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The Best Paintball Hoppers 2021
Now that paintball is a well-established sport with millions of players from casual amateurs to diehard professionals, the range of equipment available has mushroomed. It can be pretty hard to sort through all the options and find what’s right for you, so let’s take a look at some of the best ones on the market today.
The hopper - or loader - is a crucial part of any paintball gun or marker. It makes a world of difference to your firing rate and accuracy and has implications for your speed and agility, too. The most lightweight hoppers are made of ceramic or aluminum and are surprisingly durable.
Of course, the stainless steel models are stronger still, but because they tend to be bulkier and heavier, they can slow you down when speed is of the essence. The newest innovation is polycarbonate fiber, which combines the best of the other options, making these hoppers extremely strong and light as a feather. Many players now swear by these.
Another key consideration is the speed of the feed. Ideally, you want a hopper that will maximize your firing rate but also guards against any chance of jamming. Out in the field in the thick of play, you don’t want your gun to let you down.
Third, the bane of every paintballer’s life is loader jams. If your marker refuses to fire at a crucial moment in play, it’s almost certainly game over for you. While you’re looking for the lightest loader with the fastest feed rate, bear in mind that none of that will do you any good unless your loader has the design and technology to eliminate the risk of costly jams.
Once you start looking, you’ll soon recognize brand names that come up time and again. They all represent quality and efficiency. Dye, Empire, and HK Army are among the market leaders, and they offer hoppers to suit a range of budgets and requirements.
This is a really remarkable budget-level loader that performs as well as many others costing twice the price. It has an ultra-quiet belt drive capable of loading more than 20 balls per second and a matte black polycarbonate shell that can stand up to any punishment. It's cheap enough for a beginner but powerful enough for the serious player.
Staying with the lower price end, HK Army has developed the Pinokio Speed Hopper, which is fast and consistent with a pliable and resilient shell yet weighs less than a pound. Even when it’s loaded with batteries, you’ll barely notice you’re carrying it, and that means maximum maneuverability for your paintball gun.
If you’ve got a few more dollars to spend, you can’t go wrong with the Rotor R2, which has taken the sport by storm and is becoming the first choice for top-level players. Aside from its astonishing feed rate, it also incorporates the first-ever multi-capacity shell, which enables you to switch in a second from a 200- to 260-round capacity. It has a wide mouth for super-efficient loading and even alerts you when you need to reload. This is a real high-performance model.
Right in the middle of the price range is this beauty from the experts at Dye. The Rotor platform is recognized as the number-one choice worldwide, and the LT-R delivers speed, durability and consistency of performance. The optional Quick Feed System 6.0 is the perfect solution for quick reloading in the field.
If you’re on a really tight budget and you’re just taking your first steps into the paintball arena, this gravity-fed model could be the one for you. It incorporates the most advanced gravity-fed technology developed so far. If you’re concerned that you’re going to be at a disadvantage without battery power, think again. The Proto Primo has a 200-round capacity and a positive feed shelf that reduces pressure and increases the feed rate.
Virtue Spire IR
It’s worth mentioning this model from Virtue, which comes well priced and is making a name for itself among professionals. It is battery-efficient, extremely lightweight, has a drive system that effectively eliminates jams, and its proactive feeding system means it will never fail you in the middle of play.
You won’t go wrong with any of these recommendations, but with so much choice out there, why not ask the experts at Paintball Deals? We’re here to help get the game started.