The GTS Hardcase from Tour Trek (Golfsmith’s house brand) is one of the few available hardsided golf travel bags. Like the Samsonite Hardside, it has a lightweight ABS shell and comes with four 360-degree spinner wheels on the bottom of the case that enable you to roll it standing up, along with two in-line skate wheels when you need to pull it over rougher terrain.
An interior pocket or two would have been nice, but now we’re really splitting hairs. The GTS Hardcase and Samsonite Hardside are very similar products (thus the similar scoring), and it ultimately may come down to which one is better priced on a given day (we’ve seen both at discounts to the listed MSRPs), and whether or not you get antsy about the fact that we couldn’t find any warranty information about the product. We presume that Golsmith would stand behind its products, but you may not be as trusting as we are.
If you fill up your golf travel bag to the airline baggage weight limit, you’ll be at 50 pounds. It’s much easier to roll 50 pounds that is standing up on four wheels than it is to lift one edge of a 50 pound bag and drag it behind you on two wheels. Your arms, shoulders and back will all thank you if you make the move.
Retail price: $199.99
Golfsmith: Check price now
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
As mentioned above, the Tour Trek GTS Hardcase golf travel case is made of ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, if you must know what it stands for), a lightweight plastic that has a bit of flexibility. Interestingly, both the Tour Trek GTS Hardcase and the Samsonite Hardside had a number of scuffs and scratches after their maiden voyages – we presume it’s just a propensity of ABS to show wear and tear. There was, however, no damage to the structural integrity of the case, and more importantly, the precious cargo was untouched.
A two-way zipper runs the length of the bag with a ring that enables the zippers to be locked together, and the bag comes with a TSA approved padlock. The dimensions of the GTS Hardcase are approximately 52” x 15” x 14”, compared to the Samsonite Hardside’s 54″ x 16″ x 12″, and thus the GTS Hardcase has a tad more interior capacity. Note that even though it’s a hair shorter than the Samsonite, it had no problems accommodating a golf carry bag with an oversize driver in it.
The design of the Tour Trek GTS Hardcase also includes:
- four 360-degree “spinner” wheels on the bottom of the case that pivot in any direction, making for a smooth rolling experience and the ability to pivot quickly and easily,
- two additional in-line skate wheels positioned on one side that can be used to pull the case over curbs or uneven surfaces,
- a thin layer of padding throughout the bag, with thicker foam padding at the top to protect the heads of your clubs as they extend out of your regular golf carry bag,
- two internal adjustable straps to secure your golf bag – one that fits around the top of the bag and one toward the bottom,
- two plastic-gripped handles – one at the top of the case, and one on the side – with springs that cause the handles to fold tight with the case when they aren’t being used, and
- only one color option – grey.
We tested the Tour Trek GTS Hardcase with a standard sized carry bag, and were comfortably able to fit a pair of golf shoes, a pair of flip flops, and clothes for a long weekend. On the trip home, we had all of the dirty clothes in a plastic hotel laundry bag, and were easily able to shove the plastic bag into the GTS Hardcase and zip it shut. The ABS exterior has some give to it, so there was actually additional room to cram in additional stuff, but as always, you have to be aware of exceeding airline restrictions on weight.
Like the Samsonite Hardside, the Tour Trek GTS Hardcase is designed to stand on its base and let you wheel it along on the four “spinner” wheels. If you’re going over a curb or uneven surface, you can easily grab the top handle and drag it behind you on the two in-line skate wheels.
The Tour Trek GTS Hardcase weighed 16 pounds (as tested), making it the second heaviest travel case we tested (topped only by the OGIO Mammoth), but because it is fully wheeled, the additional weight doesn’t impact the ease of hauling it around. The primary impact of the heavier weight is that it means you’re a bit closer to the airlines’ “overweight” baggage fee for bags over 50 pounds before you’ve even started packing.
While the GTS Hardcase is two inches shorter than the Samsonite Hardside, it’s still difficult to fit in the trunk of a typical import car, so you’ll need to either use a pass through between the trunk and back seat, or you can just lay it across the entire back seat (which worked fine in our rental Toyota Camry).
The Tour Trek GTS Hardcase golf travel bag retails for $199.99, placing it among the least expensive third of bags in our tests. We’ve hammered home the convenience of four-wheeling in this review, but will emphasize it one more time – until you’ve tried it, you don’t know what you’re missing. The hard shell provides great confidence in the protection afforded for your clubs, while staying relatively light.
We couldn’t find any warranty information about the Tour Trek GTS Hardcase either on the packaging or on the retailer’s web site, so it may just be caveat emptor. This is a minor concern, although Golfsmith is a large retailer and presumably would stand behind its house products.
Retail price: $199.99
Golfsmith: Check price now