MGS Tested: Stand Bags In 2017
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MGS Tested: Stand Bags In 2017

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MGS Tested: Stand Bags In 2017

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2017 STAND BAG BUYERS GUIDE

The process of buying anything in today’s time has become stressful and time-consuming.We feel the best reviews are those that help you make the right choices and help you get the most out of your time and money. The MyGolfSpy mission is simple: create the world’s most objective and comprehensive testing in the golf industry.

One key to our testing protocols is testing all categories head-to-head. We select the top products from each category and put the products through detailed head-to-head testing.  We test both in the lab and in the field. We score each product across a range of weighted categories. We then rank the products and explain why, and give awards to the best performing products in the category.

This year we approached stand bag testing with improved protocols and more critical scoring methodology, which was based on an intensive look at the market and feedback from consumers just like you. Several key findings from that research influenced the bag testing process.

Everything from stand leg stability, comfort during round, strap design, overall bag construction, organization of dividers, efficiency of zippers, design of pockets, and the installation of divider linings were – among many other things – considered.

stand-bag-group-17

THE METRICS

We’re always fine-tuning the process to make sure we’re collecting the best data possible. Continuing that trend we’ve updated and refined this year’s analysis to bring you the best buying advice possible.

FEATURES CHART

NameWeightDividersPocketsInsulated PocketVelcro PadMarkerUmbrellaTowel
PING HOOFER5512YYYYY
VICE FORCE5.465Y*YNYY
PING 4 SERIES547YYYYY
OGIO CIRRUS4.877YYYYY
GFORE TRANSPORTER766YNYNY
SRIXON Z4548YNYYY
WILSON STAFF HYBRIX5.4146YYYYY
FROGGER FUNCTION F(X)667YNYYY
WILSON STAFF NEXUS568YYYYY
COBRA ULTRALITE545YYYYY
DATREK GO LITE HYBRID5.8145YYYYY
MIZUNO PRO746YNNNY
OCTOBER GOLF GEAR979YYNNY
SUN MOUNTAIN 4.5 LS546NNYYY
BAGBOY CHILLER61410YYYYY
BENROSS HTX5.4147YYYYY

*The Vice Force is the only non-external insulated pocket in the test

We put in hours of testing utilizing data-driven protocols to test new metrics. The numbers are better than ever.

Over the course of the test, bags were loaded with 14 clubs, and a dozen golf balls. Our panel of testers was encouraged to load and unload clubs from the bag as they would during a typical round of golf. Carrying functionality was also a major focus.

While some golfers do use stand bags on push carts or riding carts, our tests focused on primarily usability while walking.

Storage (15 points) – In this category, we consider the functionality and capacity of the pockets. The number of pockets is not important here, only how much stuff fits in the bag.

Top-performing bags feature storage that is designed and built in a way that allows for the full utilization of the space. On the other hand, in some of the poorer performing bags, while the potential for greater functionality exists, stitching inhibited the use of the storage. The highest performing bags within this category feature pockets that are accessible and easy to use when the bag is mounted on a cart or on your back.

Style (10 points) – Score is established by considering what we believe the majority of consumers would deem stylish, not whether the individual tester likes the look of the bag. Survey questions provided to testers were developed to combat any brand-driven favoritism on the part of the individual respondent.

Weight (10 points) – All bags are ranked based on weight, and then assigned relative scores. For example, the lightest bag in the test received 10 points; second lightest received 9.5 points, and so on. The heaviest bag received 2 points.

Walkability (20 Points) – How functional the bag is while walking. We took into account the tapering of the straps, whether or not the “exoskeleton” created discomfort, and the distribution of weight. Bags with high ranks in all these parameters performed well. We did find that many bags performed well in some facets of the walkability portion of the test, while underperforming in others.

