Did you know that paintball was the third most popular outdoor sport? Having the right pair of gear or equipment, you can rule in the paintball field. Among them, investing in the best paintball hoppers (also called loaders) is an advantage in the game.
It’s simply attached to the top of your paintball marker. Hopper basically holds multiple rounds of paintballs to serve the marker for firing. It is wise to keep in mind that not all the paintball hoppers are the same. They vary in functionalities, different characteristics and even in the minor features it can be.
The loader will fit almost any paintball gun. But, if you don't want to suffer from a jam issue, you need the best paintball loader that matches your gun.
This might take several hours or days to find the best hoppers with available options. That’s what I already did for you. Each of the products I review here is used multiple times by me. So, you can make a selection from them until it fits with your gun.
A Quick Comparison Table:
Where to Buy
Bunkerkings CTRL Electronic
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Dye LT-R Electronic
5 out of 5
Virtue Spire Electronic
5 out of 5
Empire Paintball Halo Too
4.5 out of 5
Virtue Spire IV Electronic
4.5 out of 5
HK Army TFX
4 out of 5
Empire Paintball Prophecy Z2
4 out of 5
TIPPMANN SSL-200 Electronic
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Top 10 Best Paintball Hoppers Reviews (2021)
Functional and electrical are two types of paintball hoppers you will find in general. Functional hoppers work with the power of gravity. These are called gravity-powered hoppers. Electric hoppers that run electronically is usually much faster than the gravity-powered ones. Here, I list both of their kinds.
1. Bunkerkings CTRL Electronic
The Bunkerkings CTRL enhanced with several features, which particularly got my attention. It earned the first badge of angle indicator training in the paintball industry. In a word, this is a perfectly balanced hopper with a lightweight and smaller combination.
The angle indicator opens the shooting position from the back center to the opposite corner. A default LED light bar has been set to sense the angle you need. If you don’t like the default format, you can select your own angle by pressing a single button. It also provides “breakout reps,” which give the most precise angle to eliminate your opponents.
Thanks to its smaller profile, which improves your field of view while running, shooting, diving, or snap shooting. It is perfectly compatible with every electronic and mechanical paintball gun.
However, the entire interior is designed with smooth edges to reduce the broken paint issues. It also has soft and flexible fingers to eliminate the paintball jam. I notice that the feeding logic is redesigned from the bottom. As soon as you start the shooting, the hopper will auto-activate the feeding until it is empty. Likely, it doesn't need any G-force sensor to detect the shot.
Tips: It has an updated nylon lid, which is glass filled and made with the same material as the hopper body itself. The upgraded nylon made dual spring ramps make it more durable for use.
2. Proto Primo
Equipped with a patent pending technology Proto Primo is the quickest gravity fed hopper. It has an impressive ability to increase the feed rate and operates with no batteries.
The positive feed shelf design makes it relieving all pressure from the paints. This way it can minimize the risk of the jams.
Above the neck of it, there is a unique spacer pushing paintballs for feeding at double speed. The loader helps to sort and funnel the paintballs while you shoot. It offers you a consistent vertical feed, which is essential for a gravity fed hopper. When it comes to the point of fitting well, it does a tremendous job with different guns.
It has a clear spring lid for providing ease reload in a hurry. This hopper can contain 200 paintballs, including four colors (black, blue, green, and red). The Proto Primo is nearly the same shooting rate as an expensive electric loader. It can shoot more than 8 paintballs per second.
According to the research, customers have stated it as a real value against the price. They have also expressed that it requires very little maintenance.Tips: It performs nearly the same at different temperatures except in freezing conditions. It is also very durable because of the high-grade hard plastic built. So, breakage will not be an issue about to worry.
3. Dye LT-R Electronic Paintball Loader
If you are a fan of electronic type, don’t miss this unique Dye LT-R Electronic Paintball Loader. It offers every style and superior performance to the player. Such top-notch hoppers win an unmatched price tag.
It is a winner that uses patented DYE loader technology. This technology added excellent functionality with superb reliability and higher feed rates. In contrast, it makes the hopper qualify for shooting more than 30 balls per second.
This electronic hopper requires 3AA batteries to power up. Once the battery is set, it will be available for providing 80,000+ balls shot count. The low-profile shell design makes sure the balls are smoothly reaching your shooting machine. This will surely double your chance of surviving in the field.
Maintenance becomes a tool-less task to do. It enables an effortless, faster assembly and disassembly. You can do quick cleaning and maintenance by sliding the locking tab and pushing the button. You can also deal with any sort of paint jam by moving and pulling the anti jam release trigger upside down.
