What should you wear to play paintball?

Technically you don’t need special clothing to play paintball but some types of clothing will give you a distinct advantage over other players. Camouflage or “camo” pants and jackets offer protection from paintballs and will decrease your opponent’s ability to see you in a wooded area. If you don’t have camouflage clothing, pick earth tones, browns, dark greens, and blacks. Paintballs will wash out but stains are possible so wear clothes that you don’t mind getting grubby.

 Paintball involves a lot of motion so don’t wear anything too tight. Keep it loose and comfortable. Wear layers instead of a heavy jacket. As you warm up, you can remove layers as needed. Wear long sleeves. Head coverings are optional but can offer some protection. Covering your head will hold heat in and may cause your mask to fog up.

 Additional protective gear can make your game more comfortable. Gloves will protect your hands from paintballs and the occasional thorn. A neck protector will keep sensitive skin covered and safe. If you don’t have a neck protector, wear a turtle neck or tie a bandana around your neck. Many players wear a protective cup for added protection. “Slider shorts” made specifically for paintball are also excellent and are padded in just the right areas. Crawling is common in paintball so consider wearing extra padding. These additions are not required, though. When you go out to play for the first time, if you just wear grubby clothes and a long-sleeve shirt, you’ll be just fine.

 The most important piece of protective gear you will wear is your goggle and mask. Never wear any type of eye or face protection that wasn’t specifically made to withstand the rigors of paintball. All paintball masks will cover the face. Some masks even offer complete head protection. Choose a mask that fits comfortably and won’t slip or fall off when you are running. A variety of goggles are available. Goggles with “thermal” lenses will keep your mask from fogging better than single lens goggles. Even better, a goggle fan will keep your lens fog free in humid conditions. Check that your mask is compatible with a fan before you spend any money.

 If you are playing at a commercial field, they will issue you a loaner mask with your rental of gear. If you’re playing with some friends in the woods, make ABSOLUTELY SURE that you’re all wearing regulation paintball goggles. Shop goggles will not work. Only paintball-designed goggles make the game safe. If you are shot in the unprotected eye, you will very likely lose sight in that eye for the rest of your life. It is just not worth it to take shortcuts in paintball safety.

 If you have a single lens goggle or rental mask, use “anti-fog” spray on the inside of the goggle before you play. Exhaling out of your mouth and downward will also reduce fogging. No matter how badly your goggles fog, NEVER remove them during a game for ANY REASON. If you can’t see anything, raise your marker in the air and call yourself out or hunker down until the end of the game. In between games you can carefully clean the lens and re-apply “anti-fog” spray.  If you still have questions checkout the FAQ's sucka!