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Official Forum Member Review: Sun Mountain Golf Bags

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Official Forum Member Review

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Sun  Mountain Golf Bags

 

 

Sun Mountain is a leader in innovative, lightweight stand bags as well as full featured cart bags. Four forum members are giving their thoughts on the newest offerings from Sun Mountain - can't wait to hear what they have to say and find out if Sun Mountain's newest offerings live up to the company's reputation.

 

The testers are:

 

jbill8802                             Stage 1                            Stage 2

 

jlukes                                 Stage 1                            Stage 2

 

Kkaw1988                         Stage 1                             Stage 2

 

jurassic_lawyer                Stage 1                             Stage 2

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To start I'd like to thank MGS and Sun Mountain for the opportunity to review the C130 Cart Bag. Looking forward to doing a thorough review of the bag.

 

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My index currently sits at 9.0 and I play roughly 100 rounds per year, usually walking with a push cart in the spring/fall/winter and riding during the heat of the summer. For the past year I've been alternating back and forth between two bags - a Ping Hoofer 2 and an Ogio Chamber Cart Bag.  Both great bags in their own right.  The light weight of the Hoofer is where it shines while the club binding is the largest drawback.  The Ogio as a cart bag is obviously quite a bit heaver but the 14 full length dividers and Silencer system at the bottom of the bag that essentially locks the clubs into place preventing club chatter are it's best features. 

 

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My walk to ride ratio is about 50/50 depending on how I feel or who I'm playing with. Some days it's nice to just throw some beer in a cart with a speaker and have a good time. When I want to focus on my own game without distractions I'll typically walk.  When I do walk, I use a push cart so a stand bag isn't a big necessity for me as the cart bags I've used have worked out fine in both of my push carts.

 

The most important feature I look for in a bag is full length dividers.  Club binding drives me crazy and after a bad shot it usually leads to me forcefully placing the offending club back into the bag, resulting in catching a finger or knuckle between two clubs.  I also use an oversized putter grip so a putter well that is large enough is a big factor.  The Ogio does not have an oversized putter well and noticeably wore down the grip within a short period of time. The Hoofer does not have a dedicated putter well so club binding with the putter was always an issue. I don't keep nearly the amount of crap in my bag that I use to, so a ton of storage isn't a huge factor but I do like to stay organized.  

 

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While I've never used a Sun Mountain product before, I've hear many good things about the company and it's products.  The bag seems durable, well made, and well thought out for the most part. At first glance, the C130 effectively and efficiently checks all these boxes for me which I will elaborate on more in Stage 2 of my review. 

 

 

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Stage 1

My name is Joe and I live in Central New Jersey. I have been playing golf since I can remember (and have been carrying my bag along the way). I am 5 handicap with a big tee game. Distance is definitely one of my strengths and my short game helps me scramble a good amount when I am missing greens. I played varsity golf in high school but chose not to play in college because I did not want to burn out from playing golf similar to how I got tired of baseball after playing it year round most of my childhood.

 

My current golf bag is a 2015 Sun Mountain Three5. I have been using it for over 1.5 years and have really enjoyed it. While called the Three5, the bag weighs 3.9 lbs.

 

My bag history has always been around carry/stand bags. In high school I owned and Ogio stand bag and our varsity team bags were Sun Mountain bags. After high school I had a TaylorMade stand bag and that was followed by an Adidas stand bag. I owned a Callaway HL5 stand bag for the 2014 season (worst bag I ever owned) and then switched to the Sun Mountain Three5 in December of 2014.

 

I absolutely love walking when playing, so I always go the stand bag route. I am 32, so I am not as athletic or energetic as I used to be, so I know that having a bag that makes walking easier is extremely important for me. I have another 5-7 years before I switch over to a push cart, but even then I will still probably have a carry bag for the days I only want to walk 9.

 

What is Important to me in a Carry Bag?

  • Comfort/weight. A stand bag is absolutely useless to me if it is too heavy and/or the straps are not comfortable. There are stand bags out there that weigh over 5 pounds and to me they are just lightweight cart bags that happen to have a stand (which is perfect for some people and something I would probably go to when I stop carrying my bag when I get older).

  • Functionality (pockets and club dividers). Lightweight and comfortable does not mean skimping on storage or club dividers. There are some extremely light stand bags out there that have 3 or less dividers and minimal pockets. As someone who uses their carry bag as their primary bag and not just a ‘Sunday bag,' it is vital for my bag to have 4-6 full length dividers (I absolutely hate 14-way dividers) and pockets that can hold my accessories and a windbreaker or two.

  • Stand performance. What good is a stand bag if the stand isn't reliable. There are stand bags out there where the stand doesn't deploy consistently and/or the bag is unstable when not on level ground (Callaway HL5 I am looking at you!) My ideal stand bag has a durable stand that deploys with ease no matter if I am placing it on a cart path or on a sidehill lie next to the green. The stand also needs to retract cleanly as soon as I pick up the bag. There is nothing worse than walking down the fairway while having the stand legs hit the back of your legs!

