Every year as the nights get longer and the season draws in, we have to come to terms with the fact that summer is over.
But that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop.
Still, there is a debate that has raged long and hard in the airsoft community – and that is whether or not the game can still be enjoyed in winter.
The cold weather certainly can take its toll on outdoor activities – unless of course – you’re fully prepared. So, with that in mind we’ve put together this article on playing airsoft in winter.
Read on for expert advice, tips, tricks, gear, and equipment to keep you in the game, even when the mercury drops.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on RiflePal. For more information, read full disclosure here.
- Airsoft in Winter – Yes or No? Too Long, Didn’t Read
- What to Wear for Airsoft During Winter
- Does Cold Weather Affect Airsoft Guns?
- Winter Airsoft Advantages
- Extra Tips for Playing in Winter
Airsoft in Winter – Yes or No? Too Long, Didn’t Read
To keep it short and sweet for anyone in a hurry – yes, you can play airsoft in winter – so long as you’re dressed appropriately, and your gun is suitable for use in colder temperatures.
However, many players still won’t risk it and shy away from winter engagements, as there is a chance a weapon might break or be inoperable – depending on its quality, and the temperature they’re playing in.
That, and it’s cold. Bless their little cotton socks.
What to Wear for Airsoft During Winter
A winter loadout for cold weather airsoft is a little different from a summer one, and there are a number of key areas you need to cover.
Although there’s no reason you can’t rock the same gear – just with the addition of thermal underwear.
Mask and Goggles
As always, the most important thing you need to wear for airsoft is a pair of these quality airsoft goggles – no matter the weather.
But in winter, especially if it’s biting cold with some serious wind-chill, it might be a good idea to try one of these paintball masks that protect the full face.
Not only will you be totally covered against face shots, but it will help keep the elements at bay much more than a simple mesh mask or no mask at all.
It’s a myth that most heat is lost through your head, but wearing some kind of hat in winter certainly helps you keep warm.
Aside from this, it will also offer protection where you might not have had any before – as many players ignore their foreheads when playing airsoft, although a hit there can really sting.
Any kind of winter headgear will suffice, from a beanie, to an ear-flap hat, to a chook, wooly cap, furry bonnet, or whatever you call it where you’re from.
Those winter Call of Duty levels are perfectly acceptable sources…
When it comes to dressing for the winter in airsoft, this year’s high-fashion runway eleganza extravaganza is “the onion.”
Actually, that applies to every year.
You might have heard this term before in a variety of outdoor sports and activities, and it simply refers to layering clothing like the skin of an onion.
The same can be said with airsoft in winter. Choose layers that can be peeled off or on should you run hot or cold.
As you’ll be running around, adrenaline and heart pumping, you’ll likely get warm fairly quickly. So, it’s highly recommended that you’re adaptable.
Inner layers close to the skin should be designed to wick away moisture and be as breathable as possible. If you sweat a lot and it cools down – you’re going to be in a very uncomfortable world in colder temperatures.
And for the outer or upper layers, try one of these awesome tactical jackets. Ideal for use all year round, try to find one that best suits your environment when playing in winter.
Alternatively, you could just go with whatever you wear in the summer. So long as you’re layered up, you really can don whatever you want.
For the legs, it’s more or less the same thing. Layers, layers, layers.
Again, choose leggings or thermal underwear options that are breathable and are not going to trap sweat against the skin. Look for products that climbers and hikers use in colder regions of the world.
And then cover up on top with appropriately camouflaged tactical pants with knee pads.
Try to make sure the aesthetic is suitable for your surroundings and the conditions, but you don’t have to look like an Imperial Snowtrooper if you don’t want to.
Many airsoft players will simply use the same pants they wear year-round.
While the rest of your body might be warm and toasty, if your hands and fingers aren’t comfortable – you’re going to be miserable.
Especially because you kinda need them working in order to survive in the game.
You might have seen some players in winter not wearing gloves – and their hands look uncomfortably red-raw. Not to mention there is a danger of frostbite in particularly cold weather.
Try wearing the warmer versions of these tactical shooting gloves – which double as excellent target shooting mitts for control and protection while also keeping your hands and fingers warm.
Even some of the more lightweight gloves will be much better than nothing.
And if you’re really struggling, or in the event of an emergency, it’s worth packing a few hand warmers in with the rest of your kit. You never know when you or one of your fellow airsofters might need them.
Not much really changes when it comes to winter or summer footwear for airsoft. You still want something that protects your ankle (which is the area of the vast majority of airsoft-related injuries).
