Best Sling Bags
Navigating your way through your next trip or even through your everyday life can require a lot of gear, and pockets on your jeans just aren’t going to work. If you typically hate carrying totes or backpacks because they get heavy and uncomfortable, a great option for you is going to be one of the best sling bags. These products give you all of the comfort and security as the classic fanny pack without giving you that look of a 1980’s tourist. Users love them because they hug their bodies, are usually small and compact with lots of pockets, and come in at a reasonable price point. Plus, you can wear them across your chest so that your valuables will always be close and secure. In this guide, we have compiled a list of some of our favorites to keep your day organized and stylish.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Made from a nice and breathable mesh material along the back
Top 10 Sling Bags
1. Outdoor Master
Made from a nice and breathable mesh material along the back
Some users found that it was a little smaller than expected
The reason that we placed this design at the top of our list is that it has all of the things that you would want from one of these products. It comes in a lot of fun and unique color options, it has plenty of pockets, and it is made from a breathable and lightweight material without breaking the bank.Read more
The style of this option is a good blend between sporty and stylish. It is offered in color options that include matte colors such as gray, black, and navy, as well as brighter colors such as green, maroon, blue, and teal.
One of the things that users like the most about this design are the back is made from a breathable mesh that is going to be incredibly breathable when worn for long periods of time. The front is made from an incredibly sturdy nylon material that is water-resistant so you won’t have to worry about getting caught in the rain.
Plenty of pockets on the inside, as well as the outside, makes it incredibly easy to keep all of your gear nice and organized for easy access, and all of the pockets are able to be zippered shut. It also comes with a mesh water bottle pocket on the side as well.
This design is a little bit smaller than many of the standard sizes. It measures to be 18 inches long and 12 inches wide, and it hugs your body when strapped over a shoulder.
One of the best things about this design is that it is offered at a very affordable price point that won’t break the bank, and is one of the more reasonably priced options out there on the market.
If you are looking for something that is going to be a little smaller and compact that can be worn all day without being uncomfortable, this is going to be one of your best options.
Buckle shoulder strap makes it easy to take on and off
Offered in many fun colors
Some users found that it was smaller than they expected
The thing that we liked most about this option from Maleden is that is has a more squared-off design that is going to be a perfect fit for a lot of your tech gadgets such as tablets and laptops, but it still offers a flatter design that is going to feel a lot more comfortable on your shoulders over a traditional backpack.Read more
Users will have the option to pick from a lot of fun colors that include orange, blue, green, purple, and your basic black. All of the color options are bright and cheery, and stand out from some of the other designs that we have seen.
The interior and exterior of this option are made from 100 percent nylon materials. This means that this pack is going to be incredibly sturdy and durable on those long hiking trips, and it is going to allow for the rain to bead up and roll off of the surface to keep your gadgets safe in the rain. It also has a very padded and breathable shoulder strap for added comfort.
The thing that users like most about this design is that instead of having many smaller pockets, this unit has 2 main zippered pockets that is going to be ideal for larger items such as tablets and notebooks. The buckles on the shoulder are also going to make it easier to strap it on and off without the exaggerated motion of lifting it up over your head to take it on and off.
This unit is just a little more narrow than most, and measures to be about 14 inches long and about 7 inches wide. It also weighs in at just 7 ounces, which is one of the lightest designs that we have seen.
One of the best features of this design is that it comes in at a really affordable price point that is going to set you back about the same amount that you would spend on a paperback and the airport gift shop.
For those that are in the market for something that is going to be a perfect fit for all of your bigger gadgets and gear, while still keeping a low profile and comfortable fit, this is going to be one of your better options in our opinion.
Sleek and professional design
PU leather accents
More room than many of the other designs
A little more expensive than most
What we liked about this design from Leaper is that is has a more sophisticated style that is going to make it perfect to take into the office with you, but it is also durable enough to take with you on the trails or to the airport.Read more
As we mentioned before, the style is what really sets these options apart from the rest. It has a more squared-off central pocket that is cinched closed with a pair of dual buckles for a professional finish. It is offered in colors that include black, coffee, khaki, olive green, and gray.
