While many disc golfers are searching for the best disc golf backpack to hold many discs for tournament rounds, some still need something simple. You want something that can hold a handful of discs, yet isn’t bulky. The Upper Park Designs Focus backpack is exactly that. The Focus is a very slim and lightweight disc golf backpack perfect for the casual golfer, practice round, or the disc golfer on the go. Upper Park Designs sent us a Focus to review and we’ve spent the last few weeks with it to see what it was all about.
Upper Park Designs says this about the Focus:
The Focus disc golf backpack is your chance to streamline your game and show off your plastic. Innovative vertical storage allows you to easily grab the disc you need, accessible zipper pockets put necessities at your waist, while internal water reservoir storage keeps you hydrated during play. Comfortable, lightweight, and durable, this pack has been built from the ground up to get you on the course and keep you focused on the game.
Built with Osprey and Cordura hiking materials to withstand years of rough disc golf conditions.
Upper Park Designs says the Focus can hold between 4-8 discs. We were comfortably able to fit about 5 at a time. This included a putter. If we took out the putter we had a little added room for a disc or two. Putters and midranges were a little snug in the pockets, while drivers had plenty of room. Even with five discs in the bag, the Focus remained very light on our backs. Because the weight is distributed across the entire length of your back, you can barely notice it is there. Other bags with just one strap that hang to one side have all the weight in one central location and can become uncomfortable over time.
While we were lazy and drove our car to the local course, we can see that the Focus would appeal to folks who like to ride their bike to the course. With a chest strap and a waist strap the Focus can be strapped down very securely. The discs remain very snug in their pockets without any chances of them falling out.
During our latest round at our local course, a group of disc golfers showed up all riding motorcycles. Some of them were sitting on their one disc while others had a single strapped bag over their shoulder. The Focus would have been a great option for any of these guys. One of them could have easily carried a few discs for the group or brought a few extras for himself.
We also see the Focus being valuable during practice rounds. You can bring just a handful of discs and, for the lack of a better term, focus on just those discs. Many times disc golfers who carry many discs tend to over think shot selection. By carrying just a few, you can focus on just them. During a few of our latest rounds where we wanted to review some new discs, we used the Focus as a chance to bring just those discs. This forced us to see exactly what the unfamiliar discs would do for us.
We also know some local disc golfers who carry 6 Innova Rocs in various stages of wear. The Focus would make it easy for them to bring out 4-8 Rocs and help beat them in gradually. They can bring out all new ones, all beat ones, or some some combination of both to get them in prime condition.
While the Focus doesn’t have any cup holders, you can equip the Focus with a 2 liter water reservoir. The back of Focus has a zippered compartment that can easily hold the water bladder. You can feed the straw through the top of one of the shoulder straps for easy access as you walk between holes. The Focus also has a few small pockets on the bottom of the sides of the bag for storage of small items like keys, cell phones, and a wallet.
Overall, the Upper Park Designs Focus is a great option for the casual and competitive disc golfer. From carrying a handful of discs while you travel to the course on a bike to helping you focus on just a few discs at a time, the Focus will do the trick beautifully.
Second generation Focus
Upper Park Designs has listened to feedback from users and have released a much improved Focus bag this year. Upper Park sent us a Focus to check out again after they made their tweaks and we would have to say they really did take a big step forward.
You still get the nice slim profile, lightweight design and ability to put in your own internal hydration system, but you’re also getting a lot more. While we previously fit five discs comfortably in the Focus, we loaded it up with six and still had room for more. We could have easily added another driver or two along with a pair of midranges. The capacity of the Focus, while previously around 4-8 according to Upper Park, is now around 10.
Don’t think just because you can it more you have to jam them in there. Many improvements were made to the disc pockets themselves. They don’t sag as much, and they have a great amount of resistance to really keep things sturdy, but getting discs in and out was easier than before. The more we used the second version, we realized how this was likely what Upper Park was going after with the first generation of the Focus and have really executed the idea with this new generation.
Virtually everything we stated previously in this review still stands today. The Focus still brings a very lightweight solution for those casual disc golf rounds, but now you get a little more disc storage thanks to some material changes and construction tweaks.
The Focus is on sale at Upper Park Designs for $79.99.