To play airsoft means to be prepared with proper gear and clothing, but it does not mean that you need to wear the most exclusive and expensive cloths on the market.
In this guide I will share with you all possibilities that you can consider if you are just starting out. I will consider that you might be on a budget and therefore will cover everything from the essential gear to the optional one.
If you are just starting out with airsoft and have been told that you should equip yourself with tons of gear and tactical cloths to participate in the airsoft games, it is probably a mere attempt to make you spend more money.
Which leads us to the simple question, what actually should you wear to airsoft?
You should wear eye protection gear at all costs because it is the most essential piece of a gear, everything else is optional and in fact you may already own all cloths at home. With time you should increase the collection because soon after the first few games you will realize that there is a lot of awesome airsoft tactical cloths to wear out there.
Let’s move to the essential cloths and let’s dig into your locker to see what you can use right now without spending a penny more than you should as the real cost of airsoft doesn’t need to be unfriendly for your budget.
Wear Eye protection first
You can choose between goggles, glasses and masks for mandatory eye protection and I have written a short guide to help you determine which one is the best pick for you.
I do not recommend spending too much money at beginning, but you should not be cheap at eye protection because this in fact, protects you from the only serious injury that can happen in airsoft.
With proper eye protection you won’t have to worry about getting hurt, besides some bruisers from time to time.
If you are cheap on eye protection and decide to buy some cheap glass or plastic protection, it may get shattered in the middle of the game and expose your eyes to the incoming BBs.
With good eye protection there are no worries because known brands guarantee the quality and test their products numerous times before they send it to the stores.
It is recommended to double check the eye protection at home by shooting at it with the airsoft gun, just to be sure!
Cloths that you may already have in the locker
Most beginners actually join their first airsoft experience in a hoody. Everyone has a hoody, it is comfortable and provides you with enough protection over a whole torso including the neck area, ears and head.
Fitness cloths are comfortable and do not make you sweat as much as other cloths. In airsoft, you will move a lot, so this can certainly be a good option, just bear in mind that it may not perfectly protect you from feeling pain.
You can play airsoft without gloves, but receiving a shot to the fingertips or knuckles is extremely annoying. Good gloves will reduce such odds from happening.
One of the first things that I recommend are good boots. You may already own some, but in case that you do not you should invest into one. Playing in casual shoes can be done, but can also hurt you with time.
Like, if you run a lot outside in shoes, you may twist an ankle, but good boots will protect you with stability.
Safety helmet/basebal hat
Any kind of a helmet is welcomed, if you own a safety helmet you can bring it, but a simple baseball hat will do the job. If you want to know a bit more about helmets and why they may come useful you can check my post in this topic here.
Some people wear anything and do not worry about additional protection and I understand them. However, any thick material will help you receive less pain, so if you want to play airsoft in shorties or jeans, go ahead, but be aware of the incoming pain from time to time.
There is nothing as thick and protective than a good leather jacket. I personally own multiple leather jackets and wear them for different occasions. I must state that not a single BB can be felt through it, but I own thick leather jackets and some people wear the thin and soft leather jackets, therefore not every jacket is the same and some will provide you with more protection than others.
When a BB lands on the leather it also makes a nice sound, so you will not have to worry about accidentally not calling hits.
Old veteran uniform and gear
I have found a helmet, chest rig and a uniform in the basement. I guess it belonged to my grandpa or to some cousin, but it was still quite new, so I am not sure whether it was battle tested at all. In case that you can find some in your basement or perhaps in local pawnshops, such gear can be used in fields and in case that you want to play some MilSim event it may be of even greater advantage.
Okay just kidding, but this could actually work too just like any protective suit you may come up with. It is not common to see people wearing unordinary stuff, but I believe that creativity it always a big plus. Imagine wearing a bee suit in the middle of the winter, I bet that there are no better options for remaining unseen.
The additional gear and cloths that will help you get better at airsoft
Battle dress uniforms (BDU) and other tactical uniforms
These uniforms are not only good looking and come in many different colors and patents, but are also comfortable and made for real action. I love these uniforms you can find in airsoft stores and Amazon because they come in a full set with included knee pads. Don’t underestimate the importance of knee pads, you’ll be sliding and crouching a lot in airsoft no matters the role you pick.
You can choose different camo for each season to gain the camouflage advantage, just be sure to choose the correct size as these uniforms are not meant to be slim fit but rather bit larger than your casual staff for increased mobility.
