Just imagine that you booked your ultimate golf bucket list trip. Maybe you chose somewhere iconice like Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, Bandon Dunes, TPC Sawgrass or Pinehurst.
You’re probably excited beyond belief. A vacation with your friends or family playing the course(s) you’ve always dreamt about playing.
That is, until you start thinking about the travel aspect of it. More specifically, how to travel with your precious golf clubs and make sure they don’t get damaged.
Because let’s face it, if you’re going to play a once in a lifetime course you need to play with your own clubs. This isn’t a time to try out some generic rental set when you’re forking out big bucks for a once in a lifetime round.
Luckily, traveling with golf clubs doesn’t have to be as bad as it seems. While we’ve talked about traveling with your clubs, I want to dive into the best golf travel bags for 2021.
There are so many choices out there that if you haven’t bought one yet, I want to make sure you get the right fit for your game. I’m confident after reading this post, you will find the one that will help get your clubs to your dream destination or just safely to your next golf adventure.
Our Picks for Best Golf Travel Bag
- CaddyDaddy Golf Constrictor 2 Travel Cover – Best Golf Travel Bag on a Budget
- SKB Deluxe ATA Golf Travel Bag – Best Golf Travel Bag (Hard Case & Best Premium)
- Sun Mountain ClubGlider Meridian Golf Travel Bag – Best Travel Bag Soft Case
What to Look for in a Golf Travel Bag
If you’re endlessly researching the best golf travel bag, you’ll quickly learn there are a ton of choices out there. From buying locally at a sporting goods store, on Amazon or somewhere else, there is no shortage of selection for golfers.
Here’s what you should compare when picking out your next golf travel bag.
Hard Case vs. Soft Case (Protection)
The first thing you’ll notice about the wide selection of golf bags is the case structure itself. Some have a hard exterior (hard cases) while others have a soft case like a normal piece of luggage. Both have their pros and cons depending on your golf travel needs.
The main pros of soft cases are that they are usually cheaper and easier to transport, especially if you have a smaller vehicle. Plus, they’re a lot easier to store in your garage when you’re not traveling. Hard cases on the other are usually much bigger and heavier but also provide more protection for your golf clubs.
I’ll review the best golf travel bags for both soft and hard shells, so this is more of a personal preference than anything else. Also, some companies make a shell top only that goes on your bag but we don’t recommend this option as it won’t protect your gear like a normal golf travel bag.
Durability & Padding
The next most important factor for picking out your golf travel bag is ensuring it’s durable and has plenty of padding inside to protect your sticks. Some have an internal compression strap system while others don’t or have as much padding on the inside.
Whether you choose a hard shell or a soft shell case, I always recommend a Bag Boy backbone travel cover support system too. This makes it less likely for your stuff to get damaged when handled at airports and thrown into a rental car or shuttle. Make sure you invest in a Bag Boy on Amazon to ensure your clubs are protected and not crushed.
The last thing you want to have to deal with when you’re out of town is a snapped driver shaft. Keep your clubs safe and pack accordingly, especially for air travel.
The wheel system is another factor that will help you move around in crowded spaces. Some golf travel bags have spinner wheels while most only have two wheels (more like in line skate wheels) which make it a lot harder to maneuever. When researching your golf travel bag, make sure you consider the wheel system that works best for you.
Another big factor is the price of the bag. You’ll see these golf bags range from pretty inexpensive all the way up to the $500+ range depending on the model and brand you choose.
Like any golf gadget, price isn’t everything thought. It’s important to find a bag that fits your budget but will also last a long time so you don’t have to revisit this a year down the line.
Remember, this travel bag will protect the clubs that you probably spent thousands of dollars on. Don’t get cheap now and suffer when something happens to them in transit.
Depending on how frequently you travel, it’s important to get one that is relatively easy to transport back and forth. If you’re older or have some back issues, I recommend getting a lighter, soft shell bag to ensure it’s easy to get them in and out of the trunk. No need to suffer a pointless injury on the way to your golf vacation.
Plus, weight is a big factor for how much it costs to shipping your golf gear as well. Depending on the airline, if you go over a certain limit you’ll have to pay even more money each way.
Also, it’s important to note unlike bags, these do not come with a shoulder strap and you’ll always have to push or pull it.
