Buying a new golf bag can be like shopping for a wife - do you go for the eye candy, or do you go for the personality? I suggest reading further to which of these 27 ladies is the best fit for your swagger.
Companies Who Declined To Participate:
Unfortunately for those of you who would like to see absolutely everything tested, we have had a few companies decline our invitation:
:: Adams Golf - No response
:: Cleveland Golf - said they would not be able to participate because they no longer work with MyGolfSpy due to differing policies on media embargo dates
:: Cobra-Puma - agreed to participate, although product never arrived
:: Titleist - said they would not participate because of the drastic increase in review site/requests and it is impossible to participate in everything.
If you want to see those products tested, we encourage you to click on their link and share your passion with those companies who have chosen not to participate.
How They Are Scored
No more buying a bag because some list maker thinks there is demand for it in the market. It's time to buy a bag based off of performance, and how its features line up with your needs. We spent time with each bag assessing the following categories and calculating a corresponding grade. All categories combine for the final grade. Any ties were settled based on price/value.
We've award winners for best:
The Reviews - In order from highest rated to lowest
Wilson Nexus - $199
The Wilson Nexus is a hype monster, but in the best possible way. It's lightweight without sacrificing in performance. This bag also stands without legs better than any other carry bag we tested. My only request would be a bit more storage space, but as a legit carry bag, I'm happy that I can't over-stuff the bag with more weight.
Callaway Fusion 14 - $199
At first I wasn't sure about the weight, but the Callaway Fusion 14 has everything needed to overcome a little extra poundage. It's super comfortable, pretty stylish and has all the storage bells and whistles you'd ever want.
My only concern is that I'll end up overloading the bag with too much junk and carry needless weight. Have some self control and you'll have a bag that kills it and also does well for those days you decide to ride a cart. Probably the ultimate hybrid for a carry bag that works as a cart bag.
Adidas Samba - $139
The adidas Samba is a looker that packs all the punch you need. It offers plenty of storage space. It's lightweight, stable, comfy and easily adjusted. The 7 way top makes organizing your clubs a breeze without any sticking.
At $139, we have the hands down value winner - you just can't go wrong.
Mizuno AeroLite 029 - $159
The Mizuno AeroLite 029 won me over with its 7 dividers. 7 is really the magic number. Everything else just kind of falls into place. There is absolutely nothing to complain about with this bag. It's lightweight and has a ton of space for storage. It's really comfortable from the start and adjusts quickly. This is a bag I can highly suggest you go buy right now.
Ogio Grom Hybrid - $234
The Ogio Grom Hybrid is basically a cart bag that happens to function as a stand bag at the same time. I walked more than 7 miles with this bag attached to me and I always had easy access to the things I needed. I especially like the ball pocket that doesn't require unzipping to get into.
If you're a weight weenie, look elsewhere. Otherwise, this is your new bag if you've got $200+ in the bag budget.
Callaway HL5 - $179
A good all around bag. I would respect anyone's decision to buy t he Callaway HyperLite 5. There are plenty of useful storage options, and it's comfortable on the back. My only gripe is that she can be tough to balance when standing without legs.
Ultimately I'd be more inclined to recommend the Callaway Fusion 14 for only $20 more.
Orlimar OS 7.8+ - $139
The Orlimar OS 7.8+ surprised me. Initially I wanted to dislike it, but in testing it won me over. It's got a 7 way divider and plenty of storage space. It's comfortable and, generally speaking, it works well. My only knock is that it doesn't offer quite as much style as some of the other bags.
For someone wanting a bag without lots of branding, this will help you slip under the radar.
Mizuno AeroLite SPR II - $199
Another situation where a manufacturer made two bags that are fairly similar. The AeroLite SPR II is a great bag, but for $40 less, I think the AeroLite 029 should almost make this bag a non-option. Still... this is a great bag, and at $199 it's not a horrible buy.
Solid in the looks department, the AeroLite II is like the twin you date in school because your buddy is already dating the other twin.