To be honest, all gloves that fit the fingers well and allow you to aim and fire a gun are good, the only difference with tactical gloves is that they look more badass and offer better padding. If you want to save money, you don’t have to purchase tactical gloves straight away, but they will make you comfortable from the beginning and are a good investment if you plan to play airsoft regularly. This advice especially applies during cold seasons when playing without gloves is impossible and many regular gloves are too puffy so you can’t press the trigger.
Tactical gloves are also great to have if you like other activities such as hiking, climbing, skateboarding or even for driving a bicycle.
As I have mentioned, helmets are not essential and a simple hat or bandana will do it, but there are some cool benefits of helmets.
Airsoft helmets and other paintball or tactical helmets are a good option if you want to either fit the outfit properly, protect your self additionally or most importantly open some space up for gadgets such as the lights and cameras.
My personal reason for wearing a helmet would be to put a GoPro camera on it and record the games if it were not for the outfit.
As a matter of fact, recording your own game requires a camera set-up, it’s not that expensive for the moments you can capture.
One day you may watch the footage of when you were young and battle-ready or you may create your youtube channel and get some views of crazy highlights.
These tactical helmets on Amazon are a truly good choice.
Chest rigs/chest plates
The chest rigs or chest plates do not only appear nice, but also provide you with tons of functionality.
At beginning you may not need one, because you will not own lots of gear anyways, but with time you will get more stuff and you will need that precious place.
Imagine wearing 5 magazines and 5 grenades with BBs and a speed loader all in the trouser pockets, very unproductive.
For a clear picture on how many magazines you’ll need for a game you will need to tailor it towards your play style. I have written a guide on it for beginners.
It’s good to get a vest with chest rig that has room for BBs, magazines, extra pockets for speed loader, Co2 cartridges or green gas, grenades and decoys and perhaps a secondary gun. The following chest rig on Amazon is a good choice and as you can see it’s not expensive.
You don’t need expensive chest rigs and vests as you certainly won’t wear real kevlar plates. It’s important to find something with high functionality and the looks, that’s it!
Lower masks are awesome, but people often negate their existence for some reason.
I have heard people complaining about losing a tooth ( it really rarely happens though) or getting a cut lip after getting hit.
Every person’s face is vulnerable to hits because there is a lot of soft tissue and the only ways to deal with it is either to wear a lower mask or some kind of a scarf.
Lower masks comes with best protection, but scarves can be used too.
I recommend one, basic and popular choice of airsoft players but Amazon is full of all kinds of masks and different designs, so you might even find something that covers your entire head and the neck and goes well with the goggles.
How to reduce the pain received in airsoft?
As I have stated above, some cloths will provide you with better protection than the other, but to realistically see what you really need, you should probably first take a game with classic outfit and after that upgrade it.
Some people tolerate pain more than the others and some enjoy it (for some weird reason).
In short, these are the cloths that will help you reduce the pain from hurling BBs.
- A lower mesh mask
- A full face mask
- Thich cloths with long sleeves
- A cup and a helmet ( if you want to know more about the use of caps in airsoft you can read my posts where I explain how much are the cups useful and necessary in airsoft battles)
However, do not be afraid of getting hit, it does not hurt that much even if you get hit directly on a skin.
The case is that some guns are more powerful than others and the range which you are hit at also matters a lot, so the final conclusion is that you may get a bruise or some minor bleedings sometimes if you are not properly covered, but that’s it.
If you want to know more about common airsoft injuries and how dangerous they may be you can check my post on this topic here.
What should you wear for MilSim and LARP events?
Airsoft MilSim and LARP are the awesome events and it will require some decent budget in some cases.
The thing with these events is that they are quite unpredictable and everything depends on the thematic of the event.
What to wear for Airsoft MilSim
Airsoft MilSim is based on events that can last for days and are based on the idea of a military simulation that often finds place outside of towns, deep in the woods or abandoned places.
Sometimes you may go for a realistic Marine Corps loadout and the other time it may be a Navy Seals or Russian world war 2 thematic of the event.
Therefore, you will always wear a different outfit and different gear (guns included) for different events.
I have created some ideas for these loadouts, so if you are interested you can check them.
Some people attend these events often and some people just like to have loadouts and outfits of their favorite units and characters for cosplay purposes.
What to wear for Airsoft LARP
Live action roll playing is a fun idea indeed! It differs from MilSim by the way of ideas that do not strictly follow the „realistic military look“ and instead allows you to take a leap into some of your favorite fantasies.
LARP is formed of character creation and particular logic that follows its nature. Each participant has its own role and purpose and only the imagination is the limit.
