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5 Best Paintball Chest Protectors & Body Armor

If you’re a newbie, then know this: 

Paintballs hurt. 

These pellets may look all colorful and innocent, but it is only when you get hit by one, especially at short-range, that you can understand the type of pain they can cause.

And things will only get worse in the winters when being shot by one might sting many-folds as much.

But like every other paintball problem, there’s a solution to this one as well…

You will find several protective clothing options to secure your torso – the most often targeted area, against a barrage of paintball fire. My personal favorite from the lot is the Empire Paintball Grind Pro THT Chest Protector, and I’ve compiled a list of similarly impressive products.

Paintball protection can’t wait! So, let’s get started:

My Picks For The Paintball Chest Protector Reviewed

After much scrutiny and testing, I have narrowed down my choices to these super-amazing products:

1. Empire Paintball Grind Pro THT Chest Protector – Best Overall

Empire Paintball Grind Pro Chest Protector, Large/X-Large, Black/Green

Empire is no stranger to the hardships of paintball and their products reflect this perfectly. Whether it is one of their iconic markers, protective gear, or action bundles, the brand never fails to impress and I can say the same about the Empire Paintball Grind Pro THT Chest Protector.

It is perfectly immune to paintball shots and boasts a stylish, SWAT team-like look. I don’t know about anyone else, but I for one am always drawn towards such appearances. And it’s not just the looks or protective features, this product shines the most in performance.

The padding is pre-curved which may not mean all that much when you hear it but it is only when you put it on that you can appreciate this feature. This comfort and freedom of movement become even better owing to the breathable design which prevents overheating.

Overall, an impressive and worthwhile product.


  • The aesthetics are very impressive.
  • Offers complete protection against all sorts of paintball fire.
  • Breathable, allowing you to cool off easily amidst the heat of battle.
  • The comfort afforded by this product is immaculate.


  • It is not the cheapest option.


Overall, this product from Empire is easily among the best paintball chest armors available in the market owing to its comfort and performance excellence.


2. Maddog Padded Paintball Chest Protector – Best Budget

Maddog Padded Paintball & Airsoft Chest Protector (Reversible Woodland Camo/Black)

It’s all fun and games until someone gets shot at close range without any protection. But for most players, decent protection may not always be affordable, and I get it. I still remember the first time I committed myself to this sport, I did not even have a proper job back then.

Luckily, you’ve got low-budget options too, and they’re pretty decent, to say the least. The Maddog Padded Paintball Chest Protector perfectly reflects the point I’m trying to make here. This vest offers immaculate protection, even at close quarters.

The lightweight build makes it all the more impressive considering that your top priority in the game is to avoid getting shot in the first place.

And best of all: you don’t have to compromise on the size either, you’ve got an assortment of options in this area too!

Choose the one that goes perfectly with you.


  • It is perfectly safe.
  • The lightweight design makes it perfect for quick-paced gameplay.
  • Can block close-range shots with great effectiveness.
  • It does not restrict your movements.
  • Available in an assortment of sizes.
  • It is very affordable.


  • Cannot compete with high-end products.


The Maddog Padded Paintball Chest Protector is a perfect starter for anyone who can’t afford to make a big purchase at the moment. Its affordability, lightweight build, and immaculate protection, all combine to elevate it to its status as one of the best paintball chest protectors.


3. Maddog Tactical Paintball Attack Vest – Best Militaristic Look

Maddog Tactical Paintball Attack Vest - Black

Another entry from Maddog, this product is no less impressive than the first one. It is twice as much costly but worth the price difference. The Maddog Tactical Paintball Attack Vest is like something straight out of an army movie.

This paintball vest is as close as it gets to the real deal.

The multiple pod-holders, six to be exact, are not only a valuable asset for long-plays but also add to the sense of realism for its looks. If you decide to go out in the arena, fully loaded, you will have a decisive edge when it comes to ammunition supply.

And that’s not all: this tactical vest has a sturdy construction too, meaning that it can take whatever abuse your opponents may throw at it. Paintball impact, diving, and pretty much any other form of pressure will fade away before its protective prowess.

With such perfect shielding and ample storage space, I will call this the perfect paintball chest protector for aggressive-style gameplay.


  • The militaristic design is very impressive.
  • Features ample storage options.
  • The protection capabilities are also immaculate.
  • Lightweight and high-endurance design makes it perfect for aggressive-style gameplay.


  • Some users have reported sizing issues.


The Maddog Tactical Paintball Attack Vest provides you with everything that you will need for an aggressive approach: pod storage, uncompromising protection, militaristic looks, and high endurance levels. It is aces in my books.


