Vessel VLS Stand Bag Review

Mike Bailey takes this striking stand bag to the course to assess what it has to offer golfers

Vessel VLS Stand Bag Review
(Image credit: Mike Bailey)
Golf Monthly Verdict

With its sleek design and expert craftsmanship, the Vessel VLS might be the most comfortable carry bag on the market for golfers that enjoy walking the fairways instead of riding in a cart.

Reasons to buy
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    Hard to find a more comfortable carry bag

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    High-quality materials and craftsmanship

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    Magnetic front pocket for easy access while walking

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    Very sleek and lightweight

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not ideal for golfers who mostly ride or use push carts

Vessel VLS Stand Bag Review

Many golfers might not be that familiar with Vessel as a golf brand, but they should be. The Southern California company, which also makes luxury luggage and tennis bags, builds some of the finest golf bags on the market, whether it's tour staff bags used by a lot of playing pros, or walking bags carried by top amateurs and a growing number of avid golfers. So if you play a lot of golf, walk the course often, and are in the market for a new bag, you should definitely consider the Vessel VLS golf stand bag, which is arguably one of the the best golf bags for golfers who want to carry their own clubs.

If you employ a push cart or trolley, you might want something that's more of a hybrid or a push cart bag that's adapted to use on wheels. But if you like to walk and carry, this is one of the best options on the market.

Mike Bailey carries the Vessel VLS stand bag

(Image credit: Future)

The first and biggest reason is simply comfort. The "EQZ" strap system works flawlessly, gives with the body as you cross over different terrains, and seems effortless to carry. The fact that it's only 4.2 lbs empty also helps. But it's also about the sleekness of this bag and how it fits on the body. In fact, there's a large pad on the side of the bag that rides along your back that makes it really comfortable. As a premium product, Vessel is priced a little more than most mainstream bags on the market, but it certainly seems worth it both in craftsmanship and utility. It has all the right features, is well built, and made of the finest materials.

Vessel's lightest stand bag, which is crafted from a heavy back nylon twill, comes with a four-way top. We think that in the case of carry bags, less is more when it comes to the tops. And with the Vessel VLS it's pretty effortless to remove and replace clubs, and they don't seem to get stuck like they do in some other models. There's also an easy grip handle at the top, making it easy to transport to and from the trunk of the car.

A magnetic pocket above the ball pocket as well as a good water bottle holder make the Vessel VLS very functional.

(Image credit: Mike Bailey)

There are six highly-functional pockets on this bag. They don't protrude, so they never get caught up on you as you're trying to transport your clubs. All are ample sized, including a lined valuables pouch. There is plenty of room in the large pocket on the right side for rain gear and anything else you might want to store. The rain hood, though not exceptional, is pretty easy to install and remove, and it works well.

The ball pocket front and low holds a dozen or more balls pretty easily. But the best feature, which is shared by some other highly rated brands like the Ping Hoofer, is the magnetic pocket above the ball pocket to hold items like your rangefinder. As a walker, you need to be able to access your rangefinder often and replace it quickly without the hassle of a zipper and the chance that it could fall out. 

The bag also has an innovative base that moves with the stand mechanism. That means if you stand it straight up, it can be perfectly vertical on flat surface, like the bottom of the bag receptacle on a powered cart. So it does adapt decently when using a cart, but we wouldn't recommend this bag if you ride all the time. All in all, though, if you like to walk, the Vessel VLS should be a leading candidate.

Mike Bailey
Mike Bailey

Mike has worked in the golf industry for nearly 30 years with full-time staff positions at publications and websites that include PGA Magazine, the Golfweek Group, and GolfChannel.com. He is currently writing for several different sites and magazines and serves as a contributing equipment writer for Golf Monthly, focusing on irons, shoes and the occasional training aid or piece of technical equipment. 

Mike has experienced a number of highlights in his career, including covering several Ryder Cups and PGA Championships, writing instruction pieces and documenting the best places for golf travel for more than a decade.

Mike carries a 7.6 handicap index and has two hole-in-ones, the most recent coming in February 2022. A resident of Texas for more than 40 years, Mike plays out of Memorial Park Golf Course (home of the Houston Open on the PGA Tour).