Therefore, you will hardly plan what to wear for LARPing before you encounter the specific event.
One of my favorite LARP ideas is the post-apocalyptic world where players modify their gear and guns to look as fitting to the world of the post-apocalyptic world as possible.
What should you wear in cold weather airsoft wars?
To play airsoft during the long cold days you should dress up from the feet up to the neck and preferably cover the head as well.
It is not a rocket science to know how to dress for chilly days, but if you have not played airsoft in chilly days before and this is your first time, you could easily realize that you have committed some basic mistakes.
People often think that they have dressed up properly to endure such weather, but they do not calculate the conditions they will find themselves under once they step outside.
I am talking about people not being prepared to accidentally step into a mud or a puddle or even worse which is the case with airsoft, to take a cover at and lie down under such conditions.
You may fall, you may crawl, no matters what it is always expect to get wet and to get dirty if you play outside.
CQB fields are way better at this, but the big halls and buildings made out of concrete can easily accumulate the cold and send it right throughout your spin.
Thick Socks, proper boots, scarf, hat and dry cloths
This is the killer combo for chilly airsoft days.
To get prepared properly, wear double or very thick socks and solid and high quality boots that can sustain such conditions.
The cold first hits the feet and then advances.
Take some cloths in advance in a bag in case that you get wet, so you can replace it with the dry one and do not forget to take a scarf and a comfy hat.
Warm drinks and water
Sometimes the fields organize this part, but in case they do not you should think about it and bring a thermos with warm coffee or a tea.
You do not have to warm the water, but keep in mind that the winter may confuse you into thinking that you are well hydrated, when in fact you are not.
This is due to the fact that you may sweat a lot, but not notice it due to the cold and because humans are more likely to notice that they need to drink more for refreshment (which is a case during a summer) than for an actual performance of their body.
Just frequently drink water and it will make your body sustain the cold way better.
What should you wear for airsoft in hot weather?
The summer days are here and the sun strikes us from above with the hellish but yet beautiful rays, We all waited for it because the winter that lasts too long makes us depressive, however what are we supposed to do to keep ourselves fresh to play airsoft? It is a must that we adapt to it using certain techniques and clothes. I was making mistakes that would keep me all days at home and barely make me to go outside on the beautiful summer days before, but then I changed a thing and two and suddenly I can sustain the heat pretty well those days.
What is the recipe for summer airsoft playing?
Wear recommended cloths that will protect you against BBs but still let your skin breath, drink lots of water, remove any excessive gear that you do not need, choose a field if you can and be aware of your health conditions if you have any.
Lots,lots of water and more
This is surely the most recommended tip told by everyone including doctors, players, friends, mothers even carpenters. However, I still see that most people do not drink enough water although they think that they do. The amount of water you should take varies not only from the temperature but also on your weight, cloths, distances you have walked, the pace of the walking or running and so on.
Therefore as surprising it may sound, most people are chronically dehydrated and they are not even realizing it, as a matter of fact I am probably dehydrated as well while I am writing this.
Drink more than what you think you need and you will deal with dangers of hot days quite well, this is especially important if you have other health conditions but if you play often while dehydrated it certainly damages your body. Problems with kidneys and headaches are just one of such health issues.
So, bring at least a gallon of water to the field if you decide to play whole day and always drink more than what you feel that you need. When you bring lots of water on the field you may also help the others who were not the smartest and did not bring their own. There are always such people who will rather bring energy drinks than water and then complain about dizziness.
In order to help you with this I recommend you to use water reservoirs and bags that come with straws, you can hold them in a bag on your back or put it in a chest rig. This is very useful because if all you have to do to drink is to reach for the straw you are going to have easy time staying hydrated, reaching a bottle is often a bit more of a work especially in the middle of the game. One of such water devices can be found in many stores and they are cheap, you can check out the price on Amazon here.
Being well hydrated will also help you with aim, patience and reflexes.
Do not forget about minerals
Staying hydrated does not only mean drinking lots of water, as a matter of fact people often make this mistake and only drink water without a concern about electrolytes. Your body needs a good amount of minerals and water to stay healthy and hydrated, if you break the balance you may still experience issues. If you do not want to faint in the middle of the field on a sunny day be sure that you eat minerals rich food or take supplements like magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium.
