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Comments on PhoenixWolf's Review

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PhoenixWolf Friday, December 9th, 2005
Period of
Product Use:
2 years1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
4 years
Similar
Products Used:
JT Spectra - Far superior
Marker Setup: 98 Custom
JCS Folding Combat Stock
Armson Stealth Barrel 16"
Various other upgrades

68 Carbine
Tippmann 14" Sniper Barrel
Expansion Chamber
Strengths: Cheap
Protects your face
Unlikely to ever break
Weaknesses: HOT
Poor field of vision
Hard to clean / change lens
Loose fit
Review: Well, I started with this mask when I got my marker. It's a decent enough mask to start with, but honestly there's many better for the money. Firstly, I live in Arizona, so I know a properly ventilated mask when I wear one. This thing is absolutely terrible for ventilation. It's hot in the goggles, you get no airflow, and even under the mask itself, your breathing makes it stuffy.

That said, it does offer relatively good protection. It is long in the front, which offers some neck protection. It also offers complete forehead protection and a visor. Unfortunately, this comes at a price, a price of increased heat. Your forehead normally radiates heat, so covering it makes you sweat more. The visor is utterly useless, and actually prevents wind from getting in the top goggle vents, exacerbating the temperatures and any fogging problems. No thermal lens turns the problem from very bad to very ugly. Removing the visor should be the first thing you do.

The mask itself is made of a fairly strong, stiff plastic. You'll retire it long before you break it. The strap at the back is not the best. It tends to stretch and require greater tightening over time. I never had to replace a lens, but the one time I removed it for cleaning, I wished I hadn't. This thing is a royal pain to remove and you're always afraid you'll break the pins or tear the goggle rubber. Putting it back is another challenge.

The field of vision on this mask is not exactly great, and I believe this contributes to a lot of the tunnel vision rookies have. When you can't see what's to the side of you with a glance, you tend to stop looking. Loss of situational awareness results in additional eliminations that you would not otherwise have suffered. This just isn't a good thing overall, since it can seriously impact your performance.
Conclusion: Ultimately, the mask is an older design that is way past its time. It has numerous flaws that are common to low end masks, and none of them are really fixable. You can get a new Spectra Proshield for less money than you'd pay for this mask, and it is superior in every single way. It's effectively a high end mask at a low price. Don't buy the X-Ray. It's just not worth it when there's so much better available.
Rating:
5 out of 10
 

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