The Best Tactical Gear for Paintball or Airsoft in 2023

best military tactical gear

Last Update: March 23 2024

Any paintball or airsoft enthusiast knows how quickly getting new gear can become an addiction. Each time you hit the playing field there is always those players rocking some awesome tactical gear that allows them to keep their gear organized and quickly accessible,  while looking like a complete badass. Tactical military gear is extremely popular among Mil-sim players or those who like to really get immersed in the game. 

Having a light weight tactical vest to store your tools, extra ammo, weapon attachments etc, can really help to up your game. You should also look into getting a pair of high quality military style cargo pants, especially if you are going to be playing most of your games outdoors. Wearing tactical clothing that is made from thicker fabrics can decrease the pain from hit impacts as well as protect you from stray branches and thorns. Given the fact that most military style clothing has some type of camouflage patterns, it can also help stealthier players blend into their surroundings when playing in outdoor arenas.

Below you will find our picks for the best tactical gear that fellow paintball and airsoft players have recommended and we have had a chance to try out. From military vests to rugged outdoor pants, we make upgrading your setup for your next day on the field quick and easy. You can use the table of contents below to quickly jump between sections on this page. Let's dive in!

 Tactical Clothing Recommendations: Rugged Military Pants & Shirts

If you have gone to any public paintball field, chances are when you first got into the game you got saddled with the generic rental coveralls that are loose and horribly bulky. They never fit properly and are annoying as hell to get into and out of, while snagging on things constantly. You also probably noticed a lot of the more experienced players wearing some sweet tactical clothing that is far more form fitting and looks super cool. Good news, gear like that in general is not even super expensive. Investing in a pair of pants with added kneepads can save you tons of pain from creeping through the underbrush and kneeling for extended periods of time. And a lightweight undershirt that fits nicely under a military vest can help you keep cool, which means less mask fogging and sweating. Below are some of the best pieces of tactical clothing we have had a chance to test out over the years. Remember, the more form fitting your gear profile, the less chance for random hits to take you out of the game.

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ZAPT Tactical Pants With Kneepads

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There is one thing that makes these tactical pants absolutely indispensable for anyone planning on playing a full day of paintball. The kneepads. While they are slim and fairly light, they can save you a TON of pain that comes from kneeling and creeping around on wooden fortresses and the forest floor. They are also detachable, so you can remove them any time you like. After using tactical pants with kneepads, there is simply no going back to jeans when playing.

The pants themselves are made from a high quality tear resistant fabric, that is easy to clean and can hold up against the elements. They are baggy enough to provide a good range of movement for running and crouching, and there is a ton of cargo pockets all over. From smaller ankle pockets to the large back pockets, storage is not an issue here. The belt loops are also extra wide which makes accommodating a heavy duty tactical belt super easy. Do yourself a favor and lose the baggy overall,s and get some comfortable tactical pants.

5.11 Tactical Pants -  TacLight Pro

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Players looking for one of the best all round combat style pants that can be worn as a daily pair of pants and not look too strange walking down the street, 5.11 tactical pants combine functionality with a more everyday asthetic. 5.11 is known for making some of the best combat clothing on the market, and these pants are no exception.

Made from a rip resistant material, they are also teflon coated to repel water and liquids. This means less staining and they also help keep you dry during a rainy day out in the field. Their unique style pocket system makes carrying any small items along with you super easy. These tactical pants are designed to be useable in any situation, from actual urban combat to action sports like paintball and airsoft. Given the fact they are some of the highest quality pants we use on a regular basis, the price tag is surprisingly affordable. Two thumbs up from us!

QCR Lightweight Tactical Pants

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A slightly less military looking set of cargo pants, the best thing about the QCR Lightweight tactical pants is the great design and fantastic rip resistant material they are made from. In addition to being extremely tough to rip, it is also coated with a finish that repels liquids and dirt. This makes staying dry during a rainy day on the field or a muddy game of woodsball a lot easier. 

The design itself is similar to law enforcement style pants, with quite a few cargo pockets and the coolest thing: zippered slots that allow you to insert padding for the knees. This makes these some of the most versatile combat pants, and the price range is insanely affordable for such high quality pants. These should be in every combat sports enthusiasts' closet!

Rothco BDU Military Pants

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Another good option for some tear resistant, high quality outdoors pants. These are some military BDU style tactical pants, covered in pockets and can be found in various camo patterns. While they do not include kneepads like the ZAPT pants above the knee and rear area are re-enforced with some extra fabric to avoid any possible wear and tear.

The bottom of the pant legs come with integrated ties to allow you to tighten them around your ankles, great if you happen to be playing in muddy terrain or on an indoor feild loaded with sawdust. This stops mud or shavings from getting inside your boots and becoming an annoying problem. If you are looking for a high quality pair of basic tactical pants that are not too baggy, then the Rothco BDU's are a great option.

Condor Outdoor Combat Shirt

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If you are wearing a chest protector or tactical vest, then having a lightweight undershirt that is specifically designed to wick sweat and keep you cool is a good idea. This long sleeve tactical shirt from Condor is smartly designed with a mesh venting system in the underarms area and the material is a breathable mix of polyester and cotton. 

The sleeve each have a small pocket on them, great for holding multitools or lighters etc. And the wrists are adjustable which makes fitting them over gloves quick and easy. This is a super comfortable shirt that will keep you cool on a hot day and fairly warm in the autumn season thanks to the well thought out design.

Rothco Lightweight Tactical Shirt

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Another great lightweight combat shirt that is made from a mixture of cotton and nylon with the sleeves having a more rip resistant 50/50 ratio of blended materials. Much like the Condor shirt above, the Rothco Lightweight tactical shirt is designed to wick sweat to keep you dry, and 

The elbows on this shirt are slightly padded and re-enforced which we really liked, especially for anyone who likes to crawl through the underbrush. Pockets on the sleves provide a little storage and overall this is another solid choice of shirt for those who like to have professional level gear.