Best Paintball Hopper Review 2020: Latest Review & Top Picks
No paintball gun is complete without a good hopper. While most people tend to overlook the importance of this equipment, a poor hopper will leave you disadvantaged in the battlefield. High capacity, low profile design, faster feed rate, anti-jam features and ease of use and maintenance are but a few of the metrics we used to seek through a wide selection of loaders and to compile a top 5 list of the best paintball guns hoppers to look out for in 2020.
The DYE LT-R is an ideal hopper for any electronic paintball gun. The simple low profile shell design features a generous 200 ball capacity. It comes with a patented spring-loaded floor tray that ensures every paintball is fully utilized. It also features a built-in anti-jam release trigger and an adjustable feed tension, which allows it to handle all types of paintballs and to feed the marker in quick succession.
Its simple tool-less design also includes a spring lid for quick and stress-free refills and is also replaceable, in case it gets damaged. It is powered by 3 AA batteries and its high energy efficiency allows it to take more than 80,000 shots before the batteries are depleted. The patented Rotor Force Feed Technology allows this loader to feed the marker at an amazing 30+ balls per second, making it one of the best electronic feeding systems. The LT-R is also upgradable with various color kits, high capacity tops, and quick feeds.
The G.I Sports LVL hopper is constructed from the lightweight and durable high impact nylon. It comes with a 200 round capacity and even features adjustable programmed functions, one of which is the velocity adjustment feature that allows you to set the rate of feed. The lowest feed rate is 15 balls per second, which means that it can be used with the ultra-fast Fully Auto trigger systems. It also includes the jam-proof drive system that prevents clogging and ‘popcorning’ allowing it to be used with brittle paintballs.
The low rise, super low profile keeps the overall marker compact, without appearing too conspicuous and even allows for easy handling and maneuvering during tight battle drills. It is powered by 4 AA batteries and even features low battery level LED and sound indicators that alert you when the battery is almost depleted. The easy swap rain lid allows it to be used in extreme weather conditions. It comes with a tool-less design that allows easy disassembly for easy cleaning and maintenance.
The Spires series is arguably the best line-up of paintball loaders with a slew of professional tournament winnings under its belt. The Spire IR is at the top of the pack with a newly improved Intelligent Proactive feeding system that comprises 3-IR sensors and the Spire drive system. As a result, it can feed an electronic marker consistently and at an amazingly fast rate, without flinching.
It is also smaller and lighter than the previous Spires but still manages to squeeze in 200 rounds at a time. The body and back shell are all constructed from the lightweight and durable nylon to increase its longevity. The highlight of this loader is that it comes with a lot of upgradable options. It is compatible with the Spire III CrownSF II, which allows it to switch from a traditional lid to a speed feed in seconds.
It is also compatible with the original Spire Spring Ramp and its color can be customized thanks to the various Spire color kits. The best upgradeable feature that this hopper offers is the VIRTUE N-Charge, a rechargeable battery pack that takes away the limitation of traditional batteries. With this VIRTUE N-Charge pack, you can virtually charge this hopper using any USB port on any device, such as a phone charger, laptop or an external charging device.
The Proto Primo is arguably the best gravity-fed paintball gun hopper. Since it is gravity fed, this hopper is only powered by minimal agitation from the gun and an occasional shake. So, no batteries with this hopper and the problems of low battery are nonexistent in the battlefield. It has a 200 round capacity with an enlarged clear spring lid that allows quick refills and easy paint level checks. Another great feature of this hopper is that it helps sort and funnel balls for a consistent vertical feed operation.
This process is achieved by the innovative positive feed shelf, the first of its kind in a paintball loader. The positive feed shelf helps relieve downward pressure exerted by other balls on the one that is chambered for firing, which reduces jamming and increases feed rate. It only produces a shooting rate of around 8 balls per second, which falls short of the electrical force-fed hoppers. However, the Proto Primo is an excellent choice for semi-auto action, which allows it to be used by both mechanical and electrical markers. It is also very cheap in comparison to other paintball loaders on this list.
- Great price
- Positive feed shelf reduces jamming
- The faster feed rate for a gravity-fed hopper
- No motor or batteries required to run it
- Available in a wide variety of colors
- Large 200 round capacity
- Clear spring lid allows quick refills and easy paintball level checks
The Rotor R2 comes with a unique and radical design that offers both reliability and mind-blowing feed rate. It features the innovative and patent-pending multi-capacity shell, which allows you to select either 200 or 260 round capacity to meet your gaming needs. It also includes the Rapid Release lid with a larger mouth opening for quick and effortless refills and cleaning. The new circuit board logic featured on the R2 is also the industry’s pioneer Reload Alert System.
Also, it comes with the electronic Dynamic Force Control that allows consistent power regulated feeding and also offers gentle power control when dealing with delicate paintballs. The highlight of this hopper is the R2 Quick Feed, which is installed in place of the traditional lid for better performance. The Quick Feed utilizes magnets that are co-molded into the dual-density material. It also includes a built-in living hinge system, which ensures all paintballs are fed into the marker without any getting out. The DYE Rotor R2 is the most versatile and flexible paintball loader in the market.
Paintball Gun Hopper Buying Guide
A hopper is as good as any other part of the paintball gun. You should, therefore, be careful when selecting one, because a poor choice can impact your game on the battlefield. So, what should you consider when buying a paintball gun hopper?
Type of Hopper
There are generally two types of hoppers: gravity-fed and electronic. Gravity fed hoppers do not require motors or batteries to operate, just the downward movement of paintballs that is facilitated by gravity force. As a result, they are very simple, have a lower feed rate and are cheaper. Electronic hoppers are more advanced, as they are powered by batteries, have anti-jam features and register a faster feed rate.
Size and Weight
The hopper should be lightweight so that it does not increase the overall weight of the marker. This is very important because the hopper will still hold more weight in terms of paintballs. Also, consider its physical size. A large hopper will affect your ability to use front and rear sights and may have clearance issues in tournaments.
A hopper should hold as many rounds as possible to reduce the inconvenience of having to refill it in the heat of the moment. The best hoppers in the market hold up to 200 rounds, which is the ideal capacity for most people. However, a 100 round capacity is not bad. Just make sure you do not compromise on size and weight for the sake of capacity.
Rate of Fire
Very important, the hopper should be able to keep up with your rate of fire. Gravity fed hoppers are generally slower, since they do not feature any propelling mechanism and will work for you if you are still a beginner. However, when you become more experienced you will value the speed and consistency of electronic hoppers.
The most common material for barrels is aluminum, carbon fiber and stainless steel. Aluminum is the most utilized, as it is inexpensive. Carbon fiber is the most technologically advanced and as a result, its barrels are a bit costly. Stainless steel works like aluminum, but it is a bit heavier. Other barrels feature ceramic coatings, but they are very rare.
There are many great paintball gun hoppers I the market that did not make it on this list. Make sure you try them out, before making up your mind. What works for us may not necessarily work for you. And the only sure way to find what you are looking for is by experimenting with as many hoppers as possible until you find the right one. Good luck.