Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Bag Boy EZ Fold 12 Push Cart

I really didn't need a new push cart. I have an old pull cart from several years ago when I decided I didn't like carrying my bag anymore. The bag just got cumbersome every time I put it on my back then removed it. UGH!

I was fortunate enough to review the Bag Boy EZ Fold 12 Three-Wheel Push Cart. I was given the new push cart to test as part of my writing duty for The Sand Trap but they have removed my name from their website, replacing it with "Guest Author" because I have moved on to bigger and better blogging at so I have placed it back here on my site, where I can give myself the credit that has been denied to me by Erik Barzeski.

Here it is:

The Bag Boy EZ Fold 12 Push Cart is both lightweight and as simple to fold as its name implies. But how did it stack up on the golf course?

As Tiger Woods separates himself from the field at the British Open, I pay tribute to something they call a "trolley" across the pond. Though we call them "pull carts" or "push carts" here in the States, trolleys are a staple in the home of golf - a way to relieve players of the burden of carrying clubs without the necessity of a caddie.

Out With the Old
I've been lugging around my old two-wheel pull cart on the golf course for several years. It's old but reliable. Every round, it seems to get heavier and harder to drag. Casting my old cart aside, I felt it was time to enter the 21st century and try the latest in trolleys. My old cart was a pull cart. My new one? I push it like a baby stroller.

What better product to try than a push cart created by an innovative company like Bag Boy? With excitement, I opened the box to my new EZ Fold 12 Push Cart. I'm not particularly handy and leave all areas of assembly to my husband, but I heard that the EZ Fold was simple to put together. I told Barry to leave it to me.

Directions really weren't necessary. Inside the box I found a one-piece frame "constructed utilizing high modulus ultra lightweight aluminum tubing along with a reinforced center section for enhanced durability" and "quick release bicycle-style 12-inch wheels with sealed ball bearings." Long story short: I was up and rolling within five minutes.

My EZ Fold 12 Cart is silver, but fashion conscious golfers can choose between red, navy, or black to coordinate with your own style (or your golf bag). Bag Boy offers a padded cart seat (which fits all Bag Boys made after 1999). It attaches to one wheel (or the other) and offers a place to sit. I think I'll purchase one for those five-hour rounds on the public links (image below).

It was also a kick pulling on the carry handle that says "fold" for the really unaware which quickly squeezes the cart in half and eliminates bending down to grasp the front wheel when folding. Bag Boy picked up this nifty one-hand folding system patent from the Baby Jogger Company, the same company that revolutionized the stroller industry. Just in case you want to see the Bag Boy EZ Fold 12 in action you can catch a video created at the Bag Boy website.

With my old two-wheeler I can leave my bag on the cart, tilt down the small adjustable handle and place the whole set of clubs and cart in the trunk of my Benz along with my husband's set of golf clubs. The larger, ergonomically designed one-piece handle of the EZ Fold 12 is more comfortable for my wrists to rest upon but you cannot adjust the grip nor tilt the one-piece assembly for more comfort. You can remove the bag from the push cart and easily fold it but that's just one more step when you're looking to make a hasty departure after your round.

Take it Apart, Put it Together
The new EZ Fold needed to be disassembled and placed separately in my trunk. The two rear wheels release with difficult-to-push metal spring releases. I literally had to balance the cart on my legs and press with both hands on the release to get it to bend. Then you have to put the cart in awkward positions in order to remove each wheel. I found the difficulty in collapsing the cart disappointing, but the real test would be pushing my clubs around the golf course.

I took my new Bag Boy out to a local, hilly golf course to put it through its paces. The wheels popped on more easily than they came off and my large Burton cart bag found a comfortable position in the adjustable brackets. The deluxe scorecard holder was handy and easy to access. The pencil holder actually held the pencil in place and was located conveniently above the scorecard.

The plastic storage compartment was useful enough to store my Nutrigrain snack bars, though it was a little small, flat, and difficult to open using the small finger grip. The built-in beverage holder was large enough to carry a midsized (20oz) blue Gatorade. An optional insulated 12-pack cooler bag features an adjustable handle, tee holder pouch, and accessory pocket and is a great conversation piece to carry along when playing with a foursome.

