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Sun Mountain MicroCart - REVIEW


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MyGolfSpy.com Official Gadget Review – The Sun Mountain MicroCart

http://www.sunmountain.com/

 

If three wheels are better than two, are four wheels then better than three?

I think that one would have a difficult time arguing that the introduction of the Sun Mountain Speed Cart did not change the dynamic for using a cart to transport one's clubs during a round of golf. With the Speed Cart's introduction, gone were the days of dragging heavy two-wheeled, often falling over, pull carts around the course. Granted some still do drag those ancient rolling two-wheeled leviathans through a round, but these days you are more likely to find the two-wheel cart in a thrift store than on the course.

 

So keeping the Speed Cart's pedigree in mind, when Sun Mountain introduces a cart that deviates from that successful design, one can't help but be curious. Enter the Sun Mountain MicroCart. The MicroCart is not a rehashed version of the Speed Cart, but rather an entirely new four-wheeled design. The MicroCart is not here to replace the Speed Cart, but rather run parallel to it, perhaps addressing a need or section of the golfing population not addressed by the Speed Cart.

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Keeping with the criteria that I used for the other pushcart review, I'll score the MicroCart in the following areas: Innovation, Ease of Use, Value, Aesthetics, and Performance.

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Innovation

Adding a fourth wheel to a pushcart may not seem to be a huge innovation at first glance, lots of things that we encounter each day roll on four wheels. However when you look at the MicroCart, you can see that the addition of the fourth wheel allows the geometry of the car's tubing to be quite different from that found in the Speed Cart. Sun Mountain's website lists one advantage of the design is that the center of gravity of the cart is low to the ground and thus more stable. I did find that the cart is very stable when opened. Once you add a bag of clubs to the cart, it holds its position like a veteran offensive lineman.

 

In addition to the fourth wheel, there are other points of innovation in design worth commenting on. First, it comes standard with a nicely sized storage pouch. It has a couple of compartments for gear, including a zippered mesh compartment that is quite large. The pouch is sits at the base of the cart, thus keeping the center of gravity low when loaded with gear. One thing I would have liked to see in the pouch is some kind of insulated compartment that could serve as a covert ice chest for the occasional adult soda smuggling mission.

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The top console is easy to access, divided into two sections, and quite large. The base of the console's interior is padded and non-slip. Outside, at the front of the console are multiple holes to hold tees along with one ball holder cup that doubles as a tool to draw a line on your ball.

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Atop the console are a small metal plate and a very strong magnet on a plastic tether that serve to hold both a scorecard and pencil in place. For full disclosure, it did take me a bit to figure out where the pencil went. This magnet is very strong and works perfectly for its intended purpose. However, this strong magnet also sits over the part in the console where one would likely store electronics such as a GPS, laser rangefinder, or cell phone. To check the magnetic field in the console, I took a rather large washer and the magnet was able to hold it to the underside of the lid. So even with the plastic lid between the magnet and the washer, the attraction was significant enough to hold the metal washer. I have no evidence that the magnetic field generated by the magnet could mess up my iPhone if I stored it under the magnet in the console, but the risk was enough to have me put my phone (and thus my digital scorecard) in my bag instead.

Innovation Score: 18/20

 

Ease of Use

The MicroCart is quite small when folded, (24.5" X 16" X 12") and light (12.5 lbs.) When the box containing the cart showed up at the house, my wife was sure that the box was too small and too light to contain a pushcart. The compact dimensions of the MicroCart and the light weight are a huge benefit to the user when he or she is taking the cart into or out of the trunk of the car. My mother who has some arthritis issues in her shoulders and hands had no problem placing the cart into the trunk of her car. We'll come back to her later...

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Unfolding and folding the cart is a relatively simple two-step process with the cart being secured by two bright yellow latching mechanisms. For me the bottom latch functioned perfectly from the get go. The top latch is a little bit more finicky. Not that it is difficult to latch, but there were a couple of times initially where I thought I had it secured only to have the handle and console drop when I let go. The top latch never came unhooked during use, but I didn't feel totally confident that I had it securely fastened.

 

Once it is unfolded and secured, you fold down the bag rest on the bottom near the front wheels, and then just set your bag in between the smart brackets and you are off to the first tee.

 

Folding the cart was also quite easy, but I had to make sure that the lower pouch was empty and out of the way during the fold. It is also a good idea to empty out the top console before folding and transport. In addition, I got into the habit of checking that the cup-holder latch was secure before picking up the cart to put it in the trunk.

Ease of Use Score: 18/20

 

Value

The MicroCart is available for $199 at most of the retailers that I checked out online. This does represent a significant initial investment, but if the purchase of the cart prevents you from paying riding cart fees then you will recoup that initial cost in less then one season of play. The MicroCart is also a very well constructed unit that should last through multiple rounds if not seasons.

Value Score: 20/20

 

Aesthetics

I like the looks of this cart quite a bit. It does appear more compact than its Speed Cart cousins. I actually find the overall looks of the cart to be somewhat conservative and understated. Case in point the Sun Mountain name near the console is shown via cut out letters that show the colored metal below as opposed to a bright white painted on logo.

Aesthetics Score: 10/10

 

Performance

Of course, the ultimate question is how was it on the course. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of the MicroCart. When I first looked at the cart, it seemed like the wheelbase was too narrow to be very stable on the course, especially on any type of slope. The low center of gravity as mentioned previously makes this cart just hug the turf. I pushed it up and down every slope and side slope I could while playing. Not once did it even feel close to falling over. The brake is also excellent and easy to engage. If you park it and put the brake on it will be there when you return to it.

