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There are many factors that could lead to a victorious outing on that paintball field! Many of which have to do with the kit you have decided to build and some vital parts of that it is your paintball pods and pack. With the ability to carry more ammo you will be set for a long play or even rapid-fire play and that will show the seasoned players on that milsim field that you came with victory in mind.
In this guide, we will cover almost everything you will need to make the right choice when you begin your hunt for the right pods and pack to use on your next paintball excursion. Plus, breakdown some of the paintball packs and pods that are the best available today and give you a little idea of where each shine. So how about we get to talking about how to find the right pods and packs for you and your gaming needs.
Best Paintball Pods & Packs Buyer’s Guide
You want more ammo capacity but still want a piece of equipment that is comfortable and durable. The first thing we should really differentiate between is what each of these pieces of kit is. Then we will dive into the attributes that you should most consider when scouring through the vast ocean of choices available to you.
A paintball pack (a.k.a harness) is a belt or vest that fits around your body that allows you to carry extra pods or magazines for your marker. They come in many styles like vertical, horizontal, or belt pouch.
Paintball pods are sometimes called paintball tubes and are plastic cylinders that you load with paintballs. These plastic tubes come in a variety of capacities and shapes, but all have spring loaded tops for easy loading.
So now that you know the basics of each let dive into those attributes.
With any type of equipment, you are going to add to your paintball kit you need to consider how much weight it is going to add. More weight means less speed and maneuverability so depending on what you are looking for and the style of play you are into the weight you will be adding is a key component of which pack and pods you will be the right ones for you.
This attribute has more to do with the pods than the pack, but even with that thinking about the caliber of marker you will be using can be important to that as well. With paintballs, there are a few different calibers and making sure your pods are compatible with the caliber size and the capacity you will need to house them is vital when choosing your pods. This then affects the size of the pack as the larger the pods the fewer options available to you.
So, with the pack and pod, the intention behind your purpose is very important. Are you looking for a pack and pods that will compatible with multiple styles of play or are you looking for one specifically for one? For instance, if you are a speedball player you may want a pack that offers a quick release of the pods and has a high capacity. Whereas if you are playing woodsball you may want one that is low profile so that you don’t get caught up as well as one that offers a lot of comfort for lengthier play. So, as you see the purpose that you are getting this pack and pod can help you narrow down your choices.
Level of Experience
This is important to consider when it comes to how much you want to spend on the pods and packs as well as how much you need from them. If you are a new player getting one of the basic packs with little to no extra frills may be advisable. Whereas if you are a seasoned milsim veteran having all those extra features may take your game to the next level.
With these few guidelines, you will be able to discern which paintball pack and pods are the right ones for your individual needs.
Paintball Pod & Pack Frequently Asked Questions
With any new foray, there are bound to be a few questions that pop into your mind and below we have taken the time to answer a few of the most commonly asked questions about paintball pods and packs.
How Does a Paintball Pod & Pack Work?
Paintball pods are plastic tubes that you can load extra paintballs into. These canisters usually use some sort of spring-loaded lid and once filled you close it tightly. Now they are ready to be placed in your paintball pack and when you are in the heat of battle and low on ammo you pop the top and fill your hopper. Or for the smaller tubes, you simply mount into the hopper opening on your marker.
The paintball packs are pieces you wear that once those pods are full you place them in the holders for easy carry of extra ammo. The way they work to do this depends on the type of harness you purchase.
Are Paintball Pods & Packs Good?
No matter what style of play you are into having extra ammo handy is a plus. So, if you are really considering whether you should go ahead and purchase that pack and pods most seasoned vets on that field would say yes, they are good to have. In fact, having them can elevate your game to an all new level and make sure that those seasoned paintball soldiers know you aren’t just some rookie recruit.
How Much Does a Paintball Pod & Pack Cost?
Budget is always a concern when venturing into or maintains a hobby. Paintball can be a bit expensive but not when it comes to the paintball pods. Most of these range anywhere from as low as $2 up to $20 depending on the quantity and brand.
Now for the paintball pack, the price raises a little and typically can range from $15 to $100. Once again, the price depends on the brand, size and special features.
How to Load a Paintball Pod & Pack?
Here are the steps that much professional paintball enthusiasts suggest for loading your pods:
- Open paintball bag with a pod size hole on either side
- Then take the open pod and fit into the hole
- Hold pod firmly and flip bag upside down letting paintballs fill the body of the pod
- Place a hand over the opening and gently shake to let pods settle
- Add until you have an even fill and there is no sound when jiggles.
