Vessel VLS Golf Bag Review

50 Words or Less

The Vessel VLS stand bag has an understated look and is very light weight.  Thoughtful design that provides what you need without over-the-top extras.  Ideal for the walking golfer.

Check out the new Vessel Sunday III golf bag HERE


Regular readers know that I’m a devoted walking golfer, even going so far as to eschew modern golf bags in favor of Sunday bags [I compare the best ones HERE].  While I love my one-strap bags, laying one on the ground during a rainy round never feels like the best option.

Enter the Vessel VLS golf bag.  With minimalist style, light weight (just over 4 pounds), and a host of modern features, it may be the perfect compromise for the walking golfer.

Check out the updated Vessel VLX 2.0 HERE


Vessel is best known for their infinitely customizable staff bags, so the minimalist VLS bag feels like a departure.  This is one of the most understated golf bags you can find.  The Vessel branding is negligible and most of the logos are nearly invisible in a black-on-black color scheme.  If you’re tired of golf bags that make you a walking billboard, the Vessel VLS will be right up your alley.

The Vessel VLS is available in four colors: black, grey, navy, and olive.  If you want something that looks a bit more high end, check out the VLS Lux HERE.


The minimalist look of the Vessel VLS belies its storage capacity and clever features.  This bag has five pockets.  My favorite is the magnetic pocket seen above, which is velour-lined and ideal for a rangefinder.  Below that is a traditional ball pocket capable of holding two dozen golf balls.  To the left there’s a single zippered pocket large enough for snacks, sunscreen, or other accessories.  There’s also a water bottle pocket with a magnetic closure so it stays out of your way when not in use.  On the right side you’ll find a full-length jacket pocket with a rain hood and a smaller valuables pocket, also velour-lined.

The handles on the VLS bag are excellent.  Both the side handle and the top handle are stout and allow you to easily load the bag into a car or tote it a short distance.  The top handle is even wrapped in leather to make it easier on your hands.

Finally, the strap system on the VLS is outstanding.  Vessel refers to it as the EQ2 Double Strap, and it balances itself comfortably regardless of how laden the bag is.  This would be great on its own, but Vessel takes things up a notch by making it convertible to a single strap.  Now the truly old school player can enjoy a stand bag without giving up the single-strap aesthetic.


The Vessel VLS golf bag features a four-way top with four full-length dividers.  The top is sizable – 7.5″ x 9″ – so you can pack a full fourteen clubs in if you want to.  I found the four-way top ideal for my current eight club set up.

A small but thoughtful thing that Vessel did with the top is making it rivet-free.  The absence of metal means less risk of damaging your club’s shafts, particularly those expensive graphite ones.

It’s also worth noting that Vessel used “weather resistant” materials in making the VLS, including waterproof zippers.  This is great if you’re considering the VLS as a rainy day bag.

When it comes to the legs and base, there is nothing traditional about Vessel’s approach.  The VLS bag uses Vessel’s EXO Base and Rotator Stand System to reduce weight without giving up stability.  When you engage the legs, the Rotator Stand System keeps the entire base on the ground so your clubs don’t topple in the breeze.  Speaking of the legs, they’re made of carbon fiber to make the VLS an easier carry.  It takes a very intentional push to activate the stand, but I prefer that because it means the legs retract more swiftly and stay firmly connected to the bag.


The Vessel VLS golf bag does an amazing job of blending minimalism and light weight with smart, modern features and construction.  Those of you who follow us on Instagram [if you don’t already, check us out HERE] have already seen that I chose the VLS for my trip to Pebble Beach.  I can’t give a stronger endorsement than that.

Visit Vessel HERE

Matt Saternus
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  1. Earlier this week, I ordered the VLS DXR Bag. I enjoy a liteweight bag and this one is light enough. Crossing my fingers on a 14 clubs without sticking, but full length dividers help. Arrives in a day or two.

  2. totally butt ugly–better looking bags with better strap systems at 2.5 and 3.5 lbs from Sun MTN !

    • I’ve been a SM Guy for 15 yrs but the Vessel strap system and the manner in which it balances the bag – is better than SM. I was surprised, too.

    • Let me add that after several days with the VLS DXR bag, the strap system is far superior to Sun Mountain. All straps lead to a middle disc and straps can be detached by pressing down on each button-like fastener. The perimeter anchors of the straps can also be detached and adjusted. You can make this into a single strap bag. They not only have a belt-like fastener like SM for straps but also a velcro fastener to ensure the strap stays fastened. This is unlike SM, where your strap would completely fall out of the buckle and hang where one strap would fall off your shoulder during a round. The Vessel system is far superior and I own 3 other SM Stand Bags.

  3. Jeffrey Houglum

    I have a VLS DXR on the way as well. I currently have a Players 3 DXR and love it, but looking for something a bit lighter for carrying rounds. This should give me the perfect stable of golf bags.

  4. My Vessel VLS DXR Golf Bag arrived recently from the Black Friday Sale. I’d post pics if I could. Good looking bag.

    At first blush, 14 clubs seem about the same as the SM 3.5. In other words, 14 clubs is fine. You occasionally get a little sticking at the top just like the SM 3.5. Not bothersome. Bag is full dividers. I’m very impressed with weight distribution with a full bag., which is better than SM. I threw some water on the DXR material and it seems water resistant

    The only downers are two — the magnetic rangefinder pocket needs a small felt divider for tees and the insulated beverage pocket doesn’t need the insulation. It could be deeper and slightly wider (take out the insulation) but that bottle will not move – the pocket is solid. I have a 48-hour container so insulation is to needed. Oh, and the DXR weighs about 4 lbs without the rain top.

    In sum, lightweight, great weight distribution, quality materials, well thought out, comfy strap system, and aesthetics? High marks.

  5. Would 14 clubs with midsized grips fit?

    • Matt Saternus


      That will fit, but if you’re going to carry 14 clubs, this bag wouldn’t be my first choice.



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