We watch professional players during the world paintball championships with bated breath because we want to see who comes out at the top and the paintball guns they have with them as they win. An important part of the paintball gun is the hopper and through its revolution players have been able to engage more. With their large capacities and ever-increasing firing rate, more people are becoming avid fans of the game. You might be wondering, how do I get the best paintball hopper for my gun? The truth is that it is quite simple.
You have to consider a few things to reach your aim. These considerations will be the difference between an okay product and the perfect product. For hoppers, you have to put into consideration things like the weight, size, type of hopper, capacity, firing rate and the color that you want. If you are buying a professional level hopper then continuous paint feed and precision cannot be overlooked. Your pocket will also play a part in your considerations but nothing too drastic.
Top 7 Paintball Hoppers Review 2020
To be of assistance, we did some research on your behave. There are quite a number of good products but only a few stand out. Look over the information presented in the comparison table, the detailed reviews of the product and a helpful buying guide. You never know what your curiosity might stumble upon.
Dye Precision Loader Rotor R2 – Editor’s Choice
- Weight: 1.1 lbs
- Capacity: 200/260 round
- Fire rate: 30+ bps
More features: lasts for up to 100,000 shots on 3AA batteries, quick feed system, reload alert system
The Dye Precision Loader Rotor R2 is a reliable and well-built paintball hopper aimed at providing fast loading speeds and adequate capacity. The blue- coloured product weighs 1/1 lbs. which are light enough to handle without getting tired. It is designed to hold a large number of paintballs between 200-260. This means you can play as much as you want without having to refill.
If you are engaging in long battles then you need to know that this model is constructed with a wider mouth by 20% so as to make loading fast. There is no need to use additional tools or put additional shells to make the unit effective. This paintball hopper features a patented design that allows 30+ balls per second if you are using 3AA batteries you can expect up to 100.000 shots before needing to replace the batteries.
Another thing is the battery indicator that lets you know how much juice you have left. It will glow red when the unit needs a recharge. Additionally, the reload alert system will keep you on your toes as you will be aware of how much ammunition you have left. The patented trigger system will offer you a smooth transition in between reloads.
- Lightweight enough for easy lifting
- Offers a large capacity
- Provides easy reloading
- It has a battery indicator and loading system
- Features a patented trigger system for easy activation
- Offers a fast shooting speed
- Plastic parts of the unit may get damaged easily
G.I. Sportz LVL – Best Low Profile
- Weight: 1.4 lbs.
- Capacity: 204 round
- Fire rate: 15+ bps
More features: jam proof drive system, quick feed, easy swap rail lid, adjustable speed programming
The G.I. Sportz LVL paintball hopper is stylish and well equipped to handle all your field needs. The Mid-range unit weighs 1.4lbs with a low profile that would allow you to shoot accurately without obstruction. It is also lightweight therefore facilitating easy movement between stations. The unit is made from durable nylon allowing it to withstand impact.
This unit also possesses adjustable speeds, you can decide whether you want it to be high, medium or low speed. The paintball hopper is able to dispense paintballs at the rate of 15+ bps. If you look at the unit you can see that it has a sizeable capacity able to contain 204 balls for a complete round.
Together with a large capacity, the unit is equipped with a jam proof system to avoid clogging. You will also run into a rubber based feeding system to handle soft paintballs, a rain lid and battery indicators. The indicators work both visually and audibly to make sure you don’t end up with a dead paintball gun. The paintball hopper is easy to disassemble for storage and requires 4 AA batteries to work effectively. The batteries are not supplied and thus have to be purchased independently.
- Features a jam proof system
- Durable nylon body
- Adequate capacity provided
- Features adjustable speeds
- Comes with a rain lid
- Features battery indicators
- Easy to disassemble
- Lightweight with a low profile
- May be louder than expected
Virtue Spire IR – Best Virtue Spire
- Weight: 1.2 lbs.
