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If you are new to the world of paintball, then you may be wondering what’s the deal with hopper. To make things easier, the hopper is known to be loader. A hopper is a very important gear that can be found sitting on top of the paintball gun and the purpose that it serve is for you to refill your marker with paintball as you dominate the battlefield.
As you can see the hopper is an essential part of the paintball gun. The loader has a lot to do with things such as your firing rate, aim, and accuracy. It’s effective when it comes to holding multiple rounds of paintballs that loads into your gun before you actually fire it. Having a certain numbers of balls will allow you to fire them quickly without any interruption.
In this article, we have put together a list of the best paintball hoppers on the market. You should keep in mind that you may not find the perfect hopper for your needs unless you are well-equipped with the right knowledge.
Best Paintball Hoppers
1. Virtue Spire IV Electric Paintball Hoppers – Best Paintball Hopper
This high-end paintball hopper is very similar compared to the Virtue Spire 3 in terms of size, shape, and quality. Though it’s on the higher price point, the features and performance is said to be top notch.
If you are serious about taking your paintball game to the next level, then the Virtue Spire 3 would be the best choice. It offer 220-280 round capacity and with this amount you can take on your opponents all day long. It even has the same one-click easy to remove lid, a tab on the back that can be used to pop the back shell off, and both the Spire 3 and Spire 4 uses the same speed feed.
This paintball hopper will never let you down in terms of performance. It is one of the few high-end hopper that you can find for the money, which is why its considered to be most people favorite and this is due to its reliable and easy to use design.
It also comes equipped with an enhanced anti-jamming feature which will ensure less congested feeding, and because of this it will save you the stress of malfunction in the middle of your gameplay. We love the fact that it has a Bluetooth compatible board that can be easily connected with the Virtue Ace marker. They do a wonderful job by communicating with each other so that you hardly miss a shot.
In terms of maintenance this paintball hopper is easy to clean. The tray goes pretty much the same way with one push on the arrow. It even feature a superb quality pull out magnetic drive cone. This hopper is user-friendly that looks very attractive and performs above average.
- It can be link to your Smartphone
- Has a hinge-mounted shell and with one click removal of the tray
- Comes equipped with an anti-jam feature
- It’s magnetic drive code with removable flexible fingers
- A bit pricier compared to the Virtue Spire 3
2. DYE LT-R Electronic Paintball Hopper – Runner Up
If your main focus is to get an electronic paintball hopper, the DYE LT-R would be the right choice for your needs. The main reason behind this is because it comes equipped with the patented DYE loader technology that is said to be combined with a premium level of functionality with effective practicality and impressive feed rate.
With this hopper you’ll have the opportunity to fire more than 30 balls per second which is quite amazing. Not only that, but with the batteries, the hopper is capable of providing approximately 80,000 balls shot count.
DYE LT-R is among low profile paintball loaders with a rigid body made of quality plastic. There are actually many ways in which you can improve this marker to your liking, with feed tension being one of the helpful areas of adjustment. By simply sliding the tab and pushing the button is all it takes to remove the top.
As you can see, this paintball hopper is very easy to assembly and disassembly and in regards to both R2 and LT-R, they are pretty much the same, but in terms of access to the battery compartment the DYE LT-R is relatively easier.
It’s also boasts of its tool-less maintenance. With such an amazing features, a lot of users will surely appreciate its effortless, highly intuitive, and fast assembly process. You even have the opportunity to clean up and maintain it with just one simple push of a button.
What is even better about this paintball hopper is the fact that it still remains fully functional for a long period of time because its coated board is water-resistant. With that said, it is easy to fine-tune the settings of the torque manually with its adjustable torque feature.
- It’s very easy to assemble and disassemble
- It comes equipped with water-resistant coated board
- It’s extremely versatile and reliable
- Highly efficient battery
- Adjustable torque
- Easy to maintain
- Probe to jamming
3. Proto Primo Paintball Hopper – Affordable Price
If you are on a tight budget yet looking for an affordable yet superb quality paintball loader, the Proto Primo would be the right option for the money. I think that it is the best option for people who don’t want to spend much. One thing that we really like about this loader is that it functions well by simply sorting and funneling the paintballs straight down while you are actually shooting.
It has a great capacity since it has the ability to handle up to 200 paintballs. Another thing that I really appreciate about this loader is the fact that it does not require you to worry too much about a battery indicator or even the battery life. You don’t have to look because you will not be seeing the mentioned features that indicate the battery is low on power.
This paintball hopper offers high feed rate and guarantees an easy reload process. It is safe to say that the feed rate of this loader is a lot better than any other standard gravity hopper out there right now. You don’t even have to shake it hard in order to receive the best results, all you need to do is give a small tilt.
Though this hopper is known to be a standard gravity hopper it tend to have a bit more technology to it. The main drawback that comes with standard gravity is that it’s prone for jamming when you fill it with paint. The spring-loaded lid is top notch, helping you reload with fresh rounds more quickly in the midst of a game.
It comes with a large opening which allows you to shoot more than 8 paintballs per second. With that said, you also have lots of color options to choose from which will ensure that you find something that best suits your needs.
