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adidas Golf SAMBA Stand Bag Review
Summary: Adidas Golf's SAMBA stays true to its roots, while doing it's job better than most.
Lightweight & Functional
The new SAMBA stand bag looks very clean and basic. There are four color choices: Black/White, Blue/White, Green/White and White/Black. There’s no third accent color like in many bags today. While TaylorMade tends to employ more bold, multi-color, technical designs, Adidas tends to simplify. The SAMBA is reminiscent of the shoe of the same name, so the design makes PERFECT sense. I would have welcomed a gold ‘SAMBA’ moniker somewhere to really finish off the shoe-like graphics.
At only 4.4 pounds, this SAMBA carry bag falls into the lightweight category. In some cases, this means fewer pockets and function, but not so with the SAMBA. There are six total pockets to stash the gear you need on the course. There are also separate, easy to reach pockets for both balls and tees, which have become industry standard. The long side pocket has plenty of room for larger items like a rain suit, wind shirt and even your shoes. Additional pockets allow room for sunscreen, gloves, a hat, etc., so if you’re a “pack rat,” you should find ample space for your items. Two pockets which are “must haves” for me are a valuables pocket and drink holder. Despite its light weight, the SAMBA has both. Two thumbs up there. Overall, the storage is very impressive for a lightweight.
Storage of items is one thing, but we buy bags to hold our sticks. Is that $400 driver safe? Adidas incorporates seven-way top with full length dividers to help separate your clubs. It reminded me of the old OGIO WOODE system and separated clubs very well. My only beef is that it’s a “reverse design,” kind of a mirror image of what you’d expect. When you place your bag down woods sit closer to you, and you must reach over to access irons. While this may be nitpicking, it does take a little getting used to. There’s no arguing your clubs are very well organized, but this ‘flipped’ design is a little more awkward. It’s far from a dealbreaker, but should be noted as a potential problem.
The divider system does an excellent job in separating clubs and protecting from “chatter.” There is a separate putter well, plus three individual spots for a driver and two other woods, hybrids or driving irons. The remaining larger three-tiered iron sections allow for ample room from the scoring sticks. Overall, it’s a solid design for organization and protection
The legs of the SAMBA deploy and retract with ease. This might seem like a given, but too many times I’ve had a bag with either deployment or retracting issues. Thankfully, no worries with the SAMBA. It’s smooth as can be.
This could be my favorite part of the bag. The straps are wide, well-padded and excellent overall. It’s easy to pick up and remove the bag from your shoulders. There is no pinching or digging into your shoulders. It’s as comfortable a strap system as I have tried.
Two nice extras include a towel ring and insulated drink pocket, which remains accessible while carrying the bag. These are “nice to haves,” but earn bonus points for being included by Adidas. Other extras include an umbrella cord, pen slot, bottom trunk handle and rainhood.
Adidas Golf has created a solid carry bag for 2013 in the SAMBA. Staying true to SAMBA roots, it has everything you’d want in a solid carry bag: Comfort, functionality and storage. Retail is $139 and it comes in four color combinations. The removable ball pocket will even allow customization. See more at Adidas Golf.