What to Wear for Paintball



Planning your first paintball outing and don’t know what to wear? When it comes to paintball, your equipment and how well-prepared you are can make or break the entire experience. A first timer’s most common question is what to wear. Our article will assist you in helping you figuring out what you should wear from head to toe for a memorable and fun-filled paintball game.

No matter if you are a novice or an expert player, the first thing that you should keep in mind when preparing for a paintball game is your safety. Paintball clothes are an integral part of playing the game. Comfortable, sturdy clothes, in dark colors or camouflage are ideal, but these features are not enough. Extra protection for head, hands, neck, face, and eyes is required.

The first and most important element of a paintball equipment for both men and women is a good chest protector. There are many comfortable and lightweight options on the market that offer both protection and freedom of movement.

When it comes to choosing the right clothes, dress for the weather. Remember that paintball is rough and requires a lot of running, crawling, and getting dirty, so you don’t want to expose your skin. Your clothes will get dirty, so make sure you don’t mind if they get ruined. The same applies to shoes, with the added note that you shouldn’t use peep-toe shoes, flip-flops or sandals no matter how comfortable they are. You can choose alethic shoes, with cleats being the recommended type for turfs, or shoes that can grip, like hiking boots.

Moving on to some aspects you might not have considered, you should have protection for the face, neck, head, and hands. There are many products available on the market. For example, the neck protector can come as a separate piece, connected to the head protector, or as a part of your body armor. The same goes for face protection. And finally, when it comes to the head, there are headbands or balaclavas, balaclavas and helmets, or just helmets.

There’s an advanced version for the features that you might not think about unless they apply directly to a situation. We’re referring here to pods packs, duffel bags, or camouflage tarps. These aren’t always needed, so we decided to leave them off our list, but they have their uses in paintball games, too.

What are the characteristics of paintball clothes?

Comfortable

The aim of paintball is to have fun. There are secondary goals, of course, like teamwork and leadership, but those are most noticeable if the person is enjoying themselves. As such, don’t come with something that is too tight and pinches or is too loose and falls off.

Color

Winning is also preferable. Don’t dress to stand out. You don’t want to be seen, so dark colors or camouflage is the way to go.

Protection

It’s all fun until somebody gets hurt. While accidents do happen, as in any other game, they are also ways to avoid them. Wear as much protection as you can.

Practicality

The summary of all characteristics and a trait in itself, this section refers mostly to common-sense actions. Wear things that you can move in—be it crawling or running. That includes clothes that are too old, too new, or in some way inadequate. Dress appropriately for the weather. Have bug spray with you, but don’t put it on your visor. Have a change of clothes with you. And always learn, if you noticed you needed something in a previous game, try to have it in the next.

Here are some of our picks:

Why is it on our list?

Tactical pants. We’ll start this list with our pick for pants from Survival Tactical Gear. They have a lot of features that coincide with the elements needed for paintball, but they also have many useful details added.

Pros and cons

They are available in a wide range of colors, eleven to be more precise, including six different types of camouflage and a typhoon pattern. That is an aspect that deserves mentioning for paintball, and it’s the least important detail of our list. Because we’re at features that come in large numbers, we’re going to go ahead and tell you that it has sixteen gear pockets: back pockets, small pockets, hand pockets, and two-ways access pockets. If it sounds like a lot, it’s because it is, but you never know what you might need to store and how big it’s going to be, so it’s a useful feature.

Other than that, it’s made out of ripstop material, with mesh ventilation (at the knees and groin), elastic waist, double belt loops, and easily adjustable lower leg width. They come with two types of pads included for knee protection: flexible and solid. The pants are sturdy, adjustable, comfortable, and safe.

The price might be a little steep for some, and so we’re putting it down as a disadvantage. Other than that, you should know that they aren’t waterproof though they are splash-resistant. And the pads sometimes overheat the knee until the knee-vents can’t keep up with the demand.

Final thoughts

Survival Tactical Gear Men’s Pants are a sturdy, safe, comfortable pair of pants, with a lot of storage space.

Why is it on our list?

Long-sleeve shirt. Many shirts check the necessary boxes for paintball, but our favorite is this one. Of course, you can wear whichever one you like best. We just wanted to provide an example of what’s out there in terms of details. This shirt is multipurpose so that you can use it for a whole range of activities outside the games of paintball, but it’s specifically designed for active people.

Pros and cons

This model of TACVASEN shirt is made out of a blend of cotton (35%) and polyester (65%). That makes it breathable, but it also allows it to stretch as the torso moves. Because it’s designed to fit, that characteristic is even more critical. It’s also fabricated to be long due to the sports and activities it’s meant for that sometimes require the shirt to be tucked.

As far as design with a purpose in mind goes, this shirt is, as we said above, meant for active people. It has Reglan cut sleeves, to allow a maximum range of movement, and adjustable cuffs. The mechanism is simple, Velcro straps, and the goal is not having anything go into the sleeve. Beside its long-sleeved construction, it’s got a collar (it’s possible to wear it with the collar down or up), a quarter zip, abrasion-free forearms, and a pocket that can close with the help of a Velcro pad. There are plenty of colors to choose from, considering it comes in nine shades.

