My first ever electric caddy was the BatCaddy X4R, which I wrote about in an extensive product review back in November of 2020. It was my initial foray into electric carts – a product segment I’ve been touting for a while now that’s finally hitting the Midwest golf scene with vigor – and it’s been a dependable and beloved companion for dozens of rounds together.
The X4R has practically become an extension of my own body, holding my golf bag securely in place and allowing me to store as many accessories as I can fit into a Vessel Lux XV Cart Bag (a lot!) while chauffeuring my clubs across the links in style. She’s carried them with balance and grace, traversing fairways and climbing hills – thankfully including the steep 13th at my home course North Hills Country Club – and has drawn a lot of looks and started tons of conversations.
While I’ve loved my time with the X4R, the new season meant it was time for a new cart, too, and this year that upgrade came in the form of my all-new, decked out in WiscoGolfAddict green and grey, eye-turning BatCaddy X8R.
The custom-colored X8R allows players to express their own style with their piece of equipment that will probably get noticed the most: Their e-caddy.
Nicely upgraded from its predecessors, the X8R features a streamlined setup process, expanded accessories package and improved overall functionality versus the X4R. It also allows players to customize its looks, including the frame and wheels, to truly make it a one-of-a-kind golf companion.
With 2,000 colors to choose from, the process for customizing an X8R walks buyers through five simple steps (my selections are italicized):
- Choose the frame finish (gloss or metallic)
- Select the frame color (Elf Shoe Green to closely match the WiscoGolfAddict logo)
- Choose the wheel finish (gloss or metallic)
- Select the wheel color (Garrison Gray to closely match my Vessel Lux XV cart bag)
- Choose a battery (Sealed Lead Acid, Standard Lithium (Li-Ion) or Advanced Lithium (LifePO4))
To break that down, the paint has a less reflective surface and colors to match my site’s logo, and the caddy has the mother of all golf cart batteries (BatCaddy is one of the only companies to offer Lithium-Iron-Phosphate batteries) that will last 36 holes with ease.
The LiFePo4 battery provides double the golf on a single charge and up to ten times more charging cycles than a standard sealed lead acid battery (2-3 times more than the standard Lithium-Ion option). This $300 upcharge over the outdated sealed lead acid option (or $150 more than Li-Ion) should yield well over 1,000 life cycles, ensuring I’ll be able to use my BatCaddy for many, many seasons to come.
Custom colored caddies
So, why custom colors? In my experience, many of the golf enthusiasts who ask me about electric caddies are women. While ladies are I’m sure fine with a black or metal-looking electric caddy, the advanced color selection options allow them to accessorize the way many of them want to. To be honest, I love accessorizing, too, but may not always admit to it. Either way, who wouldn’t love their most prized piece of golf equipment to be unique to them?!
Golf is an incredibly personalized sport, and if you’ve followed along with Troy’s and my product reviews over the years then you’ve probably noticed a massive trend towards products that express personal identity and creativity. Look no farther than the dozens of new entrants into the apparel and accessories spaces and you’ll see there are products for every type of golf enthusiast that speaks to a myriad parts of their personality.
BatCaddy does custom color right, too, hand-painting each caddy six times (!) with automotive level finishes to ensure its finish [and thus its connection with your own unique identity] will withstand fading, peeling and chipping over time.
The new and improved X8R
Beyond colors, what’s new and great about the X8R?
To start, BatCaddy upgraded the accessories package on the X8R. Included in these upgrades are more comfortable and ergonomic handles, significantly enhanced rear anti-tippers (the X8R now has oversized dual-wheel “Mountain Slayers” that I’ve found to be noticeably more stable going up hills versus anything else on the market), more substantial wheels with better tread, a longer/wider and more stable bag base with two prongs and a more efficient setup process with the no-lock Euro-Wave frame with adjustable handles.
The new frame setup is a great differentiator for me, as the X4R’s dual-lock system did feel a little loose at times following a year and a half of heavy use and obviously required a little more time to set up and take down.
While it’s named “no-lock,” there is still one adjustment knob that needs to be tightened (the knob on the X8R is much sturdier than the two knobs on the X4R, though), but the setup process is now incredibly quick and easy – one of the fastest we’ve tested on the market, in fact.
The X8R also includes all the other features I’ve come to love about BatCaddy that were standard on the X4R.
