Airsoft Accessories: What To Look Out For Before Buying

Airsoft is incredibly fun, but getting started with all the gear right off the bat may cost you slightly more than you may be able to spend so you would probably start off with your Airsoft gun and eye protection. While this is essential all you need to play a good game of Airsoft, in this post, I ask the question, what are the best Airsoft accessories and which accessories should a beginner buy first.

Know What Gear To Start With

There are a lot of Airsoft accessories that you can get. Some are incredibly useful and some just look really cool. So what Airsoft accessories should you start with? When shopping for Airsoft accessories, you want to start with accessories that enhance your safety, the then, those that  improve your game play, then finally, go for accessories that improve your aesthetics. In this post, I will divide the accessories into the three categories and further into the ones that give your the best bang for your buck.

Safety Accessories

The reason this is the first in my priority list is both for safety and aesthetic reasons. Good safety gear will both protect you from injury and look really cool.

Eye protection

The first and most essential gear you need to have is a good pair of airsoft glasses. These need to be impact rated and tested for Airsoft.

When choosing good Airsoft goggles, look for those that have a strap that goes around your head. This is because you do not want to drop your glasses in the middle of a game and risk getting an injury in the eyes.

It’s also important to get Airsoft goggles that have full closure. This means getting goggles that will not have any gaps in the sides that will create room for a BB to get to your eyes.

The final thing that you need to look for in a good pair of airsoft goggles is how well the goggles deal with fogging up. Based on the research I did, I found that all goggles will fog up at some point. However, there are a few brands that do well at keeping the fog down.

I did some research online for good recommendations that fit the criteria above and the one name that kept popping up on multiple forum threads is the Valken Zulu. A lot of people praised it for being a decent pair of goggles that have  impact ratings, do a decent job at controlling fogging and are full seal. the Goggles have good  prices on amazon and airsoft megastore and I think you should check them out.

Face protection

There are a lot of gruesome photos of bleeding faces on different airsoft websites and it would be a great idea to get good protection for your face.

So what makes good face protection when playing airsoft?

Compatible with your goggles: it’s really important to get face protection that works well with your eye protection. This will help reduce any discomfort as you play.

Sufficient Cover: the face protection needs to sufficiently cover your face and leave as little space unprotected as possible.

Breaths well: you will get hot when playing and you need to get protection that breathes well to help you reduce the sweating especially on hot days.

Looks cool: This is an important factor to consider and will vary depending on your personal preference. Looking through different designs before making your choice.

Secure straps: Getting  face protection that will securely fit on your head and remain secure fixed during gameplay.

I looked through a number of airsoft threads and I found the One Tigris Mask to be a good choice. It fits well with most goggles, does not dig into your skin and breaths well.  View the Price on Amazon

Ear Protection

Getting shot in the ear really hurts. The probability of being shot in the ears depends on what kind of game you play.

If you are a CQB player, you will want to ensure that your ears are well protected since you will be shot out from close distances and bb’s are likely to get to your ears more easily this way. For this I found that full year protection like what is provided by the Howard Leight works well in covering up your ears. the problem with this, i found, is that most people start feeling uncomfortable after using them for long periods.  The other problem about them is that they’re not cheap Here is their current price so… . So my pick for the most effective and affordable ear protection is getting a mask that protects both your ears and your face. A mesh mask that goes all the way around to your ears will help protect them without you having to buy something specifically for the ears. I think the One Tigris Half Face Mask is sufficient to help you protect your ears while not covering them up completely.

You may also want to have a look at this video that was done by BrainExploder on a DIY kit that looks really cool and does a good job at protecting your ears in in CQB.

If you are playing out in the field, on the other hand, It’s less likely that you will get shot in the ears and your protection can be much lighter than in cqb.   I found this  tactical hood sold by under armour works well to provide a bit of cover from oncoming BBs.  you’ll the but it will Not hurt as much as been hit on the bare skin. It also breaths well and can be a good way of covering up your skin before putting on the masks and headgear.

Head Gear

There are a lot of helmets and different styles of headgear in Airsoft and the kind of headgear you choose will depend on your preference and the kind of game you play. Here are few things that you need to look out for when choosing your head gear.

  • Mounting gear: Helmets that have velcro and arc rails already installed will help you mount extra gear easily
  • Good Fit: The helmet needs to be easily adjustable to fit your head. You are going to be wearing the helmet for hours and you do not want it digging into your skin.
  • Managing Heat: the helmet needs to breath well since you will, most likely be playing in the heat and you will be sweating.
  • Weight: even small unnecessary weights start seeming unbearable when carried for a long time. Getting the lowest weight with your headgear will help you avoid that hassle.
  • Compatibility with other gear: You need to find out if the headgear works well with your goggles, face protection and ear protection.

Helmets

Helmets are a great choice for many and you will have many types to choose from. I did some research and found the Lancer Tactical Helmet on Airsoft Megastore. It fits all the requirements above and is going for a reasonable price as far as airsoft helmets go.  It easily mounts a gopro and works well with most brands of goggles. It’s also lightweight and has adjustable straps for both the front and back which makes it fit almost all head shapes.

