The whole point of a golf travel bag is to protect your clubs during transport. It may not seem important to provide this extra level of protection, but for the serious golfer, this definitely makes sense.
Clubs that are stored in a basic golf bag are more prone to damage. If you’ve spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your clubs, then investing in the best golf travel bag can provide the type of protection your clubs need when you fly or travel. If you’ve seen how baggage handlers deal with luggage at the airport, then you know you need to keep your clubs stored in a protective bag that can minimize the damage caused by being banged around.
These bags are designed to provide protection against dings, scratches, and chips, but they can also help to keep your clubs and gear organized when you travel, so you can hit new courses on your vacation and have your favorite clubs on hand and readily accessible.
If you’re new to golf, or you’ve never purchased a travel bag before, then my guide will definitely come in handy. The in-depth guide includes all the essential information you need to know including the features to look for, how to tell if a bag can provide the type of protection your clubs need, and what types and sizes are available.
I’ve also chosen six of the leading travel golf bags for my best-of list. Each of these bags earned high marks for durability, extra features, and overall quality.
Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that shows you some of the similarities and differences between each bag, so you can choose one that works for you based on your golfing and travel needs.
Golf Travel Bags Comparison Chart
|Caddy Daddy Golf Constrictor|
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|AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Bag|
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|Athletico Padded Golf Bag|
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|CaddyDaddy Golf CDX-10|
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|Himal Soft-Sided Travel Bag|
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|Bag Boy T-750 Wheeled Golf Cover|
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Caddy Daddy Golf Constrictor 2 Travel Cover
The Caddy Daddy travel bag comes with lockable zippers and in-line skate wheels for ultimate maneuverability. The external and internal compression straps are designed to keep your clubs nice and secure, even during a turbulent flight. The top of the bag is heavily padded to protect the clubheads. This bag is made out of eighteen hundred denier material and features two large side pockets for extra storage. The bag is fully collapsible for easier storage and transport. The included business card window and molded luggage tag will ensure your bag makes it back to you in the event of a mix up at the airport, while also allowing you to easily identify your bag at the baggage return. The bag also features a lightweight design, weighing in at just nine pounds.
- Padded top
- Internal and external compression straps
- Two side pockets
- Lockable zippers
- Business card window and molded luggage tag
- Cannot carry more than six clubs
This model offers many of the features you need when you’re traveling, including extra padding on the top for additional clubhead protection, internal and external straps to ensure your clubs remain securely in place, and extra pockets that will allow you to store your golfing accessories and keep them highly accessible.
AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Golf Club Travel Bag
This is another top-selling soft-sided travel bag that’s made out of a durable nylon fabric that comes with reinforced stress points. The bag is also able to stand upright on its own when it’s filled with clubs. The in-line skate wheels promote smooth rolling, so wheeling the bag through a crowded airport will be a cinch. The compression straps are designed to keep your clubs securely in place, helping to minimize damage during transport. The bag’s material is fully waterproof and is designed to protect your club against the elements. When the clubs are stored inside, the bag can also lay flat, thanks to the non-skid patches on the underside, which will minimize damage to the bag. Unlike a standard rigid travel bag, this model is lightweight and designed to easily collapse for storage.
- Can hold a full set of clubs
- Full-length zippers
- In-line skate wheels
- Comfortable handles
- Freestanding with clubs inside
- Does not come with dividers
- No extra padding for the club heads
This feature-heavy bag comes loaded with compression straps, pockets, lockable zippers, and comfortable loop handles. The in-line skate wheels will allow you to weave around crowds of people at the airport, while the lightweight design makes it much easier to pull the bag out of the trunk, or off the conveyor belt at the luggage return. The durable nylon design doesn’t offer the same level of protection as a bag made out of nylon, however, the reinforced areas do work wonders to improve the bag’s overall durability.
