What To Wear For Paintball

Its battle time, and you want to make sure you’re not an easy target – but what’s the best thing for that? To wear the appropriate clothing for paintball.

“What to wear for paintball?” will probably be the first thing that pops in your head when preparing for a day of paintball. This article will help you be properly attired for your game.

No matter the season, you don’t want to head out there in shorts or a t-shirt with a loud colour that will make paintballs hone in on you like an easy target. This is where what you wear can make a difference in you lasting the game or getting eliminated in the first five minutes.

Both paintball veterans and noobs alike will want to read this article to make sure you have a safe but fun paintball experience. Knowing what to wear for paintball for a day of battle on the paintball arena can help give you a comfortable and protective layer which can make the difference between being uncomfortable or having fun during your paintball game.

Layer Up And Choose Thick Clothing

It’s a no brainer that when it comes to getting hit by a paintball, you will want to be as protected as possible. Paintballs are no breeze, these little paintball pellets can leave quite a bruise if you are not prepared. The paintballs won’t feel like paint splattering on you gently, they will come at you with the force and speed of a paint bullet, ready to cause damage – at worst, you will be left with a horrible bruise or even ripped clothing.

But we don’t want to sacrifice our clothes when we come to play paintball, nor do we want to walk away with massive bruises that stand as symbols of our war wounds. Instead, I’m sure you want to stand as victorious as possible, with barely a scratch or a mark on your body.

Thick clothes act like a preventive and insulating layer between the force of the speeding paintball pellet, and your skin. It comes as no surprise that thin clothes do not offer enough protection against the impact of a bursting paintball.

You may want to wear old thick clothes that you don’t mind getting ruined during your battle, but the trick to true protection is to layer up. Layering your clothes will give you more protection, while softening the blow of the paintball pellet.

Of course, it goes without saying that if you are playing in the heat of summer, you wouldn’t want to go overboard in your layering that you end up overheating. Being comfortable is the key to a good game – and knowing which layers will help your skin breathe as well as protect you is key.

Another tip – avoid wearing new clothes – paintball splatters and marks rarely get completely washed away, and why throw away a perfectly good pair of clothes? Older clothes have that layer of comfort that comes with time and constant wear – these will allow you to be as comfortable as possible.

Protect Your Upper Body

Paintball Upper Body Protection

You may think you’re prepared when you’re wearing clothes that protect your chest, but if your arms are open for attack, they’ll feel the brunt of the paintball pellets that come flying your way. Wearing a long sleeved t-shirt is the way to go, and this could be the first of many layers. Having long sleeves will act like an initial protective barrier against the hard hitting paintballs.

However, just one layer isn’t enough when considering what to wear for paintball. You are advised to wear at least one more long sleeved t-shirt which would provide extra padding.

You can wrap things up by wearing a hoody, sweatshirt, padded shirt, protective vest, or even a water resistant jacket which will help keep your clothes clean.

You can check out garments made by companies such as UnderArmour who are preferred by players who indulge in paintballing.

Many players opt for light and loose clothing in layers which can be removed or added during the progression of the game, depending upon your need. Others simply choose padded shirts which although may be on the pricier end of thins, offer better protection to your upper body.

Protect Your Lower Body

Paintball Lower Body Protection

You have to be mobile in this game to be able to effectively eliminate your opponents, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with wearing a pair of tights or a pair of shorts. The sting of the paintball pellet will stay in the form of a bruise, and unless you enjoy walking around with a massive red and blue welt, we suggest these tips if you’re wondering what to wear to paintball.

Depending on the type of paintball you are playing, there are chances of getting your tights ripped from thorns and branches in the bush, or getting exposed to more paintballs should one rip a hole in your thin pants. Playing paintball means that you will be exposed to the elements and nature – plants, the environment and even the dirt that you fall down on could cause your clothes to tear.

