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Discussion: bats and cold weather

Posted Discussion
Jan. 2, 2014
42 posts
bats and cold weather
OK, this has probably been hashed and re-hashed, but I need to hear opinions on it. As I understand it, it is not usually the composite bat itself that is affected by the cold, but rather the ball. Thus, when the composite bat makes contact with a ball in cold weather, the changed consistency of the ball causes damage to the bat. If that is basically a fact, then it leads me to this question.

Is it OK to store a composite bat in a cold environment during the colder months? I live in South Texas, where temps rarely fall below 30-degrees, even on the coldest nights. I typically leave my bat bag and all my gear, including bats, in my garage. I have never experienced any damage or repurcussions to the composite bats when leaving them in a cold garage. But is there any chance that cold temps could in any way cause deterioration to composite bats?

So, I based my question on the premise that it is a cold ball that causes damage to a composite bat, instead of the bat itself being cold. Please comment on that premise as well as whether the "cold storage" aspect has any bearing.

Thanks in advance to all responders.
Jan. 3, 2014
hemi racer
Men's 65
237 posts
Can't imagine any damage being done storing bats in moderately cold weather. Hope it doesn't anyway as I store mine in my garage here in upstate S.C. also. Don't know about subzero weather though. I would think the bats are just like the balls, good to go as long as you let them warm before use.
Jan. 3, 2014
Men's 60
632 posts
You don't see warning on the Ball about using in cold weather. It is indeed the bat that is affected by Cold whether. The ball does cause the damage but it is because the bat flexes less or nil in cold weather.
Jan. 3, 2014
42 posts

I tend to agree with you about the negatives of hitting with a composite bat in cold weather. However, my concern stems from a comment I heard recently about bringing your composite bats inside during the winter. (storing them under the bed or somewhere) Because, according to this theory, the cold temperatures over the winter months will have a deteriorating effect on the composite material and weaken it somehow.

You are correct that there are no warning labels on either bats or balls about cold temps, but that can't replace observed experience.

I guess I am skeptical of the premise that repeated exposure to cold will damage a stored bat and just wondered if anyone had heard anything to either certify or dispel that suggestion.
Jan. 3, 2014
Men's 75
524 posts
phantom thanks for this post.

It may be possible a bat getting cold then warmer over a winter could damage the material. Expanding and contracting.

I am going to bring my bat inside from the garage, and my glove also.....
Jan. 3, 2014
Men's 50
68 posts
I always try and keep my equipment in a controlled temperature environment i.e. indoors. It is the constant temperature changes as Crusher suggests that damage bats. Heat also damages shoes and gloves and dry cold air in the winter dries out your glove
Treacy Elliott
Jan. 3, 2014
Men's 60
87 posts
Crusher is right about the effect of expansion and contraction. Thermal shock resistance varies greatly from one composite formulation to another. Base resins, fillers, impact modifiers, reinforcements, UV stabilizers, colorants, etc. all have limitations. Heat and humidity affect both bat & ball as well. You can "dry out" a bat making it more brittle or turn a ball into a "rock" or "mush". Best thing is to avoid wide temperature ranges over a short time. If you leave your stuff in the trunk of your car - warm it up before use. My bats sleep indoors....
DH - #4
Jan. 3, 2014
Omar Khayyam
1357 posts
This is only anecdotal evidence, but I always keep my U2 and my Combat Macenko in my car trunk. Living in central California, it is probably seldom a freezing temperature in the trunk, but no doubt it heats up above 100 in the summer. I occasionally play in weather in the mid to high 30s with the bats, but seldom lower. Played in Rock 'N Reno the year it was snowing(!) and the Miken did fine. My U2 is going into its 12th season and the Combat its 4th. No problems yet. Balls are probably stored in garages until game time when they sit in temperatures from 36 in the winter to 105 in the summer. Maybe I dodged a bullet playing in snowfall in Reno?

Jan. 5, 2014
28 posts
Easton makes a bat sleeve so it will keep the bats insulated from the cold. I am not to worried about the heat but my garage can get cold. These sleeves zip on and cost about 9 dollars. If they save one bat they have done there job
Jan. 5, 2014
65 posts
under 60 degrees ... I swing only bats to which I'm prepared to say my goodbyes
Jan. 6, 2014
Men's 65
1000 posts
I would urge you to consider storing your quality bats indoors and out of the UV's as a result of the exe thermal ray of the sun. I recommend to my friends and customers NOT to hit with composite bats below 65 degrees, although I too have used mine in colder temps. As stated above, players have no control as to where the recreation department or the tournament director stores the balls. Best recipe is balls and bats stored indoors prior to playing ball.
Ed Andrews
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