In this article, I breakdown everything you need to know before purchasing a portable pitching mound. My complete buyer’s guide will help you understand exactly what to look for when purchasing a pitching mound for the backyards, teams or leagues.
Once you know exactly which size and type of mound is right for you, I have prepared a list of the 10 best pitching mounds on the market.
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Pitching Mound Buying Guide
Buying a portable pitching mound can be very confusing. There are all different mound heights, widths and materials that can be very confusing for parents, coaches, and league directors. The number one question that we get asked is “how do I choose the right portable mound?”
The answer may be a little more complicated than you think, but with few simple steps, you will easily find the right portable mound for you. Luckily, after selling mounds for over 10 years, I have made buyers guide to help you find the perfect mound!
Determine The Pitching Mound Height For Your Age Group And League
The height of the portable pitching mound is the most important aspect to choosing the right pitching mound. We have had plenty of customers purchase a pitching mound, only to realize that they purchased the wrong height.
So how do you determine what height mound you need? Mound height is most often determined by age group and field size. Below is a break down for all 4 of the different mound heights available.
4” Pitching Mound
4” high pitching mounds are specifically used for practice. These mounds are perfect for backyard practice or warming up your arm in the bullpen, however, they are not tall enough to meet regulation requirements for little league.
A 4 inch pitcher’s mound is also great for transitions little leaguers to kid pitch leagues. Because the mound is not as high and the players will land on the dirt, it makes it more comfortable for learning to throw from an elevated surface.
6” Pitching Mound
6” high mounds are known as little league pitching mounds. All little leagues use a 6” high mounds for kids under 12 years old. Every 6 inch game pitching mound we carry or recommend has the regulation height and slope for little league game use.
8” Pitching Mound
These pitching mounds are for little league players transitioning from the smaller little league fields to the bigger middle school fields. 8 inch mounds are used on what are known as 50/70 fields.
Little leagues use 6” high mounds and middle schools use 10” high mounds, 8” pitching mounds offer a nice in between solution to help kids prepare for the jump.
10” Pitching Mound
10” pitching mounds are for middle school ballfields all the way up through professional baseball. Middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities, and the MLB all use 10” high mounds.
Mound Type - Practice Or Game Pitching Mound
This is an easy step to figure out. Most game pitching mounds double up as a practice pitching mound, however, the same can’t be said for practice mounds. Practice pitching mounds are great for indoor and outdoor practice, but they cannot be used in a game setting.
A game pitching mound has tapered edges. The tapered edges allow kids to safely get on and off the sides of the mound in the event of a flyball or grounder hit back at the pitcher.
Size of the Pitching Mound
Now you know the height you need for your pitching mound, but what about the length and width? While there are no regulations on how long or wide a pitching mound must be, it is still an important factor to consider when purchasing a pitching mound.
When considering length, there are two types of pitching mounds. The first type is a stride-off pitching mound. A stride-off pitching mound has a short length. Due to the short length, pitchers will finish their stride on the area in front of the pitching mound, rather than on the pitching mound itself.
While this might not sound ideal, the main advantages of a stride-off pitching mound are they are lightweight and more affordable. You will notice that only little league pitching mounds are offered as stride-off pitching mound.
The 2nd type is a full-length game mound. Full length game mounds allow the pitcher to land on the mound when they complete their stride. The stride length is an important number as it shows how much room the pitcher has from the rubber to the edge of the portable mound. You will notice that all 8” and 10” portable mounds are full length and are not available as stride-offs.
The width of the pitching mound will also play a role into your decision, especially for older leagues, high schools, and colleges. Less expensive portable mounds are narrower. They don’t have much room to the right or left of the pitching rubber.
For younger players this is usually not an issue. However, with older players that are performing pickoff moves, a wider pitching mound is essential.
Materials, Durability and Warranty
When purchasing a mound, you expect to be able to use the mound for a long time. Getting the most use out of your pitching mound is very important. The portable mound core, rubber, and turf play a vital role in longevity.
Every manufacturer sets their pitching mounds up differently with the materials they use and the features they offer. Below is a list of the top features you should look for before making your final decision.
Fiberglass Pitching Mounds
More and more pitching mound manufacturers are turning to fiberglass for the core of their mounds. Why? Because fiberglass has proven to last longer than any of the other materials used to build mounds.
Fiberglass will hold up against the wear and tear put on it by pitchers. It also is the perfect material to hold up against water damage. Many of the wood pitching mounds you see on other sites will rot quicker, making the mounds unusable.
Even if you were to experience some type of core damage to a fiberglass mound. They can easily be repaired with an inexpensive fiberglass repair kit. Using a repair kit required no special handyman skills and can be done by just about anybody.
When purchasing a pitching mound, I always recommend a full fiberglass core or a core with fiberglass reinforcement. The benefit to a mound with fiberglass reinforcements vs a full fiberglass core are that they will be significantly lighter.
