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Face Protection from Valken and Sly

The Annex MI series from Sly and Valken includes some of the most comfortable entry-level to mid-tier goggles on the market. Annexes are feature-rich, with the bells and whistles you'd normally only find on far more expensive masks. In 2012 Valken began branding the Annex under their name when they acquired SLY.

Annexes starting with the MI-5 are made from high-density injected polyethylene, with a high-quality strap so your goggle can take the heat.

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For comfort, Annexes use 2 layers of foam, one to wick sweat and make the mask fit more comfortably, one to absorb the impact, and use it around both the ears and frame for all-over protection.

Annexes also feature polycarbonate lenses with a scratch-resistant hardcoat treatment that give you 260 degrees of horizontal and 160 degrees of vertical visibility. Annex lenses are held in place by Valken's patented QuickChange system. Annexes also include a visor sculpted for maximum ball deflection.

Having trouble deciding? The Annex are some of our most popular entry-level goggles, so you're not alone.

The MI-9 is the most recent addition. The MI-9 features a sleeker design, a thermal lens and the innovation of a flexible lower mask, designed to promote bounce and to increase comfort. The MI-9 is the most expensive Annex on the market, though it's still very competitive for a fully-featured entry-level paintball goggle, and well worth the cost.

The MI-7 is in a strange position, as it's midway between its siblings in both price and innovation. Perhaps the strongest argument for it is variety. The 7s comes in various woodsball colors and patterns not available to the other Annexes, but are also the only number in the series to offer full-head protection.

The MI-5 makes for a great rental goggle, or if you want to have a loaner mask for a friend. Despite being a few generations behind, it still boasts a lot of the same features found in successive Annexes, and at a price that's hard to top.