Reviews, discussion, questions and suggestions about HEMA equipment.
Post Reply
User avatar
Pringle
Adept
Adept
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:23 pm

Fencing Masks

Post by Pringle » Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:07 pm

Originally posted by Melissa, Jun 7, 2019 @ 14:06

If you're looking for basic kit then the Red Dragon lvl 1 is a good entry level mask which is perfectly suitable for synthetics.

If you want to start sparing with steels then you will need to get a LVL 2 1600N mask.

PBT
Jordan and I both have PBT HEMA FIE MASK 1600N. https://pbthistoricalfencing.com/produc ... full-black

Jordan's has taken quite a bit of a beating and is still serviceable. The PBT masks are at the more affordable end of the range currently 120 EUROs each. What I love about them is that they have quite a bit of padding and when it's on, your face is surrounded by padding and well cushioned from blows. At first I found it restricting, but once I got hit I was grateful as it just didn't move like the lvl 1 Red Dragon would. Neither Jordan nor I have ever received a waffle from the mask's mesh and I think that's because the mesh cage goes out quite a but, so it's further from the face.

Another benefit of the PBT masks is that mask Overlays stay on. Jordan has a SPES and I have a SupFen full overlay on my mask and they are snugly wedged on. When the same overlays are put on other masks, for example Red Dragon Masks, because of their shape they don't stay on as well and can move. When at tournaments, we saw many people with the same problem and they had other brands of masks, though I don't know which. Because they didn't fit well we saw badly aimed thrusts catch the overlay and pull it up over the fencer's face, at other times it would just ride up on its own. But Overlays fit PBTs and fit well.

The only con, for me is cleaning. The padding doesn't come out so I have to hand wash it which is a bit of a nuisance.

Red Dragon Lvl 2
https://www.thehemashop.com/1600n-rd-fencing-mask-hema current price £150

Like the lvl 1 it has a removable lining which makes it easier to clean. However, though I have not worn the lvl 2 it does not appear to have as much padding as the PBT does and is more or less the same shape as the Lvl 1 so I'd suspect it would have the same issues with a full overlay as the lvl 1s. But like I said, I've never worn one and Ben who has one has only just started sparing with steels so it's yet to be put through any sort of rigorous testing. Time will have to tell.

But there are many out there to choose from just remember to check with Jordan before you buy as he may know someone who had what you're thinking of getting to give their feedback.
Ben

User avatar
Pringle
Adept
Adept
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:23 pm

Re: Fencing Masks

Post by Pringle » Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:08 pm

Originally posted by Ben, Jun 11, 2019 @ 21:14

So I went for the level 2 Red Dragon because I hadn't had much chance to try other masks and I knew I was happy with the RD sizing (I went for XL to accommodate glasses).

It feels like it's quite a lot better made than the level 1, the surround over where the front grill joins seems considerably tougher (I'm not sure how to describe it... more rubbery/plasticy rather than cottony/materialy) and the strap is a lot nicer, more adjustable and easily replacable (though based on Carmen's mask it look like they've brought this strap to the level 1 masks now as well).

I actually found that the SupFen overlay stayed on the mask fine (I just didn't like the full overlay and have now gone for a back of head protector plus a top overlay combo which I really like) - Cian has the overlay now so may be able to give a view.

I'm pretty happy with it but I haven't used any other masks so I don't really have a point of comparison.
Ben

Post Reply