Vessel makes golf’s best bags. Period. Since getting my first last year (the Player 2.0 stand bag, reviewed here), I’m comfortable stating that as a fact.
I’m so enamored at this point with the brand and product experience, though, that I’m venturing out to try other products in their line to fit my other golf needs. The first of these other products I’m currently bringing in to the fold is the Lux XV Cart Bag.
Released this past December, the Lux XV sold out in all colorways quickly via pre-sale. It’s available again online now, though, which makes this the perfect time to talk about it and the amazing golf brand known as Vessel.
As high-end, luxury-performance bags in the $350-and-up price range, consumers are right to expect a lot from their investment in a Vessel bag, and – in my humble opinion – they over-deliver.
Vessel makes the nicest golf bags I’ve ever used or seen, and the only competition close are the brands who private label with them.
Their focus on sleek, functional and minimalistic style is unrivaled in an industry that is otherwise dominated by bright and flashy, bold and athletic. Vessel’s focus is on performance and classic looks – they take pride in having their bags perform as flawlessly as they look.
Vessel’s Tour-grade synthetic leather has a wonderful feel and has proven to be quite durable. I was nervous when I first got my Player 2.0 bag last year, for example, about having a white-colored bag. After a full season of golf, there has been no fading or discoloration; it looks as great as the day it arrived.
I’ll have even less to worry about with my new Lux XV cart bag. The matte gray color is so cool, especially with black and dark metal accents and white lettering.
I’ve had issues with the zippers breaking down on all my previous golf bags. Knowing this tends to be an area of concern, Vessel utilizes metal connectors in conjunction with their genuine leather pulls and gussets to withstand rust and corrosion.
That’s consistent throughout their product line: All touchpoints are crafted with high-quality construction and materials. Those pain points you’ve seen with other brands’ bags? Vessel’s found a way to engineer something a little extra that others don’t.
Plus, the Lux XV is a beautiful looking golf bag and has all the aesthetics you’d expect for $385.
What makes Vessel bags truly special, though, is their design and functionality, which I’ll get in to next.
That, and they live a wonderful mission in society. For every golf bag purchased, Vessel donates a school backpack to a child in need. My Lux XV marks 90,013 total bags donated to those less fortunate.
Vessel packs these bags full of school supplies, food and living essentials for kids across the US and internationally.
Setup and Performance
The Lux XV is feature rich, to say the least, and was designed to provide an optimal player experience while using a golf cart or trolley. It’s that second part I had in mind when getting my Lux XV cart bag: For use with my Bat-Caddy X4R electric caddy / trolley.
Cart bags are recommended with trolleys to help provide weight and stability, but they serve the added purpose of allowing players to carry more. For a guy like me, that’s huge. I can fit my drone in either of the oversized side pockets and a coat or hoodie in the other (or several), hundreds of tees and dozens of balls, my Bushnell Wingman Bluetooth speaker, rangefinder, a 32-ounce Yeti and large bottle of Gatorade, my wallet, wedding ring and all my valuables (locked up), plenty of extra gloves and accessories and still have enough room to throw 8 beers in the cooler pockets (if I wanted to).
The only real limit to how much stuff you can carry with the Lux XV cart bag is A) How heavy of a bag you can lift in to and out of your car, and B) If using it with an electric caddy, its weight capacity (~ 77 pounds for my X4R, but keep in mind a heavier bag will adversely affect battery life).
For club storage, the Lux XV comes standard with a 15-way divider top that keeps all clubs separated, including an oversized putter well that works with grips of all sizes (eg: SuperStroke and other fat setups). This is my first time owning a bag with individual dividers, and it took some time to figure out my organizational strategy.
Here is where my one complaint about the Lux XV comes in: When used on my trolley or with the rain cover, some wells can be tough to access irons or wedges from. In both cases, it would be more convenient to have a 3- to 5-way divider configuration, but I’m figuring out ways around it… Talk about first-world problems, I know 🙂
I haven’t figured out a way around the rain cover issue yet, but have found that by putting my driver, fairway woods and 3-hybrid toward the back (against the base of the caddy), it makes all my clubs more accessible and my irons and wedges more visible.