Sun Mountain Experience

As I mentioned in my bag history above, I have had two Sun Mountain bags in the past and have enjoyed them thoroughly. Quality has never been an issue with any SM bag that I have owned.

 

While I was originally selected to test the 2016 2Five bag, we were informed about two weeks ago that Sun Mountain would instead like us to test their New-for-2017 3.5LS bag. Who was I to say no to testing a pre-release bag.

 

The 3.5LS actually weighs 3.5 lbs, unlike it's like larger predecessor the Three5. How did Sun Mountain shed nearly half a pound? They moved to a lighter fabric similar to one used on the 2Five bags (I believe it is the same material they use in their high-strength tents that have been used to climb Mt. Everest!). SM also brought over the carbon fiber legs, a slightly more compact stand mechanism, and switched to a lighter high-strength plastic for the base and top of the bag. the number of pockets is identical to the previous Three5, as is the 9.5” top. The bag has four dividers and the only difference I noticed from the previous Three5 to the 3.5LS is the top divider now goes straight across rather than being angled. The straps have been beefed up a bit so there is a more cusion on the part that rests on the shoulders, allowing for a more comfortable carry. Perhaps the biggest change I noticed with the bag? No more snap on rain hood. The rainhood on the 3.5 LS is secured with velcro hoops. I found this to be quite clever as it allowed me to adjust the fit of the rain hood rather than having to pull it tight to get the snaps to line up perfectly. The one thing I will miss is being able to use my SnapHookz bag accessory to add extra space to hang things off of the bag.

 

The bag is absolutely gorgeous to look at. I went with the same American themed bag that I had with my Three5. Though only .5lbs lighter, it is noticeable both while empty and loaded with my gear. I straps definitely feel more comfortable than the Three5 and the cushion on the bag feels just right against my back. The strap system makes it very easy to carry with both straps as well as just using one strap for the shorter carries.

 

From Sun Mountain (https://shop.sunmountain.com/3.5-Bag-20167-detail.html)

New for 2017, the 3.5 LS weighs 3.5 pounds and is designed for the golfer who loves our hugely popular 2Five but wants a few more features. Like the 2Five, the 3.5 LS is constructed with lightweight nylon fabric, high-strength-to-weight plastic and carbon fiber legs. Adding a pound allowed us to use a thicker strap, a more cushioned hip pad and to add three more pockets.

 

  • Ultra-lightweight, highly durable carbon fiber legs
  • High-strength-to-weight plastic top and bottom
  • Seven pockets, including a water-resistant, velour-lined valuables pocket, full-length apparel pocket and a hydration pouch
  • The carry straps are made with thick, high-density foam that is contoured to be wider at the top of the shoulder for carry comfort
  • X-Strap System is easy to get on and off and works well as a single strap for short carries. The new plastic strap guide provides effortless interaction between the two straps
  • Matching rainhood

 

Now onto the pictures!

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Stage 2 Review

Performance

The 3.5LS has 4 full length dividers. My preference for carry bags has always been 4 or 5 dividers. Would I have liked a dedicated putting slot similar to the Ogio Woode divider system? Sure, but I understand that extra dividers like that add weight, and it would be pretty difficult to have more than 4 dividers while keeping the bag at 3.5 lbs. I have played almost a dozen rounds and had 3 range sessions with this bag, and I have never had an issue with taking clubs out or putting clubs back into the bag. I use a SuperStroke 2.0 grip on my putter and have no space issues with having my putter, driver, fairway wood, and hybrid all in the top divider. You can see how I layout my clubs below.

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The pockets are nearly identical to those on my 2014 Three5, and that is a good thing. The beverage cooler pocket has know problem fitting your average can, water bottle, or your standard bottle of Gatorade. There is zipper pocket right under/next to the beverage pouch that is the perfect size for gloves, my driver wrench and a few other small accessories. The ball pocket and additional accessories pocket on the bottom of the bag fit plenty of balls and provides a good spot for my pouch that contains my tees, ball markers, and divot tools. The valuables pocket is also a good size and is where I store my phone, keys, and wallet during my round. My phone is rather large (Nexus 6P with 6 inch screen) and has no problem fitting in the valuables pocket. On the same size as the valuables pocket is another pocket (no zipper) that can be used for just about anything in it. It fits a scorecard, some snacks, or even a GPS rangefinder just fine. Lastly, there is the full length pocket for things like raingear or a jacket. I have had no problem fitting a fleece pullover in that pocket, as well as my roll-up rain gear.

