Whether you’re navigating the bustling streets of Bangkok or trekking through the rugged trails of the Andes, the right gear can make all the difference. And it’s not just about what you carry, but how you carry it. That’s where sling packs come in.
In this meticulously curated list, you’ll find the  best sling packs that have not only endured my relentless adventures but have also added a dash of convenience and style to them. These packs are more than mere storage; they are your trusty sidekicks, holding your essentials while you’re on the move. With every zip and buckle, they’ve been tested for durability, comfort, and, most importantly, their ability to keep up with the unpredictable nature of travel.

But it’s not just about my experiences. These sling packs have been vetted by fellow nomads, globetrotters, and adventure enthusiasts, all of whom demand the best from their gear. Whether you’re a city slicker in need of a sleek, urban-friendly accessory or a trailblazer looking for a rugged companion, this list has got you covered.

By the end, you’ll know exactly what’s needed. We’ve got the best sling bag for hiking, one for laptops and even a sling for festivals. Let’s dive right in and check out the best slingpacks on the market…

Quick Answer: Best Sling Packs 2024 Review

  1. Nomatic Navigator Sling – Best Overall Sling Pack for Travel
  2. WANDRD Detour Hip Pack Best Packable Sling
  3. Patagonia Atom Sling – Runner-Up Best Sling Pack
  4. Pacsafe Stylesafe Anti-Theft Sling – Best Sling Bag for Ladies
  5. Mahi Classic Flight Bag – Best Leather Sling Bag
  6. Red Rock Rover Sling – Best Sling Bag for Hiking
  7. Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag – Best Sling Bag for Laptops
  8. Kavu Rope Sling – Best Sling Bag for Music Festivals
  9. Monarc Sling – Most Stylish Sling Pack
  10. Think Tank Retrospective 30 – Best Camera Sling Bag

Performance Breakdowns and Top Tips

This epic review of the best sling packs of 2024 provides you with my top picks, a comparison table for easy cross-referencing, advice for first-time buyers, what I like and what I don’t about each sling pack, advantages of sling pack use and much more! Slings make great travel organisers, so choose one that fits your style!

Ready for some top-quality sling bag reviews, Of course you are.

Let’s take a look at my top picks for the best sling bags in 2024…

Best overall travel sling pack - Nomatic Navigator Sling

Nomatic Navigator Sling

  • > $129.99
  • > 1.3 pounds
  • > 6 Liters

WANDRD Detour Sling Pack

  • > $64
  • > 9oz
  • > 6.3 Liters
best sling packs

Patagonia Atom Sling

  • > $65
  • > 12 ounces
  • > 8 Liters
Pacsafe Vibe 325 ECONYL Sling Pack

Pacsafe Vibe 325 ECONYL Sling

  • > $129.95
  • > 1 lb. 6.1 oz.
  • > 10 Liters
The Classic Flight Bag Mahi

Mahi Leather Classic Flight Bag

  • > $98.5
  • > 1.5 lbs.
  • > 2 Liters
best sling packs

Red Rock Rover Sling

  • > $39.64
  • > 3 lbs
  • > 9 Liters
best sling bag

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

  • > $99
  • > 1 lb. 15.4 oz.
  • > 21 Liters

Kavu Rope Sling

  • > $60
  • > 12 oz.
best sling bags

Think Tank Retrospective 30

  • > $239.75
  • > 3.2 lbs

Review of the 12 Best Slings Packs

#1. Nomatic Navigator Sling

Best Overall Sling Bag for Travel

Best overall travel sling pack - Nomatic Navigator Sling
  • Price -> $129.99
  • Weight -> 1.3 lbs
  • Capacity -> 6 Liters
  • Number of Compartments -> Main compartment (with interior pockets) + 2 more pockets

What I like: This durable little beast does everything you’d want a sling pack to do. It aces interior organization while still keeping everything easily accessible and even has an array of nifty features perfect for a traveler on the move.

As well as its main compartment and dedicated back pocket for tablets, there’s a hidden bottle pocket that stows away when not in use. There’s an in-built key leash, card slots on the shoulder strap perfect for transit card access, and the interior cord management even allows you to charge devices between the pockets!

