What is the Best Paintball CO2 Tank Size for Your Needs and Style

paintball co2 tank

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The size of a paintball CO2 tank plays a crucial role in all paintball games. Finding the perfect size that fits an individual’s needs and playing approach is a battle of its own. Some need to have several tries of trial and error before settling on a paintball CO2 tank that satisfies their needs.

So, what is the best size that fits your needs? It depends on a person’s height and game style. Read more to know more!

What are Paintball CO2 Tanks?

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most affordable source to power a paintball gun. It powers the marker and is usually used when a player uses a mechanical paintball marker void of any internal electronic components. For those with electronic components, a compressed air tank works better. Using CO2 can only lead to fast wearing out of the equipment.

CO2 tanks house the carbon dioxide to ensure that the paintball player has enough supply while playing. Since carbon dioxide is sensitive to temperature and gas when it is in its natural form, it needs to be cooled and condensed so you can use it in its liquid form. CO2 tanks are aluminum, steel, or carbon fiber.

Parts of a Paintball CO2 Tank

A paintball CO2 tank consists of mainly two parts: the threads and the o-ring.

Threads are the ones that secure the attachment of the paintball CO2 tank to the marker. Tanks should be detached whenever you need to refill the CO2.

The o-ring, on the other hand, is the seal between the marker and the thread. It gives a tight and leak-proof closure to ensure that no spills happen. It ensures the proper flow of CO2 from the paintball tank to the marker for the best play possible.

Different CO2 Tank Sizes

Paintball CO2 tanks come in various sizes. Paintball pistols may have a 12g disposable cartridge, while refillable tanks come in ounces of 9, 12, 16, 20, and 24. These values indicate the liquid carbon dioxide capacity of the tank. A larger tank equates to more shots before the need for a refill. That said, you can have more shots with a 24-ounce tank than when using 9 ounces.

Some tank sizes use cubic inch (ci) per pounds per square inch (psi) measurement. In this measurement, the most favored tank sizes are 48ci/3000psi and 68ci/4500psi. A 48ci/3000psi paintball CO2 tank has average shots of 450 to 750 per fill. You can use this tank at any height, and it also weighs between 3 to 5 lbs. Meanwhile, a 68ci/4500psi has approximately 1000 to 13000 shots. If carbon fiber, this tank may weigh less, between 2 to 4 lbs.

paintball co2 tank

Standard 20oz CO2 tank – Check on Amazon

How to Match a Paintball CO2 Tank Size for Your Needs?

Each paintballer has their own specific needs and methods in playing. Thus, one paintball CO2 tank that fits your friend may not be suitable for you, and vice versa. Understanding where you stand and how you play the game will benefit you and make things easier when choosing the best paintball CO2 tank size. CO2 paintball tanks are different than air compressed tanks.

Volume Size

The volume that the paintball CO2 tank holds determines how much liquid CO2 it can carry. The bigger the tank, the more CO2 it has. Thus, the more shots you can fire. However, the bigger the tank capacity, the heavier it can be in weight, especially if it is steel or aluminum.

In Ounces

  • 12 oz – can have up to 600 shots and weigh around 1.875 lbs with full CO2
  • 20 oz – can have up to 1000 shots and weigh around 2.6875 lbs with full CO2
  • 24 oz – can have up to 1200 shots and weigh around 3.125 lbs with full CO2

(Take note that the weight depends on the materials used to make the tank, too. Most paintball guns can have approximately 50 shots in every ounce of CO2 loaded in the tank when playing in ideal weather conditions.)

In Cubic Inch, in relation to PSI

  • 48ci/3000psi – can have 450 to 750 shots and weigh between 3 to 5 lbs
  • 48ci/4500psi and 48ci/5000psi – both sizes can have 700 to 1000 shots and weigh between 1 to 3 lbs if carbon fiber
  • 68ci/3000psi – can have 650 to 950 shots and between around 4 to 7 lbs
  • 68ci/4500psi and 68ci/5000psi – both sizes can have 1000 to 1300 shots and between 2 to 4 lbs in carbon fiber
  • 88ci/3000psi – can have 800 to 1000 shots and weigh between 2.5 to 5 lbs
  • 88ci/4500psi and 88 ci/5000psi – both sizes can have 1300 to 1500 shots and weigh between 3 to 6 lbs if made with carbon fiber


PSI determines the force of a paintball CO2 tank. When a paintball gun shoots, it uses compressed liquid CO2 to force the paintballs out. So, a higher PSI is equivalent to a better and longer range. However, one must also take note of the playing field when choosing the force to use. Only use tanks 3000 PSI or higher in a field where a capable compressor is present. Only use tanks 3000 PSI or higher in a field where a capable compressor is present.

Number of Shots

Do you want to minimize your refilling time? If yes, go for a paintball CO2 tank that can give you the most shots. Make sure that you consider the other factors affecting your selection, like the tank weight and your height compatibility with it.


The weight of the tank is closely related to the materials used to make it. Since paintball guns have to withstand the force whenever you shoot them, their construction should be strong. Thus, they use only strong materials. The materials used to make paintball CO2 tanks are aluminum, steel, and carbon fiber.

Since materials vary, so are the prices. If you are an avid baller, get a CO2 tank that uses carbon fiber. Though it is more expensive than steel and aluminum, the weight of the carbon fiber is lighter, making movements easier.


Height is a crucial factor when choosing the right paintball CO2 tank size. A short person might have difficulty carrying a long and heavy tank. It can affect the person’s entire performance since they might not be able to function properly in the field. Aiming with a long tank can become uncomfortable, running around can be difficult, even re-filling the CO2 tank might be a challenge.

To get the right paintball CO2 tank for your height, hold the paintball gun at a shooting position. The tank should end where your elbow crease is.


A paintball CO2 tank should help a player to play and function better. Though getting the right tank size can be tricky, it is vital to ensure comfort, safety, and a fun experience in the field.

When purchasing a paintball CO2 tank, it is best to do so in a physical store rather than ordering it online. That way, you can hold the tank and see how heavy and long it is.

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About Alwayne Alwayne is a Pro Paintball Coach in profession. He has a long experience as a Paintball Coach. Now, Alwayne is sharing over 10 years of experience of all tips and tricks about paintballs. The reviews and guide are elaborate at its best!

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