Cold winters affect vision when commuting in the mornings through the fogging of windshields. However, that’s not the only thing it fogs up. Your paintball visor is also a victim. A mask fog often gets beginner paintball players unawares if they’re not well prepared.
Most paintballers wear some kind of eyewear to protect their eyes, with many preferring masks that cover most of their faces. However, a mask fog can happen when running up and down in a heated battle even if you’re wearing a high-grade protective gear.
Just like any visor that you wear over your face, a mask can fog when moisture from your skin condenses onto the internal surface. It happens during profuse sweating and when your face is substantially warmer than the air on the outside environment.
A paintball mask fog can significantly affect your safety and performance. Often, it doesn’t have a big impact on your game; it’s just a nuisance. However, there are those times it can be so serious that you won’t see anything and would just want to take it off. That can be quite dangerous as a paintball can easily hit your face, causing injury.
Mask fog is the last thing you’d want to experience, and it’s inevitable that you’ll encounter it once in a while. When it happens, it’ll annoy and frustrate you. You’ll ask yourself why the mask manufacturer didn’t think about a way of preventing it.
If fog is never a problem for you, then you’re lucky. However, if you’re the kind of person that perspires heavily, it might be difficult to keep your mask fog-free. By combining or using one of the remedies below, you can keep fog from becoming a problem.
Use a Mask Fan
Some types of masks come with a built-in defogging fan. Others have the option of upgrading later on to accommodate the fans. Positioning the fan above the goggles ensures that it blows an air stream across the lenses. This causes the evaporation of condensed moisture, eliminating fogging in the process.
Although they work well, there are some caveats to using such fans. Aside from requiring batteries and making a substantial amount of noise, they’re expensive yet prone to breaking. Nevertheless, they’re effective at reducing fog, even in humid conditions.
Unfortunately, a mask fan may only do well during the warmer months of the year such as summer if you’re using a single-pane lens. However, when it gets colder, the condition is just perfect for vapors from your breath and sweat to form on your cold lens, causing your mask to fog up.
There’s no consensus about the role of mask fans in the prevention of fog buildup on the lens. While some paintballers strongly believe that the fan is great at doing the job, others think it doesn’t help at all. Although the theory behind the mask fan is great, the reality might be different. The little fan may not move in enough air to make a difference.
Buy a Mask With Fog-Resistant Coating
The fog-resistant coating is a thin layer of coat that manufacturers apply to the mask’s inside. Always ensure that you buy a reputable mask that has this feature. Although fog-resistant is not foolproof, it can work quite well as long as the coating remains in place. With time, it wears out as you clean the lens. This isn’t a long-term solution.
Use Anti-Fog Spray
Every paintballer’s bag should have an anti-fog spray. It is a cleaner for the lens. However, they market it as an anti-fog spray. Unfortunately, it isn’t a permanent solution, just like a fog-resistant coating. You have to apply anti-fog spray before a game for it to be effective. However, this shouldn’t be a problem since you are supposed to clean your lens regularly.
Anti-fog spray is meant to keep moisture from liquefying on flat surfaces. Spray its mist onto your lenses’ inside and vapor won’t gather on the mask anymore. Although people have given different reports, this is the cheapest and easiest way of stopping fog. Unfortunately, the anti-fog spray may become less effective during humid days.
This cleaner is not the perfect solution, but it can help a bit. Its advantage is that it’s easy to use. After spraying some of it on your lens’ inside, carefully wipe it with a microfiber cloth. When your lens is clean and dry after the application, it can prevent or minimize the build-up of condensation.
Get a Mask with Good Ventilation
Lack of air circulation is the root cause of fogging. Therefore, you should prioritize excellent ventilation when shopping for your mask. This kind of gear can help you breathe better, hear properly, and keep your head and face cooler. It also aids in circulating air, thereby preventing condensation build-up.
Get a Thermal Mask
The best way to keep fog build-up is to use a high-grade mask that comes with a dual-pane or thermal lens. It consists of an outer and inner lens that have different attributes. The outside one is bigger and thicker and has similar properties as those of a single-pane lens. The inside lens is thinner and lighter.
Between the two lenses is an air cushion that protects the air near your face from the outside temperature conditions. It’s an insulation that warms up the inside or keeps it warm. This limits the condensation rate of the moisture that’s closer to your skin.
Many masks come with thermal lenses. Others come with an option of upgrading. It’s only the basic masks that lack this feature. Thermal lenses seem to be the most reliable and effective way of preventing fog build-up in your mask.
Masks that come with the thermal lens are quite expensive but they’re significantly efficient when it comes to fog prevention. Although they are not 100 percent effective, they’re simply the best long-term solution. If you’re operating on a budget, look for a single-pane lens mask that’s great at fog prevention.
At one point in your paintballing career, you’ll encounter a foggy mask. That’s inevitable. By taking the right proactive measures for preventing fogging, you’ll be on the safe side.