But let's get this out of the way up front: You are not going to win style points with the SkyPorter. Rolling up to the airport with the SkyPorter in tow, some unknowledgeable travelers may mistake your golf bag for a portable, extra large top hat.
Pay them no mind. The SkyPorter is all about efficiency and protection, and it adequately provides both of these key travel elements.
SkyPorter is constructed of a high-compressed polypropylene sheet, surrounded by a layer of polyfoam and finished off with high-grade synthetic leather or nylon. This NASA-esque combination of material gives the bag the ruggedness and shock cushioning properties necessary to withstand disgruntled tarmac employees and extreme weather conditions.
Just like your travel luggage, SkyPorter comes with caster wheels and a 3-digit numeric lock for easy handling and added security. The patent pending cover closure design produces that aforementioned top hat look, but it also creates a slim profile that uses less space than standard golf bags.
Like that skinny guy that keeps going back to the buffet table, SkyPorter claims to defy its svelte exterior by providing storage for golf shoes and pullovers. An integrated towel and umbrella cover is cleverly designed, and makes for a solid addition to the bag.
While it may appear that Sky Porter will limit the number of clubs you take on your trip, the bag is designed to hold up to 14 sticks, including room for a 48'' driver. And lightweight is an understatement - Sky Porter weighs in at seven pounds.
However, the SkyPorter is a new addition to the traveling golf bag arsenal, and there are still a few kinks to work out. For example:
-- The picture at the company's website, www.porterline.com, shoes both golf shoes fitting easily in to the front storage pocket. We tried with a couple of size nine Foot Joys and had trouble zipping up the compartment.
SkyPorter provides plenty-o-room vertically in the compartment, but the material allows for no horizontal stretching. Other than this prison cell-sized compartment, the bag has only one other storage area, and it only holds up to a dozen golf balls.
-- The SkyPorter has serious issues standing on its own. The bag is so skinny, with such a little base, it tends to tip over, especially with top-heavy golf clubs on board.
-- The strap on the bag is an afterthought, and if you have any designs on hoofing it with the SkyPorter when you get to your golf destination of choice, good luck. While most courses in the U.S. either require or encourage golf carts, take a trip to Ireland or Scotland and you'll be wishing you had your Ping Hoofer.
If, after considering these shortcomings, you think the SkyPorter still fits your travel needs, visit www.porterline.com, where you can view a list of websites and retail stores in your area.
Shane Sharp is a Contributing Writer with TravelGolf.com, where his column appears weekly. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.