50 Words or Less
The Vessel Player IV golf bag is top-of-the-line. Premium materials, excellent functionality. Suitable for walkers and riders alike.
I’ll probably never own a luxury car. But after reviewing the new Vessel Player IV golf bag and switching over from the bag I’ve been using for the last several years, I think I know the feeling. Everything about this bag has been done to the highest standard. Past reviews on the site (check them out HERE) have made it clear that Vessel is the real deal, but this was my first opportunity to test one out. Learn all the details about the company’s newest offering in this review.
I can’t help but turn to the car metaphor again here. While most golf bags, like most cars, have aesthetics that are primarily practical and functional, the Vessel Player IV looks sleek and sophisticated. The matte finish synthetic leather exudes quality. Branding is minimal but noticeable. It took only until the second tee of my first round for one of my buddies to remark, “New Vessel?” Personally, I don’t have any issue with branding but I appreciate that the side of the bag isn’t functioning like a moving billboard.
I went with the classic black, but the Player IV is also available in white, navy, gray, and red/black.
The Vessel Player IV isn’t short on features, either, and each one is thoughtfully done. One of the first things I noticed were the dual beverage pockets that can be flipped out when needed and are otherwise held in place by a magnet.
Its other pockets are also very purposeful. The velour-lined valuables pouch is soft and ideally sized for its purpose. There’s even a small combination lock if there’s something you’d prefer to keep locked up. The rangefinder pocket has a firm magnet closure, is lined with soft velour, and features a separate section that I’m using to hold tees and ball markers. Every pocket features waterproof zippers and genuine leather pulls.
The strap system itself is another unique feature. First of all, clips make it extremely easy to remove (more on that below), and the company’s patented Equilibrium 2.0 double strap system makes it so that the straps are more responsive to the way the golfer walks. There’s also a rain hood included. It is easy to get on, but is pretty heavy duty so I’d recommend leaving it at home or in the car unless the forecast calls for rain.
In terms of performance, the Vessel Player IV checks all the boxes. The stand pops out easily when weight is applied. It can also be kept in place by a small piece of bungee cord.
Getting clubs in and out is very easy. I experienced minimal grabbing when pulling a club from a full set. This, again, feels akin to getting into a car with tons of legroom after being squeezed into the back of a compact car for a few hours. While I prefer the 6-way top, it is also available with a 14-way top for maximum club separation.
While it is technically a carry bag, it isn’t the lightest weight bag out there. It’s not even the lightest of the Vessel lineup. For that, you’ll want to look at the VLS, VLX, or Sunday bags [Sunday III review HERE]. The bag itself weighs in at 6.55 lbs (the 14-way is slightly heavier) with the straps adding 0.6 lbs and the rain hood adding 0.8 lbs. The added weight is a direct result of the premium materials used and no-expense-spared approach to design.
While the straps are plenty comfortable, I might recommend one of the other options for someone who is committed to carrying their bag. For someone who rides or uses a push cart, the Player IV is a great fit. I use a push cart for about 90% of my rounds and I found the Player IV to be perfectly suited for that purpose. The fact that the straps can be removed not only saves a bit of weight, it removes something that can only get in the way.
Much like a luxury car, the Vessel Player IV isn’t just a way to get your clubs from A to B. It’s an all-around enjoyable experience. From removing the rangefinder from its designated spot to taking clubs in and out, this golf bag provides just a bit more from the experience than most. Of course it isn’t cheap ($395) but for what it is, you wouldn’t want it to be.