The Dye I4 offers players a form-fitting, low-profile look that has become a firm favorite for the airsoft and paintball communities. It’s sleek, lightweight, and helps keep you protected and cool during play. Well-ventilated, you’ll find it easy to breathe and talk with the mask on.
The thermal lenses are anti-fog, hard-coated, and scratch resistant for maximum durability. Offering a 290° field of view, this is one mask that makes sure you get your full range of vision.
Want to learn more about this great product? Let’s kick off this review.
Dye I4 Pros and Cons
Presenting the Dye I4 Goggles
Dye has over twenty years of experience, and their I4 Goggles show just how much they’ve learned. They were initially released in 2013 and designed out of a need for a high-quality, comfortable, protective mask that not only protected the eyes but gave a fuller visual range.
Over the years, the design has been tweaked a little, but not so much in terms of a complete redesign. The current design is smaller, lighter, and the field of vision is clearer than the original model.
Who is This Product For?
This is a good product for paintball enthusiasts, especially when playing on massive, outdoor courses. However, the I4 is on the pricey side, so it’s not the ideal purchase for someone who is just starting out and is not sure that they will continue.
If, on the other hand, the bug has bitten you, or you’ve been playing for a while, this is an excellent investment to make. It’s suitable for amateurs and professionals who are not on a tight budget.
Purely in terms of utility, the I4 goggles are dead simple to operate. Strap them on, adjust the straps, and you’re done. On the downside, the size does tend to run a bit smaller. If you have a bigger head, you might find that they’re a bit snug.
- The Dye Precision Invision 4 Thermal Mask
- The manual – don’t stress if you lose it, you can also download it
- A warranty card – For your warranty to be registered, you’ll need to either complete this card and mail it in, or register with Dye online and complete it online
- A lens protecting film – this should be peeled off before you begin to play
- A rip-resistant carry bag that protects your mask and makes it easy to carry with you
The mask comes fully assembled, so you can literally just strap it on and use it. Do check out the manual for instructions on cleaning the lenses and swapping them out.
We liked the fact that you get a carrying bag as this offers a nice bit of extra protection for your mask and prevents it getting scratched when jostled with your other gear. We would have liked to see these with a detachable visor, so maybe that’s something that Dye could look into.
Overview of Features
The mouth and jawline protector of the I4 is made out of thick, solid rubber that has a little give in it. It’s strong enough to ward off paintballs, so they don’t actually break on your skin. The flexibility, however, makes it possible for you to more easily compress the line when you need to aim down your sight.
This mask does offer pretty solid protection to the jaw but do be warned, your chin is a little exposed. And, if you have your mouth open, your jaw will also be exposed.
The I4 lens is secured in a tough plastic frame that is made to last. It’s high-quality plastic and provides full coverage for the areas not covered by the lens. The lens is secure and won’t shift in this frame.
Dye developed the E-flex thermo material that makes up the I4 earpieces. It kind of feels a bit like the material from cycling shorts. The advantage is that it is strong and flexible without completely cutting off all noise from the field.
Anti-Fog Thermal Lens
The anti-fog lens has got to be our favorite feature and hands down the best reason for forking out the extra cash for this model. If you’ve played paintball before, you’re sure to know how annoying it is when your mask fogs up.
With cheaper models (which you can check on Amazon.com), this is bound to happen, and it means stopping your game to wipe down your mask. And, let’s be honest, while most players won’t take advantage of this, we all have that one schmuck in the group that thinks it’s extremely funny to hit you when you’re down.
The anti-fog lens, combined with excellent ventilation means that you don’t have to worry about the lenses fogging as long as you keep the ventilation areas clear.
This isn’t just thanks to some anti-fog coating that might or might not work. This is because of the dual lenses. There’s an inner and outer lens with a small space between the two. The inner lens will absorb the heat from play, but the space between the two means that the heat is not transferred.
Basically, no fogging occurs because the outside lens never comes into direct contact with the heat of your body.
Easy Lens Removal
Another pretty cool feature is that you can change out your lens in around ten seconds. Unlike with some other models, you don’t need any tools to change the I4’s lens out. There are two small contact points on the inside of the strap, just beneath the earpiece.
This also ensures that you never actually interfere with the inner lens or accidentally damage the seal.
Some Things That are Not So Great
These goggles are going to feel tight to start off with. The straps are adjustable so that you can get a more comfortable fit, so don’t be put off by this. They also aren’t meant to have a loose fit, though. The idea is to keep the mask firmly in place, but it might take a bit of getting used to.
The foam inside will also start to peel in a few months’ time, especially if you’re using the mask often. It’s a little annoying, but it’s easily repairable with a few dots of super glue.
We do like that you can buy a replacement kit direct from Dye. Considering how hot and sweaty we get when we’re playing, and how the foam absorbs a lot of sweat, replacing it every so often makes sense for us.
If you want to replace the foam, just remove it completely and then wipe the surface inside the mask down with an alcohol pad. This is done to remove any residue and to ensure a clean surface for bonding. You then glue in the replacement foam.
A More Affordable Alternative
Due to its price, the I4 is not going to suit everyone. The V-Force Grill Mask is another popular option that comes in at a little over half the price of the I4 and has similar features.
We do like the look of the V-Force, and that it has a visor attached to it. It is lightweight, comfortable, and has HDR lenses.
Having said that, if you wear glasses with standard lenses, you could have a problem with this model, and the ventilation, while good, doesn’t come close to the I4.
Wrapping it Up
If you’re after a sleek, high-quality mask that is small and lightweight, Dye Precision I4 goggles are a good investment to make. They can be used for airsoft, MilSim, and speedball as a high-performance option. You’ll find a range of colors to choose from so you can get the exact look that you want.
Their anti-fog lens alone makes them a solid buy. In short, while the price is a bit steeper than that of competitors, the extra comfort and usability will pay for itself. If your budget doesn’t quite stretch this far at the moment, I4 goggles are worth saving up for.