Tips: The water resistant coated board makes it more functional underwater for a convenient time. As well as, it is easy to set the torque manually. Also, the blackops feature lets you turn off the LED indicator while playing in low light.
One thing that attracts you is that it is highly upgradeable in terms of higher capacity tops, quicker feeds, and color kits.
4. Virtue Spire Electronic
The Virtue Spire is the reliable next generation water resistant electronic hopper. This low profile hopper already earns users’ trust. It has a tool-less design for easy to go. That means you can quickly assemble and disassemble the hopper. Moreover, you will get a competitive advantage on the battlefield.
Its shot activated G-Force sensor will take your attention quickly. The most impressive one you will love is its spring loaded jam proof drive. This will ensure no jam or less speed before you shoot the target.
Also, the holding capacity of this hopper is 200 paintballs. Its compact and lightweight design is quite famous for beginners and intermediate paintball players.
The gearbox in it is placed vertically in the Spire Drive for creating the lowest height and smaller body size. As an electronic paintball hopper, it requires batteries. Cleaning or reassembling it does not take much effort. The slide lock quick release system makes it easier to maintain. It has a convenient tray release tab for a more accessible release.
Due to high force, the soft paintballs get scrambled inside the hopper. But Virtue Spire flex cycle paddle arms create no additional force on the balls. This lowers the risk of breaking the paintball.Tips: The translucent backshell will allow you to know the number of paintballs loaded in the hopper. So there will be no chance to start a game without a full one.
5. Empire Halo Too Loader
If you are still looking for a smooth and easy to perform hopper, I suggest you go through with Empire Halo Too. This is a balanced hopper for beginners compared to its price. But a bold choice for professionals.
It comes with a reliable force feed speed technology. This makes it capable of feeding 20 or more balls per second. Likely, that is compatible with any high end paintball guns. It has shell kits to influence your loader looks while the stock one comes in matte black color.
It has a freeway anti jam that reduces jamming and breaking of balls. That makes it the best tournament performing hopper. They offer an ultra-quiet belt. This helps to shoot as much as paintballs to your target continuously with a great level of accuracy.
The auto shutdown system makes it capable of reducing power consumption while sitting idle. Also, it has a low battery indicator, which is a great help in the middle of the game. It has a durable built-in poly-carbonate material, which is sturdy enough. Most amazingly, it has an onboard computer to control motor speed, activate sounds, and control microphone sensitivity.Tips: The sound activation provides smooth ammo loaded for reducing jam risk. It requires 4 AA batteries, which can run for straight 5 to 10 days. The composite shell it is built with is also pretty durable according to the 5 year-long test.
6. Virtue Spire IV Electronic
The Virtue Spire IV is a handy electronic paintball hopper at a reasonable price. But this highly tested tournament hopper provides high performance and easy maintenance. It is one of the high end paintball loaders that is designed to work fast, while never jamming.
I highly appreciate its hinged shell technology. This provides the most comfortable loading experience. I also found it easy to assemble and disassemble. Changing the batteries, speed feed and cleaning is more enjoyable and easy. You just need to do the unlocking of the shell pressing a button. All happens with the access of one hand only.
According to their claim, the drive system they use in their hopper is smaller by 35 percent. It has been designed newly, which enables consistent, jam-free and faster feeding. It is easier to remove and reinstall as the drive is attached to the top by magnetic connection.
Such hoppers increase the level of durability using a single hinge-mounted unit. It also enables the capacity of using 220-280 round paintballs. This capacity does not cause extra height and weight. Virtue Spire IV has a smart dual LED reload indicator to alert you when the paintball level is low.Tips: Another amazing feature that makes this stand out of the crowd is that it comes with the app. You can program it from your iPhone or iPad. It is equipped with a larger Smart Spring Ramp aiding to feed at various angles.
7. HK Army TFX Paintball Hopper
HK Army TFX paintball electronic hopper is popular for its unique looks and control. But it presents top-class features for giving you a better shooting experience. It can hold up to 216 paintballs at one time. This is compatible with all the fastest guns in the market.
It has a very wide lid, which ensures there is a very low amount of spill while refilling. The zero-gravity lift tray ensures it works in various angles at minimal forces. So that you can play from every possible angle. The construction is sturdy and the maintenance becomes toolless.
