Best Paintball CO2 Tanks – Our Top Picks

Paintball CO2 tanks have developed a lot in only the last couple of years. 10 years ago, you would have to buy air tanks costing $200 or more; they were also mounted right to the base of the paintball gun.

Because of the need to change paintball air tanks both prior to a game and afterward (or fix any damaged tanks quickly), new manufacturers have consistently worked on making tanks better so that more options are available.

Compressed air and CO2 are both pressure sources for markers that are used to launch the paintball out of the barrel. The choice between these is entirely dependent on the marker that you are using.

CO2 is considered the more affordable choice and is much easier, however, it's all down to what your marker requires and what you are willing to spend.

Comparison Table

What are Paintball CO2 Tanks?

The biggest question you can probably ask apart from ‘what paintball gun is best to buy’, would be ‘what's the difference between using a CO2 and compressed air tank to power a paintball marker?’

Both are viable pressure sources and will eject a paintball out of the barrel, but this is where any similarities end. Depending on your marker, sometimes you can only use one or the other without damaging your marker.

Carbon dioxide tanks maintain the gas in CO2 liquid form. These come in a variety of sizes like 4oz, 12oz, and 20oz (Oz). These tanks are built to maintain weight as ounces rather than volume.

This can be confusing but what really matters is how heavy the liquid is. Your tank can only be filled according to its specific rating. CO2 aren’t found as often on a paintball site, in addition, it costs more to fill, with a typical spend of around $10.

How Paintball CO2 Tanks Work

The first paintball guns like the Nelspot 007, PGP and NSG Splatmasters utilized liquid CO2 and thus set the benchmark for several years.

As it turns from a liquid state to a gas it expands and creates pressure; this is what fires the paintball. This pressure fluctuates because of altitude, temperature, and other factors. Paintball uses two different types of vessels: disposable CO2 cartridges or reusable CO2 tanks also called CO2 bottles.

A lot of disposables are 12-gram CO2 cartridges commonly found on stock markers and certain paintball handguns such as the Tiberius T8.1. The refillable CO2 tanks are constructed from aluminum vessels using a valve and are full to the brim.

There are certain benefits to CO2 bottles. The main reason for CO2 was popular for so long was its price. Paintball CO2 tanks are inexpensive and allow players to purchase several in order to last the whole day of shooting.

Filling up is fairly low-cost, and if there isn’t a professional paintball store where you live then you can visit a welding and flame extinguisher supply store to have them filled.

CO2 tanks are streamlined and yield a good deal of shots due to their size and weight compared to compressed air.

The fact remains that compressed air tanks have to be shipped when empty due to regulations by the Department of Transportation. With these kinds of tank, you have to have them filled somewhere locally.

The only exception to this rule is the 12-gram cartridges or the one-time use disposable CO2 cylinders, although they can be sent by ground service only.

A hydro date is the month and year that the tank has been formally safety tested. Typically the hydro date is good for 5 years (some market fiber wrapped tanks are 3 decades, as indicated on the label).

The tank has to be retested five years following the month on the tank.

  • CO2 tanks are filled through the valve and must be completely emptied before filling to get a suitable fill.

One handy feature of this is that you don't have to take the tank off the mark to fill it and you can top off between games rather than having to empty and completely refill like CO2.

  • Shop air compressors and tire pumps cannot fill a compressed air tank. However, one common means of filling tanks would be to use a scuba tank equipped with a Scuba Fill Station.
  • Compressed Air tanks can be found in 3000 and 4500 psi pressure ratings. 4500 psi tanks manage more pressure and therefore supply many more shots.

Shot counts change between markers, but the majority of spool valve markers get about ten shots per cubic inch in 3000psi and 15 shots per ci in 4500psi. More efficient designs like Spyders and Egos can give far more shots.

The Best Paintball CO2 Tanks

Tippmann Aluminum Co2 Tank - 24 oz
  • Tippmann 24oz Co2 Tank - Black - New
  • Excpect 1000 - 1200 shots per fill

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The Tippman Aluminum CO2 is only really notable for the fact that it won’t set you back much and it is fairly simple and cheap to refill. It probably won’t satisfy veteran shooters, but if you are new to paintball and just getting into the sport, it makes for a good start.

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The Guerrilla first strike hero is a great paintball marker, and perfect for you if you like your guns sleek and low profile. The factory settings allow the Guerilla to produce a high-pressure output as standard and also has a mini gauge, so you can quickly tell how much CO2 is left in the tank.

