This study investigates energy absorption of thermally loaded composites and nanocomposites laminates during impact loading. The laminates are prepared by glass fiber/epoxy with and without nano particles in the matrix system. Nano clay and carbon nano tube are used as filliers in the epoxy matrix. The composites specimens are subjected to impact loading at 0° C, 30° C and 60° C temperature environments. A gas gun impact testing facility is used for propelling the projectile of mass 7.6 g and diameter 9.5 mm with hemi spherical nose. The initial and residual velocities of projectile are predicted to find the energy absorbing capacity of laminates. The energy absorption and delamination area of the specimens are analyzed and discussed for the laminates with and without clay. Also, the ballistic limit is predicted for the specimens of nanocomposites made with glass fibers and epoxy matrix, and the effect of temperature on impact resistance is discussed. Analytical model is developed and the energy absorption characteristics are also studied. © 2017 The Authors.