Athletico Padded Golf Travel Bag
This travel bag is made out of durable six hundred denier polyester and comes with extra padding that’s designed to protect your clubs during travel. The padding measures in at five millimeters and is featured throughout the entire bag, for ultimate protection. The bag’s vinyl base will protect the bag from abrasions and scuffs, so it can handle a beating at the airport, with no visible damage to the exterior. This bag comes with Velcro locking carrying handles and a padded shoulder strap that makes it easier to carry this bag in a crowded airport, in total comfort. Unfortunately, the bag doesn’t come equipped with wheels, which may be a drawback for some potential buyers.
- Heavily padded strap
- Padding throughout the entire bag
- Made out of durable polyester
- Vinyl base
- Does not come with wheels
- No pockets
The fact that the bag lacks wheels can make it difficult to travel with if you’re dealing with a full bag. The bag also lacks any extra storage spaces to store your golf accessories or personal items. However, it’s available at an affordable price and does feature a heavily padded design that will help to keep your clubs safe and protected during travel.
Caddy Daddy Golf CDX-10 Golf Bag
The latest travel bag by Caddy Daddy comes with in-line skate wheels and lockable zippers, in addition to internal and external compression straps that will prevent your clubs from moving around during transport. The top of the bag is padded to provide additional protection for the clubheads. The bag itself weighs just eight and a half pounds. The bag is covered by a one year warranty which covers the bag against damage. The in-line skate wheels offer a smooth rolling experience, while the riveted handles allow you to quickly pick up the bag and go. The large side pockets are perfect for storing your extra golf gear including golf balls, tees, and more.
- In-line skate wheels
- Extra padding for club heads
- One year warranty
- Riveted handles
- Not collapsible
The lightweight design, in-line skate wheels, and the riveted handles show me this bag was designed with durability and convenience in mind. The bag features extra padding on the top that can protect the club heads from damage that can occur during transport, while the lightweight design allows you to easily carry the bag or you can take advantage of the in-line skates when the bag is full and easily wheel it out of the airport or through a crowded golf course.
Himal Soft-Sided Golf Travel Bag
The bag is made out of heavy-duty six hundred denier polyester and comes with built-in wheels, a durable design, and carry handles. This bag can hold up to ten clubs and comes with plenty of storage space for your other golf gear and personal items. The bag itself is highly portable, thanks to the wheel design, carry handles, and lightweight design. The single interior strap is designed to keep your clubs securely in place. Many competing models will come equipped with a couple of interior compressions straps, for improved protection.
The single strap does a decent job of keeping your clubs in place but doesn’t offer the type of design needed for air travel. This can be a big drawback for the golfer who has invested several hundreds of dollars in their clubs or even the user who wants to prevent their clubs from becoming tangled. The padding on the bag is minimal as well, which can make this bag a poor choice for international travel or a flight that involves multiple stops since it will be more susceptible to damage. However, if you’re on a tight budget and you’re searching for an affordable bag to use for short flights, then this model is a great option and one that won’t break the bank.
- Low price
- Durable polyester material
- Built-in wheels
- Carry handles
- Lacks padding
- Has only one compression strap
This budget-friendly travel bag may not be the best choice for the serious golfer or anyone who wants to prevent their clubs from becoming tangled during a flight. However, it’s still a durable, great option for shorter flights. The built-in wheels offer smoother than average rolling action, while the built-in handles will allow you to quickly carry the bag through a crowded airport. While this model isn’t feature-packed, it does do an excellent job of protecting your clubs during air travel, but if you’ve invested in top of the line clubs, then you’ll need a bag that can provide a higher level of protection.
Bag Boy T-750 Wheeled Travel Golf Cover
The bag features extra-thick four-sided padding on the top that consists of high-density foam and PVC material that’s impact-resistant, which offers top of the line club protection. Like competing models in this price bracket, this bag also comes with in-line skate wheels that offer the type of smooth rolling action you’ll need to make it through a crowded airport. The bag features reinforced corners for improved durability and added protection. It also comes equipped with an ergonomic carry handle that’s made out of neoprene material.
