This post was updated on: Monday, October 1, 2019
So, you have your paintball gun ready, and all that’s stopping you from getting out in the field and having some fun is the fact that you haven’t found the right paintball tank for your marker?
No need to worry – this guide is all about helping you choose among some of the best paintball tanks on the market and finding the one that fits your needs perfectly!
Let’s get straight to it!
#5 Tippmann Empire Basics 48ci 3K Paintball Tank
- Lightweight Aluminum DOT and TC certified cylinders "Made in the USA"
- 3000 PSI fill capacity with an 800 PSI output pressure
- User replaceable Bonnet
When it comes to the best entry-level paintball tanks, the Tippmann Empire Basics 3K is a decent, reliable option for players with a somewhat limited budget looking to switch to an HPA tank.
Now, if the whole Tippmann vs. Empire thing is a bit confusing for you, rest assured that we’re talking about a legitimate product here. A few years ago, Empire acquired Tippmann, and while the tank’s overall performance and features haven’t changed, the logo may be different.
The tank’s constructed out of aluminum, which, as you’ll see later, is a relatively affordable and lightweight option, but comes with certain limitations, too. It has a 3000 PSI fill capacity, which should be enough for approximately 500 shots, depending on your paintball marker – but it’s far from being impressive.
The tank comes readily fitted with a regulator, offering a universally compatible 800-PSI output, as well as a user-replaceable bonnet.
We wouldn’t necessarily call this one heavy – it’s still in the reasonably lightweight category – but it has enough weight to it to wear you down during longer games. It’s still manageable, though, so don’t write it off your list straight away.
- HPA paintball tank with 3000 PSI capacity
- Aluminum body
- 800 PSI output offers universal compatibility
- You get about 500 shots per tank
- An affordable entry-level paintball tank
- There’s room for improvement weight-wise
- Somewhat limited capacity
#4 Empire Carbon HPA Ulta Tank
- Ultra lightweight carbon fiber Tank, 30% lighter than basics 68Ci
- Made in the USA
- Dot/TC approved tanks
One product we’d recommend to anyone who can afford a premium-quality tank is the Empire Carbon HPA Ultra Tank.
Made from carbon fiber material this tank is not only insanely durable but surprisingly lightweight, as well. The “ultra-lightness” is one of its main selling points, as it weighs around 30 percent less than the Empire Basics model!
Even with the impressive size of around 80 cubic inches that should easily last you for several rounds of paintball before needing a refill it still weighs in at less than two pounds, so you won’t even notice it’s there.
The tank is equipped with the Empire’s tried-and-true regulator, too, which ensures consistent, optimal performance of your paintball marker.
But before you fall in love with this one, make sure that you’re comfortable with the not-so-budget-friendly price tag that comes with it.
If you have the money for it, though, by all means, give it a go!
Also, with a tank as pricey as this one, getting a protective cover should be imperative – but as it turns out, finding one that fits is tricky business!
- A sturdy carbon fiber body
- Comes with a reliable Empire regulator
- Extremely lightweight at less than two pounds
- 30 percent lighter than Empire Basics tanks
- It’s quite expensive
- Hard to find a cover that fits
- Has to be filled before use
#3 First Strike Hero 2.0 Compressed Air HPA 4500psi Paintball Tank
- 360 Degree Rotation - Multi-position brass thread collar enables custom set-up without sacrificing reliability, convenience, or adding...
- Brass Threads - The brass collar eliminates the excess wear and galling common with aluminum threads
- Pro Fill Nipple - Featuring an exclusive conical strut that increases life of the fill nipple o-ring and reduces maintenance
If this isn’t your first time browsing for the best paintball tanks, chances are you’ve already familiar with the First Strike Hero – and what we have here is the 2.0 version of that model, and one that certainly deserves its spot in our roundup as a reliable compressed air tank.
One of the features that we were most excited about was the 360-degree rotation of the regulator, as it allows for quite a bit of customization to your set-up, without affecting the overall performance of the tank. The best part is that rotating the regulator is a straightforward process that doesn’t require any tools, and can be done even if there’s air in the tank!
Another thing we noticed is the regulator’s low profile design – one of the lowest on the market.