It offers the best feeding speed. The swoop stack assembly makes sure that there is the least amount of jam while using. I can assure you that this piece of your gun is very lightweight and well designed to reduce stress while playing. It aids you to win and does not hinder the path of winning. With the army looks, it will surely kick the soldier that lives in you.
HK Army Loader fits various types of guns that are popular in the market. It also handles the paintballs softly. So there are no paintball breaking issues before firing. It runs with only 2 AA size batteries. Interestingly the hopper can operate with a low amount of power. That makes it very commendable.Tips: The circuitry inside is waterproof so you can deal with this durable piece of toy with all the aggression you want.
8. Empire Paintball Prophecy Z2
Empire Paintball Prophecy Z2 is one of the most professional paintball loaders. It continuously keeps track of its rate of fire and driving force. This makes the jam issue almost zero. Due to this reason, it performs outstandingly well, as it is studying on the player all the way.
It is built with strong and reinforced composites. The ultra-lightweight design makes it a low profile hopper. Besides, you will get a sound activated force feeding system including infrared sensors. With no worries, this will automatically clear ball jam.
It is capable of holding up to 200 paintballs. So, once you load, you will be loaded for a long time out there. The drive carrier was redesigned for consistency and fast feed. That means you can operate it with a high feeding rate. When the feeding rate increases, chances are that paintballs will be brittle due to high force. But in case of this hopper tips inside are rounded and made in such a way that it cannot put extra strain on the paintballs.
Though it requires 4AA alkaline batteries, it is incredibly lightweight. You will not need any sort of tools to assemble or disassemble it. For durability purposes, it is built with a one-piece neck and users. It has a simple toggle switch to turn it on or off for reducing power wastage. The forward and backward push buttons have made it operational to double the speed.Tips: The lid on this thing uses a magnet for staying closed. So, reloading becomes easy and hassle-free. Also, it uses the RIP DriveTM system for driving the balls with care and precision.
9.Tippmann SSL 200 Electric Loader
If you ask me for a dashing hopper for beginners, I would definitely name the Tippmann SSL 200. This electric loader conforms almost every marker on the market because of the adjustable O-ring neck. So, you can use any mechanical and hybrid markers from different brands along with this Tippmann hopper.
It can hold 200 rounds of .68 caliber paintballs, which is sufficient for playing an entire game without reloading. Notably, users have given a big thumbs-up since they had anti jamming issues even after a thousand rounds firing.
It is quite challenging to save battery life for an electric hopper. But, the built-in Bend sensor technology will give you a surprising advantage. It becomes active during a fire only that lengthen the battery life. Besides, the sensor feeds up to 15 balls per second without a little chopping. Tippmann has offered a spring loaded lid as well for holding the balls securely.
You need to buy a 9V battery additionally to operate the hopper. Being a user, I can say a battery should last about a season. It means four months at least. The attached LED will notify you of the battery status. One of the biggest advantages of the hopper is not weighty. You can carry additional accessories and equipment for the game because of this lightweight hopper.Tips: It causes a lower sound than average hoppers while loading paintballs that make you a silent warrior.
10. GENx Kit Hopper
Perhaps GENx Kit is the most popular gravity fed hopper on the market. They’re reasonably priced, easy to clean and compatible with almost every standard paintball marker. It’s quite difficult to go wrong buying this reliable basic paintball hopper.
You might get confused after seeing different varieties of loaders out there those days. It’s tough to get the best gravity fed hopper like the GENx kit, which is capable of holding 200 paintballs.
However, you won’t find any jam issues while shooting more than 1000 paintballs. It has a two-half body that allows users to disassemble thoroughly for deep cleaning.
The design of the model is simple and cheaper for the entry level and average users. They won't get any critical issues while shooting with this loader. On average, this is a nice hopper to put on your bag.
If you have fixed your mind on one of our paintball hoppers, it is time for learning about certain parameters. Those will help you choose the right one and take proper care with the right knowledge.
Size and weight
When you are deciding to buy a best paintball hopper, you have considered the size and weight. It also depends on the number of paintballs you prefer. My opinion is you do not always need the biggest paintball hopper.
It is important that your hopper can hold a sufficient number of paintballs. So, you need to choose what suits your gun. After all, it will be your weapon to win. A good hopper hold with 50 paintballs is enough for a beginner. If you are a serious player, you need to choose lightweight hoppers which hold more than 100 paintballs. This will give you the advantage to shoot your opponent when they are still reloading.
The larger it is, the more weight it will carry. But, I will advise you to go for a lightweight paintball hopper. Because with a heavy paintball hopper, you will fail to maneuver the gun perfectly. Keep that in mind, get a paintball hopper that does not hold much weight.
