Black Bear Airsoft V2 Raider Mesh Mask review by Booligan
Discuss this review HERE
Black Bear Airsoft is a manufacturer of high quality mesh airsoft masks, and they recently reached out to Airsoft Retreat through their distributor, ACM Gear to have us evaluate their offerings for the airsoft community! Today, we will be doing the second review in this series, the V2 Raider mesh mask. This mask is a relatively low profile lower half face mask, and is unique in that it includes ear protection domes in the mesh design. It is available in a variety of colors and patterns, making it useful for many different players and situations. Keep reading for more information!
As with the V1 Shadow mask reviewed HERE, I was sent this mask directly by ACM Gear, who is currently the main distributor of BBA masks. This specific mask is available HERE, priced between $24.99 and $29.99, depending on the color or pattern desired. It arrived in a large box with the other masks in the line-up, and I received this model in Tan, Multicam, and with a skull painted design. After equipping my team and various members of the airsoft community, I'm left with the tan masks being reviewed today.
As mentioned before, this mask is an interesting design that has integrated ear protection, as well as extended cheek protection over the lower profile Shadow mask. The extended cheek protection is made of Cordura, which is strong, yet flexible enough to maintain a solid cheek weld while aiming. It has the same high strength powdercoated steel mesh as the Shadow mask, with a larger nose portion, alleviating the main complaint about the Shadow mask. It is available in black, OD, tan, Woodland, Multicam, Marpat, ACU, and even obscure camo patterns like Vegetata and CadPat.
The packaging with my masks was very basic, consisting only of a plastic bag, however the retail purchased masks will have their own box. The first thing I noticed about the mask was the high quality Cordura on the cheek pieces, and how securely the dual strap system held it to your head.
I've already covered things like the mesh quality in the previous V1 review, but rest assured, it is incredibly strong and will protect your face against anything an airsoft gun can throw at it. It's much thicker than the mesh used in other brands' masks, but still retains enough flexibility to be molded to fit your face. It has the same fabric surrounding the mesh where it contacts your nose, and as mentioned before, it has a larger nose pocket, making it more comfortable to wear.
From here on, click all pictures to enlarge
Detail of the mesh and fabric surround
The cheek pieces are made of high quality Cordura with light padding and a soft mesh material inside where it touches your face. This keeps it from getting too hot or uncomfortable with extended use. With mine, I needed to bend it in slightly to fit my face, but once I did, it fit like a dream.
Cordura on the cheek pieces
Inner mesh material
The ear protection is where this really differs from most of the masks out there. Integrated into the mesh material are two domes that cover your ears and give you great protection to the sensitive areas of your ears, without blocking sound. The ear protection make wearing it with glasses a bit tricky, but still doable. You just need to adjust your glasses to fit underneath the domes. With goggles, the strap can extend over the domes around the back of your head, holding them on just fine.
Ear protection dome
The mask is secured to your head using two straps, one that goes over your head, and one that goes around the back. They are riveted to the mesh material and utilize velcro on the straps for adjustability. Donning the mask is quite easy, as I'll generally keep the top strap secured at all times, only undoing the rear strap when I put on the mask. You can still wear a helmet or other headwear with this mask as it doesn't extend onto your head too much.
Straps riveted to the mesh
Straps extend over the top of your head
As far as durability goes, it has the same mesh as the other mask that I reviewed, so feel free to read that one for details on my testing. In short, it's plenty strong and will take whatever abuse you throw at it. Here are what others are saying about the mask:
“Breathable and doesn’t feel restrictive.”
“Allows for clear speaking to teammates.”
“Don’t fit perfectly over some goggles, I had to play around with the Flak’s to get them to work perfectly.”
“Can get a little uncomfortable if you wear glasses, as the mesh ear domes push your glasses into the side of your head a little bit, but you can bend the domes out a bit to clear it better.”
Provides you much more coverage than the Shadow mask, while staying low profile
Flexible Cordura cheek pieces allow for solid cheek weld
Very strong steel mesh
Ear protection covers your ears but still allows you to hear everything
Available in a wide range of colors and patterns
Can be a little uncomfortable if you wear glasses
Must be bent to fit your face and goggles for full comfort
Has the same glue that can come undone if you leave it in a very hot place, such as a car on a hot day
All in all, I do like this mask as it gives you better coverage over the lowest profile mask, the V1 Shadow, without giving up comfort or the ability to use iron sights. It is made of very high quality materials, and can be adjusted to fit your face very well. The dual strap system is rock solid and the variety of patterns means you can use it with practically any loadout. Keep watching ASR for more reviews of the rest of Black Bear Airsoft's mask offerings!
Many thanks again to ACM Gear, and of course, Airsoft Retreat! Also, thanks to joker8baller and the entire crew at Wasteland Airsoft for their testing experiences!