The 2SKB-4814W, aka the SKB ATA Deluxe Golf Travel Case, comes from a company still operated by the same group that started the business 30 years ago. Unlike many travel golf bag manufacturers, SKB doesn’t specialize in golf cases, but rather offers a wide range of hard travel cases to suit most any need. Are you in the market for a case for your archery bow? They’ve got it. A waterproof pistol/optics utility case? Not a problem. What about a case for your Roland V-Piano? They can do that too.
SKB has leveraged its experience across this broad range of applications to build a line of trustworthy golf travel cases. And it’s not just the rugged nature of the case itself that lets purchasers rest easy – it’s also the warranty. The SKB Deluxe Case is warranted against defects in materials and craftsmanship for the lifetime of the product. That’s not bad, but we can find that from other manufacturers. What really sets SKB apart is the $1,500 Content Coverage Warranty. That’s right, their warranty is something no other case manufacturer in the industry offers: SKB will pay up to $1,500 to cover the cost to repair or replace any equipment damaged by the airlines while the clubs are secured in the case. You simply can’t beat that!
Retail price: $259.99
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
Made in North America, the SKB Deluxe Golf Case is made of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene that is made to ATA 300 Category I specifications. What does this mean in English? It means that SKB cases are made of the same plastic specified by the U.S. military for containers, and the case meets the highest standard for the Air Transport Association. It’s this type of solid construction that allows SKB to offer the warranty that it does.
Aside from the hard exterior, the SKB case includes 1/2″ thick padding around the top 14″ on the interior of the case to cushion the clubheads. There is no interior strap to secure the golf bag, but given the tight fit inside the case, there is little room for movement.
The design of the SKB Deluxe includes:
- 3 industrial strength latches to secure the case -the middle latch has a TSA approved lock (2 keys are included) to allow airport security to inspect the contents (as they always seem to do with golf bags) and then re-lock the latches,
- a tow handle at the top of the case for use in pulling the case through the airport,
- a lift handle in the center of the case, and
- 2 inline skate wheels.
If you were hoping to express your individuality through buying a golf travel bag with a racy color, you will have to look elsewhere – the SKB Deluxe only comes in black.
Those looking for additional space in a hard case should consider the slightly larger 2SKB-1649W (this product is also marketed as the SKB ATA Deluxe Travel Case, so check that you’ve selected the correct number when purchasing), with slightly larger dimensions.
The inside dimensions are 48″ x 14″ (thus the model name 4814), and the sculpted case accommodates the majority of today’s golf bags and clubs up to approximately (you guessed it) 48″ in length.
Golf travel hard cases are generally easy to maneuver through airports, and the SKB Deluxe Case is no exception. The tow handle at the top of the bag allows for easy pulling, the center handle helps in lifting the case in and out of cars, and the flat base enables standing the bag up while waiting in brutally long check-in lines. The down side of hard cases is that unlike with soft bags, there isn’t any ability to squish the case to make it fit in tighter quarters. So when you’re renting a car, opt for one with more trunk space.
Also note that the “Deluxe” in the name references its durability, quality of material and tight seal – the SKB doesn’t come with any additional bells and whistles such as additional straps, or additional storage space inside the bag for clothing or extra equipment. The silver lining, we suppose, of not having room for additional equipment is that you are unlikely to go over the airlines’ 50 pound weight limit (after that, they tack on a hefty surcharge). The case itself weighs in at 15 pounds.
Hard cases range in price from under $100 to nearly $300, and most come with latches to secure the case and a hard plastic exterior. At $259.99, the SKB Deluxe Travel Case is at the upper end of the pricing spectrum, but provides substantial value through its top notch quality, including more substantial latches with a lock, a tight seal, and excellent workmanship. On top of that, the benefit of $1,500 in club coverage makes the SKB Deluxe case tough to beat. In the end, most travelers have a clear affinity for either soft travel bags or hard cases. If you are in the hard case camp, and don’t need additional room in the case to pack more stuff, look no further than the SKB Deluxe Golf Travel Case.