- Available at a very affordable price
- Operate relatively smooth without the need of batteries or motor
- Can minimize the risk of jams
- Comes equipped with higher feed rates
- Tend to be on the heavier side compared to other hopper
Things You Should Keep In Mind When Looking For the Best Paintball Hoppers
There are lots of different factors that you must take into consideration when it comes to choosing the best paintball hopper for the money. There are also many different different things that determines the effectiveness of the hopper and each one of these things can play a major role when it comes to your overall performance on the battlefield.
The Durability of the Loader Is Important
It’s good to keep in mind that paintball loaders are made in a variety of materials. In most cases, you’ll notice that the hopper you are using is manufactured using plastic outer housing that is used to protect the finer mechanisms that’s located inside. The price of the paintball loader is normally used to judge the quality of the product, if the price is low then you can expect a lower quality hopper and if the price is on the higher end, then you can look to get a hopper that’s worth the investment.
If you are on a tight budget and don’t think it is necessary to spend on your loader, bear in mind that it may break over a period of time and this might even cost you more in the end. It’s quite easy for the parts of the hopper to wear out because of the material quality and this will eventually cause the hopper to start malfunction. If you are just playing the sport with your friends then using a lower price hopper should be fine, but if you are a serious player who are considering to dominate the battlefield, you should increase your budget and buy one that’s worth the investment.
Quicker Refills and Faster Feed Rates is Essential
One thing that you’ll have to pay close attention to is the speed feed of the hopper, it is very important. The first thing you will notice upon sight of these round components is that the rim of the feed is fanged. The main reason behind this is that upon loading it run as smooth as possible. As you can see, the main purpose for the speed feed is to make sure that the reloading of your hopper is fast. If somehow you are experiencing a slower refill time on the battlefield, then what you need to do is inspect your speed feed.
When choosing one make sure to go with one that works well with your paintball gun as there are lots of options available on the market. If you are planning on taking your paintball game seriously then you might want to take your feed rate into consideration when shopping around. The hoppers that are available at a more expensive price tag usually comes with higher speed rates. Apart from that you have feed rate that are considered slower but these ones are great for people who are just starting out in the sport.
Avoid Loader Jam
One of the worst thing you can experience is playing a heated match with your enemies, only to have your marker failed on you because of a jammed hopper. If this is the case, you can call this game a lost, this is why it is very important to make sure you have an anti-jam credentials. Anti-jamming are very popular these days and a lot of people who are serious about the sports are starting to investing in having one installed.
Invest In Hopper With High Capacity
The capacity of the paintballs within your hopper tends to vary a lot. If it’s a case where you have a basic hopper model then you can expect to shoot 20 paintballs per minute as standard. For serious players, there are hopper that has the ability to fire up to 200 paintballs. For beginners who are just starting out, having a lower capacity is all good, but over a period of time as you gain experience it’s best to increase to a higher capacity as your skill level develop. The biggest advantage of having a hopper with higher capacity is that as your enemies tries to reload their guns you can continue shooting.
As you can see, having a higher capacity is the way to go and are best suited for those who enjoy all day combat, however, there are some drawbacks that you’ll have to deal with. Having a hopper with a high level capacity will more likely experience some form of malfunctioning. It doesn’t matter the quality of the hopper or whichever manufacturer it comes from without proper maintenance to make sure it run as smooth as possible, you’ll experience this issue. If you don’t have the time to practice this upkeep, then you’re better off with using a lower capacity hopper since you don’t have to worry about malfunctioning.
Weight of Your Hopper
You should definitely keep the weight of your loader into consideration as this will impact your overall performance on the playing field. The best thing you can do is opt for a hopper with durable design that comes with a more lightweight construction. These days because things are more modern, a lot of manufacturers have produce hoppers that are more sleek, so you shouldn’t have to worry much on the overall weight. What you can do is invest in a high-quality stainless steel hopper, we strongly believe these are more lightweight than the others.
Keep the Weather in Mind
We all should know by now that high-level of moisture are the standard of paintballs, even without any rain pouring on you. When burst on you, paintball themselves can be wet and the situation usually gets worst when it begins to rain. If water starts to pour and your paintball loader isn’t water-resistant then you might start experiencing difficulties while on the field. When shopping around, you should only opt for a loader that is waterproof. Having a water-resistant paintball hopper will surely give you an edge over your opponents.
Are Loader Design Important?
It all depends on the type of person you are, but aesthetics aren’t necessarily important. However, it wouldn’t hurt to have a hopper that compliments your paintball gun in a way that best suits you. It’s best to keep in mind that hoppers comes in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes, so there’s actually a high chance that you’ll find one that matches your marker if you take the time to look. Apart from the design of the hopper, the shape of it plays a very important role when it comes to manoeuvrability and speed while shooting.
There you go, we have list some of the best paintball hopper you can find on the market for the money, so if you are having a difficult time in choosing the best loader for your needs then with our buying guide you should be able to make a solid buying decision with ease.
Having the right loader will play a very important role on your performance. Make sure to invest in a that has superb feed rates, loading speed, battery life, durability and gun compatiblility. Hopper with all these factors will help in terms of taking your paintball game to the next level.
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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!