On the build side of things, the Nomatic Navigator Sling is hella sleek and sits comfortably across the torso and back. The breathable back panel stops the ugly back sweats, meanwhile, the strength and water resistance means this sling bag is even suitable for a day hike.

The Nomatic Sling

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This all-black sling pack will look good in any outfit you pick, however, just for that one extra sexy feature, Nomatic has gone ahead and thrown some reflective visibility bars into the design to keep you safe at night!

We also love it for other uses whilst on the road and we rate it as an awesome beach bag too.

What I don’t like: Mainly, the price. For Nomatic products, you’re always paying a premium, and when stacked up against the other sling bags on this list, the difference shows.

However, as with all things in life, you get what you pay for. And in this case, the extra dollaridoos certainly show their worth for the best sling pack on the market.

Our team loved this super heavy-duty sling bag because it just seemed to tick all the boxes as the perfect sling. Firstly the material of the bag is not only super durable but highly water resistant too giving the team confidence when storing important gear. Another stand-out feature is the internal organisation of the sling, something that made packing and unpacking really easy.

Wanna know more, of course, ya do! We’ve actually written an in-depth post about the Nomatic Navigator Sling for your viewing pleasure!

#2. WANDRD Detour Sling Pack

Best Packable Sling Pack

WANDRD Detour Sling

What I like: The WANDRD Detour is a PACKABLE sling which folds up into a neat, compact little square when you are not using it. It’s designed to carry DSLR cameras so offers pretty generous storage space. It has a simple, sleek and suave design which makes it great for everyday no-frills use. Use this pack as an airport bag, for hitting the beach or yeah, for carrying your camera.

What I don’t like: First up, if you are going to use this as a camera bag then note that it does not offer much protection in case of knocks and drops. You will therefore need to also invest in the WANDED inflatable camera cube. Personally, I dislike the polyester strap on this pack as it doesn’t feel great against the skin.

To round up this sling bag review we let our testers give it a go and they were really impressed. They just loved how small this sling packed down and loved that they could just throw it into their bag as an extra bit of storage or to use during the day without taking up hardly any room. They also loved how light it was.

#3. Patagonia Atom Sling

Runner-Up Best Sling Bag for Travel

Patagonia Atom Sling
  • Price -> $65.00
  • Weight -> 12 ounces
  • Capacity -> 8 Liters
  • Number of Compartments -> 2 Pockets + Main Compartment

What I like: The Patagonia Atom Sling is the perfect sling bag to take traveling. Why? I like it because it is simple, durable, and can hold just enough stuff to keep the essentials close at hand. When you need to grab something from your pack, the single-strap design lets you rotate the Atom to the front for quick access.

If you are traveling with a Kindle or Ipad, the large, zippered main pocket has a dedicated, padded tablet sleeve inside for easy, safe storage.

A convenient stretch-mesh pocket on the chest/shoulder strap accommodates a wide variety of phone sizes. You can adjust the fit quickly and easily on the go. Adjustable exterior compression straps help to manage loads of various sizes.

Finally, the strong exterior fabric is finished with a durable water-repellent (DWR) coating to protect items from light rain. This is a great minimalist sling bag for travel as long as you are indeed a minimalist and not trying to pack heaps of stuff into it (you won’t be able to).  Good job Patagonia!

What I don’t like: When the Patagonia Atom is super full, the balance can feel off. Your neck can end up taking a majority of the weight if you don’t have the back properly adjusted. For carrying heaps of stuff, 8 liters is not much to work with. Some users have complained that it is simply too small to be practical.

Our team loved all the different practical features of this sling including the external pockets and compression straps. They felt the shoulder strap was pretty well-padded and comfortable when properly adjusted and just loved the addition of the small pocket on the strap.

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#4. Pacsafe Vibe 325 ECONYL Sling Pack

Best Sling Bag for Ladies

Pacsafe Vibe 325 ECONYL Sling Pack
  • Price -> $129.95
  • Weight -> 1 lb. 6.1 oz. ounces
  • Capacity -> 10 Liters
  • Number of Compartments -> 3 Exterior Pockets + Main Compartment

What I like: The Pacsafe Anti-Theft sling is slightly smaller than the Patagonia Atom Sling listed above, though it still can basically hold the same amount of essential items. The Pacsafe sling is cool because it can be worn 2 different ways—as a sling or as a backpack. This sling pack is very safety conscious, which I like.

