Vessel Player IV Pro DXR-01

Vessel Player IV Pro DXR Review: The Best Vessel Golf Bag?

Over half of my rounds in the last 3 years have been played with a Vessel golf bag.

In most cases, this might not be a very impressive statistic. But considering my job is to review golf bags (among many other things), the fact one brand has gotten so much use is notable.

The Vessel Player III for years had been my pick for the Best “Overall” Golf Bag. The looks, materials, and functionality were just a step above anything else that I’ve used.

More recently, I reviewed the Vessel Player IV. 

Another excellent bag, but it isn’t the current Vessel bag I recommend.

That title goes to the Vessel Player IV Pro. The two are very similar, but for an extra $40, the Pro has a few features that  make it feel, well, more “Pro.”

This brings us to today’s review: The Vessel Player IV Pro DXR.

Vessel Player IV Pro DXR

The Player IV Pro DXR.

Despite its long name, the Pro DXR may be the ultimate Vessel Bag.


Well, besides its good looks, it aims to solve the single biggest flaw with the aforementioned Vessel bags: they’re heavy.

Did they succeed? Is the DXR version of the Player IV Pro the winner in the current Vessel lineup?

Let’s find out.

What is the Vessel Player IV Pro DXR?

A lot of the specifics about this bag are going to be similar to my original Player IV review, so I’d check that out as well before you decide to buy a Vessel Bag.

There are essentially 4 bags in the existing lineup of “Player” series bags:

  • Player IV
  • Player IV Pro
  • Player IV DXR
  • Player IV Pro DXR

I’ll touch on the differences between the Pro and the regular a bit later on, but for now, the most important thing to clarify is what exactly DXR is.

DXR stands for “Diamond X-PAC Ripstop”.

Vessel Player IV Pro DXR

Notice the diamon pattern on the DXR material.

This is essentially a fancy way of saying the bag is made primarily out of a high-end nylon, as opposed to the synthetic leather that the other Vessel bags are made of.

I’ve loved the look and durability of the leather option on other Vessel bags I’ve reviewed, but there’s a big downside: it makes the bag heavy.

Vessel Player IV Pro DXR leather handle

The real leather accents feel very high end.

The DXR bag comes in about half a pound lighter, which may not seem like much, but can go a long way if you’re someone who carries their clubs.

The DXR bags are pretty much identical to their IV and IV Pro siblings, with the exception of some colors and the DXR material.

First Impressions of the Vessel Player IV Pro DXR

The first time I saw a DXR in the wild was while I was at Payne’s Valley getting a first look at the excellent Garmin Approach S70 golf watch.

It’s a distinctly “Vessel” bag. Everything about it looks and feels high-end.

But what caught my eye was the fact the bag is both flashy and understated at the same time.

The DXR models only come in black, and the DXR material has a diamond stitching pattern on it, that looks great.

I consider Vessel bags a “luxury” golf bag, and this diamond pattern really embodies that in a way that’s different from it’s leather counterparts.

The other obvious difference between the DXR model and other Vessel bags comes in the form of bright red carbon fiber stand legs.

The bag is all black with the exception of these legs and a few accent stitches, and that makes them really pop.

Mmmmm, carbon fiber….

I personally love the look. It’s different than my grey and black Player IV, but both are equally attractive.

Vessel Player IV Pro DXR Stand | Lightweight Golf Stand Bag

Want all the best features of a Vessel Bag, but looking to save a little weight? Grab the DXR version of their wonderful Player IV Pro golf bag.

Buy from Vessel
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

The Player IV vs. Player IV Pro

With Vessel’s current lineup, it can be a little confusing to figure out which bag features what.

Fortunately, the differences are relatively minor.

The Player IV Pro (and Pro DXR) feature:

  • Larger Top Design – The standard Player IV (and III) have an 8.5″ top and the Pro version has a larger 9.5″ top
  • Larger Garment Pocket – This one is a big deal for me. The Garment Pocket on the Player III is huge. Significantly bigger than the Stitch SL2 and moderately bigger than the Sun Mountain Mid-Stripe. On the Player IV, it’s still very good sized, but feels slightly smaller than the III. With the IV Pro DXR we’re reviewing today, the garment pocket has proven to be quite a bit larger than the standard IV.
  • Magnetic Side Pocket – Magnetic pockets always feel a bit higher-end, and this is a nice minor touch on the Pro.
  • Enhanced Materials – The straps and top have a lovely microfiber lining to it, whereas the regular IV is more of a standard mesh. 

