2020 Stand Bag Buyer’s Guide

What would you change about your current golf bag? Do you wish it had a bigger insulated pocket, a rangefinder pouch, or space for a larger water bottle? Is there enough storage for all of your stuff, or do you find you’re paying a weight penalty for more bag than you need? Let us help you find the perfect bag.

It goes saying that not all stand bags are created equal. While most understand the lines between staff, cart, and stand bags, it’s important to understand that a tremendous amount of variety exists within each category. As with anything else, it’s important to consider which stand bag features are most important to you and narrow your focus accordingly.

Today, more than ever, bag companies aren’t just designing, they’re engineering golf bags, and that means that there’s a good chance that your next bag will be significantly better than the one you bought just a few years ago. Whether you’re looking to buy a new stand bag today, are 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 stand bag to fit your needs.

Stitch SL2 - Best Caddie Bag

Stitch SL2 - Best Caddie Bag

For golfers who appreciate the timeless appeal of an over the shoulder, single strap caddie bag, The Stitch's SL2 has you covered. It's compact, stylish design will speak to the minimalist, while golfers seeking modern convenience will appreciate Stitch's innovative approach which allows you to switch between single and dual-strap carry options. Their Touring Fabric, is a proprietary material that has the strength of leather, but is more durable, lightweight, water resistant and less expensive.

Best Stand Bag of 2020 – What to Look For

Storage

When it comes to storage, more is often better – provided it’s usable. In that respect, good storage design is often more about the layout of the pockets than the number. What good is a pocket if it’s difficult to access or is rendered useless because you put something in a different pocket?

The best stand bags for 2020 have well-designed pockets that don’t overlap one another or reduce the functional space offered by an adjacent pocket. If the pockets are laid out intelligently, each pocket can function to its full capacity without limitation, giving you more room for your stuff.

Water bottle pockets should be easily accessible and large enough to accommodate as much water as you need. When it comes to insulated pockets, bigger is typically better, especially if you’re a frequent snacker. Well-designed GPS pockets offer magnetic closures, allow for easy accessibility without the need to clip anything to the bag.

Golfers looking to maximize storage should consider the Ogio Convoy SE.

Dividers

As with pockets, more isn’t always better. While 14-way dividers allow you to put everything in its place, they often prove frustrating in stand bag designs. In this category, 4 to 6-way dividers typically prove more functional. Keep in mind that every divider eats up precious space (and weight) in your bag, and as the count increase, the likelihood of clubs snagging as you pull them out of the bag increases. A well-designed top keeps your clubs separated, and prevents snagging, while still providing good organization.

We find the dividers offered by Ping Hoofer and Sun Mountain 3.5 LS to be exceptionally functional.

PING Hoofer Craz-E Lite - The Best Walking Bag

PING Hoofer Craz-E Lite - The Best Walking Bag

For the most avid walkers and the Hundred Hole Hike crowd, it doesn't get any better than the PING Hoofer Craz-E Lite. Weighing in at 3lbs,  the Craz-E Lite forgoes many of the bells and whistles (storage) of larger and heavier bags in favor of saving every ounce of weight possible. That's not to say it's a bare-bones designs. Despite its ultra-lightweight structure, there's still enough space to hold your essentials.

Comfort

While it sounds obvious enough, don’t forget that comfort is a huge part of carrying. While there are aftermarket systems available to improve comfort, the best stand bags for 2020 have reinforced shoulder straps and extra padding to help support your lower back and keep you feeling good over 18 holes…maybe even 36.

The Ping Hoofer Craz-E Lite and the Stitch SL2 are the most comfortable bags for walkers

Weight

Weight is a critical consideration for the walking golfer. While a single pound might not sound like much, the extra mass can dramatically affect fatigue levels throughout a round. A little extra weight can mean the difference between finishing strong or leaking oil on the back 9.

For those who push or ride, weight should be less of a concern. When the bag is rarely on your back, the massive storage, additional features, and more versatile tops found in hybrid bags.

Cart users looking to take advantage of feature-rich bags should consider the Ping Hoofer and the Ping Hoofer 14

EXPERT TIP - You Don't Need 14 Dividers

While it's tempting to choose a 14 or 15-way top to give each club its own special place, the best stand bags for 2020 feature 4 to 6 dividers. While they can be ideal for cart bags, in stand bag designs where the bag is often near-horizontal on your back, the extra dividers can cause snagging when getting your club in and out. Extra dividers also mean more weight to carry. Over the course of 18-holes, it adds up.