Another important factor is the amount of storage within the bag itself.
This is one area where the soft cases usually win as they have 2-3 extra pockets outside the bag to house golf accessories (like balls, golf shoes) and other equipment. Extra storage is especially helpful if you’re playing somewhere that you might have to battle the conditions (like Bandon Dunes) and need to bring cold weather gear too.
It’s important to remember to always check airline rules when it comes to the total weight for your golf bag. Usually, if it’s over 40 or 50 pounds, you’ll have to pay an extra $25 to $50 each way (which is a few sleeves of Pro V1s).
The last factor when selecting from our list of the best golf travel bags is the warranty.
You want to make sure the company behind the bag offers a warranty in case something happens (which the odds are a lot higher with air travel). This is more important with soft shell cases as they can get holes and tears while hard-shell bags seem to last a lot longer.
When researching these travel bags, I was surprised that some manufacturers have a warranty that covers incidents related to air travel!
Golf Travel Bag Reviews for 2021
Now that you know what you’re looking for before you buy, here are the best golf travel bags for airlines in 2021. You really can’t go wrong with any of these products!
1. CaddyDaddy Golf Constrictor 2 Travel Cover Bag
The CaddyDaddy Golf Constrictor 2 travel bag is a great bag that I’ve personally used for several years now. I’ve got hands-on experience with this one and they’ve helped get my clubs all over the country including an epic trip to Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hills. Needless to say, it’s very durable.
Here’s why it’s at the top of our list.
- Accommodates cart bags and stand bags easily.
- New internal compression straps to keep your bag secure.
- It’s super easy to fold up and put in a storage cabinet in the garage.
- Molded luggage tag and business card window to find your bag quickly off the carousel.
- With 3 outside pockets, there is plenty of room to store clubs, shoes, rain gear and more.
- Another huge pro is the 9 pound design. I’ve never had a problem loading it up with gear and ever going over 37 pounds of total weight.
- The major downside is the lack of reinforcement around the clubs themselves. There’s very little padding next to the heads themselves so make sure to pack them with extra towels for protection.
If you’re only traveling a few times a year and want a budget-friendly bag, this is a phenomenal option. It’s pretty inexpensive, it’s lightweight, easy to store and has tons of storage.
This is a great option for most golfers, especially if you have a smaller stand bag. Not to mention, a one-year warranty (which even covers damages caused by airlines).
If you want more info, check out my in-depth review of the CaddyDaddy Golf Constrictor 2.
2. Himal Soft Sided Golf Travel Bag
Similar to the CaddyDaddy option is the Himal golf travel bag. It’s also a soft shell, all black design that is great for transporting your clubs. If you’re a golfer who doesn’t travel much and don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, this is a great choice for you.
- Heavy duty velcro carrying handle.
- One external pocket for additional shoe storage.
- Business card holder on the front of the bag for easy verification.
- Made with 600D polyester oxford materials which is very durable.
- Warranty information. Unlike others on this list, the warranty length was a little gray and couldn’t find specifics for total warranty length.
This bag isn’t fancy by any means but for a casual traveler, it has everything you need to get your golf gear from A to B. While not as luxurious as Sun Mountain and others on this list, it’s very affordable and still a lot better than a travel cover.
3. AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Golf Travel Bag
At this point, I’m convicned Amazon basically makes every item imaginable, including a great golf travel bag. When they notice an item is consistently selling they’ll create their own “Amazon Basics” model for it, including a low-priced golf travel bag.
The AmazonBasics soft-sided travel bag is very affordable and has a ton of perks for such a low-priced golf bag.
- One of the few freestanding travel bags. When your bag is inside, you can rest it upright or lay it flat.
- Aside from the price, the biggest pro is the durable nylon fabric and ability to stand on its own even when clubs are inside.
- This bag has a ton of storage with two massive outside pockets. Plus, it has a ton of padding to protect your clubs too.
- A few negative reviews (what few there are) talk about wheels falling off and ripping relatively easily. Luckily, users have gotten replacements but it’s still more work and hassle for you if a wheel pops off or need a replacement.
At such a low price, it’s a great buy with little risk as the investment is so small. Overall, it’s ranked very high by golfers worldwide and a great choice if you’re not traveling often.
