For those golfers who choose to walk the course, it can be challenging to find a golf bag that remains comfortable throughout the full 18 holes.
You need lightweight comfort — without compromising on features or quality.
Rising brand Vessel has made waves in the golf bag scene in recent years, and is trusted by over 100 tour PGA and LPGA players, including Tiger Woods.
Weighing in at just 4.2 pounds, the Vessel VLS Stand Bag “reduces the weight of your load for an effortless carry.” Plus, it’s durable and weather-resistant.
Having tested this bag through half a dozen rounds of golf — it delivers.
+ Super comfortable for walking the course
+ Lightweight yet very stable and durable
+ Premium materials and construction
+ Minimalist design & branding
– Not ideal for carts or trolleys
Vessel is predominantly known for its large, full-featured staff bags.
However, the VLS could be regarded as the complete opposite. The bag’s slim profile and minimalistic appearance make it look appealing to carry around the course on your back for up to 4 hours — no easy task!
The Vessel VLS keeps things sleek and understated with tonal branding. In fact, from a distance, you’d be hard-pressed to spot any branding on this bag.
Available in black or navy finishes, the nylon twill offers a nice sheen in the sun.
As an avid walking golfer, it’s important to have a bag that feels effortlessly comfortable through a full round of golf — regardless of the weather.
To aid this, the Vessel VLS features an “Equilibrium 2.0 Shoulder Strap System.” In simple terms, this mechanism allows the padded shoulder straps to adjust to your body. By doing so, it distributes weight evenly across both shoulders.
For added comfort, a compression molded neoprene hip pad offers a soft cushion between yourself and the bag when you’re on the move.
The Vessel VLS is also weatherproof. I got caught in a pretty heavy downpour and was pleasantly surprised to see the rain bead off the nylon material, rather than soak in. This keeps the bag lightweight and comfortable for the duration.
Despite its understated appearance, the Vessel VLS packs a ton of features.
The 4-way top contains full-length dividers. This helps keep your clubs organized while stopping the grips from becoming jammed at the bottom of the bag.
Coming from a bag without full-length dividers, it was relieving to be able to pull out a club without it being locked in by the other clubs in the bag.
Mesh and synthetic leather elements hide any metal rivets, preventing scratches and giving you the confidence to slide in your clubs without a second thought.
The handles on the Vessel VLS bag are perfectly positioned.
Wrapped in synthetic leather, the top handle provides a comfortable option for maneuvering the bag short distances on the course.
The side handle appears to sit in the ideal spot of equilibrium, making the bag feel weightless even when carrying a full set of clubs.
Both handles make it easy to get the bag in and out of the car.
Despite Vessel’s clear focus on minimizing the weight of the bag, I found there to be no shortage of pocket space and storage to carry all necessary items.
The large side pockets can house everything from a waterproof jacket to head covers. It can also hold the bag’s nylon rain hood on dry days.
Also, a cooler-lined water bottle sleeve keeps your drink cold on warmer days.
My personal favorite is the velour-lined magnetic accessories pocket. I filled this pocket with tees, ball markers, and a pitch repair tool. After accessing it multiple times in a round, you’ll start to realize how useful this magnetic pocket is.
Consider faffing with zips a thing of the past.
At the foot of the bag, the Vessel VLS features its patented Rotator Stand System.
A component of all Vessel stand bags, this unique system enables the entire base of the bag to sit flush against the ground, regardless of the terrain.
It requires a sturdy push against the base to extend the legs, perhaps more than other stand bags. That said, the slight resistance makes it feel particularly strong and durable — as opposed to the flimsy system used on other bags.
With the Vessel VLS, the base is stripped back into an exoskeleton form. This helps to reduce weight, without compromising on functionality.
Finally, the Vessel VLS has ultralight carbon fiber legs. This provides an optimal strength-to-weight ratio and supports a full set of clubs on uneven terrain.
The build quality of the Vessel VLS feels particularly impressive, especially at the points of connection between the legs and the main body of the bag.
Overall, I’m beyond impressed with the Vessel VLS Stand Bag.
The bag offers all the features and storage you need on the course, in a lightweight form factor without falling short on build quality or aesthetics.
I’m a huge fan of the understated and minimalist appearance. It goes hand-in-hand with the stripped-back nature of the bag and looks great on the golf course.
This blend of comfort, performance, and aesthetics has made the Vessel VLS my go-to carry bag for the foreseeable future.