The N Lock security hooks which allow you to attach the bag strap to a secure fixture to avoid snatch-and-run theft. Hidden, stainless-steel eXomesh mesh slash guards protect against slash-and-run theft. Zipper pulls attach to discreet hooks, making them tougher for pickpockets to open.

A hidden pocket located on the backside of the bag keeps your most important small items closest to your body. A bonus is the RFID-blocking material located in a special pocket which helps prevent electronic identity theft. Whew!

The Pacsafe Anti-Theft Sling is my top pick for the best sling bag for women for all of the badass safety features listed above. You’ll stay one step ahead of any potential thieves while keeping your most important gear safe.

What I don’t like: Again, the Pacsafe Anti-Theft is quite small. You will have trouble trying to fit anything more than the bare essentials inside. Also, the Pacsafe sling is a little more expensive than some of the other options found in this review.

Our team liked the low profile of this sling especially as it can be worn more in the style of a handbag rather than looking like a traditional sling. The team felt it was a great backpacking option when they wanted something to take travelling that would still look great with a dress but keep their gear safe too.

#5 Mahi Leather Classic Flight Bag

Best Leather Sling

  • Price -> $98.5
  • Weight -> 1.5 lbs.
  • Capacity -> 2 Liters
  • Number of Compartments -> 1

What I Like:

The bag is meticulously crafted with a 100% full-grain leather exterior, ensuring durability while sporting a sleek, sophisticated look. The interior is lined with 100% cotton, providing a soft, protective layer for your belongings.

Boasting a 2L capacity, the bag is compact yet spacious enough to hold your daily essentials. The dimensions are W19cm x H22cm x D4cm, providing a streamlined profile. The expandable shoulder strap, ranging from 78cm to 145cm, allows for a custom fit, ensuring the bag rests comfortably against your body.

What I Don’t Like:

Hmm, there really isn’t much to not love. It’s well-sized for an airport bag and fits phones, wallets and papers easily while looking stylish. I suppose it isn’t exactly cheap ($86 for a small bag..) but that’s leather I guess.

Also, I personally prefer a packable sling pack like the Nomatic Navigator.

#6. Red Rock Rover Sling

Best Sling Bag for Hiking

best sling packs
  • Price -> $39.64
  • Weight -> 3 lbs.
  • Capacity -> 9 Liters
  • Number of Compartments -> 3

What I Like: Technically, the Red Rock Rover Sling is a concealed carry sling. That means it was intended to stash a gun inside. That said, it is a tough, burly sling pack perfect for short hikes. Finding the best sling bag for hiking isn’t easy because sling packs are inherently not really intended for hiking. The Red Rock Sling is going to be the most comfortable and most practical sling bag for hiking you will find.

The three storage compartments are large enough to pack snacks, water, a light layer, and other essentials. I am a fan of the fact that the internal and external pockets contain admin dividers and organizers and it’s one of the big reasons I picked this as my best hiking sling bag.

For quick access to important items (i.e snacks), the two external compartments make it easy for you. The Red Rover Sling comes in a variety of colors, so don’t worry… you need not get a camouflage sling if that’s not your thing! For the price, you won’t find a better sling bag for hiking!

What I don’t like: As a 9-liter sling bag for hiking, I feel like the Rover sling is far heavier than it should be. There are 50-liter+ hiking backpacks that weigh less! It’s kind of weird too that this is a sling bag intended to hide guns and bullets. Can we all just get along?

Our team felt this was the best sling backpack for hiking because of the proper durable exterior and the ability to bring along heaps of extras with the addition of the accessory and gear loops. They also loved the different pockets on the front of the pack which made keeping things organised easy, they liked that they could throw in an energy bar and have quick access.

#7. Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

Best Sling Bag for Laptops

best sling bag
  • Price -> $99.00
  • Weight -> 1 lb. 15.4 oz.
  • Capacity -> 21 Liters
  • Number of Compartments -> 3 + Main Compartment

What I like: For a full-size sling bag for laptops and everyday practicality, the Timbuk2 Classic is a badass sling pack. With 21-liters, you can carry everything you need for a day in the city.