Boots with a good lug that will offer you decent traction are ideal, and you might even want to consider ice/snow grips if you’re playing deep in the white stuff, or in ice rink conditions.
Cleats will seriously reduce any slipping and sliding about as you run for cover.
But perhaps just as important – if not more so – is the kind of socks you’ll be wearing.
Invest in a pair of good quality winter hiking socks. They should keep you warm and comfortable, without ever allowing sweat to build up so you endure soaking wet feet.
Ask any hiker or climber – getting that balance right is one of the challenges of any outdoor winter activity.
A scarf is a useful accessory to have in winter, especially if it’s of the “shemagh” variety – which looks pretty badass when it’s done right.
Learn how to tie the scarf/wrap and not only will you stay warm, but it will also offer you decent additional protection to the face and neck.
As you might be carrying extra gear in a winter loadout, it might also be worth wearing one of these highly practical tactical vests if you don’t already. Try to choose a color or style that best suits the conditions you’re playing in – so you’re not a walking target.
Just remember that magazine pouches need to be fully sealed and cover your extra mags in order to properly protect them from the cold.
Tinted goggles are highly recommended when playing in winter. Just like with skiing and snowboarding, sunshine bouncing off that white snow can be seriously blinding. You don’t want your surroundings to feel like a permanent flash bang.
Now You See Me – Now You Don’t
It’s worth touching on the topic of camouflage when discussing what to wear for airsoft during any time of year, but it can be especially fun to put together a camo snow load out.
Get into the habit of checking the local conditions and the environment in which you will play, and base your gear and apparel choices around that.
There’s absolutely no point in turning up to the field in a full white-out ghillie-suit when there hasn’t been an inch of snow. This can and does happen, and then you’ll literally be the target of jokes and ammunition all day.
For your rifle, it’s not necessary to cover with camo wrap or tape, but feel free to do so if you choose. Camouflaging your gun will be more useful in the summer months.
Of course, we’re all aware that purchasing a winter and summer airsoft kit can be expensive, but your gear doesn’t have to be whatever the Navy SEALs currently have as standard issue.
Wear whatever you want – so long as you’re warm and comfortable.
Does Cold Weather Affect Airsoft Guns?
This is the big question when it comes to players deciding if you can or cannot play a game of airsoft in winter.
The short answer is – yes, cold weather affects how airsoft guns operate.
But to explore the longer answer, it depends on two factors.
The type of gun – and the temperature.
Even some of the best airsoft rifles out there can shut down and fail to reach peak performance in winter.
Green gas/propane powered airsoft guns are the most susceptible to struggles when the chill comes in, and you’re looking at a serious drop in fps when there’s a serious drop in temperature.
Lower temperatures lead to lower pressure in the gas canisters, and you might as well be using a peashooter in most cases.
Gas blowback guns will become all but useless. If you’re continuing to try to rock a gas airsoft gun in colder temperatures, make sure it’s of the non-blowback variety.
High-powered gas canisters are available for use year round – but they’re not cheap.
As a rule of thumb, expect to see adverse effects on a green gas weapon at around 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Co2 is a better option for use in colder climes, although they will still suffer as the mercury plummets below 30 degrees.
Being highly pressurized cartridges, you’ll see better results compared to green gas, but still, you will likely be empty of juice much faster than normal.
It’s a similar story even with the best AEGs, as the battery pack will drain rapidly in winter temps. It’s a good idea to carry spares and keep them warm. Stash them in covered pockets close to your body.
Try to run large, powerful LIPO batteries with high-end gear boxes and you should be good to go.
HPA guns (High Pressure Air) are a decent option, but they can be very expensive and not simple to set up. As such, they’re not recommended for beginners.
Your best bet, however, is a spring-powered airsoft gun, like the majority of these excellent sniper rifles. However, you still need to make sure that the spring piston is suitable for cold weather.
Additionally, the hop-up needs to be cold-weather serviceable, too. Try looking into silicone-based versions if your weapon doesn’t have that already, as they function well through the winter.
Also bear in mind that the actual parts of a gun can freeze and become brittle in very cold weather – increasing the likelihood of breakages.
If you’re in any doubt about your particular set up, contact an airsoft field, local supply store, or online forum for additional support and advice.
It’s a friendly community, its members highly knowledgeable, and always willing to help out new recruits.
Winter Airsoft Advantages
Playing airsoft in winter can be a real challenge, but once met, it will undoubtedly offer some of the most rewarding combat sport experiences you will ever have.
