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Once you make the decision to play paintball the questions start to swirl in your head about what should I wear. Many times people will drastically under or overdress, both of which will dramatically lower your entertainment value of playing by being on the extremes.
What do you wear to go paintballing? Your goal when you dress for paintball is to wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that doesn't restrict movement and is not liable to get hung up on obstructions. This is why jersey pants and shirts are a favorite of pro teams.
Let's take a look at how you can dress for success and enjoyment from the second you step onto the field, then how to dress when summer hits and much warmer temperatures. The final thing will be to talk about how you can dress to limit the paintball impacts which should leave you with less soreness the next morning.
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What Do You Wear to Play Paintball?
What you choose to wear will determine the level of entertainment you have while playing when you visit the paintball fields. For most people, they choose to very much overdress which ends up making them hot, heavy, and slow to react when being fired on meaning they are eliminated faster and with less effort.
Instead, what you want to look at is some kind of undershirt and pants that are long-sleeved, this allows them to cover your arms and legs from bottom to top. Then you want to add layers on top of this based on the temperature outside which will help you add or remove clothing as you heat up and cool down.
What to Wear to Play Paintball in the Summer?
If you are in a hot and/or humid area then summer can be a whole different ballgame than people who don't run in hot areas. For the summer months you really want to work on layering your clothing, definitely have some form of a base layer, like this set from Under Armor, that is going to help wick away moisture and keep your temperature balanced.
If you choose to raise your level of gear after this you would want to look to a jersey top and jersey bottom, I like the HK range of options as they have many colors and designs which fit most players. These are comfortable and can help you to keep a quality balanced temperature while playing.
Strategy Behind Clothing Choices
One key thing we haven't discussed yet is why you choose specific clothing, or why sometimes you choose to wear more clothing than normal. This reason is specifically that the more clothing, or more specifically, layers of clothing the better chance that a paintball won't break on impact leaving you in the game.
As you know you are out only when the paintball breaks on you when hitting in most instances, but you can help modify this behavior with clothing choices.
This is why jerseys work very well for the professional players, the clothing is light but not form-fitting. This is by design specifically as it helps you to stay in the game longer as only solid and direct hits will break and cause you to be eliminated from the match.
Can You Wear Jeans to Play Paintball?
While it is entirely possible to wear jeans I would suggest against it as they tend to hold water (sweat) and will get gross with paintball breaks which work themselves into the jean fabric. Have I seen people play in them, yes, do I think they help you be agile and give freedom of movement, not a chance.
I do understand when it is your first time trying paintball you may not want to drop too much money on buying gear which you aren't sure you will use. By all means please get out and play, I would rather you get out there in blue jeans then to not be out there playing!
What to Wear to Play Paintball so it Doesn't Hurt
What you want to wear to limit impact force is clothing which has bulk to it along with enough layers to help distribute the impact over a much larger area which helps to stop the solid impact from hitting your skin.
Many first time players will look to this method of dressing to limit the pain from hits, what you don't realize right now is that your adrenaline will be running while you play, you barely feel the hits and they aren't "painful" like you mentally are picturing it.
After Game Clothing, the Long Ride Home
One thing most new players forget is some kind of change of clothing specifically brought for after the paintball day has ended, you will be a gross, painted, sweaty mess. You WANT to have a change of ALL clothes so that the car ride home will be comfortable, if not you will probably have a car to clean in addition.
I prefer to bring a nice cotton t-shirt and sweats for the ride home as they are both super comfy and breathable.
I love to play and I choose to play frequently in a t-shirt and sweats only, now this may not be the choice for everyone but I find it much more exhilarating as I do care if I am hit. This is not for most people, I understand, but it shows that you will have to find your level of comfort versus your ability to take the impacts from the paintball hits.
Undoubtedly I have welts the next day, but I take them as a badge of honor of play. The thrill of knowing that a misstep is going to link to actual ouches helps me play at a much higher level than I otherwise feel I would play, adrenaline can be quite a benefit.
I have loved to play outdoor games since I was a little kid, as I grew up I found more games and I also found out about alternate rules. I started Outdoor Diversions with Matt to help get this information out to everyone so they can enjoy these games as much as I do!