Wear Combat and under armour shirts
Now, this is something that you are looking for. You probably do not have anything at your home that is specially designed for surviving the hot environments like military guys do. The trick with these shirts is that they are designed specifically for that purpose, they cover your body in a smart way by providing you enough pockets to fill the stuff into, often come with elbow pads installed so they do not slip and most importantly the fabric prevents the accumulation of moisture on skin. This fabric dries extremely quick and is a great pick for other seasons as well, it will not protect you only from your own sweat but also from the rain. You can check out the price on Amazon here.
I find to tolerate thick pants on both summer and winter so, I do not change the pants because like the protection and feeling that comes from the thick material and therefore I think that the pants are not a problem, just wear what you have and know that will comfortable or get some if you do not have any.
The second pick, a bit less common among players but also effective and my favorite is to wear under armour shirts. I prefer them for any situation during spring and summer, they also have the special fabric that prevents moisture from accumulating but also cover less of your body and thus make it extremely fresh to wear. The downside is that they cover less and you may feel a bit more pain but BBs to the body do not hurt that much, unless someone shoots you with high velocity guns at very close distances. The price is very cheap and this shirts are a good pick for winter season as well, you can check out the price on Amazon here.
Bonus tip: Wear under armour shirts if you want to show off your physic, if you do not look like Rambo be aware that the shirt won’t change that neither.
Cover your head
You should forget about helmets and full face masks on summer days, they sweat extensively and are only a good option when playing in fall, winter and early spring time, although they can be used for CQB the whole year long and are a great option for it.
Helmets and full face masks start sweating and accumulating the heat sooner than you may expect it and even if you move to the shadows, the heat and sweat will remain on your head, you want to avoid this.
So, the solution is any baseball hat that covers your eyes and face from the sun or any light hat that is built from cloth or leather and does not contain polymer or metal. You can wear a cowboy hat and look cool in it, they do a great job protecting you from the sun too.
If you do not like hats that you can simply take a bandana or any similar piece of cloth and roll it around your head. The trick you can do with them is too soak them in water before you put it on your head if you want that cooling effect to be present while you play.
Whatever you choose to put on your head just be aware that the reason why we are covering heads is to protect it from direct sun rays that can otherwise hurt you and cause sunstroke. Sun strokes are a common problem in warm states because people often forget that they are spending too much time on the sun and the head remembers every sun ray. You can find the one you like on Amazon here.
Cover your skin
If you decide to roll up your sleeves or forget to cover some parts like a neck and face you may get sun burns. If you wear a hat and military style shirts that have the coverage for the neck you will probably only have to worry about your arms. You can simply use any good sun cream and it will do the job.
It is recommended that you wear a lower mesh face mask so your face remains protected and the mesh is a great pick because it does not sweat and the air passes through it quite well. Bear in mind that mesh goggles are not acceptable.
Advantage of camouflage during summer
This is the best time of the year for chameleons and airsoft players, If you are a sniper than you will especially benefit from this but even if you play any other role you will still want to take this to your advantage. Spring and summer bring the colors back in game and you can choose from variety of different combinations and be creative. A good camouflage is used by military and they know how important it is to take advantage of it when playing on open fields and forests.
With good camouflage you will be able to much more than what you would imagine at beginning, it just takes some practice and you will be hitting the enemy team before they notice you. This is also one of the most entertaining sides of airsoft because you can really take it on another level and have so much fun with this.
Tip: Analyse the field where you play and see what are the colors that appear the most, it will probably be green and you will want to blend it with black. If it is any other color you are still going to blend it with black. The black color is not found anywhere in nature and you are not playing on nights, however human brain confuses it for shadows and if you put it carefully on your face or body you will most likely avoid being spotted unless you show off your new shiny teeth.
Minimize the gear you bring to reduce the heat
You can use a chest rig to fill the stuff you need, it provides you with enough slots for everything you need on the field. Some players carry the gear they do not need and often will choose lots of food they would not eat anyways and soda drinks instead of water.
Be smart and carry less, you only need mags and BBs, water, maybe a grenade and guns. Weight really adds up to the amount of sweat that your body produces.
Beware of insects
Insects are quite surprising sometimes, you do not expect them and do not think about them but they are there and are waiting for you to show up. Summer is exactly the time of the year when insects come for their piece of cake and you should think about using some anti-mosquito lotion and similar stuff, they are cheap and work considering that you can apply them to the skin before the match and will probably last for the day.
Know the field
You could go naked and without weapons and still win games if you would only have the advantage of knowing the field. In this case if you know the spots and routes where the sun does not bother players, you will have easy time. In case of a very bright and strong sun try not to face it and always look for spots that allow you to do so.
If you can stay in shadows for majority of the game you will need less water and will have better time.