Top 10 Must Have Pieces of Paintball Gear

The Top Ten Must-Have Products for Paintball

When it’s time to get serious about Playing Paintball, this is the Paintball Gear you Need to Have! From playing safe to being a more effective part of your team once the paintballs start flying, the right paintball gear can help anyone play paintball better and have more fun!

Paintball Mask

1. A Great Paintball Mask

Are you surprised? We bet you thought the most important piece of paintball equipment you must have would be a paintball gun. And don’t get us wrong: a good, quality paintball gun is absolutely an important piece of paintball gear. But there really is a more important piece of must-have paintball equipment, and it’s a great, high-quality paintball goggle system or mask. Why? Because if you aren’t comfortable while you play, if you’re getting headaches from an ill-fitting paintball mask, sweat is getting in your eyes or your goggle lens is fogging up making it hard to see or worse, even tempting you to pull your goggles off during a game, the worst and most unsafe thing that can happen on a paintball field, you’re not enjoying paintball the way you should. To enjoy paintball to the fullest and give yourself the best chance to learn the game, play safe, have fun and win, a great pair of paintball goggles is your best bet. They’re designed not to fog during play, they’re designed to be comfortable, they’re designed to allow plenty of air to flow through, they’re designed to be easily cleaned and maintained and some are even able to be personalized to suit any player’s taste and style! Head to the local paintball store and try on a few to see which paintball mask is ideal for you and be willing to spend a little extra money – the first time you play in a high-end, high-quality paintball mask it’ll be a whole new game and it will instantly help you to be a better, more successful and a safer paintball player!

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Paintball Gun

2. The Right Paintball Gun

You’ll note we didn’t say a high-end, thousand-dollar paintball gun. Are there paintball players out there who absolutely demand, and even need, a top-level paintball gun costing as much as two thousand dollars to play at the level they desire? Absolutely. But does that mean you need one to play paintball well, play paintball competitively and have a great time playing the game? Of course not. Paintball offers plenty of ways to play the game and plenty of choices for paintball gear with which to play it. The right paintball gun for you may not be a bright red tournament style paintball gun if you like to put on a ghillie suit and creep around in the woods with your friends, but a magazine-fed tactical paintball gun isn’t the best choice if you plan to learn the game now and aspire to join a team and compete in the big leagues either. The best paintball gun for you is the one that’s going to work, that you’re confident in being able to clean and take care of after a day at the field, and of course, that you can afford. So do your homework and spend your money wisely – the right paintball gun for you will make every day of play much more fun!

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3. A Good Pair of Shoes

As far as must-have paintball equipment goes, this one might surprise you but it’s absolutely, positively important to pick the right footwear to play paintball in or you won’t have the time you thought you might! The game of paintball is played around the world, by all kinds of people in all kinds of weather conditions, and it’s challenging. You’ll be running, creeping, crawling, and in the case of serious competitive paintball, sliding, diving and digging deep. Playing in shoes that don’t offer the grip, ankle support and comfort necessary to keep you safe and able to do the things you need to do on the field can, at best, lead to slips and slides or at worse, slips and falls or even a sprained ankle! So choose your paintball footwear carefully! Serious competitive players tend to prefer a football style cleat for plenty of grip that laces up to the ankles for plenty of support, while players who enjoy games in the woods often select either a lightweight hiking shoe or pair of light, tactical boots. Picking the right footwear for your style of paintball means more than just the old pair of sneakers you cut the grass in on the weekend, so choose this important, and sometimes overlooked piece of paintball gear wisely!

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4. The Right Ball-Hauling Gear

There are many different ways to play the game of paintball, from pick-up games at the local field and magazine-fed tactical operations to large-scale scenario games hosting thousands and even major league tournaments played for thousands of dollars! They may be different, but it’s all paintball and it all has one thing in common – at some point you’re going to have to reload. That means hauling balls, and things will be a lot easier if you haul them right. Most tournament or competitive paintball players choose to carry their extra paintballs in 140 round pods carried in a light but durable pack strapped around their waist and keeping all those extra paintballs on their back where it makes a tougher target and still allows the player to slide, dive and crawl while wearing that pack. In contrast, serious scenario and tactical players often carry their paintballs in pods or, in the case of mag-fed paintball, loaded magazines and these are often taken into battle in loadbearing vests or plate carriers that also hold equipment like a sidearm, radio equipment, maps and more. So carry your extra paint in the way that best suits your style of play and lock and load! 