Features (35 points) – This is the category where the best bags separate themselves from the pack. It’s what you should consider first when purchasing a new stand bag. Score was determined based on rankings within these sub-categories:

  • Velcro Pad – Score is based on both the size and functionality of the pad. Many bags have pads that are far too small, while others have pads that are almost completely unusable. While a velcro pad may not be a priority for all golfers, a good stand bag should include a functional offering for those who want it.
  • Dividers – Combines the design, build, and overall functionality of the dividers to establish a score. While the tendency for the clubs to grab was considered, it was not the sole consideration. We also noted the arrangement of the dividers and whether or not the design inherently aided in club organization.
  • Legs – Determined by the design and build of the bag’s legs and “exoskeleton.” Many bags had sturdy connection points between the legs and the bag itself which provide greater stability. Others don’t have any sort of well-designed connection points, making their legs less stable and ultimately less effective.
  • Water Bottle Holder – Quite simply does it hold a big water bottle, and how accessible is the bottle while walking.
  • Zippers – Pulls, functionality of zipper, waterproofing and consistency of zip and unzip test were all considered.


Final grades were awarded based on total scores. Best Overall is our highest overall scoring bag, and awards are awarded to the top five stand bags. In addition, more specific Best in Class recognitions are awarded to bags in certain categories (like legs, lightweight, etc) that push the industry envelope.


stand-bag-list2

THE BEST STAND BAGS IN 2017

top-5-stand

2017 STAND BAG BUYERS GUIDE

NamePriceStorageStyleFeaturesWalkabilityWeightScore
PING HOOFER$215.009th2nd1st2nd2nd90.1
VICE FORCE$249.9912th1st8th3rd8th85.3
PING 4 SERIES$185.004th12th3rd7th2nd83.8
OGIO CIRRUS$199.994th13th4th4th1st83.6
GFORE TRANSPORTER$325.008th5th6th5th12th81.9
SRIXON Z4$179.999th8th6th8th2nd81.7
WILSON STAFF HYBRIX$199.994th6th2nd13th8th81.7
FROGGER FUNCTION F(X)$169.9514th10th10th6th11th77.1
WISLON STAFF NEXUS iii$179.992nd4th12th13th2nd76.3
COBRA ULTRALITE$160.0016th9th13th1st2nd76
DATREK GO LITE HYBRID$139.954th14th9th12th10th75.8
MIZUNO PRO$249.991st11th11th10th12th72.5
OCTOBER GOLF GEAR$199.9911th15th5th9th16th71.2
SUN MOUNTAIN 4.5 LS$209.993rd2nd16th11th2nd69
BAGBOY CHILLER$229.0013th7th14th16th12th64.5
BENROSS HTX$175.0015th16th15th15th11th57.3

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      Nathan

      6 years ago

      my priority lies on 14way divider all the way through…. Dont not much covering on that

      Reply

      John

      6 years ago

      I’ve owned an older Ping Hoofer, nice bag but not the best, it had issues but replaced that with a Titleist stand bag that In my opinion was better in almost ever way.

      Reply

      Terry

      6 years ago

      This was published on 3/31/17 but I just received the article on 2/27/18.
      I am apprarantly missing something that would allow me to receive things earlier. Please let me know what to do to correct this.
      thanks.
      Terry

      Reply

      Dave

      7 years ago

      I have always used the titleist stay dry carry bag. And believe me my clubs stay dry and it’s easy to get clubs in an out, down side it’s a bit heavier than the top ones you listed.
      I have also looked at the mizuno bags and they look real good also.

      Reply

      Evan

      7 years ago

      It’s interesting that the Vice bag got dinged because it has “No external water bottle holder”. IMHO, I’d rather have my bottle hidden in a pocket, away from the sun beating down on hit and heating the contents up faster. To each his own, I guess.

      Reply

      Pkc

      7 years ago

      Most bags have a easily accessible water bottle pocket that is insulated. This way you can still grab your water while your bag is on your back.

      Reply

      chuck Ross

      7 years ago

      Ping is terrible. Dividers suck. Nothing but a hassle .

      Sun Mountain Bag 4/5 Huffy best bag . I have tested most
      all you have on the board. Just don’t cut the mustard.

      Regards

      Chuck

      Reply

      James

      7 years ago

      Hi, thanks for the review. I’ve just brought the Mizuno Pro bag and feel you’ve not done it justice in this review. How on earth it ranks in the bottom half for style I’ll never know, we must have very different tastes lol. You’ve marked it as missing an umbrella sleeve when it actually has a slot to fit the umbrella through the long pocket, this is one of the best features for me. High quality finish throughout, great storage, easy to access pockets, cart strap slot, comfortable to carry, magnetic pocket, removable front pocket for embroidery and did I mention it looks great. I’m not sure what extra features you could possibly have? A pocket for a sharpie or a bit of Velcro that I’ve never seen anyone use on the course…

      I’m very surprised that you’ve scored this bag so low and would be interested in your thoughts on it, I’m delighted with mine and wouldn’t want others to write it off unduly.

