Do you know what sticks out to your prey like a big sore pink thumb?
If you aren’t wearing a mask—whether that’s a camouflaged face paint or a cloth mask—then you’re giving yourself away.
While common prey like whitetail deer doesn’t have the best vision, it’s enough to get them spooked.
Covering up your face during hunting is essential to your success, and we’ve scoured for the very best masks for you.
Any hunting face mask should limit the amount of visible light on your face while helping you blend in with your environment or the darkness of the early morning.
Regardless of what you’re hunting, we’re going to go over everything you need to know, from A to Z.
Let’s start by taking a look at the best masks, what makes them tick, and then work forward to answer your burning question.
Best Hunting Face Mask
DecoyPro Camo Face Mask
Nothing sucks more than feeling the sewn seam of your hunting face mask pressing against you, but thankfully, that’s a thing of the past.
Made with a durable and lightweight synthetic fiber, this camouflage face mask doesn’t dig into your skin or irritate your neck—it’s designed to feel comfortable, but that’s not where the main benefit comes in.
Looking closely at the material, you’ll notice miniature holes all throughout it.
This acts as a one-way heat valve, allowing just enough body heat to come out without the cold seeping back in.
Everything stays breathable, and you don’t end up with that musty, moist feeling on the inside of your mask (we’ve all used those B-grade ones before).
When you go hunting, you know that every single ounce of your gear matters.
This neck-length mask is ultralight to mitigate your overall carry load but extends enough to ensure your skin won’t be exposed from a low-collar jacket.
Comfortably pull the bottom of your eyehole cutout over your nose, and stay hidden from sight as you carry out the hunt.
With a natural woodland camouflage look, you’ll be able to blend into multiple seasons and landscapes with ease.
If you’re sick of the sweat and moisture from your breath ruining your hunting experience, this quick-drying, breathable face mask is the answer to your prayers.
|Size:||One size fits most|
|Camo Pattern:||Woodland camouflage pattern|
XINGZHE Balaclava Cold Weather Face Mask
I’m wary of all camouflage face mask manufacturers, because having used dozens of different masks myself, I know what to look for that marks a great mask.
Initially, I wasn’t sure how this mask was going to work, but XINGZHE exceeded my expectations.
First and foremost, it comes in about half-a-dozen different designs, but the only two you should really focus on for hunting is the camo and the all-black (for early morning hunting).
With these detached hood and face mask models, it’s all too common to run into stitching and seams that run right across the top of your head.
XINGZHE does a great job of hiding the seams so you won’t feel uncomfortable at all.
The drawstrings are fairly useless though. Unless you tie them (which you aren’t supposed to do), they don’t stay where you need them to.
You can only tighten this mask a bit, but thankfully, the one size fits most approach that XINGZHE took makes it fairly universal, just not very customizable.
It’s breathable enough, and it wicks away sweat, but I do question their warranty.
You only have three months from the purchase date, not the time you receive it or try it, so if it doesn’t fit your liking or you encounter problems, then you’ve got a limited window to fix it.
That rubs me the wrong way, but my mask has held up for ages now without issue.
|Size:||One size fits most|
Unisex Winter Trooper Hat
While it’s not the most stealthy option, there’s more to think about than just camouflage when you’re trying to find a face mask.
Winter hunting isn’t for the faint of heart, and we lose half of our body heat—especially in cold weather—through our ears.
KBETHOS definitely made the warmest face mask and hat combination on this list.
Crafted out of cloth and fitted with a fleece lining, it cradles your head and face to retain your body temperature even when the going gets tough.
It’s easy to forget how much a good hat can do in the dead of winter.
As for the face mask itself, you will find yourself pulling it down every ten minutes or so to let some of the moisture out.
It’s not the most breathable, but on that same note, it’s because of how well it insulates you.
If you have a camo jacket with a hood, you can pull the hood up over the plaid to further insulate yourself, and conceal the bright colors.
It’s a toss-up when you’re trying to pick the perfect mask.
I would combine this with other articles of clothing if you’re hunting duck or other visual creatures that scan for predators/threats, but if you’re hunting whitetail, their vision is so terrible you wouldn’t even need additional camo on your head.
It depends on what you’re hunting, and how cold it gets around you, but one thing’s for sure: KBETHOS made a warm and comfortable hat/mask combo that will last for years.
|Size:||One size fits most|
|Materials:||Fleece lining, cloth|
|Camo Pattern:||Plaid (not camo)|
BINE Balaclava Hood and Face Mask
Similar to the XINGZHE balaclava we reviewed, BINE goes for a detached mask and hood look, and they arguably do a better job at insulating you, at a price.