This pack is made from a very durable washed canvas that is going to be something that is going to be incredibly durable (however, it is not considered to be water-resistant. Faux leather accents are made from PU leather. While the outside is rough and durable, the inside canvas is much softer than the exterior.
One thing that users really love about this design is that it has the perfect amount of zippered pockets. There is a large central zippered pocket that also is fitted with smaller pockets on the inside. There is also a flat pocket along the front flap, and a small side zippered pocket as well.
This design is going to be much bigger than other options out there on the market. It measures to be 10 inches wide and just over 14 inches tall.
You are going to pay just a little bit more for this design than you would some of average priced designs out there on the market. However, when you consider that you are going to have a little bit more room for your gear, this is actually a pretty great value.
For those that are on the hunt for something that will be able to transition quite well from the office to the trials, this design from Leaper is going to be one of your better options if you are willing to pay just a little bit more than average.
Fun prints and colors offered
Holds more gear than standard designs
Comfortable memory foam shoulder strap
A little more expensive than most
Some users found it difficult to keep the straps in place (slides on their shoulder)
For those that are looking for something that has a little more spunk and playfulness, you are really going to like the colors and styles offered from this design from Meru. Plus, it has a smart shape that will allow you to carry it all day without your shoulders getting tired.Read more
Users will have the option to pick from a lot of fun colors that include pink with an Aztec pattern, blue geo, acid gray, black and white plaid, pink, or tobacco brown- just to mention a few of the standouts.
The interior and exterior of these options are made from 100 percent canvas, which is going to offer a really soft exterior that is also going to be lightweight and incredibly durable.
While it does offer an excellent pocket design that is going to be ideal for all of your important accessories, the real star of the show lies in the shoulder strap. This strap is padded with a layer of memory foam that will conform to the shape of your shoulder the more that you wear it for a superior fit for all shapes and sizes.
This design is surprisingly a little bit larger than many of the other options that we have seen. It measures to be about 20 inches long, and almost 12 inches wide.
The downside to this design is that it is priced to be much higher than many of the more affordable options out there on the market. However, when you consider the fun prints that are offered as well as the larger size, this is actually a really great value.
For those looking for something a little outside of the box that isn’t your standard black on black color choices, this is going to be well worth the slightly higher price point to help you stand out from the pack.
Comfortable shoulder strap
No smaller pockets for pens and pencils
Users found zippers often get caught
If you are going to be away from your home base for a while and you need something that is going to be able to hold all of your gear while still offering superior comfort, this design from Nicgid is going to be one of your better options. It is important to note that due to the fact that it is able to hold more gear, it is going to be slightly bulkier than most.Read more
This option offers a very sporty and tactical frame. It is a little more squared-off than some of the other teardrop designs, which means that it is going to be able to hold more gear- especially things like tablets and notebooks. Users can select from color options that include black, army green, and dark green.
Made from water-resistant nylon, this is going to be something that you won’t have to worry about getting caught in the rain, because water simply beads up and rolls off of the surface. It also has a heavily padded shoulder strap that is going to allow you to wear it comfortably all day long.
Pockets are the big takeaway when it comes to this design. It has a large central pocket this is perfect for all of your bigger, gear, and smaller inside pockets will safely store all of your miscellaneous items. One thing that we really liked about this design is that it has a special phone pocket with a hole to run headphone wires.
Looks can be deceiving when it comes to this option. While it may look larger than most, it actually measures to be 12 inches long and 8.3 inches wide- which is a little on the smaller size.
The good news here is that this design comes at a really affordable price point. It isn’t one of the least expensive designs out there on the market, but it is far from being one of the most expensive designs.
For those that are looking for something that is a little more sporty and tactical to take with you out on the trails or for traveling, this is going to be a really great choice.
Slim design hugs your body
Detachable shoulder strap
Doesn’t hold all that much
Thinner than a standard sheet of notebook paper
One thing that we noticed right away about this design is that it is long and slender and has a style about it that will be perfect to take to the office with you but will also work well out of on the trails or for traveling.Read more
As we mentioned before, the very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it is long and sleek, and will work great in a professional setting while giving you all of the functions that you will need to keep your life organized. It is offered in colors that include a basic black, as well as a light color gray with sharp black accents along with the zippers.
