In Norse Myth, Vidar (prounced Vee-Dar) is the son of Odin and Gridr, and he is the 2nd strongest of all the Norse Gods. He is the god of silence and revenge. It’s an appropriate name for Empire Paintball’s new mask, the Vidar.
Based on the JT Spectra (JT is now owned by Empire/KEE Action Sports) lens, the developers at Empire took the solid, proven Spectra lense and frame and added their own twist to it to make the ‘low end’ Vidar mask. ‘Low End’ is a bit of a misnomer here, as the Vidar’s thermal lense, 260 degree field of vision and hypo-allergenic mask foam are all directly ported from higher end masks like the JT Pro-Flex and its’ mid-range cousins.
Out of the box, the Vidar is familiar territory for anyone with experience with JT masks. The main difference between the Vidar and anything else JT based is the mask itself. In the case of the Vidar, the mask is made out of a semi-rigid plastic, with the ear protection integral to the mask portion of the system. The Vidar comes with a visor for those so inclined to use it, and it ships with a clear lens. However, Spectra lenses in a variety of colors and tints are available pretty much everywhere.
The material used has some give to it, but there will be no claims of a direct hit bouncing off of it. Over the years using Pro-Flex masks, this isn’t such a bad thing. While it’s nice to get a bounce from a direct mask shot, the resulting bloody lip takes the charm away from the brush with elimination. While paintball fill tastes horrible, having a break on the mask is preferable to a bloody lip in addition to the mouth full of paint!
On the field, the Vidar continued to impress with it’s comfort and field of vision. Some players commented on the extra weight of the rigid plastic mask, but I didn’t notice any difference between the weight of the Vidar vs. it’s more expensive siblings. It’s comfortable on my relatively large noggin, and wearing it all day in the late May heat in Florida where testing was conducted presented no problems.
For a new player or a player on a budget, the Vidar is a great way to get the benefits of the Spectra frame without going broke. Later on if you want to upgrade to more stylish mask bottoms, straps and the like, it’s no problem with the Vidar. Since conducting the testing on my Vidar, I’ve upgraded the mask portion of it with a SoBe Systems “Speak Easy” mask, and I’ll eventually replace the clear lens with a smoke one.
Priced at an economical MSRP of $49.95, the Vidar is a great way for a player to get the time proven features of the Spectra frame and lens without going broke. With a wide variety of parts and accessories available, there’s a clear upgrade path for those so inclined.
The base mask would also make for a very nice premium rental mask for walk-on/rental players to use if a standard rental mask isn’t cutting the mustard. For more information, or to buy your Vidar mask, check out Empire’s web page for the Vidar at http://empirepaintball.com/empire-vidar-paintball-goggle-system