- Neoprene handle
- Reinforced corners
- High-density foam padding
- Four-sided padding on the top of the bag
- In-line skate wheels
- Only comes with one pocket
This basic travel bag is made out of durable materials and features high-density foam that’s designed to provide ultimate protection against damage. The lightweight bag also comes with in-line skates and a carry handle for easier transport. Considering the price, the single pocket is a big disappointment, since you won’t be able to store much of your golfing accessories inside the bag. Overall, the bag offers a solid design, better than average padding, and the type of durability you need for air travel.
Golf Travel Bags Buyer’s Guide
Traveling can be stressful enough without having to worry that your golf clubs are getting damaged behind the scenes. Buying a travel bag specifically for your clubs is one way to enjoy a little peace of mind when you travel, and a great option if you’re looking for a model that allows you to travel light with the right golf clubs. A lightweight bag, even when fully loaded can make your trip much easier since you won’t have to struggle to carry a full-sized golf bag through the airport. Additionally, many of these bags provide an extra level of protection for your clubheads, so you won’t have to worry about them banging into each other and getting damaged. The whole point of taking a vacation with your clubs is to relax, enjoy practicing your short game on a new course, and leaving your worries behind. With the right type of travel bag, you can ensure that your clubs will remain well-protected throughout the duration of a flight.
If you’re looking for a bag that makes life at the airport a lot easier, then go for a model that’s equipped with wheels. Some bags will come with a two to four-wheel design, while others will have as many as six wheels. Regardless of how many wheels the bag has, it’s important that they’re free spinning and won’t get stuck on the carpet and won’t make taking tight turns difficult. A good wheel system will be smooth and will allow you to easily maneuver around groups of people at the airport, so you can quickly get in and out.
Aside from a more convenient way to take different types of golf clubs with you when you travel, these golf bags are also designed to protect your clubs. The top portion of the bag should be heavily padded and designed to keep your clubs snug and secure. Some bags will offer more padding than others, while low-priced models will also use cheap foam padding which can wear out in a matter of months. So, pay close attention to the type of padding used and the level of protection the bag actually offers.
There are a variety of bag styles to choose from, and some will be more durable than others. The type of material the bag is made out of will have a big impact on how durable the bag is and how much protection it can provide to your set of clubs. Some bags will have a hard shell design, while others will have a classic soft-shell.
Some people believe that the hard shell bags are more durable, but if you choose this style, you’ll have to worry about the hardshell exterior cracking, if your bag gets tossed around with other luggage. A soft-shell, semi-rigid bag can offer better protection since it can spring back to its original shape easily and tends to offer more padding.
A bag that comes fully loaded with several dividers will offer a higher level of protection. Some bags will come with two or three dividers, while top of the line models will come with as many as fifteen or sixteen. The number of dividers included should be clearly listed on the product’s spec sheet. Full-length dividers will extend all the way down the bag, which will prevent the shafts of the clubs from getting tangled in your bag, while top dividers will only separate the clubs at the clubheads.
Full-length dividers can save you plenty of time and frustration, since you won’t have to worry about straightening out your clubs once you land. The serious golfer often prefers a bag that comes with more dividers since this type of system will keep their clubs readily accessible, well-protected, and organized. A casual golfer may not care how many dividers a bag comes with, especially if they haven’t invested in a high-quality set of clubs yet.
These days, golf bags feature a variety of pockets that have specific uses in mind. You may find one pocket for tees, another for balls, one for your beverage, and another designed to hang onto your personal gear. Before you buy, consider what type of storage and organization options you’re looking for, and how many pockets you really need. If you often bring a lot of accessories with you to the course, then a pocket-heavy design can help you stay organized, which is often worth a higher price tag.
Other extra features that you may want to consider include a glove attachment, towel ring, rain hood, and an umbrella holder. These features can make your life a little easier on the course.
When you carry your bag, you’ll use the included handles and straps. Most bags will come with a lift handle located on the top of the bag, which will make it easier to grab your bag and lift it out of a trunk. If you plan on walking the course and your bag doesn’t come equipped with wheels, then you’ll want to look for a model that comes with heavily padded straps, which can reduce strain while promoting user comfort. Adjustability will also be important, as will self-balancing straps which will allow the straps to sit squarely on your shoulders at a slight tilt in order to keep the clubs in your bag easily accessible.
