HK Army isn’t really known for making budget-friendly paintball gear, but in the past year, they’ve started getting into the entry-level and beginner market.
The HK Army HSTL? It’s a thermal paintball goggle for newcomers, with a cool top strap, a double-pane thermal lens, quick-change foam, and an easy lens swap system. But what really sets the HSTL apart is that funky top strap; as far as I know, it’s the only paintball mask that rocks one. Paintball masks are generally made to fit regular adult noggins, but we all know heads are all shapes and sizes. Usually, an adjustable goggle strap does the trick to fit most adults. However, smaller folks or kids might find it hard to tighten the strap enough, so the mask might slip down. Tada, enter the top strap – keeping that mask locked in place.
- Snap in place removable upper and lower goggle foam insert
- Optically correct high definition dual-pane thermal lens to prevent any possible fogging
- Quick-change lens retention system
- Adjustable anti-slip goggle strap
- Adjustable chin strap with comfort pad
With the top strap, the mask stays put, no ifs or buts.
Wearing the mask, it’s pretty comfy – nothing out of this world, just what you’d expect. In the sub-$50 range, I’d say the HSTL is a tad more comfy than other masks at the same price, like the Empire Helix or Valken MI-7. The foam’s alright. All three straps team up to keep this thing secure: the top one stops it from sliding, the chin strap keeps it from riding up, and the main goggle strap holds it snug.
If mask shifting or you having a teeny head is on your mind, the HSTL’s got your back, maybe even more than you need.
Ventilation? Top-notch, and I’m all about that. I play in California, where things get hot, so I need a mask that lets me breathe. Like, if you’re in Florida or Louisiana, where it’s crazy humid, you’re gonna dig a ventilated mask like the HSTL. Only downside? Sometimes a splat in the chin leads to a taste of paint.
Good ventilation equals cooler times and easier breaths, which means your lenses are less likely to fog up. The number one anti-fog? A thermal lens. It’s a two-layer lens that keeps the outside temp away from the inside, nixing fog.
HK Army’s got two HSTL versions: one with the thermal lens and one single-pane style. It’s a $15 difference, but man, that thermal lens is worth every penny.
The HSTL rocks – great deal, quick-change foams, top strap, and thermal lens. Perfect for newbies or anyone eyeing an upgrade to a thermal lens goggle.