“News Flash: Scientists have discovered a way to alleviate back pain, elevate energy levels, and increase the amount of aerobic exercise for millions of people Worldwide.” I know; it sounds too good to be true! If only every facet of life could be improved in such a way. But, we are golfers, and what’s good for our golf game is good for the rest of our daily activities! To that end, we have a new entry in the world of on-course bag mobility, and thy name is Speed Cart V2.
I’ve been a Speed Cart user for a couple of seasons now, and a pull cart user before that. I’ve always liked to walk the course, but had never been a fan of lugging an extra 30 pounds around the course all day on my shoulders. I immediately noticed how much more energy I had after a round once I began using a Speed Cart. The pushing was close to effortless, and my shoulders were in a more natural position as I walked than when I used a pull cart. The version I had, -now called the Speed Cart V1- folded compactly and was quick and easy to pull out of my trunk and set up. I have been very happy with the design, and it has been problem-free for the two seasons I have owned it. I was a little surprised to see that Sun Mountain came out with a new V2 model. I figured I had to see if the push cart experience could be elevated even more with the new model. Alright; -here we go!
New Features of Sun Mountain Speed Cart V2
Just like the V1, the V2 arrived fully assembled. There were some new features that were of interest, and I wanted to see if they indeed made the experience any more convenient and user-friendly.
The first of which was the new frame shape. The frame shape has been widened and the bag sits lower in the Speed Cart V2. This did seem to be an improvement, as the bag’s center of gravity now sits lower, and the V2 seems less top heavy than the V1. I’ve only had a couple of occasions when my V1 had tipped over to the side on some steeper side hill inclines, and the V2 seemed less prone to such a spill.
The V2 also incorporates a netting system that can be used to hold a jacket or sweater, as well as another smaller net to throw things like winter gloves into located on the upper handle area. Both were very handy when I played in ever-changing late fall into early winter conditions this season. When the sun would come out and I got too warm, the sweater “pouch” was a handy place to store my jacket. The “pouch” is riveted onto the frame in spots and Velcro fasteners fasten it on other areas. I was a little disappointed that it was not removable, as it is something that does detract some from the otherwise sleek looks of the V2 and likely would only be used in the fall for me. It can be used for a multitude of functions, so that is a somewhat moot point. Still, it would be nice to have the option.
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The V2 still incorporates a hand brake as the stopping mechanism for the cart. I was happy to see this, as it is the most convenient way to keep your cart steady on a hillside. The new type of brake mechanism is incorporated into the one piece folding front wheel assembly now. The brake itself is a cable-activated plastic “stopper” that engages when the handle is pulled. It is unobtrusive in its location, and did function well. A couple of things concerned me about it however. One, the plastic “stopper” is located on an axel above the wheel, and is engaged by way of a metal spring. The spring is not all that sturdy (in an effort to make the handle engagement easier I’m sure.) I can’t see it lasting as long as the caliper-style brake has on my V1 cart. The V2’s braking system also relies on the front tire pressure being inflated to the proper amount in order for the “stopper” to have adequate tire friction. With golf clubs as expensive as they are, a small piece of plastic on a spring does not seem like the most secure way to keep my precious clubs from rolling down a hill into a pond. I honestly prefer my V1 cart in this regard.
The upper storage area on the push handle has been re-designed with the V2. The “glove box,” –if you will, has been enlarged and now closes using small magnets. I liked this change, namely because the glove box is deeper. My laser rangefinder now fits inside for easy access on the course. The hinges do infringe some on the interior space, but the Pinseeker just fit, and it was a welcome change. A piano bench style hinge would work best to not infringe on the “trunk” space. Also, there is only one ball holder. There is now an incorporated ball line guide to use with a sharpie to put a line on your ball with. That is a thoughtful feature, but I think I would have preferred storage of 3 balls “at the ready” like on the Speed Cart V1. The drink holder is large, but it is not deep enough, and a 16 ounce bottle of water tended to topple over in it. There is room underneath to make it deeper. They should have.
One other feature touted is the use of adjustable “smart brackets” to hold the golf bag onto the cart. These are plastic “cradles” that are fine-tuned to size with the use of adjustable thumb screws. I never thought I would long for bungee cords, but the “smart brackets” seemed anything but, compared to the ease of use of the V1’s bungee cord system. Getting the bag into the brackets was cumbersome, as there was no way to easily slide the bag past the brackets. The bag tends to get caught up on them, and what once took mere seconds with the V1’s bungee system is now somewhat frustrating. A retrofit with some bungee cords like the V1 would be a welcome change.
Overall, the Speed Cart V2 was still agreeable, and made the walk itself pleasurable. The ease of pushing is still excellent and the quality of build as far as the handle lock mechanism and parts (aside from the braking system) were all of good quality. The V2 comes complete with umbrella straps and a holder for use to hold your umbrella in wet conditions. A sand/seed bottle is included for courses where they make such mixtures available. An air pump to inflate the tires (and apparently keep the brake system operational) is also included. I really liked the added stability that the wider, deeper body of the cart afforded the design when loaded with bag, I just wish securing the bag to the cart actually involved securing it to the cart.
I came away feeling like Sun Mountain had come so close to making this cart near perfect on so many levels, but it just did not translate to easier use overall. I believe with some small tweaks to the design, Sun Mountain could have a real winner on their hands with the V2, and the improvements would warrant the up-charge over the Speed Cart V1. It will still get you around the course in style, and keep you fresh for 18 or 36 in a day without a problem. Walking the course with a Sun Mountain is the way to go to get your exercise without heavy lifting. The V1 is the champion of this review, but we as golfers are the winner when it comes to getting around the course in comfort with a Speed Cart.