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Can you Wear a Paintball Mask for Airsoft?

Paintballing has been a popular sport for thrill-seekers who want to play war games with their buddies. It involves shooting each other with paint pellets that travel at high speed. It requires players to wear protective gear, especially a mask to cover most of their face, eyes, and ears.

For some paintball players, airsoft is the natural next level as it gives you the same thrill without dealing with paint that can sometimes be hard to remove.

wearing a paintball mask for airsoft

Because of this, paintball players tend to use their paintball masks for airsoft. But the question is, should they wear their paintball masks for airsoft?

Can you wear a paintball mask for airsoft?

paintball masks can be used for more than one sport
The simple answer is yes. Paintball masks are made from strong materials that can withstand hits from projectiles.

Paintballs are ejected with an energy of 12.5 joules, while airsoft pellets are at 0.84 joules. The difference in energy release is due to the bigger paintball size.

Simply put: the bigger the ammo, the harder it hits. If a paintball mask can withstand the force of projectile paintball, it can also protect you from BBs.

Paintball has been around for decades, so there are more options for paintball masks compared to airsoft masks. Also, because of paintball’s popularity and airsoft’s likeness to it, most mask manufacturers today have designed their product to be versatile so it can be used for more than one sport.

Are paintball masks safe for airsofting?

Dye i4 Paintball Goggle (Black/Gold)

Paintball masks are made from solid plastic that is very durable. They don’t easily crack when hit by a paintball and have a lesser chance of breaking when hit by a pellet.

Most paintball masks offer full-face coverage which means better protection against getting hit by a BB. However, not all paintball masks are safe to use for airsofting.

Some of the factors to consider include:

Full-seal: Some paintball masks do not have a tight seal on the face. Some only use soft foam to line the inside of the mask instead of rubber. The softness of the foam can create gaps or even allow pellets to easily penetrate the mask and hit your eye or other sensitive areas of your face.

Vents: Because most paintball masks cover the whole face, they have a ton of vents in the mouth, ear, and if it is a helmet-type, on top of the mask. They ensure heat dissipates as well as allow wearers to speak and hear clearly. The downside is that some vents are way too big that pellets can pass through them and cause damage.

Bulkiness: Paintball requires participants to cover their entire face when playing thus, most of them are quite bulky. Some also offer full head coverage and though they offer protection, they can be cumbersome to wear. In some instances, paintball masks have visors that get in the way when you’re trying to use the scope of an airsoft gun.

3 Best Paintball Masks that are suitable for Airsoft

Because of the popularity of both sports, most paintball masks are now designed to be versatile.  Below are just a few examples of paintball masks that are also popular among airsoft enthusiasts.

1/ Dye i5 Paintball Goggle

Dye i5 Paintball Goggle (AF1)
  • GSR Pro Strap, Precise tension control, maximum comfort, and un-matched safety by evenly distributing force over your head and patent pending ratchet strap system. The GSR is a revolutionary step in...
  • Tirodial Horizon 290 degree anti-fog lens, gives you unparalleled optical clarity with both vertical and horizontal peripheral vision.
  • SCREAM multi-directional venting, patented blade angling and increased vent design help heat and moisture dissipate quickly while making communication effortless.

The Dye i5 Paintball Goggle covers from your chin to part of your forehead. It features the Tirodial Horizon 290-degree anti-fog lens that provides wearers with unobstructed views.

It uses the GSR Pro Strap with a quick-release ratchet system for precision adjustment. The foam and lens can easily be replaced within seconds if needed.

The Dye i5 features vents in the mouth and ear areas that dissipate heat and make communicating easier.

Why it’s good for airsoft: for those who are not fond of wearing helmet-type masks, they will appreciate the Dye i5 goggle-like design. Also, the vents are not too big to let pellets pass through but still afford breathability.

2/ Valken Paintball MI-7 Goggle/Mask

Valken Paintball MI-7 Goggle/Mask with Dual Pane Thermal Lens - Tan
  • Double-Paned, Thermal Lens system with Hard coat Lens treatment, fog and scratch resistant polycarbonate construction
  • Patented Quick Change lens-release system
  • Extreme Vision-ultimate visibility, 160 degrees vertical and 260 degrees horizontal vision; See where you're walking No more sprained ankles

The Valken Paintball MI-7 Goggle/Mask offers full-face protection except for the top part of the head. It looks like a helmet, similar to those used in motocross. It uses a double-pane thermal lens that offers a 260-degree view. It is made of polycarbonate material that is resistant to fogging and scratching.

The MI-7 has a visor that helps with glares. Meanwhile,  there are numerous vents on the mouth, jaw, and ear regions, to keep things cool. They ensure breathability and foster clear communication.

Why it’s good for airsoft: The Valken Paintball MI-7 is suitable for airsoft players who want full head coverage. It protects the whole face as well as the back of the head.

3/ JT Spectra Flex 8 Full Head and Face Coverage Thermal Paintball Goggles

JT Flex-8 Head Guard Grey
  • Spectra lens offering 260 degree field of vision
  • Dual Fusion co-molding technology creates this unique venting System
  • Full head coverage for maximum protection

For players who want full head protection, the JT Spectra Flex 8 would be a good choice. It is made from durable plastic with ​​Dual Fusion co-molding technology that prevents breakage and provides a comfortable fit. It also features a Spectra lens that delivers a 260-degree field of vision.

Why it’s good for airsoft: The full head coverage ensures that no BB will sneak past the mask. And though there are many vents, they are quite small so the pellets won’t enter them. And though it is a full helmet, the design is not bulky so airsoft players can use the scope without any hassle.


The fact that paintball masks are made from durable materials is a good enough reason to use them for airsoft. If these masks don’t break when being shot at by balls of paint, then you can rest assured that they can take hits from pellets shot at them.

However, if you’re still on the fence as to whether you should use your paintball mask for airsoft, keep these three things in mind: seal, vent, bulk.

If your paintball mask creates a good seal on your face, has vents smaller than pellets, and won’t prevent you from properly using the scope of your airsoft gun, then it is highly likely that you can use it for airsoft.

There are a lot of different styles of paintball masks, from full-head protection to full-face coverage, to suit your needs when playing airsoft. But the most important factor to consider is how comfortable and protected you are while wearing the gear.


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