2019 TRAVEL BAGS BUYERS GUIDE

Picture this: You’ve boarded your flight and are waiting at the gate, peering out onto the tarmac. The baggage handlers are hard at work tossing bags onto their respective planes, heaving suitcases into the lower compartments. In the back of your mind, you sigh and think “my clubs”. Now, imagine the peace of mind that comes with a travel bag that offers your clubs security and protection.

Death has come for the hard case travel bag. Like evolution, 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 that some airports make you walk miles before dropping off your travel bag, so an effective wheel system is a must for a travel bag.

With all those options, it can be overwhelming, and that makes it hard to know which one is right for you. That’s where we come in. We put the top travel bags to the test to ensure you receive the best advice possible when purchasing a new unit.

Whether you’re looking to buy a new 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 to fit your needs.

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 wheel unchecked, and no stone unturned.

Our Metrics

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.

FEATURES THAT MATTER TO YOU

Maneuverability

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.

Protection

Ultimately, keeping your golf clubs protected at all times is the primary of the 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.

Durability

There are a multitude of travel bag options out, 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 - Hard Case to Sell

Many believe that hard cases provide the best protection for your clubs. It's simply not true. Sun Mountain, Srixon, Club Glove, and others use pliable materials that are more than capable of weathering whatever storm is cast upon them by baggage personnel. Semi-rigid and soft materials can absorb impact while retaining their shape. Hard cases can shatter with any significant impact. It's also important to note that many soft cases provide additional padding to keep your clubs snug during their journey.

 

2019 Travel Bags Features Chart

 NameColorsWheelsMaterialPockets
Athletico Executive

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10600 Polester0
BagBoy Freestyle

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36600D Polyester1
BagBoy T-750

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42600D Nylon1
BagBoy T-2000

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52168D Nylon4
BagBoy T-10

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42600D Polyester2
Club Glove Medium Collegiate

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1821600D Ballistic Nylon2
Decathlon - Inesis Travel Cover

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12Polyester Catlonic0
IZZO High Roller

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161680D Nylon1
OGIO Mutant

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331680D Polyester2
OUUL Foldable Cover

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26600D Polyester1
PING Travel Cover

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141200D Polyester1
Samsonite Hard Case

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22ABS Shell0
Srixon Travel Cover

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121680 Ballistic Nylon3
Sun Mountain Club Glider Tour

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24Vinyl2
Tour Trek TC-Flex

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16900D Polester1
Tour Trek TC-Pro

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62600D Polyester3
Tour Trek Hybrid TC-Hard Top

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121680D Ballistic2

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Your Four Wheeled Friend

Looking for a travel bag that offers an effortless, no stress journey from the car to the terminal? The Sun Mountain Club Glider Tour has you covered.

From the moment you load your clubs, the Club Glider instantly makes your life easier. It boasts a durable outer shell with a cushion like padding on the inside to protect your clubs for the long flight. The Tour's main feature is its extendable leg system that ensures pulling your bag is easier than any other we tested. We are so confident in its maneuverability, we guarantee you can pull it with one finger.

More Tips

  • While all travel bags get your clubs safely from point A to B? Not every bag offers the same quality of protection. It is important that you buy a travel bag that can keep your clubs safe against the worst the airlines have to offer.
  • Many travel bags have side or front pockets that allow extra items to be stowed rather than cramming them in your suitcase. As long as the 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 4 or 6 wheels as they typically require minimal effort to roll and control. Sun Mountain and Tour Trek 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.

2019 Travel Bags Results

 NameDurabilityPackingMaeuverabilityProtectionStorageTotal
Sun Mountain Club Glider Tour

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1st10th1st3rd10th92.5
PING Travel Cover

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4th15th3rd2nd7th91.5
IZZO High Roller

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6th6th3rd3rd4th91
Ogio Mutant

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5th1st6th1st10th91
Tour Trek TC-Flex

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6th15th2nd3rd1st91
BagBoy Freestyle

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9th1st6th10th1st90
OUUL Foldable Travel Cover

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9th10th5th3rd1st90
Club Glove Meium Collegiate

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1st10th9th8th10th89
Srixon Travel Cover

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3rd1st12th11th10th89
Tour Trek TC-Pro

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6th6th9th8th10th87.5
Decathlon - Inesis Travel Cover

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9th1st12th13th4th87
BagBoy T-750

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14th10th12th3rd9th86.5
Tour Trek Hybrid TC-Hard Top

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14th6th9th11th7th86
BagBoy T-2000

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9th5th6th14th15th85
BagBoy T-10

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9th6th16th15th16th81.5
Samsonite Hard Case

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17th10th12th15th17th77
Athletico Executive

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16th17th17th17th4th74.5

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 to cater to 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.