You can never be too cautious, right? When it comes to paintball games, this statement is 100% true. You will need to put on a lot of gear to protect yourself from injuries in the field. We’ve discussed quite a lot of them already. From paintball masks to boots to gloves, pants, and knee braces, we have read and understood why they are important and how you should choose the right paintball gear for you.
Are you wondering what more is left? Think!
Okay, we’ll give you the answer. We still need to talk about arm pads. Call them elbow pads if you like. They are both the same. These pads or guards cover your arm from a little over the elbow to the wrist. The pads keep your arms safe from the impact of a paintball, scratches from thorns and branches, and bruises you may get when you hide in burrows and behind trees.
Wearing a full-sleeved jacket is not going to be enough during a paintball game. As a professional player, you would have already experienced this. If you are a novice, however, you may hesitate, wondering how you can play paintball with so much gear on your body.
But that’s how it is done. Paintball tournaments have strict rules about players’ safety. If you don’t take up the necessary safety precautions or refuse to wear protective gear, the authorities may not let you participate.
Either way, arm pads are something you cannot ignore. You don’t want to leave the game midway because of an injury, right?
So, which arm pads should you buy? How do you choose the best from so many models on the market? How can a beginner know which arm pads are suitable for them? What factors play a role when you have to make a choice?
You know we’ve got the answers to your questions. We have carried out all the research for you and listed the top five best arms pads for paintball from some of the most famous brands in the paintball industry. There is also a detailed buying guide for you to learn about how the materials, designs, and fittings can impact the functionality of the arm pads.
Shall we start reading?
Table of Contents
The Best Arm Pads for Paintball For The Money
#1 HK Army Crash Arm Pads - EDITOR'S CHOICE
The first pair of arm pads on our list is by HK Army. These are the best choice for newbies and intermediate paintball players. If you want a good quality arm pad with extra padding at the elbows but within your budget, you can do worse than the Crash Arm Pads by this company. They are lightweight, comfortable, durable, and easy to wear in the field. You might take a while to get used to them, but that’s okay. You’ll be comfortable pretty soon. Shall we look a little further into these arm pads?
Features & Benefits
A dual-layered design, with soft foam and four-way flex thermo-fabric ensure that these arm pads can withstand the wear and tear of outdoor paintball games and provide you with the right level of flexibility and comfort.
The arm pads have been designed to let your skin breathe and stay cool, even on hot summer days. The manufacturer took extra care to ensure these are low-profile pads.
- The arm pads are secured at the biceps with a Velcro strap. There is a reinforced glove and thumb loop at the other end to provide complete protection for your hands.
- The crash padding has open and closed cell foam that runs from the elbow to the wrist. You could land on the side of your arm and still not feel the impact.
- The pads only come in one color, which can be a little disappointing for some players.
- They are available in various sizes from small to extra large. Some users felt that the arm pads were a bit oversized at the bicep (to account for bulging muscles). So they may not fit perfectly well for everyone.
#2 Exalt Paintball T3 Elbow Pads - Best for Protection
Exalt is another well known paintball company that manufactures various equipment for the game. Exalt offers different arm pad models to suit the varied requirements of the players. The T3 elbow pads have triple-layer padding for extra protection so there is no way you will feel the impact of being hit during the game. Be it high-quality materials, flexibility, or comfort, the T3 elbow pads are a great choice.
Features & Benefits
These arm pads have many highlights. If triple padding is one, moisture-wicking technology is another. The pads soak up sweat and keep your arms dry and cool. You can wear these arm pads in any season.
Also, T3 elbow pads are abrasion-resistant on the key regions. This allows your arm movement to be as natural and flexible as possible. Despite the padding and materials used, these are one of the most lightweight arm pads on the market.
- The form-fitting outline of the arm pads makes them hassle-free to wear and remove.
- Instead of having Velcro straps, the pads have a silicone weave that secures them at the biceps.
- While the fitting is great, the lack of Velcro straps makes it hard to adjust the arm pads for that perfect fit.
- These arm pads are more suited to beginners who don’t play in rough conditions. Too much wear and tear can damage them more quickly.
- The internal lining allows for airflow and ventilation, and the external material absorbs the impact when you get hit.
#3 FreeFlex Elbow Pads/Arm Pads - Best Affordable Arm Pads
As mentioned in the previous review, Exalt has more than one type of arm pads to choose from. Where the T3 is famous for the protection it offers, the FreeFlex elbow pads are known for being budget-friendly and affordable. These arm pads are also triple-padded, though they are not as thick and strong as other models. If you are on the lookout for durable and comfortable arm pads that won’t burn a hole in your pocket, these are a safe choice.
Features & Benefits
The elbow cups are custom-molded for a perfect fit. The arm pads are made using thermo-fabrics and breathable mesh lining to provide flexibility, comfort, and safety. The compression padding does a fair job of absorbing impact and keeping your arms safe.
