When you wonder about what to wear for airsoft, it’s understandable if you simply want to look cool.
After all, who wants to look like a doofus when you’re out playing with guns with your buddies, right?
It’s true that you can look great with your airsoft uniform, and that’s especially true when you’re doing a mil-sim scenario involving NATO troops vs. the Russian military. These uniforms can make anyone look hardass as hell.
The Principles of Airsoft Wearable Gear
But if you’re a newbie to airsoft, you may want to set your priorities properly when you think about what to wear for your first-time airsoft game.
It’s all about safety first—that’s what you need to focus om before anything else.
Some of the safety gear can be a mite uncomfortable at first, but you can get used to that.
Of course, it’s best if you get your protective gear in the right size, so you can feel as comfortable as possible.
You also need to take your mobility into account. You need to be able to move freely, or else you’re simply a sitting duck in the airsoft battle.
Finally, you can then factor in the look.
Just keep in mind that even with the look it’s not all about looking good.
With outdoor airsoft games, you may want to think about wearing camouflage colors so you’re not an easy target for everyone to shoot at.
In some cases, you may want to wear a similar uniform to your teammates so none of you becomes a casualty of “friendly fire”.
To sum it all up, here’s a list of the factors you need to take into account:
- Protective quality
- Appearance (for camouflage or team ID)
Checking Your Closet
Lots of people have noticed that airsoft can be a rather expensive hobby. That’s especially true when you like using superior-quality weapons.
With your protective gear, you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot right away. It may even be a bit more affordable than the clothes you wear for dates.
You don’t have to pay big bucks for more impressive fashion labels.
In fact, you may want to check out your closet. Chances are good that some of the clothes you already own can work well enough for airsoft, or at least for your first game.
Here are some types of clothing that you may want to take out of your closet:
Breathable Sports Wear
These shirts can be quite handy, especially if they have moisture-wicking properties. They’re able to regulate your body heat, and they’re often very comfortable while allowing for free movement.
Just make sure your sportswear shirts have long sleeves. You need to protect your arms from the pain of getting hit.
For newbies, a hoody is good enough for your first airsoft battle. You add another extra layer of protection for your body so that you don’t get injured when you get shot by pellets and BBs.
The hoody can also help protect your neck, which can be very painful when you get hit in that area.
Of course, in the summer the hoody won’t be as practical, and you may want to think about getting a cooler piece of thick clothing to replace it. But for your first game, it’ll do.
Sure, in real military battles you find everyone wearing helmets. But for airsoft, baseball caps work just fine especially in the summer.
The problem with these ball caps is that your ears aren’t covered, and getting hit in your ear can be extremely excruciating. To cover your ears, you may want to switch to a knit cap instead.
Of course, with the knit cap you may find it too warm to wear during summer games. But in colder seasons it should be fine.
Sometimes these are also called military pants. Whatever you call them, these are semi-loose pants that allow for free movement, while it’s made of tough canvas that can protect your legs from the pellets.
These also have lots of large pockets, which should help hold your equipment.
Boots (Combat, Work, or Hiking Boots)
Haven’t you ever wondered why soldiers aren’t issued running shoes? That’s because they don’t offer the ankle support you need.
Go with boots instead, though you should go for a pair that lets you run freely.
Your boots need to go with thick socks each time. These socks will protect your feet from blisters, and absorb the moisture as well.
A backpack works, though a small messenger bag can also do the job of carrying your stuff.
What You Need to Buy First
Now that you’ve raided your closet for the clothes you need for airsoft, check out what you don’t have on the list and then buy them.
But the first thing you really have to get is a good pair of airsoft goggles.
These goggles should:
- Be strong enough to withstand pellet impacts
- Have anti-fogging qualities
- Feel comfortable to wear
- Should accommodate your eyeglasses (if you wear them)
Buy the eye protection first, before anything else. Every other item that you wear on your face and head must then work with the airsoft goggles you already have.
Other Protective Gear You Might Want
Now that you have the basics, here are the other items that you might want to get to improve your gear. While these items may not be absolutely necessary for your first game, you’ll find them useful when you play more frequently.
Additional Face and Head Protection
These can include:
- A ski mask (or a balaclava). This can reduce the sting of pellets when they hit your face and head.
- A face mask. This needs to fit in well with your goggles. The face mask covers the rest of your face that the goggles can’t protect.
- Helmet. This protects your head from bumps along the way. Of course, it also protects from pellets.
- Scarf. If you want to look cool, go with a keffiyeh which can also help identify your role as “terrorist” in your airsoft battle scenarios. Scarves help to protect your neck, which can be very vulnerable to pellets.
- Ear protection. Find a face mask or helmet that may also cover the ears. Getting hit in the ear isn’t really something you want to experience without some sort of covering.
What about buying a complete set of closed-face protection? This type of all-in-1 solution may seem convenient, but the problem with them is that you rarely find everything you like.
Something may be wrong with one component, and you won’t be able to replace that part. You’d have to replace the whole thing.
So just get your face and head protection one piece at a time, making sure that each new piece feels good and right with the other gear you already have on your head.
Other Wearable Accessories
What else do you need? Here are some other items that can prove useful:
For your first game, you may want to go with cheap, thin work gloves that you can buy for less than $10 a pair. They can help to protect your hands when they get hit, while they’re thin enough to let you feel the trigger in your airsoft gun.
But as you play more frequently, you may want to think about getting tactical gloves. These gloves still offer excellent trigger finger sensitivity, but you get extra padding to protect the back of your hands.
This may resemble a vest, which then works as additional pellet armor for your torso. This carries your spare magazines so you can reload more quickly.
You can have 1 or 2 of these to help carry some of your other stuff. You can even use one of these as your dump pouch, so you have something to carry your spent magazines.
Elbow and Knee Pads
You’ll do a lot of crouching during airsoft battles, so knee pads make sense. You minimize the knee pain while you protect your pants.
Your elbows may also need protection, especially if you tend to lie prone to take a shot. Elbow pads can sure make you feel for comfortable.
Clothes for Role Play
For most people, a set of BDUs (battle dress uniform) should be enough. You can have your team use a single color for team ID.
However, you may want to go with other types of official uniforms for greater realism. You can then be the terrorist, cop, or medic in a more complicated scenario.
Here are some items you should particularly avoid:
- Short-sleeved shirts. They don’t protect your arms.
- Even cargo shorts aren’t helpful, since they don’t protect your legs.
- Bulky clothes. These may impede your ability to move freely. These clothes may even keep you from noticing that you got hit, which can lead to arguments about where you got hit or not.
All in all, just remember that looking cool is far from the top of your priorities. Protect yourself first when you pick what to wear for airsoft, then think about your comfort and your mobility.