You can choose to wear two layers of sweatpants, so that you are comfortable, easily mobile, and have an extra layer of protection against the zipping paintballs. You can even choose to wear pants designed for paintball, cargo pants – basically, anything that is thick and baggy to deflect the paintball’s trajectory or impact.

The silver lining of wearing baggy and thick pants is that many a time, your opponent could be aiming at your legs, only to find that the paintball whizzed by harmlessly through the layers of clothing, without breaking on impact, giving you an extra chance at getting them back on the paintball field.

Ghillie Or Sniper Style

Hey, if you’re competitive and want to be on the winning team, chances are you’ll want to be super prepared for your paintball challenge. This means wearing the right gear to blend in with your surroundings so that you can catch your opponents unawares.

Players who are really serious about winning choose sniper style suits or ghillie suits. These suits are favoured by hunters who want to blend in with the environment, and that’s why these are great choices when it comes to being properly decked out for a paintball game.

Sniper suits have ghillie material (which is why the name Ghillie Style is well known), which are great for camouflage. These suits are also more durable than the regular pant and t-shirt you may throw on, often being constructed with reinforced fabric and heavy duty material which can handle all the crawling you do on the ground to get closer to your opponents.

They withstand wear and tear and are act like great ‘invisibility cloaks’ so that you are not as visible to your opponents as some of your comrades on the field. Not only are they great camouflage, the fabric ad layers keeps you safe from the hail of first strike paintballs that may come your way during a heated battle.

Use Dark Or Camouflage Colours

For any battle, it is better to blend in. If you were fighting in the dead of night, dark colours may be well suited for the battle. But if your paintball challenge is taking place in daylight, amongst either trees and a natural environment or even a paintball arena, you will want to blend in well with your surroundings.

Gain an extra edge over your opponents by merging with your surroundings. At any given point of time, camouflaged style gear will help you as it will be harder for your opponents to spot you in your paintball environment. Even dark colours are preferable over loud shades – turquoise or red may be your favourite or lucky colours – but on the paintball battlefield, they will make you a big target for your opponents.

Extra Padding

Many times wearing long sleeved clothes is not enough to protect you from the wear and tear of diving to the ground in the midst of a heated battle. To be honest, the protection is quite limited – but if you want to go one step further, the best thing what to wear for paintball are arm and shin pads.

These come in handy for those players who are active on the field, constantly diving to the ground for protection or crawling around in the uneven terrain in order to find the best location to pick off opponents. This is no easy matter, and keeping your arms and knees from getting scraped is something that should not be on your mind, keeping you from your best paintball performance.

Wearing arm and shin pads will soften any blows your body faces as it impacts with the ground during a heated battle. If you are concerned about your body getting injured, you can also opt for slider shorts that are padded for protecting your lower body from any hurt.

Protect Your Head With A Helmet

Paintball Masks

Forget what other websites say. You can wear your lucky hat, a toque, or even the hood of your hoodie – they are not enough to protect you from a paintball pellet that is flying towards you at a speed of 200 miles/hour. That speed can do quite some damage, and injure you if you are not careful. Your head is precious, so you should pay special attention.

You can wear any clothing you like during paintball, but wearing the best paintball mask specifically designed for paintball is a must. You can choose to wear it over your favourite cap, but wear a helmet is mandatory, and not a choice.

There are many helmets designed for different sizes – you have to try them on to check which one suits you best. You have to make sure that the helmet is not too big for you that it will come off during the heat of battle, nor squash your head if it is too tight.

Comfort is key – this is something we firmly believe in – and playing paintball comfortably will keep your mind free to focus on eliminating your opponents.

There are different types of helmets – ones that protect your head and shield your face from a paintball onslaught, while there are others that completely cover your head. Keep in mind the weather and environment of the paintball arena  - if it is going to be a hot summer’s day, you don’t want your breath and the heat to be fogging up the insides of your helmet, obscuring your visibility.