4. Founders Club Golf Travel Bag
The Founders Club travel bag is another top choice among golfers, not to mention its great looking and easy to spot. The soft shell case is made of a very durable material and there is a ton of padding to make sure your clubs travel safe.
- One-year warranty.
- External shoe accessory pocket.
- Easy to transport with dual in line skate wheels.
- Heavily padded handles that make it easy to grab off the belt or lift out of the car.
- Customizable embroidery panel. You can remove a small part of the bag and get it customized with your name, logo, etc. This will help you spot it quickly and ensure no one accidentally takes your bag.
- While the external pocket is great, there are also two internal pockets as well. These are great for rain gear, extra towels, and more. Plus, an internal strap to keep your bag secure.
- Only one color choice (light gray) could get dirty quickly. Otherwise, this is an excellent bag.
Founders Club has become a go-to name with cart and stand bags so it makes sense to roll out a golf travel case in their product line. This is one of the most stylish travel bags on this list, very moderately priced, and has a ton of storage for your gear.
If you like the style but want even more protection, make sure to check out the Founders Club Hard Shell cover bag. It has the same bottom style in a soft shell case with a hard top, making it truly unique and helps you get the best of both worlds.
5. SKB Deluxe ATA Case Golf Travel Bag
The SKB Deluxe ATA golf travel bag looks more like a weapon to take to war more than one to transport your golf clubs. While its design is a bit over the top, it provides the ultimate protection for your clubs. If you’re someone who has aftermarket shafts or expensive clubs like PXG, this case will help you protect your investment more than most.
- Hard shell case for maximum protection.
- Comes with a TSA locking system for safe travel and allows them to check it easily.
- Durability, durability, durability. This hard shell bag seems unbreakable. It’s made of polyethylene which also keeps moisture and dirt out.
- The makers of this product are so confident about this case, they offer a $1500 club coverage and a million-mile guarantee.
- High price tag. It’s one of the higher investments on our list but provides incredible durability for your gear.
- Weight – these golf travel bags weigh in just under 18 pounds before adding clubs. And as the average of clubs and gear weighs another 25-35 pounds, this makes it easy to go over the 40-50 airline weight limit pretty easily.
The SKB golf travel bag is made of durability and works for both stand bags and cart bags but a little tight with bigger cart bags. They also have a TS lock which makes it more likely to be searched so don’t put too much else outside your bag itself.
Overall, this is the best hard case on the market with the only con being the weight. Since it’s so heavy, make sure to pack accordingly and weigh it before you show up to the baggage counter.
6. Sun Mountain ClubGlider Meridian Golf Travel Bag
The Sun Mountain ClubGlider Tour Series golf travel bag is for the serious golfer who doesn’t want to risk anything while traveling. If you’re a very serious player who’s invested a lot (i.e. PXG golf clubs) this is a great bag for you. The overall look plus durability, makes this one of the best golf travel bags for so many reasons.
- Internal cinch strapping system to keep your bag secure.
- Lightweight – 11.8 pound design. Sort of a hybrid between soft and hard case.
- 4-wheel design unlike most golf travel bags which makes it easy to move around. The pivoting caster wheelers make it much easier to maneuver in tight spaces.
- It has some of the best protection available and has some of the highest reviews on the internet.
- Not only is durable but it’s aesthetically one of the best cases to look at with five color choices.
- No external pockets for additional storage making it tough if you bring extra golf accessories.
- The biggest con for most golfers is the higher price tag as it’s one of the most expensive bags on the market.
The 4-wheels make transporting it incredibly easy and the extra storage makes it easy to transport all your gear. Some reviews said the release mechanism is a bit stiff when opening and close and the main zipper isn’t that accessible. All in all, the internet didn’t have too many negatives for this epic golf bag.
All color options are great looking and easy on the eyes but with dark colors will withstand the wear and tear of travel. If you can afford it and are a serious jet-setter, this bag is well worth the price.
7. Club Glove Last Bag
The Club Glove Last Bag is another trusted golf bag that is used and trusted by tour pros so it had to make this list. This tour series bag is made of CORDURA, which is much more durable than nylon and provides a ton of protection for a soft shell case. Plus, it’s so big it makes it easy to transport tour and cart bags with ease.
- It’s made in the USA and everything from the material to the zippers and clasps are made with super high-quality material.
