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In theory, inflatable batting cages are the best way to add a hitting cage to your backyard, gym, or travel team’s equipment bag. They are quick to set up and take down and give you a portable hitting experience that no soft toss net, swing-a-way, or chain link fence could ever do. If taken care of properly, they can also outlast your outdoor cage.
But, in practice, most portable cages are often hard to maintain, require constant air flow, are overly affected by wind, and create a flat-out dangerous ricochet.
We’ve searched for the best inflatable batting cage that addresses these concerns and comes back with some encouraging answers. Only two companies make batting cages that are recommendable by way of the problems we mentioned above: Rude American and InMotion. We think, in the end, the Rude American cell is a clear winner due to its price point, added security features, and focus on stability.
Both Rude American and InMotion use a sealed-air approach. This means you only need to fill the cage once and do NOT need a constant air pump like a bouncy house. Any other competitor (especially many overseas models) requires a no-stop flow of air through a constantly running pump. No matter what you choose, we highly recommend you do NOT choose one that requires a continually running stand.
The reason people LOVE inflatable batting cages is their portability. They can come inside for the winter to be set up in a gym, go outside in the backyard to hit for a few hours (or longer), be taken down in a minute or two for an impending storm, and then be packed in the back of the mini-van or truck to be taken on a travel team’s road trip. It is the best way to go if you add a cage to your life.
Rude American and InMotion take about 20 minutes to set up a 40-foot cage. Both take only a few minutes to take down and pack up. Both fold down to the same size (roughly a 4 x 2 feet square case). Also, both are about the same weight and require the same trunk space.
One differentiating feature that we found favoring Rude American’s inflatable batting cage is the pillars that lift the bottom rung of the cell from the ground. InMotion’s inflatable batting cage has the bottom rung run on the floor. (See Pictures Below).
We found that an elevated bottom rung allows for a couple of things:
Another feature where the Rude American inflatable cage excels is the Velcro netting that attaches the two pieces of the cell. This allows for less ricochet and a more solid feel. The InMotion version doesn’t have any particular way to connect the two except for placing them together.
Legitimate and well-working inflatable batting cages that can be used with strong players are not cheap. Especially ones that come with lifetime warranties on seams.
Rude American’s price on baseball express is $7,000. InMotion’s price for their 40-foot cage starts at $12,500 (which you can only find by calling them). InMotion has a 36-foot cage (with two eighteen-foot sections) but is still over $9,000. No matter how you price it out, the Rude American cell will save you several thousand dollars.
InMotion sends an employee on-site to help you set up the cage for the first time, which I am sure adds a cost to their process. We are not sure, at least for most, how that might be needed as set up and take down aren’t particularly difficult. Regardless, if you think onsite help is required, then be prepared to spend upwards of $5,000 more.
The other thing InMotion probably does better is customization regarding logos and colors. This, of course, comes at an additional price. (Anywhere between $500 and $2000). Rude American does offer these services but, from what I could gather, would instead not do so as it adds significant time and cost to the process. We have difficulty seeing why custom logos would be that important, especially at substantial prices. If you need logos, buy some quality screen-printed stickers and do it yourself.
But, like onsite setup, if you are in the market for a customized or branded inflatable batting cage, then InMotion may be your ticket.
Both InMotion and Rude American inflatable cages are recommendable regarding their air sealing, portability, and warranty.
If you are looking for custom logos or other options (like a shorter cage), then InMotion is your only recommendable option. Pricing for InMotion must be found by calling their primary number.
Rude American inflatable batting cages are our recommended option for added safety, stability, and overall value. A price check on that inflatable can be found here.