Clicgear has rebranded its lines of carts as “Rovic by Clicgear”. Not sure why the change in branding but with the new line comes new lower prices so hey, let’s roll (pun intended) with it. The RV3F is Rovic’s “full featured” cart. At 36″ tall x 16″ x 13.5″ when folded isn’t exactly compact (for that, consider the Rovic RV1C…”C for” “Compact” versus “F” for “Full Featured”) but in exchange you get a host of features. Key components include a hand brake, 3-ball clip, adjustable cup holder, accessory mount, umbrella clip and holder, 4 accessory tabs near the console, handle adjustment knob for handle height, and a storage bag.
The Rovic RV3F is a well-made cart though there are design elements that will make our eyes wander to other push carts. This includes aside from the size when folded (a serious consideration for us) and the placement of the front wheel, which sits below and slightly back of the bottom of the bag, as opposed to all other carts which have the wheel placed more forward. If you spend the day on smooth cartpaths and fairways you might not notice a difference, but once you decide to tackle a curb or rough terrain (we admit it, our golf balls wind up in the strangest places), the placement results in the cart nose-diving when hitting an object or a gopher hole, and can bring your cart to a standstill or topple over. It’s clear to us why all other carts on the market have a different design, including all other Rovic and Clicgear carts released to date. Then again, if you want a cart that offers a cigar holder as an optional accessory, perhaps this is the price you have to pay.
- Solid brake lever
- More accessories than you can imagine
- Lack of stability due to front wheel location
- Still bulky when folded
Tested at just a hair under 19 pounds the Rovic RV3F remains in line with the rest of the Rovic/Clicgear family, leaning to the heavier end of the spectrum of golf push carts tested (compare this to the lightest cart, the Tour Trek Tahoe, at 10.5 lbs.). For those familiar with our reviews of earlier Clicgear push carts, keep in mind that the new RV3F breaks from the Clicgear tradition and doesn’t collapse into a block (as does the Rovic RV1C, but rather primarily folds in half, which results in a much larger footprint. For comparison, the RV1F collapses into 13.5″ x 16″ x 36″ (more similar to the Sun Mountain Speed Cart V1), and the RV1C into 13″ x 15″ x 24″. We find ourselves more and more enamored with the carts that collapse into smaller sizes – even with our wagon (and admittedly other junk stored in our car), piling the RV3F takes up a lot of room. More than we like.
EASE OF SET-UP
Initial setup was quite simple. Though the manual suggested that we would need to install the front wheel and adjust the brake, our Rovic RV3F came shipped fully assembled with the exception of the front wheels. It took only a handful of minutes to slip these on, throw the washers and nuts on and tighten. Good to go. Other pieces that come with the cart were the water bottle holder and the umbrella holder, both easy to attach. A 3-ball holder was attached to the cart already.
Unfolding the Rovic is simple; just make sure the center knob is loose, then grab the handle and swing upwards. This in turn will draw the rear wheels back into position and also open up the mesh bag that is attached under the cart. No adjustments need to be made to the front wheel or brake. From there you just open the “arms” that cradle the bag. Couldn’t be easier, really.
You may wish to adjust the bottom cart arm, which can easily be pulled out to provide a deeper platform for the base of the bag, depending on your bag size. We haven’t found a need for this on most other carts, but a nice option nonetheless. In addition you will want to adjust the elastic cords that wrap around the bag and then loop together to secure. Rovic has a creative design that is easy to adjust – there are plastic loops that are designed to pinch the elastic bands that allow you to adjust the length in order to secure the bag. You just pull the cords out of their secured position, adjust as needed, and push them back into position. Easy to do and they hold quite well.
Fold the cart is just as easy, it requires only collapsing in the arms that wrap around the outside of the cart, loosening the center knob, a folding down the handle. No additional steps are required for the front or back wheels. One side note – if there are any accessories that are attached when folding, such as the included water bottle holder, you may find them popping off if they get caught on the frame. We found this relatively common if you aren’t paying attention (and who is? I’m still trying to count up my total score…).
ON COURSE IMPRESSIONS
As with the related Clicgear 3.5+, we found the cart both well constructed and sturdy. We like the design of carts such as the Rovic that don’t have a “base”, or indeed, any significant portions of frame that are located just a few inches off the ground as with some push carts, the advantage being that you can hop over cart path curbs without fear of the cart bottoming out. Our biggest issue was with the location of the front wheel. It is quite different from the design of most carts on the market that have the front wheel aligned with the base of the bag. The RV3F instead places the front wheel “behind” the front of the bag in direction of the player, which results in a great deal of instability if you are off-roading over gopher holes and uneven ground, as we all too often find ourselves doing. This actually meant some nose-diving while on shaky ground. If you are always on nice smooth ground, then no worries.
The brake level is located between the handles and the accessory tray. It clamped down a plastic piece onto the foam like nobody’s business with a solid CLICK when raised to engage. The brake worked well when adjusted properly (even on wet mornings), and is a bit simpler than the design that engages gear notches around the wheel as in earlier Clicgear designs.
The center storage tray is quite large and easily handled all of our standard goods. We aren’t fans of the storage compartment design, however, which comes to a peak in the middle of the tray running from the player toward the bag. The result is that if a scorecard or pencil is held in place via the elastic bands on either side of the storage tray, they won’t sit entirely flush against the tray since they will extend over the raised peak. On the center storage tray are 3 holes for tee storage. The lid does not say in place with a magnetic latch as with many golf push carts, rather just clips into place securely.
Off the center storage tray/mount, you can clip to the accessory tabs, of which we counted 3. One was in use by the ball holder, and we attached the water bottle holder (which is designed to expand to accommodate different sized bottles – quite nice) to another. The marketing material claims 4 tabs, one of which seems to be the umbrella stand holder, which can’t be used for anything else. Not a tab, but at the bottom of the accessory tray wrapped around the frame is Velcro tab (perhaps for a glove when not in use?) plus a plastic clip for attaching a GPS, laser rangefinder, or towel.
The accessory tabs are all “universal”, so you can move the accessories to whichever tab desired to make the setup most convenient for you. And a feature that we always appreciate on push carts, a mesh storage net is easily accessible. If needed, you can remove this net.
The Rovic RV3F also comes in 5 different colors: a limited edition Metallic Alien Green (you know what color aliens are, right? Sad for all of us, this color has already been discontinued), Arctic/Green, Arctic/Yellow, Charcoal/Blue and Charcoal/Black. The straight lines of the frame aren’t anything cutting edge, and the peaked storage tray isn’t for us. The curve of the handle, bottom arm, and cords to secure your bag all keep the look up-to-date.
Clicgear has traditionally had prices at the high end of push carts tested, but the new Rovic line brings down costs a significant amount. We expected the Rovic RV3F to be priced closer to $200, and at $180, the Rovic RV3F becomes less expensive in most cases versus well-known carts such as those from Sun Mountain.
We like the price given the looks and build quality of the product. But even if we were rollin’ in your Escalade with enough space in the trunk that we are willing to overlook the size, the location of the front wheel gives us pause, and makes us lean toward other models (such as the Rovic RV1C). But if you are always straight down the fairway on nice smooth grass, go ahead and check it out.
2014 model year
Note that Clicgear has additional push carts available in the line, including the Rovic RV1C, the more compact cart, and the Rovic RV3J (a cart for juniors that is smaller and features a foot instead of hand brake).