Bag Boy T-2000
The Bag Boy T-2000 features a pivoting front handle, which is designed to bring an element of innovation to an otherwise pretty standard soft-cover golf travel case. While the pivoting handle nominally reduces the strain on your arm as you pull the bag, it didn’t strike us as a monumental difference, and the handle actually makes it more difficult to make sharp course corrections or to pull up on the bag to stand it up. And as we found out, it already doesn’t stand up very well on its own.
An additional concern was that other than an excellent external pocket designed for a pair of golf shoes, there isn’t much storage space within the bag once a set of clubs is stowed inside. We were able to put in a couple of rolled-up sweaters (we’re suckers for buying logo gear wherever we travel), but not much else.
We usually celebrate the fact that Bag Boy is more open to experimenting with new ideas than other manufacturers, but this one didn’t really click with us. Couple that with a price that, while it is the lowest among the bags we’ve tested, is still pretty pricey for what performs like an ordinary 2-wheeled travel bag. Total this all up and we found ourselves being happy with, but not particularly excited about, the T-2000.
As an aside, is someone in product marketing at Bag Boy a fan of the old Wilson T-2000 tennis racquets (go Jimmy Connors!) or of Terminator 2 (the Cyberdyne Systems Series 1000 Terminator was referred to as the T-1000…and was better known for being liquid metal)?
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
The Bag Boy T-2000 is made of 1680d nylon. Those of you who are not fabric experts may wonder if this is good or bad. Your friends at Critical Golf are here to help. The “d” is an abbreviation for the Denier count, which measures the fineness of a fabric. The Denier count is simply the mass (in grams) of 9,000 meters of the fabric. In practice, rather than actually hauling out 9,000 meters of fabric (which is about 5.6 miles), they use 900 meters and multiply by 10. A higher Denier count implies a denser weave, which would translate to greater durability. 1680d is toward the upper half of the scale among what you would find in luggage – high-end models tend to be in the 1800d-2500d range.
Bag Boy has positioned a hard PVC-molded plastic back at the bottom rear of the T-2000 to provide protection and stability, but at only about 19 inches long, it’s much shorter than the backing found in competing products such as the Club Glove Last Bag (which is approximately 28 inches long). In addition to the obvious fact that there is less protection for the bottom of the bag, the shorter backing means that the bag doesn’t stand up very well on its own – so you’ll have to lay it down if you need to use both of your hands for something else (like digging out your ID when you’re checking in at the airport).
While Bag Boy provides a decent amount of padding at the top of the T-2000 to protect the heads of your clubs, there is no padding on the bottom two-thirds of the bag. Dual two-way zippers run the length of the bag, providing easy access to the contents.
The design of the Bag Boy T-2000 also includes:
- five handles: the pivoting grip at the top of the bag, another fixed strap at the top of the bag, a lifting strap in the middle of the bag, two straps that Velcro together and form a handle at the middle, and one handle at the base of the bag that is helpful for lifting the bag into and out of vehicles
- an oversize shoe/accessory pocket on the spine
- two additional garment pockets – one on each side
- a plastic window to hold a business card or other ID tag
- an adjustable internal strap to secure your golf bag
- two in-line skate wheels
- three color options, each of which comes with black trim: silver, red and blue
For additional support within the T-2000, the Bag Boy Backbone telescoping arm is available at a retail price of $24.95. Made of lightweight aluminum, the Backbone is spring-loaded and extends to keep the bag from collapsing inward when the American Tourister gorilla (or your friendly baggage handler) throws it against a wall.
We tested the Bag Boy T-2000 with a standard golf carry bag. The T-2000 weighed in at 8.5 pounds, about two pounds lighter than the Club Glove Last Bag, which is the next lightest golf travel bag we have tested. In theory, this means that you can stow extra stuff inside the bag without running afoul of the 50-pound weight restriction imposed by the airlines.
The challenge is that there is very little additional interior space for clothing once the golf carry bag is in place, in large part because the Bag Boy T-2000 has a uniform mostly-rectangular shape (unlike the Club Glove Last Bag). Unless your trip is literally overnight, you will need to bring another bag for your clothes and toiletries.
Kudos to Bag Boy for the oversized pocket on the spine, which was great for stowing away a pair of golf shoes. We were less enthusiastic about the additional exterior garment pockets. They are flush with the surface of the bag, and thus don’t provide excess capacity – if the inside of the bag is already full, you can’t slip much of anything into the garment pockets.
The pivoting handle seemed like an interesting concept, but in practice, it didn’t hold up as a real differentiator. One the one hand, the rotation of the handle does reduce the strain on your forearm and wrist as you pull the T-2000 along. On the other hand, pulling up on the pivoting handle to try to stand the bag upright was a real challenge, as the resulting pivot made the T-2000 tend to careen in a direction other than up (a suggestion would be some method of locking the handle in place). Sharp changes in direction were also made more difficult, as we had to use exaggerated motions to overcome the compensation from the pivoting handle.
The in-line skate wheels rolled nicely, but after having experienced the glories of four-wheeled golf travel bags, we found it difficult to transition back to a standard two-wheeler.
As mentioned above, the short length of the plastic backing means that the T-2000 is difficult to stand on end (vertically). The benefit of the short plastic backing, however, is that the bag is more compact when it is folded up for storage in between trips.
At a retail price of $189.95, the Bag Boy T-2000 is the least expensive travel bag in our tests. Outside of the pivoting handle, however, there isn’t much to differentiate it from the run-of-the-mill product, and we didn’t see much added benefit from the handle.