What makes this design just a little bit different is that it is made from 100 percent polyester, which means that it is going to be incredibly durable to whatever you throw at it, and it also makes it scratch resistant and water-resistant (as well as really easy to wipe down if it gets a little dirty).
The main pocket is the perfect size for larger gear such as tablets, and a smaller, flat pocket on the front is going to be ideal for holding smaller pieces of gear such as phones, pens, and keys. We liked that the backside has a headphone hole to run the wire from your headphones, and it also has a detachable strap with a buckle that makes it easier to take on and off if you are in a hurry.
If you are planning for a heavy load- this may not be ideal for your needs. It measures to be about 2.6 inches deep, about 13 inches long, and only about 6 inches wide.
While it might not be able to hold a whole lot, one thing that we really liked about this design is that it comes in at a really affordable price point. If you are looking to save a little bit of money, this is a great value.
This design from TINYAT gets an A+ when it comes to its superior style. It is long and thin and will hug your body in a comfortable way, and it comes in at a really affordable price point.
Can be worn across your chest
The thin and flat design really hugs your body
Cannot hold all that much gear- a little too tight for even an iPad mini
Many of the designs out there on the market have been made to store your gear when you head out of the trails, only to be accessible for when you sit down and open up your pack. This design from OSOCE, on the other hand, has a flatter design with a myriad of pockets that are going to be a little easier to access than most.Read more
Users will then have the option to select from just a few basic color options that include black and a few shades of gray. One thing that we liked most about this option is that it lies flat against your body, so you can wear it on your back or across your chest.
This pack is made from 100 percent composite nylon that is going to be incredibly durable as well as easy to clean. It is considered to be water-resistant, which means that light water exposure will roll off of the surface, but it is not intended to be used in heavy rainfall.
The most notable feature about this design is that the pockets are placed on top of each other so that you will have easy access to all of our gear without rooting around inside of your pack. It is designed to fit flat against your body, so it will feel like you aren’t wearing anything at all.
While it isn’t very deep and cannot hold very bulky gear, it is just a little bit bigger than some of the designs that we have seen. It measures to be about 12 inches wide, and just over 13 inches long.
The best part about this design from OSOCE is that it comes in at one of the most affordable price points out there on the market. It isn’t going to be able to hold the same amount of gear, but the price is perfect for those that just need just a few more pockets.
We liked this design because it allows users to have better access to their gear than some of the other designs out there on the market. Plus, it hugs your body better than some of the other designs, which will work great if you want to wear it across your chest.
8. Patagonia Atom
Padded tablet sleeve
Many color choices
Exterior buckles are great for attaching other gear
Colors online can be deceiving
We are going to start out here with a disclaimer- yes, this pack is small! With only 8L of capacity, this bag is small yet mighty. It has two main compartments and a small zippered pocket on the strap. If you have a larger item, such as a rain jacket or yoga mat, you can strap it on the pack using the exterior buckles.Read more
This unisex pack has a neutral style and a small size that could easier pair with just about any attire. Depending on which online retailer you choose to support, you’ll find a range of different color options. Some of these options include red, white, black, navy, gray, teal, and violet.
This bag is made up of a couple of different durable materials. On the exterior, you’ll find 630 denier nylon which is half recycled and half high tenacity. On the inside, the bag is lined with 200 denier recycled polyester. The Atom is finished with a DWR finish that makes the item repellant to water and other liquid menaces. Additionally, for breathability and comfort, the back panel and shoulder strap have mesh pads built-in.
There are two main pockets, one that is larger and features a padded sleeve for a tablet. The other main compartment is smaller and has a key clip. The smaller pocket is better suited for small accessories. On the strap of the pack, there is a zippered pocket that is ideal for your phone or cash. The buckles on the outside are great for strapping something to the bag that wouldn’t normally fit inside, such as a yoga mat or a towel.
The dimensions of this pack are 17.3” x 10.2” x 3.5”. It weighs 9.9-ounces. Overall, it can hold up to 8L worth of items. This is smaller than most of our other options. The size is the main complaint concerning this pack. Many reviewers have had issues fitting their cell phones in the zippered strap pocket.
