Best Fastpitch Softball Bats 2021 ReviewsJamestown2021-09-25T23:37:28+01:00
If you are a hitter choosing which bat to buy is a crucial decision. But finding the best fastpitch softball bat is not an easy task. The selection of bats is huge, there are so many brands, models, styles. How to determine which one will be perfect for you?
There are many different aspects to think about. It is important to choose a bat that will help you get the most out of your game. We have come up with a guide that will help you make the best choice.
Moreover, there are new models popping up every year, promising new and revolutionary improvements and innovations in design created to help you up your game. But does any of it actually make sense, or is it all just a marketing talk?
We have gone through all the testing, reviews and players’ experiences and created a list of the most popular fastpitch bats of the season.
We have also reviewed the most popular softball cleats to help you in search for the best softball cleats for you. Please note that we have tried to be as unbiased as possible, but the reviews are somewhat reflection of our personal opinions. If you have any feedback, we would like to hear from you.
10 Best Fastpitch Softball Bats for 2021
Here is a list of the very best fastpitch softball bats that you can find on the market. It is regularly updated and features all the newest and best models from all popular brands. Let’s get into the list of the best fastpitch bats for 2021 and hopefully make your decision of which bat to choose a lot easier.
1. DeMarini Prism+
Followed by a huge success that the Prism 2020 model had, DeMarini released a new and updated Prism, called the Prism+. Since the original Prism was one of the highest-rated fastpitch bats of 2020, DeMarini had a difficult task in improving on that huge success. And they surely did.
The new Prism+ has an updated, lighter barrel that also has a bigger sweet spot thanks to the upgraded Continuous Fiber barrel. The sound that this bat gives is just mesmerizing and is just a huge joy to hit with. The Prism+ is even lighter than its predecessor, which wasn’t an easy thing to accomplish.
And the feel that this bat has on hits and mishits is in our opinion second to none. Really, just a pure joy to hit with, and we could do it for hours and hours.
The only downside to this bat is that it is on the pricier side, but since it is one of the top-performing bats this year, you couldn’t expect it to be cheap.
If you are a serious player and on the lookout for a new, lightweight fastpitch bat that has amazing sound and feel, the DeMarini Prism+ is for you.
The LXT series of fastpitch bats have legendary status, and the 2021 version is no exception. Louisville made an all-new Single-Disc PBF Speed Composite Barrel which gives the updated 2021 version a huge sweet spot and phenomenal sound, and they have also made VCX2 Connection System which is updated for independent movement between the handle and barrel.
The grip is also updated and the Slugger now has the new Premium LS Pro Comfort Grip™ for more control and a better feel. 2021 LXT has a balanced swing weight for fantastic swing speed and control.
The Slugger LXT 2021 is one of the most balanced and lightest bats we have ever tested. All those technologies that Louisville’s put in this bat make it our favorite of this year, as it is powerful, fast, lightweight, and allows the player to easily make proper contact with the ball.
This new, 2021 version comes in this great white-gold colorway that softball players love and reminds us of the older, 2019 model.
There are “only” a couple of new features that the new LXT has, but that shouldn’t be a bad thing, as the last year’s model was a fantastic one.
There are not a lot of bats that have this amount of hype around them a couple of weeks before its release. One of the bats that certainly has that hype and one of the first bats to be released for the 2022 season is the new Louisville Slugger Meta. It shares the same name as its hugely successful baseball counterpart. We think it is well made as to its baseball version.
The all-new Meta is a high-performance bat that has a two-piece design (like most of the popular bats) with a MASH Composite dual-wall design. That two-piece design has the Louisville Slugger’s VTX Connection System which gives this bat the pop and great feel. That is the new system, and it provides the independent movement of the handle and the barrel. The great thing about this new connection system is that it absorbs much of the vibration that occurs when you mishit the softball.
This bat belongs up there with the best of them, as it performs great and as we said, offers great pop, feel and also, sound. Because the bat has a balanced weight, it will be a perfect choice for contact and also, power hitters.
