Best Paintball Pads



Paintball has become such an exciting sport lately, and if you are a pro player, you can surely understand why. However, if you are relatively new to paintball and you’re interested to know more about gear and body protection, then you might want to read this article to find out how pros do it.

To start, maybe you already know what paintball is, but regardless, here’s what you need to know before diving in…literally.

Paintball is about competing, in teams or individually, with the goal of eliminating others by tagging them with capsules that contain a water-soluble paint, shot from a paintball gun. Don’t worry, the paintballs are non-toxic and biodegradable, but there’s a catch: it is not exactly pleasant if you get hit by one.

Games can take place either outside or indoors and, on the terrain, you would find various objects, either bunkers, boxes and all sorts of props of various shapes and sizes meant to simulate real war and helping you to hide and develop strategies.

The game rules can be different depending on the venue. Still, generally, they can include eliminating as many opponents as possible, capturing a flag, attacking or defending a particular area, finding objects of interest and ammunition limits.

But paintball is not just about simulating war and developing strategies, nor is it a sport just for boys. Paintball promotes teamwork, agility, health and much needed exercise and a bit of healthy competition. That is why, more and more companies, for example, are incorporating paintball into their team-building strategies as a way to engage their employees into a fun and overall beneficial activity.

We mentioned earlier that it is not exactly pleasant if you get hit by a paintball, although it is funny and engaging trying to escape or hide, and then, just when you think the ghost is clear, getting hit straight in the face by a ball filled with paint. During the game, you would also have to do extreme things to get out of a situation, including diving, crawling, sliding and jumping, so, as you can imagine, you wouldn’t be able to do any of that with just your regular clothing on. That’s why equipment is essential.

Paintball facilities offer you the necessary equipment like a protective facemask, goggles or a suit that looks just like an army combat uniform. However, if you want more to increase the protection and agility, you would need to investigate additional equipment like gloves, knee and elbow pads and other such items that would boost your agility and lower the impact with either the ground or the paintballs.

Why invest in additional equipment?

If you have tried out this sport, liked it and now decided to make it a part of your weekend activities or even thought of becoming a pro, then, just like in video games, you need to improve and upgrade certain items if you want to become faster, stronger and gain more abilities.

If you want to dive, slide or jump with more confidence and lower risk of injury, there are solutions to do that. Today, we’re reviewing the best paintball pads on the market, the ones that protect your knees and elbows and the ones that can genuinely give you additional support, resistance, confidence and can prevent unwanted injuries.

What to look for before buying paintball pads

 Knee and elbow pads come in different shapes and forms. Some are made from harder materials like plastic, some have buckles, some are slip-on (just like a sock), some are lighter in weight or heavier, some of them also allow your skin to breathe and some cover a larger area or support the joints. What all of them have in common is protection. Depending on your purpose and preference, you can choose the ones that you barely feel on your body, or on the contrary, the ones that visibly add up to your gear and are ready for heavy-duty usage.

Generally, we recommend looking at a few elements:

Breathability

Your skin needs to be able to breathe, especially if you play paintball often. If your gear is non-breathable, that usually means that moisture gets trapped inside and in time, this might make you prone to rashes or at least some redness and discomfort. That being said, if you practice often, you might want to look at more comfortable materials that let your skin breathe while offering you the protection that you need.

Compression

Pay attention to sizes. Some of the knee and elbow pads come with adjustable buckles, but some are just like socks: they slide on. A little bit of compression can help your muscles to stay warm and this is a good thing, as it prevents fatigue and cramping. Just keep in mind that compression does not mean tightness in the sense that it needs to strangle your body to work. Take a look at sizing when available and choose carefully.

Padding

Obviously, you can choose lighter padding if you just want to warm up and have support, but you can also choose a bit more padding if you want to protect yourself during crawling or diving. In this article we reviewed multiple types of pads, so take a look at them and decide what features you need the most.

Without further ado, let’s get into the list of 7 best paintball pads that we think would help you improve your game.

This one is a bit on the expensive side, but users are really pleased with the quality, so, if you’re looking for quality as well as protection, the Dye Paintball Performance Elbow Pad would be the right choice.

First, it covers a large surface, and this is ideal if you dive and slide, as you would be able to do that without worrying about exposing parts of your body. The design is minimalistic. This one is not bulky at all and it is also lightweight, which should be a plus when it comes to paintball gear, as it can quickly add up.

It has a flexible foam that considers your natural elbow shape and it bends really well. Each pad has a custom gel insertion that absorbs the shock and is very impact-resistant, made especially for diving and sliding.

