Elbow scrapes are not glorious.
They may seem so in the movies, especially when they win the sympathies of a damsel, but in real life, this is a gruesome affair. Not only does it sting (very bad) and may even compromise your gameplay, but there is another, more sinister and unseen threat at hand: infection.
And I’m not just talking about your regular flu, but something much more serious. Exposed wounds and cuts can lead to some of the most horrendous bacterial and viral attacks, even as threatening as tetanus.
My point is: be safe…
Yes, it pays off to be a daredevil in paintball but you don’t have to be recklessly stupid (and yeah, if you risk your wellbeing, I call that stupidity). You can and should play it safe, and the best way to do so is with proper padding.
When it comes to elbow pads, my personal favorite is the Empire Paintball Grind Elbow Pads but you’ll be impressed by other entries in this article as well.
My Picks For The Best Paintball Elbow Pads Reviewed
1. Empire Paintball Grind Elbow Pads – Best Overall
An ideal paintball elbow pad should be perfectly protective and very comfortable to wear, and if that is like something you can see yourself wearing, then the Empire Paintball Grind Elbow Pads will be perfect for you.
They are not only perfect for absorbing all impacts with great effectiveness but also feel pretty well for the wearer (at least, I was thoroughly satisfied). The breathability is immaculate and keeps you cool even during the hottest firefights and intense action-packed hours.
The EVA foam padding also extends to the forearm, offering complete protection. And since the model has a thermal molded padding in the back, it offers enhanced durability as well. This increase in reliability is all the more welcoming for any paintball player because the game can get rough.
And you don’t have to worry about the fitting either, because the built-in straps make the pad tight enough to fit on your arm with ease, so no worries there. The last thing you want is for your elbow pads to fall off mid-fight which can be very distracting.
You might as well have a ‘shoot me’ sign held up.
But this won’t be happening with these pads, and that’s why I have them at the top of my list.
They are also very low profile, yet very stylish at the same time.
Best of all, they are modestly priced too, not the cheapest ones out there but still not too expensive either.
- Offers decent protection.
- The padding extends to the fore-arms as well.
- The pads are tight enough to fit perfectly.
- They have decent aesthetics too.
- Durability and reliability are guaranteed.
- They are not the cheapest.
The Empire Paintball Grind Elbow Pads are impressive not only due to their visuals which are quite remarkable but also due to the comfort and protection that they afford their users. They are easily among the best paintball elbow pads in the market.
2. Bodyprox Elbow Protection Pads – Best Budget
You may not be able to afford the priciest options out there but you do need decent protection, and Bodyprox Elbow Protection Pads offers just that. The well-placed foam grid is perfect for providing an uncompromising level of comfort and protection.
Moreover, the abrasion-proof ensemble is perfect for promoting more daredevil maneuvers.
Knowing that you are perfectly safe from scrapes and whatnot will give you a psychological edge. This peace of mind is very important for promoting more competitive gameplay and giving you the confidence you need to dominate your opponents on the field.
The pair also fits perfectly, not too tightly but not loose either, it is balanced perfectly in between. And since they won’t hinder your movements by one bit, it would be as if you weren’t wearing them, to begin with, all the while enjoying their protection.
Best of all, you can have them in the size that fits you perfectly!
- They offer immaculate protection.
- The abrasion-proof materials make these pads perfectly safe.
- They are comfortable to wear.
- They fit snugly.
- Available in several sizing options.
- They can’t compete with high-end products.
The Bodyprox Elbow Protection Pads offer the level of protection that you need without causing any discomfort or hindering your movements. They are easily the best paintball arm pads for those running on a tight budget.
3. HK Army Crash Arm Pads – Best Comfort
Do you know what sets apart the best paintball arm pads from wanna-be products?
They all offer solid protection (and that’s great), but a high-end model excels in providing you with a level of comfort that cheaper products can’t compare with.
The HK Army Crash Arm Pads do this and look pretty cool too: after all, it says “army” in their name. These pads are not just a treat for the eyes but also offer the sort of protection that will surely get you through even the toughest of situations.
Perhaps you’re just centimeters away from getting shot and the only way to evade the paintball fire is to dive for cover. Normally, you’d hesitate and you’d be right to do so. But with a pair of these pads on, you should go for it soldier!
Best of all: while they are all soft and comfy on the inside, you can’t break them due to their tough construction.
- The pads offer a perfect level of comfort.
- They are very flexible.
- The sleeves are perfectly breathable.
- Nice aesthetics.
- Lightweight body.
- The Velcro straps make them completely adjustable.
- The padding is deep and may cause some hindrances in the movement.
The HK Army Crash Arm Pads offer unparalleled comfort and protection. They are also very handsome to look at, being inspired by the attire of armed forces, but most of all: they are highly durable.
