There is no one BEST mask. There are a few masks that can be in the category of "The Best" but there is no single "Best" mask.
Fog resistant lenses will still fog. They "resist" fogging, but that does not mean "stops" fogging.
If you want one of the best masks, then you need one with a thermal lens. A thermal lens is a lens with two panes. The outer lens, and then an inner lens. There is a pocket of air between them which keeps the differences in temperature inside the mask and outside the mask fairly regulated. You will have much more fun in paintball if your mask is not fogging on you every game. That fact alone makes thermal lens equipped masks worth the extra money over single paned lenses.
Any thermal lens will perform about the same as any other.
The best advice anyone can give you is to go to your local shop and try on a few masks and see which fits you the best.
Much like any other piece of equipment in paintball, personal preference will tell you which mask is the best for you.
EDIT: I am going to try to add the Pros and Cons of the popular masks out there such as the Invision, Profiler, ProFlex, etc.
If you have a mask and want me to add it, simply PM me with what you wish to say about it, and if I add it to the post, I'll be sure to give you full credit.
Dye Invision: Price: $65, I3 for $85*
This is a sharp looking mask with a forward tab lens retention system that is designed to hold the goggles more securely than any other mask. You can tell once you try to remove the lens. It's relatively difficult.
- The Invision is very low profile. It doesn't stick out very much.
- The field of vision is almost large enough to encompass everywhere you could possibly look. For some people, it will probably look as if you are wearing no mask at all.
- The Invision is VERY lightweight. I tend to forget that I am wearing it after playing for a while.
- The thermal lens has NEVER shown a spot of fog for me, even in sweltering heat with sweat dripping down my face.
- The profile is considered by many to be too low, and when you yell, your chin drops below the bottom of the mask.
- I am not sure how true this is, but I have heard that the VForce Profiler does offer a slightly wider field of vision
- As stated before, the lens can be very difficult to remove
- The vents on the mask can also be difficult to clean if you get paint in them
(Thanks to Grungydan for this one) Price: $40-60* depending on style
One of the most popular masks on the market, this mask combines the wide vision field of the Spectra lense with a soft rubber face piece, giving a decent chance of bounces.
- Great field of vision from the Spectra lense.
- Lightweight. You can hardly tell you're wearing it.
- The face piece is incredibly well vented, helping you stay cool and breathe easy.
- Available (as the Proflex) with soft ears, for even higher bounce chance.
- Flooded market, making it easy and cheap to find one used.
- Easy to clean. Dissasembles without too much trouble. Once you have the lense out you just dunk it in warm water.
- The face piece is very open at the bottom. Some people don't like the way it feels.
- Slightly wider at the bottom than some masks.
- Not quite the amount of vision that some other masks offer.
- Flooded market, tons of people have them (this is pretty much true about all masks though ).
JT Proteus/Proteus II:
(Thanks again to Grungydan for this one) Price: $30-40*
This mask is good if you want a decent profile coupled with the protection a solid mask gives you.
- Great field of vision (also uses the JT Spectra lense).
- Solid protection all around.
- Looks like something out of a sci-fi movie.
- Lots of different colors, including clear which you can dye yourself to match your gear.
- You can find a cheap one fairly easily, since they aren't "in" right now.
- If you're into the scenario thing, JT makes a model that comes with a two-way radio.
- It's hard to project your voice while wearing this mask.
- Not enough venting, so it gets really hot, really fast in this mask.
- On some people it doesn't extend far enough to cover their chin.
- The Proteus one had a defect. The ear pieces were made out of bad plastic, and have an increased chance of shattering if they receive a direct hit. A recal was issued by JT, and this was fixed on the Proteus two.
(thanks to bunkertime for the pros of this great mask) Price: $70, $90 for SE*
1. Great Visiblilty
2. Ability to remove the lends in under 10 Secs
3. Multi-hardness Design to have softer areas for Super bounce
4. Comes w/ a Defelctor and visior
5. Super shibby colors
6. Low profile, but offers good protection
(Sorry bunkertime no mask is perfect
- Price... This mask is, in most places, more expensive than the Dye Invision, which makes it easily one of the top two most expensive masks you can buy.
- Many people complain that the lens is difficult to remove until they've done it a few times
- The clips that hold in the lens can be lost
*Prices are ballpark ranged and will very.
Added prices and stuck 08/08/2006 -Moderation