While the fun and adrenaline is definitely in the game, it’s also fun to shop and put together your equipment list. Picking out an awesome tactical paintball gun and a camouflage outfit for a custom look to stand out on the field is exciting to most players who are totally into the sport. After choosing the right color fatigues, a tactical paintball vest is essential for finishing your look but also for the best performance on the field. The right tactical vest will not only help you carry your gear, but give you an identity in the game. Choose your tactical paintball vest to best suit the position you play in the game and the equipment you need to be successful. Customizing your tactical vest is also fun but it requires thinking ahead to what you might need it for during play.
Not only do tactical vests come in nearly every camouflage pattern to match your fatigues, but the pouches are as varied. If you play on the front lines of battle, using a paintball pistol for exhilarating close quarter fighting is a great idea. Pistols are great fun to use but can be cumbersome to carry. Most players use thigh holsters to house tactical paintball pistols but these take some getting used to and often create an unbalanced feel, slowing down quick movements that can hinder your play style. Choosing a tactical vest with a pistol holster on the front is the best way to carry these fun accessories, making them easier to move with and faster to draw when needed. If you play the mid or back field, choose a tactical vest that’s loaded with ammo pods. For scenario games played on a closed field, back field players are typically more stationary to provide cover fire so the front players can continue to move forward and accomplish the mission at hand. Because of this, back players can afford to use heavier paintball equipment and can carry lots of ammo. Mid field players are used to traveling back and forth, ready to take spots in the front or back of the field load their paintball vest with ammo pods and can provide extra paintballs to other players.
While a good vest is practically essential for carrying your gear, it’s not a bad idea to customize it for the type of marker you use. Nowadays if you play woodsball and you aren’t using a magazine fed paintball gun, you’re behind the times. These realistic markers are the latest innovation in scenario paintball and in some games you just aren’t playing if you don’t have one. The trade off with these guns is a replacement of the traditional clunky hopper for a realistic magazine, however dropping down from carrying 200 rounds to only 20. This means you will have to carry numerous 20 round magazines if you want to play longer than 10 minutes. If a magazine fed paintball gun is your tool of choice, a tactical vest loaded with magazine pouches is a necessary accessory.
Another fun scenario paintball weapon is a paintball grenade launcher. These realistic accessories attach to the bottom of your tactical marker and work like a shotgun, blasting a devastating spray of paintballs in an effective range of about 25-30 feet. Paintball grenade launchers operate using a paintball grenade shell that’s loaded with about 20 paintballs and powered by a hand held charger. Grenade launchers add a totally fun and exciting element to any game but players are limited to being able to carry the necessary accessories required to use them. If you use a paintball grenade launcher, a tactical vest is the best way to carry everything you need. A tactical vest equipped with pouches to carry paintball grenade shells, your hand held charger and extra CO2 is a must if you want to have fun with this unique accessory.
Tactical vests are also great to help with blending into your surroundings. Camouflage fatigues are definitely the appropriate apparel for scenario paintball. Whenever possible, it’s best to choose a camouflage pattern that matches the environment you’ll be playing in. For example, if your scenario game is a desert background, then tan, desert colored camouflage clothes are best; for woodsball, choose a woodland camo, DPM or digital camo. Fortunately, tactical vests are also available in nearly every type of camouflage pattern fatigues come in, so you can match this garment with your scenario outfit with ease. In fact, a camouflage paintball vest over top of the same colored camouflaged uniform offers a totally fierce look like a professional soldier would wear.
Besides invisibility and adding to your camouflaged look, another benefit of wearing a tactical vest is the added protection they bring to your torso. When all the pouches are fully loaded down with gear, this provides an impenetrable layer of hard items offering a complete barrier against incoming paintballs. While this won’t cause the balls to bounce off you, it will take all the pain out of being shot in the chest or anywhere in the upper torso. A tactical vest will also save you money by not having to purchase a paintball chest protector. Even if you wear your vest without anything in the pouches, it will still offer you an extra layer of material that will still greatly reduce or completely eliminate the sting of being shot. Some tactical vests also include a thin layer of padding underneath the top layer of material that adds a bit more weight to the vest but also more protection.
If you choose to add a tactical vest to your scenario paintball equipment closet, shopping is easy as these accessories are easy to find and there are tons to choose from. Basically, you can either choose a vest that’s already put together and adorned with pouches or you can start with an empty vest and build your own. Most players seem to go with paintball vests that are already built for convenience, however some prefer the fun of making their own creation. If you choose an already built tactical vest, make sure it has pouches that can be changed in case you want to customize it later. It’s also important to make sure there are numerous pouches available so you have plenty of choices for customization.
Should you choose to build your own tactical paintball vest, it’s best to go with a ‘MOLLE’ system. MOLLE vests feature a certain type of strap and snap system of adhering pouches to it. This easy attachment system makes MOLLE vests super easy to customize. This type of tactical vest is also used by military and law enforcement so pouches are easily found and cheap to buy. Blank MOLLE system vests are available in tan, black or olive and sell for ~$35. Then it’s up to you to choose which color pouches you want to customize your game. Overall, this is the best way to go as you can build up a collection of different pouches and easily change them out as needed to customize your vest for different occasions or scenarios you play in. A tactical vest that can be changed into different configurations to best equip you for the mission you’re going on is a valuable tool and worth the investment.