Slowpitch softball is one of the best ways to spend a weekend with family and friends. But it’s all fun and games until you step up to the plate. The best slowpitch softball bat needs to give you an edge over your adversaries & help you swing for the fences with ease. However, picking out the best one needs a painstaking amount of research.
We’ve slogged through dozens of options to bring you the best USSSA and ASA slowpitch softball bats of 2021. Read on!
If you’re short on time and would rather know our #1 pick, we chose the Miken Exclusive 2021 Chaos as the best slowpitch softball bat of 2021. At its price, it’s hard to find a slowpitch bat that beats it. Especially because its performance matches some of the more expensive bats we tested. Also, as an all-association bat, you can use it for both USSSA and USA slowpitch softball. If that’s not what you’re looking for, read on – we have other fantastic recommendations.
Best USSSA Slowpitch Bats
Last update on 2021-08-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best USA Slowpitch Bats
Last update on 2021-08-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
USSSA Slowpitch Softball Bat Reviews
These bats start out quite hot. The starting compression is quite low starting out at about 250/260 right out of the wrapper. Which unfortunately leaves you with 10 to 20 lbs. of compression to work with, despite these bats needing little to no break-in time. The hope is that they hold their compression, but these 240 standard bats have reportedly had failures right out of the wrapper, with some failing 50 to 100 swings in. If you do buy a 240 bat, save it strictly for use during conference events lest it fails compression when you get it tested from use during league or other tournaments. Hopefully, next year, manufacturers figure out how these bats can be as hot as they are and still hold compression for longer.
If you enjoyed the Primos of years past, then this newest release is going to be a treat. This year’s Primo features on our best USSSA slowpitch bat list for a couple of reasons we’ll cover in this review. First, the Primo is a two-piece, fully-composite bat with a 0.5 oz end load. In addition, it sports a couple of stamps, namely the new NTS tested USSSA 240 lb compression stamp, plus NSA & ISA certifications.
For its construction, Miken went with new materials/technologies for this particular edition. They use a carbon fiber on the barrel that works to maximize hitting angles on the barrel for consistent and better performance regardless of where you hit. The barrel materials and design also ensure a decent amount of flex while staying durable. Finally, at 12-inches, the barrel could be longer to maximize the sweet spot, but its length will suit players looking for shorter barrels.
Energy transfer from the barrel to the handle is minimized & instead harnessed within the barrel to reduce hand sting. Finally, they’ve used a smaller knob on this year’s edition to improve player comfort during the swing.
Because of its 0.5 oz end load, the Primo is better suited to power hitters. However, its two-piece construction means that it will flex on contact. If you prefer a stiffer bat, however, check out the DeMarini Nautalai instead.
If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one, then you’re in for a treat. It took us a while, but the wait was worth it. The Nautalai is a two-piece (alloy handle and composite barrel) with some heft thanks to the 0.5 oz end-load. So, bats weighing 25,26,27 or 28 oz will have a 0.5 oz weight association, making them 25.5,26.5,27.5 or 28.5 oz. Undoubtedly one of the best slowpitch bats for power hitters.
Its composite barrel wall features a continuous fiber construction for both excellent performance and consistency. At 13 inches, there’s a sizable sweet spot to utilize. It sports a couple of approval stamps, namely the new USSSA 240 lb compression stamp, plus NSA and ISA stamps. In addition, the alloy handle is pretty stiff, which makes the barrel flex a lot more on contact, which is excellent for hitting the ball far.
First impressions are of a bat that’s going to be amazing once it’s fully broken in, given that it already comes with good pop straight out of the wrapper. The 2022 Nautalai sounds fantastic and has tons of pop. You’re going to love swinging this bat.
Another two-piece, all-composite slowpitch bat that makes it onto our best slowpitch bats of 2021 list is the Easton Fire Flex 240. The Fireflex is one of Easton’s first slowpitch bats under the new USSSA standard. Like many 240 bats, the Fireflex 240’s construction engineers a “hot out of the wrapper” performance, with compression starting quite hot at about 250/260.
The Fireflex 240 is a balanced weighted two-piece composite that features the new NTS tested USSSA 240 lb compression stamp), as well as ISA and NSA certifications.
