Home Protective Gear What to Wear for Paintball in 2021 | Buyer's Guide & Reviews

What to Wear for Paintball in 2021 | Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

If you are new to the game, deciding on what to wear for paintball can prove difficult. In addition to quality base layers, you need to think about proper protection for the elbows and knees, not to mention suitable gloves and visors to keep your face and eyes out of the firing line. More experienced players will also want to think about investing in tactical vests and paintball pants to give them a leading edge on the field. Need some help putting together your paintball wardrobe? Read on for handy guide on what you need to consider when deciding on what to wear for paintball.

Base Layers

Before you start thinking about additional protection and specialist paintball gear, you should consider your everyday outfitting. A long-sleeved top is always a good bet for dressing the torso. Not only will such garments grant your skin a good basic layer of protection against paintball projectiles, they will ensure as little skin as possible is exposed. If you intend to add arm guards and tactical vests to your repertoire, your base layer should be thin enough to ensure you do not overheat. Your legs also need to be protected with a good base layer. Denim provides a good buffer between the skin and incoming paintball rounds, so jeans are always a good option. However, some jeans can be restrictive, so bear this in mind. A good compromise is a pair of combat pants or cargo trousers. Whatever items you decide on for your base layer clothing, you should consider the environment you are playing in and temperature levels.

Tactical Vests

These are an essential item for the more experienced player. A decent tactical vest should be sleeveless, with secure fastening at the front and hem to ensure a good fit to the individual wearing one. Tactical vests usually come in fatigue designs, although solid colourways are also popular. A tactical vest will incorporate carrying pouches and harnesses so you can keep paintball pods, tanks and other essential accessories close to hand. Some vests will also include metallic D-rings that can be used to attach water bottles and other items. Any tactical vest you choose will be exposed to regular paintball rounds, so it should also be fairly easy to clean and maintain.

Paintball Pants

Although paintball pants are not an essential for most gameplay scenarios, they are popular with more experienced players. Unlike combat trousers, paintball pants are specially designed with freedom of movement in mind. They are designed to be worn alongside tactical vests or harnesses, so usually dispense with pockets and pouches in favour of comfort and flexibility. Hard-wearing materials should the standard here, holding up well to intensive use and heavy wear and tear. A decent pair of paintball pants should include adjustments at the waist and cuff to ensure they stay firmly in place. Stretch material at the knees will also encourage a better fit. Mesh panels are also desirable as these will encourage good air circulation, keeping you comfortable and minimising irritation.

Footwear

While you can choose to play in military and work footwear, it is best to invest in tactical boots from established paintball manufacturers. These boots are generally more lightweight than conventional tactical footwear, allowing you to remain light on your feet without compromising on protection against shocks and impacts. A good pair of paintball boots should allow for good levels of breathability and provide exceptional wearing comfort. An effective tread pattern will also ensure good levels of traction, keeping you sturdy on your feet at all times.

Knee & Elbow Protection

Your elbows and knees will take a real beating during a game of paintball so they need to be protected with additional gear. Elbow pads come in two main varieties. The most basic form utilises an elbow cup that protects the most delicate part of the arm from the worst impacts. A more advanced alternative offers protection for the elbow, forearm and the top of the hand. Both varieties should include high-density foam as part of their design, cushioning your elbow against the shock of impact. A hard-wearing outer shell will increase your levels of protection even further. Look for the same protective credentials when shopping for knee pads, although bear in mind these are more discreet than elbow pads as your knees to be unrestricted to allow for sufficient freedom of movement.

Gloves

When playing paintball, a decent pair of gloves is a must. Low-profile designs are the best option here, with compressed protection along the fingers and across the hand. If you want to enjoy unrestricted dexterity, look for gloves that have an exposed forefinger and index finger. This will allow you to operate your trigger with no obstruction, while also allowing you to retrieve paint pods and other accessories with minimal fuss. Full finger gloves are another option and are a good choice for the less experienced paintballer worried about sustaining injuries. However, these types of glove tend to be more restrictive.

