Best Body Armor



Paintball is a very interactive and engaging sport that more and more people are eager to try, and for many good reasons. It provides a healthy physical activity, as well as some brain training, as you need to create and evaluate strategies to win. The best part about this sport is that it has some variations: it can be played inside individual facilities, or outside in arranged settings or even in the woods, in a natural environment (this is also known as Woodsball).

Although paintball is not a dangerous sport, getting hit by a ball of paint, especially from a close distance, almost always leads to bruises or at least discomfort. In the heat of the moment, combined with the adrenaline rush, maybe you won’t feel any pain, but you would notice the bruises that can take weeks to heal. Even though it is part of the game, that is the reason why many young kids or even adults who are new to this sport hesitate to get involved further. That is also one of the reasons why you need proper protective gear to boost your confidence and ease your game experience.

Moreover, getting hit by a paintball and an afterward bruise are not the only reasons why you need to invest in well-padded gear. During the game, and depending on the type of game you play, some movements like diving, sliding or crawling are necessary in order to increase your speed or hide from the enemy. These diving, crawling and sliding maneuvers can also lead to scratches, friction burns and bruises, especially if you don’t have any protective gear. Usually, paintball facilities provide essential equipment like gloves, a mask, a uniform with minimal protection and goggles. That is why, whether you’re a beginner, playing on weekends, or aiming to become a pro, you need to start researching for the best protective equipment that would allow you to move freely while also feeling safe.

Protective gear comes in many shapes and sizes and they serve different purposes. You can decide to suit up and cover your whole body with padded clothes, or you could just protect the most exposed parts, like the knees and elbows. Today we are looking at your options when it comes to the best body armors for the most crucial part of your body: the chest and torso area. If you can protect a large surface of your body, that will give you the confidence  to try out all the moves mentioned earlier, without exposing yourself to possible scratches and bruises; that way, you can truly enjoy playing the game.

There are many types of body armors on the market, but they are not all created equal. While some of them are made of harder shells and they provide the most protection, they can restrict your movement and sometimes add some extra weight that could slow you down. That is why, before buying, you should know more about what to look for when shopping for protective body armors.

 

Here is a short list of what to look for when choosing a body armor:

 

Features

 When you’re looking for protective body armors, pay attention to what they can do for you, besides protection. As we said, some products can be heavy or uncomfortable to wear for more extended periods, so search for the ones that are lightweight and that let your skin breathe. The ones that have foam padding are lighter in weight, thinner and breathable, as opposed to the bulky plastic-made armors. If you want to be in the best shape while playing the game, also look at those compression shirts that are meant to keep your muscles warm and ready for an intensive session of running, diving or sliding.

Materials

 No matter what you choose, read the review section and make sure the materials are durable and can withstand pressure and friction. Likely, if you decide to invest in protective gear, you probably plan to play paintball often or even become a pro someday. Either way, invest in quality materials that would pass the test of time.

Coverage

Body armors don’t necessarily imply protection for the whole body. Some products are meant to protect the chest area, some cover just the most visible and exposed areas, but there are some full torso armors that can be useful if you want to go the extra mile and cover yourself with padding from head to toe. So, depending on your preference, choose what you think would suit your needs best because less coverage doesn’t necessarily mean a cheaper or lower quality product and vice versa.

Aftercare

When you decide to buy a body armor, also look at the aftercare needed to maintain it in the best shape possible, so you can use it repeatedly. Search for machine washable solutions and if it is not possible, look for materials that can easily be cleaned and maintained over time or that require minimal care.

Budget

Paintball body armors’ price can vary depending on the brand, the materials, how much padding is being added, the technology used and many other factors. Although it would be a good idea to look for quality in a product, you know what they say: only diamonds are forever, so don’t stress too much about that. Sooner or later, you would maybe want to upgrade your gear, or it would naturally degrade due to repeated use, so you don’t have to break the bank to get proper protection these days. On our list, we managed to gather different products with various prices, so you can choose accordingly.

Now you are ready to do your research and see what options are out there, so we compiled a list of seven best body armors that we think would help you be more protected, as well as comfortable during a game of paintball.

If you would like more padding, this would be a great product to buy. The Empire Paintball 2013 Grind Pro is a short sleeve shirt that is padded on the front, sleeves and back. It looks great and although it is heavily padded, it is not bulky at all. This is your first layer of protection so you can wear it under your clothes.

