With the baseball season going on full swing, nobody wants to take a break from training. After all, if your swings get sloppy when you get back from your vacation by the beach, you will find no mercy from the coach. You might just get benched the rest of the season.
Speaking as a coach myself, I demand a certain level of dedication from my players. And just because you are on a break from studies does not mean you are on a break from training. If you are flying out to spend some time with your family, I expect you to take your bat with you and hit the ballpark whenever you get a chance.
But then again, flying with your softball bat has never been easy. I have had my fair share of troubles when flying to a different city with my gears. You are having trouble flying with your equipment. But I am here to tell you that there are ways around it. In this article, I will give you all the information regarding flying with your softball bat and other pieces of equipment so that you have no excuses to blow off training during vacation.
Can You Bring a Softball Bat on a Plane?
Unfortunately, you are not allowed to bring softball bats onboard a commercial airline. If you are flying with your baseball equipment, you can take your gloves and uniform with you into the cabin. However, softball bats or helmets cannot be brought on board as they can be used as a bludgeon.
Most airlines consider softball equipment like bats, helmets, and even cleats as weapons and strictly prohibit taking it on board the airline. So, if you are traveling with your equipment, you should put them in with your checked luggage. I know there is always a risk of losing them in transit, but sadly, there is no way around it.
How to Fly with a Softball Bats
As I have already said, you need to check in your softball bat with your checked baggage. I’m sure you have heard the tales of baggage getting lost or items breaking inside the break when you check in your luggage. But the truth is, if you do your due diligence, checked baggage is pretty safe in any reputed airline. Now, what do I mean by due diligence? Simple, you must do your part to make sure nobody messes with your bag.
The first thing is to make sure your baggage weight is under the maximum limit. Most airports allow you to have a maximum equipment load of 50 pounds. If you are storing your baseball bats in a heavier bag, you either have to pay more, or the officials might want to do a search and reduce the weight.
Another important thing to remember is to wear a decent bag. Softball bats are pretty big, and even though you can fit one in a duffle bag, I urge you not to do so. Instead, you should go with a bag that is specifically designed to carry your softball bats without issues.
You can check out my list of baseball-wheeled bags for some good options. But, if you are in a rush, just go with the DeMarini Momentum Wheeled Bag. I will leave a complete review of this bag at the end of this article, so make sure you stick to the end. And lastly, you need to make sure that your bag is locked up tight before you put it on the conveyor belt. I recommend using TSA locks as this means the officials can check the contents if there are any complications without you having to bring out your keys.
How to Pack Softball Bat for Flight?
Packing a softball bat for flight is not that complicated if you have a bag designed to carry it. Most baseball or softball travel bags have dedicated compartments to hold your bat as well as other baseball gears. However, if you are taking your bat on a duffle bag, then you need to be careful.
During the flight, I do not recommend using a duffle bag as your bats can easily shatter mid-flight. Turbulence and the weight of other luggage can easily crush your favorite bat, and by the time you land, you will need to be ready to buy a new one. If you absolutely have to use a duffle bag, make sure to use plenty of bubble wraps to roll up the bat. You want to give it a thick layer of protection so that even if it constantly bumps into other luggage, it will have enough cushioning to not get damaged.
Which Bag Should I Use When Flying with Softball Bats?
The DeMarini Momentum Wheeled Bag 2.0 is my top choice whenever I am planning to take my softball gear with me onboard an airplane. It is a great choice even if you are on a tight budget and comes with separate compartments to carry all of your equipment with you. As a sub-100-dollar wheeled bag, it comes with everything that you would expect. Sure, if you are comparing it to high-end bags like the Tanel 360 Rage, it might not hold up to your expectations. But as an affordable alternative, there is very little worth complaining about with the DeMarini Momentum.
One of the main reasons why I hate typical duffle bags is poor interior design. You only get one main compartment, and you need to put everything in one pocket with those bags. However, with Momentum 2.0, you will be greeted with two shelves the moment you open up the main compartment. Not only does this let you keep things organized, but it also looks nice. Typically, I use one shelf for my cleats and helmets, while I use the other shelf for a couple of balls and my guards.
You also get a top pocket to keep your gloves or mitts. Both of these compartments are closed between high-quality zippers. For keeping your softball bats, you get a separate bat sleeve that can hold up to four bats. Once you put your bats, they do not have much wiggle room, which is a good thing when you are traveling on a plane.
This bag comes with an interior L bracket that ensures it stays firm. It features two fence hooks and a removable decoration panel. Two inline wheels on the two sides help you roll the bag as you trot along with it. You can also carry it using side-carry straps if you want.
The reason why I recommend going with it is that it is cheap, and it does the job well. But if you want to go with one bag that will last you a lifetime, then I would recommend the Tanel 360 R.A.G.E. Softball Wheel Bag. It costs about 100 dollars more, but the quality difference is also quite significant.
The thing that makes the Tanel 360 such a great bag is that it is extremely versatile and flexible. At first glance, you might think that it goes overboard with the number of pockets and compartments. But when you see that you can remove a couple of those pockets to give it a simpler look, that is when you truly appreciate its design. Instead of giving you separate shelves in the main compartment, this bag gives you to separate large pockets to keep all of your gears.
What’s even more impressive is that the manufacturers remembered to put in a compartment that says “cleat cage” designed specifically to hold your dirty cleats. Long story short, if the quality is the primary determinant, the Tanel 360 trumps the DeMarini Momentum any day of the week.
With All Said and Done
Flying with your baseball or softball equipment can be quite a hectic experience. If you are not prepared to hand your softball bat along with the checked luggage, you might even be denied entry into the cabin. There goes all the money that you spent on the ticket. But if you are smart and prepared beforehand, then you will be able to enjoy your flight without any hassle.
You do not even have to worry about that expensive, high-end softball bat sitting with the checked luggage as long as you wrapped it up well. Hopefully, my article on how you can fly with a softball bat could help you be prepared whenever you are planning to take your gears with you on a flight. Now you can hit the ballpark to get a few swings in even if you are away from your home city. Good luck!