However, some users felt that the padding wasn’t as protective as it could be. That said, the arm pads come with built-in gloves. You can save money on buying gloves when you use these.
- The ribbed elbow cup gives your elbow the required support while also increasing the durability of the arm pads.
- There are two straps to ensure the arm pads fit perfectly. The retention strap can be rotated 360 degrees and can be adjusted in any way you want.
- There is a further forearm strap that lets you tighten the arm pad. However, many players felt that this wasn’t necessary.
- The arm pads are a little smaller than the standard US size. They will fit tightly or even not fit at all if you choose a smaller size.
- These arm pads are also available in a single color – black.
#4 Dye Paintball Performance Elbow Pad - Best for Comfort
The fourth pair of arm pads on our list is from the company Dye. These arm pads are great for comfort and durability. And as we already know, Dye manufactures premium, high-end products. That means that the Paintball Performance Elbow Pads are also a bit more expensive compared with other arm pads out there. But the arm pads are totally worth the price. They are very lightweight and flexible without compromising on the protective padding.
Features & Benefits
Dye has used airprene materials to manufacture these arm pads. It makes them so light that you won’t feel even the slightest of weight on your arms. Talk about comfort, right? The pads also have custom gel inserts and integrated EVA foam at the natural bends of your arm.
We are talking about the elbow bend. These arm pads have that slight curve that allows for the free movement of your arm. The EVA foam provides enough protection to the elbows.
- The arm pads extend into gloves and protect your wrists and hands. Yep. Another advantage of investing in them.
- The manufacturer has paid attention to tiny details to ensure that the pads live up to expectation.
- The mesh lining allows airflow and free ventilation to keep your skin dry and cool. You won’t feel sweaty or hot in these arm pads.
- The arm pads are durable and can sustain wear and tear. You can wear them for outdoor paintball games.
- The adjustable straps ensure a proper fit. We wish choosing the right size was just as easy. That’s something many players found challenging.
#5 Planet Eclipse Overload HD Core Elbow Pads - Best Overall Performance
The last pair of arm pads on our list is by Planet Eclipse. This is another company famous for manufacturing various paintball items. The Overload HD Core elbow pads are flexible, comfortable (as long as you choose the right size), and durable. They are tough and can sustain reasonable wear and tear.
Features & Benefits
The HD (High Density) core foam is the highlight of these arm pads. It provides the necessary protection for your elbows and arms. The pads are soft and are great at absorbing the impact of a paintball hit.
The arm pads come in different colors and sizes. Just make sure to buy the next size up from your usual size as these are on the small side and tend to fit tightly around the arms. The last thing you want is to get blisters on your arms because of the pads.
- The arm pads have neoprene lining for added protection and a breathable mesh lining for airflow.
- When you choose the right arm pads, they will leave enough space to keep your skin dry and cool. At the same time, the fitting is very good and doesn’t cause any problems.
- Some users complained about the seam being off at the elbows. That shouldn’t happen if you pick the correct size for your arms.
- You can ensure the arm pads stay in place by putting your thumbs through the provided loops. The pads will not move or cause any discomfort with this extra security.
Buying Guide for the Best Arm Pads for Paintball
That’s a fantastic list of the best arm pads for paintball, isn’t it? Some of you recognize the brands, even if you are newbies, don’t you?
In a way, having a list of the top five best arm pads doesn’t help much. Why? Because they are all so good, how will you know which one is right for you? That’s where the buying guide helps.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Arm Pads for Paintball
Factors like size, budget, and comfort depend on the individual. What you like may not be suitable for others, and vice versa.
Durability, flexibility, and comfort
Who doesn’t want to buy durable paintball gear? When we consider how rough and demanding a paintball game can be, we have to be careful about the gear we buy. Paintball is an expensive game, and we cannot keep investing in the same items often.
You need robust arm pads that can withstand the wear and tear of the outdoor terrains, forests, and hilly regions. The entire outside part of the arm pads is exposed to rough conditions. The last thing you want is for them to break apart and crumble after a single game.
Materials such as neoprene and synthetics are the preferred material choice for arm pad and knee brace production. The seam quality needs special attention. You must have seen users complain about the seam coming apart after a few games. This means the arm pads are not going to last long. Reinforced seams and high-quality materials can increase the lifespan of arm pads, though other aspects like the climatic conditions are also crucial.
As an extension of durability, let’s also talk about weather-resistant arm pads. Waterproof arm pads, or at least water-resistant arm pads, should be your preferred choice if you play paintball outdoors. Some arm pads are made using moisture-wicking technology. They are highly suitable for intense paintball games. The arm pads you choose should be comfortable in all weather conditions, be it summer, fall, or winter.
