If there’s one thing a travel ball mom needs more than any other, it’s a good ball field chair. (For dads, it would be a good bucket, a patch of grass to pace or a foul line fence to lean on and exchange commentary with other dads, but that’s a different post.)
Whether you sit far away so other parents can’t hear your profanity….or you plop down right behind home plate to keep the score book, your chair is your constant companion. (Except for trips to the bathroom. Eww. Or the concession stand waiting half an hour for fries you wouldn’t want at any other “restaurant.”)
Since, in the name of travel ball (and rec and all-stars), we spend so much time sitting on our backsides, I thought it wise to post a guide to choosing the right ball field chair for your backside.
So without further delay, here are 2018’s top ball field chairs (as rated by Amazon and an informal poll of travel ball peeps.)
Kijaro Dual Lock Chair $24-$39
At some point, during a game against the Evoshield Seminoles last season, I looked around from my old worn out, faded blue chair to realize that every mom around me (well, all the cool ones) were sitting fashionably in Kijaro dual lock chairs, all aqua, turquoise, lime green, melon and other preteen inspired hues.
Did I not get the memo?
It was like I was suddenly back in high school and the only girl not wearing tight-rolled, acid washed jeans. A severe case of FOMO set in.
With Amazon app convenience, I was back in the cool kids’ club, sitting in my new electric pink Kijaro Dual-Lock with cup holders by our first bracket game the next day.
This new chair is quite supportive and comfortable and I don’t sink down in it like in my old one. And thanks to its locking stability system, I don’t have to worry about it folding up on me when I lean forward. But I’ll be honest. Getting it folded up and into its bag is harder than it should be. Trying to press and hold down the unlocking button while collapsing the chair takes more coordination than I apparently have. I’ve smashed my fingers a few times when the frame bars collapsed while my thumb was still holding down the button.
Coleman Oversized Quad Chair with Cooler $19.99
This will probably be my next ball field chair. (After I eventually lose a fingertip to my Kijaro dual lock.) You get a padded seat and back rest, cup holder, attached 4-can cooler pouch and an additional pocket for 20 bucks! It’s also quite roomy with tremendously positive online customer reviews. A few of our friends have had these for years without replacing them.
Quick Shade Adjustable Canopy Folding Chair $19.99
I’ve never owned one , but they seem like a great idea, especially if you’re a vampire or when it’s sprinkling rain….or the noonday sun is trying to set your hair ablaze. My friend Shari loves hers. (She’s not a vampire.)
SportBrella Recliner Chair $50.43
Here’s a chair for the mom, dad or grandma who would love to drag their La-Z-Boy to the ball field, but can’t fit into the sports gear wagon. Its footrest and umbrella make it a perfect place to catch a catnap between games. It also has lots of pockets and a cooler bag!
I know plenty of people who have this chair and love it, which is why it’s part of our top 10. I also owned one and loved it….for the month that it worked properly. But slowly, things started to fall apart. The straps that hold the footrest in place began to shred, as did the fabric on the back. The recliner mechanism then started giving me problems. So, yeah, as much as I love the concept, I think the designers need to take it back to the drawing board for a little quality improvement. (Note: This is just my experience with the Sportbrella Recliner Chair…three years ago. Maybe it has improved since then. If you’re considering buying one, take time to read recent online reviews.)
GCI Freestyle Portable Rocker $49.99
I’ve never owned one of these comfy looking portable rockers, but my friend Brooke does and she loves it. I do recommend that each chair come with its own can of WD-40 so that people around you won’t hear eeehhh—errrrrr, eeehhh—errrrrrr, eeehhh-errrrrrr at every game.
The GCI Freestyle has gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews online. The only complaints (few and far between) is that it can be slightly heavy to carry and a little difficult to fold until you get the hang of it.
Picnic Time Portable Reclining Stadium Seat for Bleachers $45.50 – $53.21
Once your kid gets old enough for showcase ball, where games are played at high school fields and college stadiums, you’re going to want a bleacher seat. Because, as you probably remember, bleachers alone aren’t exactly comfortable. This portable stadium seat has nice cushioning and adjusts to six different reclining positions. It comes in lots of fun colors and gets top ratings on Amazon.
King Camp Lumbar Support Heavy Duty Large Folding Chair $69.99
This is the Cadillac of basic ball field chairs. With extra padding, lumbar support, a cooler pouch, cup holder, storage pocket, adjustable waist protection and super high quality construction, it should last as long as your kid’s travel ball career. (Assuming he or she is a good ballplayer.)
Picnic Time Moka Sports Chair $79.99
Finally a chair with enough pockets to store all your ball field stuff, plus a side cocktail table for toasting the winning team. This padded, easy folding chair comes in a festive stripe design that will keep it from getting confused with someone else’s. It might be a little cumbersome for some people, though.
**I was going to include the heated portable chair people have been talking about, but online reviews were a C at best. Since I haven’t had one to evaluate myself, I didn’t want to recommend something that may not be good quality. If you own one of these, let us know what you think of it.
Got a ball field chair that should be on this list? Tell us about it in the comments.