You also have adjustable straps and we’re giving it a big thumbs up because it also comes with integrated slider gloves for palm protection. Not only they protect your palm, but they also prevent the elbow pad from sliding up your arm while diving and sliding.

As we mentioned before, pay attention to sizing. This is also what the manufacturer recommends, as some people who bought this elbow pad found that it was a bit too small, so don’t rely on traditional S/M/L sizing, but check the chart provided by the manufacturer and when in doubt or between sizes, always order a size bigger.

What’s to like:

  • Sleek, minimalistic product
  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Quality materials
  • Comes with slider gloves

What’s not to like:

  • A bit pricy
  • Sizing is a bit confusing

These knee pads are made for absorbing impact and you can use them in many different sports, not just for paintball. The G-Form Pro-X Knee Pads are a sleek and minimalistic option when it comes to knee protection. Unlike bulky, plasticky and hard products, the G-Form Pro-X doesn’t rely on the physical toughness of the material, but rather on its capacity to be smart.

It has a smart foam inside that hardens on the impact and relaxes back to its previous state immediately, so it is flexible but at the same time durable and can act like a shock absorber. This is especially useful if you often jump or crawl during the game.

It is a slide-on product, so no annoying straps and buckles, you just slide it on. It’s flexible and offers the right amount of compression, just enough to not slide down or up the knee and to keep your muscles warm and ready for some substantial activity.

The materials are breathable, as well as waterproof, so this is another big plus if you plan on wearing something like this for a more extended period; you can even wear it every day. As we said, this product is not explicitly made just for paintball, but you can use it while bike riding, exercising or playing other sports as well. Another good thing is that you can wash it regularly in your washing machine. For those of you who value the origin of a product, this one is made entirely in the USA.

What’s to like:

  • The smart foam hardens on impact
  • Flexible and lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Waterproof
  • Compressive

What’s not to like:

  • Pricy
  • Not meant for heavy-duty sliding

If you plan to go hardcore and get something that would not only match your army-like outfit but would be ready for heavy-duty falling, crawling or jumping, the K-P Industries KeePro is an exciting option.

It looks like a protective shell, which it is. The outer layer is made of durable, hard plastic that can really take some beating. This pair of knee pads are meant to go on top of your clothing, and not under it, so don’t try to put them on bare skin, as they can become uncomfortable. Although the outer shell is made of plastic, the interior is padded with foam that doesn’t absorb moisture.

This knee pad is made to withstand shock and is very durable. However, it is a one-size-fits-all product. That is why, although most users are very pleased with the purchase and say it is a very sturdy product, one size might not fit all. If you are very tiny or on the larger side, this may not fit you properly. It has adjustable straps, but this product is hard, not elastic, so it cannot mold on every body type.

Other than that, this is a heavy-duty product. You can fall right on your knees without a worry or a scratch.

What’s to like:

  • Sturdy construction
  • Heavy-duty design
  • Reasonable price

What’s not to like:

  • One-size-fits-all
  • Non breathable

This pair of elbow pads come at a very good price point and are very simple yet effective. If you’re looking for a slimmer product that could still protect you while sliding and crawling, the Bodyprox Elbow Protection Pads is a pair of pads that you should consider.

It doesn’t have a hard outer shell, but it features a foam grid from top to bottom, made to protect you from scratches and burns that would have been otherwise caused by sliding and crawling. This is a slide-on product that offers compression for muscle warming, as well as flexibility. Again, you should pay attention to sizing, as this is not a one-size-fits-all product. If the size fits correctly, you should have a snug fit and it should not have trouble staying in place.

You should be able to use this product for multiple activities and sports, not just paintball, as the built and the relatively thick padding would withstand most activities. People are very pleased with this purchase, especially for the flexibility aspect and the fact that they don’t have to buckle it or adjust the fit. However, some of them mention that the sizing can get confusing, so pay attention to this when you order it.

Although these elbow pads are breathable, some users mentioned that if you wear them for a long time, a mild heat buildup can occur, but this is normal, especially during a sport like paintball that is very intense.

Overall, a very good priced product, affordable and durable while being still sleek and comfy. This would be an excellent fit for most people that are engaging in intensive activities and relatively risky sports.

What’s to like:

  • Slim, slide-on product
  • Snug fit, compressive
  • Breathable
  • Flexible
  • Washing machine safe
  • Good price

What’s not to like:

  • The sizing chart is a bit off
  • Mild heat buildup

For the outdoors, indoors, or just overall better protection, we encourage you to take a look at REXBETI knee pads. These are meant to be worn on top of your clothes, they look great and they provide greater protection due to the hard plastic shell on the outside.

