FYI: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you click through and purchase.
The best paintball hoppers will not just hold the most paintballs. They will offer many different features from model to model. Some paintball hoppers are designed to be low profile. While others are made to feed as many paintballs into the chamber as quickly as possible. And others will offer you the basics like holding a couple of hundred paintballs and feeding them with gravity. The amount of different hoppers on the market is as vast as the universe — okay not really — but there are a lot of different hoppers to choose from.
The style of paintball hopper you want will depend on what style of paintball you will be playing the most. There are traditional gravity-fed hoppers. These only use the natural laws of nature to feed paintballs into a chamber. Cyclone fed hoppers will feed paintballs into a paintball gun much more quickly without using any external power source. And then you have electronic hoppers theses are usually battery powered and are designed for speedball guns and automatic paintball guns.
Choosing what price point and style is best for you can be a big time-suck. You want to get the best for your money but with so many options and reviews floating around it can be easy to buy the wrong hopper.
That is why we have compiled a list of the five best paintball hoppers available right now.
Best Paintball Hoppers
1. Virtue Spire IR Electronic Paintball Hopper – Infrared Tech Ensures No Jams
The Spire IR is a well-known electronic hopper. Made from a durable plastic the spire can withstand direct hits without cracking and chipping. When you hold this hopper you can feel the plastic give a little bit. This is great because the more firm and brittle the plastic the more likely it is to break.
The lid is located on the top rear of the hopper. With a wide opening, you can quickly reload the hopper without worrying about dropping half of your paintballs on the floor. In the event of any jams or breaks within the housing of the IR, you can remove a panel from the back that allows for an open view of inside the unit. This is great for making quick repairs or regular cleaning.
With this being an electronic paintball hopper there is a tray with all of the electronics that can be removed. This is done by pressing a button within the unit for quick removal. The feed system is built with flexible rubber to ensure paintballs are intact when they are fired. There is nothing worse than having a paintball break in your gun mid-game. One new piece of technology is the infrared sensor near the neck of the unit. Using IR technology the hopper can sense how many paintballs are being fed into your gun. Virtue claims with the IR technology that this hopper will never jam. At only around $100 that is a real value.
The unit runs off of three AAA batteries and has a capacity of 200 paintballs. For the price, this is one of the best electronic paintball hoppers for your money. Click here to see the best price.
2. Dye Proto Primo Paintball Hopper – Gravity Loader with a Continuous Feed
A lot of the time with this style of hopper you have 200 paintballs stuffed together. The paintballs laying at the bottom of the hopper are being pressed down by the weight of the paintballs above them. This will keep paintballs from feeding into your paintball gun. That is why you will see players at times shaking their guns. They do this to loosen up the paintballs so they can freely feed into the gun. With the Primo, the engineers at Dye have attempted to remedy this problem. Inside the housing of the hopper, there is a table that keeps the paintballs at the bottom separated from the paintballs at the top. This then allows them to be free to drop into the chamber much more freely. This feature will keep users from having to periodically shake their paintball gun. Leaving them to only focus on the game.
Other than that the Primo is a standard gravity-fed hopper. It comes in a variety of different colors including blue, green and red. It is made of durable plastic with a spring-loaded lid on the top of the unit. With it being spring-loaded it will stay open as you quickly reload. This gravity hopper offers a neat feature at an affordable price. So if you are in the market for a basic hopper you cannot go wrong with the Dye Primo. Click here to see the best price.
3. Dye LT-R Electronic Paintball Hopper – Electronic Hopper at a Gravity Fed Price
Similar to its predecessor the Rotor R2, the Dye LT-R has most of the same great feature, just at a lower price point. Dye was able to lower the price point by eliminating non-vital features of the older hopper while retaining what made the R2 one of the best paintball hoppers in existence.
The feed neck is nice and short putting the LT-R in the category low profile paintball hoppers. The body of the hopper is made from high-quality plastic making it highly durable. It has a spring-loaded lid that can be removed and replaced with a speed feed lid.
The power button site on the lower rear portion of the unit. It is a moderately sized button that is easy to spot. This is great if you have a jam you can power it down to prevent any more damage from occurring. Another great feature is the reverse router switch. This will come in handy in case your LT-R does happen to jam on you. This switch is located on the bottom of the hopper near the feed neck. It can easily be switched on without much thought.
