I’ve logged six months of travel and thousands of miles on my Last Bag, the only thing that’s been lost is my desire for any other travel cover.
Ask anyone who has traveled with their golf clubs and they’ll undoubtedly tell tales of worry and woe as to what was happened to their beloved clubs after they passed the airline baggage counter. Airlines absolve themselves of all liability, only protecting hard cases from loss. However, hard cases have their own issues – storage, taxis, trains, and rental cars are all tangible concerns hard cases present. For golfers who are serious about travelling and protecting their clubs, there is no better solution than the Club Glove Last Bag. Everything on the Last Bag is built for two purposes: protect golf clubs and last forever.
Materials and Construction
The Last Bag is built purely out of 1000D Cordura nylon. Cordura is renown among outdoor enthusiasts for it’s durability and abrasion resistance. In fact ice climbers often rely on Cordura in their clothing to prevent scrapes and punctures from ice axes and crampons. Adding reinforcement is a thick plastic base which wraps up on the bag. The base provides stability when the bag is rolled and further protection when layed flat. At the top of the bag, club heads are wrapped in ample padding and can be secured from moving by a strap that wraps around the top of the bag. Heavy duty zippers and durable inline skate wheels round out the bag. As if all that wasn’t enough, all handles are built from heavy duty webbing and are not only stitched but also riveted to the bag. When it’s not in use, the Last Bag folds up into a much smaller size that’s very easy to store in a closet or on a shelf in the garage.
The Last Bag is the model to get for those who want to protect a cart or staff bag or longer than average clubs. This bag provides more than enough room for a full ten and half inch staff bag and can accommodate drivers up to forty-seven inches in length. However, if you’re looking to carry a smaller stand bag, the Last Bag might have too much room. The smaller Burst Proof with wheels is a better choice since it is made from the same materials as the bigger Last Bag. I will say that having the size of the Last Bag is a great luxury for international travel where baggage weight is restricted since it’s a very convenient place to store dirty clothes, extra towels and shoes that would overload another bag.
The Last Bag has several features which greatly improve protection over other models on the market. The patented strap that wraps around the club heads holds them very secure and prevents them from moving or shifting during even the most abusive handling. The padding at the top also provides great protection and minimizes the need to stuff towels and other “spacers” into the bag. This provides greater protection while still allowing golfers to travel light. Inside the bag, there is a small strap that wraps around the collar of a golf bag to keep it in place. A thick plastic base provides protection for the bag when it is layed down and rigidity when rolling. The Last Bag also has two external shoe pockets with included shoe bags to keep two pairs of shoes protected and the bag free of dirt.
Despite all these features, the Last Bag still has one achilles heel common to all soft cases – it has no built in compressive (top to bottom) protection. A drop off a baggage carousel right onto the club heads can lead to snapped shafts. This is especially troubling since the longest clubs in a golfer’s bag often sport the lightest and most expensive shafts. However, Club Glove also offers a Stiff Arm which extends from the top of the bag to the bottom preventing any kind of compressive damage. For a bag that nearly costs $300, this would be a nice feature to include. However, at $25 it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind and is a more effective solution than a piece of PVC or a broom stick.
Although protection is a big part of the equation when choosing a travel bag, to me durability is another. Wear and tear is a major part of travel and the failure of a wheel or a strap can be a real pain when it comes to lugging a heavy golf bag down a crowded street. I have lugged my Last Bag to London, all over Scotland, and on a few more trips across the country all without a single problem. The plastic base shows a few minor scuffs from concrete, but the bag itself is untouched and looks almost the same as the day I bought it aside from a little dirt. The wheels are still rolling smoothly and show hardly any signs of wear.
I will say that all this durability comes at a price. The thick plastic base and Cordura nylon mean Last Bag is heavier than just about every other travel cover on the market. However, considering the protection they add, they are a worthwhile burden, especially since the combination of handles and wheels make it very easy to carry and pull.
In the end, you can only measure a travel bag by its ability to protect. Needless to say I have never opened up my Club Glove to find a broken club. Going beyond that, for people who invest in and care about their clubs, I’ve really grown to trust my Last Bag. The initial price is a little steep at $250-$275 retail. However, I have yet to see any other bag on the market that is as durable and easy to carry anywhere.