As I mentioned in my Stage 1 write-up up, a good stand bag is defined by how comfortable it is to carry and how reliable the stand mechanism is. For the 3.5LS, Sun Mountain added padding to the straps to make the bag more comfortable to carry. Well the extra padding definitely pays off because the straps are noticeably less harsh on my shoulders compared to my previous bag. The straps are easy to adjust while the bag is on the ground and while you are wearing the bag. The padding on the side of the bag sits perfectly against the lower back and prevents and discomfort or chaffing while carrying. The new XStrap system allows me to easily use just one strap for the shorter carries. The bag, like previous Sun Mountain carry bags, also has a handle carved into the top of the bag and a fabric handle at the bottom of the bag which allow for the bag to be easily picked up and placed into or taken out of the trunk of a car. In my Stage 1 review I also mentioned that the stand mechanism has been redesigned. During my testing I have placed my bag on solid surfaces, in the fairway, in the rough, on sidehill lies, on downhill lies, and I even deployed the stand a bunker a few times. Every single time, the legs fully deployed and the bag remained sturdy until I picked it up to move to my next shot. When picking up the bag I have not experienced any issues with the legs not fully retracting and dangling away from the body of the bag.

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The rainhood, which I got to test under actual rainy conditions yesterday, works really well. Sun Mountain switched from your standard snap-on rain hood to a rainhood that is secured through a series of velcro straps. The hood was easy to put on and I had no issues with the rain hood coming off during the round. The hood contains your standard zipper that allows access to the the clubs in between shots.

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The ONLY issues I have with this bag is the lack of a good spot to hang a brush, bag tags, additional towel, range finder, etc. I had a similar issue with my previous Sun Mountain bag, but this issue was resolved with a great accessory called SnapHookz. This accessory snapped on to the snaps for the rainhood and provided a few extra spots for accessories to by hung. With Sun Mountain moving to the velcro rainhood system, I am not able to use my SnapHookz with the 3.5LS. Sure, I am able clip my rangefinder to one of the handles, and then put my brush and bag tags on the loop near the valuables pocket, but I wish there were a few other options on the outside of the bag.

Performance Score: 47 (out of 50)

Looks

I absolutely love the looks of this bag. My previous Sun Mountain had the same Red/White/Blue color scheme, but the 3.5LS does it better. There is more Navy in this version and the white accents really make the bag pop. I love the American Flag patch above the ball pouch and I have received numerous compliments about the look of the bag during my short time review it.

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Sun Mountain has gone to lighter-weight materials in the 3.5LS and it is natural to think that lighter weight may mean “cheaper,” but my initial impressions to not lead me to believe that long term durability is going to be an issue going forward. Sun Mountain claims the the material they are using is the same one they use on their premium mountaineering tents that have been used on Mount Everest. The material definitely is light weight, but I never felt as if it was going to rip or puncture it.

Looks Score: 28 (out of 30)

Likelihood of Purchase

If I was in the market for a light weight stand bag, the Sun Mountain 3.5 LS would be at the top of my list. Sun Mountain made their classic Three5 lighter, while maintaining every bit of functionality and actually improving the carrying experience (via the lighter weight, and the straps with better padding). At $229.99 retail, the bag is not exactly cheap. American culture in general has the perception that lighter means cheaper, but when it comes to certain sporting equipment, that certainly isn't the case and you need to pay more to get a product that is both lightweight and durable.

Likelihood of Purchase Score: 30 (out of 30)

As someone that walks over 40 rounds a year, a lightweight stand bag is almost as important as any club I use. A carry bag that is too heavy or uncomfortable to carry is actually a detriment to my golf game. The Sun Mountain 3.5 LS is a phenomenal light-weight stand bag and should be considered by every golfer that carriers their bag most of their rounds.  My shoulder and back felt great after carrying the 3.5LS for 18.  The new straps along with the slightly lighter weight definitely played a part in a better overall carrying experience than my Sun Mountain Three5 (2014).  This bag really checks all of the boxes


Final Score: 95 (out of 100)

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Stage 1 Reserved

 

Hello fellow MGS members Kolby here to review the Sun Mountain 2Five……Check that Sun Mountain graciously upgraded two of us into the 2017 3.5LS. To set the stage on myself I played Golf once or twice with my dad when I was younger. I was always an athlete so I took to the game fairly well but being from the St. Louis area Baseball was my world so pretty much forgot about golf. In high school I started to get drawn back to it because of Tiger Woods and his video games. I had a cousin who married in and we started playing Tiger Woods PGA tour. The video game world is where I would stay till I was 20 when I picked the game back up because of my in-laws (yes I got married at 20, now move on we are talking about golf). Every year they play a family tournament on Father's Day, so obviously with my Athletic prowess I should crush these guys right…….wrong. Golf is Hard!!!! This is not a video game, there are no difficulty settings. Everyone plays the same course which makes us curse and throw things. It is the hardest thing I've ever done, outside of being a dad. That is all it took for me to be hooked one day on the course trying to hit a little white ball into a hole. 8 years later….. I'm still not that good, and still addicted to the game and to buying golf clubs, which my wife hates. So now that you know a little about me and my journey on to some of the tough questions:

 

