For many of us, some of the best seasons for paintball are some of the worst times for breathing. Which is is a problem, since for most of us non-zombies, breathing is one of our favorite things to do.
Personally, I have a respiratory problem known as Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS). A couple of years ago, I spent too many minutes in a room full of low molecular weight irritant fumes I didn't know were there. Instant asthma. F****** = Me. So any kind of inhaled irritant now makes my lungs very sad. (A large number of Vets also have similar issues like Irritant Induced Asthma. If that's you, listen up.)
More commonly, lots of players have severe allergies or asthma, which can make some days in the spring, summer and fall a frikkin misery, depending on where we are at. It may even keep you off the field at times.
So I've been working on ways to to get clean air into me so I can go forth and be a significant handicap to my team. Just like before.
Primarily, I use a 3M Powerflow powered air purifying respirator
( PAPR) modified to feed a half-mask under my PB mask. Works well, and provides about 5cmHg of BiPAP-like inhalation support, although in my case, F**** still = Me. Built it from spare bits off of eeebaaay for ~$500. I can't really play much anymore even with it, (although I get to make cool Darth Vader noises), but I'm old anyway, so when the time comes I know my trusted teammates will take me out behind the barn and put me out of their misery. Bless 'em.
But if you are trying to cope with allergy or dust irritant problems, have a look at what I've run across. Hopefully one of these can extend the season for some folks, or at least make it more enjoyable. These all should fit well under most masks. And don't forget Rule 29: if it's stupid but it works, it's not stupid.
3M 8233 N100 particulate mask ~ $15 ea
Comfortable and stops any particles with low breathing effort. A bit bulky, but stops ALL particles. No good against fumes/vapors. Disposable eventually.
Mouthy Mimes uniform standard mask. Don't mess.
Bottom left: ~$25
. Very interesting particulate mask I ran across. Not OSHA or anybody certified, but very comfy, Great protection against pollen/dust, IMHO, almost no breathing resistance and easy to talk through. No good against fumes/vapors. Washable/reusable, so cheap in the long run.
Bottom right: Moldex 2400 ~ $10 ea
Durable N95 level mask with a charcoal layer to also protect against nuisance level fumes/vapors. (Actually pretty impressive to walk by a campfire with it on and smell nothing.) Very comfy to wear with not-awful inhalation effort. Exhaust vent placement even tends to reduce mask fogging a bit. Disposable so buy a bag of 10.
Thats what I got. Anyone else run across any good solutions to share?