I personally love the microfiber lining included in the “Pro” models of the Player IV.

The differences are subtle, but the materials, magnets, and slightly larger size of the top and garment pouch do make a difference, and I personally think it’s worth the added expense.

There were some other updates between the Player III and Player IV, that you can read about in my previous review.

Vessel Player IV Pro DXR rangefinder pocket

One of the update from the III to the IV is the extra divider in the rangefinder pocket.

How Does the Player IV Pro DXR Perform on the Course?

Now that we’ve gotten through all of the differences between these bags, let’s get to the most important part: how does it perform on the course?

Put simply? It performs just as well as every other Vessel bag I’ve used.

They have one of the best strap systems I’ve used. Their “equilibrium” straps always seem to get the bag to balance perfectly when you carry it.

The equilibrium straps are great.

I’ve enjoyed the wider opening that the Pro model provides, and the same goes for the larger garment pouch.

For whatever reason, I’ve noticed the clubs getting stuck more often on this bag than on other Vessel bags I’ve used.

It doesn’t happen often, and it doesn’t do it very badly, but occasionally I’ll find getting a club in or out of the bag a little tricky.

My thought is this happens due to the nylon DXR being a little less rigid than the standard synthetic leather. So if your bag is fully packed, it can intrude on the clubs, and make them a little sticky.

Vessel Player IV Pro DXR Rotator Base

The “Rotator” base.

But as I said, this is a minor issue and has only happened a few times in 5 rounds with the bag.

One of the main goals with the DXR models are to make the bags lighter. 

The DXR Pro is only about half a pound lighter than the standard Player IV Pro. It makes a difference, but at a touch over 6 pounds, it’s still a heavy bag.

Despite the weight, carrying it is very comfortable. If you can resist the urge to fill all of the pockets with random stuff you likely don’t need, this is a great carry option.

But if you’re a golf packrat like I tend to be, the weight can add up quickly.

I’ve used this bag both on a cart as well as a push cart, and it performed great in both cases. If I were someone who primarily rides, I might opt for the standard Player IV or Pro options, just because of the extra durability that comes with the synthetic leather. But this has performed great under both of those circumstances for me.

Final Thoughts on the Player IV Pro DXR

By any measure, the Player IV Pro DXR is an excellent golf bag.

The materials on it are best in class. It’s understated, yet luxurious. All of the pockets, pouches, and storage areas are fantastic.

My hope was that the DXR bags would feel enough lighter than their other models to make it a no-brainer. I’m not sure that was necessarily the case.

Yes, it’s a little bit lighter, and I like the fact they included a nylon rain hood, which packs much smaller and is lighter than the standard ones.

The reality though, is that this bag is still on the heavier side. Over and over again I’ve continued to be ok with this. I push for most of my rounds, and when I do carry I just take some extra balls out of my bag and this bag is still wonderful.

If you only carry and you’re set on a Vessel bag? Then definitely get the DXR model, as every ounce counts.

If you carry and you really want a “light” golf bag, I’d probably look elsewhere.

So for me, deciding on whether or not the Player IV Pro DXR is right for you, is more a matter of style and features.

Do you like the look of the DXR better or worse? Do you want the extra space, and added touches that the Pro models provide?

Answer those questions, and you’ll be able to pretty easily decide which model is right for you.

I’ve had this bag for a month and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it, and it’s just further cementing why Vessel continues to be one of my favorite brands in golf.

Vessel Player IV Pro DXR Stand | Lightweight Golf Stand Bag

Want all the best features of a Vessel Bag, but looking to save a little weight? Grab the DXR version of their wonderful Player IV Pro golf bag.

Buy from Vessel
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

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Good Things

  • Looks spectacular
  • Lighter than non DXR models
  • Very high end materials

Bad Things

  • Clubs occasionally stick
  • Expensive
  • Still heavy, despite lighter material

The Breakdown

Personal Affinity

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