Preparing your gear bag for paintball is an important function that many times doesn't get the attention it should deserve. A proper selection of gear in your bag can help ensure you have a long and enjoyable day at the field. Since it isn't given the correct level of attention many time players find that at the field they are missing critical gear or have no ability to repair issues they may experience on the field.
How Do You Select The Proper Gear For Your Paintball Bag? Your gear bag needs to have the proper set of gear to allow you to play an entire day without any issues. A gear bag needs to include at a minimum: spare pants and shirt, spare hopper and mask and a repair kit including tools and o-rings needed to fix and repair a marker if it should experience issues on the field. If you have the ability then adding an additional marker can allow you to get back out to the field instead of spending time in repair.
Lets go dig in to what can be most helpful to have within your gear bag to ensure an incredibly fun day. We will go over what is best for repairs and what you may want to have as a reserve or replacement would you lose, break or rip something while in play.
What Is A Paintball Gear Bag?
Gear bags are similar to a go bag, they hold everything you need to play in a day without having to assemble it all. This allows for you to be ready to go whenever you want or need to. We show our 3 favorites on our resource page which come in backpack or duffel form factor.
You want to maximize the value your gear bag can provide you by including all the gear which can end your day abruptly if it should fail. This is why we listed out the most frequently good to have items within your gear bag below. These aren't all in a specific order but in general are close to where they rank in our item failures over the last few years.
What Items Are A Must Have For Your Gear Bag?
There is about 7 must have items to keep within your bag at all times. You want to ensure you pack clothing, pads, bandanna (especially if you sweat a lot or play in humid areas). Tools and cleaning equipment for your marker, hopper and air to ensure proper functionality. A spare mask and hopper to ensure if you have a failure on those that you can continue to play without missing field time and possibly a second air tank and marker.
An important addition in any gear bag is more clothing, this may seem simple but it is overlooked quite often. Many times on the field when you play, especially in brush and rough surfaces, you will tear and destroy clothing items. Many fields won't allow you to continue playing if you tear your clothing too much so a replacement is important.
Jerseys or Pads
Always bring a set of spare pants and a shirt at a minimum. This will allow you to change if you should tear anything while playing or if it should get too muddy and or messy. Worst case you have a good change of clothes for the drive back to your house instead of messing up your car for the drive.
If you are a player who likes elbow pads or pads in general I would always keep a spare of them in your gear bag also as once damaged you would want to change them out.
Cleaning Tools And Equipment
This should be a no brainer overall as you will constantly need to clean your marker, mask and loader while you play. You will want to make sure you don't look like you have been hit with paintballs on the next match so cleaning needs to be done post match, each match.
The other tools you need are the ones required to disassemble your marker and loader to perform repairs to o-rings and ensure functionality. I would also suggest your tools include metric and imperial to be able to help out someone who lost or forgot their tools (or newbies in need).
Spare Paintball Mask
You want to bring a spare mask with you as this is a part of your equipment that is typically not repairable on the field. Having the spare allows you to head back out onto the field to play instead of troubleshooting your current mask or needing to rent a field mask.
My normal routine is that when I purchase a new mask the previous becomes the backup gear. The one older that was the backup I then will donate to a newer player at the fields as an "upgrade" to the field mask, I hope that it keeps them coming back for more.
Spare Paintball Loader Or Hopper
Your loader is also a fallible part of your main gear which you should have a spare of, maybe you have an electronic and the feed isn't working correct for example. Yes you may be able to resolve the problem but is it worth missing a match or 2 on the day or would it be better to resolve this at the lunch intermission or after the game day?
A spare hopper means you can grab and go for the next round and then plan the repair time instead of being driven by the repair time, I would suggest that it doesn't need to be as expensive with as many bells and whistles as you should only need to use it sparingly.
Paintball Marker Air Or CO2
This is not a necessary item but I know players who carry additional air with them. Most tanks are pretty hardy and will last play without ever breaking. You could cut down on refill time though on the off the field by having a spare ready that was full and able to take straight out to the field.
I would suggest this as an option once you have very nice higher end equipment all purchased including a second marker, though that is just because I see it as a nicety, not a necessity.
This is the last item I would try to have in my gear bag unless you already own more than one. If you don't own two then don't jump out and purchase another marker just for the bag. Purchasing markers for a spare means you may not purchase one which fulfills your needs and may not help you in the long run.
Instead I would suggest you learn how to repair your marker in and out, then once you have this down and would like the comfort of a second one then look to find a similar one to what you have so your parts will all work with each other.
Some people like to have a mechanical and an electronic so if they need one for a field or play restriction they then have one on hand, look into your fields to see if this would apply to you and your field.
Preparing your gear bag is an important step for anyone who likes to play and not have the game-day be interrupted by repairs and delays. The gear bag you build and fill covers all these typical failures and allows you to maintain play and allows for repairs and fixes to happen after the day ends.
It isn't fun to spend $30 to play on the field and then have to call the day short due to an o-ring breaking or hopper malfunction. The better stocked your gear bag the better for you to maximize your playtime and enjoyment!