- It’s super easy to get your stuff in and out and there’s one main zipper.
- Huge color selection. This travel bag comes in 16 colors so it makes it easier to identify it in the airport carousel.
- When it comes to soft shell cases there really isn’t much wrong with this as far as storage, weight, and looks go.
- The only downside is the price. As with the Sun Mountain, this is one of the most expensive golf travel bags available.
The Club Glove last bag is legit and easy to see why it’s trusted by the best golfers in the world.
There is also a Club Glove Last Bag XL Tour pro version that’s even bigger and offers all the same benefits. Plus, at only 9 pounds it’s still incredibly light and easy to transport with ultimate protection, especially at the top of the bag.
Both of these models are great golf travel bags but they aren’t cheap. If you’re looking for a reliable bag and travel frequently with a cart or tour bag, this one’s for you. Remember, don’t skimp on quality for price when it comes to protecting your sticks!
8. Samsonite Golf Hard-Sided Travel Case
Some players prefer choosing functionality over aesthetics and the Samsonite Hard Sided Travel Case is a very heavy duty. While it isn’t the best to look at it, it is extremely durable and has plenty of extra storage for all of your equipment. This hard shell case will get your stuff from A to B safely!
- Five year manufacturers warranty.
- Three color choices (black, navy, and titanium).
- Even though it looks heavy and bulky, it is very lightweight and durable solid.
- Inside the hard case travel bag is a padded quilted interior with extra foam cushioning on top to protect club heads (huge benefit over most cases).
- Very easy to move around. With four multi-directional spinner wheels and two inline skate wheels allows the case to be pushed or pulled.
- Internal compression straps secure the bag inside the case to ensure your clubs are secure.
- Accommodates larger 10.5″ top golf bags with longer, 48″ clubs (that’s three inches normal than a standard, off the rack driver).
- There aren’t many downsides but price is important and it’s not cheap. It’s roughly 2-3X the prices of some of the other choices on this list.
- Appearances. Personally, I’m not a fan of the look because it’s bulky and kind of generic looking but at the end of the day, it’s easy to move and will keep your clubs safe.
I won’t lie, this heavy-duty bag won’t win any awards for appearances but it’s one of the best hard case options. It looks more like a rolling coffin but I am 100% confident that your gear will stay safe en route to your destination. The ABS Shell shields your bag and clubs from the wear and tear of travelling.
Plus, this is one of the few options that allows longer clubs as well. With quality materials and packing features, this piece of luggage can take your clubs is a solid choice.
9. Samsonite Golf Deluxe 3-Piece Travel Set
If you’re skipping hard case golf travel bags because they aren’t as fashionable, I think you will love the Samsonite Golf Deluxe 3-piece travel set. Not only do you get a good-looking bag, this golf travel case also comes with a matching duffle bag and shoe bag too.
- Six two-tone color choices that won’t get dirty or worn down easily.
- A Duffel bag makes a great carry-on bag that you can use year round.
- Sealed ball bearing inline skate wheels allows for the case to be pushed or pulled.
- Inside features a padded quilted interior with extra foam cushioning on top to protect club heads.
- Made with lightweight and durable polyester that shields your bag and clubs while still looking good!
- Functional shoe bag with mesh ventilation windows to help prevent moisture buildup, and large enough to accommodate two pairs of shoes (up to to size 13).
- Smaller size than most bags. If you have added length to your woods, they might not fit.
- While the material looks sturdy, some reviewers on Amazon had a different experience.
One thing I like about this choice is the matching shoe bag and duffle bag. Plus, all the colors are great looking and appear to have been made with high-quality material.
Looks aside, the bag seems highly functional with the extra foam cushioning to protect club heads. Plus, you can push or pull the bag around the airport easily.
10. Athletico Padded Golf Travel Bag
The Athletico padded soft cover bag is one of the most affordable options on the market. For a quick weekend trip, I think this is a solid option but for longer destinations, another bag could work better.
- 5mm of padding throughout, to help protect your golf clubs during transit.
- Easy to carry. A padded shoulder strap further allows you to carry the bag through crowder airports with ease.
- 600D polyester and feature a vinyl base to protect the bag from scuffs and abrasions.
- One color choice but the material seems sturdy.
