If you’re looking to get into paintball as a regular hobby, you have probably tried it out a few times. So, you know that paintball requires a surprising amount of equipment. You can’t just show up with a marker and hope for the best.
This will likely get you injured as paintballing can hurt a lot more than you expect. But it will also lessen your chances of winning. So making sure you have the correct equipment is very important.
To make sure that you have the essentials (which you can then build on as you play more regularly), we’ve put together a list of the best paintball equipment you can buy.
So check out our list of the best of the best products. Plus, keep on reading to find our exhaustive buyers’ guide that will give you everything you need to know about buying paintball equipment.
There are quite a few different pieces of equipment required for paintballing.
So, rather than provide you with a slew of different options for every piece of equipment, we’re going to give you the best of the best. This will be the best marker, helmet, goggles, tactical vest, pants, and gloves.
OUR TOP PICK
So, let’s start with your main piece of equipment. For our top pick, we have chosen this Tippmann TMC Magfed paintball marker.
This marker is best suited for a beginner to intermediate. But is still a great marker and will suit someone experienced too.
As mentioned in our buyers’ guide below, paintball markers are adaptable. So, when you first start out, it’s a good idea to buy a simple marker that is best suited for beginners.
Then, as you become more experienced, you can adapt your marker to keep up with your abilities.
This marker, although not cheap, is a very average price. It is affordable in terms of paintball markers.
The marker will be the most expensive piece of your paintball equipment. So, this is a very good price for this good quality marker.
This marker is available in two colors. These are black or black and tan. This marker very much mimics the style of a real military-grade gun.
Although paintball is a mock military sport, a lot of paintball markers look a little different to real guns. But this marker is definitely intended to have a military look.
There are lots of different styles of paintball masks available. You can even buy masks shaped like stormtrooper helmets, Darth Vader’s helmet, or like a skull. But, the most common style is more akin to a cycling helmet.
This is fine if you have a good pair of goggles. But we suggest you try and find something like this.
This helmet has built-in goggles and will cover your head from top to chin. This is super useful as you won’t have to worry about buying a separate set of goggles that might not fit properly beneath your helmet.
This helmet is also super affordable. Although it is large and includes goggles, it is much cheaper to buy than a separate helmet and separate goggles.
So not only will you be provided with better protection, but you are also getting much better value for money.
This helmet comes in four different colors. It also has two different color lenses. You have the choice between tinted or transparent.
One isn’t necessarily better than the other. The tinted lenses will protect your eyes from glare. But the transparent lenses will provide you with a clearer view in pretty much all weather conditions.
So you decision will depend on the weather where you live.
If you already have a helmet or prefer a helmet without a visor or built-in goggles, then you will need to buy some separate goggles.
These are super important and are an essential piece of equipment. Our top pick is this super protective pair from SPOSUNE.
These goggles are specifically designed for extreme military style sports, such as paintball. They feature an adjustable strap which is just as important as the lenses.
The adjustable strap means that you will be able to fit the goggles perfectly to your head. So you won’t have to worry about them dislodging or distracting you by being too tight.
The lenses feature excellent UV protection and are made from strong poly-carbonate. These can withstand high impact and so will protect your eyes, should you be hit in the face with a paintball. The lenses are also scratch-resistant and shatterproof.
These goggles come with three lenses which are gray, yellow, or transparent. This allows you to adjust and adapt your goggles to your environment and to the weather conditions.
This will provide your eyes with an extra layer of protection but also stop your vision from being restricted and impairing your abilities.
The material surrounding the lenses is made from a breathable material. So they won’t become sweaty or uncomfortable as you exert yourself.
This material also provides padding so the goggles won’t dig into your face. But this material is not so big that it will be in your line of sight.
This is another important piece of equipment in terms of safety and practicality.
Our choice for the best paintball tactical vest is the GZ XINXING tactical airsoft vest. This tactical vest has a lot of pockets and is incredibly practical.
