“I like big bags and I cannot lie.”Something in me believes that the more money I spend to gear up, or the better I look in my disc golf threads, will somehow lead to lower scores on the course. Never has happened to me. Probably never will. But, sometimes an item comes along that can take a day on the course from a grind to a lot more pleasurable (and in this case more comfortable) day of disc golf. This indeed leads to a better overall experience. The more we can relax and enjoy our round allows us to perform better. Our minds are put at ease and we can concentrate on our game and have fun.
First Impressions: The weight of the Dynamic Discs Ranger Backpack seems to be distributed evenly vertically through the design to avoid the saggy-bag-dead weight-at-the-bottom- syndrome or SBDWATBS. The soft molded back panel seems to relieve most pressure points that many backpacks (disc golf and non disc golf) fail to properly address. This immediately was a win for me. My comfort increased over a few plays with my body feeling accustomed to a new addition. An ergonomic weight distribution is a great feature that disc golf backpacks have over conventional over-the-shoulder or disc golf bag w/back-straps. Too many players suffer fatigue that they might not realize comes from this proverbial sack of rocks hanging over their shoulder and/or back. Even carrying a bag on the non-throwing arm can cause body fatigue. Most players I spoke with that tried or actually own the bag felt very comfortable with the bag’s center of gravity. Just about right. Adjusting the shoulder straps for a player’s height and build optimize the effect. The shoulder straps are comfortable yet not very large or padded compared to most of the quad strap manufacturers. I noticed that it was much easier to place my arm through the straps over my shoulders. Some larger/padded straps require tweaking the arm and, more importantly, shoulder back sometimes too far to wedge the arm in its proper position. Not in this case. The molded back also allows MUCH NEEDED cross ventilation between the player’s back and the surface of the bag (see below). On a hot day, or for big, sweaty dudes (like me), this is a must.This by far is one of the bag’s best features.
The "On-Deck" putter pocket is a great take on the putter pocket design. Two putters can be securely placed in the bag's side pouch with ease (once broken in). Some bags/backpacks have convenient putter pocket locations in theory, but when the time comes to remove or place the putter back in the pocket, it comes with force and fidgeting. Not with the "On-Deck's" pouch design. With the Ranger's side putter pocket, the top of the bag now becomes a very large storage compartment. I can easily fit a jacket or hooded sweatshirt, snacks, drinks, etc. in the top storage area. Though the compartment is not insulated or waterproof, storage of chilled can beverages is possible.
One of the backpack’s best compliments lies in the fact that it’s easy to tell that the Ranger Backpack was designed by disc golfers of MANY levels of play. Too many times sports accessory products are designed for either Pro level players who know exactly what they need to be effective or products aimed at entry-level players, designed to be newbie-friendly, but lack the utilitarian features most players soon tend to want/need. One of our favorite features is the Collapsible Stool Holster/2nd Cup Holder. A small feature, yet well thought out. No wasted space. Both options add value to the bag with no loss of space.
More “small” features I appreciated: - The disc compartment cover rolls itself to the top of compartment. Out of the way, but ready to use in a snap. - Reinforced feet on the bottom of the bag lift the bag off of the ground just enough to avoid contact with wet or muddy surfaces. Too many times I have placed a bag over my back with a waterproof bottom only to end up with a wet or muddy back. This is due to the flat surface of the bag’s bottom. It’s a little thing, but it’s well thought out. - A dedicated towel clip. Yes, a tiny, but useful item. I’ve probably spent a total of 18 hours of my life in my decades of playing, untangling my towel that was clipped onto my straps connector hooks. What a pain. Never again! - Don’t laugh at this one, but I love that the water bottle holder is not exactly shaped in the form of a full cylinder attached to the side of the back. It is more of an expanding half circle/slit that uses its tension to hold most any beverage shaped item safely and tightly against the bag. I can bend over with the backpack on and not fear a gust of liquid down my back and I don’t have to tighten/loosen/tighten a drawstring every time I need a drink. Again, a little thing, but well thought out. A small part of the expanding holder is mesh just in case of a spill. It will drain out.
Style: Style is VERY subjective. I personally thought the first run of grey on black bags looked a bit like a large camera pack. The Ranger Backpack now available varies from the stylish Quasar Blue to the more subtle working-class Charcoal. Compared to a few other disc golf backpacks on the market, I did find the Ranger Backpack to look slightly boxy. Not a bad thing per se, just a very subjective opinion. I do believe this design choice offers more storage space than some competitor’s bags, so that’s a fair tradeoff. It works.
Craftsmanship: Without going into fabric or stitching details which make no sense to most of us, let’s just say that every panel, zipper, clip, and pocket seem to be of sturdy design. It is built to hold up much longer than most bags found on any course. In SoCal (our location), weather rarely becomes a factor. Our weather ranges from highs of 85 degrees in the summer, down to a chilly 75 degrees in the winter. Somehow we get by. But, for those living with an actual changing climate, this bag looks to be built for frequent and heavy use. Not rainproof, but built to hold up in rougher conditions. In a few months we will address how the bag holds up for us over greater use. Based on first impressions, I think this design bodes well for heavy use.
Value: With a list price of $174.99, it is VERY easy to say that this bag is a great value. Relative to other disc golf backpacks on the market, the Dynamic Discs Ranger Backpack comes in costing much less than most backpacks with a similar level of quality.
Bottom line: - Well thought out design - Very comfortable (as backpacks go) - Well built - Great price
These all add up to make the Dynamic Discs Ranger Backpack worthy of your next disc golf bag purchase. Highly recommended!
Review by Mark Wilson
- -Limited Lifetime Warranty (Covers defects in materials and workmanship)
- -Engineered with a low center of gravity to keep your bag upright
- -"On-Deck" putter pocket holds 2 putters for quick and easy access
- -Molded back panel minimizes contact points and allows for cross ventilation
- -Large main disc compartment that holds 18+ discs
- -Large main storage compartment
- -Collapsible stool holster, also functions as an optional 2nd water bottle holder
- -Exterior water bottle holder
- -Exterior towel clip
- -Removable lightweight disc divider located inside main disc compartment
- -Oversized reinforced haul handle for ease of operation
- -Stretch mesh exterior pocket for scorecard, pencils, mini disc marker, etc.
- -Water resistant bottom material with reinforced feet to keep your bag off the ground
- -Velcro opening keeps the over-flap clear of discs for easy access
- -Internal zippered mesh pocket for a more secure storage solution
- -Two external accessory pockets for sunglasses, wallet, keys, cell phone, etc.
- -Designated bag tag attachment loop
- -Volumes: storage compartment - 500 cubic inches; total - 1600 cubic inches
- -Rigid construction using 600D Poly and 400D Dobby Nylon Oxford fabric
The Dynamic Discs Ranger Backpack is available at the Morley Field Proshop or online at the Dynamic Discs website.
Dynamic Discs GENEROUSLY supplied a Ranger Disc Golf Backpack for review purposes.