Level of Competition
Before starting shopping, you have to consider the level of competition you are going to participate in. If you are an occasional player or beginner, invest in a durable and easy to use a hopper. However, if you are enjoying the game every weekend or looking to impress your friends, a mid-level hopper will be perfect for you.
Sometimes we participate in serious games, which is more competitive. If you are in that situation, then never ignore a high end paintball hopper. With the electronic hoppers, you will get more feeding rates. Moreover, you will be able to shoot faster at a competitive rate than those who use gravity hoppers. This is really a lifesaver in a competitive game like that.
It’s important to identify whether the hopper is compatible with your paintball gun or not. But almost all the hoppers are built in a universal way that they are fitted with most guns. The good news is that they are all hassle-free. Whatever you buy, make sure that it matches your requirements. However, you need to inquire thoroughly to know the hopper model is compatible with the marker.
You can also buy combo packs that come with matched guns and hoppers altogether. It is important that you match the hopper’s feeding rate and the shooting rate of the gun. A higher feeding rate is okay to have, but less is not. With that investigation, I can guarantee it will be cost effective and the hopper will work well with your gun.
The hoppers that you will get to see in the market can come with different styles. Obviously, you and your group will buy those hoppers that go with your personality and purpose.
If you are minimalistic, you can choose a minimal design. If you like black color, completely black hoppers are there. Vibrant colored hoppers are also there for you to choose. You will also find some with camouflage design on the hoppers to give you an army look.
Do not get fooled by design try to feel and judge the construction material’s strength and durability.
Fire rate is the number of shots that a gun can make per second. The higher it will be, you will be able to shoot more. It is important to figure out what you will be required on the paintball field and what matches your trigger. This will provide you a competitive advantage on the battlefield.
But you must match the feeding rate of your hopper with the shooting rate. It does not make any sense to have a higher shooting rate if your hopper fails to feed at the shooting rate. Typically, players like to opt for a higher feeding rate than the rate of shooting. So, A mid range or high end range will be perfect in that case.
There is no way to ignore the durability of the best paintball hoppers before choosing. Most of the hoppers are constructed with plastic. But still, the materials differ depending on types. At this stage, choose a model that has less risk of breaking and creaking. Also, confirm that it can withstand any rough and tough situations.
If you are going to get an electric hopper, you need to know that it depends on a proprietary system to feed down the paint inside the gun and feed neck. The way the lids are connected with it and with the gun points to focus. If the lid and hopper body’s joints are not strong, it will break apart in heavy usage in the match.
Also, you can find gravity-reliant hoppers. But make sure the inner and outer parts are durable enough to withstand drops and shots. The lightest hopper can be the most durable one. So, do not judge the durability in terms of weight but material.
Ease of Use
Before buying a hopper confirm that it is not difficult to operate, load, maintain and bear with the gun. If it is easy and fast for you, then judge the other factors I discussed earlier. The easier it will be to use, the better you will perform during the match. A simpler construction makes it all easy to fight at your optimum.
A speedy feed is the most important feature of any hopper. The price can vary depending on the features. You may find some other modes that offer variable speed feed for more control. This feature is adjusted right with the hopper lid. The shape is small and circular to provide the advantage of faster loading.
Speed feed makes it easy and twice the refilling of your hopper. They are consistent with almost every paintball gun.
If you’re very passionate about this game, make sure you are using a hopper that enhances your skills. Whether you are using a high-quality gun or not, you will knock immediately without good feed rates hopper.
The paintball market is enriched with different speed rate hoppers. Some hoppers have advanced features with high feed rates. If you get one of those, I can assure it will give you a competitive edge on the battlefield.
It has to be at least equally fast to the gun’s shooting rate. The more the feeding rate will be, the more times you will be able to shoot per second. A higher feeding rate and shooting rate than others will always keep you a step ahead in the competition. I recommend buying a feeder with a feeding rate of 20+ balls per second.
I’m sure you do not like your hopper getting jammed in the middle of the game. This is a serious problem the players face often. To avoid this, make sure the hopper has jam-proof drive technology.
Electronic hoppers are more jam-proof than gravity hoppers in general. Mostly the best paintball hoppers always come with this unique feature. They are also very reasonable to get.
Durability comes from the build quality and the material itself. Most of the hoppers in the market are built with polycarbonate material. It makes them more durable, easy to clean and lightweight. It has zero friction to withstand any circumstance and ensure an easy release. Also, it has an all-around thickness in all places.
