You can wear blue jeans. You can wear BDU pants. You can wear shorts. If you really want to you can wear a kilt. We hear it all the time—”you don’t need paintball-specific pants!”—and “real men don’t need padding.”
I’m not the first person to say that the padding really makes a difference. Unless you are a masochist who enjoys getting shot where the sun doesn’t shine, a quality pair of paintball pants will really help you step up your game and improve the quality of your paintball experience.
The best paintball pants are durable and they stand up to years of abuse. Most paintball-specific pants breathe well and include special ventilated areas that a pair of BDU pant’s don’t have. The padding takes away more than the pain of getting hit. Sometimes, padding can cushion impact enough to prevent paint breakage—keeping you in the game longer.
If you’re on a budget, the Valken Fate II should be acceptable. They include improved knee-area durability and a breathable polyester construction that will keep you comfortable on the field. At under $50.00 they aren’t that much more expensive than a decent pair of street pants.
To get the best pants, you have to shell out some money.
My personal favorite are the HK Army Hardline Propant 2014. You can check out the product video straight from HK Army on YouTube:
HK thought of everything when they designed the 2014 Hardline. They are durable enough to stand up to the toughest conditions, breathable in all the right places, and filled with little features that will improve game play and experience.
The Hardline ProPants are double stitched everywhere and exceptional durable in the knee area. The front and rear are reinforced to handle the load of a harness. On the back, the location of the HK logo is exceptionally firm—it helps hold up a heavy harness and keep your load stable.
There are elastic straps on the waist and Velcro straps on the ankles. You’ll find belt loops, but with the adjustable elastic it is unlikely that you will need them. The zipper is sturdy and there is a dual button at the top opening for additional reinforcement.
HK advertises a total of six pockets. There are two deep front zipper pockets that are lined with an easy to clean liner, two sets of front pockets (one of the pockets is pretty small and doesn’t fit much), and rear squeegee holders.
Breathability is exceptional. The 2014 Hardline ProPants have a mesh liner that helps keep you cool and a ventilation system that extends down the inseam and behind the knee. The stretchable vent material extends to the front of the knee to provide increased movement—something that few pants do. This is perfect if you plan on wearing knee pads.
Overall, the HK Army Hardline ProPant is a good buy. I personally preferred the 2013 colors, but the 2014 model adds increased functionality that was lacking in last year’s model. Breathability is improved and the front pockets are actually functional.
Improve your game and have more fun getting hit with paint by ordering some paintball pants now. Yes, we’ll make some money off the deal but we promise to use it for tacos and beer. Like us on Facebook and subscribe on YouTube to stay in touch and hear about our latest antics.