Perhaps this is the most important gear you could possible think of what to wear for paintball. Your eyes are your most precious asset, and you should not take the cheap and easy way out when it comes to eye protection.

Firstly, you should DEFINITELY wear goggles designed specifically for paintball as they are constructed from a durable material that can hold up against the velocity of a speeding paintball and will not crack on impact.

Secondly, do NOT pick up any pair of glasses from home and think they are enough to protect your vision and eyes. One wrong paintball impacting the wrong place could lead to loss of vision.

Thirdly, research the type of goggles you want for yourself. There are single lens as well as thermal. Why it is important to know about different types is that it is natural for your body to heat up while paintballing, and this heat and heavy breathing could lead to your goggles fogging up. Choose between the two (we recommend going in for the thermal variety), and in addition to this, you could add a goggle fan that prevents fogging when in a humid environment.

Hand Protection

You’ll be spying on your opponents, rolling over brush and dirt to find good locations, all while holding on to your paintball marker.

This can lead to your hands facing a lot of wear and tear. Have you ever tried aiming and shooting accurately at a target when your hand is torn up and bleeding? Not so easy, let me tell you.

Your hands will be exposed to the elements, to paintballs as well as challenges of the terrain the most. You need to keep them safe from injury. The simplest way to do this is to protect your hands by wearing protective gear like gloves.

Gloves specifically designed for paintball will absorb and deflect the sting of a paintball so your tender hands are not damaged during a paintball tournament.

Sure, these do cost money and if you are willing to shell out big bucks and want to keep your paintball outfit under a certain budget, then you can also wear your gardening gloves, football gloves or even mechanic ones. These are lightly padded for comfort without taking away the ability to shoot and aim accurately.

We would advise not to wear winter gloves as although they do provide extra padding, they will be cumbersome and may hinder your ability to aim and shoot accurately at a target.

We also advise that being fashionable, or thinking that those cool fingerless gloves you wear to the gym or for biking will not cut it in a heated paintball battle. Any pair of gloves which have protective covering and are lightly padded are good choices when deciding what to wear for paintball.

Proper Footwear

Remember, you will be running helter skelter in your hurry to hide, locate an opponent or even while trying to find a good strategic spot. Wearing the correct footwear is imperative to leaving the battle without a twisted ankle.

Seeing that you have to run through brush, navigate your way through trees and rocks, while having to be agile on your feet, rubber gum boots aren’t the first things that come to mind. On the other extreme, wearing open toed sandals is not the best way to go. Protect your toes and feet from possible scrapes and injuries.

This means that you should opt for comfortable pair of sneakers if possible. You could wear your hiking boots (preferably worn in ones and not new – as new ones have to be broken into and may not be comfortable for wearing them for the first time) or military style boots.

You know your body and comfort level, choose something that will give you both comfort and agility to be mobile across a demanding terrain.

The Bottom Line

As we’ve mentioned throughout the article, comfort is key. When you are comfortable in your gear – you have the peace of mind that you’ve done all you can to protect your body from any harm, while being able to fully enjoy the demands and challenges of a paintball session.

Keep in mind all vulnerable areas and make sure they are protected from any stray paintball pellets – like your neck and groin. You don’t want THAT region getting injured. You can choose to wear a neck protector or a scarf, and a cup for your groin to safeguard it from any paintballs hurtling your way.

Prevention is always better than cure any given day!

Last, but not least, always remember to check the weather and the environment you are playing in so you know what to wear for paintball. If you think the weather could turn for the worse during the course of the day, layer up and select warmer pieces of clothing. If it is going to be a hot day, reduce your layers or be smart with the types of fabrics chosen – the last thing you want is to collapse from overheating – that’s not the way you want to be eliminated from the paintball playing field.

Most importantly, be safe and have fun! This game will not only challenge your strategic tactics, but also teamwork, leadership and communication skills and the ability to see your team through to final victory.

1 thought on “What To Wear For Paintball”

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