Face/Eye Pro

Protecting your face and eyes are arguably the most important safety aspects of airsoft. We have a bunch of options:

Goggles – Dual-lens eye protection we always use. Super hard to fog.
Glasses – Simple but effective with a tight fit and anti-fog treatment.
Mesh masks – our go-to teeth protection to go with goggles & glasses
Full face masks – combined goggles and teeth protection, modern design with dual lenses.

Face/Eye ProEye Pro

Face/Eye ProFace Pro

What type of Eye Protection should I choose?

Like many sports activities, airsoft must be practiced with a certain amount of protection. The most essential and obligatory one is eye protection. Receiving a BB in the eye can cause serious damage and even lead to permanent loss of sight.
This is why it is essential to respect the safety instructions and, in particular, not to shoot outside the game area.

The eye protection you choose must be able to withstand an impact of at least several joules above the limit in your country. And since eye protection is a big topic even outside of airsoft, there are several standards and regulations in existance which you can use to check if your glasses or goggles are safe.

Safety Norms for Glasses and Goggles

There are multiple norms/standards in the European Union, in the US military, and in the relatively well-known ANSI norm. We think it's worth it to understand them, at least because you can stumble upon multiple ratings with one eyepiece of airsoft eye protection.

Look for norms EN166B, EN166A or MIL-PRF-32432.

Just EN166 or ANSI Z87.1-2010 Z87+ norms do not mean the eye protection is 100 % safe for airsoft. It can be but it's not a given. And since eyes don't heal too well, this is not the place to save money.

European norms

In Europe, the norm EN166 is used to regulate eye protection. This norm has several subvariants, not all of them are suitable for airsoft:

  • EN166F category, which is rated only up to 0.87J - not good for airsoft ❌
  • EN166B rated up to 6.2J, recommended for airsoft. ✅
  • EN166A rated up to 15.5J, which is more than enough for airsoft. ✅

For nerds: EN166 glasses and goggles are tested using a steel 6 mm BB weighing 0.86 grams. In the F subcategory, it hits the glasses at 45 m/s, in the B category at 120 m/s, A category at 190 m/s. Also, for all norms, glasses and goggles are tested differently. Goggles usually need to withstand more energy on impact to be rated with the same rating.

US Military norms

In the US, the current military standard for protective eyewear can be found under the norm MIL-PRF-32432. That one is also more than suitable for airsoft, as the rating document shows:

“Section 4.4.3.3 (Ballistic Fragmentation Characteristics) of MIL-PRF-32432 incorporates ballistics test procedures from two previous standards: MIL-PRF-31013 (spectacles, tested at 7.67 Joules) and MIL-DTL-43511d (Visors and Polycarbonate, tested at 16.05 Joules).”
 
This, in short, means that if we have MIL-PRF-rated glasses, they have to withstand 7.67 Joules. If we have MIL-PRF-rated goggles, they have to withstand 16.05 Joules. All good there.

ANSI Z87.1-2010 Z87+ norm

Often used by insurance companies, this is another standard, which, however, isn't sufficient. The full marking: ANSI Z87.1-2010 Z87+, only tests for 1.1 Joules with glasses and 4.4 Joules with goggles, respectively. We don't recommend using eye pro with just this rating.

What if you are not sure about the rating of your eye pro???

Not all goggles come with a safety standard certification. If you get your hands on such goggles or glasses, it's a good idea to shoot at them using your strongest gun, point-blank. If they break, they are not fit for use...

Also, if you happen to consider mesh goggles which are sometimes offered, don't do it. These tend to scatter BBs on impact, letting shrapnels directly hit your eyes.

How to combat fogging Airsoft Goggles?

Fogging is your biggest enemy in any airsoft game and can ruin your experience. The amount of fog will depend heavily on the weather conditions and on the person. There are ways to avoid fogging almost completely.

The first way is to invest in proper eye protection. Get yourself eye protection with anti-fog treatments. If you're willing to pay a considerate sum for your primary, invest in eye protection.
Some full-face masks are even known to almost never fog. A great example is the Dye i5 mask.

The second way is simply to stay on the move. Running and moving will allow air to flow through and prevent fogging. Not only will you have a more comfortable experience but your gameplay will also become more dynamic.

Or if you want to skip some of the troubleshooting, look into the active ventilation unit or Anti Fog Unit. Requires more gear to be carried but solves fogging for you.

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Is it important to buy a Face mask?

Face protection isn't obligatory but we consider it a must-have. Getting hit in your face hurts a lot but most importantly, you could also break your teeth and leave serious bruises.
Coming back home, or to work, with these injuries is not really ideal and could make those around you not be supportive of this hobby.

We recommend always wearing full face protection either through a full face mask or simply with mesh masks if you don't want to be encumbered when aiming through your rifle scope.

Full face/Paintball masks: are they better?

Now as stated above Full Face/Paintball masks have considerable advantages. They're extremely hard to fog, they offer great surface protection, and can resist high impacts. The ideal protection for a CQB setting. They however have some drawbacks.

Full face protection can make it difficult for you to align with your scope or low mount red dot. To solve this you could either use a riser on your red dot or a more minimalistic eye protection instead such as the low profile goggles with a mesh mask.