Are you an enthusiastic paintball player who’s tired of renting equipment every time you want to enjoy the game? Then it’s time for an upgrade. Buying personal equipment is convenient and improves the fun of paintball.
Found the right paintball gun, check! Then it’s time to get the best paintball tank to meet your market needs. You want a tank that will maximize your performance for a thrilling experience on the battlefield.
As such, having some firsthand information about the types of paintball tanks available and what features to look out for when buying will come in handy. You’ll have to consider what each type of paintball tank has to offer. Then you have to check the general features a good tank should have. But first, how does a paintball tank work?
What is a paintball tank?A paintball tank is a piece of equipment that propels markers from the paintball gun once you shoot. There're two types of paintball tanks; high-pressure air or compressed air and CO2.
Carbon II Oxide paintball tanks
CO2 tanks are commonly used because they were the first to be invented. As CO2 transforms from a liquid state to gas, it's molecules expand this creating an immense amount of pressure. This creates a force that launches the paintball through the barrel and to the target.
The CO2 tanks in the market are neither re-tested nor re-certified and are low maintenance. Also, refilling this tank is relatively cheap compared to the compact yield you get. With a CO2 tank, you’ll be enjoying endless shoots.
However, the rapid expansion of the CO2 also means the cooling process will be just as fast. As such, you may have inconsistent shots. This process may also lead to the formation of a snow-like substance that you may see falling out of the barrel when you shoot. This dry ice may cause mechanical problems with your paintball gun leading to unexpected jamming.
Compressed air paintball tanksAlso called High-Pressure Air (HPA) tanks, this equipment relies on pressurized air of 3000 psi or 4500 psi. You'll use a regulator to control the amount of air coming out of the tank.
Compared to CO2 tanks, professional paintball players prefer HPA tanks because of the pressure consistency that ensures continuous shooting. You can also use HPA tanks in any weather, so the spring, winter, summer, or other seasons will not hinder your thrill. What's more, you get to enjoy the highest velocity with HPA tanks, which means an increased firing rate for better shooting accuracy.
Like CO2 tanks, HPA tanks also come with their drawbacks. Unless you have a nearby pro shop, there’s no other way to refill the tank. HPA tanks are also bulkier than CO2 tanks and are a bit pricy. Further, you need to have the HPA tank hydro re-tested as well as re-certified after every five years.
Factors to consider when buying a paintball tankBefore buying a tank for your paintball gun, you have to take several factors into account depending on your playing style and type of marker. Some of the factors to look out for when shopping for the best tank include:
Type of tankThere’re two types of paintball tanks; compressed air/HPA and CO2. If you want consistent firing pressure that will see the paintballs propelled at the highest velocity, go for HPA tanks.
Although cheaper, CO2 paintball tanks are too heavy and CO2 instability will make shooting inefficient. Just decide to spend a little more to get flawless accuracy for a winning chance on the battlefield.
Make materialPaintball tanks are made from two different materials; aluminum and carbon fiber. If you’re on a budget, the aluminum tank will favor your needs. The whole tank features an aluminum body and it can only hold 3000 psi. An aluminum tank may be a bit heavy to your preference.
Although light and relatively cheap, aluminum is susceptible to dents and is also less durable.
Carbon fiber tanks are the latest innovation as they’re durable, lightweight, and allow for a higher capacity. It can carry about 4,500 psi which gives you more shots per cubic inch. This is an increase of 50% of the shots made by a 3,000 psi aluminum tank.
If you want shooting efficiency, then opt for carbon fiber tanks.
There are also steel tanks that were the earliest invention preferred for a robust and durable material. On the other hand, steel is heavy so it may not be your best option.
WeightWhile on the paintball battlefield, you’ll be carrying around the paintball gun, tank, and other accessories for the game. As such, the lighter each item gets the better for the player. Heavy paintball equipment is tiresome and will drain your paintball energy.
Ultralight/superlight carbon fiber tanks are the lightest tanks you’ll find in the market. What’s fascinating with them is that, besides being lightweight, they come with a high capacity.
Tank sizeWhen looking at the tank’s weight, consider its size too. You don’t want a large tank that’ll be too heavy to carry around on the battlefield. Also, the tank shouldn’t be too small that you’ll need a refill after a few shots.
Paintball tanks are available in a range of sizes which are 50-4500, 68-4500, 77-4500, and 90-4500. For beginners, a 50-4500 tank can hold 50 cubic inches of paintball propelling gas. Of these four sizes, the majority of the professional paintball players opt for the 68-4500. This is the standard tank size because it's medium-capacity, hence lightweight.
Pressure ratingThis is where the tank’s regulator comes in. The pressure output of the tank also matters since it will determine the pressure rating. Although manufacturers make paintball guns that can perfectly handle the pressure, how the output is regulated impacts shooting quality.
While most paintball guns will operate with 450 psi, always look out for the internal regulator as a guide. If the gun doesn't have a regulator, then go for a paintball tank with 300 to 500 psi. This is unless your paintball gun requires a lower operating pressure.
In essence, the tank’s pressure rating should be higher than the gun’s operating pressure. This should keep the pressure levels constant for an awesome paintballing experience. To meet your pressure needs, most paintball tanks have adjustable regulators.
DurabilityYou always want to go for durable equipment when buying anything because they minimize the cost of maintenance, need for an upgrade, and inefficiency.
When buying a paintball tank, look out for the sturdiness of the model and how durable it is. This is because you'll be dealing with harsh environmental conditions and moving in tough terrains. As such, you want a tank that can withstand wear and tear.
ProtectionPaintball tanks are an expensive investment, so you need to protect them properly for increased use of life. You’ll find a variety of covers as well as grips that will keep your tank from getting scratches, dents, and bumps.
Popular paintball tank brands
There’re plenty of paintball tank brands in the market and it’s your responsibility to determine which model best meets your needs. Look for a tank that will optimize the shooting ability of the paintball gun for firing efficiency. To achieve this, different manufacturers use varying features that also display uniqueness.
Some of the brands you’ll come across are:
- HK Army
- First Strike Hero
Be sure to check out the user reviews of each brand to determine how efficient it is in the field. Go for brands that are reliable since they’ll improve your gameplay!
How well you play in a paintball game depends on the quality of your gear and equipment. Even if you have an A-class paintball gun and your paintball tank is poor useless, then get ready for a defeat! This goes to show the significance of acquiring advanced equipment that will optimize your performance.
Get a lightweight and compact tank for ease of portability despite the roughness of the terrain. Carbon fiber-made HPA tanks are the best available option because they have modernized functionality. You’ll be getting lightness, increased air output, high holding capacity, and shooting accuracy.
Why get a cheap, low-quality paintball tank that'll limit the fun you should be having on the battlefield? Even if you're on a budget, there're plenty of affordable top-quality tanks out there. All you need is a keen eye for detail and time to conduct thorough market research!