For such a small item, it is expensive. As long as you are well aware of the size, and accept that, the rest of the bag is quite impressive. The materials used to construct it are durable and slightly weather-resistant, there is a padded laptop sleeve and plenty of color choices.
This is a great minimalist option. It makes a great addition to a beach day, a hiking trip, a vacation, or even just running around town. The only thing you need to aware of is the truly small size of this pack.
Made from genuine leather
Detachable shoulder strap
Some users felt that it was smaller than they expected
For those that are looking for something that will stand the test of time while still offering a sleek and professional look like you would get from a high-end briefcase, this leather option from Charminer is going to be one of your better options. Just keep in mind that it comes in at a price point that you would expect from something made from real leather.Read more
There are no color options to select when it comes to this design- is it only offered in a very rich coffee brown. Users love that it offers a very sophisticated style while still providing a good deal of function with well-placed pockets.
The best part about this design is that it is made from 100 percent cowhide leather. This means that is is going to offer a great and durable space for all of your gear. However, there is no listing on the product description whether this design is water-resistant, so it is best to keep it away from water.
There are two things that users really like about this design of this product. The first thing is that it has a convenient headphone wire hole that runs along the backside so that you can listen to music without taking your phone out of your pack. The second great feature is that it has a shoulder strap with a buckle so taking it on and off is incredibly quick and easy.
This design runs about in the middle of the road in terms of how much it can carry. It measures to be just over 2 inches deep, 17 inches long, and about 7 inches wide.
The downside to selecting something that is made from genuine leather is that it comes in at a much higher price point than most. However, if you are in the market for something that is made from really high-quality and sophisticated material, this is going to be well worth the elevated price point.
If you don’t like the idea of carrying your gear in a pack made from nylon or canvas, and you want something that is a little lusher, this design from CHARMINER is going to be one of your better options if you are willing to pay the higher price point.
Padded shoulder strap
Can be worn on either shoulder
RFID blocking pocket
You can't lock the zipper together
Zipper quality could be improved
The phone pocket on the strap is placed inconveniently for some
The best adjective to describe this product is already in the name. It's neat. It functions nicely, keeps your items organized, and has a great RFID blocking pocket. With the exception of a few flaws, this is a great option.Read more
This unisex pack has a sleek style that adapts to just about any outing. It is available in two colors, either gray or black. One of the best features of this item is the fact that it can be worn over either shoulder. The strap can be unclipped and attached on either side of the bottom of the bag.
The bag itself is made from durable and water-resistant polyester canvas. The strap is comfortably padded with mesh on the inside for improved breathability. To help keep you safer in low-light situations, there is also a reflective strip built into the pack. Reviewers have been impressed with the overall durability and build of the NeatPack.
This is a great option for travelers or anyone who lives in or often visits the big city. There is an anti-theft pocket along the back that has built-in RFID blocking technology. Radio Frequency Identification blocking technology keeps your personal items, such as credit cards and passports safe from passing by technology hackers. In addition to this impressive feature, there is also a 12” pocket for an iPad or laptop. You’ll find a mesh water bottle pocket on the exterior side, a zippered cell phone pocket (up to an iPhone 6S) with headphone cord exit on the front strap and two main compartments.
The liters of the bag is not available, but it seems as though this option holds a great amount of gear. The measurements are 12.5” x 4” x 18.5” and it weighs 15.2-ounces. This option has a great number of compartments, making this a great option if you are looking for a product with optimal organization.
This pack is averagely priced and comes with a 100% lifetime warranty, after registration. Customers rave about the comfort and compartments of this product. There have been a few complaints about the durability and function of the zippers, but we didn’t find that to be enough to leave it off of this list.
If you’re a neat-freak, the NeatPack would be a great option for you. The RFID blocking pocket is great for keeping your personal items secure and water-resistant durable materials ensure that this bag will last you for many years to come.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
This is going to be a reflection on your personal style- so we wanted to give you a lot of choices.
We were drawn to brands that allowed users to select from a wide variety of colors and styles. For the most part, many companies stuck with the most popular color options such as black and gray. These colors are going to be the most versatile for carrying to work or travel, and they are also going to be less likely to show dirt and dust which means you won’t have to clean them as frequently.