The new Meta comes in -10, -9, -8 drops and has this recognizable light and dark grey colorway with a white Meta logo. Maybe not everyone will be a fan of this design, but we sure are!
One of the most popular fastpitch bats on the market, the Easton Ghost just got it’s highly anticipated update, so please welcome the all-new Easton Ghost Double Barrel 2022 model. Widely regarded as one of the best fastpitch bats for power hitters, the previous Ghost had phenomenal performance but it also had durability issues. The new one has some updates that promise to fix those issues.
The two barrels that the Ghost has (hence the name “double barrel”), inner and outer work simultaneously to create the flex that the Easton Ghost is so popular for. Another thing that the Ghost is popular for, the sound, is generated by the inner barrel. When you properly connect, the sound that the Easton Ghost creates is plain fantastic.
The Connexion Technology that the Ghost has gives it the stiff feel that, among other things, makes it such a great power hitters bat. And, one more great thing about the new Easton Ghost is that it is exceptionally hot right out of the wrapper.
Since the older Ghost had durability issues, Easton fixed that by putting the Sonic Composite in the 2022 Ghost and it really makes it feel more durable and lightweight.
The next update is not an important one regarding the performance but is a nice one nonetheless and that is the new looks it has. It is our personal favorite Easton Ghost colorway up to date as we feel the sharp lines and blue details make it stand out much more then the previous models.
If you are more interested in the new Easton Ghost Double Barrel, check out our review here, where we go into more detail and talk about all of its features.
The DeMarini company, from its founding in 1989, has come a long way in producing one of the best bats on the market, and the CF lineup is one of their best. The long barrel on CF Zen 2021 is made of composite, specifically DeMarini’s Paraflex+ Composite, probably the most responsive barrel in the game.
Vibration is reduced and energy is transferred into the barrel on contact with the usage of their 3Fusion Connection, improving performance. The cap in the new CF ZEN is the ReAction End Cap which boosts barrel performance.
The new CF is a great light-swinging bat, that has tremendous amounts of pop. Also, the feel when you connect and also the feel on mishits are some of the best in the game, especially with the -11 drop.
In the category of “feel”, DeMarini is really hard to beat, and the new CF proves just that.
Last year’s CF was a great bat, but this one, the new CF is a huge upgrade in almost any category you can name.
2021 CF Zen comes in a beautiful blue-orange colorway and a -10, -11 (blue-white colorway) drop.
If you are even more interested in the new DeMarini CF check out our in-depth review here and be sure to check out how the new CF compares to another bat from DeMarini, in our DeMarini CF vs FNX comparison.
Easton did a fantastic job on the Ghost Advanced 2021 edition. They have improved all aspects of this bat from the 2019 model, making it lighter and stronger than the previous model. The Ghost Advanced has a Double Barrel 2, a new barrel construction that has some improvements in the inner and outer barrels. The outer is stronger and the inner is lighter than the previous generation and these upgrades provide much better performance.
The new ConneXion Evolution has more Nitrocell foam for producing minimum vibration. The sweet spot is also larger, made possible by the Launch Composite Technology which also makes the barrel lighter and stronger.
All of these new features and amazing technologies make the Easton Ghost Advanced a high-performance bat that is a huge satisfaction to hit with. There are a couple of issues with this bat however; the first one issue with the Ghost Advanced is its longevity; it lasts less than the other high-performance bats. The second one is the high price tag which makes the Easton Ghost Advanced one of, if not the most expensive bat on the market.
The Easton Ghost Advanced 2021 comes with a lot of flex and hot of the wrapper with a custom-designed Lizard Skins grip, available in -11, -10, -9, -8 drops and is ASA (USA), USSSA (Fastpitch only), NSA, ISA, ISF approved.
This is a very popular bat made for power hitters by DeMarini. The bat doesn’t have any flex because it is designed with power in mind and when a bat has flex it losses power.
