We’ve seen lots of questions about whether it’s okay to play in cold weather. Whether you play baseball or softball, we will shed some light on these frequently asked questions:
- Should I use my bat when it’s cold?
- Which is better when it’s cold – Alloy or composite bats?
- What are the best bats for cold weather?
- When is it too cold to use my bat?
- Will using my bat in cold temperatures ruin it?
Should I Use My Baseball Bat Or Softball Bat When It’s Cold?
Well, it depends.
For most non-wood baseball bats, cold weather is problematic, especially for aluminum bats that have thinner walls than usual.
The primary reason for this is because the colder it gets, the denser the ball gets. A denser ball has a higher chance of denting/bending your bat or causing it to crack.
When Is It Too Cold To Use My Bat?
Most manufacturers do not recommend playing in sub 60-degree weather. Because the ball is denser in cold weather, the bat is more likely to dent/bend or form cracks.
Some manufacturers include this question when filling out the warranty form.
Are Alloy Or Composite Bats Better In The Cold?
Alloy bats (or aluminum bats) are better used in cold temperatures than composite bats, as they aren’t as prone to damage as composite bats. However, this does not mean that you should use your bat in the cold at all.
Cold, dense baseballs or softballs will cause cracks on composite bats. Similarly, cold, dense baseballs cause damage aluminum bats, but they don’t break or crack them. Instead, cold weather causes aluminum bats to dent at the point of impact.
What Are The Best Bats For Cold Weather?
If playing in temperatures under 60 degrees is unavoidable, here are the best cold weather bats recommended bats for use in 50+ degree weather. We recommend either a one-piece bat or a two-piece hybrid (composite handle & aluminum barrel). The aluminum is less prone to breaking in cold weather.
- BBCOR: 2021 DeMarini The Goods or the Victus NOX
- Slowpitch: 2021 Anderson RockeTech or 2021 Anderson Flex (Both approved for USSSA and ASA)
- USA: 2021 DeMarini Voodoo or the 2020 Rawlings VELO ACP
- Fastpitch: The 2021 Mizuno Titanium or the DeMarini Bustos
The one-piece vs. two-piece bat debate is mostly down to hitter preference. Younger players opt for two-piece bats for their smooth feel, while older, stronger, more advanced players choose for one-piece bats for their rigidity & power transfer. As with anything, there are exceptions to the rule.
For more options, check out our top picks for our best youth bats, BBCOR bats, wood bats, slowpitch or fastpitch bats.
Will I Damage My Bat If I Use It In Cold Weather?
Again, this depends.
How cold is it? How often do you need to use your bat in cold weather? Generally, while sometimes it may be unavoidable, we do not recommend using your bat in cold weather.
Be careful not to use a performance bat in cold weather. Instead, use aluminum or wood barreled bats if temps are below 60 degrees and above 50 degrees.
If temperatures are below 50 degrees, consider a wood bat or a cheap aluminum bat.
A damaged composite bat will typically form cracks that may eventually lead to breaking. The cracks usually form at the point the ball impacts the bat.
Aluminum bats, on the other hand, rarely break – they develop dents instead.
Do Bat Warmers Help?
Bat warmers lessen the adverse effects of cold temps on your bat.
Two things though. One, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has stated that bat warming devices are illegal.
Two, the real culprit is the ball. Even after buying a bat warmer, you’d still be using your bat on a cold, dense ball.
Hello. I am adult ballplayer who travels for tournaments (via airplane) and we use wood bats exclusively. My question is if you have any ideas on how to protect my bats from the cold while they’re in the cargo hold of a plane. A family member (pilot) said the temps routinely get to 44 degrees F in the hold, but I believed it could be less (have had ice on suitcases when I picked them up before). Still, having my bats sitting in this temperature for hours just makes me nervous. Any suggestions on how to pack them to insulate them?