Best Paintball Mask on Amazon:
Empire is an established manufacturer of quality paintball markers and equipment. While still in the budget range for paintball masks, the Empire Helix is a quality mask that provides excellent value for money. While there are a range of paintball masks that are under the $20 mark, I like to categorise those as disposable paintball masks. Good for one-time players, but if you are getting into paintball then the Empire Helix is the ideal mask for you.
Key Features of the Empire Helix Paintball MaskBuy Online
- Anti-fog dual pane lens
- Easy to disassemble and clean
- Includes browser (brow shield/ visor combo)
- Comfortable dual-clip head strap.
The Empire Helix offers excellent value for money. It is constructed out of a rigid plastic like most budget range masks. However, it also comes equipped with Empire’s thermal dual-paned lens which costs about $25 on its own.
The Vents Are Well Designed
There are vents across the entire forehead guard just below the brow shield/ visor combination known as a browser and feature additional venting around the ears. Instead of using cheaper plastic flaps to protect the ears like many other budget paintball masks, the Empire Helix extends over the ears and comfortably protects the jaw and chin.
The nose and mouth guard features a double layered vent with the internal layer consisting of a thin grate strip vent that will prevent paint, mud and other debris from reaching your nose and mouth without restricting air flow. The second layer provides structural support so that you are protected even if you faceplant into the dirt.
What I really like about the structure of the nose and mouth guard is that it uses curved lines and triangulation to maximise the amount of exposed venting. This helps to maximize the flow of fresh air entering the mask when you breath whilst still providing an incredibly sturdy structure.
However, people have reported that you have to shout if you want to be understood while wearing the mask, but this is not an uncommon drawback of masks in general, especially on the budget end of things.
The mask is a bit heavier than most, and this can cause some slippage issues if you do not wear the chin strap. The main headband is double clipped so you can adjust it to the desired size while distributing pressure evenly across your head.
Some Pain Points About the Helix Paintball Mask
All in all, the Empire Helix is a solid paintball mask and an excellent choice for both newcomers to the sport and seasoned ballers. However, there are a few points about the mask that you should take into account before you resolve to order one online.
First of all, some players have noted that this paintball mask is a little on the heavy side, and subsequently has a tendency to slip down if you do not fasten the chinstrap as well.
As I have already mentioned, when you are wearing the Empire Helix you are going to have to shout in order for your teammates to understand what you are saying, but this is a disadvantage of budget masks and masks in general.
Lastly, if you wear glasses when you play paintball then you might want to consider getting a bigger mask. Shopping for paintball masks is always a pain for glasses wearers and the thin frame of this paintball mask can make it rather uncomfortable to wear with glasses.
I have already spoken at length about the placement and structure of the venting system on this mask, so I won’t go into that again, but I do need to talk about ventilation. The band of vents just below the browser is a common feature in masks and helmets, but how effective they are is debateable.
The mouth and nose vents are really well designed, so drawing fresh air into the mask is no problem, but with the limited exhaust vents you might find it gets a bit stuffy in the mask. However, I haven’t been able to track down any accounts of this.
When you consider the potential issue with the exhaust vents, you might begin to wonder about fogging. Fortunately, empire uses really high-quality lenses with all of their paintball masks- even those in the budget range. As such, one thing you can be sure of is that this paintball mask will not fog up.
Should You Buy the Empire Helix?
When it comes down to it, the Empire Helix is an incredibly popular paintball mask for ballers of all skill levels for a reason. It’s comfortable for most people, doesn’t fog up and will last for ages. Even airsoft players use this mask.
While there are undeniable benefits of purchasing a more expensive paintball mask, you certainly won’t regret spending $30 on a quality mask like this.