Some people prefer to wear goggles for CQB action while others lean toward wearing more, like as a mask to protect their face. Those who are looking to preserve their fine complexion look to the Paintball industry’s offerings to select a mask that will fit their needs; after-all, who wants to explain that red blemish on your face on date night? For broader face coverage, many turn to Sly’s Profit mask. If you played paintball before transitioning to airsoft, you may already have been familiar with Valken and Sly. They are two very well-known companies that make amazing gear for our sport. The Profit took two years to develop and when you look at the mask, you can see the level of design and comfort they built into it. An even more attractive quality is its price point of $109.00, which is comparable to many goggles. This is an excellent option for competitive players; let’s take a closer look.
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: Sly/Valken
PRODUCT: Sly PROFIT Professional Fit Paintball Goggle System
MOLLE COMPATIBLE: N/A
MATERIAL/ PATTERN: Impact-resistant plastic with gradient thermal lenses in woodland. Many other colors and patterns are available.
OVERALL CONSTRUCTION- Soft celled foam for comfort, double strap setup for comfort and fit, tough molded-nylon frame, lenses are UV, IR, and water resistant.
CAPABILITIES- Mask is excellent for airsoft and paintball use.
MODEL NUMBER: 844959040591
HOW MUCH: $109.99
REVIEWERS OPINION: You wouldn’t think a face mask would be comfortable during extended play, but the Valken/Sly Profit mask is. It offers great protection, good venting and the quick release is pretty cool; overall this mask is an excellent value.
Star rating (1-5) = 4.5
+ Very comfortable
+ Lightweight design
+ Good ventilation
– Thermal lens can fog during a long day of play.
When the Profit arrived, I was curious to see what was new in paintball masks since I stopped playing paintball and transitioned to airsoft. What I would find was a mask that was very low-profile and extremely comfortable. The gradient lens was very interesting to look through and provided a great field of view.
LENS- The mask came with a two-toned lens that Sly calls a gradient lens. These have a smoke color on top, and are clear on the bottom, giving you the ability to see in sunny and low light areas. It took some time for my eyes to get used to seeing through both colors. The lens itself is much larger than a standard goggle setup and with its low profile that hugs your face, it gives you a much broader visual field.
FACE PROTECTION- he face shield is molded of a lightweight, high-strength nylon plastic and has a series of vents along the sides and at the front to allow airflow in and out and make it easy to communicate without the mask muffling your voice.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Peer into the back of the mask and you’ll see the goggle-like eye surround made up of SBR and soft cell foam to form to your face. In the ear area, there are foam pads that dampen the sound of a hit to the mask but don’t impede your hearing. Also, in the upper part of the mask’s inside, you’ll notice a clip of sorts on each side. By simply undoing this clip, you will be able to remove the lens for cleaning or to install an optional lens. The clip also allows you to remove the strap so you can wash the sweat and grime off.
As for the straps themselves, they are black, cloth-covered elastic with the Sly logo and they are adjustable to pull the mask over your head. The only glitch is that the strap sticks out like a sore thumb when mated up to the camo pattern on the mask itself. Yes, this isn’t a true tactical gear item, but I would like to have seen the strap offered in a green to match one of the greens on the mask.
When you pop the box for the Profit, you find the mask as well as a bag and a black, boomerang-looking piece of plastic. The bag is not for your marbles, it’s simply a perfect solution to storing your Profit when it’s not wrapped around your head. The bag’s soft cloth is also great for cleaning your lenses. The plastic piece is a vent cover and it pops in over the vents on top of the mask to shield the openings if you are playing in the wet.
With the two-strap system it only took a few seconds of adjustments before the Profit was rock solid on my face and the foam on the forehead section of the mask made it extremely comfortable to wear and move in. It did take some time to get used to the dual colored lens, but in time, it was easy to see through both the smoke and clear sections. Personally, I am a fan of clear and yellow lenses, they seemed to work the best for me when I played and luckily, optional lenses are available for me to easily swap out later.
Now that I was used to the visual field characteristics, I employed the help of a field buddy to check out the clarity of communication to and from the mask. At a low voice, I instructed him to fire on the enemy so I could advance. He heard me and responded and I was able to hear him clearly through the ear padding.
Finally, I focused on the space behind the mask. Although it’s a low-profile mask, I felt that there was plenty of room between my face and the plastics. I also noticed that the lower section of the mask would work for those with thinner faces. The mask is very universal. The only issue I could find that you may encounter; depending on your aiming device, would be an issue with bringing your AEG up to your cheek, but the mask is flexible so it can press in closer to your face. When my day out in the field was complete, I left with great impressions of the Sly Profit.
Overall, the Profit is an excellent goggle, face mask combo at a great price point. The fit and comfort of this mask is light years ahead of the masks I used to play in. I would recommend it for people who like the full-face protection and a great field of vision.
Valken Sports, valken.com, 866-978-2553
Words By: Eric Fine
Photos: Walter Sidas