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Feature Story
Choosing a quality bowling bag

When looking for a quality bowling ball bag there are a number of variables to consider.

  1. Aesthetics; such as color, logos, surface characteristics
  2. Structure; which includes materials, base, hardware, shoulder straps, handles etc.
  3. Features; like roominess, extra pockets, compartments etc.

In various studies done over the last several years, there were certain characteristics of bags that came up repeatedly concerning what makes a high-quality bag. Some of the results of these studies were as follows.

Color does not always appear to be an important selection factor. Men generally prefer black, with women being more attracted to brighter colors such as purple, teal and fuchsia.

Structure is extremely important. Bowlers like a bag that has substance and is able to stand up on its own when empty. Well made bags will have this characteristic. Bags using PU (polyurethane) or PVC backing are the best. Both of these materials will provide additional strength, water repellency and structure. PVC is the more durable choice.

Hardware should always be of a sturdy metal construction that can withstand considerable movement and heavy duty usage. This is even more important for double ball bags. "D" rings used as attachment points for the clasps should have welded construction to prevent separation.

Shoulder straps should go all the way down the bag to provide maximum support and anchored with cross stitching and rivets whenever practical. Contour and thickness of shoulder pad is a matter of personal preference but should be comfortable for the individual, and not slip out of position.

Handles must be wide and extremely well attached to the bag. This can be accomplished by box or cross stitching or rivets.

Ball bases or cups should be strong and deep enough to keep the ball(s) from moving around. Bags should have a sturdy bottom board to prevent sagging and early wear and tear. Plastic metal feet on the bottom of the bag will help as well.

Zippers should be durable, and well sewn to maintain strength and functionality.

Other items like shoe pockets, compartments, name tags etc., are more of a personal preference, and should be looked at as how they fulfill your needs.

Bowling bags are like any other product in that you generally get what you pay for. But if you take the time to look at and evaluate bags based on the above information, you have a better chance of getting a bag that serves you well and protects your equipment.

Duncan Hills is president of Professional Bowling Products of Rochester, NY and has been associated with the manufacture of quality products both in the USA and overseas for over twenty-five years. He currently is involved with manufacturing operations in China, Korea, Sri Lanka, and other locations.

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