The thoughtfully distributed internal pockets balance the weight of your carry, which is hugely important! The fully adjustable shoulder strap features a super comfortable air-mesh strap pad. Digital Nomads rejoice!

A low-profile handle makes the sling bag easy to grab and go. The SR buckles are partially concealed behind the flap for a sleek but secure closure. Crucially, the flap corners fold into place for excellent weatherproofing.

If you are a digital nomad/city dweller looking for the best sling bag for laptops around, look no further than the Timbuk2 Classic. It’s a hell of a sling pack!

What I don’t like: The closure straps are too long. They tend to rub on the legs which can result in chaffing and if nothing else, annoyance. Short of cutting the end off with a knife, there isn’t much to be done about that.

One major flaw is whilst the sling bag itself is rather padded, there is no individual padding for the laptop compartment. Several users of this bag have complained about poor customer service with Timbuk2. That’s an unfortunate reputation to cultivate, as Timbuk2 typically makes awesome products.

Our team just loved the epic volume of this sling and just how much it holds. They also loved the range of different colours and styles it came in, all of which look super cool. If you pick one of the more reserved colourways the team felt the sling was a great commuter pack for those needing to carry a laptop and a few notebooks with them on the daily.

Looking for more bags of this style, check out the best messenger bags on offer too.

#7. Kavu Rope Sling

Best Sling Bag for Music Festivals

best sling bag
  • Price -> $60.00
  • Weight -> 12 ounces
  • Capacity -> N/A – My guess is between 6-8 Liters
  • Number of Compartments -> 4 Pockets + Main Compartment

What I like: When headed to a heady music festival or party, having a low-key, functional sling bag is awesome for storing your stuff. The Kavu Rope Sling is the perfect sling pack to take to festivals! I appreciate that the design is simple, practical, and functional! There are basically two zip compartments and two small Velcro stash pockets (perfect for keeping your festival drugs safe lol).

What’s cool is that the Kavu Rope Sling is made of cotton canvas which means it can be washed. At a music festival or beach party, your bag ends up all over the place. Washing away dust, grit, and stale beer droplets is very important indeed!

The Kava Rope Sling also makes for a great sling bag for travel if you are not seeking to load it with stuff.

What I don’t like: The bag was intended to be worn on the right shoulder only. If you are right-handed, like I am, you’ll find that the Rope Sling takes some getting used to. Because the bag is made of cotton canvas, it is pretty much at the mercy of the weather. In heavy rain, your stuff will get soaked. Some users have found the shoulder straps to be uncomfortable.

Our team loved that this bag had a proper hippy vibe to it that just worked perfectly for a music festival. Besides its looks, they were super impressed by the extra features on the bag so often missed out on these bohemian numbers. That included the different external pockets, one of which was on the strap, these were great for quick grab items like mints, smokes or loose coins.

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    #8. Think Tank Retrospective 30

    Best Camera Sling Bag

    best sling bags
    • Price -> $239.75
    • Weight -> 3.2 lbs
    • Capacity -> 15” W x 9.5” H x 6” D (38 x 24 x 15.2 cm)
    • Number of Compartments -> 4 + Main Compartment

    What I like: For the best camera sling bag, the Think Tank Retrospective 30 has you covered. If you are a backpacker traveling with a fancy DSLR camera, you’re going to need adequate protection to comfortably transport your kit. The Retrospective 30 sling pack provides that and more. It is absolutely loaded with storage and organizational features, which is a big win.

    For photographers who need a little extra space in their camera bag, the spacious Think Tank Retrospective 30 is the way to go. At 3.2 pounds, the Think Tank Retrospective is quite heavy though relatively light enough to carry over your shoulder. The internal dimensions – 15 x 6 x 9.5″ – are large enough to accommodate a larger camera system, like a Fuji X-Series.

    The addition of several pockets ensures that you’ll have enough room for all of your extra accessories as well. Other features, like an included rain cover and silenceable velcro, only add to the usefulness of this camera sling bag.

    What I don’t like: I am amazed that the main compartment doesn’t zip! Bummer. The Retrospective 30 is definitely bordering on being too heavy to be a comfortable and practical camera sling bag. For nearly $200, this is the most expensive sling pack on my list. That said, if you own a nice camera, then you are probably used to spending heaps of money on your badass camera gear!

