Are hard or soft golf travel cases better?

Golf clubs are not only expensive, but can be irreplaceable if the manufacturer discontinued a model you really like. So it makes sense golfers want to do everything possible to keep them safe when traveling. 

Hard models offer the most protection but soft travel cases are lighter weight and can be more convenient to store. There are also several other pros and cons to consider that will make one more suitable for your needs than the other.

Hard golf travel cases

Hard golf travel cases have a rigid structure similar to hard-sided luggage. Nearly all feature thick interior padding and have wheels for easy maneuverability. They can also be carried like a suitcase if needed. Hard cases close securely via latches, often with locks approved by the Transportation Security Administration and are available in styles that accommodate just your clubs or your clubs and golf bag. Most cost $200-$350.

Hard golf travel case pros

  • Highest level of protection
  • Secure latches
  • Thick interior padding
  • Often equipped with TSA-approved locks
  • Some have spinner wheels

Hard golf travel case cons

  • Heavier than soft cases
  • Require a lot of storage space
  • Can be difficult to fit inside vehicles

Best hard golf travel case

Samsonite Hard-Sided Golf Travel Case

Samsonite Hard-Sided Golf Travel Case

Combining a high level of protection with a conveniently portable design, this case does a good job of keeping your clubs safe without being a hassle to roll around. It features multidirectional spinner wheels and has a quilted interior with extra foam at the top, where it’s most needed. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best hard golf travel case for the money

SKB Cases ATA Standard Hard-Shell Wheeled Golf Bag Carrier

SKB Cases ATA Standard Hard-Shell Wheeled Golf Bag Carrier

This case is made from a sturdy, high-density polyethylene and is equipped with industrial-strength latches and a TSA-approved lock so your clubs will arrive safely at their destination. Despite this, it’s a pound or so lighter than many other hard cases.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Ram Golf Ultimate Hard-Sided Travel Cover

Ram Golf Ultimate Hard-Sided Travel Cover

This hard-sided case has many of the same features as the most popular luggage, including a tough thermoplastic shell, compression straps, spinner wheels and a TSA-approved lock. It’s equipped with plenty of interior padding and two handles for convenient lifting.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Soft golf travel cases

Soft cases lack a rigid structure and, instead, are made entirely of durable fabrics such as polyester or nylon. There are also hybrid cases that feature a rigid shell around the club head area, but are soft fabric everywhere else. Some have interior padding. Some of the cheapest lack wheels.

Unlike hard cases, soft cases close via a zipper, which some people feel makes them more likely to open up during travel. You can prevent this by attaching a small TSA-approved luggage lock if your bag allows for that. Most soft travel cases cost $50-$300.

Soft golf travel case pros

  • More affordable
  • Lightweight construction
  • Commonly feature an easy-to-access exterior pocket
  • Fold up for storage when not in use

Soft golf travel case cons

  • Uninsurable with many airlines
  • May have little to no padding
  • Leave clubs more susceptible to damage

Best soft golf travel case

Sun Mountain Golf ClubGlider Meridian Club Cover Travel Bag

Sun Mountain Golf ClubGlider Meridian Club Cover Travel Bag

Thanks to flip-out support legs and smooth-rolling wheels, this case eliminates most of the hassle of traveling with your clubs. It comes in several colors and features an ID window so you can label it with your personal information.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best soft golf travel case for the money

Bag Boy T-460 Golf Bag

Bag Boy T-460 Golf Bag

This lightweight case is a good choice for those who are on a budget but lacks some of the padding found in many of the more expensive options. It’s both weather- and tear-resistant, and features internal compression straps to hold your clubs in place.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Sun Mountain Kube Golf Travel Cover

Sun Mountain Kube Golf Travel Cover

The Kube combines elements of hard and soft cases to give you the best of both worlds. It offers extra protection and durability where it’s most needed, yet still maintains a lightweight construction. Plus, it folds down into a cube barely larger than 1 cubic foot when not needed.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Should you buy a hard golf travel case or a soft golf travel case?

The decision comes down to your budget, storage space and how much protection you want for your clubs. If budget and storage between uses aren’t issues, and you want the maximum protection for your clubs, hard cases are the way to go. If money or storage is a bit tight, and you can make do with less protection, you’ll likely prefer a soft case.

 

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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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