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Finding the best paintball hopper can be fairly tricky, depending on your situation.
The right equipment is essential to any new endeavor you choose to jump into.
That is true when entering the world of paintball.
Having the best equipment and the right equipment tailored to your style of play is essential.
It could be the defining factor between looking like just another newbie or being able to hang with the seasoned vets.
The marker is required but perhaps just as important is the loader, A.K.A. the hopper. Ensuring that you have the right rate of fire and the capacity to make it through the entire game is vital.
In this guide, we will talk about what you should look for when purchasing that hopper and give you a few of the best choices for specific situations.
So, let’s jump in and make sure you come out the hero of your next MilSim game.
Best Paintball Hoppers Buyers Guide
There are so many factors to consider when building your paintball kit, and the hopper should never be the last thing on that list.
The hopper can be that touch that gives you the edge.
Even with the hopper though there are many considerations after all you don’t want to buy the wrong one.
That would only mean wasted money and regret when you can’t get out there on the field with your squad.
Let’s look at some of the most important things to think about as you begin your search for the perfect paintball hopper.
Depending on the MilSim scenario you find your self in, you may need ammo.
The capacity of your hopper is key to being victorious when on the field.
With capacities ranging from 50 paintballs up to 200+ the hopper, you must choose wisely.
Your choice could be the difference between wasting time on the field reloading every 5 minutes or being able to play straight through.
So, when you choose your hopper to think about how many balls you will need to make your game a smooth and fun outing.
There are two different models of hopper, and depending on your marker, each has its benefits.
The Gravity feed hoppers are great for beginners and use gravity to load the paintballs into the firing chamber.
Though the gravity feed hoppers offer a low feed rate, they are highly durable.
And like mentioned before it is excellent for the MilSim player that is just starting out.
The electronic type uses as its name indicates electricity powered by a battery.
This hopper is good for more seasoned players or ones that are looking for a rapid-fire feed.
Size and Weight
Your paintball hoppers size and weight are crucial to consider.
You may want a high capacity hopper to allow rapid fire and the ability to spray the field with balls.
But the weight and size could be detrimental to your overall game.
The more weight and size that your hopper gives you means fewer stealth capabilities and a lessened field of view.
The good thing is that in the past few years companies have realized this.
These companies have made many models that offer lightweight construction.
They are paying closer attention to the player’s line of sight.
Type of Use
Type of use can mean two things.
First, let’s talk about where you are in your MilSim career.
If you are an every now a then player, then the less expensive and one better suited for beginners may be the hopper you should invest in.
If, however, you are a weekend warrior, then invest in a little more in your hopper will be a good thing to do.
Now the second type of use meaning is what kind of game you play.
If you are a more controlled stealth operative, then the lower capacity, more accurate loader may be all you need.
On the other hand, if you are a gun blazing kind of player, then that opens a whole additional hopper that would be best for you.
Purchasing a hopper that does not work with your marker model is a huge problem.
Most hoppers are universal, or at the very least, you can convert them to fit many markers models.
The compatibility with your paintball gun is still essential.
Not only at the feed neck but also with the build of your model.
So, make sure you know what feed capability your marker can accept.
This way, you can keep from regretting when you go to arm yourself and realize you have the wrong hopper.
Paintball Hopper Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best paintball hopper?
You must consider all the aspects we just looked at in the above section.
To make the proper selection, you must look at all the factors above plus what style you are playing.
Research the hoppers and look for the one that fits your needs the best.
What does a paintball hopper do?
The hopper is a mechanism that connects to the paintball gun where you load the paintballs.
You store them in the hopper before they go into the firing chamber of the marker.
Some people also call it the loader.
How does a paintball hopper work?
The paintball hopper has two operating systems.
The first is a gravity feed, and this model uses gravity to allow the paintball to drop into the markers chamber.
The other option of the hopper is an electronic feed.
Electronic feed hoppers have the same basic principle in the workings, except it is battery-powered.
Are paintball hoppers universal?
For the last decade, the hopper has become almost universal.
Though you may need a feed adjuster if your marker is less than ten years old, it is a good bet that the hoper you buy will work with your model.
Just make sure you read the manual to keep from buying the wrong one and leaving yourself frustrated.
Breakdown of Each Paintball Hopper
Now that you know what to look for and have answers to a few of the fundamental questions let’s look at some of the best hoppers for specific categories.
Virtue Spire III
The Virtue Spire III is an outstanding all-around paintball hopper.
The electronic paintball hopper offers a fantastic choice which operates at the highest level of performance.
This hopper is durable and well designed.
Uniting the entire shell with one hinge gives it an even higher level of durability that will make any MilSim player smile.
