It’s time to review my favorite paintball mask of all time – the Empire E-Flex. If you’ve never heard of the E-Flex before, it’s essentially the combination of the Empire E-Vents and the JT Proflex.
In my opinion, this is the perfect nomination of masks. The E-Vents had a great lens that both functions well and looks cool, and the Proflex has more breathability than virtually any other mask on the market. The Empire E-Flex also comes with a wide variety of other benefits, but there are a few downsides as well.
To help you find out if the E-Flex is the right mask for you, I’ve gone ahead and wrote this review of the Empire E-Flex below. And to start this review off, we’re going to start with the best feature (and what attracts most players to buy) the Empire E-Flex — breathability.
When I first got into the sport of paintball in 2007, my friends and I started off by using cheap red Pihrahna paintball guns (see image below) and paintball masks that barely held themselves together. Of course, the first thing I did – before I even bought my first paintball gun – was buy myself a nice affordable mask with a big lens — the V-Force Profiler.
While the Profiler is still considered a great mask for the price, I would often find myself breathing far too hard (mostly because of my lousy endurance) after a hard run and rushing to the nearest exit after a game just so I could take off my mask.
Fortunately, many years later I got to try on an Empire E-Flex for the first time and I instantly fell in love. With the large amount of ventilation, I was able to breathe just as well as if I wasn’t wearing a mask at all. And from that point on I was hooked.
Easy to Remove Lens
Another great feature of the Empire E-Flex is the easy-to-remove lens. If you’ve ever used a JT Proflex before, then you already know how difficult it is to remove the lens to clean it or replace it with a new one.
Fortunately, the E-Flex fixed this annoying problem by making the lens so easy to remove you can do it in under 30 seconds.
The first step to removing the lens on the E-Flex is to lift up the tabs on the inside of both the left and right ear (Do Not Throw Away). Each tab will have the words LIFT at the top of the tab and an L (Left) or R (Right) on the other lower-side of the tab.
Empire Helix: More Affordable Mask With the Same Lens
Once both of these tabs are removed, the next step is to tilt the ear covers upwards until you can pop out the other two plastic pieces holding the ear covers together. Both of these plastic pieces also have an L or R on the inside of the mask as well as an Empire logo on the outside.
After you’ve removed both of the plastic tabs holding the ear covers to the mask, you can now remove the lens from the mask. When you’re ready to put the mask back together simply undo what you’ve done and you’ll be good to go. The whole process should only take about 30-45 seconds.
One of the reasons I personally love the Empire E-Flex is because it has a flexible rubber mouthguard. While most players like the rubber mouthguard because of its ability to promote bounces, I like how it allows me to push my face closer to the stock so I can get my eyes behind the scope or sights.
Comfortable to Wear
The first thing I noticed when I put on the E-Flex for the first time was how comfortable it was. The foam is extremely soft and almost feels like it molds to your face when wearing the mask. The ears of the mask are very comfortable too, which is one of the big complaints you see players mention about the new JT Proflex X.
And while the back-strap of the mask isn’t anything special like the Dye I5’s, the silicone print does help prevent it from sliding around on the back of your head.
- Highly breathable
- Easy to remove lens
- Great for bounces and aiming down sights
- Not enough color options
- May soon be discontinued
- The nose of the mask gets in the way of your vision
- You may get a taste of paint if you get shot in the mouthguard
- Doesn’t look as cool as other masks. Although many players do seem to love the look (myself included)
Now that I’ve discussed the advantages of using the Empire E-Flex, let’s talk about the downsides as well.
In my opinion, there is only one true downside of using the Empire E-Flex, and that is that the nose of the mask does get in the way of your vision a little bit. So if your primary interest is vision instead of ventilation, then you may be better off with a mask such as the Dye I4, Dye I5, Empire EVS, Push Unite, or even the V-Force Grill or Profiler. All of these paintball masks have a large field-of-view, but none are as breathable.
The only other downsides of the Empire E-Flex all have to do with the production side of things, and that’s because there’s a good chance that the E-Flex is being discontinued. I don’t know if this is true or not, but there is certainly a lack of variety when it comes to color choices for the E-Flex nowadays. Making all of this talk about discontinuation highly possible.
There will always be a big fan base for the Empire E-Flex and JT Proflex (the Proflex has multiple Facebook groups for owners & BST) so you’ll always be able to buy a used one if the E-Flex does end up being discontinued. Fortunately, for the time being, there are still E-Flex’s available on websites such as ANSGear.com, HustlePaintball.com, and Amazon.com.