Do you hate having fog on your paintball mask while you play? You’re not alone. Almost everyone has experienced having fog in their masks while they’re playing. Aside from the fact that it’s distracting, it’s also very annoying because there’s no other way to get rid of the fog unless you remove your mask and you know you can’t just remove your paintball mask out in the field.
So what do you do now? Fortunately, there’s a lot of ways to prevent your paintball mask from fogging. But first, here’s a brief explanation of why there’s fog in the first place.
Why Is There Fog on a Paintball Mask?
If you ever noticed your paintball mask slowly fogging up even if it isn’t cold outside, then you probably wondered why that happened. Familiar with condensation? That’s what’s happening.
Condensation is the process wherein air gets converted into vapor because it goes to an area with a lower temperature. It’s the complete opposite of evaporation. If in evaporation, the water turns to air, in condensation, it’s vice versa. In the case of your paintball mask, the glasses in your mask is cool while the air you exhale isn’t. Since there’s no place where your exhaled breath can go, it goes near the glass and causes the fog.
Does that mean that you have to have air circulating inside the mask for condensation to be prevented? Yes, that’s possible if you install a fan inside the mask, but no, it doesn’t always work because if you leave the mask open, you risk getting hit on your unprotected face.
5 Ways to Stop Your Paintball Mask from Fogging During a Paintball Game
If you can’t remove your mask during the game, how can you prevent it from fogging? The answer lies in prevention. Here are 5 preventive methods.
1. Fog-Resistant Coating
Did you know that newer versions of the paintball mask already have fog-resistant coatings? If your current model doesn’t have one yet, this might be time for you to replace them with a new one.
What’s a fog-resistant coating? It’s a thin coating placed on the inside of your mask, specifically behind the glasses. This thin coat will help reduce the fogging you experience during your games. Most manufacturers already have them but if you found one that doesn’t, it’s not worth buying.
Unfortunately, fog-resistant coatings are still prone to wear and tear. They’re not permanent parts of the paintball mask so you have to replace them or buy a different coating. To add to that, these fog-resistant coatings are not fog-proof all the time. There will be times when you will still observe misting, but the good thing is it will be lessened compared to when your mask didn’t have any resistant coating.
2. Lens Cleaner
Lens cleaner, also known as an anti-fog spray, is another way to prevent fogging. In all honesty, anti-fog sprays are really just lens cleaners that make your paintball masks a lot easier to wear. However, for some reason, it helps reduces fog that accumulates when you wear them.
If you’ve been playing paintball for a while now, you’ll notice that this is a fog prevention technique that a lot of players use. It’s even become a staple in their gear because it’s effective. But don’t assume that it will last you the whole game, though. Just like the fog-resistant coating, the lens cleaner isn’t 100% fog-proof. You will have to use another prevention method to reduce the chances of fog.
How do you use a lens cleaner? Lens cleaners are sprays that you just spray over the glass part of your paintball mask. It will leave a liquid residue that you have to wipe off. Not so fast, you need to use a microfiber cloth to clean it to make sure that you don’t damage the lens.
If you’re still wondering why you should use a lens cleaner, just think about how clean your paintball mask will be when you apply it. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone!
3. Mask Fans
It may sound absurd but mask fans actually exist! Since the problem is with improper ventilation in the mask area, having a fan will help improve the ventilation a lot. The best way to improve circulation is by two things – buying a mask with good ventilation and buying a mask fan.
Not all paintball masks are created equal. If you’ve visited a few paintball arenas already, you’ll notice that some have mask fans while others don’t. It’s more common for commercially-used paintball masks to not have any fans because the feature can be a little expensive.
What mask fans do is to increase air circulation inside the mask. It will provide air inside the mask while removing the remaining air inside. The result is you not having to have fog on your face all the time. Seems great, right?
If there are two things that will make you not want a mask fan, it’s inconvenience and durability. In theory, mask fans should work well but in reality, they are also kind of a disturbance. Just think about having a fan blowing air inside and then taking it again. And have that right on your head! It’s not as easy-to-use if you think about it.
And then there’s durability. There are a lot of people selling mask fans but only a few of them sell high-quality ones. Even if you buy the high-quality ones, they’re also prone to break because they might get hit by a paintball and just stop working.
There are mixed feelings about having mask fans, but if you happen to use one, there’s no harm in trying. It will still help prevent fogging even if it’s inconvenient to wear.
4. Thermal Lenses
What are thermal lenses? Are they the same as the lenses worn by scuba divers? Thermal lenses can either be single-pane or dual-pane and they’re not the same as the ones worn by scuba divers.
These lenses are meant to provide insulation on the lens so that there won’t be any fog build-up in the area. So far, these types of lenses are the most effective way of preventing fog. They can be expensive, though. But how is a single-pane and a dual-pane different?
A single-pane just has one set of lens while the dual-pane has two. The dual-pane is often the better one because the two sets of lenses have different attributes that allow for the insulation to be created. To be specific, the outer lens is made of a thicker glass so that it protects your face from paintball attacks. The inner lens, however, is a lot thinner and has totally different properties.
The two sets of lenses aren’t stuck to each other. Rather, they have a small space between them to create insulation. How does that work? The space between them will prevent a sudden change in temperature from the outside lens.
Is it effective? Just like the other preventive methods here, it’s not 100% fog-proof. However, it does help a lot especially when you buy high-quality pairs of lenses.
5. Soap, Shaving Cream, or Vaseline
If you think that lens spray is the simplest method, here’s another one. For this method, you can use soap, shaving cream, or Vaseline. Yes, it sounds gross, but you’ll find that it’s very helpful in preventing fog to accumulate.
So how do you do it? If you’re using shaving cream, you apply a small amount of it to the inside of the lens. Spread it all over the lens and make sure you leave just a thin coat. If it’s thicker, remove the excess with a clean towel or a microfiber cloth. Let the shaving cream dry and leave it there.
If you’re using soap or Vaseline, you’ll do the same thing too. However, depending on the thickness of the product itself, adjust the amount you’ll use. Make sure they’re not thick because it might cover the lens and you won’t be able to see when you play.
Can you clean your lens after? Of course, you can. However, when you clean it, just apply water and wipe it off with a microfiber cloth so as not to damage the lens. But just like the others, this method is not 100% effective, so you will have to add it to another preventive technique.
There are many ways to prevent fogging on your mask. None of them are 100% effective yet, so you have to do at least two of them to provide maximum prevention from fogging. So far, there aren’t any products that will completely get rid of the fog, so these methods will do.
Again, when it comes to avoiding fog, it’s all in the prevention. You’re not allowed to remove your mask when you’re already playing the game because that will just expose you to harm. So when you’re out there, keep your mask on and make sure you’ve done all the preventive methods before you get in the field.