My original hesitancy with a 15-way divider system had to do with grips. Other bags I’ve seen set up that way had a top divider that kept club faces spaced out but then entwined the grips underneath. Especially with Arccos sensors that cost $15 apiece to replace attached to each grip, it was a valid concern.
The Lux XV features full-length dividers, though, to keep clubs isolated entirely, avoid sub-surface entanglement and keep my sensors attached and working properly.
The little things
Being a second-time Vessel owner, I write this review with so much more knowledge and experience of the brand than when I reviewed the Player 2.0. I was crushing on its great looks and specs at the time. It was a strong emotional connection, sure, but it was surface-level and we were still in the honeymoon stage.
Those emotions have only grown over time, and it’s consistently surprised me along the way. One day we got poured on at Brown Deer, for example, and I discovered the same-material rain cover and its simple but ingenious two-way zipper that allowed me to peruse club selection quickly without having to reattach the rain cover each time to keep my clubs dry. So smart!
After ~ 35 rounds of golf together, here are some of my favorite features on Vessel Bags:
- Magnetic rangefinder pockets – I show these off to everyone who asks about my bag
- The luxurious straps on my stand bag, always in a comfortable position because of the self-adjusting Equilibrium strap system
- Sturdy, high-quality gunmetal alloy YKK zippers and pulls – zippers have always been a pain point on other bags
- 2-way zipping, matching rain cover
- Velour-lined, microfiber pockets
- Expandable, magnetic water bottle holders
- Durable side handles on the cart bag for lifting
I’ll admit I also enjoy the way others check it out on the bag rack. Vessel bags are gorgeous, and people notice. At the practice green by Mammoth Dunes at Sand Valley, for example, I had four separate caddies or other players compliment me on my bag or ask to feel it. It’s like bringing the prettiest girl to the ball.
The feature of Vessel Bags that gets me every time is the magnetic pocket, and the Lux XV has two. It’s a pull pocket with a strong magnet that lets you quickly access things like your rangefinder, tees and other accessories without constantly zipping and unzipping. It’s a very satisfying “snap” that I’ve come to love.
The Lux XV has another magnetic, snapping feature, too: The upper pocket pod that pulls away to allow the cart strap to secure underneath. Again, it’s smart design that’s elemental after the fact, but it’s not something I’ve seen elsewhere. Having the strap routed behind this pocket eliminates the wear and tear a cart strap can otherwise inflict on the leather (especially in conjunction with the neoprene strap sleeve, which is an accessory they’re currently including free of charge).
The Lux XV was designed to keep everything in front of you, providing ample storage in a center column with mirrored storage options on each side.
From top-to-bottom, this includes the first magnetic easy-access pocket, a deep zippered accessories pocket, the second magnetic rangefinder pocket and a large ball storage compartment.
Each side then has a large zippered garment compartment that runs the length of the bag (each with a locking interior valuables pocket and combination lock), a microfiber-lined personals pocket, pen sleeve, cooler compartment that holds four 12-ounce cans per side, and an insulated, magnetic, self-expanding and drainable water bottle carrier that carries my 32-ounce Yeti snugly.
Now that mid-April has arrived and the golf season is finally rounding in to view here in the Midwest, I can’t be more excited to get to know my new Vessel playing companion better.
If you’re in the market for a new golf bag this season, and looking for something top-of-line, trust me when I say Vessel is worth the extra money. Whether it’s a cart bag like the Lux XV, one of their Pro Staff bags (used by Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Steve Stricker, Patrick Reed and dozens of others on the PGA Tour and LPGA), or a more traditional carry bag like the updated Player 3, Lite Lux or VLX stand bags, the difference in craftsmanship, aesthetics and features/performance with Vessel is far superior to anything else on the market.
It’s pricier, but it’s worth it, and so are you.
Vessel’s got a customer for life in me, and I’m confident if you make one of their bags your next golf investment they’ll make a customer for life out of you, too.
Brand: Vessel Bags
Product: Lux XV Cart Bag
Price as shown: $385 + $35 personalization
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