Clicgear Nearly Perfect for Pushers

Clicgear Pushcart

The Clicgear 3.5+ pushcart is an outstanding, long-life workhorse that’s easy to attach to.

It’s durable, manageable, easy to expand, and substantially improved. The latest version of the Clicgear push cart that first made headlines for its ingenious collapsible design, inludes the same core features of earlier models but advances the ball in a number of key areas that, while still not perfect, surely makes for an easy choice for walkers.

The 3.5+ version released in 2013 will first standout for its striking new appearance. Its aluminum, powder-coated frame now comes in three basic colors–Arctic White, Charcoal Black, and Matte Gray–with accents available in yellow, black, orange, pink, white, and lime. While not important to everyone, those golfers who lean toward the “look good, feel good, play good” philosophy, will appreciate color combinations that have some striking results.

I chose a black frame with yellow accents (pictures follow) and couldn’t be happier. Turns out the accents have a functional foundation, too: The bright yellow (in my case) makes it easy to instantly find the various levers, buttons, and handles that require user action, such as those required during the folding/unfolding process.

Along with a wide variety of accessories, Clicgear even offers matching bags that feature a molded base designed to fit snugly into the pushcart frame. I couldn’t resist adding a bag to the set-up, too. Yes I went with black and orange.  As it happens, my preference for color coordinating is inferior to my desire to celebrate my World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.

 

 

New and (Significantly) Improved

Clicgear’s 3.5+ may not appear at first glance like a serious upgrade, but it improves on the company’s previous three-wheelers in a variety of important ways. The cargo net located between the handlebar and bag holder, for example, is 80% larger. The “Easy-Clip Bag Strap System” a golfer uses to secure bag to cart is billed as “easier” and capable of handling most bag sizes. The cup and umbrella holders have each been improved, and the brake system has been given a significant redesign.

The braking system, which comprises a lever near the handlebar attached to a cable that snakes all the way to a mechanism on the front wheel, is the one change I’d classify as a must. On previous models, the cable tension loosened far too easily, leaving golfers vulnerable to accidents. Prior to the redesign, a cart with loose brakes parked even on a subtle incline, could easily (and silently) start a dangerous unattended journey down an increasingly steep path. In such cases the risk of damage to clubs is a best-case scenario.

A brake-less cart on the loose can quickly turn into an unguided missile propelling toward far worse consequences. (Just imagine a car and clubs jumping a path into a canyon with a wedding in progress below.) To my knowledge, none of these potentially fatal events ever transpired, but that the brakes have been improved to be longer lasting and more reliable–a point I am satisfied to have verified–represents a significant improvement in both convenience and safety. (I should point out that other cart makers have wrestled with the same problem.)

While improved, I still am lukewarm about the bag straps. Earlier versions were an outright challenge to handle. The 3.5+ is far improved, but still needs some work. As it stands now, it’s still too easy for clasps attached to high-tension stretch cords to pinch unsuspecting fingers while trying to fasten bag to cart. It is possible to loosen the straps, but by doing so (in my experience at least), it’s easy to leave the straps so loose that only gravity is keeping the bag in place.

Clicgear shoe brush

Clicgear’s shoe brush easily snaps onto oen of the cart’s back legs.

As for the other changes, many represent improvements that make life a whole lot easier. The increased netting size means not just more carrying capacity but less chance that rolling over an exposed tree root would cause vital possessions–a wallet, car keys, mobile phone–to simply trampoline out. Similarly, improvements to the positioning of items such as the coffee cup holder and umbrella tube, make a sizable difference not just on the course, but during the folding process. Clicgear’s new design keeps things much safer, harder to lose or break, and generally out of the way when it should be.

Accessories Galore

Clicgear has a full catalog completely devoted to cart add-ons and attachments. Unlike many such catalogs, most of its items are actually useful. To look through it is to discover things you had no idea existed but could really use.

I went on something of a shopping spree even while the pushcart was in the, er, (shopping) cart. I ordered a knob that screws into the handlebar and facilitates one-handed steering (it works!). I ordered a shoe brush that’s terrifically convenient for removing mud. I decided it would be a good idea to add a small bag that stores extra liquids and includes a custom straw that attaches to the cart frame for easy access. I even ordered a seat I could use during slow or particularly hot rounds. Through the inventiveness of creative minds, the seat integrates with the cart at just the right place.

Clicgear 3.5+ seat attachment

Have a seat: Clicgear’s seat accessory seems silly at first, but turns out to be surprisingly useful (in “hind-site”).

The last accessory I ordered, a wall mount made from a sturdy plastic, has proven essential. While I often leave the cart folded in the rear of my Jeep, when I need more space, I can simply hang the folded 3.5+ on the garage wall. Without the simple mount, I’m certain I’d trip over the folded cart in the dark garage, forget the cart outside, or just put it somewhere in the garage where it could be lost forever. (You know how that goes.)

How We Roll

While putting this piece together, a number of new products were emerging that may take push carts to the next level. One allows for automatic, push-button folding operation. Another folds flatter than a suit coat. These may become the new game changers that will lead a relatively small market. Or perhaps Clicgear will answer the call with its own new entry.

All that matters is today, however, and today we’re putting our money on Clicgear’s 3.5+. A commitment to quality parts and engineering, durability, and putting the customer first, something the company assures us will remain at the forefront of its strategy, goes a long way.

 

Clicgear

 

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