And considering the overall design and features of this tank, it’s clear that it was made to last. The brass thread collar, for instance, minimizes wear and tear, while the brass burst disks provide regulator safety. Moreover, the conical strut is designed to increase the longevity of the fill nipple O-ring.
All in all, it should last for years to come!
- 360-degree tool-less fully rotational regulator
- A consistent output of 800 PSI
- Carbon fiber body
- The conical strut increases the lifespan of the fill nipple O-ring
- Brass threads minimize wear and tear
- Brass burst disks ensure regulator safety
- Not very compact
#2 Ninja Paintball 4500 PSI Carbon Fiber HPA Tanks w/ Regulator
Now, if you’re ready to spend a bit more to ensure that you’re getting one of the best paintball tanks on the market, let us introduce you to this Ninja model – it’s one of our favorites in the carbon fiber category!
Right off the bat, you’re going to notice how lightweight it is, even more so if you’re used to aluminum tanks. Moreover, it’s relatively compact, too, which makes it easy to carry around, as well as store when it’s not in use.
And even though it’s so light, it’s still rated to 4500 PSI of compressed air, which is a significant difference in the number of shots you get out of a full tank.
The tank is equipped with a high-quality adjustable regulator, allowing you to set the output pressure between 450 and 850 PSI for optimal performance, depending on the requirements of your paintball marker.
Oh, and let’s not forget that it comes in a variety of colors, which gives you a lot of room for customizing the overall look of your paintball equipment!
If there’s one thing we didn’t like about this particular tank, it’s the price – but it’s well worth the money!
- HPA paintball tank with 4500 PSI capacity
- Carbon fiber body
- High-quality adjustable regulator
- Lightweight with a relatively small profile
- Feels well-made and solid
- A bit pricey
#1 Ninja SL Paintball Compressed HPA Air Tank
If you can afford it, the Ninja SL HPA tank is probably the best one you can buy, especially if weight is a deciding factor for you. You see, the “SL” part stands for “Superlight,” which should give you a pretty good idea of what this model is all about – being lighter and more compact than its competitors.
Now, remember that the pressure rating is the same as the Ninja’s standard carbon fiber tanks – 4500 PSI. So, don’t expect any increase in shot capacity.
But before you think that spending more doesn’t make sense if it doesn’t hold more shots, let us remind you how lightweight and compact this tank truly is:
If you compare the SL 68-cubic-inch model with a regular carbon fiber tank of the same size, it’s still nearly a pound lighter, and a few inches shorter. That means you can easily carry the 77-cubic-inches SL one around without experiencing any increase in weight or size compared to the Ninja’s regular 68-cubic-inch tank!
And other than the price, we didn’t find a single thing wrong with this tank, which is why we believe it’s one of the best paintball tanks out there!
- Comes with a regulator
- Adjustable pressure output (450 to 850 PSI)
- One of the lightest options available
- More compact profile
- Smaller and lighter than a regular carbon fiber tank of the same size
- Relatively pricey
Choosing The Best Paintball Tanks: Things To Consider
Types of Paintball Tanks
The first thing you’ll have to do is decide on a paintball tank type, which comes down to choosing between CO2 and compressed air:
These were the more common type of paintball tanks out of the two, and one of the main reasons why so many players used to opt for CO2 is their cost-effective nature – not only are they easily refilled but tend to cost less in general, too.
The CO2 is extremely temperature-sensitive, though, which is why they’re prone to freezing up – the pressure inside the tank can drop significantly in cold weather, as well as during rapid-fire, which can affect the performance of your paintball marker directly by causing pressure fluctuations.
Compressed Air Tanks (HPA)
Also known as high-pressure air (HPA) tanks, these are far less common than their CO2 counterparts. They’re slowly gaining popularity, though, especially among competition-style players, thanks to its steady performance and consistent output pressure.
Since a lot of paintball fields these days offer free compressed air refills, these can be real money savers for regular players. Plus, they don’t freeze up, which gives them an instant edge over the CO2 variety.
Pressure Rating: High vs. Low
Let’s get one thing straight first:
All tanks are filled with high-pressure air – the difference is in the output.
