Wilson Staff ECO Stand Bag – Key Specs
Weight: 1.9 kilos
Number of pockets: 5 sealed, plus open drinks pouch
Features: Self adjusting double shoulder strap, stay-flat base for extra stability.
There appears to be nothing out of the ordinary when you look at the Wilson Staff ECO Stand Bag but it is actually rather unique and kind of cool. Sure, it may look a little 'Clark Kent' but underneath that plain suit and glasses it’s really Superman. Okay, that's pushing it, but there is much more than meets the eye with this bag.
Why? Well because each and every ECO carry bag is made from over 50 recycled plastic water bottles and 1.7 yards of recycled polyester. This production method uses less energy than using new material, reduces CO2 emissions and keeps plastic out of landfills.
So yeah, don't judge this book by its cover as carrying one of these around guarantees you the moral high ground when your playing partners are on the first tee discussing which is the best golf watch or arguing over who has the best driver.
"Yeah, that driver is nice and all, but is it made from earth friendly materials like this bag? Didn't think so." You're one up already and you haven't even teed off yet. How does it perform on the golf course when compared to some of the best golf bags available though? I took it for a spin around the local links to find out.
Wilson Staff ECO Stand Bag: what is it?
This is a simple looking bag with very few frills. And by 'very few' I mean 'basically none'. If you are in a golf shop looking at a row of bags on the shelf some will naturally jump out at you because of their bright colours and eye catching designs. The ECO, on the other hand, blends into the background to the extent that it is virtually invisible.
That isn’t a criticism by any means. Far from it. Not everyone is looking for flashy and for some golfers functional is all they need. This bag is certainly functional as well as affordable. It does the job it was designed to do.
It comes in three colours; green, blue or grey. No mixing of colours, no swish designs, fancy names or any of that jazz. You have a green bag, a blue bag and a grey bag. Everything else on these bags is plain old black, although the green variant does get a little daring by having fluorescent yellow on the zips, no doubt to the huge disapproval of the blue and grey variants.
Even the Wilson Staff logo on these bags are completely understated and subtle. Nothing about the ECO screams out “look at me” and that in itself will appeal to some. It's all business.
You could say it's almost a throwback design as shape-wise it looks very much like some of the old vintage leather bags you see from the 1970s. Whether that was Wilson's intention or not who knows, but the bag is very much built for travelling light and it's perfect for those warm summer evenings when you just want to leisurely walk the course and take in your surroundings.
Those rainy mornings in late October on the other hand may prove to be an issue.
Wilson Staff ECO Stand Bag: Storage
The storage in this bag is fine. It has enough space for what you realistically need and the pockets are all reasonably sized for what they are intended to hold, but no more than that.
After all, the bag is designed so you can travel light so it would be counter productive fitting it with massive pockets which may tempt golfers into carrying more than they need.
There’s a full length garment pocket which is large enough to hold a pair of shoes but then not much else. Some other stand bags, such as the TaylorMade FlexTech Waterproof model, go for an oversized garment pocket to give additional storage space but the ECO is all about travelling light and the pocket size reflects that, as it should.
Many golfers like to put their shoes / trainers in their bag so they can quickly change out of their spikes before going into the clubhouse after their round, but if you’re using this bag you may be better served leaving your change of shoes in the car and using the garment pocket for waterproofs and other essentials instead.
The ball storage pocket is a pretty standard size and it has a smaller pocket attached to the front of it where you can keep tees, ball markers, loose change etc
To the side of the ball pocket is a large valuables pocket. You might use this for a wallet or smartphone, or possibly even snacks and sandwiches. Behind this pocket is a large cooler sleeve which comfortably holds a standard sized drinks container and is easy to reach when you’re walking with the bag on your back.
There is another, smaller valuables pocket which offers more protection from the elements as it has a felt-like inner lining. I used this one to house my phone as in addition to the extra protection it provided it was conveniently accessible any time I wanted to check my messages in between shots.
Wilson Staff ECO Stand Bag: Functionality
The ECO has an 8.5” x 7” padded 5-way top with two full length dividers. This is pretty much standard in most bags of this type now. The full length dividers are designed to help to avoid clutter and grip tangling when you put your club back in the bag after taking a shot, but I still found there was a bit of tangling, especially in the middle section.
The ergonomic, self adjusting double shoulder straps work really well though and carrying this bag is effortless. It's comfortable and as light as a feather. It balances itself nicely to adjust for the weight of your clubs but if you need to manually adjust to meet your own preference it’s as simple as just tugging on a strap.
This is a sturdy bag and the design of the stay-flat base and self activated legs provide good stability on and off the course.
As mentioned already this bag isn’t fully waterproof but that is reflected in the price. You aren’t getting a fully waterproof golf bag for under a hundred quid.
As with most bags nowadays the ECO has a durable, molded lifting handle at the top and a nylon strap at the bottom which makes manoeuvring it in and out of the car much easier. There’s also a carry handle on the front for easy movement of the bag around the greens.
What else does it have? Let’s see, there’s a waterproof rain hood, YKK premium zippers (ideal for hooking a GPS device on), a towel ring and an umbrella holder.
As with so many of the newer bags there is no velcro glove holder. This was disappointing as my own stand bag that I use when I’m not reviewing other bags is also a Wilson Staff and that has the little velcro above the towel holder ring.
It’s only a little thing but it’s really useful and often it's the little things that make the difference. Come on guys, just bring back the damn velcro glove holder!
Wilson Staff ECO Stand Bag: Verdict
The ECO Stand Bag gets the job done and it comes in at the lower end of the price scale at just under £100 so there’s a lot to like about it. It represents good value for money and Wilson deserve credit for their innovative, earth friendly approach.
If you prefer to stand out and to impress your playing partners with your golf gear then this bag isn’t for you. If on the other hand you have simple, traditional tastes or perhaps you are one of those golfers who prefers to let their game do their talking for them, then this minimalistic, clean looking bag could be just the ticket for you.
And of course, by using this bag you’re also helping the environment which is something we should all be doing. A doff of the cap to Wilson for that.