A few things jumped out at us in our evaluation of the Caddytek CaddyLite ONE. First, the folks at Caddytek have some interesting ideas on the use of capital letters. Secondly, a cart that is remarkably easy to unfold and also quickly folds back down into a compact shape becomes pretty popular for use by our review team.
It doesn’t perform at the level of a high-end cart – there is limited storage space, the tires create a bit more resistance, the foot brake is an acquired taste, and our test cart was a little creaky.
But there are a lot of things that we liked about the Caddytek CaddyLite ONE, including its good looks and its reasonable price. If you want to try out an entry level push cart without making too much of a financial commitment, the ONE is an excellent option.
Retail price: $169.00
Availability: Discontinued. Replaced by the Caddytek CaddyLite EZ
- Folds into a flat and compact shape
- Simple to fold and unfold
- Bargain pricing – we’ve seen some colors available for as low as $109
- Limited storage space
- Plastic (EVA) wheels don’t roll as easily through the rough
- Awkward foot brake
At 16.5 pounds (as tested), the CaddyTek ONE is about average among the push carts we’ve tested (compare this to the lightest cart, the Tour Trek Tahoe, at 10.5 lbs., and the heaviest cart, the Sun Mountain Speed Cart V2, at 20 lbs.). When it’s folded, the CaddyTek ONE is nice and compact at only 15.5 inches tall. It’s not quite to the level of the Sun Mountain Micro Cart, which is 12.5 inches tall when folded, but it’s still easy to stow away in the trunk of most cars, including compacts.
EASE OF SET-UP
As with most golf push carts, the Caddytek CaddyLite ONE requires some assembly. The instructions are reasonably detailed, and the entire process only took two minutes. Note that as with the Bag Boy TriSwivel, the manual fails to tell you that when shipped, the axle of each rear wheel has a little rubber cover on it that needs to be removed before you pop it into the hole. In the case of the ONE, the rubber covers are much looser, so it was pretty obvious that they needed to be removed. Still, would it be too much to ask for a simple line in the manual about this?
The unfolding process for the CaddyLite ONE is where it really excels. Step one is to pull the front wheel out and pivot it 90 degrees until it clicks into position. Step two is to pull on the cart and extend it until it clicks into place. And you’re done! Of course, this is TWO steps, and not ONE…but before you clamor for Caddytek to rename the cart, note that the first step of rotating the front wheel is actually optional (it just makes the folded cart a little flatter).
A complaint we have with the ONE is that although it is supposed to “click” into place when it’s folded, the retaining bracket is extremely loose, and thus when it is picked up with one hand, the cart has a tendency to droop and begin to unfold.
ON COURSE IMPRESSIONS
The Caddytek CaddyLite ONE will get you and your clubs around the course, but it requires a little more work. The EVA plastic wheels don’t cut through the rough very easily, so you have to expend some extra effort. One thing we did appreciate was that the cart’s low center of gravity and wide profile kept it stable across a broad range of terrain.
- The bungee straps for securing a bag to the cart (there are upper and lower straps) are easy to hook together, and keep the bag snugly in place.
- We weren’t big fans of the ONE’s foot-activated brake system. Located just inside the left rear wheel is a pedal. Pressing on the pedal with your foot will activate a spring that inserts a pin into the nearest notch to stop the wheel from rolling. Pressing on the pedal a second time will activate the spring again and release the pin. While this sounds simple enough, the brake pedal is far forward enough that extending your foot to reach it can be awkward. There are only nine total notches into which the brake pin can extend, which means that the cart will continue to slide a bit forward or backward before the brake catches it.
- As mentioned above, the wheels are made of solid EVA plastic, so there is no danger of winding up with a flat.
- The handle pivots up or down to fit the height of the user. There is a minimum height below which the handle will not pivot. The ridges of the rubber grip on the handle are a little rough – not enough to peel off any skin, but they create enough friction that you’ll notice them.
- The alignment of the front wheel is adjustable to the extent that you find that the cart is veering in one direction. An Allen wrench is necessary to make these adjustments – one is supposed to be included with the cart, but for whatever reason, ours came without one.
The storage and accessories available on the Caddytek CaddyLite ONE include:
- a small valuables tray with a magnetic lid. The tray wasn’t large enough to fit our “test case” of 2 golf balls, a GPS device (we tried it with a Skycaddie SGXw, a upro mx+ and a Garmin G6), an iPhone, a set of keys, and a wallet – we were only able to get the lid to close if we excluded the GPS device. The tray has 3 indentations that are meant to fit golf balls, and has a small elastic strap, the purpose of which escaped us. [Editor’s Note: We think we’ve finally figured out the strap – it seems to secure a phone perfectly.]
- a plastic clip attached to the lid of the valuables tray that is designed to hold down a scorecard and secure a pencil.
- an umbrella mount that holds an umbrella upright to provide you with shelter when it’s raining or if the sun is beating down on you. The umbrella mount quickly screws into a hole on the handle. One nice feature is that there are two knobs that can be used to adjust the angle at which the umbrella is held (one for forward/backward and the other for left/right), resulting in pretty good coverage. The umbrella mount clips underneath the handle for storage and access during play – unfortunately, it’s so big that it must be removed from the clip to allow the CaddyLite ONE to completely fold, leaving you with the quandary of figuring out where to put it when you store the cart.
- a moderately-sized cup/bottle holder that will hold most bottles. The bottom of the cup/bottle holder is nylon webbing, which can be velcroed up or down to keep the cup or bottle snug
- five holes for storing extra tees
- two holes for storing ball markers
- a stencil cut-out for marking a straight line on a ball
The Caddytek CaddyLite ONE actually took us by surprise with its looks. The lower center of gravity and the acute angle at which the bag rests give it an aggressive stance. The red trim on the wheels and handle matched well with the silver model we tested.
The ONE is available in three colors – black, silver and neon green. The wheels are silver with red trim for the black and silver models, while they are black with red trim for the neon green version.
The Caddytek CaddyLite ONE retails for $160, placing it as the second least expensive golf push cart we tested, and it seems to be available for significantly less at online retailers. The construction of the aluminum body seems sturdy enough, but it made enough creaks as we pushed it around the course to give us some pause about the overall fit and finish of the cart.
In summary, the ONE doesn’t quite have the polish of some of the more sophisticated entrants in the market, but if you’re looking for an entry-level product, it provides reasonable performance at a reasonable price.
I found the extra pushing effort was due to slight misalignment of the rear tires. A small engineering geometry glitch. Otherwise very good value.