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Ogio Shling Golf Bags Finally Launched

Jun. 26, 2006     By     Comments (17)

After a premature introduction at the 2004 PGA Merchandise Show and two more years in development, Ogio says they finally got it right. You be the judge.

Bag DropI carried my own bag for years - lightweight canvas bags, then nylon bags that I dropped to the ground and stooped to pick up. Then came stand bags and then double straps, and my definition of a great carry bag was changed forever.

Now Ogio, the innovative bag maker based in Salt Lake City, has finally launched their much-anticipated Shling-equipped stand bags. It remains to be seen whether this is as big a revolution as legs and double straps. Here's the story along with some of my initial impressions.

The Shling

Ogio ShlingThe Shling is basically an adjustable padded plastic yoke that sits on both shoulders. You pick up the bag by the longer right "arm" of the yoke, twist it around and drop it across the back of your neck and onto your shoulders. The Ogio website has a video that illustrates the technique far better than words. I just wonder if left handers will find this easy. I also wonder how a caddie carrying double would manage with this arrangement.

Ogio claims the Shling disperses the weight of the bag more on the top of your shoulders and thus engages your skeletal frame, rather than your shoulder muscles. It really is more comfortable than it looks.

I've always found double straps awkward to get into and out of. The result is that on short walks I don't bother and just use one strap. The Shling, on the other hand, is much easier to don and thus keeps the bag on both shoulders whenever it's carried.

I've only tried it on with a friend's fully loaded bag, so this is by no means a review (we'll have one of those coming later this year). But my initial impression was that it did allow you to stand and walk in a more upright posture than a double strap bag, which seems to encourage you to lean forward against the pull on the front of your shoulders. However, you do end up lifting the bag slightly higher than you have to with a strap that you can just shrug on and off.

What took the company so long to develop was a way to adjust the yoke to fit different physiques. Two different lower strap attachment points let you balance the bag. The shoulder pads under the yoke can be widened or narrowed independently with three different settings on each side so you can adjust the pads to fit your shoulders.

And it's this fit that's the rub (pun intended). From what I've heard and read, despite Ogio's diligent design efforts, the Shling doesn't fit everyone. While they claim they've engineered the yoke to fit medium to extra large folks, I've heard some beefier guys feel it's too small. And unlike a strap that easily conforms to your shoulder profile, this is a rigid device. It feels very different; although I think it's a feel one could get used to as long as the fit is right.

The bottom line is that you really have to try this before you buy it. When you do, make sure the bag is loaded with clubs and balls comparable to your normal load so you can judge weight and balance. As of now, the Shling is available on two bag models:

Ogio Vision SS

The Vision SS is a bag with all of Ogio's acclaimed bells and whistles, including their patented 9" Woode top, molded shaft dividers, molded ball dispenser, and zipperless ball pocket.

It's similar to their Grom bag that we reviewed here, although it's slightly lighter at 5.85 lbs., versus the Grom's 6.3 lbs.

Both Shling-equipped bags feature a convenient, well designed hook to stow the yoke when you put the bag down. An elastic cord secures the yoke for travel or use on a cart.

The Vision SS (the SS denotes the Shling System) comes in a black and silver version as well as the "fire" red shown here.

Innovation, in this case, does not come cheap. The Vision SS retails for a whopping $229.99 or more (the Grom, by comparison, goes for around $149.99). While available online from GolfSmith and Ebags, again I'd strongly suggest you try it on for size before buying. You can find retailers at the Ogio website.

Ogio Flight SS

Ogio Flight SS BagIf only because it weighs in exactly a pound lighter than the Vision SS, the Flight SS seems to me a more practical carry bag. It has the unique Ogio Woode-Lite top, nine pockets and a water bottle holster.

It also has an external cell phone pocket (perish the thought – although I guess that's reality), a zippered rain hood and a fleece-lined valuables pocket. It's available in three color combinations: the blue shown here; black, white with orange; and red, black with white.

The Flight SS is no small investment, either. It retails for at least a cool $199.99, as compared to the similar Ogio Ozone bag without the Shling that runs $129.99. It too is available online from GolfSmith and Ebags.

In the End…

You have to applaud all the innovation and hard work that have gone into bringing the Shling to market. Attached to Ogio's highly regarded bags, it's certainly an attractive option. But the premium price it commands, along with the uncertainties of fitting, mean a buying decision must be carefully considered. Is it right for you? Only your wallet and your shoulders know for sure.

Posted in: Bag Drop Comments (17)

Discussion

  1. Everardo says:

    I've been using the Flight SS for a few weeks now and it's by far the most comfortable and easy to use stand bag I have ever owned.

    I have always liked Ogio golf bags specifically for their Woode club management.

    The Yoke will take all but 10 minutes to get used to and not having to fumble with double shoulder straps will not be missed. I'm a fairly average weight guy with broad shoulders and find it comfortable to me.

    My complaint with double straps has always been with how to balance the weight of the bag correctly on your back. With the yoke all the weight is on your shoulders and the bag seems to float behind you.

  2. Mallard T. Drake says:

    Don't worry about left handers. I have yet to find a "left-handed" bag. All bags are meant to be carried with the clubs pointing to the right. Not a big deal; we learn to adjust. The people who this will mess up are those who carry the bag with the clubs pointing behind them. The Shling won't work for them.

  3. Everardo says:

    Mallard T. Drake,
    Sun Mountain makes left-handed bags but after trying Ogios Shling I don't think you'd need one.

  4. I tried this on at a local golf store and thought it was a little awkward, didn't try it on a fully loaded bag though.

    Looked great though!

  5. G Patterson says:

    I have used the Vision for about six months now.

    This is definitely the best carrying system I have ever used.

