My Favorite Travel Softball Purchase
If you were to ask me what my favorite purchase for our travel ball family was, my answer might surprise you! We’ve been involved in travel ball for many years now and have purchased quite a few things to ease the hassle of being a travel ball parent. When I considered this question I had a handful of items that really stuck out as “valuable” to our family. Of course, we’ve bought some things that seemed amazing at the time and we thought that “insert product” would be the best travel ball purchase we’ve made, and then it turns out to be a dud and something we NEVER used.
Of course, there are a few honorable mentions that we basically bring to every tournament. You can find these listed on our Travel Ball Checklist, but we’ll point out a few here. Our canopy (the Crown Shades 10×10) is AMAZING and backed by equally impressive customer service. When you live in the deep south as we do and understand that shade at a ball tournament can turn a miserable existence into a semi-comfortable one (especially when paired with a good fan like our favorite Dewalt 20V Fan), then you understand why this one is so important to us. It also is a must on rainy days as well, so yes the canopy is right up near the top, but it’s not our main pick.
The Mr. Heater Buddy Heater has also been extremely valuable to us during the cold tournaments. It’s a little beast that can stop the shivering on those late cold nights when you’re going into those championship games. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about! Pair it with the OCOOPA Hand Warmer and it’s even better. The buddy heater is still not my favorite purchase, however.
So is my favorite purchase the pull cart? The cooler? A portable grill? Nope, nope and nope. My favorite purchase, and honestly this is not going to really help you out unless you drive a truck. Sorry SUV and car owner, this one is for the truck families. My favorite purchase that has proved itself to be so unbelievably valuable is the Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover!
The Gator Truck Bed Cover for Travel Ball
We used to take our SUV to almost every tournament. It worked, but we really wanted to start taking our full-size truck as (surprisingly) it got better gas mileage and was more comfortable and roomy than the SUV. The main problem was that when you are hauling all the gear for a catcher and the cart, canopy, cooler, and extras for little sister, you run into the issue of having it sitting in the truck’s bed for any prying eyes to see. Yes, you can pull up the back seats and stuff everything in there, but who wants to be doing that multiple times a day as you leave and come back to the ball fields? This is where the truck bed cover came in so handy! The Gator ETX Soft Tri Fold Cover is extremely light and we are able to remove it after every weekend if we choose to. Installation and removal are so quick and easy that it will surprise you. There are many different types of bed covers out there, but if you’re not wanting to leave it on at all times, then the lighter, the better in our opinion.
Another great thing about using the truck bed cover is that when those pop-up downpours show up, and we all know they do, then everything in the bed of the truck will stay dry. You may have a small amount of moisture seepage around the edges, but for the most part, it is nothing to worry about. I have no concerns about keeping things back there that shouldn’t get wet. Especially if it’s kept towards the center of the bed. From action cams to chargers to dry blankets, it all goes into the bed of the truck at the end of the day.
Owning this bed cover has given the girls even more room to stretch out in the backseat after a long day of playing softball, and keeps us parents not having to have bags and accessories under our feet on the long drives home. We are super excited to have been using this for over a year now with zero issues to complain about. If ever the day comes that this bed cover gets too old or worn to be used anymore, I will gladly go out and replace it with the exact same cover that has made such a difference in our travels to and from all of these travel ball tournaments.
If the Gator ETX Soft Tri Fold Cover interests you, note that they make different sizes for different trucks. Our link goes to the cover that fits a 2015-2020 F150 with a 5’7″ bed, however you can input your truck model and bed size on Amazon and you should be able to find the right cover for your vehicle.
Hopefully, this little article highlighting our favorite item will help you in the future. Now go out and enjoy some softball!!