4. JT Chest Protector – Best Minimalistic Design Option

JT Chest Protector - Black - One Size Fits Most

Military-style gear is not for everyone. Hey, I’m not judging your patriotism, I understand that you may want to get yourself into something minimal – enough to get the job done, not a drain on your savings, and minus all fancy storage features.

If that is the case, then the current product: JT Chest Protector will be perfect for you. Not only does it guard all important areas against all sorts of paintball assaults (you can also use it for airsoft battles) but it doesn’t weigh all that much either.

This lightweight design with a fashionable appearance has a unique charm to it, and it works perfectly too. Since it is not bulky, you are free to engage in high-speed maneuvers, and yet, at the same time, you get to enjoy the precious protection against paintball barrages.

Lastly, it is highly comfortable, featuring a flawless ventilation mechanism, which is more than enough to get in on my list of the best paintball chest protectors.


  • It features a stylish look.
  • The minimalistic design works well for some people.
  • The protection is thorough.
  • It is lightweight and does not hinder movements.
  • Features a perfect ventilation system.


  • If you’re looking for storage pockets, look elsewhere.


The JT Chest Protector has rightfully earned its place on this list owing to its impact absorption, minimalistic design, lightweight build, and most of all, stylish look.


5. Maddog Sports Pro Padded Chest Protector – Best Breathability

Maddog Sports Pro Padded Chest Protector for Paintball and Airsoft - Small/Medium The last entry on this list is yet another Maddog Sports product, and this one lives up to its name just like those preceding it. This time around, however, you won’t be looking at a ‘Call of Duty’ styled military getup but instead at something much more relatable: a protector t-shirt.

At least, that’s how I look at it. In either case, the Maddog Sports Pro does not fail to impress, instead, the protection offered (with paddings located strategically), the maneuverability, and breathability, all combine to create the perfect ensemble.

All in all, if I have to pick a paintball chest armor fashioned as a regular t-shirt (only slightly bigger), I’d go with this one.


  • Stylish design.
  • Perfect breathability.
  • Protection guaranteed even in close quarters.
  • Highly maneuverable and lightweight.


  • Does not feature a militaristic style, for some, it may be a deal-breaker.


The Maddog Sports Pro Padded Chest Protector is the perfect product to end this list with, it offers the same level of uncompromising protection as its cousins, only in a stylish look.


How To Choose The Best Paintball Chest Protector For Yourself?

The paintball chest protector reviews above detail some of my most favorite options, but I understand if you’ve got some other products into consideration.

In any case, be sure to prioritize quality and weigh your choice against the following standards—as you should when buying all of your paintball gear.

Padding & Lightweight Build

The foremost aspect to consider in this regard would be the padding of your protective armor. After all, the whole point of getting one is to make yourself immune from the onslaught of paintball fire. Unless adequately padded, your protection will fail you in the field.

There are several padding options employed in chest armo such as EVA foam, but the best way to ascertain the effectiveness of a product is by checking out the user comments. Another important element is the weight: make it as minimum as possible.

While a few pounds may not seem like much, you should factor in the time for which you will be wearing the vest and exerting yourself otherwise too – don’t make it too hard for yourself.

Finding The Right Size

Now, this is an area where even the most promising product won’t do you much good if you don’t act wisely. While there are several sizing options available for chest protectors, the terms are oftentimes not standard.

Meaning that the ‘small’ for one brand may be ‘extra small’ for the other, and so on. Just be sure to get the exact measures and if possible, seek guidance from verified customers for making an informed decision.

Affordability & Cost-Effectiveness

When I say affordability, I never mean that you should go for the cheapest available option. On the contrary, you should always make up your mind to make a decent investment when buying a product so that you end up with something more durable.

And at the same time, learn to spend your money more wisely to avoid financial problems. To sum it up: don’t go cheap but don’t waste your money either, look for what you need rather than what you want and see if it comes under your desired price range.

If a product stays useable for longer and doesn’t break your bank, it will have ideal cost-effectiveness. Look for such options.

For all the skeptics out there, here’s a short YouTube video about a 14-year-old in New Jersey who got shot by paintball – a gruesome affair:

Bottom Line

The video I shared was meant as a warning too, paintball is not all about having fun, it is a serious game and demands caution on your part. You should always enter the field with proper protection lest you limp back home with bruises all over your body.

My vote is for the Empire Paintball Grind Pro THT Chest Protector, but if you’ve got a tight budget, I’d say that the Maddog Padded Paintball Chest Protector will do a fine job too.

That’s all from me, let’s hear what you’ve got in your mind, and of course, play it safe!

Last Updated on June 10, 2024

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