Maintenance is a breeze with the LT-Rs tool less disassembly. There is a push tab located on the rear of the paintball hopper. You just push the tab in and lift the top off. Inside you will find the electronic unit which holds the three AA batteries along with the gear and rotor system. You can feed up to 100,000+ paintball with a set of three batteries Dye’s constant feed rate system this hopper can release up to 30 balls per second. This works with two opposing rotors that are stacked. These allow for a constantly smooth flow of paintballs.
The Dye LT-R is in an odd category. It has premium features for a budget price. It performs just as well as higher-priced electronic hoppers. The Dye LT-R is the best paintball hopper at its price. Do not miss out on this deal. Click here to see the best price.
4. Virtue Spire III Electronic Hopper – Hinged Shell Structure for Easy Access
The differences start with how you open the hopper. With Spire III the unit is one piece. You press a tab on the back of the hopper just above the power button to pop it open. Instead of coming completely off, the top of the III hinges open so you do not need to worry about misplacing it. Inside of the III, there is a spring-loaded feed table that gently feeds paintballs into the rotor system that then feeds the paintballs into the paintball guns chamber. Without this, you may need to sometimes shake the hopper to get the paintballs into the rotor. With a magnetic drive, you can remove it for easier cleaning and then snap it back in place.
On the external shell, there is an audible alarm that will go off when you are running low on paint. This is much better than Finding out you are low when you start to dry fire in the middle of a match. There are also a set of low battery indicators as well so you know when it is time to put in some fresh AAs. This is a unique hopper in that you can connect it to your phone through an app that is compatible with android and ios.
The Spire three has a ton of features that were stripped from the IR model of the Spire. While the III will be a more expensive pickup. You are getting one of the best paintball hoppers around. Click here to see the best price.
5. Dye R2 Electronic Hopper – Highly Customizable Hopper
To start the R2 is expandable, you can change from a low profile paintball hopper to a higher capacity one. So depending on what game variant of paintball you are playing, you can switch between the two. Having the ability to change from a low profile to a larger volume is a unique feature. Expanding the hopper bumps u the capacity from 200 to 260 paintballs.
The R2 has a 20 percent larger mouth than its predecessor the R1. This will allow you to focus more on your surroundings rather than shoving your paint tube in your hopper. On the bottom of the hopper, there is a shark fin jam release trigger to quickly clear jams. The power button sits on the back portion of the R2. It has a nice chrome finish with a power symbol that really helps it stick out. When you are running low on paint there is an alarm that will sound informing you that you are low. This is great because if you are in the middle of a scenario match the last thing you want is an alarm giving away your position. There are also red LEDs that will light up internally when the three AA batteries are running low.
With a feed rate of 30 balls per second, the R2 is one of the fastest paintball hoppers around. That number is above standard feed speeds for professional players. There are at least different colors and designs to choose from with the Dye R2. Along with interchangeable quick feed tops that can be changed with the press of a button.
The R2 is one of the best paintball hoppers on the market. With a lightning-fast feed speed and loads of features, you cannot go wrong with the Dye R2. Click here to see the best price.
How To Choose The Best Paintball Hopper
The five hoppers listed above are the best paintball hoppers that we could find for you. Who knew hoppers had such a wide variety and selection to choose from? That being shat there are a couple more things to consider before you make a final decision. Depending on how you play and your experience level, choosing the best paintball hopper still needs some extra thought put into it.
Size and Weight
The dimensions of the hopper you choose are as important as the features it has packed into its frame. The size and weight can have a significant impact on your ability to perform well and for long periods. The higher capacity the hopper is the bigger and heavier it will be.
If you plan on using a pump-action paintball gun then a hopper like the Proto Primo is a great hopper for you. The primo is gravity fed so it will inherently be lighter weight than an electric hopper, so really you do not need 20 to 30 paintballs per second being fed into your pump-action gun.
If you want a hopper that sits low on your paintball gun something like the Spire III is perfect. It makes for a great low profile paintball hopper that feds paintballs like a beast.
One of the most overlooked aspects, when people buy a hopper, is the compatibility to the gun they own. While most paintball hoppers are compatible with almost every type of paintball gun there are a few exceptions a buyer like you need to consider. The caliber of your paintball gun will impact what type of hopper you will need to buy. There are three major different calibers that are used in paintball. Let’s start with .43 caliber hoppers.