    Our team liked the pretty low-key look of this bag and felt it was ideal for when they were carrying around some pretty expensive gear without drawing attention. They loved the amount of space for all their gear in this sling and the fact they could easily access their camera from the top of the pack. Another thing they really appreciated was the organisational pockets on the front which were great for storing filters, memory cards and notebooks.

    For even more camera bag ideas, check out our in-depth review of the best camera bags.

    You’ve seen my top picks for the best sling bags for travel and other activities above. Here are a few more sling packs which are equally as awesome…

    #9. Waterfly Sling Pack

    Honorable Mention

    best sling bag
    • Price -> $19.99
    • Weight -> N/A
    • Capacity -> 10 Liters
    • Number of Compartments -> 1 + Main Compartment

    What I like: For the price, the Waterfly Sling Pack is hard to beat. An investment in one of these sling packs is next to nothing! The Waterfly is marketed as a waterproof sling bag, though I think it is more water resistant. Either way, it does indeed offer decent weather protection.

    Its 10-liter inner compartment is perfect for day hikes and urban exploration. The breathable strap is comfortable even after wearing the bag for long periods.

    What I don’t like: I have questions about the Waterfly’s long-term durability. But for 20 bucks, you can’t expect the sling pack to last forever I guess. It is kind of annoying how this company claims the Waterfly is both waterproof and water resistant. It is one or the other, it can’t be both! Come on!

    Our team loved the low profile of this sling and combined with how cheap it is, they felt it was a great accompaniment for short trips, backpacking and casual days out. They loved that it could be thrown over your shoulder and carried just enough to keep things light and free for the day with no fuss.

    #10. Monarc Sling

    Most Sylish Sling Pack

    The Monarc Settra Sling Pack
    • Price -> $99.99
    • Weight -> N/A
    • Capacity -> 20 Liters
    • Number of Compartments -> 1 main compartment

    What I like: The Monarc Sling Bag is a reasonably sized bag for everyday carry. At 10L, it is designed with convenience in mind, suitable for the daily commute to the office or for carrying personal items when traveling by plane. With water-resistant zippers and fabric, you won’t have to worry about the weather; your stuff will always stay dry.

    I’ve had a very positive experience with the Monarc Sling Bag. It fits my 15″ laptop perfectly and makes a great bag for my daily commutes to coworking spaces. I love the design and the multiple ways I am able to wear it on my back. With all the compartments, I find my stuff quickly. This bag has quickly become my go-to everyday bag.

    This sling looks good in any setting.
    Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

    What I don’t like: The only downside, in my opinion, was the lack of a user manual on the bag tag. I wish the tag had a clear description of all the functionalities. When I first received the bag, it took me an hour or so to look online and figure out all the functions. Other than that, I really appreciate all the compartments the bag includes. It is really easy to stay organised and it’s become one of my favourite bits of travel gear.

    #11. Pacsafe Vibe 325  Crossbody Sling

    Honorable Mention

    hest sling packs
    • Price -> $129.95
    • Weight -> 1 lb. 3.8 oz.
    • Capacity -> 1o Liters
    • Number of Compartments -> 1 + Main Compartment

    What I like: Pacsafe has arrived on my best sling bags list again. This time it is for the Pacsafe Vibe 325. As another very safety-conscious sling pack, the Vibe 325 is loaded with cool security features even if it is a minimalist sling pack.

    The roobar AT locking system allows you to secure your zippers and helps prevent pickpocket theft. Furthermore, the RFID-safe blocking material built into a pocket in the main compartment helps protect IDs and credit cards from electronic scanning theft. It sucks a big one that we have to worry about this kind of thing nowadays, but it is the reality.

    Finally, the hidden eXomesh Slashguard stainless-steel wire mesh embedded into the fabric helps protect against slash-and-run theft. Thieves won’t stand a chance. Bam.

    What I don’t like: The Pacsafe 325 does run a bit small so don’t expect to pack anything other than the basic/important essentials. Some users have reported discomfort with the straps and the feel of carrying the pack.