Its barrel maximizes the sweet spot courtesy of a 13.5-inch long barrel. The composite barrel has elongated fibers and a triple-wall barrel design that combine to give out some serious performance. Additionally, this bat leverages the Flex barrel technology Easton has previously used on some of their best slowpitch bats from years past. This tech ensures that the bat has decent pop right out of the wrapper and doesn’t require too much time to break in.
The ConneXion+ 2 Piece connector between the bat’s barrel & handle gives players a smooth and comfortable swing that dampens sting on the occasional mishit.
Overall, we love how everything comes together to make a fantastic bat. The barrel length and flex, coupled to a stiff handle and balanced weight distribution, provide for a great, smooth swinging bat that performs exceptionally. Break-in happens pretty quickly owing to the compression so that you can hit bombs the first time out. In terms of feel, it swings similar to the Nautalai.
ASA Slowpitch Softball Bat Reviews
From our experience, the 2021 Worth Krecher XL is one of our best ASA slowpitch bat pitch bats on sale right now. This three-piece composite features a long 13.5″ barrel that carries a 0.5 oz end load. It’s approved for USA leagues and tournaments and has the stamp to go along with it.
At 13.5″, the barrel is designed to deliver better performance through a sweet spot that’s super easy to find. The 0.5 oz end load provides the heft needed to generate power through the zone, but it isn’t too heavy that it’s hard to swing since the 13.5″ barrel length evens out the extra load.
The handle is thin, which feels great in the hands, and the connection between the barrel and the handle is nice and stiff to reduce flex and increase power upon contact.
The result is a monster of a bat that’s sure to send the ball far, whether you square up on the sweet spot or mishit.
The Miken Exclusive 2021 Chaos is our choice for the best slowpitch softball bat for a couple of reasons. First off, the Miken Chaos is a steal for its price – check out its price on Amazon. This bat also ticks the box in the looks department with its beautiful black & neon green color contrast.
Utilitywise, the Miken Exclusive 2021 Chaos is an all-association bat, meaning it’s suitable in all slowpitch softball leagues. It’s the perfect partner when playing for leisure or competitively.
The Miken Exclusive 2021 is a 2-piece 100% alloy, end-loaded double-wall bat. Its construction seeks to better bat speed and hitting distance through a 0.5 oz end load that provides the heft needed to hit bombs all day and a long 14 Inch Barrel that makes finding & hitting off the sweet spot a cinch. Its 100% alloy construction gives it two distinct advantages. For one, it comes hot out of the wrapper. Two, the walls are thinner to improve performance and help the barrel to flex more for a more responsive feel.
It comes in 3 weights, namely 26 oz, 27 oz, and 28 oz. Something to take note of is the additional 0.5 oz end load. It swung like a balanced bat to us, but this is heads up to avoid getting something that’s too bulky to swing comfortably.
Overall, if you are looking for a durable bat that gives you performance on par with $200 – $300 bats without breaking the bank, then the Miken Exclusive 2021 Chaos is what you need. We loved this bat for its looks, price, and how it feels in the hands. This bat will give you serious bang for your buck. Great value!
The Demarini Juggy, aka The Demarini Juggernaut, is a USA/ASA-approved slowpitch bat that needs no introduction. For as long as I can remember, it has been around standing the test of time to feature on every “best slowpitch softball bat” list we’ve written since we began this site several years back. Therefore, the 2022 Demarini Juggy has rightfully earned itself a spot in our “Best ASA slowpitch bats for 2021”.
The Juggy is a two-piece, fully composite slowpitch softball bat with a 12-inch barrel and an end load bias for power hitters. We don’t have the exact end load number, but it did feel like it requires some strength to whip through the zone. The 12-inch barrel suits players who prefer a shorter barrel on their bats.
The 2022 Demarini Juggy comes with a double-wall barrel that starts quite hot courtesy of the low compression numbers (what Demarini calls “soft compression for a game-ready feel”). This low compression means that the 2022 Demarini Juggy starts super hot right out of the wrapper and doesn’t need too much break-in time. However, we aren’t sure how well this bat will hold compression – we’ll share an update over time.
The composite barrel connects to a composite handle that gives players stiff contact that flexes ever so slightly at contact. The handle worked great to reduce sting in the hands. Paired with its double-wall barrel, the Demarini maximizes power & performance.