    Watch the people using regular straps. They all lean forward and hunch over.

    With the shling, you can stand up straight. The shling lets you skeletal system take the weight, instead of your muscles.

    I put too much weight in my bag. I used to have separate bags for walking and riding. With the shling, I can carry everything and not feel sore after a round.

  6. Don Streicher says:

    One problem with the bags is that the clip they use to squeeze the stand spring wires to make the legs retract is very poorly designed. It only has a semi circle recessed clip slot made of plastic. After about 3 months mine no longer would hold the spring wires in place, the legs wouldn't retract and spread when open til the bag collapsed. I fixed mine by bolting a steel plate on the open side of the plastic plate to keep the spring wires in place. Time will tell if the plastic can handle the fix.

  7. caddie says:

    i'm a full time caddie at a private top 100 golf club. A caddie carrying 2 bags with this, when they first see it would turn around and find another bag to change the clubs into. Most clubs with caddies have bags that they can change the clubs into. some of the time its because someone has a huge staff bag, but mostly we use them as a way to get guys to take less stuff. you'd be suprised how much those 30 divot repair tools add up to in weight. oh and the 5 doz balls.

  8. Steve says:

    Girlfriend gave me a "Shling" bag for Christmas. I looked to see everyone else's opinion on the bag so I'll leave a few of my own observations. Currently I have an Ogio stand bag with a double stap system. I like the bag but it has always been difficult getting my left arm through the second stap. The shling clipped right on to my current bag so I could test it on a fully loaded bag. It was a little awkward the first couple of times I tried to put it on but I soon got the hang of it. I like the ease of handling much better than the double strap. The adjustable pads are very difficult to lock and unlock. In fact I broke one of my thumbnails and ended up using a screwdriver to lock them back in place. And I had to adjust the pads a lot. I have large trapezius muscles and I never could find a comfortable position for the yoke. After putting it on and off for the 15 minutes of adjusting it had already rubbed the skin of my shoulders till they were sore. The "handle" of the shling also digs into my right chest muscle when I stood with the bag on. Perhaps this something that you get use to. I will give it another chance by using it for a round of golf with my old bag. I think the shling is a clever idea for ease of handling the bag but due to the discomfort issues I'm probably going to take the bag back.

  9. Neil says:

    I have used the Flight SS bag for over a year now and would not wish to go back to the old double strap system. The schling makes carrying substantially easier and significantly more comfortable.

    I agree with Steve's comments - the schling is difficult to adjust but once you have identified the right position it wins hands down.

    Like any carry bag, make sure you don't overload the pockets or it becomes heavy.

  10. I have used the Flight SS bag for over a year now and would not wish to go back to the old double strap system. The schling makes carrying substantially easier and significantly more comfortable.

    Unfortunately, the Schling was not a market success and has been discontinued. I still like mine, but apparently it is the last I'll own.

  11. Jack Waddell says:

    Unfortunately, the Schling was not a market success and has been discontinued. I still like mine, but apparently it is the last I'll own.

    Which explains why I spotted a Schling Flight in either a Marshalls or TJ Maxx a couple weeks ago selling for $79. Ouch.

  12. whodathunk says:

    :cry:
    Marshalls still has it in MD but the price now is $59.00 I got two of them ////The adjustment of the straps takes some time but once you get it it is worth it. As for discomfort or breaking nails...man, soory for you...i hav very broad shoulders and it did take some time to get it right... you can't really get the comfort level down untill you read the directions for proper feel and you adjust the straps till they are just right.. side note. I took the straps off of my Vision golf bag and put them on my laptop computer bag and man I am glad I got this at a steal of a price. $59 bucks it orig. went for $270.00 you would think with all the R&D this thing had they will revisit it in the near future.

  13. clay-futures says:

    :razz: I bought a Vision SS yesterday at a local Marshalls for $20. It was their last one. I hope I can figure out the Schling thing but it doesn't matter...... I'll slip a double strap system on it if Schling becomes Schlok.....for twenty bucks, I can live with it.

  14. whodathunk says:

    There are actually two pad systems for Schling. A nobby neoprene web type one and a flat breathable leather one. The nobby one sucks with too much weight. But the leather version fits just right. To be honest the features on the bag are the best. The Woode top for club organization the torq strap to hold the bag in the cart with out moving the ball silo and the zipperless ball pocket. The little. Things like how your pencil and score card are right there for you to grab while the bag is on our back. The wet dry pockets inside of the bag even if you have this bag and the Shling does not work out for you for 50 or 20 bucks at Marshalls you can go buy another strap system and have one of the best bags out there regardless how you carry it. Target has all of last years models from Nike to Callsway for 75% off. The Callaway one for 24 bucks is the deal. Ogio gave the Callaway a lot of there features. Same company. Hurry they are on the way out to make room for the new spring line at Target.

  15. Lelyflamingo says:

    I purchased an OGIO Flight SS this past weekend. I must admit I was somewhat apprehensive about the schling system, but after a few tries with it loaded with clubs I must admit it is great, especially since I am a lefty and carrying a double strap is not the easiest to get into. it is too bad Ogio discontinued however , I hear they may bring back a new version.

  16. John Smallberries says:

    I can't believe they discontinued the schling. Greatest bag I've ever owned, the flight SS. My son has one too, we absolutely love them! The bag itself is also well designed. Plenty of pockets in all the right places. Me want to cry.

  17. Ed says:

    I got an OGIO bag in 2002. It was flawless apart from the double straps which would be difficult to get into. I even mailed OGIO asking when the schling would be available on a stand bag.

    When my bag got stolen in 2007, I went to get another OGIO - no schling system. :cry: I bought a Nike bag. If the OGIO had the schling system i would have jumped at it.

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