inflatable batting cage

Inflatable Batting Cage For Baseball: Are They Worth It?

inflatable batting cage

Are you looking for a fun and convenient way to improve your baseball skills in the comfort of your own backyard? If so an inflatable batting cage might be your best option. Inflatable batting cages are an affordable and less permanent product for backyard baseball training.

The growing business of youth baseball and the constant competition for local cage time have made this product increasingly popular. In this article, we’ll explore these cages, examining the reasons behind their rising popularity among young baseball players.


Inflatable Batting Cage Benefits

Owning a blow up batting cage has been a game-changer for my family’s baseball training. First and foremost, it’s a convenient way to get some batting practice in any time you want, rain or shine. It has saved us countless hours of driving to the nearest baseball facility, fields, or batting cages. Instead, we can walk out to the yard and start hitting balls without the cost of rental fees.

When selecting an inflatable baseball cage, it’s crucial to consider size and material. Choose a size that suits your space and opt for high-quality materials designed for durability and weather resistance, ensuring you get the best product for regular use.

Benefits

  • Lower upfront cost: Inflatable batting cages generally cost less upfront compared to DIY or permanent structures. High-quality inflatable options are available for a few thousand dollars, whereas a quality permanent structure may exceed $6,000
  • Easy setup: They are easy to set up and take down, and require no special skills or tools. You can set up a unit in a matter of minutes (5-10), while a permanent structure can take weeks or even months to construct.
  • Portable Batting Cage: Inflatable baseball batting cages are very portable, meaning you can easily move them from one location to another.
  • Low maintenance: They are low-maintenance, crafted from durable materials resistant to the elements, eliminating the need for painting or frequent repairs, and ensuring longevity with minimal upkeep.
  • Multi-purpose: If you have an aspiring pitcher, this can act as the perfect pitching cage. While not a bounce house, it can also be a cool fort or play area for some younger siblings. If the bugs are out, you can have a nice family dinner outdoors without getting bitten. There are so many options outside of just baseball.

Inflatable Cage Cost

I’m not one to spend this amount of money without researching products first and looking for the best deals possible. Inflatable cages are ridiculously expensive and I was worried that something as simple as an excited dog puncturing the structure would flush all that money down the toilet.

There are a few inflatable batting cage Amazon options with little to no reviews but they still cost over $2,000. You could use well-known companies like Rude American USA or InMotion Air. However, the Rude American Batting Cage Price is north of 10k. I’d much rather have the permanent Iron Horse batting cage system installed in my yard. With a permanent cage, I wouldn’t have to worry about taking it down every night.

However, there is a much cheaper way to get your hands on one of these products. Either look for a used inflatable batting cage for sale or check out the Alibaba.com app. Alibaba is a global online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers worldwide. It offers products at lower prices because you are purchasing directly from the manufacturers, eliminating the middleman. By cutting out these middlemen, you can negotiate better deals with the suppliers, saving you money.

Unlike Amazon, which charges sellers a fee for every sale made on its platform, Alibaba charges only a subscription fee to the seller. This allows manufacturers to offer products at a more competitive price.


Buying On Alibaba

Let’s take a look at inflatable sports cages. What I do is first type the term into the search bar. Once the results populate, I select the “trade assurance” and “verified supplier” boxes in the left-hand column. Trade Assurance, a free service from Alibaba, builds trust between buyers and suppliers by protecting both parties in case of delays, product quality problems, or shipment issues.

A third-party inspection company assesses and verifies a verified supplier on Alibaba to ensure they meet the minimum requirements for being a legitimate and trustworthy business.

Filters

Whenever I’ve purchased anything on Alibaba, these two filters have always been checked. It just gives me peace of mind that I’m actually working with a legitimate business. There is still a little hesitation in dealing directly with Chinese or Pakistani manufacturers though.

Still, the truth is, most of the products you purchase from Amazon or other online retailers originate from China and are just rebranded. If you look close enough, you will see some of the US-branded companies in this space in the manufacturer’s product photos on Alibaba. No one needs to manufacture these cages in the US when they can just buy them from China, rebrand them, and jack up the price.

inflatable pitching tunnel
Source: Alibaba

I also look at the age of the company as well as its overall ranking. At this point in my research, I am looking for a reputable business and protection for my investment.

inflatable hitting cage
Source: Alibaba

Some of these manufacturers have minimum order requirements so oftentimes, I will put “1” in the MOQ box. If that drastically shrinks my search results, I’ll leave it blank and contact the manufacturer directly. Contacting them is really simple. Just open the listing and either click on the orange “contact the supplier” box or chat now. I’ve always used the chat now feature since the responses tend to be quicker.

Haggle with the manufacturer

Now here is the fun part – Haggling. Tell them that you are looking for an inflatable hitting cage and they will come back to you with pricing. At this point, you can begin to negotiate. If the MOQ isn’t one unit, tell them you are looking to purchase a few for your local Little League or you are opening a batting cage facility but want to first test out the quality.

Oftentimes, they will send you the product in hopes that you will order more in the future. I’ve done this with so many products like batting gloves, pitching nets, etc. They have Junior Hack Attack pitching machines, and DeMarini bats but I’ve been a little hesitant to purchase branded items on here.

Now, this may feel like it’s too good to be true and that’s partly correct. Shipping costs are added to your totals and depending on the type of product you are buying, the price can significantly increase.

However, even with the astronomical shipping charges, the price is still way less compared to what the US companies are charging for what is probably the same product.


Inflatable Batting Cage – Product Details

Batting cage dimensions: These tunnels come in a wide variety of sizes. The standard length is 20 feet but multiple batting tunnels can be combined to form a larger enclosed area. Width ranges from 16 to 20 feet and height ranges from 11 to 14 feet.

The inflatable baseball tunnel is constructed with oxford cloth or PVC tarpaulin. PVC tarpaulin is a strong and durable material commonly used in commercial grade inflatable products due to its resistance to wear and tear, as well as its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. These products are also fire-retardant, waterproof, and UV-resistant.

What else comes with it?

A repair kit, blower, sandbags, and carrying bags for easy transport as well as an anchor system for additional safety and connection options.


Final Thoughts

When it comes to improving your baseball or softball training, the decision to invest in the best inflatable batting cage, an inflatable pitching tunnel, or a more permanent structure hinges on a balance of personal needs, preferences, and budget considerations.

While permanent structures look better and have more durability, the allure of an inflatable cage lies in its light weight and portability, making it a great thing for those who value flexibility and ease of storage.

These inflatable cages are perfect for using outside and can be set up in many different places. If you are just looking for extra BP reps, a place to pitch or take ground balls, this could be a worthwhile investment.


Chris F.

Chris F.

Chris Forbes is the founder and editor of BaseballMode.com, a leading blog in the youth baseball space. As a lifelong baseball player, coach and fan, he decided to team up with his young son to offer advice and share their experiences with the sport they both love. Chris lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children.
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