First impressions are that this bat is pure flames. We’ve put a couple dozen hits in, and it’s impressive how much pop this bat has out of the wrapper. And it kept getting hotter and hotter the more we used it. It’ll be interesting to see how it performs once it’s fully broken in – Definitely one of the hottest slowpitch bats of 2021.
For over the last 25 years, Anderson Bat Company has grown from a private labeling operation (they manufactured their first bat for another company in 1996) to a company that makes some of the best baseball and softball bats on sale today.
Anderson bats are largely alloy, but slowpitch softball is on a composite frenzy right now, so they’ve had to adapt. As such, the Anderson Ambush comes as a fully composite, balanced, two-piece bat that’s approved for USA/ASA, USSSA 1.20 (240 lb compression new NTS tested), ISA, and NSA.
It has a 14-inch long barrel that gives players a massive sweet spot to work with and a much-needed edge in a game of inches. However, the Anderson Ambush is supremely well balanced even with the extended barrel to suit both contact hitters and power hitters alike.
Its all-composite construction gives players the consistency and durability for a bat at its price. We loved its huge barrel and its balanced weight distribution. Its feel in the hands is a contact hitter’s dream, providing both speed and power on every swing.
What Do You Need to Consider When Choosing the Best Slowpitch Softball Bat?
Slowpitch softball bats feature in competitive or recreational leagues. They share certain things in common, which is a good starting point when looking for the best slowpitch softball bat.
Most of the slowpitch bats you’ll find today are 34″ long, have a 2 ¼ inch barrel, and weigh anywhere between 24 and 30 ounces. Construction-wise, slowpitch softball bats can either be fully aluminum, fully composite, feature a half-half construction with an alloy barrel and a composite handle, or be all-wood.
Certain associations govern slowpitch bats; namely, ASA, USSSA, ISA, NSA, Senior Softball (SSUSA), and bats thus need to adhere to these leagues’ regulations.
Let’s cover some of these things in detail below:
Slowpitch Softball Bat Associations and Certifications
This, for obvious reasons, should be one of the most important considerations to make. Different leagues only use certain bats, so its important that the bat you buy meets your league’s regulations. The various sanctioned leagues are: USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISA, SSUSA, and ISF.
The most popular certifications you should look out for are ASA and USSSA. Here’s a little more about these league’s bat regulations.
USSSA Bat Regulation
USSSA bat regulations have changed a couple of times now (about 3 or 4), with the most recent change being around September 1st, 2020. This most recent change requires manufacturers to switch from 220lb compression to 240 lb compression, NTS tested bats, and stop making the old 220 lb compression bats. Therefore, as of 2021, manufacturers & players can only use the new NTS stamp on bats, and only 240 lb bats can sport this new USSSA Stamp on them.
The old 220 thumbprint bats were manufactured from 2012 to 2020. Bats with the 1.20 stamp, aka the “thumbprint” stamp, are legal for USSSA play indefinitely to give players more use out of their currently owned 1.20 bats. No new 220 bats can be approved for USSSA, and no new bats can have the old stamp after January 2021.
The new stamp USSSA bats start at a higher compression at 240 lbs. They have less pop than the old 220 bats, so players are better off swinging the old 220 models.
Because 240 lb bats are still fit for play in other associations such as NSA and ISA, manufacturers may decide to make 240 lb bats moving forward. Only time will tell.
Currently, NSA Slowpitch Softball bats haven’t adopted the 240 lb, choosing instead to stick with the 2012-stamp 1.20 BPF standard or 220 lb compression for now.
Every player has different needs and preferences. Just because a teammate uses a 27oz bat, doesn’t mean you should too.
A bat that’s too light won’t give you adequate pop. Similarly, if you pick a bat that’s too heavy, you risk sacrificing swing speed & control through the hitting zone.
The best way to find your ideal bat weight is to try out a few different bats and see what works best.
Most slowpitch bats weigh between 26 and 30 ounces. 26 or 27 oz slowpitch bats are ideal for women. If you need an even lighter bat, however, the DeMarini Mercy slowpitch softball bat, for instance, is super lightweight, weighing in at 25 oz.
27 or 28 oz bats are relatively standard for men. However, elite players may use bats that weigh as much as 30 oz.
Balanced Vs. End loaded
Once you’ve picked out your ideal bat weight, the next thing to consider is how this weight is distributed along the bat’s length. Bats can either be balanced or end-loaded. What’s the difference between an end loaded vs balanced bat?