It is also a very stiff bat, the stiffer feel made possible by a two-piece composite design. DeMarini has put their Direct Connection technology in this fastpitch bat; that is the technology responsible for the huge amounts of energy transfer and power that the new FNX has, a thing that the DeMarini FNX is known for.
The barrel has Continuous Fiber (like the Prism) which allows for weight distribution all throughout it, which is fantastic if you want a powerful but at the same time balanced bat. DeMarini has some of the coolest and most advanced technology in the game and the new FNX proves just that. But, because of it’s very stiff feel it is not intended for contact hitters and inexperienced players.
Let’s mention the looks; it is not the most important factor you should think about when on a lookout for a new fastpitch bat, but we wanted to say that this bat looks just gorgeous with the black/red colorway and a Fenix on it. It will definitely be easily noticed the moment you step on the field.
Mantra is the first bat released in 2021 by Rawlings and is the successor to the Quatro Pro. It features a three-step inner barrel that will give you great sound when you make perfect contact on the hit. It will be one of the most recognizable sounds in the game.
Another good thing that this bat will give you is the pop, which is credited to the thin barrel design. The most interesting feature that the Mantra has is the small piece called the F2 collar which reduces the vibration so you can get a more powerful and faster swing.
We have enjoyed the drop 9 the most and we think that it is the best option if you are a power hitter.
Another great feature that the Mantra has is the Blast Motion sensor. It is a swing analysis sensor and the Rawlings Mantra is the first fastpitch bat that is approved for in-game use it. You don’t “need” this feature but it’s nice to have it. It is sold separately, however.
Overall, the new Rawlings Mantra is a very good softball bat that will make a statement in 2021; it performs well, is durable, and has a couple of great technologies in it that you will surely enjoy. The new Mantra is expensive, that is the cold truth, but it is worth every single penny.
The new Louisville Slugger RXT is a fastpitch bat with a great idea behind it. That idea is to mix the two highly popular Louisville Slugger bats – the Xeno and the LXT into one bat, creating the RXT.
We are huge fans of that idea, because the Louisville Slugger RXT is one of the most comfortable bats that you can find. It’s has a composite, 2-piece construction and has a couple of features like the 2020 version of the bat. Those include the HVR-1 Technology and the SPRINGLOAD Connection System. Those technologies give the RXT a ton of pop, something we were fascinated by. However, we would’ve like to have seen more new features. But, the bat performs very well and the feel on swings was nothing short of amazing.
The older model came in just a -10 drop, but the new one comes in a -8, -9, and -10 drops, which is great news. One more thing that we liked about the 2021 Louisville Slugger RXT was it’s colorway; the way this bat looks is fantastic and it is one of our favorite looking bats.
If you are interested in the Louisville Slugger RXT even more, check out are detailed review here.
A highly popular fastpitch bat and one of the favorites for players who prefer a stiffer feel, the Louisville Slugger Xeno is back and updated for 2021. The new Xeno has a couple of technologies like the older version, and that shouldn’t be considered a bad thing, since the older Louisville Slugger Xeno was a fantastic bat.
Those are the S1IDTM Barrel Technology, which gives the Xeno the best possible performance right out of the wrapper. The second one is IST Technology, a technology that gives the Xeno a stiff feel it is known for. There are a couple of new features that come with the new Xeno and those are the new X-cap, a lightweight endcap that improves control and speed of the bat, and the new Premium LS Pro Comfort Grip, which improves control and feel.
The Louisville Slugger Xeno comes in this gorgeous purple/black colorway and in 4 drops, which are -8, -9, -10, and -11.
A key to finding a faspitch bat that is perfect for you is to get the size and weight that fits you.
THE RIGHT LENGTH:
When choosing the softball bat that is right for you, you need to know how to measure it properly. The length is measured from the knob to the barrel. Place the knob at the center of your chest and extend the barrel out toward your fingertips. If you can touch the end of the bat with your fingertips, the bat is an appropriate size.
Another way is to measure from the center of your chest to the tips of your index finger, with your arm straight out to your side. The approximate length of the bat you need according to the height and weight is shown in the chart below.