      Love your work, keep fighting the good fight :)

      Reply

      MyGolfSpy

      7 years ago

      Glad you love this bag. We actually thought it was a good bag as well. That being said referring to “Style” it is purely subjective. When polling golfers the blue is not for everyone, where a more neutral color palette or design might meet more golfers taste. For example the PING Hoofer is offered in multiple color options to meet the color demands of a larger % of the golfing population. You are also considering one bag, and not testing them all head-to-head. If you did we feel confident you would find it to not be the best bag in the group we tested. However that does not mean that the bag you go was not good. It is a very good bag.

      Thanks for trusting MGS reviews!

      Reply

      Matthew

      7 years ago

      how do you guys like the vessel stand bags? Why did they not make the cut? weight? I hate club tangle I have the ping hoofer “16 model just ordered the vice bag gonna give that a go just because it looks cool. Also switched out of my pings and went Callaway through the bag.

      Reply

      MyGolfSpy

      7 years ago

      They did actually, the GFORE bag is a Vessel bag.

      Reply

      Matthew

      7 years ago

      thanks I learned that after the fact.

      Chris C.

      7 years ago

      Fascinating review. I particularly like your explanation regarding the slanting of the dividers. For myself, I always start my search for a new bag by focusing on the the straps. In that regard, I have found nothing remotely close to the Sun Mountain LS strap system. I hate the strap systems that incorporate huge junks of padded material where the straps cross the middle of your back.

      Reply

      Hugh Leonard

      7 years ago

      Thanks for this review, it has been very helpful. I like to walk, which usually means carry, what is the definition of “walkability” and how is it tested? Is there another review for carry bags?

      Reply

      Steve Scholtz

      7 years ago

      There’s a definition of all the attributes at the top of the results. Read it there.

      Reply

      Alex Christiansen

      7 years ago

      Im surprised the sun mountain bags didn’t test better. I’ve always had pretty good luck with them.

      Reply

      Dave S

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the review. Only suggestion would be to include additional pictures of each bag. It would be nice not to have to go hunting across the internet for a picture of the dividers, etc. I realize you’ve provided links to these bags, but in many cases, they link to GlobalGolf, which has even fewer pics.

      Reply

      Thomas

      7 years ago

      One of the most important dimensions missing your test data. *Top opening

      Reply

      BerkeleyBob

      7 years ago

      At some point, I would appreciate thoughtful answer as to why bagmakers apart from Sun Mountain refuse to offer lefthanded versions of their models. If companies can make lefthanded putters, irons, drivers, fairways and hybrids, and gloves for the right hand, surely there’s a market for a limited line of bags that can be carried on the left shoulder.

      I’ve carried a righthanded bag before. Setting my bag down on the course on my right side positioned the numbers on my irons and wedges away from my line of site, and it creates an awkward approach to hit my ball. I bumped into it constantly. These sound like minor inconveniences, but trust me, they add up. If you’re a righthanded coursewalker, try it for one hole. Set the bag down on your left and you’ll find it an unintuitive task and a clumsy dance as you set up for your shot. Doing that for 18 holes can be tedious.

      I don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve heard a statistic that 10 percent of golfers are left-handed. Why can’t the presence of golf bags reflect that?

      Reply

      Col Walker

      7 years ago

      well said, plus re the 10% im sure im not the only RH golfer who insists on a LH bag, for me picking up a bag with RH and put on R shouder is all wrong and the lefty set up to me makes perfect sense! So yes my carry stand bag is Sun Mountain but i wish i had more choice!

      Reply

      Michael

      7 years ago

      Can you post ranking/grades of the individual features like your 2016 most wanted list? Ping bags are notorius for club binding. Its interesting that they are now at the top of the most wanted list, even though they are very similar to the 2016 bags, which were middle of the pack or lower last year.
      Buying a bag is always a compromise of features, binding vs pockets vs weight vs style vs comfort vs straps, etc. It would be helpful to see how the bags rank based on individual metrics listed under features -like last years list.
      Great work as always.

