If you need to wear glasses while playing paintball, you know that the struggle is real. You can’t see without your glasses. But, then again, they fog up when you’re playing, and you can’t see anything, anyway.
It gives the terms “fog of war” and “heat of the moment” completely different meanings. But don’t stress about it. In this post, we’ll explain how you can wear your glasses and still enjoy clear vision while playing paintball.
More on the Subject
Here are the items you’ll need:
- A good paintball mask
- Something to cut with
- An anti-fog spray
- A micro-fiber cloth to wipe the glasses down
1. Find the Right Mask
Your best bet is to go into your local sporting-goods retailer and try on different masks. Ask first about masks designed for wearers of glasses. These typically have a furrow in the foam that can accommodate the arms of the glasses. This helps to keep the lenses of your glasses from being pressed too close to your eyes.
Other things to consider when looking for a mask:
- Bigger is usually better so that your glasses have more space. If they’re not squashed right up to the bridge of your nose, there’s less chance of them fogging over.
- Choose one with good ventilation. The reason that your glasses fog in the first place is because it gets hot inside that mask. Opting for a well-ventilated one should help.
- Make sure that there is some separation between the lens of the mask and your spectacles.
- If you cannot find a set with foam cutouts, find one with soft, moldable foam. This foam should take on the shape of the arms without too much effort.
- Choose a high-quality mask that will protect the spectacles from impact.
2. Consider a Mask with a Fan in it
Some masks have the option of clipping in a small fan. It’s an extra expense, but it could be a worthwhile investment. Your glasses won’t fog up nearly as much. It’ll also help keep you cooler, and you’ll be able to play for longer as a result.
Many better-quality masks are bigger and will accommodate the fan. If you’re cash-strapped, it’s easy enough to cobble together a simple fan. This post from Instructables will walk you through the process; you can also find a lot of simple videos on YouTube.
3. Apply an Anti-Fogging Solution
There are plenty of these on the market to choose from. If you can’t find any, use plain old dishwashing detergent, as detailed above in the “tips” section. Just be sure to choose a mild brand that doesn’t have any abrasive agents in it.
Be sure to take the anti-fogger with you, because you’ll need to apply it a few times during the course of the day. If using dish detergent, get yourself an atomizer and pour some of the solutions in there. Fill it up a quarter of the way with the detergent and top off with water. You’ll also need to carry a cloth or paper towels to wipe off the solution after it’s been applied. How often you’ll need to reapply will depend on the weather and how much you’re sweating.
4. Wear a Headband or Wrap
Rambo’s headband was more than just a fashion statement.
Headbands are useful because they sop up a sweat. That’ll not only keep it out of your eyes but also reduce the humidity inside the mask. The less the humidity, the less fogging there should be.
If the idea of wearing a headband is not all that appealing, swap it out for a bandana or wrap instead. There are tons of options on the market, so you’re sure to find one that makes you look cool while keeping your cool.
If you’re not wearing a helmet, a headwrap is a good idea, as it helps to keep the sun off your head. Wear it low enough and it will also prevent paint from getting into your ears. If your friends are anything like mine, this is a useful tip.
Choose something made from a natural material like cotton. Alternatively, look for an option that has moisture-wicking properties. It’s important to find something that will breathe well. A specially-designed sports mesh or natural fiber are your best options.
5. Get a Strap to Hold Your Glasses in Place
This is not going to do much to help with fogging…but where it does come in useful is in keeping your glasses secure, which is particularly useful when you take the mask off. These straps can be adjusted to fit quite snugly to hold your glasses right where you want them.
Should You Cut into the Foam?
If you’ve already dropped some serious money on a mask, you might want to consider simply making some adjustments, rather than investing in another one. It’s not ideal, but you can cut away small sections of the foam to improve the fit around your glasses.
Bear in mind that this means less protection in the areas that are cut away. It’s not ideal, but it’s probably worth the additional comfort to you. You do need to be careful not to cut too much away, or you’ll affect the structural integrity of the mask.
Useful Tips – How to Wear a Paintball Mask with Glasses
- Get a mask with a looser fit.
- In a pinch, if you don’t have any anti-fog solution, use some mild dish soap. Wet the glasses slightly and apply a drop on each lens; lather it up and wipe (don’t wash) away. This will help to prevent fogging.
- Good ventilation will help prevent too much heat building up inside the mask.
Unfortunately, the only sure way of completely stopping your glasses from fogging…is not to play at all. If you’re playing hard, you’re going to get hot and sweaty. The tips in this post will help you to minimize fogging.
They’ll also help you stay cooler and more comfortable during play. That’s worth a whole lot, too.