The interior is heavily padded with foam and soft gel, so they feel comfortable and secure. You won’t have to measure your knees and decide which size to pick, because they come with two extra hoops and loop tapes to ensure a great fit on most people.

They also have raised support, providing protection for the upper leg. You can use them for multiple activities and sports, as they can be worn on top of any clothes. They are not designed to be worn underneath or directly on the skin, as they are not stretchy and do not cover the whole knee and leg area in the back, so keep this in mind if you think of buying them.

These are great for crawling, sliding and bumping into hard surfaces, but they are not meant for kneeling and maintaining that position for a long time, that is why these are designed for paintball and other sports and most activities that come with the risk of falling and bumping.

Some users say that the Velcro is getting looser with time, but these knee pads require Velcro systems to ensure a good tight fit, as well as comfort, as other buckle systems can get very uncomfortable very fast. So, let’s look at the bright side: these are hardcore, durable knee pads that can withstand pressure, bumps and hard surfaces, can absorb shock and can give you the confidence to dive, slide and crawl while playing paintball or other rough sports.

What’s to like:

  • Good quality materials
  • A good amount of protection
  • Comes with two extra loop tapes and hoops to ensure a snug fit on almost anyone
  • Raised support for the upper leg

 

What’s not to like:

  • No compression
  • Non-breathable materials

If you like the idea of softer products, the ones that don’t have an outside hard shell, but you would like something that can be worn over the clothes, JYSW Knee Pads are an excellent alternative to bulky, thick and plasticky knee pads.

Unlike those thick plastic pads, those are lightweight and comfortable while providing enough protection for crawling, sliding, bumping into obstacles or just general pressure from hard floors on your knees. They look like a product that was meant to be put underneath the clothing, but they are actually designed to go on top of your pants, as this is not a slide-on product.

Each knee pad has two Velcro closing systems, so you can adjust them to fit perfectly snug. The good part is that they don’t require size researching and matching, but at the same time, although they fit almost every knee, there is a slight chance that some people won’t be able to fit them properly. In general, they should fit you just fine.

As you have seen from the title, these are not just for paintball, but you can use them in any activity or sport if you want a decent amount of protection and comfort. Of course, if your activities require hardcore protection, you should look for something sturdier with a hard shell on the outside and foam on the inside to get the maximum amount of protection possible.

These pads, however, provide a good amount of protection and they are soft and comfy. They are also flexible and breathable, so you won’t feel like something is blocking your skin. The foam padding looks just like a cushion and, although they are not entirely waterproof, the material dries quickly.

What’s to like:

  • Good price point, affordable
  • Quality materials
  • Can be worn on top of clothes
  • Breathable

What’s not to like:

  • One-size-fits-all
  • Not completely waterproof

A great way to protect your body is by covering as much surface as possible and that is one reason why we like the HOPEFORTH Elbow Sleeve.

This is a slip-on sleeve that covers your entire arm and it has foam protection for the elbow, as well as for the forearm. It is versatile,  you can use it during various activities, and it protects the skin from bruises, bumps, friction burns and moisture. This means you can crawl and slide all you want with confidence.

It is very lightweight and elastic, so check the size chart, measure your arm, pick your size and you should be ready to go. Due to its elasticity, it also offers compression, keeping your muscles warm and ready for some action. It lets the skin breathe while protecting it and it also keeps the moisture from building up inside.

The price is low, so if you are a beginner or just looking to improve and upgrade your gear, this could be a great product for you. However, keep in mind that you must measure your arm carefully to make sure you order the right size, as this is not a one-size-fits-all kind of product. Some users said that the most important thing is to measure the bicep, as that is where the sleeve rests. Some of the users also mentioned that the padding could have been covering a larger area but giving the fact that this is not meant to be a full armor, but just an extra layer of protection, we think that it does a great job overall.

At the end of the day, if you don’t need a full armor, but you want some extra protection and you like the fact that you can put them on your skin, underneath the clothing, these sleeves do a great job: they cover a large area, they are breathable while keeping the moisture away and they come at an affordable price. So go ahead and give them a try.

What’s to like:

  • Good price point
  • Breathable
  • They cover a large area
  • Compressive
  • They keep the moisture away
  • Protection for the forearm

What’s not to like:

  • Sizing is a bit off
  • Does not offer full padding

We hope that by now you know a little bit more about paintball pads, why you need them, how to shop for them and use them properly. The only thing left to do is decide which one is right for you.