Listen, we get it. You’re new to airsoft, you want to have all the best gear so that you can get out in the field and have an awesome time. But that’s not quite how it works.
It’s important to understand that there’s not a “best loadout” for airsoft. There’s simply gear that you’re comfortable in, and gear that you’ve trained in. The best gear is gear that will last you.
What people find as the best gear for them in the CQB setting, might not be best for them in a woodland setting. It may be best for them, but not for their buddy. The best advice we can give you with kit is to start with a foundation, and slowly build it from there. Changing too much gear (or just buying it all) can lead to a loadout that doesn’t work well together, makes you feel uncomfortable, and can ultimately leave you not wanting to use it. If your whole kit doesn’t work for you, where do you start in trying to change it?
First things first, start with a “look” that you want to achieve. Everyone’s got an image of what they want to look like. It can be from real life forces, film, tv, video games, books, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you can begin to build your loadout with a basis to hang it from.
There are 2 incredibly important things that matter about your loadout above all else.
Eye protection and Boots.
Do not skimp on either of these. You can buy the cheapest gloves, the cheapest camo and the cheapest rigs, but do yourself a favour and buy trusted, reputable eye protection and boots.
We’ve seen it countless time, new players with expensive rigs and guns, but didn’t want to stretch to £30 for some quality eye protection. Eye protection is obvious, there are a lot of knock-offs out there and your eyes are important. Protect them with a little bit of due diligence and common sense.
Boots are important because you need proper ankle protection when you’re running over rough terrain. Don’t go playing in trainers, you’ll break something. As a bonus tip, don’t skimp on boot socks either, a good pair of boots can only be bettered by a good pair of socks.
These are the two most important things in airsoft, everything else is secondary and can come later.
Next, find yourself some clothing that fits, and is comfortable. It should have good mobility and be made of durable materials. Depending on your environment, you will need to make a judgement call on what’s best for you in terms of materials and colours. Generally, it should be fast drying and lightweight. You can always put extra layers on underneath.
Next, you’ll want to get yourself a load-carrying system. Something like a chest rig or plate carrier. We would recommend you look into some kind of MOLLE Platform. Modular, Lightweight, Load-Carrying Equipment is a system that allows you to change your load-out depending on your needs. Instead of buying a whole new rig that can accommodate different magazines, it allows you to simply buy new pouches (Along with a host of other benefits). A solid and sturdy molle base will serve you a long time.
Get enough mag pouches to carry the magazines you have for your weapon and a simple utility/multipurpose pouch for anything extra you may want to carry (phone, pyro grenades, tools for example). Unless you have additional, pressing needs for other things on your rig, don’t begin adding stuff until you’re certain you need them. A rig can very quickly get weighed down with things you never use in a game, keep it simple.
Finally, the best loadout is one that you have trained with. One where, within a split second, you can put your hands on a piece of kit that you need. If your kit is always changing or not intuitive to you, then you’re going to have a hard time finding it during a skirmish.
The best loadout is a loadout you’ve trained with and know inside and out.