Since the release of Oculus Quest, we’ve seen a number of replacement facial interfaces release for it. All try their very best to improve the overall comfort of the Oculus Quest, over the stock facial interface. Some have done it better than others, some even go as far as improving your overall Point Of View (POV) but having padding that is thin enough so that your eyes are closer to the lenses, giving a wider visual experience.
The KIWI Design 5-in-1 VR Facial Interface Kit comes bundled with five pieces of accessories to help improve the facial interface and experience of the Oculus Quest. The 5-in-1 kit comprises of a new facial interface bracket, two PU leather foam face cover pads of similar size, a dust-proof protective lens cover and anti-leakage nose pad.
First, let’s look at the new facial interface bracket. The first immediate differences over other brackets that are available are the air vents at the top. With plenty of holes here, this helps reduce any heat inside the mask. This feature works especially well when using the bundled nose pad, which when fitted are renowned to always fog of your lenses. These vents help with that and I didn’t experience any fogging in my playthroughs with this interface kit.
The bracket clips in very securely and unlike the initial rollout of brackets from VR Cover there were no instances of the bracket unclipping. At various locations around the inside of the bracket are velcro attachment points for the PU leather foam face covers to attach on to. There’s plenty of points to attach it, so if you have any other cover you prefer, you can choose to swap the one in the kit with that.
The PU leather foam pads are fairly thin, both in thickness and width. They certainly don’t feel as premium as the Slim foam pads from VR Cover. The thinness in the foam pad’s overall thickness does mean you get improved POV, but this is at the sacrifice of some long-session discomfort. This is more due to the pad’s thin width than its thickness. Due to the Quest’s front weight, I am still surprised no one has created thicker width foam pads in the lower region of the frame, to help improve comfort around your cheekbone area.
You get two of these PU leather foam pads in the kit. It is unfortunate that KIWI Design didn’t take the opportunity to bundle two different sizes of foam pad. This decision is likely to allow you to be able to wash one pad down whilst wearing another. But being made of PU leather material, all they need is a bacterial wipe down than a complete wash. I would have preferred a different comfort option instead.
A nice addition to the 5-in-1 kit is the dust-proof protective lens cover. This simple bean-shaped piece of padded foam helps to keep your Quest’s lens protected when not in use. It is good practice to stow the Quest away in a case, or if that isn’t an option, at least put a lens cover such as the one bundled in this kit over your quest lenses to help prevent the lenses from being scratched, or worst still, help prevent any direct sunlight rays from entering through your lenses and permanently damage the screen inside.
Finally, there is the anti-leakage nose pad. Not many facial interfaces come with this option, with many silicon covers featuring a nose pad, but many don’t have the means to reduce the fog build-up caused by having a nose pad. Light leakage on the Quest can be an issue for many wearers. Leakage can occur through the sides of a poorly fitted foam pad, and this can be easily fixed with a correctly fitting foam pad. The majority of light leaking into the Quest for many of us though is through the nose area.
The anti-leakage nose pad attaches through a Velcro hook and loops strip on the nose portion of the interface bracket. It is a simple piece of soft microfiber cloth material that’s been stretched over a horseshoe-shaped Velcro strip. Surprisingly, it works well. It doesn’t remove 100% of light, but I would say it reduced it by over 75% for me.
When looking forward you wouldn’t notice the light, but I do like to be able to see where I am in the room by quickly glancing down through the nose hole that still remains. This small reduction is a nice step forward to reducing excess light coming in through the nose area, whilst keeping enough of a gap to be able to glance below and update your whereabouts in the room.
Just like wearing a headband accessory on the Quest for the first time, having something new like the nose pad material brushing across my nose took some getting used to. Although the material has some elasticity to it, I wish it was just slightly looser, so that it didn’t feel as tight on the ridge of my nose. But as it is just attached by velcro you have a small enough amount of adjustment of the angle and position of the nose pad to get a better fit around your nose.
Retailing for $29.99 from Amazon, the KIWI Design 5-in-1 Facial Interface Kit is priced identical to VR Cover’s own Interface and Basic Kit offering. Both options carry their own range of accessories, each with their own pros and cons for them. It really depends on your reasons for replacing the stock facial interface. For the price, the KIWI Design 5-in-1 kit certainly comes with a few handy accessories, that when combined, will improve the comfort, experience and hygiene when using your Oculus Quest, just not in an as premium way as I had hoped.