OGIO, better known for its golf bags (currently offering 21, count ’em, 21 different models…what the-), has added a golf push cart to their lineup. But this is no ordinary cart – the OGIO X4 Synergy is designed to allow you to keep your golf bag mounted on the cart, even when folded. This can be a convenience, but prospective buyers should consider whether the larger footprint of the cart will work in their vehicle, and also if they want to lift an additional 20-plus pounds in addition to their bag full of clubs when loading and unloading their car.
Aside from this unique design (it is the only cart in our reviews that allows for a bag to stay on when folded), the push cart is straightforward. While the X4 Synergy has a special strap that secures selected OGIO bags to the cart, it is compatible with all standard carry and cart bags.
The X4 Synergy has a wide wheelbase that provides excellent stability. On the other hand, the long neck of the cart leading to the handle makes for loose steering, and the handle position is not adjustable. The cart has a drink holder and an umbrella holder (which clips to one of the legs when not in use). Unfortunately, the X4 Synergy offers limited storage space, which can be a real detriment to those of us who are used to stowing extra food, clothing, balls and other miscellaneous odds and ends on our push carts.
While you may benefit from the ability to keep your bag on the cart at all times and the excellent folding and unfolding mechanism, the threshold question really is whether you have the space to fit the combined cart and bag in your trunk. Those with Escalades need not worry, but we only had a 50% hit rate among the four vehicles we tested. If you can get over that hump, you still have to consider the lack of storage space, the weight of the cart itself, and the $240 suggested retail price (which makes it one of the most expensive golf push carts we’ve tested).
- No need to set up your bag on the cart each time – just leave it on!
- A breeze to fold and unfold
- Total weight (bag and cart) and size will pose a limitation to many
- Odd storage compartment design and lack of additional storage
- Relatively high price
The selling point of the OGIO X4 Synergy push cart is simple: you can leave your golf bag on the cart all the time – even when folding and unfolding the cart. Simple enough, and the marketing material promotes up to 30% savings in overall space usage versus a bag and cart that are stored separately. We won’t dispute that claim, but there are two important factors to consider. While the X4’s ability to keep the bag on the cart can be a benefit to some, this value will depend on whether you can accommodate the relatively wide and deep dimensions of the cart (overall 38.0″h x 19.5″w x 17.5″d), which is driven by the spacing of the cart’s rear wheels when folded. If you have a tight squeeze already, will the OGIO X4 Synergy fit in your trunk? If you travel with a partner to the course, can you fit two?
Aside from dimensions, another consideration is simply whether you want to lift not only your golf bag, but a push cart at the same time. The X4 Synergy is, at 20.2 pounds (as tested) all by itself, one of the heaviest push carts we have reviewed. Tack on another 25 pounds for a bag and clubs, and you’re up to 45 pounds in total (we did that math all by ourselves!). If you don’t want to hoist that amount of weight, you can probably stop reading our review right here (What? You think you’re better than me? It’s go time!).
EASE OF SET-UP
The OGIO X4 Synergy is easy to put together, requiring only the attachment of the two front wheels to the cart, done by slipping the wheel assemblies over a spring-loaded pin on the right and left front legs (any minor adjustments to the front wheels can be easily done with an L wrench). Ta da.
Once the push cart is assembled, the unfolding process is one of the easiest around. A quick press of a release button allows the handles to swing outward and up (and the rear legs out), and you simply keep pulling these into position until you hear a “click”. To fold the cart, players need only make sure the brake is off (we were thrown by this the first time, as we usually have the brake on when loading and unloading the cart), then pull on a handle located between the top of the bag and the player and swing the cart handle down to lock it into place. When the cart is folded it doesn’t have the ability to roll, so when you remove the cart/bag combo from your car to store it in your garage, you’ll either need to unfold the cart to push it or leave it folded and carry/drag the cart to the desired location. The bottom cage that holds the base of the bag is well made, and provides a sturdy base to both cradle the bag while on the course, as well as to store it upright.