      Reply

      MyGolfSpy

      7 years ago

      They are located at the bottom of the post.

      Reply

      Robert Pohrer

      7 years ago

      Is there going to be a separate testing for lightweight bags? I was considering the Sun Mountain 2.5 but wanted to see how it stacked up against competition. Also, I was really hoping the Jones Utility Stand Bag was going to be in the test (it’s on my radar) which got me to the question how do you determine what bags to test and not test? Thanks for the thorough testing as always!

      Reply

      xjohnx

      7 years ago

      Take this fwiw because I have not played a round with it yet. It seems like it will be great for walking. I wasn’t sure how I’d like the separate straps but, I think I love it because there are plenty of times where I just throw it over one shoulder like in the parking lot, the range, in between short shots, around the green, short walk to next tee etc. The main strap is super padded so it’s very comfy when used by itself and much less awkward and unbalanced than carrying most stand bags over one shoulder. There is a little bit of an issue with club tangling while standing but it seems like once you lift the bag up to carry it they all fall into place. I’m a huge fan of the simple, classic aesthetic of the bag so I’m willing to sacrifice a little bit. The one thing I miss most is a top handle though.

      Reply

      Chris Greenlee

      7 years ago

      I got the srixon bag. I will say. For the price and weight. Prolly shopd be rated higher.
      Only con with that one. Is where drink holder is. Other then that. Amazing.

      Reply

      Mark Reckling

      7 years ago

      How’s the score card pocket? Any pics? Club crowding?

      Reply

      Chris Greenlee

      7 years ago

      I dont use scorecard holder. And no crowding for me and my 14 clubs. Everything fits well. I love it.
      Took a round to adjust the straps. Thats all.

      Reply

      Matthew Waldron

      7 years ago

      I wish they would bring back the “schling” Ogio had on their bags years ago. It was a padded hard plastic yoke that you just threw over your shoulder….and just as easy to take off. Much better than “putting on and taking off my backpack” experience with all other stand bags.

      Reply

      xjohnx

      7 years ago

      Love what you guys do and always come look at these tests. It would be nice though, to see comments and pros/cons for all the bags in the test. Some of us may have reasons for wanting bag x but also have reasons we’d never buy bag y and z regardless of being in your top 5. Also some of your categories may not weigh as heavily to some of us so a high finish in one category, which launched it into your top 5, may not be important to us. I’m not suggesting you change your process but rather add some feedback on every bag tested so we have something to go by rather than hack reviews online. I trust what you guys have to say.

      Reply

      xjohnx

      7 years ago

      To be more specific, I have my eye on that Srixon bag and would never buy the G-Fore bag due to it’s price tag and weight. It only beat the Z4 by .2 on your scale. You may have comments about the Z4 that could sway my decision one way or another.

      Reply

      Greg

      7 years ago

      For my money, the best stand bag is the Sun Mountain 2.5. Light and easy, just what I need to carry 9, 10 or 12 clubs.

      Reply

      Steven C.

      7 years ago

      I am curious to know if you have any observations about the number of dividers. Did the testers express any likes or dislikes in that regard. After a few rounds with the Srixon Z4 I switched back to an older Ogio bag because I didn’t like having just four dividers.

      Reply

      MyGolfSpy

      7 years ago

      Here is an interesting discovery when testing stand bags and dividers. There are lots of issues that go in to scoring their efficiency. And the # is misleading. You can take 10(6-way) or 10 (4-way) dividers and they will all score differently. This is due to many things. For example lets compare the Vice 6-way and the Wilson 6-way. The Vice bag dividers have angled theirs which might not sound like much but it pitches club to the outside of the bag which makes for cleaner view for golfer, easier in and out, less club bunding, etc. Then lets take Ping and Ogio. Ogio looks l=to be cutting a little cost by not running dividers all the way to the edges which causes minimally more binding but a decent cost savings. Then lets take the top dividers some split them and some done. Those that don;t have more binding issues. Dividers are important and the takeaway we see is that no enough attention to detail is paid to this area from most bag designs. Those that care you can tell.

