How to pick the right golf travel bag for you

Thursday February 16th, 2017
3:25 | News
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So you've finally booked that dream golf trip you've been talking about for years – now you need to figure out how to get your golf clubs to the destination safe and sound.

Researching golf club travel bags can be difficult. Some are very expensive, others are cheap. Some are hard case, others are soft-sided. Trying to figure out what is best for your budget and needs can be tricky, but we've done the hard work for you. After surveying our staff, testing out a couple of options ourselves and wading through various reviews, we've got our official recommendations for what golf club travel bag is right for you. Let's cut to the chase – there aren't that many stellar options. The three we have picked aren't the cheapest selections either, but they will safely get your clubs from point A to point B and will take the assured beating they will receive from the airport baggage handlers. Our top two picks are also bigger bags. When going on golf trips, you will need that extra room in the bag for a dozen golf balls, a second pair of golf shoes, a rain suit, etc. Use that space as an overflow from your main suitcase.

Side note: For any travel bag you choose, we recommend getting a Stiff Arm, made by Club Glove. This product is dead simple, but will add another layer of protection to you clubs. It's an adjustable aluminum rod with a plastic head that you put in your bag alongside your tallest club. It acts as shield for your driver whenever the bag inevitably gets slung around and lands on its top throughout the course of your trip. Yes, it's $30 for something that looks silly and seems inconsequential. But you'll appreciate it when your $500 driver makes it to the course in one piece.

Sun Mountain ClubGlider Meridian

Sun Mountain ClubGlider Meridian
sunmountain.com

Buy It Now for $289.99

Most good bags have the same construction: a full zip from top to bottom, a reinforced base and a padded top. The ClubGlider has one feature that stands out with its leg mechanism that extends and retracts for easy rolling from your car to the airport. When you load up your bag to the 50 pound weight limit, it gets heavy. The extra two wheels (that turn 360 degrees) take some of the pressure off and makes wheeling around a breeze. That's what makes the Meridian a standout. Dragging a bag from your car to a hotel or around the airport is never *pleasant* but this bag makes it as close as possible. Sun Mountain makes four travel bag options: the Meridian, Tour Series, Journey and Pro Travel Bag. We're recommending the Meridian for most golfers, as the Tour series is designed by huge cart bags and the Journey is made with Denier polyester instead of ballistic nylon. The Meridian comes in eight color options too, instead of just black and white.

Club Glove Last Bag Large Pro

Club Glove Last Bag Large Pro
Club Glove

Buy It Now for $319.99

Club Glove's name exudes confidence. Naming your travel bag "Last Bag" means your customers aren't going to have to replace this bag for the rest of their golfing life. Granted, the price is $319.99, so it better be resilient. And the Last Bag lives up to the name. It weighs 10.6 lbs on its own, so it feels hearty and strong right out of the box. It's made out of Cordura water resistant nylon, has YKK zippers and comes with an extra padded handle at the top and bottom. Also, the 2016 model has extra reinforcement on the back of the bag towards the base that was easily strained in older models. For $59, you can buy a "No Questions Asked" warranty, where Club Glove will replace your bag for free if anything happens to it. Otherwise, it has a limited lifetime warranty. Club Glove offers three sizes: Last Bag XL Pro Tour, Last Bag Large Pro and Last Bag Collegiate. Our pick is the Large Pro because the XL Pro Tour is huge and the Collegiate is small. The Large Pro is just right.

Ogio Straight Jacket Travel Bag

Ogio Straight Jacket Travel Bag
ogio.com

Buy It Now for $149.99

The Ogio is the cheapest of our three options, coming in under $150. As far as travel bags go, you don't want to go much cheaper than this. Your clubs are worth a decent amount of money, so you want to protect them as much as you can for what fits your budget. The Straight Jacket weighs 7.6 lbs – three pounds less than the Club Glove option – and thanks to its construction, it won't be quite as durable. But since it's a bit lighter, you can pack some extra shoes in. The bag has the same protective features – reinforced base, padded top, secure zippers – as the other bags, but it's definitely less structured. 

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