“Walking or Riding?”
The age-old question every golfer is asked at the pro shop desk. I don’t know about you, but I usually say riding. Walking an 18-hole round is appealing to me, but not with clubs strapped to my back. Well, that is about to change as I find my clubs strapped to the MGI Zip Navigator and no longer need to hop in a cart.
I find the trek between shots calming, and to truly experience a golf course I feel you need to walk it.
When the box arrived for this cart I was surprised at how small it was. How could an electric cart fit in this? Then, when unboxing it I found all that needed to be done was to attach the wheels and charge the battery and I was ready for the course. If I didn’t know this was an electric cart I would not have been able to tell.
The motor housing is so compact and the styling is so nice that you will blend right in on the course. I am not usually one to read an instruction manual, but I would take 5 minutes to look through the materials that come with the cart. There are a couple of hinges and snaps you need to be aware of when setting up the cart.
Weight and Size
2 of the biggest questions you should ask before purchasing an electric cart should be: “Will this fit in my trunk?” and “Can I lift this into my trunk?” I can tell you with the Zip Navigator the answer is a resounding yes to both of these questions.
Coming in at a little under 35 pounds the cart is not light as a feather but I found it to be manageable to load and unload from my trunk without issue. The weight of it is actually a plus as it feels very sturdy on the course and you don’t need to worry about it tipping.
The overall folded dimensions of the cart are stated as 27.16″x24″x15.74″. Take a look at some of the pictures below to get a sense of size in the trunk along with the profile compared to my Sun Mountain Micro Cart.
Will My Bag Fit?
I have owned a variety of push carts over the years – everything from 2 to 4 wheels, and one of the issues I always faced is whether my bag will fit on the cart. So I tested the Zip Navigator with 3 different sized bags so you can see exactly how your bag will fit.
I am pleased to say I had no issues with any bag, from a simple stand setup to a full staff bag. The bags all fit securely and I never had a problem with any falling off on the course. There are bungie style straps for both the top and bottom of the bag and there was enough adjustment area on both that they were able to keep it securely fashioned to the cart no matter the size.
Out on the Course
Taking the Zip Navigator out on the course was an absolute treat. Watch the video below to see it in action:
Here are a couple of points to highlight from the testing performed:
- Noise – This cart is whisper quiet. I think my regular push cart is louder going down the fairway. You won’t have to worry about interrupting anyone in your foursome when using the Zip Navigator.
- Stability – With the built-in gyroscope I never once felt like the cart would tip even when executing turns or going over bumpy terrain. MGI’s proprietary gyroscopic technology keeps the Zip Navigator on a stable forward path even when encountering bumps, slants and divots. Additionally, the weight of the cart made me feel at ease when traversing the course, and traction was never an issue across flat surfaces.
- Hills – The 4th wheel in the rear (anti-tip device) kept the cart from tipping over on small hills when traversing unattended. The cart struggled at times to get traction over larger hills, though, so I’d recommend holding the handle to ensure you make it up steeper inclines without spilling.
- Manual movement – One thing I found to be a struggle is the manual movement of the cart. When the wheels are attached to the motor it does not allow them to spin freely. If you need to manually move the cart for some reason, you’ll just need to set the wheels to free spin or else lift the cart so that only the front wheels are touching the ground. I didn’t really find this to be an issue on the course but thought it was worth noting.
- Remote – There is a wireless remote included with the Zip. I found it to be quite handy and left it attached to my belt clip between shots. I never lost range with the remote, but the cart supposedly stops if the connection is lost. There are lock and unlock buttons on the remote if you would like to slip it in your pocket and are worried about starting it by accident. Overall, I really liked not having to physically touch the cart every time I wanted to move it, and the convenience of the remote cannot be overstated.
- Speed – There are variable speeds for the cart but this thing can really move. It never had trouble keeping up and had plenty of power climbing hills. After a few rounds you will settle in on the right pace with the cart. There is an easy-to-use dial on the handlebar to adjust the speed, and to start the cart you simply press once on the dial and again to stop it.
- Turning – The cart has a zero-point turn radius, allowing you to move the cart in a full 360-degree rotation with ease. You are also able to reverse the cart all by using the remote.
- Setup – You can assemble and put the cart away after your round in under a minute. Take a look at the video below to see just how easy it is to get the Navigator up and running:
How Long does it Last?
Let’s keep the review PG here guys! Through my testing of the product I never fully drained the battery, but all of the other reviews I’ve read online stated it lasts about 36-40 holes. I think that is probably a fair assessment and that you probably do not need to charge it after every single round (though it wouldn’t hurt).
The Zip Navigator is powered by a 24v 380w lithium ion battery that is easily detached from the unit to help keep the weight down during loading and unloading. I never felt the power or speed decrease after use and there is a handy battery gauge to keep your eye on the charge level.
If you ever do find yourself running out of battery on the course, it is easy to adjust the wheels to a free-spinning position and you can simply push the cart.
There are a couple cool features that I think are worth noting on this product.
- USB Port – The back of the top handle has a USB charging port. I found this handy to charge the remote if I forgot or to keep my phone plugged in during the round.
- Distance – There is a nice distance keeper on the cart which will show you how far you have walked for the round and also the season. This is a good way to log some bragging rights with your friends and also justify golf versus the gym.
- Accessories – MGI offers a number of accessories that attach to the Zip Navigator (listed below). I tried the water bottle and umbrella holders. Both attached securely to the cart with no issues.
- Flipping the wheels – One trick I learned is that you can remove the wheels from the cart, flip and reattach them for storage. This kept the overall profile of the cart in my trunk to be quite manageable.
- Wheel Covers – This may seem like a small thing, but the Navigator came with wheel covers. After a wet or muddy round, I appreciated being able to put these on the wheels to keep my trunk clean.
MGI offers an impressive list of accessories that can be paired with your Zip Navigator to make it the ultimate golf machine. If you plan on using this for every round, I would highly recommend investing in some additional gadgets for it. One thing that is noticeably missing is some sort of all-purpose bag or net to hold items. Plan on using one of your bag pockets for any miscellaneous items not called out to fit in an accessory listed below:
- Zip Travel Bag
- Zip Umbrella Holder Extender
- Zip Wheel Covers
- Zip Multi-Purpose Clip
- Zip Scorecard Holder
- Zip Drink Bottle Holder
- Zip Sand Bottle
- Zip Sand Bucket Loop
- Zip Umbrella Holder
- Zip Seat
- Zip and Quad Series Rain Cover (Universal)
Other electric carts
MGI offers a wide range of electric carts priced from $600 for their X1 model up to $1500 for the Zip Navigator. In the industry as a whole, there are more electric carts that seem to come to market every year.
So how do you choose what is right for you? Make sure to look at power, portability, ease of use, battery life, accessories and warranty. Also look for a brand that has some experience. MGI has proven itself to be a leader in this space with the history and knowledge to back it up. While the Zip Navigator sits in the premium category as far as cost and features go, I think it’s worth it.
Buying a Zip Navigator is an investment. Do I think it’s worth it for a frequent golfer? Absolutely.
You will make your money back in a single season on cart fees not to mention the health benefits of walking a course. The quality of this cart is absolutely amazing and I think anyone would be able to use it.
You also cannot even tell this is a battery-powered cart if that is something that concerns you. The sleek profile and minimal motor housing disguises its ability nicely, and the easy-turn radius is something that cannot be overlooked compared to its competition. Also, the fact that you can pair so many accessories with this cart makes it easy for you to have everything you need to play great golf at your fingertips. I cannot say enough good things about the Zip Navigator, and if you are a serious golfer who wants to walk the course then this is the product for you.
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