When a friend asks me about best half mask protection, I always feel confident recommending the OneTigris Mask. It’s a comfortable, foldable and durable lower face mesh mask at a ridiculously low cost.
I’ve used this mask for more than a year and it’s taken hundreds of hits and survived an entire year of events, come sun or rain. On top of that it’s the first airsoft half mask I’ve felt comfortable wearing even while sleeping.
So, when OneTigris sent me one of their brand new, Winter camouflage Scream masks to review, I jumped at the chance. There were just 2 conditions, firstly they don’t get any editorial control of my review (like all my reviews), and secondly – I get to GIVEAWAY the mask, rather than keeping it.
I’ve had a love-hate history with lower face protection over the last 14 years. When I started playing I had to wear a full face due to my age…but as soon as I could, I removed the lower protection.
For years I’ve played with nothing but a bandana around my neck. If things got hairy, simply pull it up and keep those lips closed. On the whole I’ve been very fortunate, having been hit on my teeth half a dozen times but never taken damage. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for some of my friends, or a few of my targets (Sorry!).
Eventually I felt like I was playing the toothshot lottery, and I didn’t want to see my number come up! So mid 2017, after another friend lost a tooth during a mid range engagement, I decided to pick up a full metal lower mask and attach it to my helmet. I lasted 2 months before selling it. It was uncomfortable, and just awkward whenever I tried to look down my scope.
I had to find an alternative!
Thats when I found the OneTigris Mask. Initially apprehensive about wearing another mask, I paid the small price of £12 figuring it wasn’t a huge investment compared to a dentist visit.
One year later and it’s with me at every game. So in this review, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of the Mask from a year of use.
The primary job of a face mask is to protect your teeth (well, duh!) so I suppose we should start there. In the centre of the mask is a metal mesh covering from chin to nose, made from woven steel. The nose and chin parts have a nylon (material) protective cover/padding to ensure it doesn’t catch or dig on your face.
The mesh itself is impact resistant and after being hit more than 500 times at 250-350FPS, it has no noticeable dents at all – but I’ll come back to the testing later on.
Moving towards the side of the OneTigris Scream Mask is the Nylon cheek covers. This is the bit that rests against your face, and it’s really responsible for the comfort.
The outside is a Cordura fabric, known for being durable, waterproof and resistant to tears, it’s extremely high quality.
You wouldn’t want that material rubbing against your face all day though, that’s why the inside is made of a breathable nylon and has additional soft padding.
With the mask resetting against your face, the sides effortlessly shape around your cheeks, and since it’s all material there are no pressure points pushing against your face. This is really important, especially if you’re wearing it all day.
Towards the back of the airsoft lower mask are your clips and straps. Each clip is twin strapped, meaning you have two straps each, which attaches to a centre piece that sits at the back of your head.
The straps used are very elasticated, allowing for great flexibility and fitting multiple head sizes. OneTigris have also released a medium size which is perfect for players with a small head, especially women and children.
Looking at the stitching quality across the straps, the cheek area and the mesh padding, it is excellent. Comparing to previous masks I’ve tried over the years, it is easily one of the best I’ve seen – even with my mask being over a year old. There are minimal signs of wear and all the stitching is tight, even with some tugging the mask – there shows no signs of strain in the stitches.
Wearing & Adjusting the OneTigris Mask
One of the perks of the OneTigris Mask is that it’s foldable, so I typically fold it in half, placing it in my trouser pocket until we’re out on the field. Then, if things are heating up it’s a case of throwing it over my head with the elastic straps and pulling it tight.
Due to the twin clips, you have 4 straps providing that ultimate level of adjustment. Once adjusted appropriately, it should stay in place and shouldn’t sag. If you do notice any of the mask falling while moving it most likely means you haven’t tightened it enough.
Airsoft Tip – Put electric tape around the straps to ensure it doesn’t move between uses.
Once on, I’m able to look down iron-sights unhindered, getting a near-perfect cheek weld, something that isn’t remotely possible with the full faced mesh masks.
In regards to level of comfort, I can and have worn it all skirmishes, plus on 12 and 24 hour milsims. (yes, even while sleeping)
The only thing I’ve particularly noticed though is it retains heat, and one game in the summer I had to take it off to cool down. No matter how breathable a material, it’s still against your face and if you’re running around, getting sweaty in 28*C, it’s going to be warm.
Testing the Mask
I’ve used this mask with a variety of eye protection without any issues, whether that’s Bolle X8 (big) goggles, shooting glasses, Bolle Trackers (small) goggles and mesh glasses. All of them have fit around the mesh frame, having a minimal gap between your eyes and your cheeks depending on the size of your eye protection.
On the field I’ve seen a player who wore a helmet, big BolleX goggles and the lower mesh mask all combined and they’ve fitted perfectly. If you have the appropriate strap clips, you could decide to attach this mask directly on your helmet. ICS Captain RebelAxa does exactly this.
In regards to damage mitigation, I actually used this mesh mask while testing the Airsoft Innovations 40 Mike. If you’re not aware, the 40 Mike launches 150 BBs in .3s of a second. The OneTigris mesh mask took hundreds of BBs throughout the day (both intentionally and not) and there wasn’t any sign of mesh getting bent.
There have also been sniper rifles at 2.3 Joules (500fps on .2s) shoot it close and again no signs of denting beyond some paint chipping off. But, once chipped, you will have exposed metal open to the elements and now potentially will rust without proper care. Over the year I have exposed metal inside the mask which has begun to rust after playing in the rain.
I’m not really concerned and the strength of the mask hasn’t been affected, quite simply the woven steel is just too strong for a BB to get through.
What about BB Fragments on your teeth?
Clearly this mask will stop a 6mm BB, but what happens if the BB splits upon impact? Well you may have some dustings or fragments hit your mouth but it is very, very unlikely that you would take any real damage.
By the time it’s hits the mask, it would have lost the majority amount of its energy in the impact. So, any fragments shouldn’t be coming through the mask with enough force behind it to cause any damage to your skin or your teeth.
It’s just the same way that a paintball exploding on a paintball mask can still seep into your mouth guard (trust me, it doesn’t taste nice!). There’s no chance of serious damage.
Pros of the OneTigris Mask:
Cons of the OneTigris Mask:
Overall Opinion – Why Choose OneTigris Foldable Mesh Mask?
There is no doubt that this is ONE OF THE BEST airsoft lower face masks for the money and I know I’ll continue using mine through 2019.
Since it’s available in 2 different sizes, with 11 different camouflage patterns; I have no doubt that any player should find this mask on the must have purchase list, especially if you have no lower face protection in 2019.
Ultimately, with the increasing rate of fire and energy/power restrictions, now more than ever do we risk losing teeth when playing airsoft with no lower face protection.
Being able to store this mask in a pocket and bring it out when things get hectic could well save a tooth, and with such a low cost – there’s really no excuse. After all, have you seen the cost of a replacement?
A huge thanks to OneTigris for providing the Multicam Alpine to review, if you’re interested – you can buy the OneTigris 4”/ 6″ Tactical Foldable Half Face Mask for Airsoft directly on their website. Alternatively, take a look on Amazon!
Source: Airsoft Nation