- Zero external pockets. Where are you supposed to put your extra gadgets and shoes? On the exterior of the bag, the only thing is the strap and name tag. If you’re a golf hoarder and pack heavy, probably not the one for you.
This soft bag doesn’t look like it’s the most protective but reviews about it have been glowing. Ideally, I think this option is best for a lightweight stand bag not a staff bag. For a quick trip, this one can work but with no outside pockets, you probably have to use your luggage space to carry some of your gear.
If you’re on a budget, you may want to seriously consider this option. Plus, if you need to keep moving through a busy airport, you can throw this on your shoulder and get moving.
FAQs about the Best Golf Travel Bag
Do you have more questions about finding the right travel bag? If so, we got you covered.
Where should I buy my travel bag?
I think Amazon is always the best place as so many people are Amazon Prime members you can get your stuff delivered quickly. In most cases, you can get your brand-new travel bag in less than two days and in some instances, same-day delivery.
So if you notice your old golf bag has a hole or is looking a little worse for wear, you can easily replace it quickly. Plus, with Amazon’s generous return policy, you can return it if you don’t love it after opening the box. If you take it out of the box and think the material is too thin or a wheel is too loose and could fall off, imagine how bad it will do when a baggage carrier is tossing it around.
How much should I spend on my golf travel bag?
As you probably know by now, golf is not a cheap sport but it’s so addicting, most golfers will do and spend whatever it takes. While I can’t determine how much you should spend on a bag, I think the total price comes down to what type of travel you plan on doing.
If you’re the type of golfer who is going to travel frequently, you should splurge on a bag that will protect your equipment above all else. Looks don’t matter with a travel bag like they do with a normal stand or carry bag. For avid travelers, protection above all else.
You also want to make sure it is well under weight limits, so you don’t have to constantly worry about that each time you go to the airport. There’s nothing worse than having to move stuff around so you don’t have to pay extra baggage fees.
If you’re someone who is only going somewhere 1-2x per year, you can choose a more budget friendly, soft sided bag. While they don’t offer quite as much protection as a hard sided bag, each one above is a quality golf travel bag. Plus, you’ll save 50-75% depending on your choice.
What are the best ways to pack your clubs?
Regardless of the bag you pick from this list, make sure you use these tips to ensure you end up getting your clubs to the destination safely.
- To protect your club heads, detach your driver and fairways woods if they are adjustable. Then, store them in the pockets of your bag itself or in a separate, checked bag to save room and reduce weight.
- Use towels or bubble wrap for irons or other clubs. Even though it’s more work, you can ensure they don’t get scratched during travel.
- Double-check the weight of your travel bag before you go to the airport. Also, make sure to confirm with the airlines how much weight is allowed per bag so you don’t have to pay extra.
- Avoid putting anything expensive in your bag in case it gets lost (for example, GPS watch, expensive rangefinder, golf GPS, etc.). Losing your clubs is already a huge pain so don’t compound it by having other valuables inside.
- Always take pictures of your gear before you go to the airport. This way you have documentation in case anything happens in transit.
- Use a stiff arm if you are worried about using a soft sided bag. A stiff arm is a few inches longer than your driver and will create a more sturdy outer shell.
These tips with the right golf travel bag should help protect your clubs from normal wear and tear. For more traveling tips and information, check out our full guide on How to Travel with Golf Clubs.
Final Thoughts on Best Golf Travel Bags
Regardless of whatever bag you choose, selecting the right travel bag is all about protecting your clubs and finding the right one for your budget. Not all golf travel bags are created equal and I think it’s a great idea to grab a Bag Boy spine as well.
If you’re going on a golf vacation, your number one priority is to make sure they ended up at the destination safely. A broken wood or iron shaft can ruin your mood and experience that you might have spent a lot of money on.
Whether you’re looking for a soft or a hard cases, make sure to do your research. Each golf club case should get your clubs safely but personal preference, budget, color, style, and features will play a factor as well. Not to mention, some of these store easily in your house or garage while others could take up a lot more room.
Also, you want to ensure the inside of the bag has plenty of protection for your clubs. Don’t forget to factor in your golf bag as well. If you have a cart bag, you might need to get a large carry case or hard case as the smaller, more budget friendly ones won’t fit.
Pick up one of these golf travel bags, book one of those lifetime golf trips and start enjoying golf more than ever before.