Best Golf Bags for Travel – Cart and Stand Bags (Not Travel Covers) – Golf Sidekick

Best Golf Bags for Travel – Cart and Stand Bags (Not Travel Covers)

You want a golf bag to travel with, but every website you find shows you travel bags that go AROUND your golf bag. In THIS article, I'll show you the best golf bags for travel - not the best travel cases for your golf bag.

For travel cases to keep your golf bag safe, you can click here on this guide.

I travel a lot between countries in South East Asia as well as between Asia and South Africa. I've never had a single breakage and 9 out of 10 flights is on a low cost airline. You can use a travel case to put around your clubs, but you can also just use a strong golf bag and learn to pack it effectively for travel.

best golf bags for travel

What makes a golf bag good for travel?

STRONG BASE AND TOP: The best golf bags for traveling with have a strong top and base of the bag. This is essential so the base is not bent or misshapen from the pressure of other bags being placed on top of it.

When heavy objects are placed on a weak base, the golf bag won't stand and will keep falling over once you retrieve it at baggage reclaim. This is the one thing I have experienced while traveling. No club breakages, but the base of the bag can be warped easily. 

LIGHTWEIGHT: We want a bag that will weigh as little as possible, taking into account our other criteria. A set of clubs, I usually calculate at about 10-15 lbs (5-7kg). Depending on your airline, you may need to specially select SPORTING GOODS when purchasing the ticket as part of your luggage allowance. Other airlines include it as part of your overall luggage. So as light as possible is the best bet without sacrificing strength.

FLEXIBLE SIDES: The sides of the bag need to be strong but not brittle. They should be able to adapt in shape and size without setting permanently like that. If a bag is compressed in the middle while traveling, it will create a lopsided bag where the top and bottom of the bag are no longer aligned.

STAND BAG LEGS THAT FASTEN SECURELY WHEN FOLDED IN: Having a stray stand bag leg loose means it will get caught on any number of things as your stuff is thrown around by the beloved baggage handlers. There's nothing quite as fun as arriving at your destination with a stand bag that can't stand anymore because a leg is bent.

I've had these things happen and I've found in my travels, the best golf bags for travel are the cart bags that have twisty, bendy sides, with thick and heavy bases and also, high quality stand bags where the legs fold away easily without poking out.

Are you going to walk or drive a golf cart when you arrive?

If you're a walker, and you carry the bag, I've included some strong stand bags for you as well as some budget options for traveling with only.

If you use a cart when you arrive, and you won't be pushing or carrying your golf bag, I've included some great cart bags that are strong and sturdy that you can use every day and not have to pack anything special for your travels. 

Best Golf Bags for Travel - Push Cart and Carry Golf Bags

  1. Sun Mountain C130 Cart Bag (Best golf buggy golf bag overall)
  2. Datrek Golf Transit Bag (Retractable handle and built in wheels!)
  3. Category Fore Cart Bag (Strong waterproof with loads of storage)
  4. Izzo Ultra Lite Stand Bags (Super lightweight option for limited bag space)
  5. Cobra Ultralight Cart bag (My current golf bag)

Strong handles and base to protect your clubs

The Sun mountain C130 has a perfect top of the bag where you can see the handles cover 75% of the entrance to the bag. This will protect your wedges and putter for the trip by blocking impact from other bags.

On the base, the bag is strong and sturdy. It's divided by a 14 way divider to protect clubs from one another. The bag weighs 6.6 lbs and combined with clubs should come to about 18 lbs. keep in mind you want to throw your golf balls, rangefinder, shoes etc into the golf bag too if you have a decent weight limit for the clubs.

The C130 has tons of pockets and storage space for this purpose and is one of the best golf bags for travel.


A golf bag with wheels in the bottom and a retractable handle

The Datrek Transit Cart Bag is a little heavier at 7.4 lbs but it includes a handle that retracts just like your hand luggage bag. There are two large roller blade wheels in the base for easy wheeling through the airport. 

Traveling with clubs is a pain not because of the fragility, but getting it to and from the car, into the airport and through the scanners, on trolleys that they never fit on. Mission!

Datrek takes care of that mission, making it easy to wheel the bag through the airport, and on the other end, you can wheel it through the clubhouse straight to your cart. Push the handle back in and strap it to the cart - you're ready to go. 

13 pockets and 14 way divider seal the deal on this convenient golf bag for traveling.


Strong, practical, waterproof with a cooler pocket

If you're traveling, you're having a good time where ever you're landing. This bag is not only strong to protect your clubs, but loaded with storage pockets including a cooler pocket to hold a six back of brews.

The Category Fore has a 14 way top with liners all the way to the bottom of the bag. With carbon fiber legs for support, we're not losing this bag to a breakage. They have funky and fun colors and this bag is not just for traveling but can be your every day golf bag for push carts or riding on a buggy.

This bag is waterproof, making it an excellent choice for traveling and when traveling to any climate that may be rainy.


3.2 lbs for those with weight restrictions

The Izzo Ultra Lite Stand bag is only 3.2 lbs and because the top of the bag only has 4 slots to insert clubs, it makes it easier to bunch them together. In the 14 way divider golf bags, it is a lot harder to bunch clubs together because of all the hardware between the clubs.

The legs fold up well in the Izzo Ultra Lite. But take precautions and have your bag wrapped at the airport with some cellophane wrap to guarantee no stray legs are poking out or things in the pockets get stolen.

The lightweight golf bag is ideal for people who have limited luggage available. If your airline includes your sports equipment as part of your overall baggage and you take this bag with you, you're going to be happy to waste only 3lbs on the bag.


My choice for the strong base and flexible body

I currently use this golf bag for my golf and travels between countries. The base is very sturdy and reinforced with a flexible twisty body of the bag which doesn't permanently deform. 

.I've travelled between Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar with this bag and it stands perfectly unassisted despite being based around on budget airlines. There is ample storage for everything including a large cooler pocket.

I jam this bag and have no problem recommending it whole heartedly. It works fantastically on golf carts as well as push carts. of course, with a single strap, this bag is not designed to be carried for very long but will protect your clubs and be a solid performer.


Options to cover your bag for traveling

If I have a short haul flight of 45 minutes or so, I'll take the heads off my fairway and driver woods. I'll turn the shafts upside down and put them butt-end up into the bag.

I'll put the driver and fairway wood head into my carry on and then screw the shaft back into the head when I arrive. 

Back to the bag. Your fairway wood and driver shafts are now sticking out the top of your bag, grip end up. You then take your irons and putter and bunch them together around the grip of the wood shafts. Wrap a few shirts and towels around this collection and tape it up with some box or masking tape. 

Once you pad your clubs enough, just be sure to leave enough space to put the rain hood one. You can put the rain hood on top and before zipping up the whole mess, you can stuff a few shirts or more clothing items to give it a nice, firm padded feel where the clubs won't move around. 

I have had zero breakages remember, and I do this often.

The preferred option

Check out my guide here on the travel cases/travel bags.

But if you are in a rush, here's an option and my current selection. The best part of this solution is that, once you get to the other side, or even when you store it in your house, the bag part folds back into the hard top section. I advice getting a long stick they sell, to keep the top of the bag from being pushed down into your clubs.

Conclusion

Whichever bag you choose, be sure to protect your clubs first and foremost because the airlines don't care. If you don't have your own private insurance on your golf clubs, and any of your stuff breaks, the airline will pay you peanuts.

They'll work out the weight and pay you per weight of the item and your $500 driver will be worth $40 to them. Protect the top of the club the most and combining my method above, with a hard case golf bag travel cover, you're not going to have any breakages!