That smile will only get wider when the paintballer realizes that the capacity of this hopper comes available in two amounts (220 or 280 round capacity).
Though some may think that means that this hopper adds to much weight to your kit because of this capacity, they would be wrong.
The Virtue Spire III is a high-quality hopper that gives you all the benefits mentioned plus:
- No tools needed for disassembly
- Jam proof feed
- Reload alarm w/ LED indicator
- Performance that deals with brittle paint
- A sensor that is shock mounted
The quick assembly and disassembly make the Virtue Spire II easy to maintain and with the durability of construction this hopper will have a long life.
All that plus the fantastic features and benefits makes this the best overall hopper.
So, if you are looking for high performance and investment that won’t leave you in a fit of regret, then this is the one for you.
- Disassemble is easy
- Difficult color kit installation
The Dye LT-R finds itself with the best hopper for the money moniker for many reasons.
This hopper is lightweight and allows the player a freedom of mobility.
The overall unit comes in just over one pound.
With that alone, this hopper is well worth a look, but when you look at all the extra things, it brings us to the game, you will know that this is the hopper for you.
For the low price of purchase of $100, you get a quality piece of kit and one that will enhance your game to a whole new level.
Some of those additional benefits include:
- 200 ball capacity
- The patented motor that helps with paintball breakage
- Trigger that is anti-jam
- Color kit available
- Powered by x3 AA batteries
- Battery efficiency (up to 100,000 shots/ installation)
- Water resistant
- Settings for torque are modifiable
- 30+ BPS
The Dye LT-R is great for any level of experience because it brings not only durability but a high level of performance.
Even better than that it is not an expensive investment, which means that you will truly get the most bang for your buck.
- Battery efficiency
- Speed feed not included
- Noise levels
Dye Precision Rotor
The Dye Precision Rotor is another entry om the best paintball hopper for the folks over at Dye.
Though there are a lot of electronic hoppers out there that offer the player various speed options, the Precision Rotor brings with it an enhanced level of performance that makes it stand out above most of its competition.
This hopper has found its way into the tournament world and is excellent for woodsball as well because of the high-quality functionality and the sturdy construction.
The hopper specs speak for themselves and include:
- 30+ FPS
- Durable construction
- No tools required to disassemble
- A mechanism to decrease jamming
- Circuit board that is water resistant
- Torque that is modifiable
- 200-round capacity
- LED gauge
- Powered by x3 AA batteries (not included)
- Stealth features available
If you are looking for a hopper that can survive the rough and tumble world of tournaments or woodsball play, then the Dye Precision Rotor is one of the options you should look at.
With its high level of performance in addition to the durability, many seasoned players rely on it to ensure their victory.
- Excellent feed rate
- Anti-jam system
The G.I.Sportz LVL is a hopper that finds itself in the mid-range category but is the best option for the beginner paintballer.
The limited weight addition to your kit and the fact it operates at a low profile which increases your line of sight can help even the newest newbie on the field look like a more experienced player.
With the ease of movement and the ability to have increased accuracy due to the better field of view means a better showing on the MilSim field.
But those are not the only reasons that the beginner paintballer should look at the G.I. Sportz, it is also crafted to be highly durable, which makes it an excellent investment.
Some of the other assets it brings to the table are:
- Easily adjustable speed rates (15+ balls per second)
- High round capacity (200+)
- Decreased chance of clogging with an anti-jam system
- Good with fragile paint
- A lid to keep the rain out
- LED gauges
- Easy stripping and reassemble for maintenance
The G.I. Sportz is the best paintball for beginners because it offers excellent performance wrapped in a sturdy construction.
This hopper can be a great and long-lasting investment that still create a look for your marker that says that you are ready for battle.
- Lightweight and low profile
- Easy Maintenance
- Feed efficiency
- Level of noise
Dye Precision R2
The Dye Precision R2 is a hopper designed for speed.
Like the Porsche of the paintball hopper world, this hopper is the best choice for speedball.
With its lightweight construction, it adds little to no weight to your marker, meaning that you can move stealthier and at an enhanced speed as well.
With high capacity in addition to its lack of weight, the Dye Precision R2 is perfect for the paintballer looking to make a good showing in the latest speedball game.
Along with the high capacity and lightweight construction, this hopper also brings to the game:
- Adjustable round capacity (200 to 260 paintballs)
- Wider mouth (+15%)
- Toolless assembly/disassembly
- 30+ BPS
- 80,000+ shots on x3 AA batteries
- Easy to see battery gauge
- Reload alert system
- Trigger system that allows for easy reloads
The Dye Precision R2 is durable and efficient.