  • Handicap? (Or average score) So I don't keep a true handicap I only keep track of my 5 most recent rounds. So lately I'm about a 22, although that is mostly because of injury. Which is also why I haven't kept a handicap because my playing has been so sporadic over the last 3ish years(Back, Knee, two shoulders, foot, and I guess I'll throw my mental anguish from not being able to play enough)
  • Strengths/weaknesses of your game? Strengths are the fun to talk about. I'd say my strengths are 150yds out exactly, Putting, and then chipping. Weaknesses are off the tee lately as nothing hits the fairways, I'm pretty sure it is a mental thing that needs some time at the range to fix or my latest adjustment after my most recent shoulder injury.
  • Weakness of your game? Although you might think based on the above it is my driver, but my biggest weakness is my mental game. I'm quick to get down on myself which usually spirals into terrible golf. Although based on my current handicap I guess maybe it is just me playing to where I'm at currently.
  • Current Golf Bag? Currently I'm using a Nike Stand bag. I really enjoy it as it has a 14 club divider and lots of pockets……I really like pockets. (somehow I feel like Fozzy will only see my last comment in my entire initial post)
  • What type of bag do you typically prefer (stand, cart, staff?). While I have been playing mostly stand bags for the past 3 or so years I really like Cart bags. Not sure why just do, but I always end up with a stand bag….I think it is because my mind wants me to walk more.
  • What 3 things are most important in a bag? 1. Has to be looks, I feel like a bag should make a statement about you, if you have an all-black bag you feel like you are Johnny Cash (which is a win), Maybe you have the Red, White, and Blue color theme and are a patriot at heart (not the ones who reside in Gillette Stadium and thank you to all of those who have served), or maybe you just want that color pop all in all it is about your style. 2. Great storage for you balls……yeah not much else to be said in that regard. 3. Pockets, I keep a lot of stuff in my bag probably more than I need so I need pockets.
  • Experience with Sun Mountain/any preconceived notions? I have never used a Sun Mountain bag, I have glanced at their stuff in stores/Online and have always been impressed with the options. I'm not going to buy a bag every year so it takes me years to pull the trigger (unlike golf clubs, did I mention I buy a lot…mostly used its cheaper that way). Which also means it takes me years to find one I like and am willing to use my hard earned money on. Sun Mountain is one of the companies who had me thinking about a change.
  • Are you a walker or a rider? Traditionally I have been a rider mostly because of my company. The people I normally play with have knee issues or are older, so the Carts keep them on the course which I'm all for. But Walking is always the goal when I'm by myself on the course and have the allotted time.

 

So Initial unwrapping and impressions: First of all coming home to a box is one of the great joys in life as a golfer (traditionally as noted it is clubs for me). Nothing like that new Thor's Hammer to get you ready for your next round. I wasn't sure what color scheme I would end up with since I went ahead and gave my first choice (Red, White, and Blue – Captain America) or second choice (Black and Green – Like the Hulk) in case two bags of the same color was frowned upon. So I had even more excitement and surprise coming my way. First thing I noticed was even with the box this thing is light. Will be perfect for walking the course. So I popped the top and took a look. Awesome I got my first choice looks like color isn't a big deal. I would have liked to see more packing supplies inside….probably just me wishing they had hedged their bets against possible breakage or catastrophe. Everything looked fine so I pulled it out. Yep still just as light (not sure why that thought went through my head). They had the equivalent of a clear trash bag wrapped around it. No protection but will keep air from getting to it. Man the color scheme is perfect if you are into the Ryder Cup (note While I love Ricky and think he will be a great team player maybe not the best choice based on current play). So got rid of the plastic and man I am loving the look. The thing is so light I could just carry it with me everywhere I go (think the Dwarves from Snow White except with Carry bags singing High Ho). I will say it seems like it could be weak in the quality section, although I won't comment on that till the stage 2 when I really get into the meat of the review. So hopefully you guys will stick around for stage 2 where I will have many more pictures in action (range, course, walking, and riding review). I am also going to add some more initial photos it is just late and my Camera is not charged so sorry on that front until tomorrow you get Iphone quality).

 

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Sun Mountain 3.5LS – Official MGS Forum Review by Kolby Walker