Now as for the pack the method of loading depends on the individual model you have chosen to go with. There are top loading and bottom loading. There are some models that use Velcro straps to keep pods in place and some that have actual pockets.
Where do I buy a paintball Pod & Pack?
There are many online outlets that specialize in paintball equipment and accessories. You can also visit brick and mortar sporting goods stores as well.
Are Paintball Pods & Packs Worth It?
Whether the purchase of paintball pods and pack is worth it is really all about how much money you want to spend and how dedicated you are to this sport. If you plan to make this a continuous outing for you then having the capacity to carry extra ammo and do it comfortably is well worth the investment. But if you are just a sporadic player then perhaps this expenditure is one that you can skip.
Breakdown of Each Paintball Pod & Pack
Now you have the lowdown on how to pick your pods and pack let’s take a deeper look at some of the best paintball pods and packs on the market.
Dye is one of the big names in paintball and has maintained their attention to crafting durable and efficient paintball equipment with the Alpha 150 Round Pods. These fantastic pods come with some great features like:
- Durable solid construction with high-grade plastic
- Enhanced grip and ergonomic design
- Tabs designed to securely fasten pods
- Extended capacity (150 rounds)
- Available in 1 or 6 pod sets
The biggest thing about these pods from Dye that stands out is the enhanced grip achieved from their unique design. Being able to grab these pods and not worry about dropping them is a nice feature that will save you tons of hassle in the field. Plus let’s be honest the more ammo you have the longer play you get and so the high capacity is a spectacular addition to an already awesome pod. Another cool thing about the construction is the solid color construction which means that there is no adapter needed. Now there are a few concerns we need to address. Many reviews complain of weak hinges that break easily and do not stand up to slides. Another common complaint is that this pod is not compatible with all markers.
The pluses far outweigh the few negatives of which neither is a universal issue. This means if you are not concerned with them and more concerned with having a better and more comfortable grip to increase your loading time then purchasing the Dye Alpha pods may be the right choice for you.
Pro: No adapter needed
Pro: High capacity
Con: Some trouble with weak lid hinges
Con: Not compatible with all markers
Okay so we have looked a large capacity pod and now we are going to look at the other end of the spectrum. Sometimes you may not need high capacity and you just want a few extra paintballs on you to make sure you got yours and your squads back. Then a small capacity like the GxG 6 speed tube could be the answer to all your wishes. These tubes:
- Are constructed with super strength plastic
- Have lids that are designed to flip and lock
For such a small package the price is a little on the high end, but that does not detract from all the benefits that these speed tubes will lend to your performance. When all you need is an extra 100 rounds these pods are the ones for you. Durably built to take any level of play you get into these compact designed tubes will make sure you have just the right amount of ammo.
Pro: Compact design
You do not want to be out in the field about to snatch victory and look down to find out you are out of ammo. So, making sure you are stocked up with paintballs is a key component of your battlefield success and with the high capacity Maddog Bones Pods you will be set. The team at Maddog certainly thought of everything:
- Flip top is specially designed with a spring-loaded mechanism
- Large capacity (150 rounds)
- Raised grips with a thumb indention for rapid reload without looking
- Durable solid construction with no collar
- Crafted in high-grade plastic
The Maddog bone grip pods are what you need if you are in the heat of battle. Having the ability to keep your eye on the target and still reload is a valuable time and game saver. Everything about the design of these pods screams winner. The durability is A- number one as well which means that you can feel free to play as hard as you like without worrying about your pods breaking and you lose the advantage of that additional ammo. The size is a concern and though it is compatible with most basic packs there are a few that its width is an issue for. The only other thing about these pods that could possibly deter you from this smart purchase is the price. But you get what you pay for, right?
Con: Too wide for some packs
This last pod on our list is a uniquely designed press flick locking one from Virtue. This unique feature helps to lessen the chances of spilling your ammo and ending up out of the game. With the PF 165 you get:
- Compact size to make your pack smaller
- High capacity (165 rounds)
- Designed with a press and flick lid
- Lid locks
- Enhanced sized durable pin and hinge
Paintball is a rigorous sport and though many may not think that the durability of your ammo storage unit is important, it certainly is. With the Virtue 165 pod, you get a well designed and sturdy piece of equipment that will speed up your loading process allowing more time for spraying some paint. Now there are a few issues that some reviews have complained about. Quite a few players like the concept of the flicking lock but say that where it is you often will hit it as you are removing it from your pack or vest leading to spilled paintballs. Now for the price that you pay many players to feel that this small issue is one reason why choosing another pod may be the way to go.