This product is very lightweight and has a tight fit, so it also offers compression that would help warm up your muscles. You can slide, crawl and dive with this T-shirt on and get rid of the fear of injuring yourself. It absorbs shock, so even if you get tagged (hit), you would perceive it much less painful. Because of the dense padding, you can feel the extra-protection, as not many products cover such a large area while still being so sleek and thin.

Moreover, it has Velcro loops on each sleeve (given the fact that it has short sleeves) so you can attach your elbow pads from the same brand. Even if you don’t already own a pair of elbow pads, the option is there, so this is always a plus, as you might find that a short-sleeved protector is not enough for you.

The materials are breathable, and the thinness of the product doesn’t restrict your movement in any way. On the sides and in the places that don’t have padding, it has a mesh for ventilation, so you can wear it under your clothes without worrying about moisture accumulation.

The price is a bit high, so this is something that you should consider, but it is overall an excellent product if you need an extra layer of protection and, at the same time, you want to be able to move freely.

What’s to like:

  • Padding covers a large area
  • Breathable materials
  • Compressive
  • Lightweight product
  • Has loops to attach elbow pads

What’s not to like:

  • A bit pricy

If you are into paintball or you plan to become a pro, then you probably need a tactical vest in your equipment collection. The Yakeda Tactical CS Field Vest is an excellent addition to any equipment because it is made to protect you while carrying all your toys.

It comes with various compartments and pouches that can carry your gun, ammunition and seriously, whatever else you need. The pouches are removable, so you can adjust them and organize them as you wish.

It’s made of durable materials and it also looks very cool and authentic.

It’s a one size fits all vest but that is because it’s adjustable. You can adjust if from a size S to a 4XL through the adjustable shoulders and waist. It comes in five colors, so if you want to match it with the rest of your outfit, you can choose the closest color.

Although it is packed with pouches and belts, it has a shoulder pad that protects against the paintballs. However, this is not a protection body armor, but a multifunctional vest that carries all your items and helps you stay organized and ready for a battle. Otherwise, the rest of the vest is made of a thin mesh that allows airflow and proper ventilation.

As you can imagine, this is not the type of protector that you would expect to be lightweight, but nor is it a heavy vest that restricts your movements. It weighs 2.88 pounds, but this is created to go on top of your clothes and used primarily outdoors, so if you don’t want to add up to your overall weight, maybe consider choosing other clothing items that are more lightweight.

The price is fair, and it is safe to say that it is not too expensive for what it represents. Overall, an excellent option if you want to live the adventure.

What’s to like:

  • Multifunctional vest
  • Detachable pouches for better organizing
  • Durable materials
  • Fair price

What’s not to like:

  • Doesn’t offer much protection
  • Not enough ventilation
  • A bit heavy

Maybe you’re looking to protect just the most exposed parts of your body. In that case, Maddog Sports Padded Chest Protector is a great product…or should we say products? Yes, products, because when you buy the chest protector, you get a combo pack.

In the combo pack, you will find the padded vest protector, a neck protector and some armored gloves that have padding on the palms and a plastic shell on top for extra protection. This could be a great deal, especially as the price overall is very affordable and you get three products in one package.

The vest has a simple concept. It is a one-size-fits-all, but you can adjust it to fit your body. Keep in mind, if you’re asked to choose between sizes at checkout, that they represent the gloves’ size. Many users thought they were supposed to select the size of the vest and then complained that it didn’t fit right, so be aware of that. However, being a one-size-fits-all, we think there must be a slight chance of being a miss for some people, but for most people, it would work.

Other than that, the vest covers the chest area, it has the right amount of padding and most users are pleased with the performance. Those who tried it during a paintball game said they felt no pain when they got tagged, so it does its job well. The neck piece has little holes in it for breathability and the gloves are a great addition. They can come in handy if you don’t already own a pair.

Overall, for the price, to get three pieces of equipment is a great deal anytime.

What’s to like:

  • 3-in-1 combo pack
  • The vest has a good amount of padding
  • You can choose the size of the gloves
  • Good price

What’s not to like:

  • The quality is not top-notch
  • May not fit some body types (one-size-fits-all)

Unlike other undergarments, the Jellybro has more padding that covers a larger surface, especially for the elbow and upper arm. It is meant to have a snug fit, so pay attention to the size chart and, if you feel you’re in between sizes, order a size down.