This vest has, overall, 6 magazine pouches, 2 flashlight pouches, 2 communication pouches, and a medic pouch. So when it comes to storage, you really can’t do better than this vest.
As well as excellent storage, this vest has multiple adjustable buckles. This is great as you won’t have to worry about it fitting you properly. When it comes to safety equipment, adjustable features such as these are really practical.
Another practical feature is the large amount of velcro that surrounds much of this vest. So you will be able to easily remove and reattach all of the pouches.
This vest will also keep you safe and well-protected. Your torso is one of the places you will most likely be shot.
So it’s important to keep it well covered in a padded material. This vest is made from 900D nylon. So it is both strong and comfortable.
Gloves are something that are important in terms of safety but also practicality. These considerations have led us to choose these HK Army Paintball Pro Gloves.
These gloves offer great protection but have been altered to still allow you to use your hands freely.
One of the issues with wearing gloves is that they can be thick and reduce feeling. This can make handling your marker and aiming difficult.
With these gloves, the forefinger and middle finger are fingerless. Whereas the other fingers and thumb are fully covered. This means that the majority of your hand is protected.
But it also means that you will still be able to feel the trigger and properly control the marker.
As well as being practical, these gloves also look good. They are available in multiple colors. All styles are predominantly black but can have red, blue, gray, or green accents.
They also come in a range of sizes. This is super useful as many gloves often come as one-size-fits-all. This isn’t ideal as, of course, hand size can vary greatly.
And you don’t want gloves that are too loose or too small when your hands are the most important things in paintball.
When it comes to paintball equipment, specifically designed pants are a great idea. Unlike some other safety equipment or clothing, specialty pants aren’t essential. But, they’re still a sensible purchase.
Specialty pants will have all of the pockets and compartments you will need. Plus knee pads that will provide you with extra protection from paintballs. But also allow you to move around, crawl, and dive whenever you need to.
This is why we have chosen these tactical pants from SINAIRSOFT. These pants are of a military-style and so will be perfect for paintball.
They don’t have an adjustable waist and, although they are only available in XS to XXL, these sizes include waist and leg measurements. This means that you can find the pants which will fit you properly.
This is really important as you don’t want anything that will restrict your movement. But you also don’t want anything that will be too loose and irritate you.
If you’re stuck between two sizes, we recommend choosing the bigger option. This means that you won’t have your movement restricted and you will be able to make them fit better with a belt.
These pants are also available in multiple patterns. You can choose between two camouflage patterns or plain black.
If none of these options appeal to you, or you simply want to buy everything in one easy click, there are several paintball equipment kits to choose from.
Our top pick for the best kit is this starter package from Maddog.
This kit contains all of the essential equipment that you will need. Plus a few extras. This kit might look a little expensive at first glance.
But once you consider everything it contains, especially when you add up how much they would cost individually, this kit is great value for money.
So, what’s included in this great kit:
- A semi-automatic marker
- A tactical vest
- Half-finger gloves
- An anti-fog mask
- 20oz CO2 tank
- Neoprene neck protector
- 4+1 Harness
- 4 140 round pods
- Proto primo 200 round loader
There are many paintball markers that would cost more than this whole kit. But that doesn’t mean it is of poor quality. This kit is of great quality and will keep you protected.
The marker is also just as good as those sold individually at more expensive prices. So you don’t have to worry that you’re getting worse quality at this low price.
This super affordable kit is a great option if you’re just getting into paintball. You know that every piece of equipment in this kit has been specially designed for paintball.
And you don’t have to worry about finding the perfect pieces of equipment when you aren’t quite sure what you’re looking for yet. (That said, make sure you read on or scroll down to check out our buyers’ guide to find out exactly what you need).
This kit has fingerless gloves which are ideal for paintball as you will be protected but still in control. The full-face mask is also great as it will give you complete protection. But the anti-fog lenses mean you don’t have to worry about your vision being restricted.
The tactical vest is a little thinner than we would like. But it will still provide you with good protection. It is also adjustable which is one of the most important features of pretty much all paintball equipment.