That being said, the shirt design comes with its disadvantages. You can, of course, get a looser fit by going a size up but it goes up in length too. That’s just the way it’s built to be. If you go two sizes, it may be too large in the shoulders.

Final thoughts

TACVASEN Long-Sleeve is a useful shirt for active people.

Why is it on our list?

A pair of paintball gloves. They aren’t necessary until somebody shoots your hand, you land on it, or you can’t grip your gun because of the paint. The chances of, at least, one of those things happening are pretty good, so why not take them with you from the start? There are a lot of gloves that would fit the bill, but our choice the HK Army Paintball pair.

Pros and cons

The first feature we’d like to draw attention to is the design. It has the thumb, ring finger, and little finger wholly covered, like a regular full-fingered glove, and fingerless (well, half-fingered if we want to be exact about it) for the other two. The setup is obviously made with handling a trigger in mind, and, generally, it works very well.

The gloves’ primary goal is protection. HK Army gloves have neoprene on the back of the hand to help with well-aimed paintballs and a tacky surface on the palm to make you able to grip even when your hand is wet. The palm is padded in case you slip and use a hand to break your fall or grip trough objects like items made out of wood or metal.

But the gloves themselves aren’t burdened by the protection features. The wrist opening is roomy, making it easy to slide the glove on, and can be afterward secured with a Velcro strap. Knuckle flexibility is assured by venting meshes. That also plays a role in the breathability of the glove.

The first few times you’re wearing the gloves, your fingers will turn black. It’s a definite weakness as you may feel the need to take further steps to rectify the situation. While it can go on its own after a few uses, you can simply put the gloves in cold water for a few minutes, take them out, give them a squeeze, and then let them dry. What happens is that the color bleeds, so you’re just making sure the excess pigment is off the gloves. It should help with the blackness.

Final thoughts

HK Army Paintball 2014 Pro Gloves have a finger design that’s an excellent choice for paintball.

Why is it on our list?

A pair of specialized shoes. It’s recommended to wear comfortable, closed shoes when playing paintball. The shoe must to be comfortable and flexible and the thread needs to be able to grip the surface underneath it to give support. HK Army Digger is our pick for this category.

Pro and cons

The HK Army Digger are high-top shoes. They keep your ankle secure and don’t allow it to roll. That’s an excellent idea for any type of healed ankle injury that left the leg weakened, especially since you’re going to use that leg a lot. There’s also arch support due to the sole. It’s a high-density, sturdy sole, which is secured by a proprietary adhesive but doesn’t prevent the shoe from bending.

Because turf is the most popular choice among inside arenas, the demand shoes that can grip well skyrocketed. Cleats, like the ones in football, were adapted. There are fifteen cleats per HK Army Digger sole, with the design adapted explicitly for movement while horizontal. But that’s not the only design feature they added for paintball. A removable memory insole and not having the tongue sown down are small details that aid the overall purpose: flexibility and security.

Now, those two goals can be at odds sometimes, but HK Army Digger finds the common points while minimizing the rest. The shoe itself is flexible, but your foot is securely attached. That means that your cleats come with you when you’re on the ground trying to push and gain leverage when dealing with slippery terrain, that your ankle is protected, and that you’re not flatfooted.

The disadvantage of these types of shoes is that they aren’t small sizes. Our link is for size 8, the minimum, and the maximum are 11-13 depending on the model and availability. Nonetheless, we thought this product is too good to ignore, especially if that’s your size range.

Final thoughts

HK Army Digger X1 Hightop Paintball Cleats are a comfortable pair of shoes made with paintball in mind.

Why is it on our list?

Headgear. In a sport where people are shooting at you, be it something as harmless as paintballs, and you’re running through all types of environments, exposed to the elements, you should consider protecting your head. Since we’re not talking about the danger to your head that, for example, motorcycles present a balaclava should be enough. If you consider a helmet as better protection, that’s all right. It works great under it too.

Pros and cons

All balaclavas offer an extra layer of cloth between the paintballs and your head and face. That’s taking the middle road, between those that don’t wear anything and those that prefer helmets.  We recommend a mask to go with it if you do want that bit of extra protection and, if not, at least a pair of goggles.

The Geartop balaclava protects against allergens and germs, sunburn and cold weather. It fits over your nose, it keeps the hair out of your eyes, and your ears warm. Small, it easily fits into a pocket, but it’s large enough to offer neck protection too.

If you decide a helmet is the answer for you, or if you want to use it for other things that demand the use of it, the balaclava fits great under one too. Made out of a breathable, wicking, soft material that won’t allow odors to collect, the Super Roubaix Fabric, it’ll keep your helmet lining clean. We mentioned above that it protects your neck, which is a handy feature for wearing a helmet too. In fact, it can be worn five different ways, so you can choose what fits you best.

