Review: X Factor V2 Metal Mesh Half Mask

Manufacturer: X Factor / TMC
Package: 1x Metal Mesh Half Mask.
Type: Gear / Protection
Rating: 5/5
Cost: $20 @ Airsoft Extreme

I have never been one for face protection outside of the CQB environment. Paintball masks make me feel very claustrophobic and fogging was always an issue due to my heavy breathing being recycled into the poorly ventilated lower part of the mask. Eventually I gave up and started wrapping a shemagh around my head and biting the knot when I knew contact was eminent. Not really 100% safe by any stretch of the imagination. Fast forward to July 2011 when AEX had their big 4th of July sale going on and I found the X Factor V2 Metal Mesh Half Mask while surfing their online store for random items (which I do more often than I’d like to admit).

I instantly fell in love with the soft, cordura covered foam lower half of the mask which greatly adds to the comfort during movement. The ear protection does limit and event restricts which radio headset I can use, one of the major con’s of the mask. The cut of the mask can rub on the bridge of your nose if your straps are not secured correctly, a mistake I did that literally rubbed me raw during field tests.

I field tested on two games, one being in a high-humidity environment, the other in a very normal, 80F day. During the high-humidity game, I noticed a considerable amount of either sweat or condensation (couldn’t really tell) forming on the wire mesh portion of the mask. This really didn’t hinder the masks operation, just seemed a little odd. No rusting or staining occurred from sweating through the cordura. At 98% humidity, the masked performed great. During the 2nd field trial nothing really exceptional happened. The mask performed as designed and I actually got zapped in the lower face at approximately 25 feet. The mask rang with every BB strike, letting me know there was no doubt that I was hit. I had no problem sighting in on my AEG using iron sights and red dots respectively.

In conclusion, for $20 you can’t get better face protection. Comfortable, light and durable, the X Factor V2 Metal Mesh Half Mask is the protection you need at a price point that won’t break the bank. After all, a trip to the dentist to replace that chipped/broken tooth is going to cost a hell of a lot more than $20 no matter how good of insurance you have!

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4 Comments » for Review: X Factor V2 Metal Mesh Half Mask
  1. Tue says:

    What kind of radio headset can you use with this sort of mask? I like the added protection compared to neoprene but I’m concerned about the flexibility – or lack thereof – of compatible headsets.

    • Radar says:

      You are 100% correct with the narrowing of headset choices. In the post “Gear: FRS Headsets” I detail the two headsets I use most often. The Motorola 53743 headset (still my favorite) was low-pro enough to fit, but I found the mic boom to be too close to my face and felt like I had too many instances of it touching my face. The Pryme setup was ideal as there is no boom mic to get in the way and the over-ear support is unobstructed. The only thing I haven’t tried are throat mics (as I don’t own one and feel the quality of voice sent is sub par) but think they would do well as they tend to use the same style ear piece as the Pryme handset.

  2. Wolfen says:

    I noticed that you use the ESS profile goggles (assumption). Will this fit on your face while using said goggles with the cortex clip?

    • Radar says:

      Actually I use the ESS Turbo Fan goggles (which according to ESS should accommodate the Cortex Clip) but I have never used or seen in-person the Cortex Clip. The mask has a high nose profile and once the goggles are on, your nose is completely covered, I can’t see why you would need/want the Cortex Clip. Regardless, I can’t say with confidence that the combo would fit, but from the pics I’ve seen thought the web there is a strong possibility that it would.

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