Saddled with the responsibility of catching pitches and help call the game, a baseball catcher are one of the most important players in a baseball game.
As a catcher, one of the basic necessities you’ll ever need is the right baseball catcher’s bag.
With good catchers bags, a catcher can conveniently carry all the necessary equipment. But, how do you choose the right catcher bag?
Read on below to know about the right baseball catcher’s bags.
What Are Baseball Catcher Bags?
Baseball catchers bags are specially designed bags made to hold catchers’ gear. Catchers’ bags are usually big and tough enough to carry, protect, and compartmentalize a catcher’s full gear.
Physically, the bags look like a duffel bag. But, sometimes, it’s equipped with wheels to enable easy haulage.
Some of the features of a catcher’s bag include:
- High-quality material to ensure it lasts long and doesn’t tear.
- Large enough, with different compartments, to house the full gear.
- Hooks so that catchers can hang the bag on a dugout fence.
- Handles made with sturdy material to facilitate easy carriage.
Tips on How to Choose the Right Baseball Catchers Bags
Carrying all your gear on your hands or separately is almost impossible for any catcher. Even if you manage to, you might find yourself getting tired before the start of the game.
However, if you want to save yourself some stress, then you need to get a good baseball catcher bag.
Here are some tips when buying the right catcher’s bags:
- Size of Gear
One of the things that should determine the type of catcher’s bag to buy is the size of the gear. Basically, if your entire equipment isn’t that much, then there’s no need to get a massive catcher bag.
Catchers bags come in different sizes. For someone with smaller gear, a bag with just handles will do. That way, you can easily carry your equipment by hand.
However, a person with a considerable amount of gear would have to go for bigger bags with wheels.
The wheels will aid in moving the bag around, and the ample space will provide enough room for all your equipment and gear.
Another factor that’ll help you choose the right catcher’s bag is to check how protective the bag is. Apart from storing and carrying your gear, your catcher bag also has the responsibility of protecting your equipment.
One of the reasons catchers need baseball catcher bags is to protect their gears from damage.
Take note that not all bags can perform this task satisfactorily.
To get the ideal bag for protection, you’ll need to look for bags with soft and secure inner compartments, double-layered sides, and a bottom that’s reinforced with rubber to keep your gear intact inside and also prevent the outer layers from scratching.
Depending on the season, you might also need to consider getting a bag with a durable and water-resistant outer layer to protect your gear from harsh weather conditions, such as rain and snow.
It’s also essential to evaluate the quality of the bag before making a purchase. Some of the things you can check include the zipper, the outer layer material, and the wheels if it has one.
For the Zippers, check if it’s strong enough and can withstand constant openings and closings. Check the outer material for signs of durability and insulation.
Then, lastly, check the wheels to see if they’re strong enough for constant hauling.
- Storage Capability
Want to protect your gear from scratches and disorganization? Then choose the right catcher’s bag by buying one with a lot of pockets, compartments, and a divider in the main section.
That way, you can separate and keep your baseball bats, uniforms, protective gear, and cleats apart.
With extra pockets at your disposal, you also have the luxury of packing ice, water bottle, and even sunglasses for your game.
Besides, depending on how much gear you have, you might want to get a bag that can provide the space you need.
With the amount of equipment the average catcher has to carry, it’s necessary to find something that accommodates all your gear and other essential accessories that provide comfort.
Also, look out for features, like compartment dividers, hooks, etc., that can make hauling and organization as easy as possible.
- Bag Style
There are three significant styles for baseball catcher’s bags, and each style caters to different needs. To choose the right one, you’ll have to choose one that best suits your needs.
Here are the different styles of catcher’s bags:
- The Handheld: the handheld style is the traditional, classic catcher’s bag. It’s styled like a duffel bag with a short handle, and usually without wheels. This bag is long and skinny, and sometimes comes with lots of pockets. Therefore, it’s ideal for catchers that have to carry a lot of baseball balls and bats.
Also, note that there might not be enough space for all your protective gear, and you would have to carry it with your hands.
- Shoulder Straps: this style has the same features with the Handheld, with difference only in the manner of carriage. Instead of using hands, you can carry on your back or shoulder with the help of the straps.
- Wheeled Catcher’s Bags: This is one of the best options for the professional catcher. It offers a lot of room and compartmentalized space. It also has the advantage of easy hauling and structural support, so that there won’t be any stress to your hands and shoulders.
When buying a wheeled catcher’s bag, look out for ones with high wheels. This way, you don’t always have to bend down.
Your budget determines what you can afford at the end of the day.
It’s, therefore, reasonable that you might not want to spend a ridiculous amount on a catcher’s bag. Nonetheless, buying something too cheap may mean that you have to forego quality.
Identify your needs and make a budget that can get you a quality catcher’s bag within your range.
Always remember, a quality bag doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive. You can get quality bags from 200 dollars and above.
Essential Equipment to Store in a Catcher’s Bag
As already mentioned above, a catcher’s bag is filled with lots of things – ranging from equipment to accessories.
However, here are four essential things that should be in a catcher’s bag before the start of a game.
- Chest Protectors: Chest protectors are as crucial to a catcher as armor to a warrior. It’s made up of protective padding that’s breathable and capable of shielding the catcher’s upper body.
- Leg/Shin Guards: Apart from the upper body, the lower body, which includes the legs and shins, are also exposed and needs protection, too. Leg/shin guards keep the legs protected, and, at the same time, encourage mobility.
- Catcher’s Helmet/mask: this is to protect the catcher’s head from the ball coming from the pitcher and the batter. These days, styled hockey helmets are used as masks to ensure visibility, protection, and ventilation.
- Mitts: Mitts are worn on the hands, to prevent injuries when sliding.
The right baseball catcher’s bag is one that suits your needs and adds to your overall comfort.
Admittedly, the numerous options of catcher’s bags available can get confusing. But, following the guide above, can help you arrive at a decision that not only caters to your needs but also add to your comfort.