THE RIGHT WEIGHT:
When it comes to weight, you should go with a weight that you are comfortable swinging. Many beginners or parents of young players tend to choose a bat that is too heavy.
If you can’t hold the bat with one hand, with your arm extended to your side, for 30 seconds without struggle, the bat is probably too heavy for you.
THE RIGHT DROP:
The drop is the number that represents the difference between the length and weight of the bat. A lower drop usually indicates a heavier bat.
The fastpitch softball bats usually have a drop ranging from -8 to -13. Don’t let this number confuse you: it is merely an indicator of the weight to length ratio of your bat.
Construction of a fastpitch softball bat
The barrel is the top part of the softball bat and it’s defined by its diameter and length. The handle is the bottom part of the bat that the player grasps. The diameter of the handle is called the taper.
Construction: Depending on the way they are constructed fastpitch bats can be one-piece or two-piece. A one-piece bat is developed as one continuous piece, while at a two-piece bat the barrel and the handle are separate sections, which are bonded together.
One-piece bats provide little or no give and have a stiff feel when contact is made with the ball. They have a very minimal amount of flex at contact, so little energy is lost on impact which results in more power. This type of bats is great for power hitters.
Two-piece bats provide more flex at contact with the ball and create a “whip” effect that results in an increase in bat speed during a swing. Two-piece bats are fitting for the contact hitters.
The two main parts of any softball bat are the handle and the barrel.
Other parts are the knob, grip and end cap.
What More to Look for in Softball Bats
SPEED: Bat speed is very important for softball hitters, especially in fastpitch. In softball today, the pitchers are getting bigger, stronger, and faster, the players have to either get faster or make their swing shorter. Players with faster bats can wait longer to see the ball better, which allows them to make better decisions. By increasing their bat speed, players will improve their mechanics, hand-eye coordination and will be able to hit for greater distances. When choosing the best fastpitch bat for you make sure to pick one that will allow you to get the maximum out of your bat speed.
PERFORMANCE: Intuitively, you would want to go for a bat that has the best performance possible. However, it is not that simple. New requirements announced in 2011 introduced a new regulation parameter called BPF – bat performance factor. This does not limit the speed of the ball upon hit, but the increase in the liveliness of a ball hitting a bat compared to throwing a ball against a solid wall. According to current regulations bats may not exceed a BPF of 1.20. So when shopping for a softball bat make sure to check whether it has a BPF stamp, to confirm it is legal for play.
MATERIAL: According to the material they are made of softball bats can be aluminum, or alloy bats, composite and hybrid bats also called half-and-half. Wooden bats are mostly abandoned in competitive fastpitch softball.
Composite bats are made of a mix of graphite, fiberglass, and plastic resin, which gives them a distinctive sound. Composite bats are durable, superior in performance, have a larger sweet spot, but they also tend to crack and they can’t be used in very cold weather. They are also the most expensive version of softball bats, so they are used mainly by players on a higher level.
Aluminum bats are traditional, less expensive, they give a “stiffer” feel and, in theory, they can lose their pop over time. They are used by the players that prefer sturdy, lightweight bats.
Hybrid bats are created from the idea to give players the best of both worlds. They are made in a way to include both aluminum and elements made of composite materials. Every manufacturer behind hybrid models has their reason and way of crafting the bat they claim has the optimal performance. The most traditional hybrid bat is a composite handle and aluminum barrel, but there are many different variations.
COMFORT: The handle has a great role in how comfortably you can hit. The handle is defined by its thickness and grip. Having a firm grip is important, for safety as well as optimal hitting. A softball is much larger than a baseball, so the chance for uncomfortable hand vibrations is greatly increased. A thicker handle reduces these vibrations, but it weighs more and can slow down the bat speed.
