Tanner Heavy Tee Review
The Best Batting Tee on the Market?
There are very few things more satisfying than hitting a clean ball – whether that be from real pitching or hitting straight off a batting tee.
The problem, however, comes two-fold:
- Problem #1: Relying on the consistency of a human pitch (coach, parent, or other kids)
- Problem #2: Relying on your cheap fall-over-anytime batting tee to help in your hitter’s development.
You see, while there are plenty (and I mean PLENTY) of batting tees on the market at the moment – very few actually set out what you need it to do.
And for this reason, many coaches and parents opt to not buy a batting tee at all. While this is a mistake – I get their reasoning.
Truth is, if you take a quick look at all the batting tees available today, I would go as far to say that at least 95% of these tees are useless pieces of equipment you’ll just end up replacing over and over and over again until you throw in the towel.
And, that’s neither good for your young hitter’s development (if you’re an adult, you’re still young :p ) nor the ‘lack of support’ perception unknowingly placed upon you by the very person you’re trying to help.
So, what to do about it?
Tanner Heavy Batting Tee
As the name suggests, the ‘Heavy’ model comes in considerably heavier than the other models found within the Tanner product range.
With a 10lb heavy-duty base for additional stability and support – the Tanner Heavy Tee was specifically designed for two reasons:
- To stay in place, not fall over, and minimize ‘creep’
- To save you money constantly replacing old, outdated, and cheaper batting tees
Now, I’ll admit, while the former was most definitely true in the manufacturing and design phase – the latter may have been an afterthought – but is still very, very true. Investing in a high-quality batting tee won’t only improve your hitter’s development, but it’ll do it consistently without disruption. Whether that’s disruption from; constantly resetting the tee or constantly replacing the damn thing.
So with that said, how does the Tanner Heavy stack up?
Well, for this review we’re going to focus on 3 core areas and then address some of the smaller benefits.
We’ll then look at how the Tanner Heavy stacks up against some of its brothers and sisters in the Tanner product range and also look to review it against some other competitors on the market.
After that, you should have more than enough information to make the best decision for both yourself and your hitter’s practice development.
Tanner Heavy: Reviewing The Base
Weight: Low Gravity Weight Distribution
One of the most important features of this batting tee is its base. Coming in at 10lbs, it’s pretty heavy. It’s designed to keep the batting tee in place for repeated swings.
In short – the weight allows it to stay sturdy and in position, ready for the next swing. This not only saves you a tonne of time as you’ll not have to spend it constantly picking it up, but it’ll cause minimal friction to your hitters to focus levels too – something rarely spoken about.
Material: For Strength and Longevity
You’ll also notice it’s made from commercial-grade rubber. This gives the base a serious level of ‘physicality’ and strength that other batting tees on the market just can’t live up to.
The rubber also provides you with additional benefits as well – as it’s super easy to wipe clean and limits any damages and visible wear and tear marks.
Design: For Functional Versatility
If you’ve had a look at other batting tees on the market you’ll notice thee come in one of two designs: the tripod design or a simple square base.
The Tanner Heavy takes a slightly different approach. It takes the 3 ‘touchpoints’ a normal tripod design gives you, but it does so at a much lower gravity level.
It does this by using more of a ‘claw’ designed base which provides additional support for the tee while minimizing the risk of any ‘creep’ happening.
The benefits of the base don’t stop there, however. The mix of the weight and design of the base means you can place it anywhere on the plate to mimic real-game pitches – without worrying about it falling over or losing position.
So while the heavy base is great, and is generally what the Tanner Heavy Tee is primarily marketed as – it’s worth noting there is a whole load of benefits both the material and design bring to the tee as well.
It’s both functional and versatile. Not only helping you get more practice in terms of time spent but also more practice in terms of practice dimension and depth.
Tanner Heavy: Reviewing The Stem
Next on the list is the ‘stem’ – the middle part of the batting tee, that if not designed correctly can cause a huge headache.
Unlike some of its competitors on the market – the stem on the Tanner Heavy is made from metal (as opposed to all rubber) which not only gives it superior strength but has it holding up well in most weather conditions too.
When we were choosing our best batting tees to make the list, we actually came across one that started to melt in the sun. Now, this wasn’t any old brand but as it’s been taken off the market – I’ll spare the details. But it just goes to show you, that a little forethought in the design of the batting tee goes a long way.
The stem comes as a ‘two-piece’ stem where one slides down the other to allow adjustment of the height of your tee. It’s got a smooth transition of heights and has an adjustment range of 26-43 inches. This gives you a nice amount of room to change the level at which you hit the ball (further mimicking real-game pitches) and has both youth players and adults covered.
Tanner Heavy: Reviewing The Top
When I first came across Tanner Tees I was pleasantly surprised to see the level of care and detail they go into – the rest, as they say, is history as Tanner Tee’s have gone on to be the most widely used batting tees in the industry.
This is largely to do with their FlexTop. A perfectly hand-rolled top that’s specifically designed to be flexible enough to give way once hit, but needs to still be solid enough that it maintains the pressure of the bat. And finally, the FlexTop is designed to ensure the batter feels a clean hit on the ball as opposed to the rubber from the tee.
How Does The Tanner Heavy Stack Up Against It’s Competitors?
Tanner Heavy vs Tanner Tee Original
It goes without saying, Tanner Tees are well-made batting tees that should be the staple of every player’s game. But there are obviously differences in the models…
…in regards to the Tanner Tee Original, the Heavy model is heavier. The Original comes in at around 6lbs while the heavy comes in at 13lbs all-in.
In terms of the base, the flat model from the Original will be less stable than that of the Heavy’s 3-pronged claw.
The Original is a far better option for those who anticipate transporting their tee everywhere. While the Heavy can indeed be transported it’s over twice the weight than that of the Original. So worth bearing in mind.
Each Tanner tee has its individual benefits – for the Heavy model if you’re looking for a batting tee to help you get more productive batting practice in and you don’t have to transport it too much – then the Heavy would be the best option.
Tanner Heavy vs Jugs
A more worthwhile comparison would be comparing the Heavy to the Jugs T. They are very similar tees and come with raving reviews from both sets of customers.
The Jugs T has a few more inches on the adjustment side of things; with the Jugs T in a range of 24-46 inches to the Tanner Tee Heavy’s 26- 46 inches. If that additional 2 inches lower could benefit your game then maybe the Jugs T would be the better option.
The Jugs T has also been designed to be a little more portable with a ‘handle’ carved into the base of the tee to help you carry the tee with more ease.
Finally, the Jugs come in a little cheaper than the Tanner Heavy.
That all said, however, the base design of the Heavy really sets this batting tee out from the rest. The sheer practicality and functionality of the design are second to none.
Tanner Heavy Tee Review: In Summary
Taking our own experience with this tee, those of our colleagues and taking a huge snapshot of the market – many players, coaches, and parents will stand by the Tanner Heavy is the best tee on the market.
With its FlexTop design, smooth adjustability levels, and the game-changing base design – we can see why the Heavy is spoken so highly in the community.
The Tanner Heavy batting tee can help you:
Get full ball visibility so you can feel the connection with the ball – not the rubber
Achieve more productive batting time – without constantly spending time resetting
Gain more pitch-realism by placing it anywhere on the plate with no issues
Easily adjust between heights
Invest in a durable, solid yet flexibly batting tee backed by the Tanner brand
Overall, we love the Tanner Heavy and we believe that, if the budget allows, it should definitely be the next batting tee on your shopping list.