I have spent many days of my life in rundown, sometimes abandoned structures located in a multitude of airsoft game arenas. Sometimes these locations are abandoned military bases – other times factories, mills, etc. Whatever the location, protecting yourself against airborne particulates and whatnot is very important. The problem is that usually respirators and gas masks are often cumbersome, hard to wear with ANSI/ballistic rated eye protection, and simply hard to breathe in while running around. GVS has a potential solution in their Elipse P100 half mask respirator.
I wore the GVS P100 during this year’s Operation Lionclaws event at George Air Force base in Southern California. This location is home to many structures in various states of disrepair. These structures often have their guts torn open, spilling dust and insulation as well as plaster everywhere. You can see an example of one of these structures here:
Protection-wise, the GVS Elipse P100 stood up to BB hits much better than I was expecting it to. Thankfully, its TPE (Thermo Plastic Elastomer) body is more than capable of bouncing BB hits while the filter cage plastic is also durable. Now, there does stand a small risk of a BB getting through the cages and embedding into the filter material or output valve. However, I think this is a low chance of happening – still, it is something to consider if you absolutely need protection over air quality. Some game rules might not allow for this half mask respirator, so check with your game hosts prior to assuming it can be used.
While at Lionclaws this year, wearing the GVS P100, my experience was far different than before, as I no longer found myself choking or coughing after romping through these structures or spending time posted up inside of them. The GVS P100 did its job VERY well and kept out all the particulates that usually affected me. Out of the box, the GVS P100 is equipped with two HESPA (High Efficiency Synthetic Particulate Airfilter) filters, but the company also makes odor filters as well which are not meant for anti-particulate use – I would not recommend those for airsoft purposes.
One of the largest concerns I had about wearing the GVS P100 was how I would handle wearing it while running, etc. I found that it was more comfortable to pull them down around my neck outside so that I could feel the cooler air on my face and breath normally. Pulling the mask back up on my face while entering and operating in structures, I didn’t find any breathing issues to speak of. What was most uncomfortable was the sweat that would build up and pool inside the mask. Every so often I would pull the GVS P100 forward and pour out the liquid (yeah I know… sexy). That being said, the price of breathing purified and particulate-free air was worth it, and I have no qualms about packing the GVS P100 with me for my next game.
My biggest issue with the GVS P100 half mask respirator is that it is not available in other colors, or even camo schemes, as it is meant as a serious piece of PPE (personal protective equipment) and not for airsoft. However, if GVS ever wants to make other colors available, I would be first in line. Also, please note that they offer the P100 in both S/M and M/L sizes, so refer to the sizing chart in this article for more info.
Overall, the GVS P100 half mask respirator is a terrific option for those players looking to protect their lungs while playing airsoft in inhospitable environments. Just make sure your game control allows it. The GVS P100 is available now for around $30 dollars depending on where you shop – a huge bargain for such a comfortable respirator.