- Capacity: 200/260 paintballs
- Fire rate: not specified
More features: slide lock quick release button, jam proof drive system, G-Force sensor, power saving standby mode, low battery indicator with alarm
The Virtue Spire IR is a reliable unit that is small enough to be manoeuvrable. It weighs 1.2lbs and comes with sensors to allow continuous paintball movement. These 3-IR sensors have been upgraded to reduce pulsing and creating a quieter unit. The jam proof system allows you to feed 200/260 paintballs no matter the texture of the paint.
This unit is designed to handle even the most fragile paint in the market ensuring that you experience optimal performance with every shot. The spring-loaded unit possesses flexible rubber fingers to effectively feed the brittle paint into position.
To make sure that you use the unit for longer, the materials used have to be up to par. This model has been created from good quality nylon. It will be able to withstand impact and it is very easy to clean.
You will also find a battery life indicator and an alarm to alert you into recharging or refilling the unit. It also possesses a standby mode that will save you power when you are in the middle of a break. The slide lock allows you to switch between the lid and the speed feed with ease. The speed feed is not provided therefore make an additional purchase.
- Sold in various colours
- Holds a decent capacity
- Comes with a durable nylon shell
- Provides a battery life indicator
- Features sensors for continuous loading
- Easy to disassemble and clean
- Small and light enough for easy movement
- Able to handle soft paint
- The loader is slow and may need manual shaking to activate the feed
HK Army TFX – Best Multi-Color
- Weight: 1.6 lbs.
- Capacity: 200+ rounds
- Fire rate: 22+ bps
More features: zero gravity lift tray, speed feed, hyper lock tool less maintenance, 30,000+ shots on a single battery charge, 90 days warranty, power button with LED Indicator
The HK Army TFX looks amazing and will leave you excited every time you lay your eyes on the paintball hopper. The unit comes with a wide range of colours from basic black to camouflage so you can select your preferred choice. The 1.6Lbs unit has a capacity of 200+ rounds with a fire rate of 22+ balls per second. You will find a gravity lift tray to add more volume without compromising the feed. With its cool build and large capacity, it is hard not to have fun.
To ensure continuous performance the hopper has a patented drive system with accurate sensors. The unit comes with rechargeable batteries and a speed feed to make it a well-rounded unit. The batteries will provide you with up to 30,000 shots before you have to recharge them.
The unit using the reactive eye mechanisms to activate the swoop stack feature that continuously feeds the paintballs to the marker. It also features a 3-slip feature facilitates the paddles agitation to remove any paintball jams. The hopper works with kinds of paint and additionally it is easy to disassemble for cleaning. There is a power button with an LED indicator that will remind you to recharge. All these features come with a 90-day warranty which is decent enough.
- Comes with a storage case
- Possess good battery life
- Comes in a wide range of colours
- Provides a continuous feed
- Comes with battery life indicator
- Offers a 90-day
- Easily cleaned
- Features fast speeds and a water-resistant coating for weather protection
- Has effective reactive eye-sensors
- The lid may be difficult to open
- LED light is considered too bright by some
Valken Paintball VSL Tournament – Best Electronic Hopper For Beginners
- Weight: 1.3 lbs.
- Capacity: 250 rounds
- Fire rate: 15+ bps
More features: quick release shell with secondary lock, quick switch lid, click in the capacity kit
The Valken Paintball VSL Tournament got its reputation for being among the only loaders that are able to switch from.58 to .50 calibre in mere seconds. The unit comes with a capacity of 250 rounds at a firing speed of 15+balls per minute. Additionally, it has a capacity extender so that you are able to shoot for longer. The extender does not compromise the continuity of the loading system.
It is a lightweight unit weighing in at 1.3lbs so you can move around with it easily. The unit is able to handle soft paint without jamming. The paintball hopper needs 3AA batteries to perform optimally but the batteries have to be purchased independently. There are no fancy features in this hopper just effective basic features.
To make matters easier on the user, the unit comes with a quick switch lid for easy loading and a quick-release shell for easy maintenance. The clamping feed neck will see to it that the unit remains stable even as you run around.
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Comes with a large capacity and fast fire rate
- Lightweight and manoeuvrable
- Comes with a quick switch lid for easy loadin
- Provides a click-in capacity kit
- Able to handle soft paint
- Sold at an affordable price
- Lacks a battery indicator
Empire Halo Too – Best Paintball Loader Package
- Weight: 1.3 lbs.
