Cart Bag Vs Carry Bag — (Which One Should I Buy?)

cart bag vs carry bag pros and cons with which one is better to use on the golf course

There are many different types of golf bags on the market today, and selecting the right golf bag for your game can set you up for success on the golf course.

Many golfers claim to play their best golf when walking the course, and invest in carry bags and stand bags made specifically for walkers. Other players prefer the convenience and speed provided by a golf cart, and choose bags that are built to sit upright with a cart strap.

There are also push cart and pull cart users, who look for cart bags that are best for their setup.

cart bag vs carry bag pros and cons with which one is better to use on the golf course

Why Use A Cart Bag?

cart bag vs carry bag for tell me more golf

Golfers who prefer to use a golf cart on the course have a different set of needs when it comes to choosing a golf bag compared to walkers. Cart bags are designed specifically for use on the back of a golf cart, and many are designed with either a pass-through slot for the cart strap. 

This allows all outside pockets to stay accessible during a round of golf without being covered by the strap. Push cart and pull cart users generally prefer to use cart bags as well, as the pass through slots tend to line up with the straps on many setups. 

Cart bags are generally larger than carry bags, as weight is less of an issue and increased storage is prioritized.

This leaves much more room for golf balls, cooler pockets, magnetic rangefinder pockets, and all sorts of other bells and whistles. 

This allows golfers to customize their bags and allow for easy access to whichever golf accessories they use most often while golfing. They often feature 14-way dividers to keep clubs separate, and some have dedicated putter slots that are oversized to accommodate larger putter grips. 

While cart bags are larger, bulkier, and heavier than carry bags, they offer much more storage space and options. The Titleist “Cart 15” bag has eleven pockets for example, while their stand bag version, the “Players 4” only has seven. 

Additionally, the “Cart 15” features a 15 way divider, and the “Cart 14” has 14 slots. The “Players 4” only comes with a four way divider, and they do not offer a carry bag with individual club slots. 

Golfers looking for a stand bag that offers a full 14-way divider should check out the “Ping Hoofer 14,” one of only a handful of carry bags currently on the market to come equipped with this premium feature.


Pros of Using a Cart Bag

  • Maximum storage space
  • Integrated cart strap system
  • Pockets easily accessible when sitting on golf cart

Cons of Using a Cart Bag 

  • Heavier than stand bag
  • Bulky and awkward to carry
  • Too much clutter for minimalist golfers


Why Use A Carry Bag?

Carry bags are the best option for golfers who like to walk the course when they play. Their lightweight designs, along with padded shoulder straps and ergonomic designs make them far more comfortable to carry on your back than cart bags. 

There are many different styles of carry bags, from tiny “sunday bags” that only fit a few clubs, to full sized stand bags with nearly as much storage as a carry bag. 

Carry bags are much lighter than cart bags.

For example, The Titleist “Players 4 Carbon” stand style carry bag weighs only 2.8 pounds, while Titleist’s “Cart 15” cart bag weighs in at 5.4 pounds – nearly double. 

They are also much less large and bulky, which can make them a better option for golfers who are short on storage space. Additionally, carry bags will fit easier into the trunk of a car, which can be crucial for commuters with less trunk space. 

In most cases, the team of experts at Tell Me More Golf recommend choosing a “stand bag” style carry bag, as this is the most versatile option that can be used in every situation. Stand bags have retractable legs that extend when the butt of the bag is placed on the ground. 

The bag then leans until the legs catch it, similar to a kickstand. This keeps the golf bag and clubs at around a 45 degree angle, and golfers do not have to bend over to grab a club out of the top of the bag. 

For golfers who prefer an ultra light and slim option, Titleist has a model they simply call the “Carry Bag” that only weighs about two pounds. It features a double shoulder strap and simple two divider design, making it the ultimate in simple minimalistic golf bags. 

For golfers who prefer a more standard sized carry bag with more pockets and retractable legs, the Ping “Hoofer” is one of the most popular options on the market. This full sized carry bag comes in a variety of configurations, and is available in lightweight, waterproof, and divider style models to name a few. 

Carry Bag Pros And Cons

Pros of Using a Carry Bag

  • Lightweight and less bulky
  • Ergonomic design for walking
  • Most caray bags can be used on golf carts

Cons of Using a Carry Bag

  • Less storage than cart bag
  • Less likely to have cooler pockets
  • Cart strap will cover pockets when used on golf cart

Which Is Better? A Cart Bag Or Carry Bag?

When choosing between a cart bag and a carry bag, it is important to consider how often you walk the course vs how often you use a golf cart or push cart. Some golfers only walk, others only ride, and there are also golfers who do a little bit of both. 

If you find yourself walking the golf course just as often as you ride or push, the team of experts at Tell Me More Golf recommend using a stand style carry bag. A stand bag is the most adaptable style of golf bag, and can be used walking, riding, pushing or pulling. 

Golfers who usually walk the course should also choose a carry bag with retractable legs, and golfers who use a golf cart most of the time should use a cart bag. Staff bags are also available for sale to the general public, which are much larger than other golf bags and resemble the “tour bags” seen on the PGA tour. – Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a carry bag on a cart?

A carry bag can be used on a golf cart, as long as it is full sized and not small enough to slip out. The cart strap will be able to lock any full sized bag into place, though there are  some minor drawbacks. 

The cart strap will usually cover the upper pockets of carry bags, making it tough to access needed golf accessories throughout the round. Also, some stand bags will rest on the golf cart in a way that makes the retractable legs stick out a bit. While neither of these are necessarily major issues, many golfers find them to be annoying. 

What’s the difference between a cart bag and a carry bag?

Cart bags have a flat bottom and are designed to be sat upright on the back of a golf cart. They are generally larger than carry bags, with more pockets and no legs to prop themselves up. 

Carry bags are smaller than cart bags, and most have retractable legs that keep the bag standing up when not being held. While both will have straps, carry bags will be much more comfortable to carry and can feature either a single strap or double strap design. 

Why do pro golfers use cart bags?

On the PGA Tour, professional golfers have caddies carry their bags. While these high quality tour bags are large and resemble a cart bag, the correct name for them is “staff bags.” Staff bags have more storage and space than even the largest cart bag, and its size serves multiple purposes. 

First, professional golfers carry way more gear in their golf bag than an average golfer during a round. In addition to training aids, sunscreen, and standard golf equipment, caddies also pack players bags full of rain gear, umbrellas and all snacks and food needed during a round. 

Second, all of this additional space on the bag allows sponsors to place extra large logos on the front, making them more visible to viewers and television cameras. Tour bags are also made of high quality, premium materials and are generally waterproof, as PGA events are often played in the rain.

Conclusion: Research by

black tell me more golf compressed logo with mottled background information for golfers

When it comes to finding the best golf bag for your needs, one of the most important factors to take into account is how you play your golf. Some golfers only ride in golf carts when they play, and others walk the course every time. 

There are also golfers who use push carts and pull carts, as well as the many golfers who ride, walk, push, or pull depending on the situation. Stand style carry bags are the most versatile type of golf bag, and can be used for all four applications.


Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
Our golf instructor team brings it all to you, so enjoy!
Tell Me More Golf Browser Icon Theme for Website


Tell Me More Golf Instructor Free Golf Tips Coaching Advice and Expert Instructional Courses for Free