If you’re the kind of person who can’t see more than 10 feet without wearing glasses, then you know the struggle with paintball is real. Since the face is perpetually covered with a compact visor with no loose openings, glasses wearers wonder in bewilderment, “Can you play paintball with glasses?”
The good news is that most paintball masks are OTG-Goggles, meaning they are specifically designed to fit over your glasses. Look for paintball masks with foam gaps or “temple cutouts” that are found on either side to accommodate your glasses. The tiny gaps prevent the glasses from getting squeezed against your head.
Just make sure that the mask is slightly bigger than your head, and you should be good to go. Paintball masks with lots of room keep your lenses from being smashed against your nose. For people wearing larger frames, there are many paintball masks that fit just right.
The only thing you have to contend with is the buildup of moisture due to excessive humidity – you can’t find nature! Wearing glasses inside a mask can naturally cause fog to accumulate over your glasses. It is important to choose a mask that has lots of ventilation to prevent the buildup of humidity. You will need an anti-fog solution such as coating or even sprays, because even the best paintball mask will do little to prevent fogging on your own glasses.
Tip: Smaller masks encourage more humidity. Try to find a mask that perfectly fits your face.
Good paintball masks for glasses wearers tend to have extra wide lenses to accommodate glasses. If you’re not too sure about which glass will fit you better, it’s a good idea to try them on before purchasing them. Go to your local paintball store and try your favorite masks on. It is possible that the best paintball masks in the market won’t fit your face with glasses, while the less favorable models may be the solution you need.
If, for some reason, you can’t physically go to a paintball store to try masks on, you can go to paintball fields and ask other players to try their masks on. Wear the goggles on your masks first and then take a deep breath. This is a test to see which masks fog up the most. Choose a mask that snugly fits around your glasses and doesn’t fog as much.
Chances are you’ve already bought a really expensive paintball mask, only to find out that it doesn’t work well with your current set of glasses. The good news is that you can make few homemade adjustments to make your glasses fit instead of dishing out money on another mask. Simply make tiny precision cuts near suitable sections of the foam to improve the fit around your glasses.
Do keep in mind that these areas will offer less protection as a result. Cutting may sound primitive but if comfort is a top priority, then it’s a welcome change.
You have to be careful not to cut away too much away or you’ll disrupt the structural integrity of the mask itself. Dealing with Fog Build Up
The next thing you have to contend with is fog buildup on your glasses.
Fog buildup or moisture occurs due to temperature and humidity differences between the interior and exterior surfaces. Moisture condensation tends to collect on colder surfaces – your glasses.
It can be frustrating to hunt for paintball masks designed to accommodate your glasses only to realize that all the fog buildup is reducing vision anyway. While higher end paintball masks have excellent masks that won’t fog on you, they won’t do much to prevent fog buildup in your glasses. This is where anti-fog solutions come into play. There are a bunch of models you can apply to keep fog build up to a minimum.
Anti-fog coating works by stopping moisture that could get stuck to your glasses. You can ask your clinic or store to apply the coating on your glasses before the paintball session. Just remember not to directly touch the lenses afterwards because it will cause the coating to peel right off. This means going back to the shop for a second trip to get more anti-fog coating.
If you don’t have the time to go into a shop for anti-fog coating, you can instead purchase commercially available anti-fog solutions, anti-fog wipes, or creams. These solutions are formulated with compounds that prevent humidity from collecting on the surface of your lenses.
You can directly apply the paste form or spray to your lenses, and then wipe them away in a gentle, circular motion using a clean towel to clear the glasses. Depending on the extent of the fog, you may have to apply the solution multiple times.
If you decide to skip out on a commercially available anti-fogging solution, you really can’t go wrong with a dish detergent. It’s a bit primitive, but it can hold off the fog - at least for a short while. You will need an atomizer to do the trick.
Fill the container with the detergent at least a quarter of the way and top off the remaining space with water. You will need paper towels or clean fabrics to wipe off the excess solution. Once fog starts building up again, repeat the above.
But if you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to prepare anti-fog solutions, you can use some mild dish soap instead. Wet your glasses, add a drop or two on each lens, and wipe to spread it out evenly.
There are a lot of misconceptions floating around the internet promising to clean your glasses free of fog, yet they only end up causing more harm than good. Here are the ‘home remedies’ you should avoid.
It is much better to use anti-fog wipes and sprays instead. Just stash them in your paintball gear bag and you’re good to go.
Some high-end paintball masks come with built-in fans that are extremely good at reducing fog build up. If you simply can’t ditch your glasses in favor of contact lens and fog continues to remain an issue, this investment will be worth your while. The fans are usually positioned above the goggles and blow a constant stream of air across the lenses. This energizes condensed moisture to evaporate and almost completely eliminate fogging.
There are several disadvantages when it comes to fans. They are expensive, require extra batteries, make lots of noise (since they’re constantly whirring at high speeds!), and break rather easily. In some cases, an extra fan with all its accessories is all it takes to restrict your freedom of movement during gameplay. At least you won’t get any more fog problems.
Headbands may look cool and hip on your face, but they are more than just a fashion statement.
Headbands are useful because they soak up all the sweat on your forehead. They prevent sweat accumulating on our heads from trickling down into our eyes and irritating them in the process, not to mention causing tons of humidity. And as the rule of thumb goes: the more humidity you have, the more fog there will be. Headbands are especially useful if you choose to not wear paintball masks. If you wear them low enough, you might even prevent any paint from seeping into your ears.
Choose a headband made from natural material like cotton. Other great options include searching for headbands with moisture-wicking and breathability properties. Your best bet would be to invest in natural fiber or a specially designed sports mesh.
Straps won’t do much to prevent fog buildup on your glasses, but they will keep your glasses from falling after you take your mask off. Straps are relatively thin fabrics that can snugly fit inside your mask to hold your glasses right where you want them to be.
Finally, if you can wear contact lens in a game of paintball, then it’s a good idea to do so. Not only is your risk of fogging greatly reduced, you will be far more comfortable than with glasses.
To sum things up, fogging will naturally occur when you wear a visor of any kind, and paintball masks are no exception to this rule. The tips in this post will help you stay cooler, reduce fogging, and maintain excellent vision while wearing glasses. Don’t let glasses stand in your way of a great day out paintballing.