This kind of bat is a lot more common and has the weight spread out evenly across the bat’s length. What this sort of weight distribution does is keep swing weight low, which in turn gives players a smoother swing, faster swing speeds, and greater bat control. Balanced bats are preferred by players who want to generate bat speed players aka contact hitters aka base hitters.
End loaded bats are better suited to strong players who can already generate high swing speeds. These players, aka power hitters, want to generate power and swing for the fences. For this reason, end loaded bats have more weight oriented towards the end cap. End loaded bats are “top-heavy,” and are more difficult to control as a result. Stronger players who can handle the additional weight can leverage this to increase the power of their hits.
Slowpitch bats come in various materials, namely composite, aluminum, hybrid (alloy & composite combo), and wood. These materials perform differently, and have varying durability.
Composite material bats are the most common type of bats in most leagues & tournaments. They feature a combination of carbon fiber, fiberglass, and graphite. They are lighter than aluminum and wood bats, thus offer players quicker swing speeds.
Key facts about composite bats:
- Are more expensive, but are a lot more durable than aluminum bats
- Composite bats need to be broken in. This requires about 200 and 250 swings and should take you about 1 hour to do. Once broken in, composite bat performance improves drastically.
- Composite bats are sensitive to temperature changes. Their performance decreases, and are prone to cracking in temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some leagues don’t allow the use of a composite baseball bat. Always check with your coach or your league before buying your bat. Additionally, composite bats are fussy in cold temperatures. Their performance decreases in cold weather, and they are more likely to break as well.
Aluminum bats have been an alternative to wood since the 1970s.
Key facts about aluminum bats:
- Ideal for beginners just starting out in the game
- They are less expensive than composite or wood bats. Manufactures make an alloy by adding certain elements to the aluminum. Some additives are better than others, which is why aluminum bats differ in price.
- Do NOT need to be broken in. They come “hot out of the wrapper.”
- Start out having great pop, but that pop slows with use, over time.
- Can be used in any weather, and are the preferred option in cold temperatures. We answer that here: Can I Use My Bat In Cold Weather?
The last material you need to consider is wood. Many leagues are switching to wood for various benefits offered such as safety and cost savings. The best wood bats feature Maple or Bamboo construction. Both are durable and robust materials that give your hits extra pop.
When training and trying to better your technique, wood is the best material to play with. Wood bats are a lot less forgiving and have a smaller sweet spot than aluminum or composite bats. They improve bat speed and strength and don’t require break in.
One-Piece vs. Two-Piece
Furthermore, you need to consider the construction of your bat – Do you need a 1-piece or 2-piece bat?
One-piece bats use a single material throughout the bat’s entire length. They give players a stiffer, more traditional feel on contact with the ball. This is the best slowpitch bat for power hitters.
A two-piece bat (aka a half-and-half bat) features two pieces – a barrel, and a handle joined via a connective bit. It has either a composite barrel and composite handle or a composite/alloy barrel connected to a composite/alloy handle. Two-piece bats have more flex at the point of contact, giving the bat added whip through the zone. Additionally, two-piece bats have less sting in the hands during mishits because the handle & the barrel are separate. Two-piece slow pitch bats are the best bats for contact hitters.
Single-Wall vs. Double (Multi) Wall
Today, slowpitch bats have two or more barrel walls. Multi-wall bats have some advantages over their single-wall counterparts. First, they have a more significant “trampoline effect” because their additional layers provide more spring. Second, they are sturdier and thicker than single-wall bats.
However, some leagues only allow players to use single-wall bats. If you happen to be in one of these leagues, worry not. There are many amazing single-wall softball bats on the market today, and some even perform better than multi-wall bats!
So there you have it. Everything you need to consider before you begin your quest to find the best slowpitch softball bat. If you still haven’t found the right one, use a teammate’s bats to get a feel for what you’d want.
The specs of the slow pitch bat you choose can make all the difference in the world. By trying out different weights, materials, etc, you’ll find the right bat for you in no time.
That said, if slow pitch softball bats aren’t your thing, check out our list of the best fastpitch softball bats.
Whatever the case may be, keep looking till you find the best softball bat, then take it out in the field and crush some softballs.