fogged one single time. Temps and humidity here in East TN are similar to what you're used to and I can't recall a time when I have ever fogged up. On top of all of that, lens changes are crazy fast too.

Proto Switch FS Paintball Mask - Black

As much as I like my Proto Axis Pro (the big brother to the Switch), I have a hard time recommending them to people looking for a new mask. Dye is killing off its Proto soft goods line and it's only a matter of time before replacement lenses become a rarity without resorting to new old stock. Instead, I'd look at something like the profilers or grillz.

JKR 08-07-2016 03:19 PM

FYI...regarding my above post.

Anyone with an eFlex/eVents looking to get a clear dual pane thermal lens: consider buying the Helix mask and pulling off the lens as the replacement. You pay like $5 more than the replacement lens but in exchange, you have a visor, extra lens retention pieces and a spare strap if you want to use it.

pbalien73 08-07-2016 05:18 PM

I sold my i4 and got a eflex (used). Foam is a bit stiff, but best coverage and comfort.

CoyoteTrang 08-07-2016 05:42 PM

my vote is vforce profiler, it's pretty sleek, close to the face, good coverage, never fogged for me yet and i've had it 2 years, no fans, fogtech, mods etc. with the thermal lens it's about 80-90 bucks so it's pretty affordable. i hear good things about the vio contour as well but that's around 140-150 with the lens.

pearcem 08-08-2016 09:30 AM

Thanks for the input, definitely got some good info to go off of.

jonnyload3 08-08-2016 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoyoteTrang (Post 3296828)
my vote is vforce profiler, it's pretty sleek, close to the face, good coverage, never fogged for me yet and i've had it 2 years, no fans, fogtech, mods etc. with the thermal lens it's about 80-90 bucks so it's pretty affordable. i hear good things about the vio contour as well but that's around 140-150 with the lens.

Seconded. Love my Profiler, also great for people with bigger heads.

panhead4411 08-08-2016 05:16 PM

My primary mask is a Sly/Annex MI-7 Thermal. ($37 retail) I've had it for 3 years now, and even with a compromised thermal layer that lens has only fogged a couple times in literally the most extreme situations. Great facial and head coverage. For whatever reason there is a lot of animosity toward this brand, but personally, i have never had those issues with it...if i had, it would not be the mask that i wear 85% of the time (i help run a local field and i travel to lots of big scenario events in my tri-state)

I also have a VForce Grill. Less great facial and head coverage. ($80+)

inert_static 08-15-2016 06:17 PM

Another +1 for the eflex

seajay 08-25-2016 03:12 PM

Love my profiler. Just recently replaced the strap and last year replaced the thermal clear lens ($25 on amazon).

I have the cool spiky visor top thing instead of the sun-visor and it does a good job of getting some head bounces in and protecting your forehead. :)

If you can though, go to a shop and try on as many masks as you can. They don't all fit the same head the same way, no matter how amazing the mask is it might not be the best fit for you.

lew 08-25-2016 07:17 PM

I've been using JT's for a couple decades. I have three Pro-Flexes now. Love 'em.

psycho91 08-26-2016 12:15 AM

With everyone having problems with lenses I dont think jt's will be the go to anymore unless they get it together

Chappy 08-26-2016 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psycho91 (Post 3301915)
With everyone having problems with lenses I dont think jt's will be the go to anymore unless they get it together

Remember, " everyone" is a handful of guys on the internet. Many of us have not seen these problems yet. I'll be keeping an eye out, but my newer lenses have not had issues.

jellyghost 08-26-2016 11:11 AM

I use an old JT proteus, and it has beaten out the new masks in my collection.
The Helix is a good mask for occasional play.
My least favorite is the Sly Profit. I bought it new, and it is really hard to have a conversation because it muffles your ears too much.

paint magnet 08-26-2016 11:33 AM

+1 for the VForce Profiler. I have owned my for ten years and was happy to see they still sold replacement parts.

It's not the nicest or newest thing on the market but hard to beat for the money.

chrislognshot 08-28-2016 05:31 PM

as for someone that has glass. best option of mask would be try them on to see how they fit first you can. other than that go with what they said. since mask might fit one person really good. where another it might not feel good to that person.

Tick 08-29-2016 10:35 PM

I ran JT for years...still have (3)...I drunk bought a Dye 8 or something...blue dino skin...anyway...that Dye never fogs...I'm 59 and like IPA...never fog is huge for me!!

EL17E 76 09-01-2016 01:45 PM

EVS ... This is the only mask I have ever forgot I was actually wearing while playing ... And didn't feel like the first thing I wanted to do was take it off as soon as walking off the field. Took about half an hour to get used to the way the foam(which is IMO a great 3 layer setup)fits to the face. No fogging issues played in 90*+ and 80% humidity. Fit great with the beard and glasses and didn't feel like I was missing any coverage. FoV is great able to look down without having to fully pull my head down to see what I was walking on.

Locking tabs are interesting and easy to use as is removing the lens to clean.

Only thing as with all new masks why don't they come with a microfiber cloth...yes the felt carry bag is great but not necessary for play.

I can also attest that the lens WILL do its job ... Took a point blank lens shot from about a foot away ... That'll teach me to tap a guy on the shoulder through a hole in the wall ... But the lens did its job while scaring the crap outta me. No separation of the thermal layer as has happened to me before with close shots to the lens with other systems.

JKR 09-01-2016 10:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EL17E 76 (Post 3303808)
EVS ... This is the only mask I have ever forgot I was actually wearing while playing ... And didn't feel like the first thing I wanted to do was take it off as soon as walking off the field. Took about half an hour to get used to the way the foam(which is IMO a great 3 layer setup)fits to the face. No fogging issues played in 90*+ and 80% humidity. Fit great with the beard and glasses and didn't feel like I was missing any coverage. FoV is great able to look down without having to fully pull my head down to see what I was walking on.

Locking tabs are interesting and easy to use as is removing the lens to clean.

Only thing as with all new masks why don't they come with a microfiber cloth...yes the felt carry bag is great but not necessary for play.

I can also attest that the lens WILL do its job ... Took a point blank lens shot from about a foot away ... That'll teach me to tap a guy on the shoulder through a hole in the wall ... But the lens did its job while scaring the crap outta me. No separation of the thermal layer as has happened to me before with close shots to the lens with other systems.

This post gives me hope! I have been looking at the EVS for a while. While putting aside some cash, I have been trying to read about the mask as much as possible. The lens removal combined with the ease of foam replacement and the apparent range of vision look like it combines to make a great mask.

EL17E 76 09-01-2016 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JKR (Post 3303975)
This post gives me hope! I have been looking at the EVS for a while. While putting aside some cash, I have been trying to read about the mask as much as possible. The lens removal combined with the ease of foam replacement and the apparent range of vision look like it combines to make a great mask.

Personally I love it...two things though...I still recommend test fit before purchase or purchase through a place that accepts returns with no fees/issues/hoops. Second there seems to be a slight issue with the stock lens and the thermal seal if left in direct sun or in an enclosed vehicle cabin for a length of time.

Oh and they make an HD lens for it...


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