Sun Mountain are increasingly becoming known across the golfing world as creators of premium quality, lightweight and waterproof golf bags. Although originally established in Montana, they have also gained quite a following in Europe too and are now stocked in most online golf retailers.
A quick look on the Sun Mountain website shows that they claim to have introduced quite a few features of modern day golf bags down the years, including legs, dual strap systems and carry handles. Pretty impressive.
We first saw the Two5 stand bag model from Sun Mountain back in 2015, and earlier this year it received its most recent ugprade to the Two5 Plus, with the company saying that the lightest full-featured bag on the market has been designed specifically for the 'avid walking golfer'.
As someone who doesn't like having to spend time faffing with or using a trolley when I play golf, especially because I'm often racing against the clock to get extra holes in after work, I am always looking for the perfect bag which combines lightweight ease with plenty of features and accessories. Perhaps this would be the one?
What’s It All About?
As the name suggests, the Sun Mountain Two5 Plus bag weighs in at just 2.5 pounds, or 1.1 kg if you prefer to use the metric system, which is the same as 2 wedges or a pair of golf shoes. Therefore you should get a nice, comfortable carry over the course of 18 holes with spare weight left over for any accessories or essentials you may need.
Despite the Two5 Plus firmly fitting into the lightweight bag category, Sun Mountain are claiming that it still has all the regular features that you would come to expect from a top-level stand bag. With an eyewatering RRP of £189, it will have to be impressive to get top marks from our testing.
The X-Strap Dual Strap System and 'Air Flow' lumbar hip pad aim to make the carrying experience as comfortable as possible, whilst the top measures 9 inches across and features a four-way divider, which is my preference.
The Leg-Lock stand mechanism is not new to Sun Mountain or this model, but is always a nice feature which allows the legs to be neatly stored out of the way whilst transporting the bag or loading it onto a trolley or buggy.
Sun Mountain have thought about every detail when it comes to weight-saving, demonstrated by the top mounted carbon fibre legs and grab handle which are much lighter than the plastic or metal used in most regular golf bags. However, they have made sure that the quality does not suffer by constructing the bag from a tightly woven 100 denier nylon. This premium material should be able to withstand the elements and any usual wear and tear that bags are prone to.
You also get all the usual fixtures and fittings from a stand bag, which is just as well considering the £189 price tag, including a rainhood and pen, towel and umbrella holders. Completing the package are a range of different-size pockets, space to store a water bottle, and a velour-lined valuables pocket.
Sun Mountain Say…
"Built to carry, this is the lightest weight full featured stand bag ever manufactured. With its featherweight flared top, carbon fibre legs and 70 denier rip stop nylon, this bag is as strong as it is light. A real joy to carry."
Initially, this bag was put through its paces during 18 holes of golf at the impressive Fulford Golf Club on a mild, dry Spring day. But since then, I have also made sure to use the bag again on several occasions, including in the rain, so that I could really give a full verdict on this bag's practicality as my potential new 'every day' choice this summer.
Sun Mountain Two5 Plus Stand Bag Review
The first thing that struck me when I pulled this bag out of the box was, quite rightly, just how light it was. Yes, it was empty, but it was still amazing that you could lift this bag up with one finger with hardly any strain. I couldn't help but think straight away what a benefit this could be over the course of a round of golf, as it is bound to leaving you feeling fresher than usual, and definitely fresher than playing partners carrying other golf bags.
I liked the look of the bag, predominantly black but styled with red lining and white logos and stickering. It looked smart yet interesting enough and something which would appeal to the masses. There are also three other colourways available, including navy and light blue, meaning that the Two5 Plus should cater to most golfers taste.
One thing which always worries me with lightweight golf bags is that the quest for weight-saving can result in slightly lower build quality than you'd be expecting. Upon first inspection of the bag, I thought that the pocket material was a little thinner than my existing bags, and the zips looked slightly less durable. However, after nearly a month of use I can safely say that there are no signs of wear at all, suggesting that maybe the materials are sturdier than they look.
On The Course
I had an image in my mind of shiny, garish-coloured bags when it came to Sun Mountain, but the Two5 Plus was anything but. The bag I have been testing looked both smart and understated. I couldn't help but think that it would be something that is likely to appeal to a wide range of golfers, regardless of age or gender.
