Umpire Equipment Bags Buying GuideApr 8th, 2016
Because an umpire packs a lot of gear, clothing and accessories, they need a large bag. A regular old duffle bag will not do.
Because umpires don't want to throw their soft clothing in with their hard umpire protective gear and dirty shoes, the double-compartment bags are the way to go.
Because most umpires umpire in different locations, umpires need to be mobile with wheels on their large bag.
From there, it's up to your preference on size, telescopic (or pull-out) handle and bonus features.
First, there is a trade-off between size and handle. If you want the most room, bags have a handle at the end, and are not telescopic. The longer the bag, the more weight a handle would have to support so this is counter-productive.
The largest bags (without a telescopic handle) are:
- 36" Wilson Umpire Equipment Bag with the MLB logo - a nice choice if you prefer the brand that sponsors MLB umpires.
- 36" Champro Umpire Equipment Bag where you get more square footage for the money.
If you want a telescopic handle wheeled bag, there are smaller options:
- 33" Diamond Ultimate Equipment Bag gives you the largest bag that comes with a telescopic handle.
- 33" Force3 Ultimate Equipment Bag has multiple features including rugged, angled wheels and included folding bags for shirts and pants.
- 23" Force3 Mini Umpire / Referee Bag (below) if you want to go minimalistic or versatile for the multi-sport official. This is the only umpire bag that will also work as an airline carry-on.
These umpire equipment bags have additional bonuses:
- Integrated Shoe Compartments: Found on Champro, Diamond and Wilson Umpire Bags
- Folding Bags: Force3 Umpire Bags
- Laundry Bag: Champro Umpire Bag
If we're talking travel, additional items will help protect items and/or keep them tidy and neat within your equipment bag:
About the Author
President/CEO of Score 451 Sports, LLC and Ump-Attire.com Jim Kirk
Jim has had a passion for sports since he can remember. After playing baseball at Centre College, he worked as a high school umpire in Southeastern Kentucky - during the Elbeco shirt years - as a way to make ends meet. He became involved in E-Commerce while working on an MBA in the early 2000s and eventually bought Ump-Attire.com in 2006. Jim is proud of Ump-Attire.com's success, staff and sponsorship of various groups including Minor League Baseball Umpires, Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy and UMPS CARE, the charity of MLB umpires. He currently serves on their board of directors and was named their 2015 Ambassador Award recipient. Jim has also coached youth baseball many years and currently coaches middle school baseball at Christian Academy of Louisville. He lives in Louisville with his wife Lori, daughter Lydia and son Ben.