You might also want to check out the price on Amazon and see if you will get a great deal there instead.

Boonie

A tactical boonie hat is a great alternative to the helmet especially if you do not plan on mounting any gear. It also less expensive than the helmet which means that you will still protect your head at a fraction of the price of the helmet. The downside to using a boonie hat is that you will still get hit in the head and you might feel the bb. However, this will not be as bad as being hit on your bare skin and you should not have a lot to worry about in this regard.

In addition to this, boonies are lighter and breath better than helmets and this makes them a great alternative for someone who does not want to carry that weight around.

Playing without  Head Protection

You can still play  without any head protection and a few people do. This may not be a great idea since playing without any headgear will expose you to bb hits which may be quite unpleasant.

Neck protection

This can be easily achieved with a simple scarf that breathes well. Something light that will not make you unnecessarily hot will be the best choice. I found this Lightweight Shemagh Scarf  on Airsoft Megastore and I think it would work well for this purpose.

Avoiding to roll your ankles

When out on the field, you will be running around jumping over logs and rocks and there is a high likelihood that you will roll your ankles when your feet land the wrong way. A good way of avoiding this is wearing boots that have good ankle support. This means that when your foot lands on a spot that is uneven, your ankles will be a bit more rigid and you are less likely to roll them.

A good pair of shoes when playing airsoft  need to meet the following criteria:

  • Should have good ankle support
  • Should breath well  and manage sweating
  • Should have a good sole that will not easily get penetrated by sharp objects
  • Should look tactical and cool for the field

If you do not have a budget to get a pair of boots that you will only use out on the field, a good pair of sneakers should do the job. You really will be fine with a good pair of sneakers. However, if you will be playing in terrain that is uneven, getting a good pair of hiking boots with ankle support will really help you out there. Most good quality hiking boots are designed with great grip, good air flow, comfortable internal padding and most essentially, good ankle support.

I found the Keen Hiking boot to be a great  option that fulfills the things to look for above and can be used in other places other than the airsoft field. Check out its price on Amazon

Protecting your hands

Getting shot on your hands is something that is likely to happen in an airsoft game since your gun may be the only thing that is seen round the corner. If you get shot on your hands without them having any covering, you will definitely feel it. I would therefore recommend that you get a good pair of gloves that cover up your hands when you are playing. Here are the things you need to look out for when looking for a good pair of airsoft gloves.

  • The gloves need to have enough padding to protect your hands from feeling a bb hit.
  • The gloves need to allow  your trigger finger enough room to move unobstructed
  • The gloves should not restrict  your fingers and the rest of your hand from moving naturally.

I looked around and found the Mechanix M-Pact Tactical Gloves to be a great pair that fit the requirements above. Check out the price on Amazon here and on Airsoft Megastore Here

Game enhancing accessories

Improve your accuracy

Optics

One of the fastest ways of improving your airsoft game is getting good optics. I did some research and found the following as the things you need to consider before getting an airsoft sight:

  1. Engagement Distances: Are you playing CQB or out in the field. I
  2. Type of gun: If you are using a sniper rifle, you will definitely need a good scope that has great magnification and that will allow you to shoot targets that are further than the average AEG.
  3. Levels of intensity of the dot: Red dots can
  4. Compatibility with your Airsoft Gun: Check for compatibility before purchasing to avoid getting a sight that you will never use.
  5. Quality: There a lot of people who have mentioned how disappointed they are with the average airsoft sights because of how badly they are made. Their advice is to get a real steel sight since they are more accurate and better made than their airsoft counterparts.
  6. Don’t Focus on Magnification: You will probably not need magni
  7. Glare: Some sights have glare issues and you may find trouble being able to aim using these especially on bright days.

I looked through different forums and sought to find the most recommended airsoft sight and most people recommend that a red dot sight is sufficient for most AEGs. you will probably want to get one that has no magnification on it but it should not be too high since airsoft gun won’t be able to shoot as far as you can see through a highly magnified sight.

I found that most people recommended x 1.5 or x 2 magnification to be sufficient for their AEGs.

Improve reload times

Speed loaders

Speed is sometimes really essential when playing airsoft. Slacking for a few seconds may leave you exposed and out of the game sooner than you would want. This is where a speed loader becomes quite handy.

A speed loader will help you reduce the amount of time that you would take to reload your mags with BBs. They can help you reduce the reload time to seconds instead of minutes and this may be crucial in a high speed game.

There are alot of speed loaders out there and it would be important to confirm that the speed loader you’re considering works well with the gun that you have.

Extra mags

Having extra mags is crucial if you do not want to get delayed after your mag runs out. carrying extra mags removes the restriction of having to reload your magazine when still in gameplay.

On average, a mid cap magazine will hold around 200-300 rounds and depending on your style of play, you will need around 600 rounds in a game and this means that you will need around 3 mags per game.

The Elite Force 5Pack Mag Set are a great choice if you are looking to get a set of extra mags (View their current price on Airsoft Megastore)

Don’t drop your stuff

Holsters

holsters help keep your airsoft pistol out of the way but still accessible. They also allow you to have two or multiple guns when playing airsoft without the stress of not being able to use them when you are in quick need of them.

