Year in and year out, golf manufacturers strive to improve already great products. No doubt I agree that to survive the ever changing golf market, you have to re-invent yourself from time to time. For 2015, Sun Mountain has introduced some new ease of use features as well as style changes to their extremely popular three 5 golf bag. A new top which is flared for easier club retrieval, a new score card pocket plus new body styling and colors. I've been using this bag on and off with the H2NO lite bag, which is very similar, for the last 3 months as both a carry bag and as a cart bag. I found many of the changes to be a huge improvement but there is one, only one I just can't get used to.
Before I get into that "one" thing, let me begin with the things that are right with the bag. Right off the bat the first thing I notice with every Sun Mountain bag I have tested including the new three 5 is the build quality and quality of the materials. The three 5 is rigid in all the right places. What I mean by that statement is that you feel no flex or bend, its solid from top to bottom. I know I am getting a bag that is durable and will withstand the elements on and off the golf course.
Getting my clubs out of the new 9" 4 way top was a piece of cake. I didn't notice too much of a difference from last year's model but can see the flared design change. I like how each of the 4 compartments is separated from one another with a piece of nylon that runs from the top all the way down to the base of the bag. Rest assured that the grips at the bottom of the bag are not all having a party together.
The three 5 is sporting 7 pockets but only 5 of them have zippers. That isn't a bad thing as I like the beverage pocket and am still on the fence about the score card pocket. The left side of the bag with the beverage pocket has a large zippered pocket where I usually keep my gloves. On the right side of the bag there is a large zippered pocket with the rain hood and also a small velour zippered pocket where I usually store my watch and wedding ring when I play. Down the front of the bag you find 2 zippered pockets for golf balls as well as the zippered pocket for tees and other miscellaneous golf goodies. New for the 2015 three 5 is cargo net pocket right above the 2 pockets in the front. I don't store anything in there, but can see a ball being kept in there for easy access during a round of golf.
Sun Mountains EZ Fit Strap System has been upgraded to the Auto-Fit Strap System. For golfers who like to carry the bag on one strap at times, this new system allows the lower strap to slide out of the way when you put the upper strap on your shoulder. The padding and cushioning on the straps and on the bag for your back are soft BUT, and here is that "one" thing I need to address, the new handle on the front of the bag flares out too much. It has a tendency to poke my back and although it's tolerable, I don't like it. It's the one change I don't like on the bag. Maybe it's just me and it wouldn't be the first time but I hope it's something that changes in the future.
Besides the re-designed front handle, there are still handles on the rim of the bag as well as the cuff handle on the bottom of the front pocket. Those allow for easy access to grab and put the bag in and take out of your car.
As a designer, I have always applauded the subtle design branding and color combos for the Sun Mountain bags. I find them to fit my eye and to be to my liking. After the changes made for 2015, I'm still a fan of Sun Mountain. Yes, I have a minor issue with "one" thing but for the 99.99% of the rest of the bag I know I am getting quality, durability, ease of use and a bag that looks amazing. For more info on the complete line of Sun Mountain bags and gear, visit www.sunmountain.com.
EXTRA: For someone who plays golf in mostly wet conditions, Sun Mountain offers a waterproof bag called the H2NO lite bag. The biggest difference is that the H2N0 lite bag doesn't have a beverage pocket, score card pocket and of course is waterproof. Everything else I said about the three 5 can be said for the H2N0 lite.
The H2N0 Lite Stand Bag and C130 Cart Bag