Most paintball guns handle high pressure just fine, but some electronic markers require the pressure of 450 PSI or lower. That’s where a regulator comes in:
It’s the vital part of any quality paintball tank that regulates the compressed air output pressure as it moves through the tank and into the gun.
Now, we know that this can be a bit confusing, so we highly recommend that you find out what your gun’s operating pressure is, and choose accordingly. It’s the minimum input pressure needed for the marker to function – and unless your gun already has an internal regulator, anything over its operating pressure should do the job.
If, on the other hand, your marker does have one, stick to an input of around 300 to 500 PSI higher than the operating pressure. That way, you’ll avoid shoot-downs and unnecessary wear and tear that might arise with unsuitable pressure levels.
In most cases, though, a high-pressure tank is the way to go, as long as it has an adjustable regulator. The only scenario in which a low-pressure one would be a better option is if your paintball gun has a low operating pressure – 150 PSI or less.
Material: Aluminum or Carbon Fiber?
You can’t expect top-notch performance from low-end materials, which is why this is such a vital decision that will determine the tank’s overall efficiency, weight, and durability.
The best paintball tanks are usually made from one of the following materials:
Lightweight and easy to carry around, aluminum is a far more popular choice among paintball players these days and one you’ll most commonly see out in the field.
The most common aluminum-related issue is that it’s not as durable as steel – heavy blows and accidental impacts can cause dents and damage to these tanks quite easily.
Aluminum paintball tanks tend to cost less, too – and with proper protection and care, they could last a long time.
Please note that an aluminum air tank can only hold up to 3000 PSI, though.
Some of the best paintball tanks on the market are made from carbon fiber, which means that they’re not only highly durable but lightweight, as well. As such, they’re easy to handle and carry around, but they’re still able to withstand a lot of abuse and last a very long time. Moreover, they’re able to hold up to 4500 PSI, which is a significant improvement compared to aluminum models.
It’s no wonder the professional players swear by it!
The only downside here is the price – but it’s something to be expected with the level of quality you’re getting.
Steel (The Outdated Option)
Steel is well known for its sturdiness and durability, so it’s understandable if you think that it might be the perfect tank material, as it can withstand heavy blows – but the truth is, you couldn’t be more wrong:
Not only does steel add unnecessary weight to the tank but it’s prone to rust, as well, which could shorten the tank’s lifespan significantly.
It’s an outdated material, though, and it’s very rarely used these days – we’re only mentioning it because it previously had a spot in the world of paintball, too.
Tank Size & Weight
You’ll want a tank with a sufficient amount of space, which means that tank size is one of the vital considerations involved in choosing the best paintball tank for your needs.
However, bigger is not necessarily better in this scenario – the larger it is, the more it will weigh. Moreover, we often see people make the mistake of basing their choice solely on the number of shots they want to get out of it, which ends with them getting a paintball tank that’s often too heavy or too big for them to handle comfortably.
The two most popular paintball tank sizes have to be the 48/3000 for aluminum tanks and 68/4500 for carbon fiber ones.
Here’s a tip:
Make sure that the tank reaches the crease of your elbow when you’re holding the paintball gun – that’s how you know you’ve got the right size.
As with everything else in life, the goal is to find the golden middle – a perfect balance between size and weight. So, don’t make the mistake of picking one that’s way too heavy for you – when it comes to the best paintball tanks, lightweight is the way to go.
Sturdiness and Durability
Also, don’t make the mistake of overlooking the sturdiness of the tank – it’s one of those things that could, quite literally, make or break a particular model.
Playing paintball often involves various locations, tougher terrains and environments, and exposure to harsh elements. A high-quality tank will be durable and sturdy enough to hold up to and withstand the pressure, wear and tear, heavy blows, and other kinds of “abuse” that might occur while you’re out in the field.
You’ve seen some of the best paintball tanks currently available on the market, but the question remains:
Which one of these do we recommend?
Well, this should be a highly personal choice, based on your budget, needs, and preferences – but the one we found to be the sturdiest and most reliable one out of the bunch is the Ninja SL.
If you’re still not sure which one is the best for you, leave us a comment below, and we’ll get back to you shortly!
Last update on 2019-10-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API