So I went to Dick's today and fondled up one of the Spiderwire Utility backpacks. The findings were...mixed. The short answer is it can certainly work. But not quite as well as Cabela's for one simple reason; depth. It's roughly an inch and a half shallower from front to back. The discs do fit, although they poke out from the front opening. If it's an option someone is looking at, they would need to build a PVC frame that would be geared towards preventing the discs from just rolling out the front. Possible, but tricky. I'll get into it a bit more below.
Lots of pockets, loops, storage.
Straps are amazing, well padded back, waist straps too.
Man, the bag just looks cool.
Depth, only a little over 7" deep.
No workable bottle holder.
NEEDS a frame. Unlike the Cabela's where it's just a bonus to function.
Now, I'd have to buy one and mess around to find a truly workable solution. But I've built enough PVC frames to have an idea of where to start. My best guess would be to use an uneven 3-way elbow. 1/2" connections for two of them, and 3/4" (or maybe even 1") for one so you can make a thicker bar across the bottom front.
Additionally, the "3 compartment" option isn't going to work. The only way is a double storage set-up like the Cabela's. I also didn't see anyway to make a top-load option work for the Spiderwire. The top putter-area can fit 2-3 putters and also includes some extra zippered pockets that are good for pencils, cards, etc. I also like that the sides of the top pocket have a mesh web so it can only open so far. That allows us to keep it completely unzipped and the putters wouldn't flop out.
It has a reinforced pocket on the front like the Cabelas for sunglasses, phone, or whatever. But unlike the Cabelas, you would not be able to remove this without leaving a big hole on the front. The top compartment is right around the same size as the Cabela's for added storage.
I could fit 20 discs in the bottom without a frame. I'd expect that to be somewhere in the 16-17 range with a 1/2" frame built in there good and tight. The bag may even stretch the depth out another 1/2" with a frame pushing the material. Don't quote me on that, though.
Again, the padding and straps on this bag are amazing. Adjustable sternum strap, waist strap with padded oblique tabs, breathable mesh padding on the back. It's one of the few things I think this has over the Cabela's model.
The other big thing is the aesthetics. That's a personal thing, of course. But I think it looks far better than the Cabela's. It has some cool spiderweb fabric accents, machine-looking spiders embroidered on, and the black/grey outer contrasts sharply with the blood-red inside. It's definitely a sharp looking bag.
Right now it's a touch pricier than what we're used to. It's $70 plus about $8 shipping if your local Dick's doesn't carry it. Which is technically where the Cabela's was priced at normally, but that went on sale for $50 so often people just judge it by that price point. If I can find a 20% coupon or anyway to knock $10 or $20 off the price I will nab it and go into full-on tinker mode. But my initial observations are that it's a cool, useable bag that might not function QUITE up to the Cabela's standard. But with the Cabela's getting harder and harder to find, we may never find another option as good.
I snapped some pics to consider.
Last edited by throwfromthewoods; 02-11-2013 at 01:28 PM.