    Our team are generally big fans of Pacsafe bags and really love the added security they feel carrying around their valuables inside this sling. They did confirm to us that it felt a little on the small side but they felt it worked perfectly as an accompaniment to their bigger bag for things like their passport, wallet and phone.

    #12. Peak Design Everyday Sling V2 6L

    Honorable Mention

    • Price -> $119.95
    • Weight ->1 lb. 10 oz.
    • Capacity -> 6 Liters
    • Number of Compartments -> 1 + Main Compartment

    What I like: For another one of the best camera sling bags, I recommend getting to know the Peak Design Everyday Sling V2 6L. This camera sling bag is indeed small, and minimalist and can only fit one DSLR camera. But, that’s all you need right?

    It features easy clamshell access to the main camera-carrying compartment and a front accessory organization pocket. The secondary chest strap provides additional security for when you are traveling in cities.

    I have to give the Peak Design Everyday Sling V2 6L big points for its weather-conscious design. The outer fabric is 400-denier shell fabric to help keep your gear dry when the rain clouds roll in, there is no need to panic. It also features a weatherproof zipper.

    What I don’t like: For a 6-liter camera sling pack, I find the price ($119.95) to be expensive. For the price, I’d like to see a slightly larger sling bag with more features. If you are traveling with multiple lenses, then this pack is not for you.

    Our team were really impressed by this camera sling and felt it was a great alternative to a bulking camera bag. They loved that it included proper camera dividers and it could be swung around for quick access to their gear. The additional transparent pockets on the inner pocket were also great for photographers needing to quickly grab extra batteries or memory cards.

    #13. Inateck Sling Pack

    Best For Air Travel

    • Price -> $46.99
    • Weight ->1 lb. 10 oz.
    • Capacity -> 4 Liters
    • Number of Compartments -> 1 Main Compartment

    The Inateck Sling Bag is a stylish and functional accessory designed for everyday carry, travel, and outdoor activities. It boasts a compact yet spacious design, measuring 34 x 15 x 8 cm (13.8 x 5.9 x 3.1 inches) with a 4L capacity, making it suitable for carrying essentials such as phones, a Nintendo Switch, or an iPad Mini. The bag is constructed with 900D polyester, featuring YKK zippers and a Duraflex buckle, ensuring durability, water resistance, and a weight of only 0.8 pounds. Its adjustable shoulder strap ranges from 29″ to 48″ in length, accommodating various body sizes and carrying preferences.

    The bag features a unique design with angled cuts and a futuristic look, maintaining a low profile while offering an expandable compartment for larger items like water bottles or umbrellas. This compartment includes elastic webbing to secure items in place. Internally, the bag offers an impressive organization system, including a main compartment with pockets for electronics and smaller items, an iPad Mini-sized pocket, elastic bands for pens or cables, and a secure back pocket with card slots for valuables.

    Complete Comparison Table

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    Buy on REI!

    Best Sling Packs Comparison Table

    Sling PackWeightVolumeCompartmentsRain Cover Included?Price
    Nomatic Navigator Sling1.3 lbs6 LitersMain compartment (with interior pockets) + 2 more pocketsNo$129.99
    WANDRD Detour Sling Pack9oz6.3 Liters 1 + Main CompartmentNo$64.00
    Patagonia Atom Sling12 oz.8 Liters2 Pockets + Main CompartmentNo$65.00
    Pacsafe Vibe 325 ECONYL Sling1 lb. 6.1 oz.10 Liters 3 Exterior Pockets + Main CompartmentNo$129.95
    Mahi Leather Classic Flight Bag1.5 lbs.2 Liters 1 + Main CompartmentNo$98.5
    Red Rock Outdoor Gear Rover Sling3 lbs.9 Liters3 + Main CompartmentNo$39.64
    Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Sling Bag1 lb. 15.4 oz.21 Liters3 + Main CompartmentNo$99.00
    Kavu Rope Sling12 ouncesN/A4 Pockets + Main CompartmentNo$60.00
    Think Tank Retrospective 303.2 lbs15” W x 9.5” H x 6” D4 + Main CompartmentYes$239.75
    Waterfly Sling PackN/A15 Liters 1 + Main CompartmentNo$19.99
    5.11 Tactical RUSH Moab 10N/A18 Liters3 + Main CompartmentNo$105
    Pacsafe Vibe 325  Crossbody Sling1 lb. 3.8 oz.10 Liters 1 + Main CompartmentNo129.95
    Peak Design Everyday Sling V2 6L1 lb. 10 oz.6 Liters1 + Main CompartmentYes119.95

    How to Choose the Best Sling Bag for Travel

    Now that you have seen my top picks for the best sling packs on the market, there are a few other factors to consider before buying a sling pack.

