How to Keep Your Paintball Mask From Fogging

Paintball Warrior
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Most paintball players wear some type of protective eyewear for safety, with many opting for a mask that covers most of the face. But when you're running around in a heated paintball battle, even the highest-quality mask can get fogged up.

As with any visor worn over the face, masks fog when moisture from your face condenses onto the internal surface, impairing your vision. This typically occurs at two times: when you sweat a lot, thus releasing lots of moisture from your face or when your face is considerably warmer than the outside air.

A few remedies which may help keep your mask or goggles fog-free.

Anti-Fog Spray

Many companies market anti-fog sprays designed to keep moisture from condensing on flat surfaces. The basic principle is to spray a mist of the anti-fog onto the inside of your lenses and vapor will no longer gather on your mask. People have reported mixed results, but it is the cheapest and easiest way to stop fog.

One caveat: Hot days, especially when it's particularly humid, tend to diminish the effectiveness of anti-fog spray.

Mask Fan

Some masks come with built-in defogging fans while others may be upgraded later on to accommodate them. Once the fan is positioned above the goggles, it blows a stream of air across the lenses causing condensed moisture to evaporate, thus eliminating fogging. 

These work well, but such fans can be expensive, require extra batteries, make a considerable amount of noise and are prone to break. However, they do effectively reduce fog, even in more humid conditions.

Thermal Lenses

Thermal lenses consist of two layered lenses with a thin air-filled space compressed between them. The air between the two lenses acts as a barrier between the air near your face and the outside temperature. This protective barrier keeps the inner lens closer to the temperature of your face, which limits the rate at which moisture will condensate on your lens.

Thermal lenses come with or are an optional upgrade for all but the most basic masks and seem to be the most consistently effective way of reducing fog.

Some people--usually those who perspire heavily--have foggy masks no matter what they do, while others never have to worry about fog. Any (or a combination) of the above methods may help keep your mask from fogging, so experiment and see what works best for you.

But don't do away with the mask altogether, no matter how annoying the fog may be--playing paintball games without some kind of protective gear on your face is highly unsafe.