In the last fifteen years the market has been flooded with many, many different hunting masks. The best hunting face mask should be one that regulates temperature, keeps you well-hidden, maintains good vision, and is comfortable enough to wear eight to ten hours a day. For wary waterfowl, a hunting mask can be the finishing touch to a successful hunt.
There has been many days when using a hunting mask was necessary for me. Hunting in wind chills that dip well below zero is all it took for me to equip one. If you hunt in northern areas, or you need complete cover up, a hunting mask can do it for you. When hunting in warmer weather, my option is usually face paint. Considering that is only about two weeks out of the duck hunting season, at least where I am from, my face mask gets much more use.
When choosing a good hunting mask comfort is an important factor. Think about being out for eight to ten hours a day, wearing a mask. You want this mask to be comfortable in a few ways. Temperature control is on aspect of comfort that should be on every hunter’s mind. A mask that vents out heat and sweat, but keeps you warm when the temps cool is what to look for. Fleece, polyester, and a few other synthetic materials can do this without emptying the wallet.
Keeping sweat from building up is the difference between making it four hours or eight hours. Once fleece or polyester is saturated with water, they no longer can insulate. Look for a mask that can ventilate, but insulate. It should wick moisture away from the body.
The openings for eyes and mouth, if there is one, need to be functional and yet work to conceal the hunter. Some have removable straps across the mouth, or eyes; some have mesh coverings for whole concealment. Remember, you will be using this for a good amount of time so comfort should be one of the most important factors when looking for the best face mask for hunting.
Durability is another aspect that should be considered for any hunting gear. Synthetic material is the more popular, and consequently, cheaper way to go. Options include fleece and polyester. These are sometimes mixed with other materials like Spandex. Whatever the choice, I do recommend spending a little more for the quality.
Like all other clothing, loose stitching or poor hemming is a good indicator that it will not hold up under the rigors of hunting. One that will stretch, and has a drawstring for full control of how it fits can help with it lasting for a few seasons.
Consider the price when thinking of durability. The saying “you get what you pay for,” really does apply in this instance. Always check reviews and ask other hunters what they use. Or take a pick off the four I outline below.
Ease Of Use
One of the biggest things to remember is that hunting masks can cover your vision partly, in different ways, and this can be potentially dangerous. Not only is it dangerous, but it could end up in missed shots. While having good cover is important, your vision is much more so.
Whether or not you wear glasses, like I do, will affect your decision, too. Some hunting face masks come with drawstrings, or elastic bands to help fit it to whatever form or shape that it needs to cover…within reason of course.
For masks, these are the three most crucial elements of what they should be able to provide. Comfort, durability, and ease of use, all without costing a fortune. Always check the stitching and hem work, and make sure the temperature rating is what you need for where you are hunting. Sweat building up is uncomfortable, and a great way to get cold.
The 5 Best Hunting Face Masks
After careful consideration, and a little research, I found what I think to be some of the best masks on the market. I do want to say that I not only research online, but live in a place where hunting is part of the culture. So, much of the information I provide comes straight from the source; hunters who have spent many years not only hunting, but conserving resources as well. When it comes to any passed down art, practice, or tradition, nothing is more valuable than experience from real people. With that said, I give you my top choices for the best hunting face masks of 2018.
Scent Blocker Pursuit Liner Mask
This head wear is great at masking scent completely. Any seasoned hunter knows that heat pours out of an uncovered head, taking your scent along with it. This hunting face mask will cover it completely with its scent blocker technology. S3 antimicrobial odor control works, especially for those late season, wary flocks.
It has an adjustable face panel, and a four-way stretch system to fit comfortably next to the skin. It has a combination of polyester and spandex terry cloth which wicks moisture away from your body. The mesh panels are strategically placed to allow for better hearing, and breath-ability.
This face mask is made to control odor, and camouflage the hunter without interfering with primary or peripheral vision. To make calls the mask has to be lifted, unless you remove the face panel or blow through the mesh. Calling through mesh can distort it enough to scare flocks, so be careful if that is what you choose to do.
- S3 Odor blocking technology
- Four-way stretch panels for nice snug fit
- Adjustable face panel
- Mesh panels for better hearing and breath-ability
- Vision is not interrupted; primary or peripheral
- Doesn’t fit over glasses
- Connecting the face cover to the hood is difficult
- Not made for midseason or late-season temperatures
The Under Armour Control ColdGear Infrared Hood
This scent controlled face mask is form-fitting and offers full facial protection in the cold. The mask also features options such as a neck gaiter for increased levels of ventilation and the scent controlled technology in which the mask is made from allows you to wear it longer without worrying about your body odor scaring sensitive game away.
Another reason as to why this mask serves as one of the best face masks for hunting, is because it allows hunters to use their own body heat to their advantage. Via the ColdGear advanced infrared technology, the fabric-type inner lining enables thorough body heat absorption in order to keep hunters warm all throughout the day. This is made possible by the 87 percent polyester, 13 percent elastane fabric used to create the mask and the moisture management which let’s your skin stay dry as long as possible.