Throughout the round I wheeled the Bag Boy EZ Fold 12 everywhere (believe me, my golf game gave me plenty of opportunity to visit all kinds of places). When I gave the Bag Boy a little push, it rolled all by itself. Once, when I pushed it downhill, it curved to the right and eventually toppled over, spewing my golf clubs along the fairway - not good! However, I must admit that it was simpler to push the EZ Fold up a hill than to pull my old two-wheeler behind me and I was less winded to boot!

I finished my round and removed the bag from the push cart. With an influx of Canadian geese occupying my golf course every year, removing the wheels became a dirty event. I couldn't clean the wheels enough before touching them and found this to be really disgusting. At least with my old pull cart I could clean the wheels just enough before placing the entire structure onto a towel and into my trunk.

My husband gave the EZ Fold its next test. Barry loves to walk but has been sitting in an electric cart recently because of an injured knee. Wanting to walk the course with his usual foursome, Barry asked if I could loan him the Bag Boy. I eagerly agreed asking him to give me his opinion for this review. One of his golf buddies recently purchased the 2005 Sun Mountain Speed Cart V1, which would serve as a nice comparison.

Barry found the Bag Boy EZ Fold 12 easy to open and not too difficult to insert the wheels. Pushing the Bag Boy was considerably easier than carrying as he usually does and at times he said he felt like he had a personal caddy!

However the EZ Fold 12 had some drawbacks. As his friend let the Sun Mountain travel freely down a hill to a safe landing the Bag Boy, having a narrower wheel base, fell over very easily. Sun Mountain also has an adjustable height handle which accomodates people of different heights. The Sun Mountain V1 also has a more convenient cable-driven brake lever near the top of the handle versus the foot brake in the middle of the axle of the Bag Boy. The Sun Mountain is lighter, easier to push, and most importantly, folds to a convenient size with all wheels attached so that you don't have to completely clean the wheels before storing the cart in your trunk. In addition the tires on the EZ Fold 12 are hard rubber versus the air-inflatable tires of the Sun Mountain which gave the Sun Mountain a softer feel.

After listening to Barry's comparison and trying the Bag Boy for myself, dollar for dollar, the better value goes to Sun Mountain over Bag Boy. Club Glove has also improved their own line of push carts introducing the Kaddy Stroller in response to the EZ Fold 12. The Kaddy Stroller has options similar to Sun Mountain including both hand and foot brakes, a quick-release system and a lightweight frame understanding the importance of these items to their customers. Although Bag Boy has several other designs in both pull and push carts the EZ Fold 12 is their top-of-the-line cart. Perhaps with a little more innovation and creativity, Bag Boy will create a formidable option in response to these upgraded models introduced by their competitors.

As you can see from my review, I tried to be very thorough. Some people made fun of me because I went into alot of detail, but I thought that's what a review should do! Give adequate detail for both the layman and the experienced user.

I will go over the basics here and I hope, if you're interested in purchasing one of these carts that you'll do your homework first. I'm glad I got this Bag Boy EZ Fold 12 Push Cart for free. I understand that they run about $200 in the stores and I don't think I would have been too happy paying that and not getting some of the features that are on other makes such as the new Sun Mountain that my husband tested as part of my review.

I will let you know that, in using the cart I noticed several things that you should be aware of.

One thing is for sure...if you don't disassemble this particular pull cart, you will use all of the space in your car between your golf bag and your pull cart. The wheels get pretty dirty after a round and for women, that's the kiss of death!

Also, the foot brake gets cumbersome after awhile. I really wish the EZ Fold 12 had a hand brake like some of the other models. Or maybe, if this particular footbrake was easier to use, it might have changed my mind about that particular function.

Also, allowing the cart to freewheel down the fairway is difficult for the Bag Boy EZ Fold 12 Push Cart. Barry told me that the Sun Mountain tracks straight and true and that the wheels are further apart creating a wider wheel base thus steadying the cart. If the EZ Fold 12 gets going and hits a bump, your clubs will be all over the fairway (as mine were).

I also read a brief review for the Kaddy Stroller by Club Glove which has similar features to the Sun Mountain V1 Speed Carticon which Barry got to try out thanks to one of his golf buddies.

In conclusion, before you go out and decide to spend about $200 of your hard-earned cash, compare several of these carts for yourselves. Make sure they have hand brakes (and foot brakes combined) if that's what you want, a wide wheel base , a quick-release system, good solid bicycle tires and a lightweight frame.

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