Lamkin Grips

| 26 Comments

The Alphard Duo Cart, which will be released for sale in early 2013, is a new and interesting concept in push cart design. I had a chance to review it and came away quite impressed. It offers a few very unique ideas and features that are sure to please.

Click on each picture for larger image

About Alphard Golf

While Alphard is a new name to the golf industry, the company has been manufacturing push carts in some capacity for over a decade.

Great design begins with vision, builds with passion and succeeds with teamwork; our passion in golf and solid manufacturing experience in producing the market’s first golf push cart since year 1999 enabled us to bring our vision for a better way to walk the course into a reality.

In the design and development of the Alphard ® Duo Golf Cart – from the drawing board, to selection of materials, to production technologies and techniques, we persistently asked ourselves “What makes a well designed product?” We believe well designed products should be problem solving, easy to use, durable, ergonomic, and practical.

 A New Take on the Push Cart

 

In a fairly crowded market, the Duo Cart offers something that I’ve never seen. It’s a combination push cart and cart bag all in one. It offers some very distinct advantages for the golfer that uses a push cart regularly.

The Duo Cart reduces the room needed for storage or transport of both a golf bag and a cart. I’ve seen push carts that are quite small when folded up, but when combined with a bag, they still take more storage space than a single, consolidated unit. Set-up and take-down was extremely fast; as in, less than 30 seconds fast. I grew to really appreciate that over the course of the review.  Another thing I liked quite a bit was the problem of matching a bag to a push cart wasn’t present. For example, some bags tilt to one side if they don’t fit a cart perfectly and some wider bags rub against the front wheels. As a single unit, the bag on the Duo Cart sat perfectly still at all times.

Setting-up the Duo Cart

 

Setting up a push cart the first time is always a little confusing. There’s always an uncomfortable moment when I think, “What am I supposed to do with this thing?” Fortunately, the Duo Cart did come with simple instructions and I quickly figured out the process. The first step involves moving a knob (positioned underneath the “H” in Alphard in the picture above) on the undercarriage to a certain position and then pulling upward until the cart assembly locks into place. At that point, the handle and accessory tray can be raised to the user’s desired height and angle. That’s all there is to it. After a few repetitions, I found that I could have the cart ready for use within a matter of seconds, which was quite amazing. Folding the cart back to its storage position was just as easy. After folding down the handle, the knob underneath is moved back to its original position and the cart can be pushed down to a folded state.

Here is a short video showing the process.

Customization

Alphard has come up with a unique way to customize the Duo Cart. They’ve made the outer part of the bag – the red portion in the pictures – replaceable and called it the ‘skin’. There will be a number of different color options and configurations available for sale, including waterproof skins, skins with an external putter well, and designs for lady golfers. I was sent two skins in different colors and found that switching between the two was extremely easy. This video from Alphard demonstrates the process.

On Course Performance

 

There are a few qualities I look for in a push cart. Stability, convenience, and durability are among the most important. I’m going to break down my thoughts about the Duo Cart’s performance into those three categories. While maneuverability is also vital, my general belief is that most high-end push carts on the market are quite maneuverable, including the Duo Cart.

Stability

I’m a fan of the stability that four-wheel carts offer, so the Duo Cart immediately scored points there. I didn’t have any occasions where it tipped over while playing, which isn’t exactly a given at my course that is both hilly and built on uneven terrain. I sent the cart down a few fairly steep hills by itself and it stayed upright the entire way down each time. I did notice that the cart would slide backwards if it was parked directly parallel with the slope on a steep hill, even when the brakes were locked. I spoke to the company about this and they informed me that was a by-product of the placement of the wheels, which are integral to the Duo Cart’s small profile. That’s an understandable trade-off in my mind. The solution I came up with was to park the cart at a slight angle to the hill, which worked well each time.

Convenience

 

The fact that its handle and accessory tray were fully adjustable meant that the Duo Cart was extremely convenient to use. One of my push-cart pet peeves is an inconvenient accessory tray. I was able to pick both the height and angle that the tray sat, which was extremely gratifying. The tray itself has a soft-sided inner compartment that is large enough to hold multiple small accessories. What it lacks in organization due to the soft structure, it gains back in size and placement. The scorecard and pencil holders worked fine, though there wasn’t anything exceptional about them. I also noticed that the small net underneath the accessory tray was a handy spot for items that I grabbed often.

The Duo Cart has a unique advantage in that the bag was designed primarily to be used on the push cart. Because of this, the 14-way club divider system was a tremendous improvement over my other cart bag. The dividers not only held the clubs securely, they were placed far enough apart and aligned in a manner that made everything reasonably easy to access.  I would have liked to see the skin that included a putter well on the outside of the bag, but in all honesty, the way that the bag is organized made it extremely easy to store a putter with a head cover among the other clubs. There is also an integrated umbrella holder that sits underneath the divider section and it is easily the best I’ve ever seen. To its left sits a small ball pocket with a partially open top. It held about six balls in spot that made them extremely easy to access.