Under Armour is an incredibly reputable brand and many experienced hunters swear by them for all of their gear. Though they price their products higher than most companies, Under Armour continues to make their customers happy by using very high quality material.
- Comfortable stretch fabric
- Neck gaiter
- Under Armour Scent Control technology
- ColdGear advanced infrared technology
Ergodyne N-Ferno 6823
Realtree added their expertise in the camouflage design of this mask. Made with stretchable fleece, and windproof fabric across the nose and other areas, it is designed to keep the hunter warm. It has an extra long neck to ensure full coverage, while the fleece and fabric paneling construction keeps moisture away.
Made with versatility in mind. Functional hood with a hinge can be worn multiple ways to fit the hunting or any other outdoor sport you might be undertaking. The fleece is stretchable so it can fit anyone’s head.
It is very lightweight and can be used with other face camouflage to enhance your ability to stay out of sight. This hunting face mask can be used with glasses, as long as they are not too close to your face. The material is soft and can be worn for hours without discomfort.
- Wind-proof panels protect against harsh winter elements
- Stretchable fleece wicks moisture away
- Can be used as a ski mask, neck gaiter, etc.
- Lightweight but warm
- Nose area fits a bit too snugly
- Improvements are needed to the mesh areas around the mouth
Drake MST Hunting Face Mask
Duck Hunting Face Mask
This hunting mask is made with a single-layer mid-weight micro-fleece. This mask was made with the duck hunter in mind. It is perfect for mid-season hunts, where temperatures can get down to 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit. Some of my own friends use this mask. Ducks that would normally flare at sixty yards come right in like family.
The micro-fleece insulates well, while it wicks moisture and sweat away from the head. It stays comfortable for three-four hour stints, which is quite good for any hunting face mask. It is great for hunters who wear glasses or have bigger head size.
The drawstring in the back of the mask is an important feature. This allows the hunter to tighten or loosen the mask, which helps in peripheral and primary vision. It also helps with making calls. The eye and mouth openings are tailored with the duck hunter in mind.
- Single-layer micro-fleece keeps you warm, but not overheated
- Drawstring in back helps with peripheral vision
- Tailored mouth and eye openings for great visibility, breath-ability, and calling
- Low visibility for waterfowl
- Made with the hunter in mind
- Can be worn with glasses
- Not good for under 20 degrees
- Tight fit for some
Primos Stretch-Fit Full-Hood Face Mask
This warm weather hunting face mask is sure to keep you concealed and comfortable. Great for bowhunting, it acts almost like a second layer of skin. That way it does not get in the way of drawing or anchoring your bow.
This mask is made to conceal, without heating up for those early hunters, or warm weather hunters. Mouth opening is great for calls. The polyester fabric helps keep sweat away, while keeping you dry. Can be worn with other head gear to use in colder weather.
The holes for the eyes keep peripheral and primary vision excellent, while not giving up too much skin to be noticed. The nose strap adds even more breakup and concealment for wary deer or waterfowl.
- Lightweight mask
- Made for warm-weather hunting
- Fits tight and snug
- Conceals without sacrificing vision or mouth calls
- Polyester fabric wicks moisture away
- Nose strap is too tight
- Uncomfortable with glasses
- Not made for bigger heads, or a lot of hair
- Early-season only
- Generally fits a bit too tight
BunkerHead No-Touch Face Mask
We had the change to review an almost revolutionary product this months. One of our authors took the BunkerHead face mask on a turkey hunt and was very pleased with the results. A small excerpt of the review:
“I love how the facemask sits off of your face which is the big selling point by BunkerHead. There are few things more repulsing to me than having a net right up against my mouth, and within an hour it’s soaked with perspiration and sticks to my face. BunkerHead delivers on their promise, and the net sits well away from my bearded face and cuts down on the annoyance factor of most face nets I have used.”
Check out the full review here.
Which Hunting Mask Performs Best?
As with most hunting gear, much of what I purchase or choose to use has to do with where I live, and what I hunt. Keep this in mind when buying any gear. I have said it before, but it bears repeating that talking to other hunters around your area can give you more insight than any article will.
With all the attributes that I think make a great hunting face mask, I would pick the Drake MST mask. I pick this one because it can be used nearly all the way through the season with its mid-weight fleece. I wear glasses, so having enough room to wear them, but still remain concealed is a big point for me. The drawstring technology they use to increase your peripheral vision is probably what sold me the most though. Being able to have some control over how tight or loose your mask is can add hours out in the field because it is comfortable.
My second pick would be the Ergodyne N-Ferno just because it is so versatile and can be use for all kinds of outdoor activities. Well, there you have it. The best hunting face masks that will not even be noticed by your wife when she looks at the check book.