As I was preparing for my recent trip to Bandon Dunes, I was going through my carry bags and kept finding deficiencies in each one about why I didn't want to take it to Bandon. Too big, too heavy, too fragile, too small, or just not quite right. So I reached out to Jones and actually had them ship the bag direct to Bandon. While this was a little risky being that I'd never carried it even around my house, I was certainly hoping it would turn out well. Thanks fully it turned out even better than I expected. This is a legit carry bag with many great innovations that function very well on the course. I went with the Slate and Red combo which looks awesome, but here are 5 other color combos available if you want something else.
I'll start with the 2 things that I feel are most important in a carry bag; the straps and how it hits your back. The straps can make or break a bag. If they are too narrow, too hard, or too rough, they can really ruin a good bag. The Jones Utility straps offer the perfect mix of soft padded material, good width and just positioned in just the right way when they sit on your shoulders. The real uniqueness of this bag is the ability to be like a Jones original with a single strap carry option or grabbing the second strap to make it carry like a backpack. They are independent straps which is nice as some bags are all one piece as a double strap which means they don't work well on just one shoulder. They are also very easy to get onto your shoulders. The single strap is very natural and then just reaching back a little to grab the second strap was very quick and easy. The twisted strap handle works well if you just need to pick it up and move it a short distance.
The really great thing about the Jones Utility Stand Bag is actually how it rides on your back or should I say bumps against your lower back. Every backpack style carry bag does this, but some do it better than others. One thing I noticed with all my other bags, that while they have big pads on the bag for cushion, most were flat. The Jones Utility Stand bag is round which fits nicely in the curve of your back. It is actually one of the most comfortable designs I've used.
The Jones Utility Stand Bag has my favorite style of stand too. The whole bottom of the bag pivots as the legs are deployed. This is much better than a tab that pushes down to release the legs. Those tabs can get caught or break and then your leg system is shot. On the first round the legs were a little stiff being deployed, I had to push down on the bag just a little, as the rounds went on they released easier each time. After 10 rounds now, they are just about perfect, not loose, but easy to set down in the stand position.
The top is similar to other Jones bags in terms of simplicity. They have 2 dividers on the top creating 3 areas for clubs. The dividers have a very plush covering which is great for protecting graphite shafts. I typically put, woods and putter in the top, irons in the middle and wedges on the bottom. While there was a little grip bind, it wasn't too much or overly annoying, it just meant moving the clubs a little to get a specific one out.
The other really selling point of the Jones Utility Stand bag are the pockets. They are perfectly placed and designed for a place like Bandon Dunes. There is a "quick draw" pocket for things you want to get at on the top of the bag for things like balls, tees, ball marker or even rangefinder. It simply has a magnetic flap to cover it. Under that is an angled pocket for extra supplies. One whole side of the bag has a pocket from top to bottom which was great for rain gear. It was just big enough for a pair of shoes if you really wanted to load the bag up. It also has 2 "valuables" pockets on top of that large pocket for watch, keys and cell-phone or similar items. The other side has a smaller pocket that rides next to your back. It has an insulated beverage holder which is great for 20oz bottles of choice. The pocket is also big enough to hold additional supplies you might need.
I didn't read anywhere that the bag is actually waterproof, but as can be a normal occurrence at Bandon, we had some rain blow in off the ocean, it poured for a couple holes. My bag however didn't absorb the water and seemed dry, as did my clubs inside it, immediately after it stopped. It feels like the bag has a plastic tube that makes up the inner shell of the bag, keeping water away from the clubs. While it might not be "waterproof" it is the best bag I've used in the rain.
Besides all the big features that are great on the Jones Utility Stand bag, it has the little ones that make it function well on the course too. A look for rangefinder, or other clip-on accessory. A nice rain hood if it is really coming down. A handle near the bottom for easier handling in and out of the trunk. String loops on the zippers to make them even easier to pull open or closed. Loops on the underside can hold an umbrella too.
All in all this is one well designed stand bag worthy of use at Bandon. You know its a good thing when the caddies at Bandon Dunes are checking out your bag and wanting to try it to see how it works. They carry bags for a living and this one is perfect for them. If you carry your own clubs regularly, this is a great bag to check out.
For more information: www.jonesgolfbags.com
+Excellent single and double straps
+Round shape rides perfectly on your back
+Solid stand legs and mechanism
+Well designed pockets
--Only 2 dividers