If you’re reading this and curious what they mean, I’ll give you my best breakdown:
- Fully directional remote control – overall, the cart moves similar to a car or golf cart
- Dual 200W quiet motors – this is honestly the quietest cart I’ve tested
- 9 forward and reverse speeds – hit up once to go speed# 1, again to go speed# 2, etc., and then hit down to adjust the speed back one at a time or back from standing still to reverse
- Downhill speed control – don’t worry about it taking off 100 mph when going down hills
- Optional manual control – very helpful around bridges and elevated tee boxes so you can hand-steer the cart while it’s still being powered forward
- Cruise control with speed recall – set the speed using the cruise control knob and then use the button on the handle to start/stop it at that constant speed setting
- Battery level indicator – the battery indicator near the handles turns from green to red when the cart is at 25% or less capacity
- True freewheel mode – never get caught with a dead battery and no freewheel mode, trust me! (the X8R has a quick-release that keeps the wheels fully free without engaging the gears)
- Auto-timed distance control – the cart will not drive forward forever until it falls in water or hits a tree, for example
- USB port – plug in your phone, which obviously will use some of the battery power
- “Mountain Slayer” oversized dual anti-tip wheels – anti-tippers are HUGE on electric caddies, and this is a great system
- Compatible with caddy seat – haven’t tried it yet, but looks nice
The X8R also stows slightly smaller than the X8R, which is sized fairly standard for folded-up caddies. At 36″L x 23-1/2″W x 13″H, it is a full 2″ shorter in length and 1″ in height than its predecessor. While this size is slightly longer than the Motocaddy M7 or MGI Zip Navigator, for example, it’s also significantly lighter (by 3 to 5 lbs each).
The smoothest ride
Where the X8R excels versus any of the other dozen-plus carts I’ve tested is in its ability to make minor adjustments.
Even over the X4R, the X8R travels more smoothly. What always comes to mind for me is when I take it to the driving range at North Hills. There’s a section of the cart path that turns right towards the southern end of the clubhouse by the ninth green that would be blind to oncoming golf carts on the path. I want to make sure the caddy I’m operating is on the right side of the path, and even from 20-30 feet behind it that’s not a problem at all with the X8R.
Some caddies over-correct when you hit the left or right buttons, overcompensating each way and creating a wider path than intended. In my experience with the X8R, it has the most minor and smooth adjustment sequence. This allows me to be confident about my routes and direct it wherever I want it to go. It might sound like I’m over-selling this, but I’m not. It’s a huge thing and results in very straight paths!
Use the right golf bag with an electric caddy
This brings up a really important factor with electric caddies: Make sure you have a golf bag that’s meant to be used on an electric caddy. Most caddies are recommended to be used with cart bags. These bags are heavier than most carry/stand bags and will help make sure the weight distribution is ideal.
Some carry/stand bags (for example, the Vessel Player II and III series) are a good size for use with electric caddies, but most (eg: The Vessel VLS Stand) will be too light and lead to overcompensation with directional movement.
Staff bags, on the other hand, can be too heavy as a cart like the X8R has a 77-pound weight capacity (77 lbs. is well on the high end for the product segment). WiscoGolfAddict Contributing Writer, Troy Giljohann’s Vessel Prime Staff bag, for example, can get so heavy that it may hinder movement on a caddy [not to mention exhaust the battery more quickly]. A cart bag like the Vessel Lux series is perfectly sized for use with a caddy like this.
Is BatCaddy for me?
If you’re looking for a standard remote-controlled electric golf caddy (not requiring follow mode, which typically costs significantly more), I have come to know BatCaddy as a phenomenal brand with great carts, and I could recommend the X8R all day.
If you’re price-conscious, the X8R with a standard lithium ion battery currently comes in at $1,149.95 (or $1,034.96 after the 10% discount through WiscoGolfAddict) in its standard colorways (phantom black, titanium silver or arctic white), which is on the lower end of the price spectrum for remote-controlled carts and an excellent deal when compared to similar carts. The X4R is another $100 less expensive than the standard X8R, and to me is the best option available at that price point.
While custom color X8R’s cost a bit more, they are very limited edition in that the company is capping sales at under 100 units per year. Full color customization with the same battery as shown above will currently run you $1,899.95 (or $1,709.96 with the WiscoGolfAddict discount), which is still in line with many brands’ offerings today.
For me, if I’m using a remote-controlled caddy then I’m almost always using my custom color X8R. Not only is it one of the smoothest, most easily set up and operated carts on the market, but it also speaks to my style and brand. And, to me, that’s an upgrade well worth the upcharge.
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