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Saturday September 10, 2022

We're testing the brand new Planet Eclipse ETHA3

Hardly any brand has been as consistent in its products over the past few years as Planet Eclipse . The ETHA and its successor, the ETHA2, have always been a fixture in the mid-range segment or the upscale entry-level area of paintball sports for the past 10 years. In May of this year Planet Eclipse then suddenly and as usual without much prior notice presented the brand new ETHA3. Of course, we grabbed the new model directly for a detailed product test. Here you can find out what the new ETHA3 can do and what else there is to know…

First things first, the new ETHA3 from Planet Eclipse is available twice. No, don't worry, there are not only two markers, but the model is available in two different versions. Planet has introduced an ETHA3, which is simply the improved successor to the ETHA2. At the same time, Planet also presented an ETHA3M. This is a purely mechanical version of the ETHA3 and for several good reasons. On the one hand, of course, it was simply about the price, because the pressure of increased raw material, production and transport costs does not simply leave Planet untouched. But the much more important point is that in the USA, the home country of paintball sports, the so-called "mechanical paintball scene" has been enjoying increasing popularity for years and is growing steadily. So it was only logical that Planet Eclipse had to jump on this train at some point in order to have its own mechanical marker in the range. Although the EMEK100 was already a good and solid model in the range, it was actually designed for rental use on playing fields. In terms of performance, it is still one of the best markers in its price range, but since the head and the external appearance also play a part, Planet Eclipse was forced to present the community with a real midrange gun with a mechanical trigger, at least like the mechanical Luxe and Shocker models on the market is a bit more equal than the EMEK100 from the entry-level range. In short, that was the birth of the ETHA3M.

Today, however, we want to focus a little more on the e-pneumatic ETHA3 version, because mechanical paintball is still more of a marginal phenomenon in this country and most players are looking forward to the ETHA3 with the "full power" and the cadence like them only an e-pneumatic paintball marker can offer. First of all the most important thing, the ETHA3 can do everything that the ETHA2 could already do. In other words, as a player, you don't have to do without anything. Planet Eclipse has retained all proven and popular features and otherwise mostly made improvements to make the ETHA3 a good deal better than the ETHA2 already was. Whether as a beginner with ambitions, as a tournament player or for the woodland area. The ETHA3 is at home on any terrain and offers excellent performance out of the box. Like its predecessors, it has a light but very solid polymer housing, a two-piece shaft barrel that is also used in the high-end models from PE, the POPs On/Off ASA adapter, the tool-free grip panels, LED light to identify the current Functions and fire modes and of course the latest Gamma Core bolt technology to shoot even the most fragile paintballs.

But Planet Eclipse wouldn't be Planet Eclipse if there weren't still a few things to improve on a really mature marker like the ETHA. In the first step, the low-rise clamp feed was lowered a bit. This ensures more stability and a lower marker cross-section. – Ergo, less target area because the hopper sits flatter on the gun. The curved trigger of the previous model has been replaced by a visually much simpler BLADE trigger. This trigger can also be adjusted several times and offers the usual good response that you are used to from the predecessor. Only in a fresh, more modern look.

For the first time, an ETHA also has the in-house tool-less back cap of the Planet Eclipse high-end markers, as known from the CS2 Pro or the GEO4, for example. With a simple movement, you first pull the backcap up at the back of the housing and then pull out the entire bolt to the rear. Servicing an ETHA has never been easier. Although the backcap of the ETHA3 is not milled from full metal, but from the same polymer plastic as the rest of the housing, you have to make compromises somewhere in this price range. Unfortunately, Planet is a bit reluctant to choose the color at first, and so the ETHA3 was launched in two model variants in the first run, but unfortunately only in one color, namely plain black. But if you are a little familiar with Planet markers and have followed the color variants of the previous models, you can already guess what possibilities there are for the future. Nothing has been announced yet, but the plastic body of the ETHA3 also provides a variety of design options. We from the editorial team are already looking forward to HDE Camo, HDE Urban or a chic desert tan edition in matt beige. Of course, we don't know if something like this will happen and when. But we just hope so.

We clearly give a thumbs up for the workmanship, features, design and function of the ETHA3. It has become an all-round successful ETHA successor of the 3rd generation and offers everything you can expect from a good Planet Eclipse marker. In terms of price, the ETHA3 is no longer a snap, which will probably cause one or two tears among new customers, but on the other hand, everything has been getting more expensive across the board for months and quality has always had its price. In this case it is 599 euros, which is not little, but still more than fair for this really high-quality and successful marker.

We wish you a lot of fun with the new ETHA3 from Planet Eclipse and finally we have selected 2 small videos from the manufacturer for the two versions ETHA3 and ETHA3M for you. Simply scan with your mobile phone and off you go. As always, Planet Eclipse has showcased its latest marker model in engaging and informative images. Click here for the videos of the two ETHA3 models.

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