      Reply

      Stephen DiBari

      6 years ago

      I’m interested in the Hoofer after reading this test. How would the Hoofer 14 rate against the Hoofer? I’ve had both style sun mountain C-130 cart bags in the past, 14 full length and 5 way full length dividers. I preferred the 5 way top,
      Would it make a big difference in the Hoofer ?
      Thanks
      Steve

      Jim Nalepa

      7 years ago

      This study missed one big component and that is waterproof or water resistant characteristic . If you walk you are a serious golfer who plays in all weather as this is part of our game. Not rating this element of a bag is a big miss on your part. For example, are zippers sealed ? Does it have a great rain cover so you can work your clubs out of the bag easy if it is raining or misting ? Just a few things that I look for in a stand or cart bag .

      Reply

      MyGolfSpy

      7 years ago

      Zippers and waterproofing of was a part of our testing process and included in the FEATURES scoring. If you look at our “THE METRICS” section it covers this portion.

      Reply

      Jim Nalepa

      7 years ago

      Great, did not go into the metrics portion. The other pet peeve I have with bags is how the umbrella fits . I think the bags that have individual sleeves work great while the bags that use the elastic band holder that you pull to tighten the umbrella against the bag are poor because the umbrella still dangles .

      Lou Mcconaughey

      7 years ago

      I have sun mountain 3.5. a titleist made by sun mountain and a sun mountain staff bag. All are great bags.

      Reply

      JD

      7 years ago

      I wish Titleist would have contributed. Their new stand bags are a huge improvement this year from previous ones. I have a hoofer and went for Titleist this year. Sharper lines, lighter weight, better storage, better legs, and it even sits upright when full like a cart bag for easier storage in the closet.

      I’m a huge hoofer fan and have been playing them for ever, but this year’s bags looks like they were designed by color blind people. Even the all black bag is like a faded black/charcoal.

      Reply

      dang3rtown

      7 years ago

      I agree! I have the 4up stay dry bag and it’s the best bag I have ever owned. Super light, waterproof, great taped zipper pulls, lots of other details that make it nice to have.

      Reply

      Rano

      7 years ago

      I found the 4Up STay Dry to be a massive disapppointment from a construction/durability point of view. The shape of mine is warping after only half a season of use, and the material at the mouth/opening of the the bag has torn where the clubs rest on them. Plus the clubs all bundle up and get stuck together.

      Brian

      7 years ago

      Thanks for this…how come club binding wasn’t included in this year’s test?

      Reply

      MyGolfSpy

      7 years ago

      Club binding was a part of our testing process and included in the FEATURES scoring. If you look at our “THE METRICS” section it covers this portion.

      Reply

      Sean Farrell

      7 years ago

      Vice looking good near the top! Thinking about grabbing that one.

      Reply

      David

      7 years ago

      Curious about the difference in scores for Style between the Hoofer and 4 Series? Aren’t they cosmetically effectively the same bag?

      I’m in the market for a new bag and one thing I’ve consistently heard about Ping bags is that they have serious issues with club tangle. Did that come up at all in the testing?

      Reply

      MyGolfSpy

      7 years ago

      Consumers buying clubs are typically more willing to deal with an aesthetically unappealing club so long as the club performs. On the other hand consumers start the bag buying process by seeing which bag “looks” good to their eye. Fewer golfers buy bags unless they like its style. While we prefer objectivity, we prioritize providing the best info to you the consumer that represents how consumers buy in a particular category. With that in mind, the Hoofer is more popular for a larger subset of people because of its more muted color palette. Style is a small part of our scoring overall and the difference in rank might look significant it only represented roughly 2 point difference in the test.

      Reply

      Chris

      7 years ago

      I can attest to the club tangle issue. I bought the Hoofer Monsoon this year. Nearly a perfectly designed bag in my opinion, except for club tangle issue. Problem is club dividers do not run the full length of the bag.

      Reply

      John C.

      6 years ago

      I just bought a Hoofer 14 and couldn’t get the clubs in or out
      of the two center rows due to the tangle of the curtains. During the manufacture of some of these bags, the bottom curtain clips have been clipped wrong. In the large left pocket there is a zippered entrance to the base. You actually can rearrange the clips properly and avoid the entrapment. Now, I don’t know exactly what properly is because found a person at the retailer that had done it before and he fixed it. Seems OK now.

      Rob Nieth

      7 years ago

      Good stuff as always! When will you release the results of the best golf glove testing?

      Reply

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