As anyone who enjoys paintballing knows, a mask is an essential part of equipment if you want to enjoy yourself. They provide protection to your eyes and allow you to simply focus on enjoying rather than protecting yourself.
While there are quite a lot of different companies who manufacture, one of the leading companies is undoubtedly Dye. They are renowned for producing excellent protective equipment for paintballing, but their masks, in particular, are a stand out item.
But sometimes knowing that a company has a good reputation isn’t enough, and you want to find out more about the products before you buy.
You may also want to find out more about the specific masks produced by Dye. They have a range of different options available so even finding the right one out of the different products that this company offers can be difficult.
Today we’re looking at two of Dye’s top paintballing masks: the i4 and the i5. By looking at the different features that both of these masks have on offer, we will be able to look at the similarities and the differences between them and determine which is the better option if you want to buy a new paintballing mask.
So let’s get started.
First, let’s take a look at the Dye i4 mask.
In appearance, both the Dye i4 and the Dye i5 masks are very similar which might lead you to believe that their features are similar too.
However, this is not the case. Despite their similarities in looks, the i4 and the i5 are actually quite different from one another, so let’s take a look at the Dye i4 mask.
Due to its design, the i4 is often viewed as the more basic option out of the different masks that Dye has on offer.
It is openly advertised as the smallest and lightest mask that Dye sells, and for a lot of people, these features are often mistaken as basic.
In reality, this design is part of the key features of the mask. The goggle system has an excellent field of vision, which when coupled with its small profile and light design, makes these goggles one of the best options for seeing clearly in a foggy paintballing environment.
This mask is designed to be comfortable to wear. It is designed with anatomy in mind so that it fits against the facial contours of the person wearing it.
Comfort is key in a paintballing mask so that you do not find yourself distracted by your mask fidgeting with it instead of focusing on the task at hand.
As well as being an excellent fit for the wearer’s face, this mask also comes with Dye’s proprietary dual stage foam to provide even more comfort to the wearer. This dual-stage foam includes foam with both open and closed cell technology for the best comfort possible.
But while these are all great features of the i4, they are not the best feature. The key design feature of the i4 mask is its anti-fog technology.
As anyone with experience in paintballing knows, this activity often takes place in dark and foggy conditions. It is part of the fun, but it is always nice to get the upper hand on your competitors.
The anti-fog technology of the i4 allows you to do this. With a combination of thermal lenses and anti-distortion technology, this mask allows you to get a better sight of the area in which you are paintballing, no matter the weather conditions.
Even though the key feature of this mask is its ability to be used in foggy conditions, there are several other features that also make it a great choice.
While all of the other features we have looked at so far are very important, another thing you want in a paintballing mask is breathability.
As a paintball mask covers the majority of your face, ventilation is essential, and the i4 provides lots of this so that you can confidently wear this mask on a day at the range without worrying about your breathing ever becoming constricted.
Finally, the i4 comes with something which a lot of paintballing mask manufacturers overlook, and that is ear protection.
Protecting your ears is essential when you are paintballing, but it is still something that a lot of people forget about.
The ear protection that comes with the i4 is excellent as it is not too bulky. Bulky ear protection can be uncomfortable to wear, so with this in mind, the earpieces which come with the i4 have been designed to be lightweight and flexible to wear.
Protecting your ears without making you unnecessarily uncomfortable.
So now that we’ve taken an in-depth look at the Dye i4 mask, let’s take a look at the i5 to see how similar or different they are from one another.
As we have already explained, based on appearance alone, you might expect the i5 to operate very similarly to the i4.
But as we have already mentioned, they are very different from one another so let’s take a look at some of the best features which the i5 has on offer.
While the i4 is often viewed as the “basic” option, the i5 is like its more advanced older brother. The i4 boasts clarity, but the i5 offers precision as one of its key features.
The way that this mask offers this is similar to the anti-fog technology used in the i4 as it uses the ability to see through the fog for the user to be able to see clearly.
