Salient Discs has slowly, but surely, developed a line of discs, shoes, and backpacks. In the backpack realm, they have something for nearly everyone. The Helix can hold just about everything in your house, the Ember (which replaced the Catalyst) is their middle option, with the relatively new Spark being the entry level option.
Even with the small frame, the Spark has some nice features that should appeal to many who find other backpacks on the market to just be too much. Plus, the price isn’t half bad either. The full feature list for the Spark has some interesting elements to it:
- 600 D Cordura
- Rubber ergonomic carry handle
- Rigid rear frame for stability and comfort
- Bilateral internal putter pockets
- Bilateral insulated pockets with built in drainage for beverages
- Dual insulated drink holders
- Front mounted mini pencil and mini marker storage
- Padded shoulder straps
- D-rings for clipping towels
- Elastic putter pouch
Salient Discs sent us a Spark in their digi-camo design and we’ve spent some time with it on the local courses and it can certainly hold its own against some of the larger backpacks around.
The Spark is designed to hold 15-20 discs. We comfortably fit 18 in the bag which includes two in the front putter pocket. There often isn’t a need to carry more than that and the smaller space helps force your hand a bit. Less confusion and overlap in your bag can only be a good thing.
We laid our our discs side to side, but you could turn them and have them sit front to back while taking advantage of two internal pockets. We could have easily fit another one or two discs in there and it wouldn’t have been crammed. The size of the main pocket is nearly identical to the Mystery Ranch Golf Mahal.
The Spark’s main compartment isn’t too flashy, but it doesn’t need to be. The more bells and whistles you add can only make the price go up and for many targeting the Spark as a purchase, price is a key selling point. Having a pocket for some pencils, scorecards, or other small objects on the back wall above the discs would have been nice, but we aren’t in dire need of it when all is said and done.
The main compartment is flanked by two small zipper pockets. The size is nice, but the functionality is a slightly limited. There is a small insulated cupholder in each pocket. It can hold smaller water bottles, but a Nalgene or 32oz Gatorade doesn’t stand a chance. Really tall bottles could prove a little difficult too. The top flap of the pocket doesn’t rise up too much so access can be limited. There is plenty of space for some extra minis, towels, or other accessories. The amount of storage is certainly proportional to the size of the bag itself.
The straps on the back are reinforced to help reach a long life. We obviously haven’t spent years with the bag so we can’t speak to the longevity of the straps, but we can talk about the overall feel. The straps could have a little more padding, but they do the job. This is another area where the more you add, the more expensive it gets. The back itself has enough padding to make it comfortable. We never felt fatigued or sore the next day after a round with the Spark.
The Spark currently retails for $75 on the Salient Discs store. For what you get, it is hard to find a better product at that price point. Yes, there are backpacks made of a higher quality material or with a higher storage capacity. Those are great options as well, but cost more money. Sometimes the added size and features don’t justify the price. If you make the investment into the Spark, you’re getting something that you can use with confidence.
The Salient Discs Spark backpack can hold its own in the growing line of backpacks. It’s compact size makes it a lightweight option that can easily hold enough discs for a full round on a tough course. The main compartment has plenty of room for discs. The side pockets have room for storage, but it can be a little snug. For the basics though, there is plenty of space.
The most important thing to focus on with the Spark is the price compared to the value. For just $75 you get quite a bit. Sure, being able to carry 25-30 discs can be cool, but that is a lot of weight and often too many discs. The Spark not only helps you focus your bag, but it does it with a little style too. If it was priced any higher, the value comes down, and priced any less… you’d think you’re stealing it from them.