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There’s a lot to consider when you’re getting ready for airsoft. As the majority of new players dive head-first into researching guns, game modes, and skirmish sites, they tend to forget all about another important piece of airsoft equipment: clothing.
Whether you’re playing Airsoft for the first time or the hundredth time, there are some essential pieces of combat clothing that will give you an edge when playing. Let’s take a look at the fundamentals of airsoft clothing, including both beginner-level buys and purchases for advanced players as well. And, if you’re ever unsure, remember that our expert team at Urban Airsoft UK are always ready to help with any questions or concerns you may have.
Airsoft clothing guides can quickly become complicated, so we’ll try to make this one easy for you. At the very least, airsoft clothing in autumn and winter should keep you warm and dry when you’re in combat. Thankfully, the majority of the clothing we sell takes stock of the famous British weather, and we have several different waterproof options. On the flip side, in the summer you don’t want to overheat, so we have multiple items of clothing that are breathable and will help keep you cool.
Certain pieces of clothing will offer you a level of protection as well. This is more important for some parts of kit than others: for example, combat trousers may not offer a huge amount of protection, but they may come with knee pads to protect the shin/knee area. Helmets or goggles also have an important protective factor for your head and your eyes.
Eye protection is the absolute, indisputable, number one essential for Airsoft. In fact, all sites across the United Kingdom won’t let you participate without some sort of eye protection.
BB’s don’t normally leave a mark, and although there can be a very slight pain when you’re hit at close contact, it isn’t enough to cause any significant damage. Contrarily, a BB to the eye could lead to being hospitalised and losing your eyesight. There is a wide range of eye protection available from sunglasses and goggles to full-face protection.
There is also a range of lenses available for each type of eye protection. Clear lenses offer clarity of vision, whereas shaded lenses are great for playing in the sun. You can even get tinted lenses in a variety of colours, including blue, green and red, but these are mostly available for full face paintball style masks.
Of course, headwear offers another level of protection, guarding against any impact to anything above the neck. But headwear can also add extra stealth and even warmth.
Playing in different environments may change what you want to wear if you are looking to blend in with your surroundings. Dark shadowy buildings may leave you wanting to wear a black balaclava, whereas it may be beneficial to wear a snood or boonie hat with added foliage when playing outdoors. If it’s sunny, you may be looking to wear a baseball cap to keep the sun out of your eyes.
Snoods, bandanas and caps also give another advantage. They can wick sweat away from your forehead and minimise any fogging of glasses and masks.
Helmets are great for adding a layer of protection to the top of your head. You’ll also have the ability to add tactical gear such as patches, torches, headsets, GoPro’s and even some foliage. If you wish to customise your helmet, it couldn’t be simpler. There are fabric wraps available which wrap around your helmet, you can spray them a different colour, or even add your favourite logo to them if you wish.
There are different levels of protection offered by gloves. Some have plastic armouring on the back to protect from impact, and some have rubber, offering a lightweight and flexible alternative. Some gloves are ‘fast fit’, meaning they slip on and off, whereas others velcro onto the hand ensuring they stay in place. You can get cold weather or waterproof gloves for outdoor winter games, which can also come with armouring for the back of the hand. Other gloves are reinforced on high-traffic areas, offering durability and reliability.
When picking your hand protection choose a durable pair of gloves where possible. Yes, gloves should keep you warm and protect you from painful shots to the hand, but they’ll also protect you from everything you come into contact with. Airsoft courses can be wet, muddy, and rough around the edges – protect your hands with a reliable pair of gloves that aren’t going to let you down.
Next up is the clothing that you’ll actually be wearing. Many first-timers turn up for their initial game and put the hire clothing over their attire, which can lead to overheating and then removing some clothing to cool back down again.
When dressing to play airsoft, you should take into consideration the environment you are playing in. Dress for the weather if you are outdoors, ensuring you don’t overheat or get too cold. Camouflage is generally worn outside to help you disappear in your environment, but plain-coloured clothing can also be worn. There is a wide range of camoflage and combat clothing available and some people take inspiration from a favourite film, computer game or military colour scheme. Some people just dress for comfort and convenience.
Tactical vests are an optional extra to wear over your clothing, and their suitability really depends on whether you want a lightweight rig for speed, or if you want to carry all of the gear you will need for an 8-hour skirmish. Vests can provide you with an additional layer of protection, of course, but the ample storage is what really makes the item stand out. You can carry extra gear, store your ammunition, magazines, food (everyone needs a tactical Snickers bar), and even a pistol holster to greatly improve your game.
Tactical vests and mini rigs are available in a large range of colours to match your combats or offer some contrast, such as a tan vest over a grey top or a full Pencott GreenZone loadout.
Safety pads are another optional piece of kit that do exactly what they say on the tin, and are well-suited for beginner players and first-timers. Both tops and trousers can be available with fitted elbow or knee pads but are also available as separate items.
Finally, you’ll need to wear appropriate footwear when you play airsoft. We recommend that you focus on sturdy, waterproof, and comfortable boots.
The majority of our top-quality boots will keep your feet dry and provide you with the grip you need. Make sure you opt for above-ankle boots in uneven terrain, and footwear that’s comfortable to your fit.
If you stick to these airsoft clothing essentials and invest in the right kit, then you’ll give yourself the best chance of excelling in whichever event you attend.
We’d love to hear from you – whether you need help sourcing that specific product, or want some advice on the best products to suit your requirements, our expert team are on hand to help.