Arm pads are also called elbow pads because they cover the elbow. If you find this uncomfortable, you can opt for elbow pads that protect only the elbow region of your arms. However, we suggest using arm pads that are longer and offer more protection.
But what about free movement of the arms? Well, you can find fuller arm pads that offer great movement and flexibility. It depends on how they have been designed. Of course, such arm pads are a bit expensive. Isn’t it better to invest in a quality model that’ll safeguard your arms and not hinder your game in the process?
If you have to crawl or dodge paintballs by lying close to the ground, your elbows and arms need to have adequate protection. The naturally curved design of the paintball arm pads will enable easy movement and let you showcase your best paintball skills on the field.
Padding and protection
Other vital factors to consider are the padding and protection the paintball arm pads offer. While thick padding ensures full safety, it can restrict your movements. Does it seem like we are back at square one? Nope.
Arm pads come with crash protection padding, EVA foam padding, a neoprene outer layer, etc., to ensure that you don’t feel the impact of being hit during the game. The padding doesn’t necessarily have to be thick and bulky to provide complete protection. Extra padding at the elbows is another way to prevent your elbow from being hurt. It’s quite a sensitive area. A solid hit on the elbow can send shock waves throughout your body.
Also, when you shoot at your opponents by lying on the ground, you’ll need to prop up the marker on your arm or the elbow. The impact of the shot will be absorbed by the arm pads in such instances. It’ll be more comfortable to fire a paintball even from crouched positions.
Breathability and airflow
Arm pads are usually made of multiple layers of different materials that allow enough airflow to let your skin breathe. The four-way stretchable material, mesh linings, etc., serve the purpose of providing comfort and ventilation. The best arm pads are the ones that keep you cool in summer by absorbing sweat and retaining warmth during winter to prevent chill from seeping into bones.
Under-armor vs. over-armor
This is one of the first questions you should ask yourself. If you prefer to wear arm pads beneath your armor, you will need the ones that are slimmer to fit under your shirt. The arm pads you wear over a shirt can be bigger, bulkier, and thicker. The choice is yours. And hey, the size of the arm pads might also change. If you buy something that fits exactly, it won’t slip over your shirt. You’ll end up feeling highly uncomfortable and restricted.
Fitting and fastenings
Always check the size of the arm pads before placing an order. Measure your arm to get accurate readings of the width and length. Some brands do not follow the standard US measurements. In such instances, you should pick the next size. UK measurements tend to be smaller than US ones.
Fastenings allow you to keep the arm pads in place. Velcro straps are the safest choice. Some manufacturers use silicone weave or elastic strips as well. Arm pads with multiple fastenings will keep them in place no matter how intense the paintball game is.
Aesthetics and prints
Do you like to flaunt your style during a paintball game? If your answer is yes, you might be more attracted to models with trendy patterns and prints on them. Arm pads also come in different colors. Indoor paintball players can sport flashy colors and bold patterns. However, if you play outdoors more often, you will need something less obvious. The arm pads need to blend in with the surroundings and camouflage your presence, rather than call attention to it.
Ease of maintenance
Like every other item, arm pads need to be cleaned and maintained if you want them to last. Many arm pads can be cleaned in a washing machine without any effort. You can then dry them in the shade.
Use a stain remover to clean paint stains. But, before that, read the washing instructions provided by the manufacturer. Make sure that you can indeed throw them in the machine for a good wash. Follow the instructions to the T. They obviously know more than we do about the product they’ve designed and released into the market.
Budget and requirements
Budget is something you should not ignore. When you need to buy many things for the game, you should manage your finances accordingly and not go beyond your budget. The main aspects that decide whether you should invest in an expensive model or a budget-friendly one are:
How frequently do you play the game? No point in buying a high-end model if you play once in six months or so. Right?
Where do you play- outdoors or indoors? Outdoor paintball games demand durable and stronger arm pads.
Are you a beginner, intermediary, or professional paintball player? As a newbie, you can start with entry-level models that come for a lower price and invest in better arm pads as you gain experience.
Customer reviews show exactly what existing users feel about the product. They hold a mirror to the best and worst features of the arm pads. Users share their experiences and talk about whether the arm pads have helped them during the game or not. Make it a point to read both the good and negative reviews for the model you like. This will provide a better picture of the arm pads and help you make the right decision.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
So have you made your decision about which arm pads to buy? Are you still hesitant and a little unsure? We would recommend the HK Army Crash Arm Pads as a suitable and all-around choice.
The arm pads are flexible, durable, comfortable, lightweight, and breathable. The mesh lining, the four-way stretch material, neoprene, and the dual-layered protection ensure that these arm pads offer all that you need from them during a paintball game. The HK Army Crash Arm Pads are definitely worth the price you pay for them.