 

The pockets on the outer bag are all positioned nicely. None of them are in inconvenient spots and I was able to put each one to some sort of use, which is something I can’t say about my old bag. The cooler pocket is quite large and should easily accommodate a few cold beverages. There is plenty of room in the pockets to hold accessories (an adjustable drink holder, an umbrella holder, and a GPS mount) for storage.

When it comes to convenience, I’d rate the Duo Cart as an industry leader.

Durability

While I included durability as an important quality for a push cart to have, I am limited in what I can determine in a few short weeks of testing. This is something I’ll keep an eye on as time progresses and I’ll update the review accordingly. I will say that nothing broke or showed early signs of wear during the review process and the unit seems to be well built. The wheels are a durable looking plastic, which should hold up well over time. I felt like the zippers were a little less ample than I would prefer, but the company has informed me that they will be upgraded when full production begins. As I noted, the outer portion of the bag, or as Alphard calls it, the skin, is fully replaceable. In essence, buying an extra skin or two could lengthen the lifetime of the Due Cart for years.

Portability and Conversion

 

There’s no denying that the Duo Cart is heavy. It weighs in at around twenty pounds on its own, and adding clubs, balls, etc, to it only increases that number. While it’s not markedly heavier than any other fully loaded bag on a push cart, we rarely have to lift both at the same time. However, the weight is certainly manageable and in no way detracted from my opinion of the product. I was able to easily move it from my vehicle to the ground without any undue strain. Truthfully, I can’t think of way to avoid this issue when consolidating two components into one, so it’s a reasonable trade-off.

One concern I had with using a consolidated cart and bag was how it would work for practice sessions. I don’t really have a desire to unfold the cart when practicing and I definitely don’t want to take the time to pull the wheel assembly off. Fortunately, I found that the bag sits firmly in an upright position when the cart is folded away. In fact, I found that it was less prone to tipping over in an upright position than my old cart bag. Also, there is a handy little strap that I was able to use to wheel the bag around; very much like I’d wheel around a travel bag. That tiny feature alone increased the Duo Cart’s portability by a large margin. Whoever thought of it deserves a pat on the back.

The process to convert the Duo Cart to a bag that is compatible with a riding cart is fairly simple. The wheels come off easily with a push of a button and the folding wheel assembly is removed by loosening two nuts and sliding it off. The only portion of the cart that doesn’t come off is the accessory tray. It can be locked into a vertical position if the straps on the riding cart are too short to get around the entire bag.

Final Thoughts

It’s rare that I review a product I feel is truly groundbreaking, but I’m inclined to put the Duo Cart on that list. The product was designed with convenience in mind and it truly delivers.  Its smaller footprint made storage in both my vehicle and my garage much easier than the separate cart and bag I’d previously used. In addition, the product’s color is fully customizable due to interchangeable outer skins. Better yet, this unique feature could increase the life cycle of the product. While not everybody will find value in a consolidated bag and cart like this, I know a great number of golfers that will. The Alphard Duo Cart is slated to be released for sale in early 2013 and I think we’ll be hearing quite a bit about it as more people get a chance to see it for themselves. For more information, including updates on its availability, head to www.alphardgolf.com.

 

Did you like this? Share it:

Tags:

Category: Accessories, Equipment, Headlines & News

About the Author ()

Editor and writer Ryan Hawk lives in northwestern Illinois with his fiance and son. He's been a writer for The Hackers Paradise for two years and has been involved with a number of THP events.

Comments (26)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Trout Bum says:

    Nice write up Ryan, I enjoyed it. The thing I took away the most from your article was the convenience of it at the range, I like to practice and I found that the carts are somewhat cumbersome and unsteady. From your write up it sounds as though that issue has been solved. Outstanding.

  2. War Eagle says:

    Excellent review, Ryan! I dont get the opportunity to use a push cart too often, but the thought of both in one is a pretty impressive idea! Well done.

  3. Freddie kong says:

    Im not a push cart kinda guy but if I were this would be top on my list. Based on this review the ease of setup, interchangeable outer skins. Portability and ease of motion, make this a very desirable walking cart setup.

    Well done Ryan, very informative with great details.

  4. ddxu says:

    Good review on an interesting product Ryan. My first thought would be the convenience of the practice sessions, glad you thought the same and put that issue to bed. This looks to meet many of the needs I see and hear from walkers, hopefully the weight isnt too much for older players who love to walk to help stay fit.

  5. v.man says:

    Nice review Ryan, and congrats to Alphard on a truly innovative variation of the push cart for golf.

