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JT Spectra Flex 8 Mask Review

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JT Spectra Flex 8 Mask Review

© 2007 David Muhlestein licensed to About.com, Inc.

The Bottom Line

JT's newest top-end Flex mask is very low-profile, comfortable and does a great job of not fogging with its thermal lens. While it might under protect if you have a longer face and the lens is extremely difficult to remove, if a comfortable, low-profile mask is what you are looking for, the Spectra Flex 8 is a solid choice.
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Pros

  • Comfortable fit.
  • Low-profile design.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Thermal lens does a good job of eliminate fogging.

Cons

  • Very difficult to remove and reinsert the lens.
  • Smaller face guard will not completely cover longer faces.

Description

Guide Review - JT Spectra Flex 8 Mask Review

Design

Compared to many other masks, the JT Spectra Flex 8 is surprisingly small and very simply designed. The main features of the mask are a large, 260 degree field of vision thermal lens with as little protective covering as necessary. The low-profile design includes low cut ear and face guards that come in a variety of colors. The mouth guard includes rotated vents to limit the amount of paint that will enter with a direct hit. The mask also comes with a visor, chin strap and a bag with a draw string.

Comfort and Fit

New masks are similar to new shoes - they need some breaking in to maximize comfort. That said, the Flex 8 is surprisingly comfortable straight out of the package. The rear strap adjusts easily and the ear guards fit comfortably over the ears. The foam padding is soft and forms well to skin and a smaller pad behind each ear is a nice touch. I have rather large ears and the ear guards just barely cover them. The mouth guard adequately covers my mouth but if I open my mouth at all my chin sticks out. The top of the mask also is lower on the head than some other masks which is fine by me, but may be an issue for some.

Maintenance and Use

The Flex 8's thermal lens is a high-quality lens and does an excellent job at not fogging during use. As good as the lens is at not fogging, though, it also is the Flex 8's biggest weakness. To properly clean the lens after a face shot you must remove the lens and that is no easy feat. While it's difficult to remove the lens for cleaning, it's nearly impossible to reinsert it without smudging it to the point that you have to re-clean it. Other than the lens, the mask needs little maintenance and is very easy to use.
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