The polar fleece lining is fantastic for insulating, but the fact that there’s no camo mask option is a bit of a drag.
If you’re looking to get as much woodland gear as possible, this is going to put a wrench in the gears a little bit.
It’s comfortable, which I would say is the strongest point behind BINE’s production quality.
This mask travels down all the way to your neck and gives a bit of extra fabric to account for quick movements (nothing is worse than your mask poking up through the top of your jacket collar).
However, this might be good for a few seasons, but it gets very linty and starts wearing out after a few wash cycles.
It’s not that last mask you’re ever going to buy, but it’s cheap and keeps you nice and warm. I’d say that for the price, it’s a good enough value, and the construction is reliable for a good stretch of time.
|Size:||One size fits most|
|Camo Pattern:||All black, nighttime|
Ergodyne N-Ferno Winter Ski Mask
Ergodyne didn’t just make a mask; they made a camo face shield.
The amount of wind resistance on this is insane, which is what justifies the slightly higher price point, but the insulation also comes into play.
With a thermal fleece lining, you’ll be able to sit in that tree stand very comfortable in the dead of February.
So why isn’t it higher on the list?
It’s uncomfortable. It keeps you warm, it keeps the wind off your face, but it’s very rigid on the outside and quickly becomes uncomfortable.
Now, we’re not going hunting for the comfort, but if you’re going to have this on for six or more hours, you want it to at least be convenient to wear.
One point of contact that you can see from the photo is the seam that runs along the eyehole area.
It wraps around the back of the mask, but it’s something you can feel ever so slightly beneath the fleece while you’re wearing it.
I will say this, though: Ergodyne sure knows how to make great camo.
The full neck-length cover works well to insulate you under your jacket, but it will slightly prohibit movement.
Because the exterior of the mask is pretty rough, it’s going to have some friction against your jacket collar and inner, so quick turns of the head might require a little more force.
|Size:||One size fits most|
|Materials:||Thermal fleece, fabric exterior|
|Camo Pattern:||All black or woodland camo|
Hunting Face Mask Buying Guide and FAQ
What to Look for in Hunting Face Masks
You’re only left with a few choices, but that’s okay; it just depends on how the brand or manufacturer in question makes that pattern appears.
You’re typically going to see all-black, which can be helpful if you’re hunting visually impaired animals, or you’re going to see the more popular option, which is woodland camo.
Woodland allows you to blend in with the reeds in a marsh or the autumn trees in a forest. Personally, I would choose woodland nine times out of ten.
Pay attention to the level of detail and color uses.
I’ve worn some masks that were seriously uncomfortable.
If you notice the photos of the masks, they’re always going to have a seam from where they’re attached together during manufacturing. It’s okay, so long as it’s hidden well.
You don’t want to feel that seam running across the top of your head or along your temples while you’re wearing it.
If you have a waterproof hunting mask, you’re going to have a slightly rougher material on the outside which may make head movements difficult.
Since many hunting masks are neck-length, you want to ensure it’s a material you like before you don it.
This is what it all comes down to.
You want to remain hidden, you want it to be comfortable, but if you’re building up a ton of moisture in your mask, you’re going to pull it halfway over your head, ruining your concealment and comfort all at once.
If a mask isn’t breathable, it’s not going to be enjoyable to wear.
Not one bit. Look for ventilation holes and breathable materials, but also understand that no masks are perfect.
If you can pull down the eyeholes in your balaclava to get a breath of fresh air now and again, that’s really all you need.
You just can’t afford to be messing with your mask every five minutes.
Why do You Need a Hunting Face Mask?
Whether it’s a duck hunting mask or for whitetail hunting, you need to be concealed.
Ducks can see you from well over 300 yards away and fly off (and no offense, but you’re not going to land a shot from that distance with those variables), and deer can see fairly well in the early morning.
If you aren’t concealed, you’re sticking out. That’s just how it goes with hunting.
Some prey might be able to ignore a sound, or only be put on a slight alert.
We can’t be 100% silent during every second of our hunt, but if we stay concealed, we retain an advantage.
Most prey that we hunt isn’t going to be eye-level with your camouflaged boots or your pants; they’re going to see your face, they’re going to ignore the rest of your camo, and realize that there’s a hunter near them.
A hunting mask is important because it completes your hunting attire and is usually the very last step in being completely concealed.