While the bag attachment (aka strap on the cart to secure the top of the golf bag) was originally marketed as compatible with all current model OGIO bags, the OGIO website and the manual provide a more accurate story, which is that only select bags have the matching rectangular rings for strap attachment. As of Summer 2013, this included OGIO Recoil and Grom XX stand bags, and the Chamber, Taj, Itza and Giza cart bags. Truthfully, the special bag attachments really make little difference in securing your bag on the X4 Synergy (either for during play or when storing), as the adjustable straps can do an equally nice job of keeping the bag snugly in place. An additional elastic cord at the base of the X4 Synergy wraps around the bag to provide additional security (although the tightness of this cord cannot be adjusted).
ON COURSE IMPRESSIONS
- The X4 Synergy has a much “looser” feel on the course, due to the length of both the handle/arm that attach to the frame and the length of the rear legs. OGIO apparently recognizes this, as they provide what they call a “Sport Mode tension lock” – an additional clip to stabilize the handle – to tighten the steering of the cart. The Sport Mode tension lock makes a bit of a difference, and we found ourselves always clipping it into place. Even with the Sport Mode tension lock engaged, the OGIO X4 Synergy had far less reactive steering than any other cart in our test.
- The cart is quite stable over all types of terrain, owing to the spread of the rear wheels, with a width of 29.5″ (compare this to the Sun Mountain Micro Cart at 24.0″).
- The X4 Synergy’s foam handle provides some comfort and grip. Neither the length nor the angle of the handle are adjustable, which may not win any fans amongst extremely tall or petite users.
- The brake lever is located in the center of the handle, which is activated simply flipping the level downward with your thumb to release from the handle. When the brake is activated, a rubber pad will release and press against the left rear wheel to hold it in place (the other three wheels can still move).
- The tri-spoke wheels have foam tires so, as with most current carts, you don’t have to worry about getting a flat.
The storage and accessories available on the OGIO X4 Synergy include:
- a reasonably sized (though curiously shaped) organization compartment made of thin plastic and with a magnetic closure. The compartment is divided into a ½-inch deep center section equipped with thin foam padding, making it useful for storing an iPhone or other thin portable device, flanked by two additional V-shaped areas on either side. While the compartment doesn’t feel particularly well-made and seems to have sacrificed capacity in favor of a high-tech looking shape, it was able to fit our “test case” of 2 golf balls, a phone, a GPS device, a set of keys, and a wallet.
- a spot to hold one golf ball to keep it somewhat-at-the-ready. Why do we qualify this with “somewhat”? Because although the ball is visible and at the point of the compartment closest to the handle, you still have to open the compartment lid to get at it.
- An elastic band running across the outside of the organization compartment that can secure a scorecard or course guide and a pencil. While there is an indentation in which the pencil will rest, a single elastic band holds both the card and pencil in place.
- an umbrella mount, which is clipped onto the left rear leg of the cart, and when in use screws by hand into the center of the handle, just above the brake lever.
- a bottle holder (aka “hydration holster”..we haven’t heard that one before!) on the right side of the handle that fits most bottles and cradles them in a flexible strap. The bottle moves around a bit in the holster, but still stays secure.
- next to the bottle holder is an open slot for hanging sunglasses by their template – something we’ll never use, but maybe somebody else will..
- a clip on the side of the handle to attach other accessories that are available for purchase separately, such as sand bottle holders or the like.
The OGIO X4 Synergy lacks a storage net or bag to hold other items, such as a jacket or your lunch – you’ll have to stuff all of that into the bag itself.
The box says the OGIO X4 Synergy is “Built to drive 0-18 holes in style.” This struck us as a bit of an overstatement. The wheels aren’t too bad, but the cart is lanky and somewhat upright, a byproduct of the longer steering arm and rear “legs” that OGIO has designed to allow the cart to fold with a bag attached. The X4 Synergy comes in your choice of red, white, silver or black.
The retail price of $240 for the OGIO X4 Synergy is at the upper end of the spectrum among the golf push carts we have tested. It has a small (oddly designed) storage compartment, there isn’t any additional storage outside of that compartment (it is the highest-priced cart tested without any extra storage), and it doesn’t handle as well as other carts. Arguably then the price premium is a result of the ability to keep the bag on the cart when folded and stored. The deal breaker for us, however, is that we didn’t value that feature because of the storage capacity of our vehicles, our need to stack multiple bags when we travel with others to the course, and our lack of desire to lift another 20 pounds at the same time as our bag.
Looking for a little marketing? Why not?