- Capacity: 180 rounds
- Fire rate: 20+ bps
More features: basic 48ci 3000psi n2 hpa paintball tank included, quiet belt drive, anti-jam system, low battery indicator, auto shut-off
The Empire Halo Too is an affordable paintball hopper that you can buy. It weighs 1.3lbs and comes with a 48ci 3000psi n2 gas tank to power the item. The lightweight unit is made from durable material so that it can be in use for longer. The hopper is made from polycarbonate which is able to handle impact and happens to be very easy to clean. Inside the unit is an electronic system that relays sound to facilitate continuous paintballs.
This tiny unit comes with an adequate capacity of 180 rounds with a firing speed of 20+ balls per second. For continuous shots, the hopper relies on Freeway™ anti-jam system keeps the paintballs on a roll. The good thing is that even with that fast fire rate, the unit is able to operate quietly.
For ease of use, the unit comes with a battery indicator and provides one-hour auto shut off features so that you are able to save energy. The unit can fire 700+ rounds before needing another power source. You will also find that it comes with a 5-year hydro date and a limited lifetime warranty from invert.
- Offers a good fire rate to work with
- Comes with its own gas tank
- The unit features an anti-jamming design
- Shell is made from durable materials
- The unit is affordable
- Easy to disassemble and clean
- Lightweight with a stable construction
- Has an indicator to alert of current battery level
- Offers good value for money
- The tank is a tad heavy
Dye LT-R – Budget Pick
- Weight: 1 lbs
- Capacity: 200
- Fire rate: 30+ bps
More features: up to 100,000 shots per battery charge, adjustable feed tension, anti-jam, tool-less maintenance
Whether you are an expert or a beginner the Dye LT-R paintball hopper will serve you optimally. Created to be lightweight and easy to move around with the unit weighs 1.05lbs with a capacity of 200rounds. If you were looking for a gun with a fast fire speed then you can consider one of these as it fires 30+ balls per second. By the time you are done everyone will be splattered in paint.
To make sure you get continuous paintballs, the unit houses a patented motor technology which works effectively even with fragile paint. The anti-jam trigger definitely goes a long way making a smooth transition even in the middle of reloading.
A unique thing that can be seen with this product is that you can get a matching colour quick feed. This is not a big deal but may add a bit of colour to your unit. The unit uses 3AA batteries offering up to 100,000 shots. The LED battery indicator will notify you when it’s time to recharge. The unit possesses adjustable torque settings and a water-resistant board all at an incredible price.
- Offers tool-less
- Comes with a fast fire rate
- The user can adjust the feed tension
- Battery life offers 100,000 shots
- Comes with an LED indicator
- Can be bought with a matching colour quick feed
- Good value for money
- Provides a constant feed
- Speed feed is sold separately
- Could be a tad loud
ТThe type of paintball hopper you get might be the difference between a great game and a mediocre one. The last thing to expect in the middle of a battle is to discover that your equipment is faulty. Here is some information that will direct you better into finding the kind of paintball hopper appropriate for your skill and budget:
Paintball hopper to the rescue
Here are some of the benefits you stand to gain by choosing either type of paintball hopper:
Gravity paintball hoppers
- They are lightweight and easy to maneuver.
- They are inexpensive.
- Best for building skill
- Have a slow fire rate
- Usually, possess a smaller capacity.
Electronic paintball hoppers
- Possess a larger capacity feed.
- Shoot at a faster rate.
- Have more features to work with.
- They jam less due to the anti-jamming design.
Gravity load or electronic
Paintball is a very engaging game and finding the best type of paintball hopper for your skill and budget is important. In the market, you find basically find the gravity load models or the electronic models. Each type of these paintball hoppers come with their own advantages and disadvantages.
The gravity load models have a simple structure that does not require batteries or a motor to move the paintballs. The units utilize the user’s movement to move the balls into position. Since it depends on mechanical movement, the shooting speed is a bit low and you will discover that they jam easily.