This hopper rapid fire capability and the addition ammo capacity means that the speedball player has the best of both worlds at their hands.
The Dye Precision R2 should be at the top of their list if they want to show the other people on the field they came to play.
- Patented trigger system
- Fast shooting
- Durability of plastic parts
The Virtue Spire is an excellent investment because you get all the great qualities that other Virtue products bring but for a budget-friendly price.
The design of the hopper offers a stylish addition to your marker with its no-frills layout and variety of color choices.
Aside from the fact it is nice to look at, there are performance abilities that add to the appeal of this paintball hopper.
The Virtue Sire has a high round capacity, 200 paintballs, that means that the fun doesn’t have to end so quickly.
Along with these few amazing features, the hopper also affords the player these other cool features and benefits:
- Easy disassembly
- Unlock the hopper with a simple slide
- Decreased risk of jamming
- Paddle built on the flex cycle model reduces the chance of breaking
- A good field of view
- Comfortable, lightweight and durable construction
- Reduced noise
- Good feed rate
The folks at Virtue have made their focus creating hoppers that offer quality and performance, and with this hopper, they also add the bonus of being budget friendly.
The high round capacity and attention to crafting a lightweight, durable hopper make the low price point that much more attractive.
- Low and comfortable profile
- Disassembly is easy
- Slow Loader
Valken Paintball VSL
The Valken Paintball VSL is a tournament grade hopper that has so many great features there is no wonder we are calling it the best paintball hopper for tournaments.
There are so many cool things about this paintball hopper, but the reason that you will find it on the kit list of many tournament players is the smooth transition between shooting .68 and .50 caliber rounds.
This makes gameplay that smoother and saves valuable time on the field.
Along with this impressive feature, you also get:
- Ammo capacity of 250 rounds
- 15+ BPM rate of fire
- Designed with an unobtrusive capacity extender for longer gameplay
- Constructed with light materials
- Able to deal with soft paint with no jamming due to motor mechanism
- x3 AA batteries power the unit (not included)
- Comes with an easy switch lid to make maintenance easier
- Enhanced stability with a clamping feed neck
This no-frills hopper is perfect for tournaments as it offers just what you need and nothing else.
The high capacity of round and the easy adjustment between calibers makes gameplay smooth and efficient.
No matter what level of experience you have, you will not go wrong with this as your hopper as you enter the game with victory on your mind.
- Large capacity
- Lightweight and durable
- No battery indicator
- Not a lot of frills
HK Army Paintball TFX
The HK Army Paintball TFX means business.
Especially when you are looking to have the best speed feed hopper in the paintball universe.
Not only can you fire at a rate of 22+ BPS, but you have a large ammo capacity of more than 200 rounds.
The lightweight unit gives you speed and power without bogging you down.
But that is not all it brings to the game.
Check out what else you get when you decide to make this you’re go-to:
- Drive system with high-performance sensors
- Rechargeable batteries included
- 30,000+ shot on each battery installation
- Decreased paintball jams due to special paddles
- Compatible with multiple paintballs
- Quick and straightforward disassembly for maintenance
- Constructed to be durable
- Reactive eye sensor
- A USB port and cord for recharging
This hopper is the best speed feed hopper out there, but the HK Army TFX offers so much more than just a high capacity and rapid-fire mechanism.
The durability and ability to recharge through USB mean that you have a high-performance hopper that makes it hard to find any other hopper that rivals it.
- Reactive Eye-sensors
- Continuous Feed
- Opening lid difficult
- LED light may be too bright
Virtue Spire IR Bundle
If you are looking for a little more cost-effective way to ensure you get the best hopper for your needs, you may want to consider the Virtue Spire IP Bundle.
You will get the high-quality Virtue Spire as well as a speed feed (Virtue Crown SE II) and a spring ramp.
Not having to purchase these pieces individually is a great way to streamline your kit purchase.
Along with the included parts, you will get all these features and benefits:
- Lightweight, durable construction
- Sensors that ensure a smooth loading process
- Anti-jam tech
- Reduced noise
The bundle is a great way to ensure you get all the key components to make you markers hopper the most effective, though it is a great deal some may think that the price tag is a little high for what they are getting.
In the end, though the pros far outweigh the cons and that is why this the best hopper bundle option for you.
- Lightweight construction
- Anti-jam technology
- Low feed rate
With all the information laid out in this guide hopefully you feel a little better versed in what to look for in the perfect hopper for your needs.
The perfect hopper is out there for you.
And now you know which one it is or at the very least what to look for when scrolling through the massive amount of options available to you.
There is no way now that you will end up buying the wrong hopper, so get out there and get your paintball on!