2020 TRAVEL BAG BUYER’S GUIDE
How wonderful does a golf getaway sound?
It’s almost rude to tempt you during a global pandemic. But one day… one day… we’ll be globetrotters again.
And when that time comes, you’ll need to know how to protect your clubs from potential hazards at the airport because, in this particular scenario, a mask and hand sanitizer just won’t be enough to keep your clubs safe and sound.
The golf travel bag has changed from the hard case to a material that absorbs the blows from those careless baggage handlers while protecting your clubs. Although protection is the main priority of a travel bag, ease of travel should also be considered. We all know some airports make you walk miles before dropping off your travel bag so an effective wheel system is a must.
We put the best travel bags of 2020 to the test to ensure you receive the best advice possible when purchasing a new unit. So study up and dream of better days ahead!
Whether you’re looking to buy a travel bag today, looking for some buying advice or just want a closer look at what’s on the market right now, this guide will help you find the right bag.
How We Test
We’re here to help you find the perfect travel bag to fit your needs.
To do that, we employ a thorough and fully independent testing process that leaves no feature unexplored, no display unchecked, and no stone unturned.
Travel bags are tested head to head with rigorous protocols.
The metrics we consider when rating travel bags include Durability, Packing, Maneuverability, Protection, and Storage
BEST PACKING – Club Glove Last Bag XL Pro Tour
Save on airline tickets, put your family in the Club Glove Last Bag XL Pro Tour. Just kidding. But if it were allowed (or safe, obviously) there’s enough room. In addition, the kids would be cozy because it’s made of durable material designed to take a few blows.
FEATURES THAT MATTER TO YOU
Golf travel bags have followed luggage trends. Versatile wheels are the way to go. Some have just two while others have six. No matter how many wheels the design has, it is imperative that the wheels work with ease because travel is stressful enough. No need to add poorly designed wheels to the mix.
Ultimately, keeping your golf clubs protected at all times is the primary function of a travel bag. The top part of the bag has the most padding to keep your clubs snug and rightfully so. But the rest of your bag needs a little love and protection as well. Note that some travel bags are equipped with more substantial padding than others.
There are a multitude of options but some are more durable than others. Different materials provide different levels of protection but it’s a misconception that hard outer shells are always more durable and offer better protection. Hard shells tend to crack more easily while materials that are semi-rigid and spring back to their original shape tend to be more durable than bags that have loose material.
EXPERT TIP – Lock Your Travel Bag
If you travel often, make sure you have a padlock that is TSA-approved so they don’t have to break into your travel bag.
BEST PROTECTION – Ogio Mutant
Aliens know a thing or two about air travel, right? So it makes sense that a bag called the Mutant would know how to protect its passengers. It has extra padding around the club heads and ample storage for extra items. Strong, durable material adds an extra layer of support.
- Not every bag offers the same quality of protection. The best travel bags of 2020 keep your clubs safe against the worst the airlines have to offer.
- Many of the best travel bags of 2020 have side or front pockets that allow extra items to be stowed rather than cramming them in your suitcase. As long as weight doesn’t become an issue, additional pockets can save space and money.
- Golfers who want a leisurely stroll in and out of the airport should consider travel bags with four or six wheels as they typically require minimal effort to roll and control. Sun Mountain Club Glider and Tour Trek TC-Flex are good examples of bags with more friendly wheel designs.
- If you travel often, durability is a significant consideration. Material that is thin and baggy won’t last as long as thicker and more rigid materials.
- Put extra material between your clubs before closing the bag. This will protect them from rubbing against each other too much and hopefully avoid breakage.
- Stand bag legs can be damaged from time to time. Ensure you put something soft underneath to soften the impact when being thrown around.
EXPERT TIP – Weight
Keep an eye on the weight while packing for your trip. Travel bags that already weigh a lot will hinder your ability to cram extra items into your travel bag. Going over on weight can prove expensive depending on the airline.
BEST MANEUVERABILITY – Sun Mountain ClubGlider Tour Series
Sometimes even rolling suitcases get heavy if you’ve got far enough to go. The Sun Mountain ClubGlider Tour Series eradicates this issue. It’s extremely easy to maneuver and somehow makes 40 pounds feel like five. In addition, the material of the bag is extremely durable, so it can withstand any and all travel perils including being tossed around at baggage claim.
The Best Travel Bags of 2020 – FAQ
Q: How necessary are wheels on a golf travel bag?
A: Completely. Keep in mind that every airport is different and you don’t want to be the guy lugging your clubs on your back from terminal A to E. Save yourself and let the wheels do the work.
Q: Why can’t I find many hard shell travel bags anymore?
A: Simply put, the hard shell is dead – at least it should be. There’s little truth behind the myth that a hard case provides the best protection. While some view the hard case as impenetrable, more rigid designs are more prone to impact damage, cracking and, ultimately, total structural failure. Softer, semi-rigid materials absorb blows better and will often do a better job protecting your clubs.
Q: Will every golf bag fit in every travel bag?
A: That varies from company to company. Some companies, like Club Glove, offer multiple sizes of travel bags for virtually any size golf bag. Other manufacturers take a one-size-fits-all approach. While your stand bag will likely fit in any travel bag, if you’re a staff bag kind of guy, you’ll want to take extra care in making sure your travel bag can handle your golf bag.
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