Goggles

Protecting your eyes is of paramount importance. Therefore, you should settle for nothing less than premium protection when shopping for goggles and visors. If you want to keep things simple, a stripped-back pair of goggles is the way to go. However, the most basic goggles should include memory foam inserts to ensure a snug fit to the face, with secure fastenings to ensure they remain in place for the duration of a paintball game. Anti-fog lenses will also ensure unobstructed viewing at all times. A full visor or paintball mask is worth considering if you prefer enhanced protection. As with regular goggles, these should fit snugly against the contours of the face and remain in place for hours at a time. Some tournament games will require you to wear a visor with a chin strap, so bear this in mind if you intend to play at a more professional level.

Product Reviews

Unsure of what to wear for paintball? Read on for our premium pick of quality gear to give you an edge the next time you play.

5.11 Men’s ATAC 2.0 6″ Tactical Side Zip Military Boot, Style 12394, Black, 11 W US

These ATAC 2.0 tactical boots from 5.11 are the way to go if you are looking for maximum performance, ample protection and first-rate comfort. These boots feature a full-length Ortholite foot bed for enhanced comfort, while the Achilles heel flex zone grants you full freedom of movement so you can keep light on your feet. An Ortholite Achilles cuff also comes as standard and increases wearing comfort further. These boots also benefit from a shock mitigation system, meaning your feet are protected against even the most significant of impacts.A slip and oil resistant outsole also ensures you will stay steady on your feet at all times. The rugged nylon upper also allows for a firm and secure fit at al types, while side YKK zippers allow for fuss-free removal and fitting. These boots also feature integrated protection at the toe to stave off the worst impacts, keeping your toes well protected against injury. These versatile boots are incredibly hard-wearing and easy to care for, making them an ideal choice for those looking for long-term value.

G-Form Pro X2 Knee Pad(1 Pair), Black Logo, Adult X-Large

If you are looking for enhanced levels of protection for your knees, these G-Form Pro X2 knee pad are worth considering. These pads boast a SmartFlex design, allowing for a perfect fit every time. They also remain flexible, giving you a great range of movement. These pads have been body-mapped to provide superior impact resistance when you make contact with the ground, while the exterior hardens upon the shock of impact. Despite their robust design and first-rate shock protection, these pads are incredibly comfortable. The 2-panel design ensures a second-skin fit, while also offering enhanced ventilation for superior air circulation and good levels of wearing comfort.The first class fit is further bolstered by the compression sleeve design of these pads. Silicone grippers also come as standard to ensure your pads remain firmly in place when put on. These pads are built to last. Moisture-wicking material keeps them breathable, while also ensuring bacteria never gets a foothold. The material also boasts UPF 50+ protection, meaning they will resist fading when exposed to regular sunlight. When gameplay is over, these pads can be laid flat to dry naturally.

Dye Paintball Performance Elbow Pad


If you are looking for more substantial levels of protection for your arms and elbows, these Dye Performance elbow pads are worth a second look. These pads utilise lightweight EVA foam that is pre-shaped to ensure the conform more naturally to the bends and contours of your elbow and arm. This ensures exceptional levels of wearing comfort, with no compromising on flexibility. Each pad includes a custom gel insert to bolster impact protection further. This is incredibly important for ensuring your arms and elbows are protected against injury when diving and crawling.Adjustable straps are included to ensure you can tighten the elbow pads firmly to your arm. When properly fitted and fastened, these pads will stay firmly in place for hours at a time. These elbow pads also offer some level of protection for the hands as well. Integrated slider gloves come as standard here, with reinforced protection for the palm. Neoprene compression is also provided here, protecting the back of your hands from the worst impacts.

MGFLASHFORCE Tactical Airsoft Vest Adjustable Modular Paintball Vest (Black)

More experienced paintballers will definitely want to invest in this first-rate tactical vest. This vest is made from high-quality 600D polyester with a superior construction that provides a good level of protection against incoming projectiles. This high-density material is not only useful at protecting against enemy fire, it also ensures the vest will hold up well to regular use. This vest is easily adjusted to accommodate a wide variety of chest sizes, ensuring your attached accessories are kept within easy reach at all times.This tactical vest also delivers when it comes to carrying capacity for paintball accessories. You will find three pouches for storing standard paintball magazines, along with a separate pocket for carrying out field maps. Further pouches and pockets are on hand to store torches, communication equipment and essential tools. All carrying pouches can be readily removed to ensure you are not bogged down with unnecessary weight.