Pro: Speed of reloading
Con: Lid lock button is easy to hit when removing from the vest
If you do not want a whole vest, then a pack is perfect for you. You will get the extra ammo capacity with the added bulk and one of the best choices for your milsim needs is the Valken 6+1 harness. This harness comes with the following features:
- Crafted in durable nylon
- Capable of carrying 6 pods and 1 tank
- Wrap closure with a high-quality Velcro tab
- Elastic side panel that is designed with dual-layered nylon tabs
- Ability to add suspender with the built-in d-rings
Deep in a milsim game, you want to be able to have extra ammo and the means by which to fire that ammo, so this harness that allows you to carry multiple pods plus a tank is a great choice. From the team at Vaken, this 6+1 harness is durable and affords its wearer all the ease of motion needed when in the field. This harness is fantastic though some players have complained about the dual strap design leaves adjustability to a minimum. The addition of a side pocket for your incidentals is a nice touch as well but it is far from a secure pocket so make sure that you do not put any important things in it. After all, you crawl and slide and kneel all day things are bound to pop out. If you can overlook the few reported design flaws and you should (you get high round capacity and durability in the end) then the Valken 6+1 harness could be just what you are looking for
Pro: Carry pods and tank
Con: Single strap
Con: Extra pouch not secure
The rate of reloading is directly correlated to surviving in the field. Getting caught with your pants down (reloading) while during battle is something everyone wants to avoid and the Bunkerkings V5 is a strapless harness that will ensure this does not happen to you. With this pack, Bunkerkings have designed a harness with features that elevate this rig above many of its peers. Features like:
- Increased comfort with back bonders and a layer of neoprene at the waist
- Elevated patent pending pod security system for less bounce
- Enhanced ergonomic comfort with increased elasticity
- No strap load and unloading
- Improved air flow with padded mesh and perforated foam
- Easy to adjust with the lightweight tension bands
- Huggers for friction that attack too form of your waist
- High-grade Velcro straps
This harness designed by paintballers for paintballers is by far one of the best strapless packs available today. The ease of use and versatility of this pack is the thing that makes this harness so successful and efficient. The ability to adjust the fit to your need and compatibility with multiple styles of pod means that you are ready for anything. So, when you look at the price tag be ready to be shocked for everything you get from this pack you would think you would be paying much more than you will. Now it does run small so make sure to consider upping your size and some players have complained about the pods being difficult to remove but that is not a global concern. So, if you can overlook the small drawbacks, we just mentioned this pack from the Bunkerkings could be the right fit for you.
Pro: Compatible with different pod types
Con: Fits small
Con: Pods difficult to draw
In order to get a nice lightweight strapless pack, the team at Carbon took the SC paintball harness back to the basics. Minimizing the excess frills that some of the other strapless harnesses bring to the paintballer allowed them to focus on comfort and support. This pack has all these great features:
- Designed to be extremely lightweight
- Customizable support with the built-in the adjustable airbag
- Low profile from the patent-pending tube ejectors
- Increased air flow with ventilated waistband and back cushion
- Decreased slippage with silicone coated back pad
- Available in multiple capacities (4+5,3+4 & 5+6)
For the paintballer with back issues, this harness means that they can enjoy the game and not end up in traction after a long game. With detailed attention to creating comfortable and customizable wear, the Carbon Sc harness is a well-designed low-profile piece of equipment that could be the exact thing to let you enjoy your entire milsim experience. Be warned though it does run small and that when throwing it in the washer you may want to make sure it goes in with like colors. Other than those few cons the rest is all positive especially for those paintballers that have back issues or are trying to keep from having them.
Pro: Low profile
Con: May bleed in laundry
Con: Runs small
The game of speedball is all about the rate of fire and that means that the rate of reloading is key. That is why if your game is speedball than the Dye Precision Assault pack with its handles made for quick release is perfect. This pack has many other amazing attributes that will enhance your game performance. Attributes like:
- Built-in system to lessen the movement of the pack
- Ejector loops and release handles that are designed for quick release
- Multiple capacities available
- Designed to conform to your frame
- Expandable waist (up to 40”)
- Multi-way straps that are adjustable
Being able to reload quickly and move with ease is a key component for a successful speedball adventure. With the Precision Assault pack, Dye has crafted a harness that makes keeping the paintballs flying easier. With precision reloading and a lightweight profile, your maneuverability is enhanced beyond your wildest dreams. With the adjustability combined with these amazing features, this pack shines above many others of its kind. The bad thing is that is you are larger than a 40” waist this pack will not accommodate your waist. Other than that, the straps have been said to be to thin for some players. If you can fit this pack and are into speedball then the features that shine far outweigh the ones that don’t.