How to Make Your Own Hunting Face Mask
I’m of the belief that woodland camo will always work best.
Not desert, rarely all-black; woodland is the best.
But if you can’t currently make room in your budget for a new face mask, that’s okay; there’s something you can do.
Get an old workout shirt or a roll of soft-touch mesh (usually for a few bucks at most at a local crafts store).
Take a pair of camouflaged pants that you aren’t currently wearing, and get ready to go all DIY on this.
- First, measure the pant leg by putting it around your head. I know it’s going to feel silly, but if the pant leg comfortably fits around your neck, everything’s going to be easier. If not, you’ll have to make the entire mask out of the upper portion of your pants.
- Using the upper portion, you want to measure the circumference of your head, accounting for an extra inch for comfort and the mesh we’re going to use. Once you have that circumference, you’re going to cut the upper portion of the pants with that width.
- Wrap it around your head and see if it fits. If it does, stitch it up in the back. If your pant legs fit around your neck, you’ll stitch this into the inside of this upper portion so it goes full length into the collar of your jacket.
- In the upper section, it may either cover over your mouth and nose, or it might go higher. If it goes higher, you want to cut and hem an area for your eyes in the front.
- Add a camouflaged baseball cap or hat on top, and you’re good to go. This mask will be easy to pull down when you need a breather, but also keep you concealed from whatever it is you’re hunting.
How to Camouflage Your Face
If you want to use face paint, which is also a viable option, then there are some principles you need to know.
I don’t know why there’s such an online debate between face paints or fabric masks; they’re both useful, one just insulates better than the other, but they can provide the same level of concealment if you’re crafty.
To know how to camouflage your face using paints instead of a mask, there’s a “Five S” rule about face painting that you need to know.
It’s all about spacing, shadow, shape, shine, and your silhouette—all important factors of painting on some camo.
While most camouflage comes from the military, there are patterns specific to hunting.
- Start with defining your area of impact. If you have very pale skin, it’s going to contrast against your hat and camouflaged clothing. You want to cover everything up, even if that means taking the camo paint to your earlobes. Figure out where you need to put it, and start with a base layer face paint.
- Rub face paint in a circular motion on the outline of your face. Account for hats mouth masks if you’re going to be using those as well. Once you have an outline, take that base layer, and paint the rest of your visible face. This part is just spreading it on.
- Next, take your second layer—a different natural, woodland color—and emulsify it on your hands. This will activate the ingredients and make it easier to spread. You do not want to make patterns here; you want it to be erratic. What I do is choose three target areas, and then vigorously rub my hands in a non-sequential pattern in that area for 3-5 seconds per spot.
- Grab another color/layer. You should have a minimum of three different colors, but four or five will help you conceal any accidental patterns better. Apply in the same fashion, but to different areas. Repeat this for each different color of face paint that you have.
- Take a small amount of your base layer paint, and emulsify it in your hands. Very lightly rub all over your face. This will not only mesh the other colors together, but it will give a layered, natural look since the base paint color will smear with the others.
All About Winter Camouflage Face Masks
Okay, so we need to discuss winter hunting masks because there’s a lot of confusion around them.
Can you use a winter mask with whites and grays to conceal yourself better?
Do you always need a mask like that?
If there’s a small amount of snow on the ground, and your mask is bright white, you’re going to be noticed.
Even with anti-reflective properties in the exterior material, you’re still going to be noticeable.
Snowbanks don’t just get up and move around, but your prey is surely used to swaying branches and the way the forest breathes.
In that instance, you will need a standard woodland camo instead.
But winter masks do have their place for sure.
If there’s heavy snow on the ground, or you’re planning on camping out in a tree stand on the snowy pines, then you might benefit from snow patterns and bright colors.
Tree stand hunters or those who set up tarps and lay flat down will want to blend in with the conditions, so if that means heavy amounts of snow, blend in with it.
Just don’t go, “It’s February, so I need a white winter mask.”
Look at the conditions, get a Google Earth satellite image of your hunting grounds (or use some awesome hunting apps) and plan ahead.
Cover Your Face, Covet Your Prey
Depending on what you’re hunting, concealment can be a huge concern.
Face masks give you the ability to stay concealed without sacrificing your vision or putting pore-blocking face paint on, but they also do a fantastic job as insulating you against the harsh winter.
You want to stay hidden, out of sight and out of mind, until the moment comes to release that arrow or squeeze the trigger, and capitalize on the element of surprise you have over your prey.
Face masks are one of the many parts of your camouflage kit.