Nike Air Sport - $149
I'm a Nike fan. I wear Nike hats, shoes and underwear (TMI?). I grew up on their shoes, so I totally get it if you want to buy a Nike bag because you're a fan of the brand. If that's the case, the Air Sport is your go-to option. This bag carries well, and fits nicely into a cart at the same time carrying all of your goods.
The only gripe is that the hip pad is a bit thicker than I prefer, but it should age well and never flatten out. It's loud, and it's clearly trying to be loud, but I can't help but be drawn to it.
Travis Mathew Stand Bag - $199
Another small guy making a solid bag. I'd prefer two more dividers than the Travis Mathew Stand Bag offers, but who's going complain about a comfy bag that rides well on your back, looks good and has plenty of storage?
This bag stands well on solid ground without the legs out. It's actually a great little bag, but the price point is higher than other bags of a similar design and quality.
Oakley Fairway - $160
If I had to choose a bag from this lineup to take to a war zone, beat to crap, then come home and keep using as a golf bag, the Oakley Fairway would be the one. The test bag we received is perhaps slightly lacking in style, but when you see all of the color options; this is a bag that can fill a range of tastes.
If you're looking for a bag that will last for 3+ years of over-use, look no further.
Tour Exotics Xtreme Stand 2 - $109
Give it up to one of the small guys for making a great bag at an amazing price point. The Tour Edge Exotics Xtreme Stand 2 bag has 7 dividers, and put a smile on my face. It has the ability to stand on it's own fully loaded with or without it's legs, and just enough storage with all the goodies you'd want.
Two changes that would improve the score; a strap that's more comfortable where everything connects on your back, and a bit more style (flair baby!) in the design. For $109 this bag almost takes the win for the value category.
Jones Stand Bag - $199
The Jones stand bag feels like it has a lot of storage, but in reality the bag offers less cargo capacity than it appears. I really want to love this bag. The bag has a ton to offer, but is just so small that most will find it less than suitable for regular use.
I can totally see using this bag as my Sunday bag, but for the price, it should be able to handle the demands of the daily carry.
The Jones Original is a Sunday bag that you could play every day. The only thing holding it back is a lack of storage and the inability to stand on its own.
I want to say run out and buy this bag today, but too many of you would probably be buying the wrong bag. If you know what you're looking at and can appreciate the craftsmanship, this is a great bag, but if you're looking for a modern stand bag, this one is probably a miss.
Sun Mountain Three5 - $184
It kills me that the Sun Mountain Three5, a bag with so much raw potential lands with a B, but when a bag just can't stand on its own without its legs, I get sad. Have you see what happens at bag check? Your clubs hit the ground...hard. It can get ugly.
On the plus side, the bag offers plenty of solid storage. It's lightweight, great looking, and comfortable-enough. Only the inability to stand on its own is holding it back. If a bag being able to stand without using the legs doesn't matter to you, bump the grade up to an A and go buy it.
TRUE linkswear Tour - $149
I would like the TRUE linkswear Tour bag more if the hip pad actually made contact with my body, but the way the bag adjusts it just doesn't. It's lightweight enough that the poorly placed pad barely affects comfort, but the bag is small. It's a true walkers carry bag that's probably not quite as comfortable as it needs to be.
Beyond that, this is a lightweight bag that gets the job done. If we were grading on a curve we could bump up this up a grade. It easily adjusts, stands with or without the legs deployed, and it's comfortable-enough. There's not a ton of storage, but it's a true carry bag that begs to not be overloaded.
Bridgestone Lightweight Stand Bag - $149
The Bridgestone Lightweight Stand Bag is plain and unexciting. There's nothing in this bag to warrant a score any higher, or any lower. It just sort of is what it is. And what it is is a bag I would probably not even notice when shopping.
I could see my dad buying this bag and being totally content though. The style isn't bold, and it offers just enough in the way of storage and other features that if he walked, he'd have no issues with whatsoever.