Electronic paintball hoppers possess a motor that facilitates easy paintball loading. These units have internal settings that prevent the paintball from jamming, therefore, providing consistent performance. This uninterrupted loading then allows a fast speed rate of 20+ balls per minute. These efficient models need reliable batteries to provide optimal performance. The downside is that these electronic models are a bit expensive and also weigh more. That is why they are recommended for more skilled players as opposed to beginners.
Choose the paintball loader for your competition level
It is crucial to get a unit that fits your skill level so as not to find yourself in frustrating situations. There are basically three levels and each has hoppers that are compatible. They include:
For this level, matters are very simple because your interest is just picking up. There is no need to spend a lot of money on a professional unit. Paintball hoppers for beginners are lightweight, feature simple structures and are inexpensive. As a beginner, you have access to gravity loaded models and the electronic models. The gravity models need no batteries and just rely on the user's movements. They are simple structures with a low feed speed of 8+balls per minute while the motorized electronic models offer feed speeds of 16+ balls per minute. The electronic models get jammed less thus making them a preferable choice.
These models are intended for people who have acquired more skill but they are not participating at a professional level. These mid-range models cost more than the beginner models as they have more features. For example:
The sound activated hoppers work with you as you play. Their system relies on the sound produced after a marker fires to release the next ball ready for firing. These sound activated models work effectively only relying on the sound produced by the gun. They are not designed to pick up on any other sounds around and therefore won’t fire haphazardly.
Next are the eye-activated hoppers which can be considered as some of the best products in the market. These eye hoppers include sensors that identify the motion of the paintballs. Once the eyes spot a paintball moving down to the trigger, another one is released right in time for the next shot. If you are sensitive to noise it is better to work with the eye-activated hoppers compared to the sound activated models.
Cyclone models rely on a cyclone feed for effective loading. These models need no batteries they just need gas to launch the marker into action. These gas propelled models are quite consistent but may take up more gas than you expect per round.
If you ever compete professionally then it only makes sense to get a professional unit. These units have a larger capacity and feed speed rate compared to the basic models. These professional level models have well-designed motors that provide consistent performance to avoid jamming. They may also have sensors to ensure that nothing goes wrong as you play and indicators to show battery level.
Features to consider while buying the perfect paintball hopper
What kind of features do you look for when in search of the perfect unit? Do you just look at the price or there is more? Read the following section to understand what features to look out for:
Size and weight
The size and weight of your paintball hopper can be a friend or an enemy as you battle. If you are carrying a large unit then there are chances that it will weigh you down. It is important to consider the size of the unit and the average number of paintballs you may need for a complete round. Smaller units with small capacities will hold fewer balls and thus prove lightweight enough. Models with a large capacity will hold more and thus weigh more too. The good thing is that modern models have a lighter build compared to the older traditional ones.
Money is hard to come by nowadays and the last thing you want is to buy a product that disintegrates easily. There is a need to ensure that the materials used to create the hopper are long-lasting. In most cases, the industry standard indicates that plastic is used to create the hoppers. However, this does not mean that since its plastic it has to be cheap. The plastic used should be able to withstand impact and maintain its appearance through many uses. High-quality nylon or polycarbonate make good material choices.
Like implied earlier on, there is importance in understanding the number of paintballs you may need to complete your challenge. If the unit you have is able of holding many paintballs then you won’t have to waste time reloading. The minimum number of paintballs a simple unit has is 50+ paintballs and these kinds of models are usually for beginners. Skilled and mid-range players need a unit with a larger capacity than the basic models. There are models that offer a capacity of 200+ paintballs in one run while there are others that offer less. Depending on the budget you have you can pick a model with a large volume or less.
This boils down to your level of skill because how fast you pull the trigger may determine the model that you get. Simpler models especially the gravity loaded ones will have a slow fire rate as they lack paintball propelling mechanisms. These models usually work at a rate of 8+ balls per second. If you were in a competition it is likely that a player with a faster gun will nail you before you are ready to respond. Models with faster mechanisms can launch up to 30+ balls per second, like the Dye Precision Loader Rotor R2, which is convenient if you are in the thick of the game.