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I also thought that the seemingly smaller wheels would make pushing the cart more difficult. Again, my fears were unfounded. This thing just rolls and rolls. I tend to play from the longer grass during my rounds and this cart just blazed through. Pushing it across a dry fairway was not all that different from pushing it in the parking lot. Actually, it almost got away from me in the parking lot when I gave it the first push to see how it would roll. The solid wheels held all terrains without collecting too much debris. Way more junk stuck to my shoes.

 

As much as I enjoyed the cart, there are some aspects of the cart that did not work for me personally. First of all, while the handle can be adjusted to multiple heights, when I set it to a comfortable height (quite comfortable, btw) the console ended up angled down toward the front of the cart. This means that all of the stuff you are storing moves toward that end of the console. The pad inside the console reduces this skid somewhat. For me, it also brought the magnetic scorecard holder into play again. My phone could have fit at the upper end of the console, but I was concerned that it would slide down under the magnet during travel. The ability to set the console to different heights, maybe even independent of handle height, would be a welcome improvement in a future model. I believe that adding sliding adjustments to the front attachment points for the console would allow you to adjust the handle to the appropriate height and then adjust the console to a level of one's liking.

 

I am also somewhat lukewarm on the handle grips. They remind me of what we called “mushroom” grips back when I was a kid riding bmx bikes. They are not uncomfortable to hold; maybe distracting is a better term. For me, every time I pushed the cart I thought “Oh, mushroom grips...” I guess I would prefer a grip that I did not notice, if that makes sense. Truly, this is a minor issue, and possibly unique to me.

 

I also would like to see the accessory offerings for the MicroCart expanded. Maybe introduce an insulated insert for the bottom storage bag, or a fitted cover for the wheels to keep grass out of your car's trunk. And, of course, add my favorite cart accessory, the folding seat.

Performance Score 37/40

 

Overall Score: 93/100

 

Summary

The Sun Mountain MicroCart represents another quality pushcart from the company that brought golfers the pioneering Speed Cart. It is light, compact when folded, stable on the course, and built of quality materials that should last the average golfer numerous rounds. If you are looking for a cart that sheds size and weight without losing quality, the Sun Mountain MicroCart will likely work great for you.

 

 

You Mentioned Something About Your Mom...

So while I was shooting some photos of the cart at my house, my mom stopped by for a visit. My mom is an avid golfer and part of a weekly women's golf group at the local course. She is also a dedicated walker when she plays. I won't publish mom's age, but I'm 42 so do the math.

 

So she asked me what I was doing and then followed up with a series of questions about what I thought about the cart. I mentioned how light the cart was and how well it fit in my trunk. Then our conversation went this way.

 

Mom: “Can I try to open and close it?”

Me: “Sure.”

 

Mom: “Will it fit any bag?”

Me: “Sure. Sun Mountain does make a MicroCart specific bag, but just about any bag should work.” (MCB Bag is HERE)

 

Mom: “Do you think I can lift it?”

Me: “Let's see.”

 

Mom: “Well will it fit in my trunk?”

Me: “Umm, let's see.”

 

At this point I began to realize that something was a bit fishy. Mom drives an Impala. My Accord will almost fit in the trunk. After the cart was in her sleeps-six trunk, the obvious question followed, “Can I borrow this for my round this week?” Before she started in on how long my labor took and how wide my shoulders were, I said that “borrowing” the cart would be fine.

 

So, I now include the GolfSpy_Mom Supplemental Review.

• It was very easy to get in and out of the car.

• Unfolding the cart was tough at first, but easier with practice.

• Latching the cart was easy, even when her arthritis was acting up.

• Her bag fit great and the cart rolled like a dream.

• The console height is great and the grips feel great. (go figure)

• The other women in her group were very envious.

 

In closing, if you want to see any more photos or if you have any questions down the road about durability send them to me and I'll go find mom.

Volvo Intorqueo

 

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @golfspy_dave

 

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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These are cool. I've used one a few times. Never with the bag though. Uphill I say the 3 wheel is easier, overall I'd say the Micro is the better cart. Its turns better and doesn't tend to take off on you. Because it sits a little lower getting clubs in and out seems a little easier.

I have a revolving WITB policy.

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I was actually deciding between the Micro, Clicgear 3.0 and BigMax IQ -> http://www.bigmaxgolf.com/en/products/trollies/push-trollies/iq

 

In the end, just went for the Clicgear thanks to Sactown's review + 99% positive reviews online, besides I like funky colors! So the kiwi green sealed the deal for me!

 

The 4 wheel design looks kind of chunky for my taste, but its lighter weight and smaller folded dimensions beat Clicgear's stats.

 

For some reason, the Micro and BigMax IQ were also more expensive than the Clicgear, so it wasn't hard to make up my mind :P

 

Anyways, just ordered my Clicgear 3.0 and should be getting it tomorrow!

:cobra-small: SpeedZone 9* w/ Aldila Rogue Silver 60 S
:callaway-small: X2 Hot 3 Deep 14.5* w/ Aldila Tour Green 75 S
:taylormade-small: JetSpeed 5W 19* w/ Matrix Velox T 69 S OR :adams-small: Super LS 3H 19* w/ Kuro Kage Black 80 S
:mizuno-small: JPX919 Forged 4-PW w/ Modus3 105 S
:titelist-small: Vokey SM7 50/08F, 54/14F & 58/08M w/ Modus3 115 Wedge
:EVNROLL: ER1 34" w/ SuperStroke Fatso 2.0
MfleKCg.jpg Pro / 9dZCgaF.jpgH2NO Lite Cart Bag / :Clicgear: 3.0 / :918457628_PrecisionPro: NX7 Pro LRF

My reviews: MLA Putter // Titleist SM7 // PING i500 // PuttOUT

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