There were a few brands out there on the market that offered interesting and unique patterns and colors, but those designs were in the minority. We also wanted to make sure that we selected a wider range of structures as well. The most popular shape for a sling bag was the teardrop shape- wider at the base and tapered at the top- because it is able to really hug your body without adding a lot of pressure to your upper back.
However, we also wanted to make sure that we selected designs that were a little more boxy, which would allow users to carry more gear. These designs may be a little rougher on your back, but they also make it easier to carry things like tablets and notebooks.
The quality of materials used is going to dictate how long it is going to last, as well as how easy it will be to clean.
Leather is a great option because it is the most durable material out there on the market, but it often comes in at a much higher price point and it is a little more difficult to clean. The most popular material choices for these products are going to be canvas or nylon.
Canvas is great because it is incredibly soft and easy to clean, and most have been treated with a water-resistant coating that makes them perfect for when you get caught in rather soggy conditions. However, canvas often is a little less water-resistant than nylon, and it absorbs odors more than nylon.
Nylon, on the other hand, isn’t going to be as soft and comfortable as canvas, but it is going to be much easier to care for. Due to the fact that nylon isn’t very porous, it is less likely to hold on to water, and users typically don’t need to clean them at all because dirt and odors don’t penetrate the surface they way they do with canvas options.
Pockets and shoulder straps are one of the biggest reasons that users land on a particular design, and it was something that we really considered in-depth for most designs.
Pockets are the main reason that you are considering one of these designs, so we wanted to select options that are going to work for your needs. A large main zippered compartment is a must because it allows you to carry a lot of your bigger gear such as a notebook and tablets. Smaller pockets are also important because they provide a space for miscellaneous but important items.
Separating the big compartments from the smaller compartments is important because it means you can stay more organized and there will be less time spent rummaging for items.
Shoulder straps are also something that we really considered because one of the biggest features of these products is the fact that they are comfortable. One of the most popular features, we found, was a shoulder strap that came with a buckle that the base that made it easier to take on and off without the need of lifting it up over your head. We also liked designs that added a little bit of extra foam to the shoulder for additional comfort.
The dimensions of a product are going to dictate how much gear you are going to be able to carry.
One big thing that we noticed when researching these products is that users often found that they were much smaller than they had anticipated. When looking at a style, be sure to consider all of the dimensions. It may measure to be 15 inches long, but the teardrop shape means that you are going to lose a lot of space towards the top. Another thing to keep in mind is how deep each design runs. The average depth of these designs measures to be about 3 inches- which isn’t all that deep.
To avoid being disappointed by the smaller shape of these products, you need to keep in mind that they aren’t designed to be your average backpack or tote- they are made to provide you with some extra pockets without weighing you down. If you did want something that is a little bigger, there are designs that are made to be over 3 inches deep. However, we have found that users often complain that the larger options feel awkward and uncomfortable on their backs.
As always, we want to save you a little bit of money when we can.
Luckily, these products often come in at a really affordable price point that, on average, will set you back about the same amount that you may spend on a large pepperoni pizza. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. If you opt for a material that is considered to be a higher-end, such as genuine leather- you are likely to pay twice as much as you would for some of the more affordable options. Another exception to this rule depends on the dimensions of the product. On average, most measure to be under 3 inches deep and under 8 inches wide. If you venture to products that measure to be above this average, be prepared to pay a much higher price point.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If you want something that is going to be durable and easy to care for, polyester or nylon is the way to go. This material is ideal because it is generally nonporous, so you won't have to worry about getting caught out in the rain, and it is also easy to wipe down when it starts to get a little dirty.
Be sure to check out the pockets! Depending upon what you intend on using these products for, you may need different sets of pockets. If you generally carry a lot of small items such as keys, pens, and small notepads, be sure that you find something that has a lot of smaller pockets for your needs.
One of the biggest things to note about these products is that they are generally on the small side. A lot of users noted that they were much smaller than they were expecting. This isn't going to be a replacement for your backpack, it is just going to provide you a few extra pockets without weighing you down.
