Spring sports are in full swing which means a lot of families spend their weekends juggling multiple sports for 1-4 kids, all at different locations. If lucky, the weather holds out with mild temperatures and sunny skies. The worst-case scenario, freezing temps and rain. Let’s just say by the end of the weekend everyone is definitely burnt out. Happy, but still tired, dirty and a little cranky. We wouldn’t have it any other way, right?
This week I was able to get my hands on a pretty cool product that I have started to see more at local and travel tournaments. I could never decide if these SportsPods were cool or just a little funny. Do real sports parents need a little tent to hide in while watching their kids? My parents spent countless hours watching me play soccer in the cold rain and I am pretty sure they are better people for it (sorry, Mom and Dad), right? Check out the Under the Weather’s Shark Tank pitch segment!
It turns out, that this Under the Weather SportsPod is pretty awesome. I couldn’t believe how many parents approached me during my front yard testing event and our next soccer practice to ask a bunch of questions and peek inside.
Each pod comes neatly rolled up in a zippable weatherproof bag. It is easy to transport and perfect for laying flat in the back of the SUV. All it takes is a little flattening and then pulling to pop the guy into place once it is out of the round storage bag. The MyPod, which retails for $99, is big enough for an adult to sit inside, so it does require two hands to put together and took me about a minute to get it fulling constructed. I imagine that I could drastically reduce the set-up time after a few more uses, but I did wonder if I would be soaked if it was pouring rain.
The MyPod is extremely well-made. The material is thick but breathable and the zip doors and windows are pretty sturdy and very clear. Once the stakes and additional top piece were in place I knew this thing was made to make it through some high winds, cold temps, and steady rains.
Once I had the MyPod setup, I started to run through the list of questions that came to mind each time I had spotted a SportsPod in the wild before. Heads-up that our weekend games were canceled because of field conditions so I fully tested this guy in our yard when it was raining, wet and really windy. I was able to use the Pod at a practice this week but forgot my phone for pictures (head slap).
Is it waterproof? Along with the wind on my testing day, we had just had over 2 inches of rain. The ground was soaking wet and mushy. The bottom of the MyPod totally impressed me. Not an ounce of mud or moisture came through the bottom after two hours of sitting in our yard. There is also a really neat canopy that fits on the top of the MyPod to help with added rain and sun protection. That extra layer kept me confident that no water was ever coming inside.
Can you really see the game while sitting in a tent? If you are a parent who doesn’t need to run up and down the sidelines or pace around the field, then this will suit you just fine. Once inside the MyPod you have 270-degree views. The back of the pod is made of solid material, but the other three sides are made of durable vinyl that doesn’t get foggy or smudged. So yes, you can totally see the action in front and all around you.
Does it keep you warm? A team Grandma told me that she brings her MyPod to every baseball game so she can be free of blankets and bulky coats. She is in charge of stats and needs to be agile throughout the game. We were just coming off of a 40-degree weekend and she promised she could’ve watched three games in a row because of the sports pod. The day I tested the MyPod was a little warmer but the wind was blowing like crazy. Inside the MyPod I was totally protected from the brisk wind and I too felt like I could sit through multiple innings without needing an extra blanket or getting a red face. The Under the Weather SportsPod website says that it is typically 30 degrees warmer inside the pod.
How many people can fit inside the MyPod? I am 5’3″ and felt extremely comfortable in my space with a folding chair. My three-year-old was able easily to sit/stand inside with me. I could stand-up in the pod but my head definitely hit the top. Bottomline, it is meant for those sitting and a 6’4″ father is not going to be able to stand.
For those who want more space, there are other options available. The MyPodXL is wider and the MyPodDoubleX is meant for two people at a time.
Will I feel dorky or isolated from my sports mom friends? Ok, so we still felt a little strange hiding out in the pod. However, it didn’t take long for a couple cold parents to come on over and ask if they could get inside. The MyPod would be a little tight for a gathering, ha, but there is an option to connect multiple pods together for one big social tent. The pods can be unzipped and combined in twos or fours, and there are additional accessories, like top connector canopies, to ensure the group stays super warm, out of the sun and dry.
Can I customize the message on the pod? My testing pod has #1 Mom on the outside, so my husband is not a huge fan (I bet that changes when it is raining and 40 degrees outside). For an extra $20, you can customize the message on the front of the pod.
The Best and the Worst
The Under the Weather SportsPod is extremely well made. The fabric is made of waterproof Oxford Polyester, the vinyl is thick and clear, the zippers are smooth and the pod is spacious. It is functional, which is what we want as parents. A good value.
My only complaint is the fold-up and put away approach. I have never been able to successfully roll these type of products back into a perfect circle. Same goes for this one. The good news is that the carrying case is big enough for my lackluster attempt at closing things back up.
Keep this guy in the back of the SUV. For the good weather days, get out and talk to the other parents. For those cold, rainy, snowy or super hot days, run for the Under the Weather SportsPod. Bottomline, being able to sit and enjoy watching your child have fun and play hard in all weather conditions is priceless.
How to Buy
As you know by now, I was given this sports pod to test out from the guys at Under the Weather. All products purchased directly through Under the Weather® have a 90-day warranty against manufacturer defects so we recommend purchasing the product directly through the website. There are 9 different sizes and models to choose from – kids versions, for those that are extra tall, for two people and more. Plus, we are certain your team’s colors are available.