Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Review of the Dry-Lo Umpire Ball Bag

Over the past few months Jason Klein at Jim Evans Academy has offered to send the newly redesigned Dry-Lo Umpire Ball Bag for review. To tell the truth, I wasn’t anxious to review this product. When testing the Dry-Lo in 2009, the seams unraveled on me and the overall quality was lacking. Nevertheless, I agreed to review it and prepared myself to disappoint Jason.

Well, the redesigned Dry-Lo Ball Bag has reminded me that it is a cardinal sin for an umpire to anticipate a call. The new Dry-Lo Ball Bag is without a doubt better in quality and design than its predecessor.

New Size
The new Dry-Lo Ball Bag from Jim Evans is bigger than the previous model. It is .75” wider at the belt loop and ball opening, .5” longer top to bottom, and has a more tapered configuration. The right inside pocket is also .25” wider than before. Below are the dimensions for the redesigned Dry-Lo Umpire Ball Bag.

Top Opening Width 11.75
Bottom Width 12.25
Ball Compartment Length 9.25
Total Length 13.25
From Belt Loop 3.5
Belt Loop Opening 3.0
Left Inside Width 4.25
Left Inside Length 4.75
Right Inside Width 4.5
Right Inside Length 4.75
Pen Pocket Width 2.0
Pen Pocket Length 4.75

New Design
The Dry-Lo has increased the taper angle of the bag. The tapered design is used to keep baseballs in the bag while running. This bag can accommodate three baseballs side-by-side with room to spare (the previous Dry-Lo design would accommodate three baseballs side-by-side, but the fit was snug). I wear two ball bags while working the plate and keep my plate brush in the right front pocket. The previous design of the Dry-Lo made it difficult to remove my plate brush, but this redesigned bag solves the problem by widening the pocket by a quarter inch.

The Dry-Lo is made of two pieces of study polyester. Polyester is a moisture wicking material, and the Dry-Lo places a waterproof nylon liner between the bag and your pant leg. The purpose of this liner is to prevent sweat from your leg from wicking through the bag to the baseballs.

New Construction
One of the most significant changes in the Dry-Lo is the change from a single “running stitch” (a single stitch going in a straight line) to a zigzag stitch throughout the bag. The zigzag stitch offers more flexibility allowing the polyester seam to stretch and move without breaking. This is a large design improvement.

The Dry-Lo Umpire Ball Bag is available in either Black or Navy, with or without inside pockets, and sells for $16.95 at the following on-line retailers.

Honig's for $16.95
Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring for $16.95
ABUA Online Store for $16.95
Force3 Pro Gear Store for $16.95

A discount is offered at Jim Evan’s site: buy one at $16.95 and the second is available for $12.00 more.
Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring has authorized a discount for readers of Midwest Ump: Two Dry-Low Umpire Ball bags (any color or style) for only $25! This discount expires 10/31/2010. Use this link and enter the coupon code c30caf at checkout.

Bottom Line
The newly redesigned Dry-Lo Umpire Ball Bag has been a pleasant surprise. I like the larger bag and the stronger zigzag stitching. At less than $30.00 for two bags (through Jim Evans’ site), the Dry-Lo is a outstanding balance of price and quality. The Dry-Lo Umpire Ball bag is an excellent choice when considering a ball bag purchase.

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