Pro: Quick release loops
Pro: Lightweight and adjustable
Con: Straps are thin
Con: Not good for above 40” waist
There will be sweat! At least if you are playing the right way there will be (or live in a hot humid climate) and so ventilation can be an important thing to consider when looking for the right pack for you. The Dye Jet Pack Harness is a great choice if this is your key concern. This pack achieves an elevated level of airflow with its ventilated straps, but there are other pluses to this pack. Pluses achieved by these features:
- Elastic loops with pull tabs designed for quick ejecting of pods
- Decreased slippage from rubberized material used in construction
- Adjustable size (up to 44” waist)
The only drawback of this harness is that some people have complained about electing the pods is a little on the difficult side, but other than that this pack from Dye has a lot going for it. It is comfortable and lightweight meaning less heft to make you sweat and affect your mobility. This harness is great for the player concerned with airflow and breathability. With the addition of ventilated side straps, this pack can be said to have an enhanced ventilation system that can lessen sweat and chance of irritating skin from friction.
Pro: Ventilated straps
Pro: Lightweight design
Con: Difficult to eject pods
Be the hero on the field! That is what your goal is right? What better way than to show up for your first battle armed with enough ammo to take down your enemies and look good doing it. With the Maddog Pro Paintball Pod Pack, you can do that and so much more. Check out all the cool features you get with this pack:
- Crafted with 100% Cordura for durability
- Pod ejection system equipped with elastic loops
- Body of pack created with high-grade nylon and stitching that is reinforced
- Ability to be used with all standard pods
- Designed with a vertical pod that uses gravity for easy reloading
- Increased security with high-performance Velcro closures
- Available in multiple sizes
You want to hit the field and fit right in with the seasoned vets and this pack is perfect for that. Equipped with heavy ammo capacity and durability the Maddog Pro Pod pack will ensure a successful foray into the milsim world. Even with the occasional online review that complains of weak stitching, the Pro Pack offers so much adjustability, durability, and ammo capacity that a recruit could easily overlook this potential issue.
Con: Some reviews complain of weak stitching
Making a harness comfortable is the focus of many companies in the paintball industry and many achieve a certain level of comfort but none like the HK Army did with their Zero-G harness. The specialized tension control system and enhanced level of lumbar support from the back padding this pack raised the bar on comfort. It is not the only thing about this pack that makes it shine. Features like the ones below increase its functionality:
- Tension system that will hold any size pod securely
- Constructed of durable lightweight materials
- Holsters with built-in compressed foam for more security
- Hip protection with built-in pads
- Waistband adjustability from both sides
- Non Slip lumbar support padding
- Finished with TPR for a clean look
There are very few things that are wrong with this harness. The fact it runs small and the inability to be compatible with large capacity pods are the only ones that seem to be consistent when discussing this pack with paintballers that have purchased it. Neither of which are views held by all the paintballers that have bought this pack. Now the positive attributes seem to be consistent across the board. The adjustability of the ejector loops to fit most pods and the increased support for the lumbar area of the back are things that everyone can agree with. Comfortable is the word of the day when you think of this pack and that can be a very intrinsic part or your game.
Pro: Adjustable pod loops
Con: Not compatible with large capacity pods
Con: Fits small
So, you have decided to be a back player that means you need to be able to spray a lot of paint. That, in turn, means that you need a pack that has a high performing pod ejection system. Well then, the HK Army Eject Harness is perfect for you. This harness comes with these features built in:
- Decreased slippage from slip resistant pad
- Enhanced ventilation from mesh padding
- Holsters for paintball pods that are elastic w/ large pull straps
- Extended ammo capacity
The level of functionality and increased rate of reloading the HK Army Eject pack is an awesome addition to any paintballers kit. Not only does it enhance your overall performance on the field but is also super comfortable. This leaves the paintballer ready to be the conquering hero. But it does run small and is not compatible with some of the larger paintball pods. But if you are willing to trade in versatility for functionality and comfort than perhaps this is the right pack for you after all.
Pro: Good padding
Con: Fit (small)
Con: Not compatible with all sizes or styles of pods
You armed to the teeth now with the knowledge that should make your decision of which of these or any other paintball pods and packs above are the best for you, the ones that will enhance your entire milsim performance to new levels. Making this decision less stressful and riddled with anxiety driven worry is what this guide is intended to do. So now all that’s left for you to do is fill your pods, strap your pack on and be the hero you know you were born to be.