4. Century Forearm Elbow Armor – Best Endurance
The name says it all, while the Century Forearm Elbow Armor may look like your ordinary elbow and forearm padding, this product offers an unparalleled endurance, pretty much like a gladiator ‘armor.’
Not only are these pads easy to wear (just slip them on, and that’s it), they also offer a decent fit.
Comfort is also another area where these pads shine out, but most of all, it is their thermoformed padded exterior that deserves praise. Not only can these pads take rough handling but also endure hardcore paintball action with great effectiveness.
- Well-padded and highly protective.
- The slip-on wearing system is quick and convenient.
- It can withstand rough treatment very easily.
- The looks are also very impressive.
- Some may not feel comfortable with the slip-on system.
Overall, the Century Forearm Elbow Armor provides excellently in all areas that you could hope for: comfort, performance, protection, and endurance. It is aces in my books, and I’m sure you’ll love it just as much, if not more, once you try it out.
5. Planet Eclipse Overload HD Core Elbow Pads – Best Ventilation
The Planet Eclipse Overload HD Core Elbow Pads provide a level of paintball arm protection that subpar models don’t even come close to comparing.
The first thing that may have struck you about this one is the ‘HD Core’ part, which is a fancy way of saying that it offers absolute protection.
Not only this, but the pads are ultra-durable, and their EVA padding is perfect for withstanding impact. Though rough on the outside, the pads do offer a soft touch inside and flawless ventilation to go along that.
You will never feel uncomfortable, not even by a fraction while wearing one of these.
- The ventilation is immaculate.
- Strong build, yet soft on the inside.
- Fits perfectly and does not slide off.
- Overall, highly protective.
- Some users have reported sizing issues.
Planet Eclipse is no stranger to the art of producing awe-inspiring paintball products and these pads certainly add to their manufacturing excellence as they can outcompete several comparably priced products.
What To Look For In Elbow/Forearm Pads For Paintball?
The online market is loaded with protective gear for paintballing, and the vast variety may make your selection all the more difficult. Not to worry though, I will help you highlight the most effective products from this sea of options.
The paintball elbow pads review detailed above are only one half of the picture. My goal is to acquaint you with some practical tips for singling out suitable products and making an informed decision.
So let’s get started:
Padding, Length & Flexibility
These three factors go hand in hand, and a slight variation in one can affect the others. To start, the padding, both internal and external, is the whole point of getting such products. EVA and memory foam are often employed together as a combo.
And while the padding is very important, some products may feel stiff because they’ve been padded a bit too much. This is where flexibility jumps in: your pads should not hinder your movement or tactics.
They should encourage you to move swiftly, and play the game as if you were Rambo in First Blood.
Lastly, the length, once again, you want it to cover as much area as possible but not be too big. It is often a good idea to get pads that extend to your forearms instead of those that only guard the elbows.
Comfort & Ventilation
Comfort is a subjective phenomenon but I think we’ll all agree that a soft interior is better suited for delivering it than a hard one. Several products incorporate memory foam in the inner parts to give you maximum comfort, and if you can find such products, go for them.
Moreover, you should look for breathable pads. You can’t afford fool-proof protection at the expense of overheating arms – unless your pads offer decent ventilation, your arms will get soaked with sweat and start burning up mid-way through the game (in summers).
Both parameters are highly important, but cheaper products tend not to deliver well in these areas, so go for something cost-effective (due to durability) rather than the cheapest option you come across.
Colors Are Important
Okay, I admit, you weren’t expecting this one on the list but it’s here for a good reason. Colors are not only good for aesthetics, they can also help you blend in with the environment. Avoid flashy shades as they are bound to give you away, especially against a dark background.
Of course, this won’t matter that much if you’re playing in an arena, but in the woods (I love to play in the woods, by the way), it will make a huge difference. But in either case, if you can choose, go for darker, less conspicuous shades.
Durable Design & Affordability
Paintball padding will go through hell, seriously. It is only natural for you to dive and dash, knowing that you’re well-protected against the fall. But this brings another concern: if the pads aren’t resilient enough, you will go through them like tissue paper.
This is why you should look for products that have thermoformed padding, or better yet: a warranty.
In any case, don’t go spending off every cent of your savings on an elbow pad, especially considering the prevalent economic pressures. Instead, learn how to manage your budget and pick a product that will last you a while.
Now that we’re almost at the end, here’s a quick YouTube video for you that details 20 paintball tips that will make you a better player:
When it comes to offering the best paintball arm protection, you can look at any number of impressive products, the list goes on and on.
My personal favorite is the Empire Paintball Grind Elbow Pads due to their toughness and versatility but if you’re looking for cheaper ones that work well, then I’d say: go for the Bodyprox Elbow Protection Pads.
Whatever product you pick, make sure that it is worth your investment by aligning it against the points I mentioned above.
That’s all from my side, let’s hear you out in the comments section below!
Last Updated on October 28, 2022