Performance
Performance on the Course

The 3.5LS bag is laid out a lot like other bags, just slightly better. The pockets are where they should be. With my Nike bag they have a lot of cool pockets but those pockets are not always useful or logical in their placement. With the 3.5 everything is where it should be. Now I would always say there could be tweaks but they did a nice job of not only placing things where if being carried it is easy to access, but also if you decide you want to ride it fits nicely into the golf cart and you still have access to everything. With my Nike it wasn't like that nothing really was right when it would end up on the cart, I had to sit it crooked or sideways. The 3.5LS fits in a cart like a dream. The bag itself is very light weight. As the name indicates it is 3.5lbs and if your biggest issue with carrying your bag is weight well here is the winner. Besides the weight this things is very comfortable to carry I haven't walked much in recent years because of injuries and it didn't hardly seem like I was carrying a bag while I was playing. Even though I'm not in mid season walking form by the end I could have gone for another round, and truth be told my shoes were the biggest issue. The strap system is fantastic as it keeps the bag securely on your shoulders. It is slightly different than on my current bag with its special X-Strap system, I even single shoulder carried for most of a hole to see how it would hold up which it did well. Now if you get the straps turned around funny you can tell and it is not comfortable….but I would expect that as straps are made to go a specific way. I think the legs performed just ok. If I set the bag upright then shifted it forward 98% of the time they came out perfectly. If I was in longer grass or wasn't exactly upright the legs seemed to snag a bit. Nothing major but I could see this causing stress to some of the joints in the long run especially if you are like me and carry extra clubs when you are testing things out. The straps in general seemed set up perfect for me so I didn't mess with them a ton. That being said the minor adjustments I made were not terrible to do. Luckily I did not use the rain hood on the course because it was beautiful out. That being said I wish it was a little bigger. It seemed like a tight fit when I was attempting to put it on. Not a lot bigger just a tiny bit so it didn't squeeze everything so much. The dividers are a pretty straight forward 4 way divider. The nice thing about it is if you are like me you put your clubs in weird places or carry extra clubs which individuals dividers don't make easy. Clubs went into and out of the bag easily and I had no problems. I think the coolest feature on this bag is the drink holder. It is located on what I'll call the carry side of the bag just to the left of where your back is while you are walking. It gives you easy access to grab your sport drink or water without having to place your bag down or hassle with unzipping something. One of those small things you don't think about, but now that I have used it would feel dissatisfaction not having it.

Course Score: (40 of 50 points)

Performance Notes
How did it perform? Very well except for the few issues with the legs
Were you pleased with how the accessory performed?  Yes
Please compare and contrast it to what you are currently using? Much easier to carry than my Nike bag, more user friendly in general with better pocket placement. Nike tried to be a little too innovative while Sun Mountain stuck with placement quality. I'd give my Nike legs the nod, but not by much. Sun Mountain has the much lighter and compact bag making it much easier to carry and to fit in my trunk on the way to the course.
What factors were you pleased with? I was pleased with the dividers and the pockets the most. I'm always worried about storage and this bag has the perfect amount without causing you to find things months down the road because you forgot where you put them.
How did it compare to your current bag? I think they are comparable with the Sun Mountain out performing in the ability to carry and weight as well as pocket placement and the awesome drink pocket. The Nike has more pockets but they are not as useful or as thought out as the Sun Mountain, but the Legs seem more sturdy on the Nike. Overall Sun Mountain wins in the comparison.
What factors did you find lacking? I would have to say the legs. They just didn't perform as well for me as I would have hoped.
What improvements would you like to see? Sturdier legs/connecting pieces.  I would like a Velcro patch for my glove.
What would you do away with? I don't know if I would do away with anything. This bag was designed to be super light carry so it is already toned down in comparison to others.

Subjective
Looks & Durability

Appearance/graphics/packaging. The looks and appearance of this bag are on point. I chose the Red/White/Blue color scheme which also has an American Flag patch on it. If you are into the Ryder cup(guilty), Love America(guilty), or just really enjoy the color scheme then you will enjoy this bag. It is really sharp looking overall. Also there are a ton of other color scheme options to choose from with the majority of them being solid(everyone has those colors they don't care for).
Short term/long term durability. The Short term durability is there. I had his on a cart and carried it. It got knocked over in my garage(not a scratch). I put it in the trunk of my car for most of 2 weeks traveling to work and the golf course. Before any clubs were placed in it, it hung out in my home office where my kids managed to knock it over(once again no scratch, just an upset dad). As Far as long term durability I have some concerns. 1. The base seems to be a fairly thin plastic, now as long as I'm not throwing the bag around it should be fine. 2. Some of the stitching seems less than expected. It might last forever, but forever is a long time. 3. Some of the hinges especially on the foot that helps the legs extend seems like cheaper plastic than some of the other parts. Not saying it is destined to break but if I had to choose one thing to go wrong with this bag I would probably bet on that piece.
Other unique details. The most unique thing for me was the drink holder. Probably my favorite part of the bag and easily the coolest. Most of the other stuff is standard bag stuff, and maybe more bags out there have the drink holder(my Nike has a drink pouch which while playing is hard to get to)
How does it compare to other bags?
I think this is right on track with a lot of bags I have checked in store with the same concept of super lite. I would give the Sun Mountain the edge based on looks and overall thought that they put into the bag. While I might make a few minor upgrades this bag blows my last two bags out of the water when it comes to the thoughtfulness put into making it. It has more pockets than my hand me down bag but less than my Nike.
Looks Score: (22 of 30 points)

Likelihood of Purchase
How likely would you be to purchase this accessory?50%.
Why or why not? The key for me would be money. If I had just lost my bag or it was stolen or something along those lines this bag would be on the table for being chosen. That being said I think the price is a little high for what you are getting, don't get me wrong I really like this bag, probably enough to sway my pocketbooks. But the fact is I can get a bag like my Nike at a discounted price like I did for under $100. No matter what people say price is always a factor. If Money was no object and I was looking for a carry/stand bag, I would purchase this bag as it is fantastic even with the small issues I have had with it.

