50 Words or Less
The Vessel VLX 2.0 golf bag jumps to the head of the class for stand bags. Stylish looks combine with thoughtfully-executed storage features. Light enough for the walker with enough room for a full set.
For several years, Matt Meeker had been trumpeting the virtues of Vessel golf bags like the Lite [review HERE] and Player III [review HERE]. When I got the chance to review the VLS, I became a convert, too.
New for the end of 2022, Vessel has released a the VLX 2.0. This stand bag appears to be a combination of the VLX and VLS models, so I was eager to see if it could become my new gamer.
Standing the new Vessel VLX 2.0 next to my VLS [review HERE], they’re similar but every detail on the VLX 2.0 is elevated. The zipper pulls are leather with branded metal studs at the end. Instead of a fabric loop for your towel, there’s a thick, metal bottle opener/towel hanger. There are touches of carbon fiber-like material throughout the bag. Additionally, the bag’s primary material also has a thicker, more premium feel.
Another small but meaningful detail is the way that Vessel cleaned up the bottom of the bag. The VLX 2.0 covers up more of the inner workings of the leg mechanism, which makes it more aesthetically pleasing and safer from damage.
Zooming out to compare the VLX 2.0 to the rest of the golf bag market, Vessel has clearly created something more stylish. The branding is restrained – you’re not going to be a walking billboard. Similarly, the features aren’t highlighted with contrast colors or words. This is a bag with a clean, timeless look that you can carry for many seasons.
The Vessel VLX 2.0 stand bag is available in navy (seen here), black, white, and Ignite, a very sharp black/white/red combination. Since this is a Vessel bag, you also have the ability to customize it with your name and/or logo on the ball pocket.
On my initial size up, I immediately noticed that the Vessel VLX 2.0 does not have a full-length garment pocket. What it has instead is a half-length pocket on either side of the bag. After a little thought, I realized this is actually better and something I hope we see more in the future. First, very few golfers carry full rain suits, so the full-length pocket doesn’t need to be a standard feature. For anything other than outerwear, the full-length pocket is a nuisance because smaller things get mixed together in the bottom. Also, modern outwear is getting lighter and slimmer, so these half-length pockets are more than adequate. Kudos to Vessel for breaking the norm with this smarter layout.
Another thing that’s been re-imagined is the valuables pocket. Rather than putting it on the exterior of the bag, Vessel has tucked it into one of the large pockets and added a locking mechanism. This may be overkill for some, but if you store or ship your bag with valuables in it, or if you’re just not the trusting type, this is a nice bit of added security.
Vessel has also added two bottle sleeves and a pen holder without making the bag bulkier or disturbing the streamlined shape. On either side of the ball pocket, there are magnetic flaps that open into bottle holders. These won’t accommodate the massive bottles that some golfers use, but the ability to carry two standard water bottles should keep most players hydrated. Similarly, the pen holder is tucked between pockets, indicated only with a small fabric loop. It holds your pen or marker tightly in place so you won’t have to worry about losing it while you walk.
On the course, the Vessel VLX 2.0 performs just like my VLS, which is the best compliment I can give. At just under five pounds, it’s light enough for the walker but sturdy enough to lug a full set. The top mirrors my VLS (a change from the original VLX). It has an 8″ opening with four full-length dividers that can accommodate fourteen clubs without issue.
One of my favorite features from the VLS has been upgraded in the new VLX 2.0. The magnetic pocket where I keep my rangefinder now has a divider and anti-microbial lining. This allows you to keep more things within easy reach without created a jumbled mess.
Vessel also employs an excellent stand system. Their patented Rotator Stand System keeps the entire base of the bag on the ground when the legs are deployed which makes it more stable. The carbon fiber legs pop out easily when you place the bag down. The quality of the stand is something most golfers only notice when it’s lacking, so with the VLX 2.0, you’ll never need to think about it.
The Vessel VLX 2.0 makes a strong case to be the only golf bag that you need. It’s light enough to carry easily but has enough storage for the rider. No matter how you move through the course, you’ll appreciate the smartly redesigned features. Whether you opt to customize it or not, you won’t be disappointed carrying your clubs in one of these bags.