2021 Travel Bag Buyer’s Guide
How wonderful does a golf getaway sound? Pretty darned good after all the travel restrictions necessitated by COVID-19!
With that in mind and to make your golf trip worry-free (the travel part, anyhow), we tested the Best Travel Bags in 2021.
Rule No. 1: Don’t cheap out on a golf travel bag. You invested thousands of your hard-earned dollars into the gear you are putting into it so it makes sense to ensure your investment is protected.
Although travel bags come in all shapes and sizes, the hard-case versions are becoming obsolete. They tend to break into pieces when dropped. After testing both kinds over the years, I recommend a durable soft-case travel bag.
Whether you’re looking to buy a 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 one for you.
Winner: Sun Mountain ClubGlider Tour Series
If you want the best travel bag money can buy, go for the Sun Mountain ClubGlider Tour Series. It may be one of the heavier travel bags on the market but the four wheels and durable material compensate for the weight of it. Its wheel system allows you to pull it with your pinky finger. It’s that effortless. The Tour Series also has good padding in the right spots, ensuring your bag and clubs are protected. Throw in a one-year warranty and you have the winner of the 2021 Most Wanted Travel Bag Test.
- 1st in durability
- 13th in packing
- 1st in maneuverability
- 3rd in protection
- 7th in storage
BEST CLUB PROTECTOR TRAVEL BAG – Ogio Mutant
The Ogio Mutant’s number one priority is your clubs. It has an abundance of protection keeping your clubs cuddled throughout its journey. The Mutant also has room for extra storage for your extra items. Strong, durable material adds an extra layer of support.
Features That Matter
Versatile wheels are the way to go. Some have just two. Others have six. No matter how many wheels the design has, it is imperative they work with ease because travel is stressful enough.
Keeping your golf clubs protected is the primary function of a travel bag. The top part of the bag has the most padding to keep your clubs snug. Rightfully so. But the rest of your bag needs a little love as well.
There is a multitude of options. 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.
What’s the point of having an item that only lasts a season? The best travel bags that will stand the test of time are Sun Mountain ClubGlider Tour Series, ClubGlove Last Bag XL Pro Tour and Srixon Travel Cover.
EXPERT TIP – Lock Your Travel Bag
If you travel often, make sure you have a padlock that is TSA-approved so they don’t have to break into your travel bag.
BEST ROLLING TRAVEL BAG – Sun Mountain ClubGlider Tour Series
The Sun Mountain ClubGlider Tour Series makes getting A to B a breeze. It’s extremely easy to maneuver and somehow makes 40 pounds feel like five thanks to its unique wheel system. In addition, the material of the bag is extremely durable, so it can withstand any and all travel perils including being tossed around at baggage claim.
- Not every bag offers the same quality of protection. The best travel bags of 2021 keep your clubs safe against the worst the airlines have to offer.
- Many of the best travel bags of 2021 have side or front pockets to stow extra items rather than cramming them in your suitcase. As long as weight doesn’t become an issue, additional pockets can save space and money. But beware some airlines charge an additional fee for overweight items. Check that out before you arrive at check-in.
- Golfers who want a leisurely stroll in and out of the airport should consider travel bags with four or six wheels as they typically require minimal effort to roll and control. Sun Mountain Club Glider and Tour Trek TC-Flex 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.
- Wrap extra material—a towel, perhaps—between your clubs before closing the bag. This will protect them from rubbing against each other and hopefully avoid breakage.
- Stand bag legs can be damaged from time to time. Again, try to cushion them when packing your travel bag.
EXPERT TIP – Weight
Keep an eye on the weight while packing for your trip. Travel bags that already weigh a lot will hinder your ability to cram extra items into your travel bag. Going over on weight can prove expensive depending on the airline.
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 display unchecked, and no stone unturned.
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
The Best Travel Bags of 2021 – FAQ
Q: How necessary are wheels?
A: Completely. 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. 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 for virtually any size of 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.