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S/C Splinter Monday, September 18th, 2006
Period of
Product Use:
3 months6 of 7 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
More than 5 years
Similar
Products Used:
JT X-Fire (Elite lense)
Proto Switch (version1)
Marker Setup: KP2SC Pistol Stock
CCI VSC45 Phantom
PGP2k's
Tib8
Strengths: 260* lense (sold everywhere)
Comfortable frame & foam
Low profile top, ears & chin
Accepts JT fans
Weaknesses: Poor quality strap
Lacks the Flex in "Flex8"
Lense change (its love/hate)
Review: I used a rental mask one time...one time and only one time.

From the start I knew I needed a good mask, but like many people I went a little cheep. I started with a JT X-Fire and thought it was pretty nice. The fit was there but the lense change was a pain in the butt. After 3 years of woodsball, speedball, leagues & 6 replacement lenses I decided to step up to the 21st century...So I thought.
I cursed that Proto from day one!!
The only thing I liked about it was the quick change lense.
I used that proto switch for 2 years, never changing the lense since I hated the fit. Time to toss this junk and start over.

The JT Flex8
After ditching JT over 2 years ago I wanted back in, this time I wanted to do it right. I decided on the Flex8 and was very happy with the fit. On my old proto I had to cut foam to keep it from pinching my nose, cut the mouth guard to be able to play tight & pin my strap to keep it tight... The JT fixed the first two problems right out of the box.

Fit: For my face nothing fits better then JT, Just enough foam in just the right spots.
The strap left a lot to be desired, and when compared to my old X-Fire strap felt very thin.
I decided to add my old strap to the mask, I will never go back to a single strap again!
Two straps give more contact area with less pressure, the ultimate in custom fit.

Weight: By far the lightest mask I have ever worn, night and day differance to the proto. Less weight means a better fit (no pressure points) Less slip (I wear glasses) & the kind of comfort that makes me feel like I am wearing ski goggles.

Vision: 260* lense is likened to the proto switch, great vision with glasses. JT thermal lenses work well as long as you use Plexus to clean them & high quality anti fog treatment to keep them fresh. Swapping lenses is a job for the experienced, in a controlled enviorment, with time to do it right. Also since JT lenses are avaliable at many sports stores, hunting stores & pro shops (unlike proto) I know that I can pick up new lenses quickly.

Lowers: There is not really any "flex", at least not yet. Hopefully in time it will break in and soften up a little. The grill consists of a soft base with little "mini blind" shaped vents made out of a stiffer material. Unlike my old X-Fire I can not roll up the grill.


[EDIT 6/12/07]
It has been close to a year and I have found issues with my JT.
I have had to cut out some of the venting to increase breathing, while I do not reccomend it to anyone it has helped. (I mostly play pump games so overshooting is not a worrie for me) The comfort is still there, but I find myself having to bring a 2nd mask to every game I attend. Because of the time and supplies needed to properly remove and clean the lense (I always seem to get paint on the inside) I end up switching to my Proto 1/2 way through the day. I recently picked up a Vents Grilz and so far I am happy with the fit. I plan to have a 2nd strap sewn onto the 1st to mimic the JT feel.




Conclusion: Always try on masks before you buy if you can.
For me JT trumps everything in the fit department & allows for the double strap mod.
Good looks, good fit, great vision, featherweight, avaliable fan (glasses users) & easy access to replacemant lenses all add up to a mask that I would reccomend highly.
Rating:
9 out of 10Last edited on Tuesday, June 12th, 2007 at 10:46 am PST
 

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