Airsoft vest

A good airsoft vest will allow you to carry everything you need to play well on the airsoft fields without dropping anything.

The primary use of an airsoft Vest is to help you carry your ammo conveniently and in a way that will allow you to reloads quickly without also losing your spent mags once you’re done

Ideally a good airsoft for should have enough room for all the mags you will need and designed in such a way that it will not restrict your movement when you’re all loaded up.

An airsoft vest can also help you with camouflage and you may want to think about what kinds of fields you want to be playing in before choosing the colour of your airsoft Vest.

What’s the optimum capacity of an airsoft vest?

Your vest should be able to hold about 6 Mags without restricting your movement or making your weight shift and naturally forward or backwards. I found this video from Alecmag111 that helps explain this a bit better.

Alecmag111 really recommends the Crye Precision JPC Vest and here’s the link  you can use check it out.

Functional Airsoft Accessories

GOPRO mounts

Filming has become an essential part of most airsofters games and a good gopro mount helps to capture game play without you having to think about whether you’re recording or not.

If you do not already have a GoPro, the Hero 6 (view price on Amazon) is a great option but it is a bit pricey  and you might want to go for one of the older models like the Hero 4  (View Price on Amazon). After you get your GoPro, you will now want to mount it to record footage of your game.

The kind of GoPro mounts you will get will depend on the kind of headgear you have if you have any headgear at all. however, generally here are the things you need to look out for when getting a GoPro mount.

Secure fit:

Your mount should securely hold your GoProfor the entirety of the game. Given that you will be running and moving quite a bit out on the field you need to ensure that your GoPro does not come loose during gameplay. losing your GoPro would be quite frustrating especially because most fields are large and it would take you hours to find it.

Compatibility with your go pro and helmet

You do not want to have to make unnatural adjustments to your mount for it to work with your gopro or helmet. Ensure that your mounts matches with your exact version of headgear. Checking out YouTube video tutorials of the mound being used on specific headgear would help with this.

Here are good GoPro Mount Options

I did some research and found the following go-pro mounts for different mounting options. It should be a good place to start:

The mount I have recommended for the Helmet is similar to the one Airsoftology describes below. I think its a great mount so check out the video and check out the mount on Amazon or view the Shapeways where the mount is custom ordered

Tactical Radio Systems

Communicating clearly with your team is an important part of winning an airsoft game. Radios will also help you play in a more coordinated way and you definitely need to add it to your list of airsoft accessories wishlist.

The things you need to look out for when getting an airsoft tactical Radio are:

  • Range: You should be able to communicate clearly with your team even when they are far away or if you are playing on a large field.
  • Battery Life: You don’t want your radio to die on you while on the field
  • Comfortable headset: Since you will be wearing the radio for the whole game, you need to be sure that it will be comfortable to have it in your ear all day.
  • Fits into the a radio pouch: You should be able to get a pouch that fits the radio comfortably and allows you to use it without having to take it out of the pouch. The pouch also needs to be compatible with your other gear so that it remains securely fixed on you as you run around.

I did some research and found the following setup to be the most popular and effective for Airsoft Tactical radios.

  1. The Radio: The most popular radio is the Baofeng UV-5R Radio. It has thousands of positive feedback across the internet and is also surprisingly affordable. (View Price on Amazon)
  2. Battery Pack: The downside of this radio is that its stock battery does not have a very long life. To solve this, you should get the ExpertPower Battery pack for the UV5R. This will give you double the battery life compared to the stock radio. (View Price on Amazon)
  3. Antenna: The radio comes with a standard antenna but its range is a bit limited. That’s why you should get the Nagoya NA-771 15.6-Inch antenna. It increases the range  significantly and allows you to communicate with your team even when you are scattered. (View Price on Amazon)
  4. Microphone and headset: You will need to get a comfortable headset that will allow you to communicate with your team quickly when you need to but also be comfortable to wear for long hours:  the 1 X Flexible Throat Mic is a great option for you. It fits on your throat and has a small tube earpiece that fits comfortably on your ear. It also has a good com button that can be attached to your vest with velcro for easily reach.(View Price on Amazon)
  5. Pouch: you will need to secure your radio and a great option for this is the Tactical Tailor Pouch. its size fits the UV5R with the bigger battery and works well with most airsoft vests.

Radio Licence

The one thing you will need to get if you are in the USA is a radio licence to allow you to legally operate such a radio system. Its not a complex thing to get but you can get into a bit of trouble if you don’t have it.

The kind of licence that you will need is a technician licence for you to be able to use a ham radio. Here is a link to how you can get the radio licence.

According to the association of amateur radio…..

The Technician class license is the entry-level license of choice for most new ham radio operators. To earn the Technician license requires passing one examination totaling 35 questions on radio theory, regulations and operating practices. The license gives access to all Amateur Radio frequencies above 30 megahertz, allowing these licensees the ability to communicate locally and most often within North America. It also allows for some limited privileges on the HF (also called “short wave”) bands used for international communications.

Here is the link to the full article.