As for weaknesses, there are the usual problems with fit, but one, in particular, that seems more of a design flaw. It’s a face-covering issue. Namely there’s not much room for the nose. The fit is too snug, which is a good thing when you consider the danger of slipping down your face, but a bit more space would be great.

Final thoughts

The Geartop Balaclava offers essential (additional) head protection.

Why is it on our list?

Faceguard. A critical safety precaution, the paintball mask is made to protect your eyes and face from both the paintballs and the environment. When you’re hiding, chasing, and very into the game, you aren’t as focused on anything else. Far from being a bad thing, that’s precisely why we like paintball. It’s engaging. If you can reduce the risk of injury through protective gear such as the face mask, then you can enjoy the game without worry.

Pros and cons

This product is entirely dedicated to your comfort and protection. Tackling support first, this mask is ultralight. Weight is something that becomes vital after a few hours of wear but you don’t have a problem with that here. And it stays dry, which is another issue we don’t like to think about but can be a real issue.

The protection offered is two-fold: one is the security of staying in place, and the other is the safety against the environment. For the first, you have a series of straps and pads. There are detachable pads at the temples and the strap at the chin, relegated as an unimportant feature but actually significant. Finally, the Close-Contact Posi-Clip strap, which assures that the mask will stay on. You may be overwhelmed by what these are and their roles, but just know that they are there to make sure everything is secure so you won’t have to straighten the mask mid-game. They’re pretty intuitive when you’re putting it on.

For the latter, the V-Force mask has a visor and high definition reflective lenses. These are meant against the elements, like sun or rain. There’s also a panel above the forehead that’s supposed to make things bounce off it. It does for some, but, for most, it’s a raised ridge that protects the forehead and eye area. If the object actually bounces off it or just stops in it that depends more on its characteristics than the panel.

When we’re talking about disadvantages, we have to go back a bit at the lenses. They’re interchangeable, so that’s great, but you don’t have clear ones. That’s a problem when it’s cloudy outside or generally less visibility. Nothing that you can’t avoid with a little planning, but it’s something that we thought we should mention.

Final thoughts

V-FORCE Grill Paintball Mask is a specialized mask made with paintball in mind that protects your eyes and your face, stays in place and is lightweight.

Why is it on our list?

Coverall. If you still are unsure about what clothes would be appropriate, we offer you one general solution: the coverall. You can just slip it over your clothes, so it doesn’t really matter what you wear. We would still recommend that they are comfortable, but that’s the thing: they don’t have to be. It’s all up to you.

Pros and cons

Available in two colors (black and camouflage), this Maddog one-piece coverall is made of a blend of cotton and polyester. The material is ripstop, sturdy, and resistant to tears and abrasions. It can easily be machine washed, so it’s relatively hassle-free.

As far protection is concerned, the multipurpose coverall’s most obvious advantage is that it’s an outer protective layer of clothing that keeps your clothes dirt and rip free. The coverall has reinforced knees, which are always a nice feature, elastic cuffs that won’t allow mud to get through, and a padded collar. This feature isn’t as popular, but it’s handy. It doesn’t often happen that a paintball hits you in the neck area, but it’s unpleasant when it does so having any sort of collar, but, especially, a padded or reinforced one is important.

The coverall closes with the help of buttons that go up the collar, making it 360-degree protection for your neck and a bit more security for the fastenings in general. Also, it makes for easier replacement if one gets damaged. Like most great coveralls, it has both storage space and pass-through pockets, which make it simple to access your clothes.

At the disadvantages, we have the classic issues that might arise with buying clothing online. Those are inevitable. We can only recommend patience and attention. Other than that, you’re not supposed to tumble dry the coverall, your best bet is to hang it and let it dry that way.

 

 

Final thoughts

The Maddog Tactical Paintball Rip Stop Coverall Jumpsuit is an excellent solution for anybody, but especially for those who don’t want to damage their clothes.

FAQ

How do I store my paintball clothes?

The same as you would any other equipment. First, you need to clean them. Check the instructions and find out if you can machine wash or tumble dry. With shirts and pants, that’s usually not a problem, but it may be for coveralls, gloves, or balaclava, for example. It’s usually recommended to do that when you get home or the day after. Clothes are not as effort-intensive to take care of, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay a little attention to them. They’ll last longer.

After they’re dry, put them in the closet or the paintball bag. You can store the shoes in a separate bag, they may come with one or you may need to repurpose one. And that’s it: you’re done.

Can you rent clothes for paintball?

You can only rent some of them, like the mask or coveralls. Generally, it’s not hygienic. But in some places, you can buy them at the paintball venue. The issue with that is that, of course, you are limited by the choices in the shop. We recommend taking a bit of time beforehand and purchasing them so you can have a better chance of being comfortable.

What clothes should I wear for paintball in the summer?

That’s a great question. Overheating isn’t recommended in any situation, but protection isn’t something you can ignore, so the body armor stays, but the layers go. You can opt for breathable, lightweight materials, and protection gear with vents.  Lighten the weight of your duffle bag as much as possible, to be better able to sustain the heat. Hydrate, use bug spray and sunblock.