In our house, the start of school also signals the beginning of the fall sports season for my kids. Just as I make sure my kids have the right equipment for whichever sport they’re playing, I also ensure that I have the right gear to be set up for sideline success as I watch them play.
Now that I’m a few years into this sports mom gig, I feel like I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks to share in order to make your sideline adventures as smooth and comfortable as possible.
Winning Gear for Sports Sideline Comfort
Depending on the sport your child plays and where they are playing, seats or bleachers are not a guarantee. I currently have two kids playing soccer and one playing flag football, and only one of these leagues consistently has available seating.
Enter the camp chair, every sports parent’s saving grace. But not all camp chairs are created equal. Is it easy to carry? Is it comfortable? Does it have a big enough cupholder? Will it last? There are a lot of factors to consider. Fortunately for you, my enneagram 5 husband did all the research and found the best folding chair for sports viewing.
My Sideline Seating MVP: SwimWays Kelsyus Original Foldable Canopy Chair
We love this chair! My favorite feature is its built-in canopy, which offers shade when you need it (hello, crazy Texas weather!) and stows neatly away when you don’t. I also love that the canopy wraps around the chair when it’s taken down and becomes a carrying case with an attached strap, making this chair extremely portable.
We’ve had this chair for a year now, with multiple sports games almost every weekend, and it has held up marvelously.
My Sideline Seating Runners-Up
The GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker and the Bass Pro Shops Eclipse Hard Arm Chair. Both offer comfort on the sidelines; however, I feel like the Freestyle Rocker is a bit heavy and bulky to transport. The Eclipse is a great basic chair. My husband appreciates that it sits up just a bit higher, but if you’re shorter this might not appeal to you.
Honorable Mention in Sideline Seating
Honorable mention goes to a water-resistant picnic blanket, such as this ONIVA Picnic Time Brand Tote XL. Water-resistant blankets can be used in place of chairs and are great options for younger siblings to spread out on during games.
Powerhouse Portability on the Sidelines
Being able to quickly and efficiently load and unload our sideline gear is essential, especially when we have back-to-back games on a Saturday.
My Powerhouse Portability MVP: The Grocery Cart
That’s right, a grocery cart. We stumbled upon this sideline success one weekend as we searched for the most efficient way to transport all of our chairs to and from the fields. We had an old grocery cart sitting in our garage from our days of apartment living in Washington, D.C., and decided to dust it off and put it to use.
It fits four or five camp chairs and is able to lay flat in the back of our car, meaning we don’t have to unload and reload when we get in and out, which is a time saver.
Powerhouse Portability Runner-Up
A foldable wagon. Many families already have a pop-up wagon at this point. They’re handy for transporting blankets, chairs, and water bottles to and from games. One downside to a wagon is that you will likely have to unload its contents in order to fold it up and fit it in your car.
Restroom Rescue on the Sidelines
Do NOT get rid of those little kid potties once potty training is done. They will come in handy again during sporting events and road trips.
My Restroom Rescue MVP: The Portable Potty
A lot of sports fields don’t have bathroom access, or if they do, the bathrooms haven’t been cleaned since you were a child playing on those same fields.
A portable potty has saved the day for our family on countless occasions — and not just for my youngest! Pair the potty with a 4 gallon-sized trash bag in the bowl and a pack of wipes for easy clean-up, and thank me later.
Hydration Station on the Sidelines
You have to stay hydrated to be a sideline success. And you need a water bottle that can keep up through multiple games. Leak-proof, insulated, and capable of holding a lot of water is the name of the game when it comes to choosing the right water bottle for you.
My Hydration Station MVP: Reduce 40 oz Tumbler
With many of the same features of a Stanley tumbler, but at approximately half the price, I love that this tumbler is large enough to hold enough water to last me through several games — and keep it cold! It also has a tapered base that will fit in most cupholders.
Hydration Station Runner-Up
The Saratoga 40 oz by Manna Hydration. This is a solid leak-proof option that has held up well to many weekend games. However, the base of this bottle is a bit too wide for many cupholders, so be prepared for that.