Instead of anti-fog technology, however, the i5 uses a Tirodial Horizon 290 degree lense to enable the wearer to see through poor weather conditions.
The lens not only allows the user to see through the fog but also allows them to use their peripheral vision to see both horizontally and vertically and increase their field of vision.
But for a mask, vision isn’t everything. The key feature of any paintballing mask is protection. For a mask to be able to provide sufficient protection to your face, it will have to include lots of padding so that the mask does not cause any harm to your skin should a paintball cause impact. The i5 offers this and so much more.
Not only does the i5 come with more than enough padding to protect your face, but it also comes with the ability to quickly replace both the foam and the lenses of the mask if you need to.
Knowing that there is the chance that both of these factors might require replacing during the time that you are paintballing, Dye has factored this into the design so that both the lens and foam can be replaced quickly and efficiently.
As well as safety, comfort is also another important factor in paintballing masks. Similar to the i4, comfort is factored into every single part of the i5’s design and this is mainly found in the design of the strap.
The strap that holds the mask in place is padded and constructed with precise tension control so that it will never be too tight or too loose, it will always fit perfectly to the shape of your skull.
The strap is also designed so that the force is evenly distributed across your head for better safety. This strap is designed with safety, comfort, and performance in mind, and it is clearly the best feature that the i5 offers.
While the strap is the key feature, there are some other notable features that it seems only fair to cover. One of which is the excellent design of the venting that is built into the i5.
Unlike some of the other options on the market, the i5 offers multi-directional venting for ultimate breathability.
The design of the vents not only allows you to breathe easily from within the mask, but it also allows heat and moisture to move out of the mask so that you do not have to worry about steam or condensation damaging your ability to see.
Finally, the i5 comes with a POV camera mount which allows you to attach a camera to the mask and record the action from your perspective.
After looking at both the i4 and the i5, it is clear to see where the two are similar, and where they are different. But which is the best? It’s now time for us to tell you our decision.
Dye i4 vs i5 Buying Guide
Which is the Best?
It is clear to see that both the i4 and the i5 masks are excellent options if you want a paintballing mask.
From simply looking at the different features that both masks offer, it is evident why Dye is one of the top brands for paintballing masks on the market. But while both the i4 and the i5 are excellent options, there has to be one which is the better choice. In our opinion, the better choice is the Dye i5 mask.
You may believe that our decision has been made based solely on the fact that the i5 is the more advanced of the 2 masks, and in a certain sense, you would be right.
The fact that the i5 is technologically superior has factored into our decision, but this is not the main reason why we have decided that this is the better option.
While the i5 is the “advanced” option, we think that both the i4 and the i5 are actually pretty similar. They both come with technology that allows the user to see more clearly in foggy and poor weather conditions, and they both come with lots of features that ensure the mask is comfortable to wear.
However, the way that the masks offer comfort does differ, and in a way, we think that the i4 is the better option if you are buying a mask based on comfort alone.
The i4 definitely appears to have a larger focus on comfort as the mask is anatomically designed to fit securely on your face, however, we think that the other features which the i5 offers outweigh the comfort offered by the i4.
For us, the factor that cemented the i5 as the best option is the level of thought that has gone into designing the strap of the mask. In a lot of cases, the strap of the mask is often overlooked, but it is this part of the design that is essential for both comfort and safety.
We love the focus that has been placed on the strap of the i5 mask to ensure that it fits well, protects the wearer, and isn’t uncomfortable or distracting.
When a paintball hits you, the impact is surprisingly hard so protecting your head is essential. While the i4 offers lots of safety features, these are mainly focused on the front of your head, and the area of your face that the mask covers.
We love that the i5 has not only considered the obvious, but it has additionally gone above and beyond to protect the wearer, and this is why we think that this is the best option out of the two.
In short, we think that the Dye i5 mask is better than the Dye i4 mask. While the advancement of the design of the i5 did play a part in our decision, our main reasoning was safety.
The i5 has more safety features on offer than the i4 which is why we think that this is the best option out of the two.