If you are new to paintball, then you will need the help of this guide when choosing the right paintball hopper for yourself. It is not enough to just purchase a paintball gun and then start playing paintball games with your family and friends. You need to be sure that you have the right equipment for your gun as well. A hopper is one of those components which holds the paintballs while you’re playing and then loads them when you need more balls to shoot. If you choose a big hopper, then it can hold more paintballs than a small hopper. However, there is still more to consider than that when shopping for a hopper. We will go over the best paintball hoppers that are available and how each one can be beneficial to a player who needs it. These all go great in high-quality gear bags.
Best Paintball Hoppers Review List
Virtue Spire 200
The Virtue Spire 200 is the most expensive hopper mentioned in this guide. However, an investment in this hopper may be worth it if you’re an expert player or medium-level player. There are lots of color choices available for this hopper, so you are bound to find one that is the same color as your marker.
One great feature of the Virtue Spire 200 is that it has a much higher capacity than most other hoppers. It can hold as many as 200 paintballs at a time. This will let you unleash a wave of firepower in the middle of a paintball gun battle. Another thing people really like about the Virtue Spire 200 is that the release does not require a tool to use. This means you can quickly remove the hopper in the middle of a heavy gun battle. The anti-jam drive is loaded with a spring and has a flexible cycle paddle which reduces the chances of paintballs breaking. The hopper is extremely durable and should last you a long time. It is also comfortable and lightweight so that your marker will still feel light after the hopper is installed. Then you can move quickly because this is one of the best hoppers available.
The HK TFX is a professional grade paintball hopper that loads paintballs very quickly. It can load as many as 22 paintballs in a single minute. Most comparable hoppers will jam at a rate this high, but not the HK TFX. There are many colors available for this hopper. Since it only weighs a couple of ounces, you’ll be able to move quickly on the field with this hopper in your marker. If you need to remove the hopper or put it back in, that process is also quick and easy as well. All competitive players with starter hoppers will find that upgrading to an HK TFX is much better for them.
Empire Prophecy Z2
The Empire Prophecy Z2 is the cheapest hopper listed here. That doesn’t mean the quality is bad, though. The Z2 is actually very durable because its materials are high quality. Even though there aren’t too many color choices, it is still a very attractive hopper and goes perfectly with most markers. The best part is the Z2 can hold as many as 200 paintballs at once. If you’re going into a competition that lasts a long time, then you won’t have to reload that much with this hopper in your gun.
The Z2 does not weigh much either and is considered to be low profile. This means you can move freely and quickly without the hopper slowing you down on the field. Another awesome feature is that it is sound activated. So, after each time you shoot, a new paintball gets pushed into the chamber of the marker. As a result, shooting can be super quick which will come in handy when under heavy attack. If you need a hopper that is mid-range and affordable, the Empire Prophecy Z2 will not disappoint. It is one of the best of the hoppers reviewed. This is one of the best paintball hoppers on our list so take note of that.
After you pick a hopper, the next thing is to pick a carrying case for it. It all depends on the size of the hopper. One universal loading case called the “Exalt Carbon Case” is the best product for keeping your hopper in when you’re not using it in your marker. The case is heavy duty and extremely durable because of the strong materials it is made from. Your hopper will stay safe and secure while you’re on the move.
You can choose from 3 different hopper levels. New players start at the beginner hopper level. Once they get some experience, they advance to a mid-range hopper level. If a player thinks they’re experienced and professional enough, they’ll go for the high-range hopper level. The high-range costs extra and is good for competitions. Let’s look at these hopper levels further.
When the sport of paintball first came out, the beginner level hoppers were all there was. They are simple to use and are inexpensive, which makes them popular today amongst novices. There are two kinds of hoppers at this level.
The first is the gravity-feed hopper which you’ll probably see most players using. For the paintballs to be fed to the gun, gravity is utilized to make this happen. The good thing about using gravity is that it does not require any power source to make it happen. However, it can only feed around 8 balls in one minute, making it a very slow hopper. That is why experienced players choose to upgrade.
The second is the electronic hopper which uses an electronic agitator that makes the paintballs get loaded into the marker by force. You can load up to 16 balls in a minute with this hopper, which is twice as much as the gravity hopper. The only downside is that the electronic hopper runs on a battery which can drain quickly.
The mid-range hoppers will be more expensive, but they are also more advanced in their features and capabilities. It is great for those who are ready to advance their gameplay and become a more competitive player. Below are the three most common types of mid-range hoppers.
The first is the sound activated hopper. It is equipped with a microphone that is hooked up to the release mechanism. Each time you shoot a paintball out, the noise triggers the mechanism to release another ball. As a result, you can shoot a lot more quickly. You can get up to 20 balls fed in a single minute with this hopper.
The second is the eye activated hopper. This lets you see the number of balls that are in the tube. If you have a full tube, the motor turns off. If the tube is empty, the motor turns on and more balls enter. This hopper also allows as many as 20 balls in a single minute to be fed.
The third is the cyclone activated hopper. They rely on the gas of the gun to feed paintballs into the marker. The good thing about this is that you don’t need battery power. You can get up to 15 balls in a single minute fed into the marker. The hopper even reduces the chances of balls breaking.
Only professional players who are serious about paintball will want a high-end hopper. They are expensive but will do a good job in a competition. The paintballs get pushed into the marker with a force-fed mechanical system. An impeller will grab the balls and push them quickly into the marker. You may even get up to 50 balls fed in a single minute. You won’t find a hopper faster than this. These types are some of the most popular hoppers on the market.
How to Shop for a Hopper
There are some questions you should ask yourself while shopping for a hopper. Below are the most common questions.
What is your competitive level?
If you play paintball very rarely then just go with a beginner hopper level. They are simple to use and very reliable. They are not too expensive either. On the other hand, if you play paintball every week then go with a mid-level range hopper instead. This will give you a leg up on the battlefield against your friends. But, if you want to enter some serious competitions then choose the high-end hopper level and go all out.
Will the hopper fit in my gun?
The majority of hoppers are compatible with most paintball guns. However, there may be some that are not compatible. It is best to check with the company and see if your gun is compatible with the hopper they are selling.
Does it hold many paintballs?
If you want your hopper to be able to hold a lot of paintballs, then make sure it can hold a minimum of 100 paintballs. Then you won’t have to stop frequently for a hopper reload. A high-end level hopper can have as many as 200 paintballs.
Is The Hopper Heavy?
If you have a heavy hopper, then it will slow you down while you’re on the go. That is why you’ll want a lightweight hopper that is still durable. Otherwise, your muscles will get too tired while you’re playing.
What are the best qualities in a hopper?
- The hopper size is very important. It should be able to hold a minimum of 50 paintballs. Professional players may want it to hold a minimum of 100 paintballs. That way, you can continue to shoot your marker as your enemies have to reload.
- The hopper should weigh under a couple of pounds.
- If you care about the appearance of your marker, then you’ll want a hopper that has the same color and design as your gun. Quality materials are also important.
- You need a hopper that you are comfortable with during a game. It must coincide with your style of shooting.
- If you have a quick trigger finger, you need a hopper that can match the rate of fire which you desire. In this case, a mid or high-end range might be best.
- You need a hopper that is durable and can withstand bad weather and light abuse from a battle. Durable materials will also help it last a long time as well.
- Look for a hopper that comes with a 30-day warranty.
- Make sure you set a budget for yourself before purchasing a hopper because it is a very important piece of paintball gear.
Our paintball gun review guide will teach you which markers comes with the solid hoppers.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com