As previously mentioned, winter camouflage is totally badass and can look amazing if done right. You and your squad can seriously have the aesthetic of a snow theater Special Forces team with a bit of thought and planning.
If there’s a lot of snow on the ground, any falls have a higher chance of being cushioned, and you actually can enjoy diving for cover on the white stuff with less risk of injury.
Just always remember to look before you leap.
Finally, there’s a real sense of camaraderie when it comes to winter airsoft players. These guys and gals are serious about the sport, and you’ll get less casual weekenders on the field, or one-off noobs trying it out for the first time.
Less is more.
There’s a real sense of community for those airsofters who are dedicated enough to continue their love of the game even when it’s frigid outside. It’s guaranteed that new friends will be made – even more so than in summer – and I heartily recommend exploring that.
Extra Tips for Playing in Winter
- Don’t stay still. In summer, you can hold that sniper position like a rock for as long as you have the patience – but in winter you will freeze unless you keep moving.
- If you insist on using gas guns, purchase some high-powered fuel to maintain optimum performance levels.
- Make sure you’re well fed and watered. Take on fluids throughout the day – it’s just as important as in summer. And bring some hot soup or hot chocolate in a thermal flask, or make a pot at home base to share with fellow players.
- Balaclavas make ideal headgear. Comfortable, warm, and providing some protection, there’s a reason they’re used by Special Forces and the military in colder theaters around the world.
- A change of clothes is highly recommended. If you get soaked to the skin with snow, you’re going to have a seriously unpleasant experience. The only thing better than playing a full day of airsoft, is the shower and fresh clothing after it…And beer.
- Have fun. That’s why we do this in the first place. That, and because we can’t all be a real-life Rambo.
Can you play airsoft in winter?
Winter is a great season to play airsoft in – providing you’ve prepared well and your equipment is suitable for the colder temperatures.
There’s no reason you can’t have even better airsofting experiences than you do in the warmer months. Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas for how best to achieve that.
However, please note that the colder it gets, the less chance there is of having a successful game, and the more likely that equipment will fail. It’s risky to continue in dangerously low temperatures – so always use common sense.
Does green gas work in winter?
Green gas relies on high pressure canisters or cartridges to operate at peak performance levels, and a drop in temperature will signal a drop in this performance.
As such, green gas canisters are only really effective if used above 40 degrees. Anything less and you will notice the difference and your game will suffer.
Do Co2 airsoft guns work in winter?
Yes and no. They are more likely to maintain performance thanks to the gas being stored in higher pressure cartridges – however, this will still drop the colder it gets.
To be honest, it’s best to avoid gas-related guns altogether when playing winter airsoft. Even these awesome airsoft pistols won’t come close to how they can perform spring through fall.
That said, you can find specialty gas canisters that can be used in colder temperatures – although you will pay more for them.
At what temperature does a Co2 canister explode?
I wouldn’t worry – in order for a Co2 cartridge or canister to explode, the temperature needs to seriously go the other way. Around the 87 degrees Fahrenheit mark.
Of course, problems can also arise if you try to use another gas in canisters only meant for Co2, so don’t try that at home – or anywhere for that matter.
What’s the best airsoft gun for winter?
The answer to this question depends on multiple factors, but generally speaking, the best airsoft guns to use in winter will be spring-powered single shot weapons.
That’s not to say other arms can’t be used – it’s just you will see a drop in performance levels the colder it gets – unless you’re rocking some high-end gear that has been pimped out to the max with all-weather components.
If you’re keen on playing in winter, check to see if the gun you’re interested in is suitable for use in chilly conditions – most notably the hop up and spring piston set up.
Should I wear white camouflage for winter airsoft?
You don’t have to, but it might be a good idea – particularly if there is snow on the ground. You should always try to suit your aesthetic to the surroundings, no matter the season.
But if you’re wearing all white and there’s been zero snowfall, you might stick out like a sore thumb. Check conditions before playing.
What should I wear for playing airsoft in winter?
Well, if you really missed the killer advice in this article (if I do say so myself) then don’t take it from me, check out pro-airsofter Novritsch’s loadout in the video below.
Many outdoor enthusiasts lament the moment that summer leaves us, but in reality, those colder months offer us an exciting challenge.
There’s no reason you can’t continue to play airsoft in winter – especially if you’re fully prepared for the elements.
Let me know your best off-season airsoft tips in the comments.
Stay safe and stay warm out there!
And remember – you can always just play indoors…