LOP Score: (15 of 20 points)

Subjective Notes
Like I have said throughout my review I really like this bag. Everything is very well thought out and the stylings are fantastic. Even though there are some minor things I think that could be changed I think this bag is well made and put together.

Conclusion & Final Score
So from beginning to end I have enjoyed doing this review. I will say reviewing a bag is tough it isn't like reviewing a club or a rangefinder because those things have obvious feedback you will see/feel. Bags are very subjective and each person is going to have a different view of the product, so everything I love about this bag someone else may hate. My bag is awesome I really like how it looks and a few of the little things about it. The straps are comfortable and it fits well in a cart as well. This is a brand new bag with features that might not be available everywhere(American Flag patch, drink holder, the special strap system) so I can see why this could be a good seller for Sun Mountain. That being said I think they need to look into the legs and maybe work on making those work a little better from non perfect lies. I think there are a few places where the quality could be increased without a ton of expenditure like some of the connectors and the foot. I think it is a winner and I think even with the minor issues I have regarding the bag it will be tough to convince me to use anything else. Thank you MGS and Sun Mountain for this opportunity. I will continue to update the feed over the next few months before winter hits here in Missouri so I can update everyone on how the bag is not only holding up but also on if my opinion changes.

Total Score: 77/100

https://shop.sunmountain.com/3.5-Bag-20167-detail.html

 

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First Impressions


This bag is Sexy. At least as sexy as a Cart bag can be. After looking over all the photos online I couldn’t wait for this bag to show up on my doorstep. It definitely did not disappoint in the looks department. Also it seems pretty light for a bag this size. When it’s empty anyways. This thing has a lot of pockets. A valuables pocket that is actually in a location that it might get some use. Several huge pockets for gear etc, a range finder pocket (guess I better get one now). The only downside I see is that the cooler pocket doesn't seem to be all that large. I’ll have to test that later, my current one I can fit a lot of beer in. Not the most important thing in the world seeing as I rarely use the cooler pocket anyways, but still something to think about. In total this thing has 10 pockets of varying sizes. Seems like I wont have much of any issue of finding places to put all my crap.


 


About Me


A little about myself. My name is Richard, I live in rural Minnesota. I have golfed since I was in elementary school. They eventually just let me keep my clubs up at the course so I wouldn’t have to try and ride bike up there carrying them on my back. After I moved away to college golf started to take a back seat. I more or less did not play for 10 years, and picked the game back up about 4 years ago.


 


I tend to shoot in the low 80’s and have a 7.0 handicap. I really do not have any huge strengths. I am relatively long but nowhere near the longest, my approaches are solid, but I’m not shooting darts, I have a decent short game, but not great. Typing that out just made me realize I am not a great scramble partner. I am just pretty good in most areas, but not great in any.


 


My biggest weakness is the mind game.  I definitely have a bit of a tin cup problem. I’ve never seen a par 5 that I couldn’t try and reach in two. 


 


Current and Past Bags


My current bag is a busted old cart bag that my younger brother got along with a compete set of clubs. This bag had the necessities, including a 14 full length dividers, a Putter Well, and enough big pockets that I could fit all my crap in the bag. Along with that I have an old Ping Moonlite bag that I take if I am going to walk. That bag is collecting dust seeing as I haven't walked in 3 years.


 


I have owned a Sun Mountain bag in the past. I do not remember the model, but I had a Sun Mountain stand bag for close to 10 years. The bag lasted a long time and I never had any real problems with it that is until the bottom of the bag literally fell off.


 


Additionally, in the past I have owned a Ping Hoofer. That was the first bag I can remember getting and that thing came with me through thick and thing. Before being selected to do this review I was in the market for a new bag, and was looking at either getting a Ping Pioneer. In large part due to my nostalgia for the old Ping Hoofer, and the reviews the Pioneer has gotten from mygolfspy.com the last few years.


 


What type of bag do you typically prefer?


 


I was for a long time a big believer in stand bags. I felt they are generally big enough for all my stuff, and the added convenience of the stand make them a no brainer. Then I was gifted my first cart bag. Now I am firmly in the cart bag camp. 


 


The three things I look for in a cart bag


 



  1. That it fits securely on a cart. This should be obvious, but I have seen too many bags that are just too big and barely allow a second bag on the cart. Additionally, maybe my biggest gripe with my previous bag was the built in strap pass through was too high, and couln’t be utilized by either Yamaha or Club Car carts. Which meant I had to put the strap through the handles on the bag instead which also meant it had to go over the putter well, where it occasionally would slide up onto the putter itself!
  2. Full Length Dividers. I want this on any bag I have in the future. My current bag has this and I have grown to love it. Weight isn’t all that important to me and this is a feature any bag I have must have. I really love having a dedicated putter well as well. 

