One thing that we know is important in VR and that is the overall comfort of the Head Mounted Display (HMD) for long sessions, and sometimes the face covers that are provided are not perfect but do the job. This is where some companies try to help out by releasing types of face covers, and KIWI design is now entering this market, with another Quest product. We have tested out the cover from installation and for gaming sessions, so does this product bring a better face cover than the one supplied from Oculus?
Whats in the box?
As you may have noticed this is called the 5 in 1 VR Face Cover Set, so what makes up this number? Well in the box you will get the plastic facial interface bracket to attach to the HMD, two PU leather and memory foam face pads, a nose cover to place onto the interface bracket and finally a lens cover for when the HMD is not in use.
Installation / Removal
Installing and removing the face cover (if you wish to return to the original one) is really simple and will take no time at all. To get it connected to the Quest, all you need to do in un-clip the original face plate and then clip the plastic facial bracket from KIWI design into the HMD. You can then place on one of the covers provided by KIWI designs using the Velcro around the edging of the face plate – however, I would recommend getting the cover onto the face plate first. Then once that is in place, you can attach the fabric nose cover to the facial interface bracket. The KIWI design face cover is now installed, and this should take no longer than five minutes.
The Face Cover
The plastic interface is shaped perfectly to make sure it will go into the HMD easily, but it has one thing I have yet to see others offer. The KIWI design face cover has some vents on the top, this will allow for natural heat flow and ventilation if you start to get a bit hot, again leading to more comfortable VR experience. The first thing I thought when seeing these vents out of the box was, surely this is going to cause light leak from the vents, but this is not the case.
Before we get on the PU leather face covers, let’s talk about the nose cover. This is a little bit of fabric that is supplied to block out the light leak that you can get around the nose area on the HMD. At first I thought this would not be an essential part of the product, but when using it, there seems to be a larger gap at the bottom of the HMD with the KIWI design face cover installed. With this being needed it really was essential this was made from a sort and non-irritable fabric, and I am glad to say it is.
For the face pads, this is made from memory foam and covered in PU leather – with a thickness of 8mm. What we like about the PU leather face pads, which seems to be the standard on third-party products is they bring hygiene benefits with them. In most cases all VR HMD’s ship with a foam face pad which is absorbent, and this is not good for active games where you build up a sweat. But, what the PU leather allows for is easy wipe downs after use or being passed on if there is group using it. Also, with the product coming with two of these face pads, if one needs a deep clean it’s easy to remove and wash it properly, and just replace it with the spare – where the foam is attached to the plastic on the base product.
Testing the product
When it came to testing the product and it’s comfort, we wanted to do this not only on more relaxing games but also more active titles. Also to make sure the testing was fair I did a side-by-side comparison using the default face pad first.
I think the best place to start will be with the more relaxing games, which also offer a decent play session. For this testing I jumped into Moss, Arizona Sunshine and Last Labyrinth. With these games I found that the KIWI design face cover offered a lot more comfort on your face given the feel of memory foam and PU leather compared to the standard foam – and made this the better product for those longer sessions.
As previously mentioned one of the benefits of the PU leather is the ease of clean, so of course I needed to jump into the more active titles – for this testing we jumped into Beat Saber, Box VR and Racket NX. Where the aforementioned benefit really came to the forefront, there was a downside in the active sessions.
Where it was great being able to give the face pads that wipe down after the session ended on one game and we moved on the next. Where doing this with standard foam, putting the hot and sweaty foam back on your face was not nice and really effected some of the comfort of the foam against your face. Now, the one downside of the PU material is as you get hot in the more active games, the heat from your head and sweat go against the PU leather, then this can start to feel a little clammy and sticky against your skin. However, if this gets to bad it’s easy to take a short break from your active session and give it a wipe down – and you can then jump straight back in.
Over the time testing it, it became clear to us that the KIWI design face cover benefits for the hygiene and longer sessions, greatly outweighs the one downside we managed to find in those active sessions.
If you are looking at buying the 5 in 1 Face Cover it will only cost you £29.99. Which we feel is a great price for everything the product offers in ways of comfort and hygiene. KIWI design also include the Lens cover for when this is not in use – which is something other companies do not offer with their face covers. This is made of high-density foam covered with soft fabric, meaning you can cover the lenses safely, and know they are not exposed to possible accidental damage.
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a sample provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a press sample does not affect my judgement of the product.