Saturday, July 20, 2024

Minimal Gaia TE1 Cart Bag Review

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Minimal Golf, known as MNML in the US with bags like the MV2, has launched in the UK and one bag the brand hopes will resonate with discerning, dedicated golfers. The brand’s name comes from its efforts to create quality golf bags with minimal impact on the environment. Its bags are made from Seawastex nylon, constructed using abandoned fishing nets. Alongside the Terra SE1 stand, the Gaia TE1 cart bag are the first two bags its selling in the UK. 

The first thing worth noting is that there are no zips on this bag. Minimal realized that the biggest reason for bags breaking and being returned is faulty zippers. Such breakages can make a bag unusable, so they decided to get rid of them altogether with a view to making its bags last longer and forcing people to buy less. The principle is the same on the brand’s stand bag – the Terra SE1 – and it makes for an altogether easy experience when accessing pockets. Magnetic pockets are quicker to get in and out of, and definitely add a premium feel to the bag. 

The second thing to note is the recycled material with which the bag is made. This is no greenwashing exercise either. The recycled nylon used across the bag is compliant with the Global Recycled Standard, so we can be sure that the recycled claims are true. 

(Image credit: Jonathan Eley)

I’ve found that the quality of recycled material in apparel is actually better than when using virgin polyester – garments from Reflo and Koi Golf have proven that. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for cart bags. The primary material got a certain sheen and scratchiness to it that just doesn’t look or feel as sharp as is similarly expensive, luxury counterparts. For example, Vessel’s Lux Pro Cart bag, which is only £5 more expensive, feels and looks £100 more expensive when put side by side. This example uses a mixture of magnetic and zippered pockets alongside a Tour-grade synthetic leather for what is a more comprehensive package in my eyes. Yes, it doesn’t have the recycled material credentials the Minimal has, but for those which this isn’t a priority the quality difference is noticeable. I wouldn’t make such a point of this if it wasn’t for the £449 price tag and having seen recycled materials used to such good effect on apparel, surely it can be done on bags too. 

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