Best Paintball Equipment Buying Guide
So, now you know some of the best products, let’s go over exactly what you will absolutely need. The market for paintball equipment is pretty saturated as it’s such a popular hobby.
And, because it includes a lot of technical equipment, there are some brands that will try and sell you a lot of high tech kits that you don’t really need. So, here’s everything you need for paintball, plus what to look for when you’re browsing.
Let’s start with the most important pieces of equipment. Although paintballs of course won’t hurt you too much, they are still powerful and are fired at high speeds with a lot of pressure. This means if you are hit without any safety equipment on, you’re going to become injured.
Injuries can range from bruising to cuts. Or, in severe cases, you might even injure your eye in such a way that can damage your vision. So, what safety equipment will you need?
First up is the helmet. This one is incredibly important. Your head is the main body part that you need to protect. And we include your eyes and ears in this too. These are all very sensitive. Being hit in the head with a paintball can have very serious consequences.
The helmet should come with a full visor and cover your head entirely. This means that it should come down to your chin. It should also cover your chin entirely. There should not be a part of your head exposed.
That said, you will need to be able to see. If you can, it’s easiest to buy a helmet with a built-in visor or goggles. This will be easier in terms of shopping as you won’t have to search for multiple items. But it will also be more practical than buying separate goggles.
Wearing a detached pair of goggles with a helmet can cause problems. They may not be entirely compatible and might not fit well together. This will leave you at risk of injury. So, to be on the safe side, it’s best to invest in a full-coverage helmet.
If a full-coverage helmet isn’t an option for you, you absolutely must buy safety goggles. If you get shot in the eye then there is a very high chance that you will lose some vision in that eye, if not go entirely blind. It is definitely not worth the risk.
The best kind of goggles will be flush against your skull. Find goggles with an adjustable strap so you can guarantee that they will fit you properly. This is very important as you don’t want them to move or become dislodged. If they do, they won’t give you the proper protection that you need.
Now that you know everything you need to know about safety equipment, let’s move on to the main piece of equipment. The marker is also sometimes called a “gun” but this isn’t the preferred term for everyone.
Although paintball can’t be claimed as a non-violent or non-aggressive sport, it is very often played by people who would never touch a gun in real life. As the purpose of a gun is very different to that of a paintball marker.
Although you can buy markers fully constructed, you can also buy separate parts. This can either be to build one yourself or to alter another marker. But don’t worry, we’ve got it covered and we’ll give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about all parts of a marker.
Fully Constructed Markers
Fully constructed markers are the best option if you’re a beginner. Once you get more into the sport, you will have a better understanding of your style and what you would want to alter. So, when first starting out, you should look for something basic.
There are two different types of paintball markers. You can choose between a mechanically operated marker or an electro-pneumatically operated marker. There are variations within these two different kinds, although there are many more mechanically operated markers than electro-pneumatic.
The different types of mechanical markers are the pump of bolt action, the double action, the throwback semi-auto, the blow forward semi-auto, and the pneumatically operated semi-auto. These names are very similar to the names for certain types of guns. And there is no denying that paintball markers are modeled after firearms. But they have quite a few differences, even beyond the obvious.
Parts of a Marker
Once you have become more experienced, you might find that your paintball marker doesn’t quite do the job anymore.
Or perhaps you have developed your own style and want to adjust your marker to suit this. Here are the different parts of a marker and what to look for when swapping them out.
1. The Barrel. Even if you have never held a gun before, you probably have a fairly good understanding of their parts and how they work. Paintball markers aren’t hugely different but they definitely do vary.
The barrel is the long thing part that sticks out the front of the marker. This is the part through which the pellet is fired. Due to this, switching out the barrel can make aiming easier. A barrel that specifically suits your style will provide greater accuracy and greater overall control. It will also help the trajectory.
2. Hoppers. The hopper is a less obvious part. The hopper feeds the paintballs into the marker. The hopper usually sits on top of the marker and uses gravity to feed the paintballs down into the chambers of the marker.