Nike Sport Lite - $129
The Nike Sport Lite, as the name suggests is lightweight, but lacks any real wow factor. There's nothing wrong with buying this bag. In fact it's almost right. Unfortunately it lacks the storage to be a fully functional stand bag, and as a lightweight bag it's not quite as adept as some of its competitors.
$129 means this bag is priced right and you would be a happy camper sporting her around the playground.
Datrek Go-Lite 14 - $129
At $129 it's tough to find fault with the Datrek Go-Lite 14. Even a near total lack of style is almost tolerable when considering the price.
If this bag is only going in a cart and may only ever see one round on your back, it's probably fine; especially if you want a bag that flies under the radar. At the same time, this bag doesn't have enough storage to be a cart bag.
Bridgestone Stand Bag - $199
The Bridgestone Stand Bag offers another example of a hip pad that doesn't work because it's placed poorly. Instead the branding on the bag rubs your hip. At more than 5 pounds, I need more storage and style. If this bag floated under 4 pounds, we'd be onto something.
For $199 there are several options you might prefer is you scroll up.
LoudMouth Lightning Rod - $149
In the style department the LoudMouth Lightning Rod is what it is. Take it or leave it, this is exactly what you should expect from LoudMouth. Personally, I like the disco balls a little better. This bag is purely about being loud. If you don't have a linebacker's shoulders the straps feel like they are going to slip off. If LoudMouth stepped it up and worked more on the features, they might have a true winner, but I can't, in good faith, recommend this year's bag. There are better options.
Ping Hoofer 14 - $219
For the comfort alone the PING Hoofer 14 bag made Santa's naughty list this year. At $219, everything should be near perfect and storage space should be limitless. Neither is true of the Hoofer 14.
On the positive side, if you are looking for a bag that has 14 dividers, this bag has the best 14 dividers of any bag in this lineup.
Club Glove Sunday Bag - $99
Just add a pocket for valuables and I might give the Club Glove Sunday Bag more love.
Most of us don't bother with Sunday bags because a stand bag gets the job done just fine, but for those who are actually looking for a Sunday bag, this one admittedly does everything you'd need it. It's not going to turn any heads. It's not ugly in the conventional sense, but it's definitely lacking for style.
TaylorMade MicroLite - $159
The TaylorMade MicroLite is uncomfortable. That's really all that needs to be said. The square design causes the upper collar of the bag dig into your hip as you walk. This design flaw is so significant (given that we're talking about a carry bag) that I can't believe it actually made it into production.
My recommendation is that you keep walking past this bag. Hopefully TaylorMade will update this bag for next season, and turn it into a real contender able to stand on its own (it doesn't), and that you could walk more than 1 hole without digging a hole in your hip.
TaylorMade PureLite - $179
The TaylorMade PureLite hits the weight and size that would make it competitive as a crossover to a cart bag. Unfortunately, like the MicroLite, the PureLite doesn't work well as a carry bag. It tries to dig into your hip (not as bad as the MicroLite, but bad enough), and it doesn't stand on its own without its legs.
While it's easy to adjust, it's not a bag I'd want on my back for 8 holes.
Izzo King - $169
The Izzo King Bag refuses to stand on its own without the legs deployed, it's next to impossible to adjust the bag correctly to ride with the foot lower than the club heads (watch out for spilling clubs) The shoulder strap's plastic Y rubs on your back and would annoy the crap out of me by the end of the first hole.
My recommendation is to spend your money elsewhere. Sure, if you bought it, you'd have a bag to carry your stuff, but the value isn't there.
Ping L8 - $159
I really like the concept of the PING L8, but it's the execution of that concept that falls short. It's a small bag with just enough features to get you by, but it falls short due to the lack of hip pad, and difficult adjustability.
The bag doesn't want to stand without using its legs, and when it comes down to it, For those who like the the concept, we think the Jones is a better bag. We're hoping to see this bag's kinks worked out next year as we think there's some real potential here.