  3. Convenient accessible storage. Both on and off the cart it should be easy to access all the pockets. My current bag had a limited number of large pockets. The large side pockets including the valuables pocket is on the side and if you are on the driver side it is relatively difficult to get at. 


 


Experience with Sun Mountain.


 


As I mentioned I was a long time owner of a Sun Mountain stand bag. The bag had all the features I needed. It lasted me close to 10 years, albeit 8 of them it was pretty much just in storage. I like the bag, and don’t think it had any quality issues. My only gripe with that bag was at the end of its life. The bottom of the bag literally fell out without warning. 


 


 


 


I do not want to set my expectations with this bag too high, but I am definitely excited to use it. The bag is beautiful and of my three things I look for in a cart bag it has two of them quickly apparent. It will take some time to determine exactly how convenient the storage is while its loaded on the cart.


 


 



Sun Mountain C130 Cart Bag Review Photos
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Sun Mountain C130 Cart Bag –

Official MGS Forum Review by Jurassic_Lawyer 

 

Screen Shot 2016-10-12 at 5.28.22 AM.png

 

Player Intro 

I definitely fall into the category of avid golfer. The average week in the summer includes 3-4 rounds of golf for me. I am not your traditional club ho. My putter has been with me since I got it nearly 15 years ago, my driver has lasted 3 seasons now, and the previous one stood with me for nearly 10 years. My 3-wood has been with me for I believe 5 seasons, and my hybrid has been in my bag since the beginning of last summer. I have been looking at replacing my wedges for 2 years, and can’t make a decision on the wedges to get so I am still playing my single CG10 that has been in my bag since they were released. Prior to trying this bag I was using a no-name cart bag that came with my brothers set of clubs. That bag was nearing the end of its life, but I was in no rush despite the fact that it was literally falling apart in places. When I find something that works I stick with it for as long as possible.      

 

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Performance  

Bag Layout

This thing has a ton of pockets. I love that. It makes it easy to keep your things in there own places. It has a dedicated cell phone pocket which is awesome! It even has a dedicated rangefinder pocket which I love and gives me an excuse to finally get one of those! All of the pockets are relatively easy to reach and the sheer quantity means that I can keep my bag more organized which is a major bonus in my opinion.  

 

My only issue with the pockets is that the cooler pocket is too small. I don't know if you could fit more than 2 cans in there. (I tested it after I wrote this and it will fit three 16 oz cans so it's slightly larger than I initially thought.) My previous bag could easily fit an entire 6-pack with ice in it. If the size of the cooler pocket is important to you, perhaps you might need to look elsewhere. However, my cooler pocket in my old bag became the "found balls" pocket, because I never used that pocket for its intended use anyways. So this doesn't really affect my usage of the bag at all.  

 

The bag fits securely and comfortably on the cart. The position of the cart strap pass through is perfect. I was able to test it out on Club Car, EZ Go’s, and Yamaha golf carts and it worked perfectly on all of them. My old bag wouldn’t fit any of them and it caused me tons of grief. So that is a huge selling point for me and I am very happy with how it works.  

 

The smart strap system is a pretty neat idea it allows you to connect your bag to the cart without using the onboard cart strap. This means you can entirely by pass the cart strap. This is a pretty neat idea, but I would love to see it improved upon. First of all I didn’t fully trust it was going to hold as secure as I wanted it to. I’ll stick with the pass through for now, its just easier.  

 

The bag has 14 full length dividers including an oversized putter well and they work perfectly. I have not had any issues with clubs getting stuck or being difficult to put in their place. I do not have an oversized putter grip, but I cannot imagine anyone having one so big that they could not fit their putter in there. In fact I found myself quite often putting both my putter and sand wedge in the putter well when I was feeling rushed.  

 

On the whole it does its job about as well as can be asked for. It has a great divider system, and huge putter well that will fit the fattest of putter grips. The C130 has a ton of pockets that allow you to keep all your gear organized, including lined pockets dedicated for your cell phone and range finder. It has enough pockets that my whiskey found it own pocket! I absolutely love this bag performance on the course. The only improvements could be a slight better setup for the cooler pocket. Additionally, the smart strap system is a brilliant idea, but it could be easily improved upon.    

 

Course Score: 48/50   

 

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Performance Notes: 

Initially I had a few worries about the bags on the course usability. I was concerned the sheer size and positioning of the pockets would cause issues with fitting on carts with other cart bags, and it would have some pockets that weren’t accessible when sharing the cart. Those two issues turned out to be nonfactors with the C130. The bag shares the cart well with others, and all the pockets are in my opinion perfectly located so as to be always accesible. The actual on course usability of this bag seems hard to improve upon.

 

Again the only issue I found was with the size of the cooler pocket. The number and variety of pockets mean that all of my gear has a place to call home. It has definitely improved upon my previous organization system. (throw everything into one pocket and hope it doesn't take to long to find a tee when you need one…)  I absolutely loved the dedicated cell phone and range finder pockets! This bag is light years above the bag I was using.