We we other get asked the question “How do I make sure I get the most use out of the turf?” The turf will wear down overtime, however, a couple manufacturers offer nice features that will limit the amount of turf you need to repair.
The most wear and tear on any portable pitching mound is the area right in front of the pitching rubber. Portolite and Pitch Pro Mounds both come with different features that limit your need to constantly repair this area.
They add an additional padding right in front of the pitching rubber to help prevent wear and tear from pitchers pushing off and pivoting on the turf.
The warranty of a pitching mound, in all cases, only refers to the core. No manufacturer offers warranty on the turf, as the turf wears down at different rates depending on what type of cleats you use. Obviously, you want the longest warranty possible on your pitching mound. However, the length of the warranty not only is nice for peace of mind but also shows you the confidence level of the manufacturer in their product.
Top 10 Best Selling Pitching Mounds
Now that we have broken down all of aspects to consider when purchasing a portable pitching mound, we can get into the best mounds on the market. In the list below you will find a variety of 4″, 6″, 8″, and 10″ pitching mounds.
Each pitchers mound in our list is made by the best mound manufactures in the country. We have mounds for all age group and all price ranges.
Portolite 6” Full Length Pitching Mound
First on the list is the Portolite 6″ Full Length Pitching Mound. Over the last couple years, it has moved into the best-selling pitching mound on the market. The little league pitching mound is a favorite amongst tournament directors and little league presidents.
What makes the Portolite 6” Full Length Pitching Mound Popular?
There are a number of great features on the 6” Full Length Mound, which is why it is a best seller. When speaking to different coaches, their favorite thing about the mound is the combination of large dimensions and portability.
Most pitching mounds with similar dimensions weigh two to three times this pitching mound. This portable mound has nearly a 9’ length and 5’ width, yet only weighs 120 pounds. In fact, it is so light that it only takes two people to move.
Additionally, Portolite builds their mounds to last. Their 6” Pitching Mound uses Astroturf, which holds up nicely against rubber cleats. In front of the pitching rubber, the most used spot on the portable mound, Portolite put in a hidden “Wear Pad” to ensure this spot lasts longer than other mounds.
The core is quite possibly the most important part of any pitching mound. As long as the core is intact, the turf is always replaceable. That is why Portolite uses a combination of fiberglass and poly. Portolite is so confident that the core of their pitching mounds are built to last, that they offer a 10-year warranty on the core.
Pitch Pro 486 Pitching Mound
Pitch Pro has been one of the leaders in the pitching mound industry for the past decade. For this reason, it is no surprise that they have several their pitching mounds in the top 10 best sellers. The Pitch Pro 486 lives up to the hype and comes in at number two on the best-selling list. It has been the go-to portable mound for many little leagues across the country. We have many little leagues who won’t consider other options because they love their Pitch Pro Pitching Mounds so much.
What makes the Pitch Pro 486 Fiberglass Pitching Mound Popular?
Pitch Pro offers three different 6” game mounds. The 486 is the option priced right in the middle. Coaches love the 486 Pitching Mound because it is a full-length pitching mound at a stride-off mound price. Unlike the smallest Pitch Pro game mound, the 465, the 486 has enough length for pitchers to complete their stride on the mound.
Another reason for the 486’s popularity is the fiberglass core. Fiberglass has been known to hold up against the elements and last longer than wood mounds. Every Pitch Pro product is a fiberglass pitching mound. They even include fiberglass support bars on the bottom of their mounds for extra support and durability.
Knowing that their portable mounds are built to last, Pitch Pro confidently offers a 10-year warranty on the core of their mounds.
Pitch Pro 796 Pitching Mound
While the 486 is Pitch Pro’s most popular pitching mound, the 796 is a close second. The 796 Pitching Mound is the next step up. Therefore, it is a bit more costly. With the 796 you will receive a portable mound that is perfect for older little league players.
Pitch Pro’s innovative replacement launch pad and rubber will significantly increase the life span of their mounds. You can see their affordable replacements on Pitch Pro’s website.
What makes the Pitch Pro 796 Fiberglass Pitching Mound Popular?
If you’re in need of a large 6” pitching mound, then you’re in luck. The 796’s length is 9 feet 6 inches, which will give taller pitchers plenty of room to perform their pitch. It is also 7 feet wide. The large width allows for pitchers to practice their pickoff moves.
Pitch Pro designed the 796 Pitching Mound with older little league players in mind. It is a great mound for players aged 10-13.
Portolite 10” 2 Piece Game Pitching Mound
It is no surprise that a 2nd Portolite Pitching Mound is popping up on the top selling list again at #4. A few years ago, Portolite introduced their 2-piece pitching mound options. Let’s just say their innovation was a gamechanger!
What makes the Portolite 10” 2 Piece Pitching Mound Popular?
As discussed in the intro above, the main feature that makes this portable mound so popular is that it breaks down into two pieces. Why is that important? Well, most 10” game pitching mounds weigh a ton and are hard to carry on and off the field.