You may find some steel made hoppers. They are more durable and have minimal abrasion experience. Still, it’s tougher and weighs hopper. Ceramic is quite durable, but they are prone to break quickly.
Aluminum is another one almost found everywhere. It has the lightest built-in material, which is durable and affordable. You just need to be concerned about the maintenance.
Different hoppers come with varying capacities. Starting from 20 balls, they can even go for 200 balls per minute. But it mainly depends on your requirements. If you are going to start this game, a low capacity hopper is enough for you.
Moreover, skillful or professional players should opt for a hopper with 200 balls capacity per minute. The high capacity hopper gives you the advantage of shooting even when your opponents are busy in loading their guns.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What’s Your Level of Competition?
Before entering any competition, you should judge your level of paintballing.
If you’re a novice, you don't need to act like a professional. A hopper with a lightweight and simple design structure is enough for fulfill your desire. Mostly, you can go with gravity loader, which has a low feed speed. It doesn't need any batteries and is simple to operate.
The mid range hoppers are built with few advanced features, which is compatible for the person who has earned few skills. Those types of hoppers have a sensor to detect paintballs movements. As soon as pressing the trigger a new ball is released to take the previous position. On this level, you can go with the cyclone feed model. Though they didn't need any batteries, they required gas to get into the action.
If you’re a proficient player to precipitate in the professional games, then getting a hopper with advanced features is your first choice. Those hoppers have high feeding rates and large capacity compared to the basic models. They are designed nicely and ensure shooting consistency without having any jam issues.
2. How much is a paintball hopper in general?
It depends on the sophistication of the product. Starting from $4 to $250 is the range for hopper price. It is important that you buy the best hopper at the price you are willing to offer. Cheap paintball hoppers do not mean it is a bad hopper. You can have the best one depending on your budget.
3. How many paintballs fit in the hopper?
Generally, all the good hoppers are capable of containing 180-200 paintballs in it. If you are a beginner, you can find a hopper with 50 balls. A mid level or serious player can get a hopper that holds 180-280 paintballs.
4. Are all the hoppers universal?
Yes, all the hoppers in the market are universally made. They almost have the same size and materials. They are adjustable with most of the guns. It helps brands to capture a larger market and economies of scale are achieved.
5. What does an electric hopper do?
Electronic hoppers are operated through battery powered motors. It has motors spinning paddles and feed trays to guide the paintballs into guns. Those hoppers are functional with an anti jam drive. That minimizes the risk of jam issues during the game. It functions faster than gravity does. It enables quicker results and provides faster firing. They are perfect for use with mechanical and electrical markers.
6. Are there different sizes of hoppers?
The size of the hoppers sold in the market is not uniform but it is close. All have very much the same size and capacity.
7. Do all paintballs hopper fit all guns?
No. Before buying paintball hoppers one needs to be sure about what size is perfect for his gun. But hoppers are universal and fit almost with any marker. However, some markers are made with proprietary feeding mechanisms. They have used magazines or other unique systems.
8. How much the feeding rate should be?
The feeding rate is the number of paintballs that a hopper can drop into the gun every second. So, the feeding rate should be higher if you shoot at high frequency. Normally electronic hoppers have their feeding rate between 12-20+ balls per second.
9. How many shots can a paintball hopper make before needing to change the batteries?
This depends on the models you are using. If you want long battery life hoppers, you may cost more. Like, the Dye Rotor battery drains after it provides more than 50,000 shots. That means a regular player or professional player needs to replace the battery every few months of use.
10. Does the paintball hopper come with batteries?
If you’re going to buy an electronic paintball hopper, then the answer is yes. Because batteries are necessary to make them workable.
10. How do I safely carry a paintball hopper?
If you already spend so much money getting your desired equipment, you should buy an equipment bag to keep them safe. On the contrary, you can save extra space in your garage.
People of different ages participate and enjoy the paintball game. Kids and teenagers have more fun with paintball. So, a paintball gun set with these best paintball hoppers can be a great gift for your youngsters. This can help your kids become more outgoing and physically fit.In my observance, Proto Primo and Empire Halo are two splendid choices with decent features. Both hoppers are equipped with efficient technologies. However, you should make sure you are getting value for the money while buying one. If you are not in the mood to spend a lot of money, you should buy the gravity hoppers. If you are someone really serious about paintball then you should opt for the electronic ones. Electronic hoppers are faster and you will face fewer jams for sure.
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