You can change out the hopper for one that better suits your style. It is easy to change as they are removable anyway. This is so you can refill it or replace it with another full hopper when you have run out of paintballs.
When choosing a new hopper, size is very important. As is the position of the hopper. As it sits on the top of the marker, it can potentially obscure your sight. This will restrict your abilities so that you might not score as well as you usually might. But it can also cause you injury if you can’t see what you’re doing properly.
When paintballing, you can’t simply wear jeans and a t-shirt. So clothing is also important. If you are getting into paintballing as a regular hobby, it’s important to remember that you need quite a bit of equipment. So you will be investing quite a bit of money into it.
There are several pieces of clothing that you will need. This includes specialty pants, a tactical vest, gloves, and footwear. Let’s start from the top and work our way down.
This is a piece of clothing but is also a piece of safety equipment. The tactical vest will allow you to carry more paintballs and other items. But it will also protect your ribs and internal organs. This might sound a little extreme but, as we have mentioned before, paintballing is an extreme sport that can potentially cause injury.
A good tactical vest will have a good balance of strong hard material and padding. It should be comfortable and fit your torso well. But it should also be tough and provide adequate protection.
Gloves are important for both protection and practicality. They will protect you from paintballs and the weather. But will also provide you with a better grip. This means you will be able to hold the marker steady and have a better aim.
So, as with the tactical vest, you need something that is both practical and comfortable. They should be padded enough so that you won’t be too hurt if you are hit in the hand with a paintball. But they shouldn’t be so thick that you have difficulty holding the marker and have reduced freedom of movement. They shouldn’t be so thick that your feeling of the marker is reduced or numbed.
Try to find a pair of gloves that are tough and durable but also lightweight. This will provide you with both comfort and protection. It might be tempting to buy any pair of gloves. And this is an option. But gloves that have been specifically designed for paintballing will be best. If you wear a pair of simple winter gloves or ski gloves, they won’t provide enough grip and will be too thick.
Fingerless gloves are also a good option. The chances of you being hit just on the tip of your finger are pretty low. Fingerless gloves will allow you to keep your hands warm and protected while also keeping contact with the marker and staying in control.
This might be a surprising addition but it’s an important one. You can’t simply wear a pair of jeans or your workout gear.
Again, you will need something that will provide protection and comfort. But with pants, you also need to consider your movement. If you wear anything too restrictive, then you won’t be able to move as quickly or as swiftly as you otherwise might.
You also want something that you don’t mind getting dirty. Paintballing will mean you probably get paint on your clothes (this likely won’t be a surprise). But it also means that you will likely get mud and leaves on you too.
You won’t be paintballing in a clean and sterile environment. Nor will you be on your feet all the time. You will be diving and ducking for cover, usually in the undergrowth, in mud, or behind trees. So be ready to get muddy.
A good pair of pants for paintballing will have reinforced knees or knee pads. This will support your knees if you find yourself crawling or diving behind something.
They should also fit well but still allow you to move properly. So pants with an elasticated or drawstring waistband are a good idea. Being able to control the fit is very useful.
Footwear is another very important piece of clothing. You need something sturdy but also comfortable and lightweight. You need to be able to move about easily on uneven terrain. You will also need something that will properly support your feet.
Sneakers aren’t a bad idea. They will allow you the best freedom of movement. But they can also easily slip off and the laces can easily become untied. Boots are what a lot of people choose but they aren’t great for agility. If you want to be able to move quickly, then heavy boots aren’t the answer.
That said, if you can find boots that are soft and supportive, then we say go for it. So long as they aren’t too thick or heavy, they will properly protect your feet. Sneakers can also have a reduced grip and get caught in sticks or thorns. They also won’t provide the same level of protection as boots. Especially boots with toe caps.
When it comes to footwear, there is no right answer. But so long as you find something that will provide you with protection, comfort, and support then you’re good to go.