Posted on March 09 2017
The GI Sportz LVL is the updated version of the RDR. The LVL still looks quite similar to the RDR, however, there is one big difference between the two. The RDR loader tray was taken out through the back of the loader and the shell was one piece, that is all different now on the LVL. The LVL shell is now two pieces and the loader tray sits at the bottom of the shell, similar to the Virtue Spire.
When I first heard about this loader I was interested to see how it would perform at the $155 price point when the other major loader companies are in the 200-240-ish range. With the recent sponsorship of the Punishers Paintball Factory Team and GI
Sportz/Empire we were fortunate enough to start using the LVL loader. Upon arrival the loaders did feel somewhat flimsy compared to that of a Spire or R2, and they also were quite loud when you turned them on with no paint inside the loader. The loudness can be easily quieted with some minor adjustments in the programming mode on the loader. One thing I did appreciate is the LVLs come stock with a decent speedfeed and rain lid.
The first practice in which we used the LVLs we had absolutely no problems and they ran great in 40 degree weather with pretty bad paint. The speedfeed worked quite great as well, little to no paint lost on dives and very easy loading with pods. Overall I was surprised with how well all of the LVLs performed. I was at least expecting some minor jamming but we had 0 problems with them all day.
Personally this is my favorite loader on the market. While the Spire 3 / R2 are both fantastic loaders, I feel that at this price point you cannot go wrong with picking up a GI Sportz LVL. There are some concerns I have with the loader that I cannot address at this time being I have played with it less than three times, but I will definitely update this with my final thoughts after an event or two. My main concerns I have with this loader are the stability/sturdiness of the feedpipe, the survivability of the speedfeed, and the battery life of the loader. These concerns will be addressed in time as I play more with this loader, but I don't think I will have any major problems anytime soon.
Overall I give this loader an 8/10 so far. The score will be updated as time goes on and I am able to use it more, but for now I feel that score is fair.