Airsoft masks are an important part for any airsoft game, considering the fact that the projectile force of the airsoft gun/marker can be extremely strong, so that protection of your face, and especially your eye is extremely important. By wearing the proper airsoft mask, you wouldn’t need to worry about face or eye injuries and can concentrate on your performance, and most importantly, having fun.
But, why is a full-face airsoft mask so important? What are the advantages? Is it really necessary to have your entire face covered while playing airsoft?
Advantages of Full Face Airsoft Masks
To understand the advantages, we must first understand the counterpart of full-face airsoft masks: the half-face alternative. Technically, the difference between the two is the built-in google or visor on full-faced airsoft masks, while half-face only protect your jaw and lower face below the eye, designed to be worn with a separate goggle.
Therefore, the key difference between the two is the simplicity of full-face airsoft masks, where you shouldn’t have to worry about buying a separate goggle, ear protections, and even caps.
The downside? They are less customizable, while both half-face and full-face airsoft masks can provide equal protection when worn properly.
Therefore, full-face airsoft masks are much preferred by beginners, since they wouldn’t have to worry too much about mix and matching different gears. Separate goggles also provide better aiming, since it is easier to align your marker stock, another advantage of the half face airsoft masks.
After we have learned the difference, are there different types of full face airsoft masks?
Different Types of Full Face Airsoft Masks
There are generally two different types of full face airsoft masks, differentiated by their construction materials: plastic and steel mesh. Here are their advantages and disadvantages to each other.
Plastic Airsoft Masks
Plastic airsoft masks are the most common choice for most players nowadays because they provide the best overall protection, due to the fact that they won’t easily shatter upon impact. So, to summarize:
- Protects really well against BB impact
- Doesn’t easily shatter, and even when shattered, the BB won’t reach your face
- Worse breathability so will need some kind of ventilation which might compromise protection
- Less comfortable overall
Steel Mesh Airsoft Masks
Steel mesh material, on the other hand, provides more breathability and is relatively lighter (although plastic is already very light), so it is more comfortable overall with better ventilation. However, they shatter more easily, especially on close range shots. To summarize:
- Better ventilation, so they are more comfortable to wear for prolonged use
- Lighter overall
- Worse overall protection than plastic airsoft masks
- Shatters easily on point blank shots
Features You Should Look For In Airsoft Masks
A lot of different airsoft masks available in the market are advertising to be the best, offering various features and special values that admittedly, can confuse buyers.
To help, here are some key features you should look for before buying full face airsoft masks.
As mentioned, ventilation is really important, especially on plastic airsoft masks. When you are selecting airsoft masks with venting, the important thing to consider is to make sure the ventilation holes are smaller than 6mm, the typical size of airsoft and BB projectiles. This way, you can prevent penetration under the mask, that can cause harm to your face.
Built-in eye protection is the reason to choose full face airsoft masks, to begin with, so it’s important to weigh the quality. Typically, the eye protection comes in the form of visor or goggles. There are also eye protections made from wire mesh, but as mentioned, it might shatter during close range shots, so it is not advisable.
The biggest concern about visor or goggles is fog, which can build up during prolonged use. Most decent airsoft masks got their visor or goggles thermally treated, so they are fog resistant.
The strap system will determine the adjustability of the mask. This is important since human faces have various features with each individual. So, it is advisable to choose airsoft masks with several straps to ensure the airsoft masks to fit properly. Some airsoft masks have up to six straps.
There is also the matter of strap materials. Most airsoft masks offer elastic band straps. However, generally, pull-on straps are a better choice for most people, since they will keep the mask in place even on sudden movements.
Best Full Face Airsoft Masks
After we have learned all the considerations you should have before buying a full face airsoft mask, here are some of the best full face airsoft masks available in the market that we have tested.
The first thing you will notice from the OutdoorMaster Full Face Airsoft Mask is the design. Although it is a matter of preference, the OutdoorMaster Airsoft Mask is one of the flashiest around, and certainly, will appeal to a lot of players.
Yet, this mask is not all about looks, as it is made from high-quality resin which is very durable, and also covered with six-month warranty. However, you might notice that the eye protection is made of wire mesh, which as we have mentioned, not ideal for high-velocity projectiles. So, to summarize:
- Great looks
- Very durable, high-quality resin material
- Six straps for maximum adjustability and comfort
- Wire mesh eye protection will not fog
- Unsuitable for close range combat or matches with high-velocity rifles, the eye protection might shatter
- Will need separate ear protections
Another mask with great looks. The gas mask design is not only about looks either, since it will also act as ventilation system allowing better comfort. The eye protection is a pair of wide lens goggle, so they are durable even for point blank shots.
The Invader King Airsoft Mask is made from fiberglass, which is lighter yet stronger than metal mesh.
- Great, gas-mask inspired design
- Wide lens with great field of vision
- Very comfortable with great venting system and internal cushion
- The lens is not fog resistant
- Not very durable
JT Sports is a prominent brand for paintball and airsoft masks, and the JT Sports Elite lives up to their big name. The main selling point is the very wide, 180-degree lens that is thermally treated for fog resistance. The venting system is also great, allowing breathability and comfort, and the mask is very lightweight.
- Great venting system
- Very wide anti-fog lens for great visibility
- Lightweight and durable
- The size is too compact for some players with bigger heads
- Limited adjustability
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I look for in an airsoft mask?
It’s important that you find a durable mask that is ASTM rated. The most protective masks are made from plastic and high-quality mesh, even some are manufactured with metal for extra durability. You can choose between full face protection, or only eye, mouth, and nose protection. Be cautious of what you purchase, as there are many other factors you need to take into consideration. For more details, feel free to re-read this article and take notes so that you won’t miss any important feature that a qualitative airsoft mask should have.
What material are airsoft masks made of?
Airsoft half masks are usually mesh and nylon. Full-faced masks can be made from plastic or polymer. However, what matters most is the eye protection that they provide. Plastic and steel mesh are the best overall materials you can choose, but you should still consider eye protection the most, as airsoft can permanently damage your vision.
Can I use a paintball mask for airsoft?
Technically, they are interchangeable, but we don’t necessarily recommend doing so. Keep in mind that, despite their similarities, these two sports are a bit different and you should focus on having the proper protection in both scenarios. With that being said, only do so if you have a lot of trust that your opponents and teammates are careful enough as to not shoot toward your face. Otherwise, we recommend getting the best possible protection in either game as to avoid any damage to your eyes, nose, mouth, and so forth. Trust us, you don’t want to be exposed!
How long does it take to master airsoft guns?
If you have experience with real weapons, then airsoft guns should be a cakewalk. Nearly the same principles apply, except that airsoft weapons aren’t lethal. But don’t be fooled by that fact, as they can still leave hefty bruises and noticeable injuries, especially if they hit sensitive areas.
The Bottom Line
Protection and comfort should be your first and foremost concerns when choosing an airsoft mask. Style is of course, also important since they can be used to intimidate opponents, but it won’t be much use when your airsoft mask doesn’t provide enough protection or is a hindrance when wearing it.
Also, considering the heavy duty activity you will wear the mask in, make sure to always consider a product with great warranty.