Ever since the first Moon-Lite golf bag first came out in 2006, Ping have had the ultra-lightweight sector in the bag, if you excuse the pun. The original and Moon-Lite II versions were minimalist design but still had all the key features in the right places. The key USP was the single strap that stood up vertically when you put the bag on the ground so you did not have to bend down so much to pick it up.
It was a true coincidence that I was playing with my Moon-Lite and wondering if they would ever do one with a double strap when the very next week the 2013 Moon-Lite golf bag was launched sporting 2 straps instead of one.
It also claimed to have a water-resistant underside and a durable polyester upper as the previous versions struggled to be even dew proof. However an umbrella and a wet weather glove usually did the trick when the heavens opened.
Would the new version maintain all the super lightweight values of the originals or is this the start of mid-life spread for the Moon-Lite, in the same way the cars like the VW Golf have bulked up with each incarnation?
Well it is 25% heavier than the Moon-Lite II at 1.1kg, but in reality that is only an extra 227 grams (or 0.5 lb for our American friends) so it is still very light. This is principally down to the heavier and more durable material. The underside is now robust enough to keep the dew from reaching your grips and the polyester upper managed to keep a reasonable shower out. There is even a proper umbrella holder under the main pocket so you can keep yourself dry too. All good stuff.
The big difference now is the double strap which still manages to maintain the standing upright feature of the originals with the main right shoulder strap. It’s not as high off the ground as the rigid plastic single strap on the previous versions, but that would be impossible to maintain in a double strap bag. However it is still much easier to pick up than a ‘flat’ strap and the padding is excellent on both the straps. Yet again it is a very clever design and the straps were very easy to adjust and felt very comfortable.
The bottle holder is much improved and in a good position on the base of the bag and the 2 pockets are well placed, especially the small pocket on the ‘front’ of the bag as you carry it which is ideal for easy access if using a GPS or laser.
The large pocket on the ‘back’ of the bag can hold an extra layer, maybe 2, but this bag is all about travelling light and my only criticism is that if you have more pockets you tend to find things to put in them. I liked the original as it forced you to travel light and that made it even lighter to carry as you gambled on how many layers, golf balls and even clubs to take out with you. A bit like fuel light bingo in your car on the motorway as you try to get to the next petrol station when the fuel light is flashing like police car in full pursuit.
In some ways Ping are responding to the needs of modern day golfers for a couple more minor features on a bag, but this then brings the Moon-Lite up into the multi-featured mid-lightweight bag sector where everyone else currently is because they haven’t been able to match the previous Moon-Lite for weight and design before.
I liked the traditional look and ‘gambling’ nature of the single strap versions and to be fair it is possible to take the second strap of this version if you wanted to and that would make it even lighter still. That said the double strap is much more comfortable, the material feels a lot more robust and gives more wet weather protection and the pockets are well designed and placed. What more could you want from a lightweight bag? Perfection again from Ping.