Finding a compatible paintball hopper for your gun is important for optimal performance. If you have an older model then you might have to search more for a compatible unit. These days the industry is standardized allowing multiple products to be accessed by users all over the world. It is hard to find a paintball hopper that doesn’t fit in today’s models but if you are not sure you can always buy the gun and the paintball hopper from the same brand. That way you will avoid getting frustrated and losing money.
When on the field it is easy to drop your gun and you need to be sure that the quality will hold both internally and externally. As stated before most paintball hoppers are made out of plastic which can be vulnerable especially the clear ones. It is important to gravitate to hoppers that are created from high-quality plastic that is able to withstand a bit of damage. There are manufacturers who have made it a mission to provide durable paintball hoppers with thick dexterous material so don’t just settle for the cheap models that will break in a day.
Speed feed, jam proof and other options
Not all models have the same features due to the price level. In some model, you will find that offer variable speed feed so that you can have more control. The adjustable speed feed moves from low to high depending on your preferences.
There are also those that come with battery life and feed indicators. The indicators can be both visual and audio. These features are important as they remind you that you need to refill or recharge. Many models use LED indicators that are hard to miss and will keep you aware.
Anti-jamming mechanisms are very convenient as they save you the trouble of having to manually unclog the unit. This feature is especially useful in electric units where balls are released at a fast rate. Some of the models featuring this mechanism are the G.I. Sportz LVL, Virtue Spire IR and Dye LT-R.
Ease of use
A unit that allows you to load the paintballs easily is a winner. This is usually indicated by a large feeding mouth and a quick switch lid, like in the Valken Paintball VSL Tournament model. You also want a unit that has an automated on/off so that you are able to save power. A unit that is easy to keep clean and disassemble saves you time. You will be able to maintain its appearance, keep the trigger smooth operation and store it away from dust.
You have options as to the style and colour of paintball hopper you can choose. If you need bright colours or camouflage themes it is all available in the market. Choose a unit that matches your personality and game surroundings. If you want to buy it as a gift it's safer to buy neutral colours. Some companies create sets of clothes, guns and hoppers to match, like HK Army did.
Like always a warranty is a safety net that makes us feel better about the products that we buy. Settle for products that offer a valid warranty. The warranty doesn’t have to be long but if you can get one the better. If you find problems contact customer care for solutions.
If you have spent so much money on your equipment you want to keep them safe so that they don’t get damaged. For hoppers, there are specially designed cases that are able to contain all the accompanying parts. These cases have space for the battery, rain lids and other components synonymous to hoppers. The better the quality of the case the more you can guarantee the safety of the unit. Look for cases with padding and straps to secure the items.
Paintball hoppers are not hard products to maintain because of their simple structure. Here are a few maintenance tips that will be of help:
- Avoid getting mad inside the hopper housing. If it happens by mistake take the unit apart and scoop out the dirt before it dries out.
- Disassemble in an organized manner so as to avoid losing parts or putting them in the wrong place.
- Clean up any paint left after the game to avoid it piling up and causing a jam.
- Avoid using chemical detergent to clean the unit. Water and soap work
- Only use recommended oils to preserve the surfaces.
- Always store the hopper in a case to keep it from impact and dirt pile up.
Yes, you should because they elevate the experience and provide a continuous transition. Depending on the gun you select you to have the option of getting the gravity loaders or the electric loaders. The gravity loaders are friendlier to your pocket but the electronic ones allow you to fire more often.
In all the products presented there were three worth the extra mention. These products can satisfy in terms of quality and features.
We liked the Dye Precision Loader Rotor R2 because it is well built, has a large capacity and the firing speed is on point. The HK Army TFX is a model that offers you a range of colors to work with. It also comes with a 90- day warranty and honestly, it just looks cool. For a more budget model, the Dye LT-R is a good bargain. It is a simple unit but it does work well.
The units above may not be the hoppers that caught your eye so feel free and select the best paintball hopper for you. All that matters is that you get the perfect hopper for your paintball adventures.