If you’ve decided to purchase a soft-shell bag, then you’ll usually find them available in one of two material types: polyester or nylon. The main type of material used can tell you a lot about how durable a bag is. For a soft-shell bag, most manufacturers will also include two to three inches of dense padding around the area that surrounds the clubs to help minimize any damage that can be caused if the bag gets tossed.
As I mentioned earlier, there are also hardshell options available as well. These cases are often made out of a composite or plastic material. Soft-shell bags are very flexible, but the hard case shape is set, so you’ll need to carefully measure the bag before you bring it along on your next flight in order to determine if the dimensions meet an airline’s acceptable size requirements.
Whether you choose a hard or soft bag, make sure you check out the materials that are used. This type of bag must be durable and able to handle the rigors of travel.
Traveling With Your Golf Clubs
If you’ve never traveled with your clubs before, then there are some things you need to take into consideration, even if you already purchased a travel bag that’s specifically designed to protect your clubs. The following tips I’ve included here minimize the chances of your clubs getting lost or damaged when you travel.
- If possible, try to get a non-stop flight. The fewer times a baggage handler has to move your clubs from one plane to another, the better.
- Use your golf travel bag at all times. Some players recommend hardshell bags, which tend to cost more but they’ll offer excellent protection and can provide much-needed peace of mind when you travel. If you decided to use a soft bag, consider purchasing a club protection device, which looks similar to an adjustable crutch. This type of device is taller than a driver and will keep the shafts from becoming damaged if the bag is dropped or banged around.
- A standard-sized golf bag is considered an oversized check-in piece of luggage. If you don’t know where to pick up your bag at a particular airport, make sure you call ahead and get this important information or ask airport staff as soon as you land. If you’re not sure of the weight allowance or how much it will cost, make sure you speak with the airline before your trip so there are no unexpected surprises when it’s time to catch your flight. Keep in mind, there are some airports that will send a golf bag through the regular luggage belt with other types of luggage, while others will leave the bag at a different location that’s specifically designed for oversized luggage.
- Before you fly, it’s also smart to add personal ID tags to your bag. Make sure you use bright colored string or a uniquely shaped tag, both of which can make it easier for you to quickly spot and identify your bag. Some bags will have places for business cards as well. Include all of your contact information such as your home address and work and home phone numbers. If possible, be sure to include the name and number of the hotel you’re staying at.
- Avoid bringing along more bags than you can handle alone.
- When you head to the airport, instead of driving yourself and parking, consider ordering a car service or cab, both of which will drop you off closer to the gate.
- Your clubs should be packed so they cannot move around in the travel bag. Consider packing your jackets or sweaters inside the travel bag, which can provide even more protection and padding.
- Never leave expensive electronics such as range finders in your golf bag, since these devices can easily become damaged.
- If you’re still worried about your expensive clubs getting damaged on a plane, consider using a shipping service. While this may not be a more affordable option, if you want peace of mind and don’t want to worry about your clubs when you’re up in the air, it can be a better solution.
Traveling can be very stressful for most people, but if you’re bringing along your expensive set of clubs, your stress level may be through the roof, especially if you’re traveling to a competition. When you fly, damage to your golf clubs is a serious concern. But, if you plan ahead and purchase a bag that can protect your clubs when you’re on the go, then you can rest assured that your clubs will remain in pristine condition, especially if you’ve chosen a travel bag that has a higher than average durability rating.
The best golf travel bags are designed to protect the shafts and club heads from damage, which can occur if you check your bag in and it gets tossed around by airport staff or was not well-secured during the flight. If you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on your clubs, then using one of these bags when you fly is a must since they’re specifically designed to provide an extra level of protection. The bags that made it onto my list all scored well in terms of durability, quality, and design. Now that you know the features to look for, how to determine which model can provide the type of protection your clubs need, and what options are available, finding the right bag for your clubs will be a cinch.