Protective gear for airsoft encompasses many areas including masks and goggles, however each are designed for there specific sport. Sense there are features that make this gear effective for is sport class, so it’s not a good idea to rely on paintball masks or ski goggles for protection.
So, is a paintball mask suitable protection for a game of airsoft?
Protecting the face is the most essential thing when you’re shooting an airsoft gun, just like during a paintball game. For the appropriate coverage, you’ll need to purchase a dedicated airsoft mask that has all of the correct features to protect against BB pellets that are flying at your at an extreme rate.
Airsoft in general requires different protective gear and many people wonder if these can be substituted from other sports or activities.
Lets check on other safety gear used in snow sports, general work and paintball to see if they would work with airsoft, and explain why you need to upgrade to something made for this purpose.
As airsoft involves the use of replica weapons that can deliver genuine physical damage to its players, protective gear like masks are always required.
A airsoft mask is typically full faced and overs your face with one single piece of material and it’s made to withstand quite an impact.
First time airsoft players or people who haven’t upgraded all of their gear yet, using a paintball mask for airsoft will usually provide you with some protection. However, because it wasn’t designed for the specifics of this game, it can’t do everything that an airsoft mask would be able to provide.
Airsoft masks come in two styles, full face or half face. You’ll have to decide which is right for you.
The most important part to keep protected during an airsoft game is the eyes which is why masks will make this a priority.
Some players might choose just to wear goggles and others will want the full face protection, it’s a personal preference that everyone has to decide for themselves.
Can You Use Safety Goggles For Airsoft?
Eye protection is the biggest safety concern for the airsoft, why would it not be okay to just wear safety goggles instead?
Safety goggles are designed for other purposes like at a worksite, and not designed to withstand the speed and ferocity of a BB pellet coming at you with full force.
Choosing eye protection for airsoft needs to go far beyond just substituting with a product made for another purpose. There is the very real potential to do damage to your eye, and possibly even lose your sight in the worst-case scenario, so it’s not something that should be taken by chance.
Safety goggles might be ideal for situations like sawing or on a construction site, but airsoft goggles are designed for airsoft specifically. Airsoft goggles need to be certified and categorized by their strength and capabilities and should be easy to find this certification.
Its suggested you use something capable of withstanding impact from a small object traveling up to 620fps to be protected to cover you for all types of airsoft guns.
Can You Use Ski or Snowboard Goggles For Airsoft?
When it comes to the type of protection required for this sport though, these snow-related eye protection products just dont provide you with the correct amount of coverage.
Ski masks utilize different features that make them perfect for hitting the ski slopes, but when you’re using it to protect your eyes and face against an airsoft BB, none of them will do you any good. Ski lenses are thin and do not protect from a fired BB, are tinted for cold weather conditions, and might even have a restricted field of view.
Snow gear is not made to be safety protective gear and shouldn’t be treated as such. Its tempting if you’re new to the sport or stuck in a bind without any eyewear to take to a match, but its not worth the chance of losing your vision.
When you’re working with fast-firing pellets and need the freedom to adjust your head with a clear line of sight, choosing a mask or goggles made for airsoft is going to offer you that.
Why Should You Always Wear Eye Goggles in Airsoft?
Those new to the sport of airsoft might ask if wearing protective gear is necessary, you’ll realize the answer when you’re just a few minutes into your first match and your covering your head.
Airsoft guns might be using bbs but they have the very real potential for doing some serious harm, especially when it comes to damaging your eye sight.
According to statistics by the National Institute of Health, Airsoft BBs count for around 2.4 million cases of eye injuries each year. This can be easily prevented with the right protective gear on the eyes. Scrapes or bruises to the skin easily heal, however receiving damage to the eye from an airsoft BB can cause serious lifelong consequences.
Eye protection is the number one priority of the airsoft gamer and a piece of equipment that is taken very seriously. A good pair of airsoft goggles should have the following features:
- Offers minimum single front system that protects the eyes;
- Viewing area that gives clear visibility with full field of vision;
- Anti-fog or thermal properties to prevent condensation;
- Safety certified plastic shield for the eyes;
- Second part to cover the bottom half of face;
Do not cheap out and use ski goggles or your work mask from the last project you worked on. When it comes to protection against a fast and powerful BB, it won’t offer any protection.
Is Airsoft More Dangerous Than Paintball?
You might be considering getting into airsoft and at the same time asking yourself if it comes with more or less dangers than paintball.
You could label both as an extreme sport, airsoft is probably more intimidating for the player due to the increased FPS the BBs travel at and the life like look of the guns you’re using.
The standard FPS of an airsoft BB is between 300 – 450FPS versus paintball which can only reach up to 300 FPS as a restricted standard.
The design of the pellet thats being fired also has an impact on their injuries. A BB pellet is small and has the potential to pierce the skin. Paintballs are larger in caliber. With the added surface area they may leave a bruise, but won’t usually pierce the skin.
Both sports do come with potential threats and injuries, this is why lots of emphasis is placed on protective gear. Airsoft pellets are designed to deliver a bit of a punch with the reduced risk of serious injury.
With the right protective gear being worn you’ll feel the hit but not be affected by it, so not only is it crucial for your safety but also your performance in the game.
What Types of Airsoft Masks Are There?
When weighing the options for choosing an airsoft mask it will depend on comfort and practicality.
- Half face: Protects the eye area and could be either a mask or goggles.
- Full face: Single or two-piece full face mask that offers protection from head to neck.
- Steel mesh: Offering breathability, the steel mesh mask is lightweight but may not protect from shattered BBs.
- Plastic: Durable plastic is used for these masks as it’s designed to be impenetrable from airsoft BBs and won’t be affected by shattered pellets.
When Should You Wear The Mask?
You may feel a little awkward strolling around in an airsoft mask waiting for a match to start, but it’s a safety precaution you should be mindful of. Look into the rules of your local airsoft field or facility for what’s recommended.
Most establishments require all players to wear protection upon entry and keep their mask on for the entirety of the match.
What Other Safety Gear is Required In Airsoft?
Good eye protection is just the tip of what safety gear can be used for airsoft. Players could go as detailed or as simple as they felt comfortable with, and depending on how much protection they want. Still always wear a mask!
Other items designed for protection include:
- Gloves: Thick but flexible gloves such as armored gloves, fingerless gloves, and half finger gloves are all worn for airsoft.
- Helmets: Durable helmets cover the entire head and take away the impact of being shot.
- Pads: Knee pads and shoulder pads protect during a skirmish or match when kneeling or crawling.
- Barrel blocker: Even If your gun has safety features built in, a barrel blocker can prevent it from firing unintended shots.