It is finally here! The Empire EVS goggle system is one of the most highly anticipated items to hit the paintball market this year. Along with a massive lens, the largest appeal is an optional integrated Heads Up Display (HUD) inside the mask! With this HUD, players can sync with bluetooth, gps, and more to create the most interactive experience ever! This mask was entered in the CES (consumer electronics show) and took social media by storm, winning Engadget’s Best of CES award for the wearable category! This mask put paintball on its biggest stage to date! But aside from all the hype, how is it as an actual paintball mask? Well, the first orders arrived this week, and although these version don't yet include the HUD, they are still an impressive mask.
The first thing you notice about the EVS is the lens, it is massive! The lens on the EVS system is far and away the largest lense I have ever seen, and certainly the largest lens in the shop. So far, only clear lenses are available but new colors and tints are on the way. The lens itself has an amazing field of view. I felt like I could literally see backwards.
Aside from the size of the lens, the mask itself is packed with features. One nice feature is a twist lock lens system. This system does away with the old tab and twist feature of the eflex and has a totally integrated system. This means there are no more tabs to drop and lose. The new system is going to save a lot of hassle.
Another cool feature is the replaceable foam. No longer does old foam require a new mask. We’ve all had a mask that has the foam fall apart and ended up replacing the whole mask. With the EVS mask, the foam is modular so replacement is simple. On top of that, the bottoms are still flexible. Most modern masks have a good bit of flex to them on the rubber below the lens. With such a massive lens it's nice to still have a bit of give in the mask.
The overall weight of the mask is slightly heavier than some of its counterparts but it was not enough to make a noticeable difference. I wore the mask around the shop for about an hour and was not bothered by the weight. The sound inside the mask is unique as well. It was easy to hear people and I felt relatively well heard. At the same time, there was a definite echo in the mask. I didn't have a chance to play in one yet but I assume it will be a negligible difference.
If you have any questions or we missed anything, comment here or send us a comment on facebook! All our masks are up on PBWarehouse as well. See you on the field.