Stand Leg Stability

The materials, opening system, and frame of a stand bag’s legs are a critical part of what makes for a great stand bag. Once your bag is fully packed with equipment, the stand needs to be sturdy and durable. The best stand bags for 2020 easily open to the proper standing position, close just as easily, and remain closed while on your back.

The most stable leg systems we tested were found on the Ping models and the Titleist Hybrid 14.

The Best Stand Bag For 2020 - Features

 ProductWeightDividersPocketsColors
A Bag Boy chiller bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020BagBoy Chiller

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714107
A Big MAx Dri Lite bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Big Max Dri Lite Hybrid 14.0

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5.61477
A Zero bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Callaway Hyper Lite Zero

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3.4465
A Callaway Fairway bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Callway Fairway 14

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5.61488
A Cleveland bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Cleveland Stand Bag

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5.51484
A Cobra UltraDry bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Cobra Ultradry

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5.71451
A Datrak bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Datrek Go Lite Hybrid

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5.81468
An Inesis bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Inesis Light

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4.7567
An Izzo bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Izzo ultra lite

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3.7444
A Nike Aire Hybrid bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Nike Air Hybrid

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6.414112
A Nike Sport bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Nike Air Sport

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5.5692
A Nike Sport Lite bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Nike Sport Lite

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4.3564
An Ogio Convoy bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Ogio Convoy SE

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6.314117
A Fuse bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Ogio Fuse

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4.7477
A Ping Hoofer bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Ping Hoofer

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5.35117
A Ping Hoofer 14 bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Ping Hoofer 14

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5.414115
A Ping Hoofer Craz-e bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Ping Hoofer Craz-E lite

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3473
A Ping Hoofer Lite bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Ping Hoofer Lite

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54710
A Srixon bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Srixon Z

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5.2476
A Stitch SL2 bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Stitch SL2

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5.4443
A Sun Mountain 3.5 LS bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Sun Mountain 3.5 LS

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3.6479
A Titleist Hybrid 14 bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Titleist Hybrid 14

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6.814811
A Titleist Players 4 bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Titleist player 4

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4.74615
A Titleist Players 4 Carbon bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Titleist Players 4 carbon

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3.7459
A Tour Edge EXS Extreme bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Tour Edge EXS Xtreme

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4.5787
A Vice bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Vice Golf Force

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5.5651

 

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EXPERT TIP - Stand Stability

The most important part of a stand bag is the stand. That may sound obvious, but it's not uncommon for golfers to become enamored with other features to the exclusion of the stand itself. Without a durable and dependable stand, a stand bag loses its purpose. Reinforced stands like those found on the PING Hoofer provide the best stability and durability.

More Tips

  • Do you carry a GPS or rangefinder? Bags like the PING Hoofer and Hoofer light offer a thoughtfully placed magnetic pocket for easy access.
  • If you walk or push more often than you ride, consider a hybrid bag. They offer more storage space, and their 14 or 15-way tops are more functional on push or riding carts.
  • Conversely, if your stand bag is almost always on your back, fatigue can be an issue. Consider forgoing all but the minimum storage space necessary in favor of a lighter and often more comfortable bag.
  • Nylon is lighter but tends to retain more dirt. For those looking to save weight and keep things looking fresh, Stitch bags are made made from leather and easy to clean.
  • Don’t just count pockets. Always consider the quality and functionality of the storage space. Look for pockets that are easily accessible, and can hold everything you need them to hold.
  • If you frequently play courses with limited or no water stations, you may want to choose from bags offering large cooler pockets, like the Bag Boy Chiller, for multiple water bottles.
  • While waterproof bags are good in rainy conditions, their pockets often require two hands to open and close.

How We Test

We're here to help you find the perfect Stand Bag to fit your needs.

To do that, we employ a thorough and fully independent testing process that leaves no feature unexplored, no detail unchecked, and no stone unturned.

Our Metrics

Stand Bags are tested head to head using rigorous protocols.

The metrics we consider when rating stand bags include Storage, Walkability, Weight, Features, and Style.

