For excellent performance and protection, a catcher needs the right equipment — mitts, guards, savers, helmets, and more — and a spacious but well-made bag to store the aforesaid gear. Plus, it will save the player from the trouble of carrying things uncomfortably in hand. But what to look for in the best catcher’s bag? We have noted down everything you need to know about the product, and essential tips that you must keep in mind before purchasing. So, let’s get started with our buying guide.
1. Know the Right Size
The bag size can vary hugely — some can easily fit all the equipment for a major league, whereas the compact ones aren’t even spacious enough to house small catcher’s gear. Since they come in different sizes, you should purchase the one that can fit all your equipment with ease.
Make sure that after storing everything, the bag isn’t jampacked to its neck. It should still have some room left for extra emergency stuff.
2. Consider the Quality
Is the zipper operating fluidly? Has the manufacturer thrown in separate compartments? What about the inner insulation? All of these things define the product’s quality, which must be considered before purchasing.
In addition to this, make sure the fabric material is sturdy and well-reinforced so that it can withstand rough use. Plus, high-quality bags will offer additional features like extra inner pockets and hooks for added convenience — don’t forget to look for these features.
3. Pay Attention to the Comfort Level
Not all catcher’s bags are built with a similar level of comfort. While most are manufactured with utmost convenience in mind, many designs aren’t much travel-friendly. What’s the point of having a catchers bags if it’s going to cause discomfort? Therefore, if you are looking for a comfortable catcher’s bag, make sure it comes with wheels, especially when it is large.
Not to forget, the bag’s design should minimize physical discomfort and not amplify it. Carrying it around, even on your shoulders, shouldn’t hinder your normal walking. If you are getting the item from a brick-and-mortar shop, don’t forget to try it out a few times to see how well it fits.
However, if you are ordering online, the best way to check the bag’s comfort level is by reading the reviews. In case of considerable negative feedback, move on to another item.
4. Is It Well-Protected?
Since the bag is made to hold heavy equipment, it must be constructed well, so that it can withstand heavy use. It isn’t just the matter of external but also internal protection. It means that the item should have extra layers of inner fabric or mesh, which enhance the overall durability of the product. The several layers will not only protect the equipment inside from damage but will also lengthen the item’s lifespan.
5. Think About Manageability
The more compartments the bag has, the more convenient it will be to separately store the gear and equipment. Many large-sized bags are just huge and offer no separations, which makes it troublesome to find the right thing on time. You would have to search in a pile of heavy objects — something you could have easily avoided with a bag with better managerial features. Look for inner zippers, separate holders, mesh pockets, and hooks to effectively store your stuff without making a huge mess inside the bag.
6. Give the Style a Thought
Catcher’s bags come in various shapes and styles, with each offering different benefits. The following are some common types you may come across in the marketplace:
Shoulder Straps – As the name implies, it comes with long straps, allowing you to carry the bag around on your back or around the shoulder. The design makes it easy to carry heavy equipment by distributing the weight well.
Handheld — Compared to other styles, it is usually more compact because it is carried with hands. Since they do not come with wheels, it is tiresome to carry these bags to long distances. For short trips, however, it is a perfect option.
Wheeled — It would be accurate to state that this style is not only the most convenient but also the most spacious one. It explains the widespread popularity of wheeled bags in the industry. The designs, on the other hand, vary, allowing you to choose from a vast array of options.
7. Look into Your Budget
Agreeably, it all comes down to your budget. That’s why you should always devise a budget and look for the products according to your desired price range. On the lower end of the price spectrum, you may find less spacious bags with limited features. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot find a good option at an affordable price. There are plenty of companies that offer quality products at reasonable prices, making it feasible for people with tight budgets.