Jt Elite Headshield - lower quality, no thermal lens, worse peripheral vision, better protection
Tippmann 98 Custom
Smart Parts Teardrop 14'' Black Barrel
Empire Reloader II
Kevlar HPA Tank 68ci 4500psi
Full head protection, camo version
Poor ear protection (dangerous)
I used to have the older JT Elite Headshield. I had changed its lens with thermal so it was ok. But as I play mostly woods-ball and liked to wear camo, I had put camo tape all over it. Unfortunately the camo tape tends to go off and it is illegal in speed-ball tournaments. So the moment I saw the camo version of the new JT Flex 8 Full Cover I fell in love and bought it.
The first major improvement of course was camo, which was one of the main reasons I bought it. The second improvement I noticed was that the material seemed of better quality. I found out also that it was less bulky than the Elite and provided much better peripheral vision. The foam was softer and much better than the older one and overall seemed to be a much better mask.
Now the bad things about it. The fist one I noticed was that, unlike the elite headshield, it leaves the sides of the neck completely uncovered. It also leaves my earlobes out but initially I thought that this was not a problem since the earlobes are not a vital part of the ear. I was wrong! When I first played with it, a friend noticed that more than half of my ears were completely uncovered. During a game it is normal for the mask to slightly change position on the head but in this case an inch can make a big difference. A direct hit in the ear can damage eardrum and cause serious hearing damage and since it is a matter of safety, I guess JT must rectify this and also produce a small extension for current users.
It is needless to say that if you have long hair or you wear a bandanna to reduce sweat the problem becomes bigger.
Buy this mask if you want full head protection or if you like camo, but only after you try it on to see if your ears are fully covered!
I would give a 10 but due to the ears vulnerability I give an 8.