The .43 caliber paintball is one of the smallest calibers you can find and believe it or not there are plenty of guns that support this size of paintball. Most paintball guns do not use such a small caliber but there are some exceptions. These paintballs are small enough to be used in a gravity-fed hopper, in reality, this is all you will need to feed the paintballs into your gun efficiently. Paintball pistols are the most common type of paintball guns that use the .43 caliber rounds. Most if not all of them are magazine-fed, but there are a few models that do support .43 caliber hoppers.
The next size up is the .50 caliber paintball. This caliber of paintball is growing in popularity specifically with kids and newcomers to the sport. The great thing about .50 caliber hoppers is their ability to hold a higher number of paintballs in a smaller sized hopper. There are tons of great options in terms of .50 hoppers. You can use gravity-fed, cyclone fed or electronically fed hoppers with .50 cal rounds.
The standard round for paintball is the .68 caliber round. This caliber paintball has been around the inception of the sport. Paintball guns were designed to fire this type of paintball. With that .68 caliber, paintballs will have the highest variety in hoppers available. Most paintball hoppers designed for the .68 round are compatible with most if not all .68 caliber paintball guns.
That being said just because a hopper is technically compatible with a paintball gun does not mean it’s the best hopper to do the job. As we stated earlier that there is no point in buying an electronic hopper for a pump-action gun. For pump-action type paintball guns a gravity-fed hopper is the best way to go. A simple hopper for a simple gun. There is no need to over complicate things when you do not need to over complicate things. This will ultimately save you money in the long run.
For paintball guns like the Tippmann A-5 an intermediate gun, there are several different directions you can go. You could go with a gravity-fed option, but with a gun like A-5 and others like it, the rate of fire is significantly higher. There are cyclone fed hoppers that do not require batteries. But a mid-tier electronic hopper is probably the best option for an intermediate gun. A hopper like the Dye LT-R is the best paintball hopper for the job. It has all of the benefits of an electronic hopper like a high feed rate without breaking the bank.
For top of the line paintball markers, you will want the top of the line hoppers. What’s the point of having a paintball gun that can fire 30 rounds per second if you are going to use a gravity-fed hopper. Not only will the hopper be unable to feed quick enough, but the paintballs will also get jammed up more times than you can imagine. The best paintball hopper for a premium gun is a hopper like the Spire III it can feed up to 30 paintballs per second, an optimal speed for a semi-automatic or fully-automatic paintball gun.
Risk of Jams
Even with the best paintball hoppers, jams can occur. Sometimes it is due to the quality of paintballs you buy, the weather or even the hopper itself malfunctioning.
If you buy low-quality paintballs the chances of them breaking in the hopper are greatly increased. When a paintball breaks in a hopper, especially an electronic hopper the paint will cause everything to become clumpy slowing down the flow of paintballs until the eventually stop moving out of the hopper all together. The weather can affect paintballs as well. In the heat, paintballs will expand. And if you buy cheap paintballs they have a higher chance of breaking in the hopper.
Then there is the hopper itself malfunctioning. This may be due to low batteries or some kind of mechanical issue but even top of the line hoppers can jam up from time to time.
What is a paintball hopper?
A paintball hopper is designed to feed paintballs into a paintball gun to be shot. There are several different types of hoppers such as gravity-fed and electronic.
How do I maintain a paintball hopper?
The best way to maintain a paintball hopper is to field strip it after each session of use. Be sure to change any batteries that are needed as well.
How many paintballs fit in a hopper?
A: Each hopper can hold a different amount of paintballs. The average capacity of a hopper is about 200 rounds. Although some hoppers can be expanded to hold up to 260 rounds. If you want a more discreet hopper some hold as little as 100 paintballs.
Best Selling Paintball Hoppers
- Provides every style of player a loader that retains the quality performance that’s needed to win at a price tag that’s unmatched.
- Patented DYE loader technology that fuses top-notch functionality with mind-blowing feed rates and reliability. Patented Rotor Force Fed Technology, 30+ balls per second.
- Holds 200 paintballs
- Made of tough polymers
- [Built to Win] - Smaller, lighter, easier to use and more reliable than any other loader in its class
- [Intelligent] - Proactive feeding using improved sensors to give a constant stream of paint
- 200 ball capacity
- Primo loader helps sort and funnel as you shoot for a consistent vertical feed
- Low battery indicator
- Lightweight loader feeds 20 + balls per second