Comfort, great visibility, superb protection. The goggle lens is VERY easy to replace.
No documentation came with this model.
This review is for the Proto Switch EL ("Entry Level") model.
This model is packaged in a clear clamshell type hanging display package, unlike the Switch FS model that comes in a box, and is about $25 more.
There were only two differences I could see between the FS and the EL. The first, and most noticeable, is that the sides of the lens opening on the FS model are curved, and the sides of the lens opening on the EL are straight. The second difference is that the lower part of the face protector on the Switch EL model is molded as one piece, rather than the two-piece, two-color styling of the Switch FS model. Other than that, they appear to be cosmetically and functionally the same. I think the Proto FS model may come with a thermal double lens, while the Switch EL has a fog-resistant single lens.
The package for the Proto Switch EL warns to "Do not use these goggles until you have read, understood, and followed all instructions and safety precautions in the owner's manual." It further states that if the owner's manual is unavailable or lost, to call DYE or visit the Proto Paintball website. Well, there was no owner's manual with my Proto Switch EL, and there are no instructions on the package on how to remove and replace the lens; there is merely the sales pitch on how simple it is to change the lens with a "simple 1/4 turn buckle (Patent Pending)."
I called DYE to ask about the owner's manual, and was connected to the voice mail of April in Customer Service. She emailed me, stating that the package is the owner's manual. Hmmm. . . I fiddled around with the "simple" 1/4 turn buckle (Patent Pending), and couldn't get the lens to come out.
I had to go to the Proto Paintball website and download the PDF owners manual that covers the Proto Switch EL, FS and HE (I don't know what the HE model is). The instructions are clear and concise, and within 30 seconds, I had the lens out and it was sparkling clean again.
I sometimes wear glasses for distance vision, but the pair that I had chosen to wear the first time I used the Proto Switch EL was a little too "stylishly" wide for the goggles, and I had neglected to bring my other, smaller pair of glasses.
The packaging clearly states that it is "not intended for use with all types of eyeglasses." I just remember to bring my "paintball" glasses when I play now.
The Proto Switch EL is a fantastic protective system, with amazing visual performance. Other than the lack of documentation, I could not find a single fault. I feel that the lack of the all-important owner's manual is enough to drop my rating from a 10 to a 9. Of course, if you can read this review, then it should be no problem for you to visit www.protopaintball.com to download a copy of the manual in PDF format.
Just to let you know, there is a separate review area for the EL mask. There is a review for the proto switch EL and the proto switch. They are two separate masks. Change it if you want, it's your body.
Last edited on Sunday, March 13th, 2005 at 9:44 pm PST