The Best Stand Bag for 2020 - Results

 ProductStorageStyleWalkabilityWeightFeaturesTotal
A Ping Hoofer bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Ping Hoofer

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4th1st3rd11th1st90
A Ping Hoofer Lite bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Ping Hoofer Lite

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12th5th3rd11th2nd88
A Ping Hoofer 14 bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Ping Hoofer 14

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4th1st3rd11th3rd87.5
A Cobra UltraDry bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Cobra Ultradry

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4th9th9th11th4th85
A Sun Mountain 3.5 LS bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Sun Mountain 3.5 LS

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4th10th11th1st8th85
A Titleist Hybrid bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Titleist Hybrid 14

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9th1st18th11th4th84
A Titleist Players 4 Carbon bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Titleist player 4

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21th5th3rd11th10th83
A Srixon bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Srixon Z

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12th10th11th11th6th82.5
A Stitch SL2 bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Stitch SL2

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26th1st2nd11th6th82
A Ping Hoofer Ezee bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Ping Hoofer Craz-E lite

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24th12th1st1st13th81.5
A Big MAx Dri Lite bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Big Max Dri Lite Hybrid 14.0

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9th14th9th11th11th81
An Ogio Convoy bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Ogio Convoy SE

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1st12th22nd25th8th81
A Cleveland bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Cleveland Stand Bag

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2nd15th18th11th11th80
A Vice bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020<br />
Vice force

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18th5th11th11th14th80
A Titleist Players 4 Carbon bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Titleist Players 4 Carbon

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22nd5th3rd1st21st77.5
A Fuse bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Ogio Fuse

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9th15th18th5th16th77
A Bag Boy chiller bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020BagBoy Chiller

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4th15th26th11th15th76
A Zero bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Callaway Hyper Lite Zero

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12th15th18th1st23rd75
A Datrak bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Datrek Go Lite Hybrid

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2nd20th18th11th23rd74
A Nike Sport Lite bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Nike Air Sport

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16th22nd11th11th18th74
An Inesis bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Inesis

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18th24th17th5th20th73
A Nike Aire Hybrid bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Nike Air Hybrid

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18th20th11th25th18th73
A Callaway Fairway bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Callway Fairway 14

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22nd15th25th11th17th71.5
An Exotics EXS bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Tour Edge EXS Xtreme

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12th24th11th5th25th71.5
A Nike Sport Lite bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Nike Sport Lite

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24th26th3rd5th24th70
An Izzo bag, one of the best golf stand bags of 2020Izzo ultra lite

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16th22nd2nd5th26th68

EXPERT TIP - You Don't Need 14 Dividers

While it's tempting to choose a 14 or 15-way top to give each club its own special place, the best stand bags for 2020 feature 4 to 6 dividers. While they can be ideal for cart bags, in stand bag designs where the bag is often near-horizontal on your back, the extra dividers can cause snagging when getting your club in and out. Extra dividers also mean more weight to carry. Over the course of 18-holes, it adds up.

Best Stand Bags of 2020 – FAQ

Q: How much should I spend on a bag? 

A: Well-designed, fully-featured bag generally start at $150, with the majority of the best stand bags for 2020 falling in the $250 range. Golfers who play just a few times a year may be able to find a suitable offering for a bit less.

Q: Do I need an insulated pocket?

A: Although most stand bags today come with insulated pockets, bigger is normally better. For instance, those who play 18 holes may want to consider a bag with a large cooler pocket. Golfers who only play 9 holes at a time can typically get away with a smaller insulated pocket.

Q: How much does the strap system matter?

A: During testing, we found straps that have a self-balancing system tend to move with the motion of walking. Finding a strap system that works for you is critical. The seemingly smallest details matter. Look for straps with ample reinforced padding. Curved strap designs are generally more comfortable. If you love the bag, but hate the straps, aftermarket systems like those from Walk 18 golf can dramatically improve comfort, though, they will add to the cost of your bag.

Q: Does the top matter?

A: The short answer is yes. If you carry all the time, a 4 or 5-way top is almost certainly the way to go. Having fewer dividers makes getting clubs in and out of the bag easy. Bags with 14 to 15-way tops are more prone to snagging and are much better suited to the push cart mafia and riders. Also, keep in mind that bags with 4-way tops are, on average, 2lbs lighter than those with 14-way tops

Q: Can I use my stand bag on a cart or push cart?

A: The short answer is yes. Some bags, like Ping that offer a cart strap pass-through which helps retain the full functionality of every pocket. Stand Bags that are used on push carts tend to slide around during a round. If your push cart offers a stand lock-in design, opting for a stand bag shouldn’t be an issue at all.