We’re often asked: “can Airsoft BBs penetrate skin?” – and the short answer is yes, there’s always the chance a Realistic Imitation Firearm can be dangerous. With that in mind, today I would like to talk about various Airsoft face protection setups that are available to keep you safe in the game. Other incredibly common questions which really have no answers are: “What’s the best? What’s right for me? What should I use?”. Unfortunately there is no right or wrong, only what you like. When you find a face protection setup that works for you its hard to consider anything else; you recommend it to your friends and pretty soon you and the rest of the field all look identical. There’s nothing wrong with following the norm if it works for you, but there are so many equally effective products out there to protect your smile. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite combinations I’ve seen, as well as some suitable alternatives should you not like a particular aspect of the loadout, in the hope that it inspires you to experiment with what works best for you.
This loadout is aimed at a woodland Airsoft player where engagements will generally be medium to long range, and endurance/comfort is prioritised. This set up will leave very small gaps between the goggle and mesh mask, hence it is recommended for outdoor skirmishes where BBs are far less likely to make their way into these spaces and will have hopefully slowed down by the time they reach your face. If you’re made of sterner stuff you could run this setup in CQB where you’ll benefit from it being so lightweight, however it does leave a lot of uncovered areas that will be unpleasant to take a BB hit!
Total Cost: £31.97
The NUPROL Mesh Goggles are extremely comfortable, and when married with the NUPROL Lower Face Mesh Mask provide excellent coverage of the face, only leaving a minute gap between the bottom of the goggle and the top of the mask. This gap can be closed by positioning the nose of the mask onto the front of the goggle, and you’ll find that with some experimentation you can get the mask to sit away from your face, further enhancing comfort and operator endurance. The NUPROL Mesh Shades also work with this setup, but I would highly recommend coming in to the store to try both, as the shape of your face will determine which of the two are more comfortable for you.
– Shemagh Scarf – White & Black – £6.99
If you don’t like the idea of wearing a lower face mask you could easily replace it with a shemagh or one of our many other lower face protection options. Being made of material, a shemagh won’t protect your teeth in the same way that a solid mask will, but will still take the pain out of some Airsoft hits. Some people choose to hold the shemagh in their hand, or bring their hand up to their mouth when making tight corners to avoid this problem.
This next loadout is appropriate for both indoors and outdoors Airsoft with some slight adjustments. The face guard used is designed for Fast Helmets (although is supplied with adhesive velcro tabs so they could be applied to other helmets), and sits very far off the user’s face which is great for those that feel too cramped in their current face protection loadout. This means that when operating in woodland you won’t be overheating or steaming your goggles because there’s lots of space for heat to escape – and if you happen to walk into a close quarters firefight you weren’t expecting, then your teeth are already covered. The helmet can accept PVS mounted accessories and also 20mm rails – so you can further streamline this loadout for CQB by adding Airsoft torches, lasers, grenade launchers or anything your heart desires. There are also eight large ventilation holes in the top of the helmet to further aid in ventilation. The glasses chosen are BOLLE Contour Clears, selected because of their low cost and lightweight design. They fit very nicely under any helmet or lower face mask, and don’t seal completely to the face which allows heat to escape – reducing the chance of fogging up during an Airsoft skirmish. If you want to use this setup in CQB I would highly recommend changing the glasses to a pair that seal around the whole edge so as to avoid any painful BB hits making their way into gaps.
Note: Any eye protection worn at our indoor CQB arena ‘Halo Mill’ must fully seal to the face for this very reason.
Total Cost: £69.97
– X1000 Platinum Clear Military Safety Goggle – £54.99
– Skull Half Face Mask – Black – £16.99
If you want a higher quality pair of goggles protecting your eyes, the BOLLE X800i/X1000 series come highly recommended. The X800i has a gap between the lens and the frame which lets a serious amount of heat escape, however the goggle still seals to your face by a rubber edging – meaning they’re still fully sealed and perfectly acceptable for CQB and CQB related activities. The BOLLE X1000 series replaced the gap with covered vents, which when the padding is removed act exactly the same as the X800i – albeit slightly more comfortable. The face guard could be replaced by any lower face mask you like, provided the helmet will still sit comfortably over it. If you are unsure please feel welcome to come to our store to try certain combinations together.
This final loadout is a dedicated CQB setup, put together with user confidence in mind. When the heat is on, you need to be as level headed as possible to remain above the rest. This setup covers almost every inch of the head so you can more confident during skirmish, without the thought at the back of your mind of a nasty hit on the nose or cheek. The helmet featured is the 8Fields Tactical Fast Helmet, selected because of its lightweight nature – allowing you to operate more aggressively and for longer. You can guarantee your day won’t be ended early by a painful hit on the head with this placed on your dome. The mesh lower face mask chosen wraps all the way around to the ears, and can be bent to the shape of your face for extra comfort. It has a wide band of thick material protecting the jaw line and neck to make sure that even skimming shots are deflected. The NUPROL Mesh Shades were selected for this loadout because of their low profile working much better with a helmet. However, it is always worth trying on with a couple of different options to see how they feel for you.
Total Cost: £59.97
Many people don’t like the idea of wearing mesh, or the discomfort that it can bring for them. We have a wide range of neoprene full and half face masks, available in either a blank colour or a certain theme, that people who don’t agree with mesh will find much more natural. The neoprene contours to your face for a snug fit. This mask won’t protect your teeth but will definitely take a lot of sting out of hits – an excellent choice for those that don’t see eye to eye with mesh.
This seems like a perfect point to segway into the latest helmets to hit our shelves, and to point out that although certainly more costly than some of these setups, actually doesn’t work out much more expensive than a ‘budget face protection loadout’. By the time you’re done adding all the extra bit and bats to cover every perceivable inch of your face, you may have already spent £60/£70. If total coverage if what you’re looking for in face protection, why not just have the real McCoy?
P&J Tactical – Tactical G4 Helmet w/ Full Face Mesh – is an Airsoft safe full face mask and helmet combination inspired by many of the ballistic PJ helmets and face protectors starting to see service with many Special Forces and Specialist Police Units across the globe. The face mask is of removable visor design, featuring built-in Airsoft safe clear ballistic lenses. The visor clips into place on the helmet, and is fully height and angle adjustable to fit a wide range of face shapes and sizes. By using mesh, the mask is both lightweight and breathable, which helps prevent the lenses from fogging up. The mask is also removable, should users wish to wear the helmet with other eye and face protection they own. The helmet itself is constructed from durable polymers, and is a replica of the PJ style of combat helmet. It is size adjustable and padded to suit a wide range of head sizes. The helmet features 20mm RIS Rails on the sides for mounting accessories such as lights or cameras, while there is a replica NVG or camera mount is on the front of the helmet. Velcro panels are on the sides, top and rear of the helmet to allow the fitting of patches.
Available in Black, Tan, Olive Drab and Multicam.
Total Cost: £79.99
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