True to the company's ethos, the bag did indeed feel extremely lightweight during the round. I am confident in saying it is the lightest stand bag I have ever used, and that is even whilst carrying 14 clubs, an umbrella, and all the other bits needed to for a day of reviewing.
It felt really easy to even just sling the bag on one shoulder and carry it down the fairway towards my ball (yes, I do sometimes hit fairways). I quite like this as it feels almost as if you're using a one-strap pencil bag and it means that you can just focus on the golf without wasting any more time.
After I had finished the initial testing the bag survived a run through a train station too, passing with flying colours. It felt easy to manoeuvre to and from luggage holds with ease. If you ever need to take your clubs with you in public or on public transport, this is the bag you need to make things as easy as possible.
You get a good range of different sized pockets, including a large side pocket for extra layers, towels or (in my case) balls. The bag comes complete with a hood and umbrella holder too for practicality in a variety of different conditions - although they could've been a little better.
The umbrella holder is essentially just an adjustable toggle at the top which you tighten, but I found that this wasn't as secure as a sleeve or hoops to slide the umbrella through. The towel holder is basically just a loop which is only really suitable if you have a clip as I would be worried about my towel slipping off over the course of a round.
The dividers were surprisingly large and the 4-way look worked well. It means your clubs stay separated enough without being individually stored. I actually found that there was plenty of room for clubs and it was really easy to get them in and out of the bag without any snagging.
With a price tag as high as this one, I was expecting that the quality of the bag would be really good, and for the most part I was satisfied. This isn't just a glorified pencil bag with legs and a couple more pockets.
Having said that, I was initially a little concerned at how thin the lightweight material felt and did feel as if durability may become an issue if this bag was used regularly for an extended period. Similarly, the carbon fibre legs felt a little less sturdy than usual and were maybe a little reluctant to pop out when the bag was placed on the floor. I have had no real issues yet, but I got the feeling that perhaps the search for weight-saving had slightly impacted the overall confidence you get on how resilient the bag would be.
The firm carry handle and handle at the bottom of the bag made it easy and secure to pick up and transport or move around. Similarly, the Leg-Lock feature would come in very useful if you’re someone who occasionally uses a trolley or buggy - you can safely tuck the legs out of the way and load your bag on easily.
Whilst the thick padded straps were very comfortable, the actual X-Strap system was a little confusing – the straps didn’t seem as easy to adjust as they could have been. The X is supposed to sit in the middle of the back but I had difficulty getting this to be the case.
It felt like the bag wanted to hang a little low towards the bottom end when worn on both shoulders, and to be honest, I still don't think I've got this quite right. But the shoulder straps still make this a comfortable carry, and I've also been doing a lot of 'one-shoulder' carrying, so it hasn't really been too much of an issue so far.
Would I Use It?
Yes, and I still am doing. In terms of features and looks, it does pretty much the same as the stand bags I have previously used. But I'm really enjoying using a bag which is so lightweight and can honestly say that I have seen a difference out on the course too. It's so much easier to pick up and move around the green, for example, and I've still felt pretty fresh towards the end of my round too.
Sun Mountain Two5 Plus Stand Bag Review Verdict?
I have enjoyed using this bag, not because it does anything particularly better than any other similar alternative, but because it is lighter and so slightly easier to use. Golf is stressful enough, why make life any more difficult for yourself by lugging around a big heavy bag just so you can carry a few extra things in case of emergency?
Perhaps in the winter you'd be looking for something a little more heavy duty which can repel the rain and has room for all of your waterproofs and a spare towel.
But for the summer months, if you want the feel and ease of use a pencil bag without having to sacrifice any of the usual features of a stand bag, and you have the money, then the Two5 Plus is certainly worth considering.
- Very lightweight, even with a full bag of clubs and spare balls/clothes
- Comfortable shoulder straps - easy to wear one or two
- Good range of pockets
- Ergonomic design ensured ease of use - carry handles, straps, pocket/zip design
- Expensive - similar bags from other brands are typically around £50 less
- Focus on staying lightweight results in some parts of material feeling a little weak/flimsy
- Towel Holder design meant that you need to have a carabiner
- X-Strap system was confusing to work