With the Portolite 10” 2 Piece Mound, you can break the mound down and carry it off the field and into storage in two lighter pieces. One piece of the mound weighs 110 pounds and the other 100 pounds.
Not only does breaking down the mound into two pieces make them lighter, but it also makes them easier to store. With the mound essentially cut in half, it will fit easier into a storage shed, garage, or storage room. Rather than leaving your portable mound outside during the harsh winter months, you can now find a nice place to store.
ProMounds 5070 Pitching Mound
The first ProMounds’ Pitching Mound enters the list at #4. ProMounds is a pitching mound manufacturer out of Massachusetts. Their lineup of game pitching mounds is exclusively 6” high mounds. The 5070 Pitching Mounds name is a little misleading in that sense.
Typically, 50/70 fields use 8” high mounds. The 5070 Pitching Mound is only 6” high. Nonetheless, the ProMounds 5070 is a favorite and for good reason.
What makes the ProMounds 5070 Pitching Mound Popular?
There are really two main reasons that the 5070 Pitching Mound is #4 on the most popular mounds list, portability and affordability. With the weight only at 36 pounds, the 5070 is the lightest game mound on the market. Such a lightweight option allows one adult to move the mound on their own.
At $549, the ProMounds 5070 is the least expensive option available. Most mounds will run you $1,000 or more. ProMounds designed a portable mound that will fit into the budget of many little leagues and even parents for training in the backyard.
Proper Pitch 8” Tapered Game Pitching Mound
Proper Pitch is another great pitching mound brand that has been in the industry for decades. With being around for so long, they know a thing or two about quality mounds.
What makes the 8” Tapered Game Pitching Mound Popular?
The tapered Proper Pitch mounds are great for in game use. They feature a smaller lip around the mound to reduce irregular bounces in games. By lightly raking dirt to the edges of this mound, the lip will be virtually seamless.
Portolite Economy Youth Mound
At #7 on the list is the first practice pitching mound. Portolite manufactures the Economy Youth Mound and puts the same quality and expertise into it as they do with their game pitching mounds. Even thought the portable mound is a fraction of the price of the 6” Full Length Game Mound, they still use the same fiberglass and poly combination that makes their selection so durable.
What makes the Portolite Economy Practice Pitching Mound Popular?
The best thing about the Economy Practice Pitching Mound is that it is affordable. Many parents want to find a pitching mound that their son or daughter can use in the backyard. However, most of the options are far too expensive. The Economy Mound is the perfect option for either the backyard or the bullpen.
Pitch Pro 465 Pitching Mound
Pitch Pro Pitching Mounds continue to dominate the list with yet another one of their mounds coming in at #8. The Pitch Pro 465 is the least expensive game pitching mound that they offer. Unlike the 486 and 796, the 465 is a stride-off pitching mound.
What makes the Pitch Pro 465 Fiberglass Pitching Mound Popular?
The top reason the Pitch Pro 465 is so popular is because of its durability. Even though it is far less expensive than the 486 and 796 options, Pitch Pro still builds the 465 Pitching Mound with fiberglass and it comes with fiberglass support bars.
Some of the other cheaper game pitching mounds are not built with the same material as the 465 and therefore, do not have the same durability.
Some coaches do not like stride-off pitching mounds, as they prefer that the pitcher have enough room to land on the mound. However, stride-off portable mounds do come with their own set of advantages.
The main reason is that they are lightweight and easy to move. If you run a tournament, you may need to move the mound from field to field to accommodate the different games going on. Two adults can easily carry the Pitch Pro 465.
Proper Pitch 10” Tapered Game Pitching Mound
Proper Pitch recently came out with their tapered game pitching mound selection, and they have been a big hit! Before, their classic game mounds did not taper to the ground. The tapered game mounds make it safer for pitchers and other infielders whenever there is a ball in play near the pitching mound.
What makes the Proper Pitch 10” Tapered Game Pitching Mound Popular?
The tapered edges of the pitching mound are a good start but most of the other top end pitching mound offer that as well. So why is this mound so popular? The main reason is price.
The Proper Pitch 10” Pitching Mound is $700-$1700 cheaper than most of the other 10” Pitching Mound options. With that being said, the portable mound has some great features including large dimensions, a strong core, and heavy-duty turf.
Portolite 10” Practice Mound with Turf
Last, but not least, is the Portolite 10” Practice Mound with Turf. Portolite practice pitching mounds are the top option for baseball academies, high schools, and universities.
What makes the Portolite Practice Pitching Mound Popular?
Portolite uses the same technology and materials in their practice mounds as they do their game pitching mounds. Portolite builds their practice mounds to last! That is why they offer the same 10-year warranty on their practice mound lineup.
Not only is the Portolite Practice Mound durable, but it is also usable inside and outside. Middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities love to use the practice mound in their gyms. The poly coating grips gymnasium floors without scratching.