Exhausted of renting but unsure what paintball equipment you need to buy? Should you go for an electronic marker or a mechanical one? Exactly why are masks so lavish, and what on earth are paintball pants? We’ve got you covered.
Read on for the lowdown on the best paintball gear you need to get started — as well as all the unnecessary stuff you don’t need. Take a look at the best paintball gear we’ve compiled for you.
Dye Precision I4 Thermal Paintball Goggle – Best Mask
Compact and light in profile, this mask comes with greater peripheral vision. This means you can discern and detect movement easily, giving you an immediate tactical advantage.
The thermal lens proffers remarkable optical clarity and ensures zero fogging and distortion. This mask doesn’t skimp on eye protection even a bit. The scratch-resistant shelters both sides of the Toroidal Impact lens against scratches and abrasions.
The UV coating gives you extra safeguarding from the sun. This mask comes with Dye’s proprietary dual-stage foam and proffers cutting-edge anti-fog
The precise blade angling and venting properties keep your mask breathable so you can remain comfortable and sweat-free for long days of play. The Scream Multi-Directional Venting carries your voice across longer distances for better communication with your teammates.
● Rapid lens change
● Designed for most face shapes
● Light, soft compression earpiece
Empire Helix Goggle Thermal Lens – Best Affordable Mask
If you can’t afford the Dye i4 mask, this is the next prime option. It may not come with the same frills, but it checks all the boxes for head and eye protection as well as anti-fog properties.
It comes with a dual-pane thermal optically correct lens that can be interchanged quickly and easily. The lens is also anti-fog and comes with 270-degree visibility.
The rigid mask material offers you ample protection. It covers your ears and comes with a browser combining a visor and a brow shield.
● Can fit over glasses
● Fits most head sizes and face shapes
● Comfortable padding around the eyes
● No padding around the ears
Proto Primo Paintball Hopper – Best Gravity Hopper
This gravity-fed hopper comes with a 200-ball capacity and is charged through minimal gun agitation. The clear spring-loaded lid enables for easy reloading.
This hopper fits multiple different brands of markers, although it may remain in your sightline, depending on your marker. This hopper also comes with an additional inside to safe keep paintballs from pressure and getting squished.
It also feeds paintballs in a more linear direction. It’s compatible with standard 0.68-caliber paintballs, and we like that it’s exceptionally lightweight.
● Feeds as fast as you pull your trigger
● No batteries to worry about
● The shape might not fit markers with top rails
Empire Paintball Empire Axe Marker – Best Electronic Gun
Accurate and lightweight, this marker comes with an aluminum barrel and a push-button for quick bolt removal. Tank removal is hassle-free as well, thanks to the on/off lever.
The hybrid spring-return system means this gun has feasibly zero recoils, making it far more efficient and user-friendly. The Empire gun also comes with an extended-grip frame for more comfortable play all day.
The multiple modifiable firing modes include semi, PSP ramping, NXL, and millennium ramping. The break-beam eye system enables for super-fast firing but is gentle on paintballs.
● Easy cleaning and trigger adjustment
● Easy programming
● On the expensive end
Tippmann A-5 0.68 Caliber Paintball Marker – Best Semi-Automatic Gun
The Tippmann brand is an extraordinarily popular mechanical gun. It gets an unfair bad rap from gun snobs, but its sales figures speak for themselves. The longer front grip and lighter body on this gun make it painless to wield.
This marker is upgradeable, customizable, and needs no batteries. It also comes with a Cyclone feed system that fires 15 balls per second. You can flip from safe to firing mode effortlessly with the two-position external selector switch.
● Readily serviceable at nearly every paintball venue
● Suitable for woodsball and scenario play
● Extremely easy to take apart and put back
Ninja 48/3k Aluminum HPA Tank – Best Compressed-Air Tank
This tank is US-made and comes with adjustable pressure at low, medium, or high. Relying on your marker, this tank gives 500 shots per refill. The sonic recharge technology aluminum piston provides an excellent recharge rate and greatly reduces reg shoot down.
You can change output pressure by adding or eliminating shims rather than pistons or springs. The mini fill valve doesn’t dig into your wrist. This tank comes with an extremely-low response curve of 0-50 psi from full to empty.
● The regulator ensures consistent velocity
● Moderately priced
● Slightly heavy
Aluminum CO2 Paintball Tank – Best CO2 Tank
This tank is manufactured from lightweight aluminum. Its recessed Pure Energy repeater valve connects simply to your marker for greater accuracy. It also comes with a factory-installed safety purge valve and heavy-duty brass construction.
To ensure consistent and uniform quality, these tanks are hydro-tested every five years.
● Arrives tested and ready to be filled
● High-quality widely reliable repeater pin valve
● Consistent recharge rate for maximum shooting efficiency
● May arrive with a one-year-old date stamp
What Paintball Gear Do You Need?
Before we list the essential paintball gears, we can’t stress this enough: If you’re going to skimp on anything on your list, your mask should be the exception.
A good mask is the single most pertinent tool to ensure your safety. Also, can’t see? can’t play. Now, here’s the gear you need to get:
● Gun, also called marker
● Air Tank
What about special gloves, padding, and cleats? And the countless other items you see on paintball gear lists? If you’ve only played a few times, you don’t require all else mentioned.