Other Factors to Consider
No one wants to invest in a product that is going to fall apart after just a couple of uses. The durability of each item is another important feature to consider. To determine the durability, you should investigate the materials used to construct the bag, the stitching, the weather resistance, and the zippers. As mentioned earlier, canvas and nylon are great materials that are strong, fairly abrasion resistant, and can be easily cleaned. Leather is also a great option that you can expect to last you for many years. Some products have reinforced stitching along areas of high weight or stress.
These versatile bags can be used for a number of activities including travel, gym, school, work, every day, hiking, or anything you can think of. There's no doubt that it will encounter a few run-ins with undesirable situations and it is important to know that it will survive.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why do I need one?
As time marches on, we need to carry more and more gear with us throughout our daily lives. For those that are constantly on the go and need to take a lot of tools with them, these products are a perfect option without weighing you down too much. Users typically carry things like their tablets and notebooks, pens and pencils, protein bars and bottles of water, as well as important items such as keys, wallets, and cell phones. These products are a great way to keep your life organized, even for those times that you are far away from home or your desk.
q: What are the benefits of using this style?
One big reason that people tend to shy away from carrying their gear in a pack is that some designs can be a little bit uncomfortable. Totes can be a little cumbersome and hard to manage, while backpacks are a little bulky and can weigh you down a lot. Once upon a time, the fanny packs gained popularity because it was a great way to strap your necessities to your body in a hands-free manner that allow you quick and easy access.
However, too many floral-shirt-wearing touristy folks started rocking the fanny pack, and it because of something of a fashion faux pas. These products offer users the same level of convenience and style (because you can also turn them around and wear them across your chest), without giving people the impression that you have a pocketful of butterscotch.
q: Can I wear it over my chest?
Yes! One of the best features about these styles is that you can swivel them around and wear them across your chest. The reason why these styles work so well worn across your chest is that they typically are made to be rather thin, so that they are going to put a lot of added pressure to your spine, and they aren’t going to stick out as much. In fact, there are quite a few users that even like to wear them under their winter coats so that they have all of their necessities close at hand and in a safe space without getting in the way or weighing them down too much.
q: Are they going to be able to hold a lot of gear?
We aren’t going to sugar coat this- these products aren’t designed to carry all that much gear. The aim of the game with these packs is to keep all of your absolute necessities (such as your phone, wallet, keys, and tablets) close at hand without the need for a purse or a tote. The standard design for most of these is the teardrop shape, which means that they are wider at the base and tapered toward the top. This design may make carrying square materials a little bit more difficult, but your spine will thank you for the even distribution of materials heavier at the base and lighter up towards your shoulders.
q: What size is going to be right for me?
First, take into consideration the things that you will be carrying. If you are simply buying one to take with you to work or for running errands throughout your day, you won’t really need something that is very big. For daily use, you will likely need something big enough to carry your keys, tablets, phone, wallet, as well as a few miscellaneous items.
For that instance, selecting a design that is around 6 inches wide and over 10 inches long is going to be your best option. Plus, if you don’t need to carry anything that is bulky, you will be able to get away with designs that are under 3 inches deep. If you are using it for traveling or hiking where you need to carry bulkier items, you are most likely going to want to opt for a design that is over 3 inches deep.
q: Will most repel water?
You have to be careful not to confuse waterproof and water-resistant. Waterproof means that the material is nonporous and will repel water easily- even in torrential downpours. Water-resistant is a little less forgiving when it comes to water- it is going to be able to repel a little bit of water, but if it is too much the material will begin to get wet. In the case of these products, all of the designs that we found were considered to be water-resistant. This means that if you get caught in incredibly wet and rainy conditions, the gear inside may become a little damp- which will be a problem if you are carrying electronics.
q: Are they easy to clean?
The answer to this question depends upon the material that you select. If you opt for a genuine leather design, cleaning them is going to be a little difficult. The good news with leather is that it is nonporous, so you can get away with simply wiping down the surface to make it look as good as new if it happens to get a little dusty or dirty. The more common materials, such as canvas and nylon, are going to be a little more difficult to clean.
To stay on the safe side, we recommend simply wiping them down with a damp cloth for general dirt and dust, and spot-treat stubborn stains. However, if you insist on giving them a good of fashioned cleaning, hand washing with cold water and a mild detergent is going to be the way to go. To dry, skip tossing them in the dryer and just let it air dry in a well-ventilated area.