  6. Intimadator2007 says:

    Great review Ryan. If Iwere a push cart user this would be right down my alley . A very nice product !

  7. Cookie says:

    Ryan – this was a GREAT review man. You touched on all the critical aspects that one considers when in the market for a bag and push cart. I would agree that for walkers, this is definitely a “ground breaking” product and one that I could see myself owning in the future when my current walking setup is due for replacement.

  8. DevRickus says:

    Great review Ryan. As I was reading the review and questions popped into my head, the answer was always quick to follow. Very thorough and excellent job. As for the cart itself, it is very innovative. Not crazy about the weight of it but the functionality probably eliminates that as an issue.

  9. Mr. Satchmo says:

    Great Review Hawk, I really like the design behind the folding with the bag on.

  10. jjmorris says:

    That is a great review. Something i would definitely be interested in come next spring. They did a great job combining two products into one and making it convenient and user friendly.

  11. WessCook says:

    Great review Hawk, I like that it’s a bag and cart together. The only problem I see is limited trunk space since I would have to carry this and my other bag for the courses that don’t allow walking. Going back and forth between two bags might get irritating as well. I do like that the cart has 4 wheels, a lot more stable that way.

  12. Smallville says:

    Looks like a decent product, although it’s not one I would probably try out, as very few rounds are played without a riding cart. I like the idea that the bag and cart fit each other perfectly, as I agree that most bags don’t fit perfectly on a given push cart.

  13. Puttin4Bird says:

    Excellent review Hawk! I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to just leave my bag strapped to my Clicgear 3.0 after the round and just toss it in the back of the Yukon. The fact that the Alphard performs solidly on top of the ease of use is huge! A little heavy yes, but that’s not a deal breaker at all in my book. Thanks!

  14. Drumdog says:

    Great write up Hawk!
    This is really an interesting new bag/cart concept.

  15. Wicked Cool Bearded Man says:

    Great review Hawk!! I love the fact that the bag doesn’t have to come off the bag. Very interesting design.

  16. dewydewydare says:

    Nice review! Very well written indeed. I’m a big fan of small things make a big difference, and wish more companies pay attention to small details. I will certainly give this a good look when it starts to sell, already thinking my son can have my clicgear, haha!

  17. Scrap Iron says:

    Great review. It looks like a very inovative product and many people will be looking at this. I hope they are easy to find and have some good marketing.

  18. Tim says:

    I am a push cart guy. I like the idea of easy set up. Does it fit into a regular size trunk? BMW 530i? Also, price?

  19. TripleBogieTim says:

    Nice Write up Hawk, I really wish more people walked around here.

  20. Another great review Mr Hawk. A Job well done. If the wheels will still allow you to roll the whole set up into the back of my Tahoe (like a gurney into an ambulance) then I think I’ll get one and try it out. I like my bag boy quad but your point about bags not sitting exactly right on a push cart always seems to happen to me. Any product that get more people walking the course gets a passing grade in my book. Do we know what they will be asking for it? I happen to need a new bag anyway so why not get another cart too.

  21. glennQNYC says:

    Interesting design, but it’s definitely not for me. I am a condo resident and I wouldn’t want to bring my dirty cart into my home… And constantly detaching the wheels is counter to the advantages a unified bag/cart.

  22. Bobby Talada says:

    This looks and sounds like a great bag cart. The weight seems a little high but the fact of its ease of storage and break down, I think that out ways the weight of the cart.

  23. Alphard Golf says:

    Hawk, thanks for a great review and really appreciate your feedback. And thank you all for the interest in this new concept product, we are very excited about bringing this to market.

    Tim, yes, it will for sure fit into the trunk of a BMW 530i. In fact, it’s possible to fit 2 units if you pop a wheel or two off the 2nd unit.

    Prices, USD329.95 for the DX (Deluxe version) which comes with 9 pockets including a cooler pocket. USD299.95 for the LT (Light version) with 8 pockets. Each unit comes with an adjustable drink holder and umbrella holder. We will have more info on where to buy soon, please stay tuned! :)

  24. Alphard Golf says:

    Hi everyone, you can now pre-order the Duo Cart from our webstore http://www.alphardgolf.com. Order before Mar 31 for deliveries by April 10, 2013.

    Also, we have a facebook lucky draw campaign going, like/share our page for a chance to win 1 of 3 Duo Carts! Winners announcement on May 1st 2013. Thank you and Good Luck!

  25. T0AD says:

    I have one on the way thanks to this review. Good job.

  26. Thanks forr one’s marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading
    it, you happen tto be a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back fromm now on. I want to encourage you continue
    your great posts, have a nice evening!

    Stop by my web blog SEO St Albans

Leave a Reply