Wait until you’ve played often enough to discover what you really need to add to your gear. What Makes a Good Paintball Mask? You want a dual-pane mask to avoid fogging.
Breathability is important, so you don’t spend all day with a sweat-drenched face. Finally, a mask made of sturdy material protects your head and your face.
What to Look for in a Marker
Here are the most important things to look for when choosing a marker.
If you buy a widely known gun and it breaks, your odds of fixing it easily and fast are higher. More people have exercised it and figured their way around it, so even if you can’t fix it yourself, you’ll find someone who does.
The lighter the gun, the easier you can move around and wield it.
Paintball is by nature full of clashes and hits, so a good marker should be durable enough to withstand all the abuse you’ll throw at it. Aluminum is best since it’s also lightweight. Steel is second best, and both are preferable to plastic.
A loud gun noise can be part of the appeal of the whole battle atmosphere. That said, a louder gun will cost you an important tactical advantage.
You wouldn’t wish to spend most of your play fooling around with your gun while your team’s actually playing and having fun. With an incompetent gun, you’ll be shaking your gun every few shots or having to take it apart because it keeps jamming.
Ease of Maintenance
This includes taking your gun apart to clean it or lube it. A good gun shouldn’t need a rocket scientist to strip it and put it back.
Spool-Valve Markers vs. Blowback Markers vs. Hybrids
Spool-valve markers are the most commercial kind of marker, widely used in high-end markers and pro-guns. Spool-valve markers don’t require a lot of air to push back the bolt. This means you can shoot more at a higher speed for every tank fill. Your shots will be smoother and quieter.
A third advantage is that you can use quality thin-shelled paint because the bolt in spool-valve markers is exceedingly gentle. This gives you higher accuracy and greater odds of your paintball blasting open on your opponent.
Blowback markers are less effectual than their spool-valve counterparts in air consumption. They need a lot of air to push back the bolt, the rammer, and the spring. The single advantage of blowbacks is that you sporadically need to clean or lube them.
This is why most rental markers are blowbacks. A third kind is a hybrid of these systems. It’s called the spring-return system. This means either a blowback or a spool-valve system is used to move the bolt forward and fire the paintball, but spring is used to push the bolt back.
It’s more efficient and has very little recoil.
Other Gear If You Have More Money to Spare
Here’s some gear that will come in handy on the field.
Barrel Bag and Barrel Swab
A durable barrel bag will come in handy if you accidentally fire your marker while not in play. Some venues won’t let you in without one. If any paintballs break, a good barrel swab is an effectual way to clean up the paint.
Running your swab under the tap is usually enough to clean it for your next paintball adventure.
A 3+4 pod pack is better than a 2+1 pod back. The former means you can carry seven pods down the line instead of being limited to three only. This means longer time on the field rather than stopping to fill up your pods.
We endorse vertical rather than horizontal pod packs. Vertical pod packs keep your pods facing the same way snug against your body. This means you can pull them out easier and faster without becoming a target.
Forgetting to hydrate is a peril, especially when you’re having too good a time to notice your dry throat. Patronizing in a good hydration pack is a great idea to ensure you always have water on you.
Best Paintball Brands
Tippmann, Dye, and Empire are among the most prominent names in the paintball field.
Tippmann is an American company that begun making paintball gear in 1986. They’re often available as rentals, which is an attestation to their durability.
The Dye is another American company that has established a name for itself since its start in 1994. It has even sponsored the team XXTIONEER at the 2006 Paintball World Cup Asia.
Empire is the earliest American paintball manufacturer. It was established in 1963, and its name has become synonymous with durable, high-quality paintball gear.
Here are some commonly asked questions about paintball gear and the sport in general.
Should I buy my own paint?
We don’t recommend buying your own paint. First, most fields won’t let you in with your own paint. Second, field paint tends to be of a higher quality than store paint.
Badly stored paint can get old and hard and be painful when used.
Is buying used gear a good idea?
Buying used is an excellent way to accumulate high-end durable gear that you may not be able to afford new. As with all used purchases, you need to be cautious. Asking a more experienced player to tag along isn’t a bad idea.
Do I need a cup?
You can certainly wear a cup if it helps you feel safe, but taking a paintball hit down there is a mercifully rare occurrence. Anything padded can function as a cup, such as paintball pants or slide shorts.
Do I need special clothes?
If you want to buy paintball pants and gloves, you can certainly do so. However, regular clothes will fit the bill just fine. All you really need is a light moisture-wicking top, some old jeans, or any heavy-duty pants that can take some paint abuse and a pair of hiking shoes or combat boots.
If your mask doesn’t come with an absorbent cloth, a headband can be a good idea to soak up all that sweat.
Again, skimp out on anything except the mask. Our top pick is Dye’s Precision I4 Thermal Paintball Goggle, which is realistically bursting at the seams with valuable protection and convenience features.
If Dye’s mask is too steep, Empire’s Helix Goggle Thermal Lens is an excellent substitution. It comes with fewer bells and whistles but carries out on the anti-fog and protection front.
Bottomline of the day, all you need is a mask that keeps you safe from what you can’t see and lets you see what you can. Whether you go barrel ahead with the semi-automatic Tippmann A-5 or electronic with the whisper-quiet Empire Axe Marker, remember to stay hydrated and have fun.
Happy paintball blasting!