 

My previous bag, first of all had accessibility issues which is my number one concern when looking at a cart bag. It is too easy for them to get too bulky and pockets can easily become unusable when sharing a cart with another bag. The Sun Mountain C130 cleverly placed the pockets so that they were relatively easy to get at even when sharing the cart.  

 

Another issue that many golfers would have with my previous bag was the putter well would be entirely unusable with a large gripped putter. This bag could fit the fattest grip on the market and have space to spare. With the grips seemingly getting bigger and bigger this is a pretty great feature for many.  

 

Finally, my biggest problem with my previous bag was the cart strap pass through. It was located too high and was literally unusable. This bag has both the pass through which works at all levels. Additionally, it has its own smart strap system which using velcro straps allow you to bypass the carts strap system altogether. This is a pretty neat feature, but could use some improvement in my opinion. It needs a bit more of the velcro in order to tighten it up to the degree I would like.    

 

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Subjective

Looks & Durability

I love the color scheme on this bag. The red and black obviously look great together. In my opinion if I had to choose one word to describe this bag it would be SEXY!  I usually hate over branding and badging. This bag isn't too bad, but it doesn't let you forget that it’s a Sun Mountain golf bag either. Of course that is the same case with every other bag maker out there.  

 

The C130 is a solid bag. It might be part of the fact that it is a cart bag but this bag just feels solid. There are no durability issues that became immediately apparent, and everything about this bag shouts that it will still be going strong in 10 years. On the whole I love the look and the sturdiness of the C130. Prior to winning this contest I was looking very closely at getting a Ping Pioneer, and can say that I like the color scheme and badging on this more than that of the Pioneer and other bags I was looking at.    

 

Looks Score: 28/30 

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Likelihood of Purchase 

Now that I have had it for a few weeks I can honestly say that I would most definitely purchase it. First of all I love the pocket system, I truly have space for all my crap and am able to keep it relatively organized. Also it is important to me that my bag looks nice, and this one definitely does.  On the whole, the only ways the bag could be improved would be a club locking system, (not important to me), a bigger cooler pocket (not important to me) and less branding (I’ve never seen a bag that didn’t have this problem).

   

LOP Score: 20/20 

 

Screen Shot 2016-10-12 at 5.37.53 AM.png 

 

Conclusion & Final Score 

I hate to keep saying it over and over again, but everything about this thing screams quality. I have had this bag out on the course a dozen times or so now. (It’s starting to get cold here in Minnesota) Each time I’ve brought it out I’ve noticed new things about the bag that I liked. Additionally, I am 3 for 3 in Monday night scrambles getting compliments on it. The only reason I wouldn’t recommend this bag is if you need your golf bag to pull double duty as a cooler for a 6 pack of beer. I don't and would guess most you here don’t so that’s why this bag deserves to get such a high score.  

 

Total Score: 96/100 

 

Sun Mountain C130
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Stage 1 of my review is up!

 

Looking forward to answering any and all questions from the community!

Really tremendous first thoughts Joe. And fantastic pics. So cool you got to review a 2017 model.

 

One thing that struck me as I was reading. It's really interesting how companies of all equipment are using technology to make equipment liter but more also more stable. It's not just in drivers.

 

I unfortunately have an over abundance of bags right now. But initial thoughts on this look like it'll be a big hit.

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Nice start Joe!!!!  Love the 545's in the bags.  I would like to know what kind of bag/chatter dents you might get on your irons with the 4-way system.  might pick up a C-130s in the very near future or the SRX tour stand bag....

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Nice start Joe!!!! Love the 545's in the bags. I would like to know what kind of bag/chatter dents you might get on your irons with the 4-way system. might pick up a C-130s in the very near future or the SRX tour stand bag....

It's interesting with the 4 way divider. It seems like there's be more bag chatter but with my old bag I noticed that the clubs are nestled together so they really don't move around much when walking. I can't really speak to how it is when riding.

 

I'll definitely see if it's similar with the 3.5ls but based on how the clubs are resting in the bag I'm willing to bet it's similar.

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So I went to practice my chipping and putting this morning and thought a would record a 'bag chatter' video on the way back to my car.  Since the clubs are resting on each other there really isn't that much chatter, but I have never owned a bag with anything more than 5 dividers so I really can't compare it.

 

Sun Mountain does have a 14way stand bag in it's lineup with the Four5, but it is a pound heavier so it is obviously not vying for the "lightweight" classification that the 3.5LS is in.

 

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Love the video.  I may in the minority, but I like the bag chatter sound.  Just kind adds to the experience in my mind.  Kind of like metal cleats used sound like walking on concrete.   yep, I'm that old...ha

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Unfortunately the course we played this morning had mandatory carts before noon, but the 3.5ls did extremely well on the cart. Only needed to adjust items once.

 

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