Dye i5 Paintball Goggle (Onyx)

These Dye i5 paintball goggles are the way to go if you are looking for premium eye protection. These goggles include a GSR Pro strap for very precise levels of tension control, while ensuring maximum comfort is maintained at all times. The patented strap system also ensures that tensional force is evenly distributed across the head, keeping the goggles firmly in place, even during rigorous activity. Another standout feature here is the Tirodial Horizon 290-degree anti-fog lens, providing you with first-rate visibility and optical clarity at all times. These goggles are the way to go if you are looking for unrivalled horizontal and vertical visibility, as well as premium peripheral vision.Multi-directional venting makes these goggles a particularly comfortable choice. These goggles ensure heat and moisture dissipate quickly, maintaining comfortable conditions inside. This visor is also a good option for those looking for a low-profile choice of eyewear protection that will not impede communication clarity. A universal mount is also included as standard here, allowing you to firmly attach a POV camera to record your paintballing experiences.

Glove Station The Combat Military Police Outdoor Sports Tactical Rubber Hard Knuckle Gloves for Men (Tan, Large)

Maximum hand protection is assured with these rubber knuckle gloves from Glove Station. The reinforced knuckle molding provides superior levels of protection during gameplay, especially if you are someone who likes to get stuck in with their environment. Durability is also guaranteed with these gloves, with a double-stitched design ensuring they last for as long as possible. Made from premium materials with an exceptional finish, these gloves will hold up well to repeated use in all manner of playing conditions.Despite their full finger design, these loves offer superb grip. PU leather palms and fingertip panels ensure you can enjoy a good grip on your market and easily retrieve paintball pods and other essentials. The fingertips also make handling touchscreens simple. These are also a comfortable choice. Padded mesh inserts and back vents allow for optimal air circulation at all times, eliminating the build up of heat and moisture.

Planet Eclipse Elite Pants – HDE Cam – XL

Looking to take your paintballing wardrobe to the next level? These Planet Eclipse Elite pants might be for you. These high-quality paintball pants make a great first impression with their camouflage colourway and fatigue-inspired aesthetics. They are also a good choice for those looking for a first-rate fit. Adjustable waist cords keep them firmly on the hip at all times, while ankle closures also eliminate the chance of snagging on your boot soles. Belt loops are also included, while the dynamic cut and contoured fit makes them incredibly comfortable to wear.These pants also deliver when it comes to protection. Anti-abrasive Kevlar knee strike zones and heel protection allow you to really throw yourself into your game with little worry about scratches and bruising. Pockets and pouches are also included to provide you with additional storage. The material itself is water-resistant, meaning these pants will hold up well to regular use in punishing conditions. These pants are a pricier alternative to more affordable cargo pants, but their first-rate fit and superior design more than justifies the premium.

Virtue VIO Ascend Thermal Paintball Goggles with Dual Pane Smoke Lens – Black

These Virtue VIO Ascend thermal paintball goggles will definitely help you improve your performance. These goggles offer first-rat protection against incoming projectiles and your playing environment. The design is surprisingly flexible, with rigid protection zones to ensure the most sensitive parts of the face are kept out of harm’s way. The single-piece construction of these goggles also makes them incredibly robust and resilient to impacts. You can also look forward to first-rate visibility with these VIO Ascend goggles. A large peripheral field of view is guaranteed, while you never need to worry about distorted clarity here. The thermal lens also offers complete protection against harmful UV rays.In addition to comprehensive protection, these goggles more than deliver when it comes to comfort. The breathable design ensures maximum airflow at all times, maintaining comfortable internal conditions and allowing you breathe easy. This also allows for clearer communication with teammates. You also have plenty of scope for tailoring these goggles with compatible accessories. These goggles are compatible with all VIO line visors, lenses and straps. You can also readily replace the protective foam to ensure your goggles are fit for task.

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