guide-to-airsoft-protective-gear

A guide to
Airsoft Protective Gear

There is no doubt about it, airsoft is a great sport. However, regardless of where you play, it is important to follow the rules and wear the correct protective equipment. Although your airsoft site may only require the bare minimum, there are some items which we always advise you to wear. Without them, any kind of shot could potentially hurt at best, and at worst you could end up with an injury.

While airsoft is generally considered safe, as with any sport or physical activity there are risks involved. Thankfully there’s a whole range of protective gear and equipment designed to help you stay safe and enhance your airsoft experience.
This guide will take you through the various items of protective gear you need, ensuring you are fully prepared and are equipped to give the best performance in your next game.

Airsoft Gloves

Airsoft gloves will protect your hands from shots and potential scratches during gameplay. There are a variety of full finger and fingerless gloves available, so you will be able to choose the most comfortable form of protection for you. Ideally, you should choose full-fingered gloves to provide complete protection should your fingers be hit with a BB during a game.

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Airsoft Goggles & Masks

Players are told never to aim at another player’s face, however, accidental shots and ricochets can happen, and they could potentially result in a serious injury should you be hit directly in the eye. Airsoft goggles or another form of airsoft eye protection are essential. During airsoft play, your eyes are the most vulnerable area, so it’s necessary to protect them. Some players opt for specialised impact resistant glasses, however many opt for masks or goggles which are sealed to keep any shots from getting near your eyes.

Many choose either a full or half-face mask, with full masks offering eye protection and an additional section which protects the rest of the face and neck. The best full masks are those which use breathable fabrics, as this will stop your goggles from clouding up.

In comparison, half-face masks are made from either plastic or wire mesh and will incorporate googles. These are a popular option, with many players choosing items which protect the nose and mouth area. Strong metal or plastic protection will prevent any injuries to your teeth.

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Airsoft ear protection & headsets

Your ears are vulnerable during an airsoft battle, with a side headshot being extremely painful to the ear area. Not only will you experience an immediate ringing pain, but it is also possible that you could suffer from long-lasting damage to your inner ears. If you are unlucky enough for a pellet to directly hit your ear, particularly from close range, it could easily rupture your eardrum. Ear defenders will help to minimise loud noises from the battlefield and allow you to focus, as well as providing physical protection from pellets.

Many helmets are available with built-in ear protection too; however, this is not always included as standard. If you are looking for separate ear defenders, there are options available which are specifically designed for airsoft shooters. These have a low-profile design and an improved level of protection.

Alternatively, there are ear and cheek shields available which can be attached to the accessory rails of your helmet. However, actual ear defenders will fit neatly within your helmet and many offer useful comms features, noise reduction and volume controls so that you can communicate with your team and hear players easily.

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Airsoft helmets

Protecting your head with a helmet or hat is advisable due to the physical nature of airsoft. The actual BBs are unlikely to cause serious injury, however, a direct shot will definitely hurt and could leave a mark without protection. Helmets provide the best protection and are available in a variety of styles to suit your outfit, including black, green and coyote uniform colours. Helmets will also offer head protection should you stumble or fall during the heat of battle.

Although they are mainly designed to provide protection, many players like helmets because they look professional and they can be fitted with additional equipment. For example, you could enhance your game with items such as flashlights and cameras. If this is your intention, we recommend choosing a tactical helmet with the suitable rails for your attachments.

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Airsoft Vests and Rigs

An airsoft vest will provide important protection to the area of your body which is most visible to distant shooters. Many come in the form of plate carriers, which enable the wearer to insert lightweight ceramic plates, or ESAPIs (Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts) into the vest to protect against hits from BBs.

In addition, the vest will act as a chest rig, providing a useful storage area for your ammo, water bottle, radios, and side equipment, without the need for a backpack. It is important to arrange your vest so that it is comfortable and easy to access - make sure the load is evenly dispersed as well. Using MOLLE pouches or a similar system will enable you to configure the storage on your vest exactly as required.

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Knee & elbow pads

Knee pads for airsoft will not only improve comfort when you are kneeling for extended periods, but they will also provide increased protection. Most players will wear two knee pads, but some will choose to only wear a single pad on their dominant knee to reduce the harshness of gameplay.

Elbow pads also similarly help to protect the joints from knocks when you’re involved in a skirmish, whether to guard against shots or offer protection when lying down, or should you fall.

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Tactical Clothing

There are many items which fall into the tactical clothing category, including boots, jackets, and trousers. You may have already heard the term Battle Dress Uniform (BDU), which is used to describe the clothing you wear.

When it comes to the actual clothes you choose, they should be as comfortable and hard-wearing as possible, whilst also providing protection from the physically demanding match. Imagine a game - it is likely you will be running over uneven ground, crawling through undergrowth or diving for cover. With this image in mind, try to plan your ideal BDU.

Thick clothing such as jeans and long-sleeved jumpers are fine, but regular players often purchase specialised camouflage clothing or combat clothing like trousers and shirts. These items are designed to provide protection, so are naturally made of thicker materials and they will also help you to hide from attackers.

The right tactical clothing will also wick sweat and enable you to maintain an ideal temperature in either hot or cold environments, as well as preventing chafing to ensure you aren’t distracted from the game due to discomfort.

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Tactical Boots

As anyone who has served in the armed forces will tell you, looking after your feet is vital. When it comes to footwear, we always recommend wearing a good pair of tactical boots to play airsoft. If you are playing in mud or on rugged terrain, boots will provide the most protection and comfort. In comparison to shoes, boots will offer improved ankle support and better traction.

Mobility is important during a skirmish, and the last thing any player wants is to have to retire from the game because of a twisted or sprained ankle. Wearing tactical boots will help to support and protect your whole foot and ankle area, allowing you to run, jump, climb or crouch as needed. They’ll also protect you from impacts, blisters and grazes which can detract from the playing experience. The added traction will also mean you’re less likely to slip, which can be particularly important during wet or damp conditions.

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Be prepared & enjoy your game

Going into battle begins with having the right protection to ensure that you don’t need to worry about getting injured while you’re playing airsoft. While the sport is generally safe, but being prepared for the worst is the best way to avoid any long lasting damage should accidents happen.

Whether you are a beginner seeking your first match or an experienced player looking for some great kit, we are happy to advise on the best protection for you. To find out more, please contact our team today.