5. A Good Loader

The finest, fastest car in the world won’t run properly if it isn’t fed the proper fuel, and even the best paintball guns can’t deliver optimum performance if they aren’t fed paintballs efficiently. That’s why gearing up for playing paintball doesn’t stop with a great paintball gun – it needs a the right paintball loader or paintball hopper to make sure the paintballs you want all over your opponents get into the paintball gun without jams, chops or that frustrating “shake and bake” when you have to sit there and shake your paintball gun just to get a ball out the barrel! So a solid motorized hopper or high-end loader is necessary if you expect to get the optimum performance out of your paintball gun. A great choice is the Valken VSL, as it can easily switch between .50 and .68 caliber paintballs, can switch between standard and high-capacity for extra shooting without reloading and is an an amazing value for the price! Other great paintball loaders include the Valken VMax or the Dye Rotor, or even a very affordable and simple Dye Proto Primo hopper!

6. A High Quality Air Bottle

Paintball guns require an air source to provide power to fire each paintball downrange and, in many cases, re-cock the paintball gun after each shot if you’re shooting something semiautomatic. They’re air guns, after all. A high quality paintball compressed air system is necessary to get every ounce of performance out of your paintball gun, helping you put the paintballs where they need to go. Take the time to learn your paintball gun, and the air pressure at which it’s recommended to operate, then select an air bottle with a regulator that will provide that pressure. Once you’ve determined that, it’s time to figure out just how many shots you need to shoot on the field and pick out a bottle size that will deliver what you need, while keeping bottle size and weight in mind, and you’re all set! Valken offers a full line of paintball air bottles, from basic CO2 tanks like 20oz CO2 tanks to high-end compressed air or HPA systems like the First Strike Hero or First Strike Merc options, available in a wide array of sizes to suit any playing style or load out requirement!

7. A Versatile Barrel

If you’ve already played your first game of paintball you know the paintball gun you might have been handed, or rented from the local field, might not have been as accurate as you’d have liked, especially when you went head-to-head with opponents with their own paintball equipment. This is because while paintballs are .68 caliber, there are a few more variables than that. Paintballs vary in size after that second decimal point and since paintball gun manufacturers don’t know what brand or type of paintball you might shoot, they have to provide a barrel with their paintball guns that will shoot them all. That means some will shoot accurately while others might not. Those looking to really put each paintball they fire on target upgrade to a barrel that’s longer, quieter thanks to porting holes drilled into the end of the barrel, and honed to a fine polish internally to squeeze every ounce of efficiency and accuracy out of every shot! Players who really need to tailor their paintball gun to their paintballs for top-level accuracy even select a barrel kit, that allows them to measure paintballs and build a barrel to shoot them perfectly. So if you want your paintballs landing on target every time you pull the trigger, find yourself a new paintball gun barrel!

8. Dress for Success with Paintball Pants

Compared to a paintball gun, pair of paintball goggles or a more accurate, quiet barrel, a pair of paintball pants may not seem too serious, but trust us on this one! Valken makes a wide range of great paintball pants and you don’t see anyone taking paintball seriously out there shooting it up in jeans. Why? Because paintball pants are actually a piece of performance clothing designed to help you play at your best! Paintball pants feature ventilation to keep a player cool during those hot days at the field, padding in the knees, groin and other areas to keep the wearer safe from incoming paintballs and all that diving and crawling, pockets for anything you might need to carry and adjustable cuffs to keep all that outside stuff out where it belongs. A good pair of paintballs pants will help any serious player look good and play well at the paintball field every weekend!

9. Give Yourself A Hand With Paintball Gloves

Paintball players don’t always wear paintball gloves. But most paintball players who’ve taken a shot to the back of the hand or the knuckles tend to hit the paintball store for a pair of paintball gloves pretty quickly afterwards. Paintball players slide, dive, crawl and creep, and as if this wasn’t tough enough on the hands, there’s the chance of an incoming paintball banging into your knuckles too! Keep that sting to a minimum and keep a firm grip on your paintball gun with a good set of paintball gloves! Valken offers a wider array of paintball gloves than any other paintball company, Valken Paintball gloves are available in full and half-finger varieties offering a little or a lot of armor to suit any paintball player’s loadout and they’re a great piece of paintball equipment to add to the gear bag!

10. Get Ahead – Protect Your Head!

Paintball headwear varies from bandannas and du-rags to padded caps, headwraps and headbands. While style is important, it’s not all about style, as what you choose to wear on your head at the paintball field can actually be a piece of performance sportswear! Paintball is often played in the heat and all that running, diving and crawling can make any player break a sweat. Once that sweat gets into paintball goggles and soaks the foam, it’s headed for your eyes. At best that’s uncomfortable and at worst, it may tempt some players to pull their goggles off on the field, a cardinal sin, to wipe their eyes. Most players will wear at least a head wrap or headband with an integral sweatband in order to protect their forehead from incoming paintballs in places goggles don’t cover, and to keep the sweat away from their eyes. Younger or more sensitive players can choose a thicker, knit cap or even a set of paintball goggles that offers full head protection to keep the paintballs away from the cranium! 

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