The snug fit also offers enough compression to keep your muscles warm and happy. The materials are polyester and EVA emulsion, so it allows your skin to breathe while protecting the most critical parts of your body. Speaking of protection, this long-sleeved bodysuit has padding in the chest area, it also protects the ribs, the elbow and the upper arm so you can feel confident while diving, sliding and getting tagged. However, it doesn’t have padding on the stomach area or on the back, so this is not meant to be a full body armor, but more like essential protection for the most exposed parts of the body.

The downside for some users is the fact that you cannot wash it in your washing machine, but only by hand, and the manufacturer clearly states this in the description. It would have been convenient to throw it in the washer after a tiring day, but unfortunately, you would have to wash this by hand. However, given the fact that it is made of breathable materials, this will dry quickly, just in time for the next game of paintball.

What’s to like:

  • Affordable price
  • A good amount of padding, thick
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable materials
  • Offers compression

What’s not to like:

  • It cannot be washed in the washing machine
  • Padding does not cover the stomach area

If you like to play outdoors, this is another tactical vest that can change the game when it comes to gear organizing. The GZ XINXING Paintball Vest is very sturdy, looks and feels durable and made to withstand the harsh environment.

It is a one-size-fits-all product, but you can adjust it in height (shortest length is 17 inches, the maximum length is 20 inches) and at the waist, the maximum size being 50 inches. It is a bit heavy, at 3.42 pounds and that is because the material is thicker, made to take a hit. The quality of the materials is very good. Everything is looking like it should stand the test of time and users are happy to say that even the stitching is done well.

You have plenty of pouches to carry all your “toys” and the they are detachable, so you can move them around or even remove some.

Most people said that the fit was perfect. Actually, it fits much better than other vests that often times are running short, not covering the stomach area completely. This one doesn’t have that problem. The only downside would be that, given the thicker construction, it is not breathable and can get a bit uncomfortable to wear for a long time.

What’s to like:

  • The very good price point
  • Sturdy
  • Quality materials
  • Versatile, multifunction

What’s not to like:

  • Not breathable
  • Heavy

Now, here is a product for those of you who are shorter in height or for younger paintballers or beginners out there who never seem to find the right fit when it comes to chest protectors. TIPPMANN Chest Protector, although it is not advertised as a product for kids or shorter people, it is a smaller paintball vest that most users agree it is made for smaller people in general. We thought it was worth looking into it because of that, especially since it is not easy to find the right fit if you’re not tall enough. Most one-size-fits-all products don’t actually fit all, but only some.

This is a very simple and straight forward protection vest that only protects your chest and back. Although the waist straps can be adjusted, the shoulder straps are not adjustable and that’s one of the reasons why this product should be advertised towards a different group of people. As some users say: for young or short people, this is a blessing, but for tall guys, a curse. In fact, the manufacturer mentions that this is a “one-size-fits-most” product, and this is true.

We are excited about this product because it is affordable and looks very sturdy and of good quality. If you’re looking for basic protection for the most important and exposed part of the body, then consider buying this one because it does a great job at absorbing the shock and that it the most important thing. If you happen to have additional pads, like elbow or knee pads, you can combine them with this vest and make a full outfit.

What’s to like:

  • Good price point
  • Sturdy, good quality
  • Would fit young people and shorter adults

What’s not to like:

  • Doesn’t offer protection for the sides
  • Not breathable

If you like compression shirts and you want something light that does not restrict your movement, EliteTek is checking all the marks. As a base layer, this is thin and lightweight, as well as breathable and protective. The price is also not too high, and they offer free shipping in the US.

It has thick padding along the shoulders, the chest area and the ribs. The padding doesn’t cover large areas, but it is placed on those key areas that are more prone to contact. The manufacturer also offers a good range of sizes, starting from an XS, all the way to an adult XL. For each size, you can pick the adult or young version, so this is perfect for kids and teenagers who play different sports, as well as adults. That’s the main reason why we like this compression shirt so much because it can be worn by anyone. Be sure to check the size chart and measurements before ordering.

The materials are breathable and of good quality, as most users mentioned and overall, you can’t go wrong choosing this product as the first layer of protection under your paintball suit.

What’s to like:

  • Good quality materials
  • Breathable
  • Offers good compression
  • Different sizes for youngsters and adults

What’s not to like:

  • Padding doesn’t cover large areas
  • No padding on the back

Now that you know more about the best body armors for paintball, you can choose a product from this list or do your own research and select the one that suits your needs best. Remember to always check the reviews and the size charts before ordering and, the most important thing of all, have fun.