Balanced vs. End Loaded Fastpitch Softball Bats
Bats with a smaller drop (-9, -8), or smaller length to weight ratio, are generally considered end loaded bats. The weight is distributed more towards the end of the bat, making it a bit heavier to swing. Many players tend to choose a balanced, lighter bat, because they think they will be able to swing better. But that doesn’t always have to be the case. However, end loaded softball bats for fastpitch can have many advantages.
Sometimes two bats with the same actual weight might feel different when they are swung. This has to do with the distribution of weight. The “swing weight” is defined by something called moment of inertia, which depends both on the total weight and the balance point. The end loaded bats are initially harder to swing and control, but give much more power on impact, sending the ball further.
The bat with weight distributed towards the end of the barrel may not be good for the beginners that do not have developed strength and quick swing speed. For stronger power hitters this type of bat has many advantages. The “top heavy” bats require refined hitting skills because if you hit the ball just right, it goes a long way, if you don’t hit it perfect, you foul it off or pop it up.
If you are tall and strong the end load will help you keep your speed up on impact. After contact speed can actually increase using an end loaded bat, or at least stay the same and not decrease as much as balanced does because of the weight distribution keeps the inertia.
Youth fastpitch players need lighter swing weight so they can achieve more power at the plate. For them the balanced bat might be the best solution. But if a young player is strong and athletic enough to control the speed, then the extra power can translate into another 10 to 30 feet or more to the ball distance.
Have in mind that regulations are different form one league to another and you should check them before making a purchase, since USSSA bats may not be allowed in ASA play, and vice-versa. There are bats that have dual stamp and those are allowed in leagues of both associations.
Finally, you should know that choosing the right fast pitch bat is very individual. Ray Demarini used to say that for a softball player the perfect bat weight was 28oz. That may be right, but the real truth is that the perfect bat is the one you feel most comfortable with and you can use for a long time. You can browse though our selection of best fastpitch softball bats and read the reviews to help you with your choice.
Get together with friends and place your orders at the same time and ship to the same place. You can get free shipping, and sometimes you will all get a discount as well.
Best Softball Bats Brands
Technology of softball bats is constantly advancing. The world’s leading brands produce new bats or improve their old models using the latest technology. There are several big brands you need to take into consideration when choosing fastpitch bat for the season.
The hottest fastpitch softball bat of last year was the Easton Mako. Coming in two versions as a end-loaded “Easton Mako -9” and evenly balanced “Mako -10” and “Mako -11”. Trying to match the success of its predecessors the newly released Easton Mako Torq, a composite two-piece bat with high-end performance abilities.
Louisville Slugger bats are made by Hillerich & Bradsby Company with a great tradition of over 120 years. The most famous fastpitch bat is the Louisville Slugger Xeno, and advertised as one of the most powerful ones is Louisville Slugger LXT.
In early deays, Demarini was virtually unknown in the world of softball equipment. But they grew steadily and now they are the manufactures of some of the great fastpitch softball bats: Demarini CF8 and Demarini Vendetta.
Miken softball bats are all about latest technology and performance. Miken freak is a fully composite, two-piece fastpitch bat with a big sweet spot and great performance.
Worth fastpitch bats are legendary in the history of softball used in Women’s College World Series. Worth 2 Legit is the latest fastpitch softball bat manufactured by this company.
Mizuno fastpitch softball bats are some of the best bats on the market, made with titanium and composite materials. Mizuno was founded in 1906 in Japan and has been making products for all kinds of sports. Their softball bats are fast, strong and very durable.
Rawlings Sporting Goods was founded in 1887 and they specialize in baseball equipment and clothing and are one of the leading suppliers of baseball equipment in North America. They have been making some awesome equipment for softball also, like the: Rawlings Quatro Pro Bat, the Rawlings Mantra and fastpitch softballs.
DeMarini Prism+ 2021
The new DeMarini Prism+takes the crown of the best fastpitch bat for 2021. It has a couple of new and updated features that make it an even better bat than the last year’s Prism.
2021 DeMarini Prism+ is a bat with a balanced swing weight, fantastic sound on contact, and a massive sweet spot.