How to Keep Your Paintball Mask From Fogging

It can be annoying, but all masks gather moisture from time to time

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Most paintball players wear some kind 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, that mask can get fogged up.

Like with any visor worn over the face, masks fog when moisture from your face evaporates onto the surface of the mask, usually transparent plastic. That condensation gathers on the mask and can impair your vision.

This typically occurs at two times: when you sweat a lot and release lots of moisture from your face or when your face is considerably warmer than the outside air.

It's important to have something protecting your face and eyes in a contact sport like paintball. But at the same time, you're not going to be very good at paintball games (or be very good at them) if you can't see.

Here are a few remedies to keep that mask or pair of goggles fog-free.

Anti-Fog Spray

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

One caveat: On a hot day, especially if it's particularly humid, the anti-fog spray may not be all that effective.

Mask Fan

Some masks come with built-in defogging fans, while others may be upgraded later on to accommodate fans. These work by positioning the fan above the goggles. It then blows a stream of air over the goggles to cause condensed moisture to evaporate, thus eliminating any fogging. It works the same way a defroster works on a car windshield.

These work well, but such fans are somewhat 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 lenses with a thin air-filled space 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 that 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 readily) have foggy masks no matter what they do while others never have to worry about fog. Any (or a combination) of the above methods can help keep your mask from fogging - experiment and figure out what works for you.

But don't do away with the mask altogether, no matter how annoying the fog may be; it's not safe to play paintball games without some kind of protective gear on your face.