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This tank is a fantastic upgrade option for any player new to paintball who is apprehensive about spending a lot on carbon fiber but would still like something that is more serious than their default tank. It includes extra burst discs, as well as a plastic cap that serves to protect the threads.

Ninja Air Aluminum HPA N2 Paintball Tank 3000psi (Click-a-Size/Color)
  • MADE IN THE USA
  • Adjustable from Low, Medium, or High Pressure

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Whilst the Ninja Air is not particularly light or high capacity, it is an economically viable alternative to more expensive systems. It is a consistent marker with long-lasting functionality, which also makes it great for those who need multiple tanks (like field owners).

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This tank comes with an industry standard pin valve included, so regardless of what gun you decide to get, you can rest assured that you’ll be good to go. Its performance won't make you gasp, but it won't leave your pockets hurting, either.

Empire ULTRA Carbon Fiber HPA 48ci / 4500psi Paintball Tank
  • Ultra lightweight carbon fiber tank
  • 30% lighter
  • Fully serviceable internals

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The Empire Ultra Carbon will help take your game to another level and is ready for use right from the box. It is impressively lightweight, includes a Reactor II regulator that does a fantastic job of keeping airflow and pressure, and does not cost much to refill, either.

Other Paintball Accessories You Need

paintball game

Have a Look at any busy paintball field and you will notice one thing - that the players are constantly kitted out in full strategic apparel.

It not only looks great but also gives them a lot of useful features that you can not find on regular coveralls.

These attributes are imperative for gamers really trying to up their game -- they comprise utilities like additional capacity for ammunition and magazines tubes, in addition to reinforcement against hits, and much, much more.

For anybody really getting into playing frequently, we recommend a mask be among the first things to be bought.

You can also think about getting a paintball vest too - we would probably suggest some strategic trousers as well!

However, for now, we are going to stick what you should look for in a vest.

Reasons to Get a Paintball Vest

Paintball Vest

Tactical vests are definitely one of the most useful pieces of kit you can have when playing aggressive shooting games. A paintball vest usually includes hard plating to protect your upper body and protect against injury, in addition to having sewn on pockets, clips to carry water and ammo (amongst other things). There are tons of vests in the marketplace, from many different manufacturers - offering a host of different choices. This can make purchasing one quite complicated; however, below we have listed some of the items you're most likely to see when searching for one.

Vest Styles

The 3 main types of vests that you can get are strategic Vests, chest rigs, and plate carrier pliers. The first strategic cross-draw vests, of them, are laid out in a way that can't be altered. Plate carrier vests can be configured in numerous ways. Chest rigs are noticeably smaller and lighter, allowing for more speed in exchange for storage.

Considerations When Buying a Vest

A paintball team wearing vests

When searching for the Ideal vest to buy, there are several factors you will want to consider. These include how the vest will fit, its structure and the level of durability it's made with. Needless to say, your particular requirements will vary depending on your play style and what you consider important on the field.

Fit

The vest you select should be very comfortable and fit snugly around your torso and upper body without restricting the motion you have. This is extremely important, as any constraints can seriously impair how you play on the field. They should also be suitable both with and without your equipment. Vests can be adjusted to match the size of the participant.

Construction

In addition to being durable, you have to be able to be able to breathe with these vests, as moving up and down the playing fields can be sweaty, tiring work. A great deal of pockets is needed, in addition to adequate storage for markers and magazines.

Durability

Whether you want to play constantly, or just here and there, it's essential that the vest you select remains in one piece.

You might need to go for the hardiest of vests if you in the event you are playing games very often. They should be able to handle rough situations, and they should be water-resistant as well.

Getting the Right Kind of Gun

Man with Paintball Gun

Depending on what kind of gas you are using, you’ll be able to power different types of guns. So when thinking about purchasing a paintball CO2 tank, you may also want to consider what kind of gun you will use with it.

This is good to think about, for example, if you are buying a gun for paintball but may also be interested in joining an airsoft team in the future.

Paintball guns are either mechanical or electronic. Both included a barrel, a hopper and of course, the air tank. The CO2 is used to power a system that forces the air out of the tank.

Airsoft guns, on the other hand, can be powered in various ways, including spring-loaded systems or electric. CO2 is also an option. Airsoft guns are notable for their realistic appearance.

What We Think of CO2 Tanks

The development of paintball tanks has meant that there are not only more options - but that they have become cheaper and more easily accessible. There are countless options to match the many types of paintball guns you will find. The most important thing to do is research properly the type of tank you will need prior to buying. As long as you do this, you should have no problem picking the correct paintball CO2 tank.

The Paintball Professor