    Every person has different tastes, needs, and expectations for any given sling pack. First, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions:

    • What purpose do I want a sling pack to serve?
    • How much do I want to spend on a sling bag?
    • What will I be using my slick pack for the most?

    After you sort out some of these important questions, you can then base your final decision on whichever sling pack will be the best fit for your own personal travel style.

    The best thing about a sling bag? They are almost always Ryanair carry-on bag compatible too!

    Nomatic Sling 6L
    Finding the right sling pack for yourself depends on a few different factors…

    Finding the Best Sling Bag Size

    Finding the best sling bag size for yourself is pretty easy really as most of your options are not wide-ranging in terms of size. The biggest sling pack on my list is the Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag. At 21 liters, this sling bag is great for storing more than just the basics.

    In most cases though, you have just 8 liters or so to work with. You must have realistic expectations regarding your sling pack! They are minimalist backpacks intended to contain small, useful items that you intend to keep close to your person.

    best sling pack
    If you want your sling pack to hold a ton of shit, going with a bag like the Timbuk2 Messenger Sling is probably your best bet

    I love sling packs for festivals, beach days, and city trips, and as a carry-on bag. They are NOT really best for hiking or as a primary daypack. If you expect to load your sling pack with plenty of shit, then you might want to reconsider getting one, or at least go with the biggest sling pack out there if that’s what you need.

    As I said, sling packs and minimalism go hand in hand. You’ll find that traveling with a sling pack is awesome because you are not burdened with a heavy, bulky backpack. All of your items are easy to access, and most of all safe from external threats.

    Which Sling Packs Have the Best Features?

    Just like every individual backpacker, each sling pack on this list has its own character and personality. Are you a fan of pockets, zippers, and compartments galore? Do you prefer a few pockets and a well-organized main compartment? You’ll need to ask these questions!

    The point is, once you determine your personal organizational needs, you should target that kind of sling pack.

    I personally find it handy to have a few zip pockets on the exterior. Once you start having 5 or 6 different pocks plus the main compartment, you might find that to be excessive. Even in a small sling pack, you can lose track of where the hell you put stuff!

    I like a good balance of simplicity, practical, versatile, and reliable. Above all else, the best sling bag is the most functional sling bag for your own needs.

    Having a spot to put your most important items is the goal. That is why I am a big fan of the Patagonia Atom Sling. It is simple, compact, and very functional, which is all I ask when considering which packs are indeed the best sling bags.

    How and Where We Tested To Find The Best Sling Pack

    A man standing by a wall with street art wearing a sling.
    Welcome to Greece. Like the Sling?

    To test these sling packs we sent different members of our team out with each one for a proper test run over a decent period of time.


    A sling pack might be smaller than a backpack but it still needs to be able to pack a decent amount of stuff. So we awarded top points for how packable each one was and how well it optimised the space provided. Extra points were also awarded for how well each pack facilitates effective packing and we tested this out by packing and unpacking. Simple!

    Another point we paid particular attention to was how well each was also to unpack. Did the design make it easy to get at your gear or do you turn into Mary Poppins when you need to grab something on the go!?

    Weight and Comfort of Carrying

    Slings by their nature are usually pretty light and low profile. At the same time being carried on one shoulder means comfort and weight are of optimal importance when it comes to picking the right one.

    No one wants their sling digging into their shoulder all day, so those that maximised carry comfort whilst minimising weight were awarded full marks.


    One of the most important factors, when we were reviewing these packs, was functionality. In other words, how does each sling fulfilled its primary purpose… so in order to test them out when used them for exactly that!

    So let’s say a sling is for photographers, then we checked out how well it handled a camera and how well it facilitated photography on the go. If it was for carrying valuables, then we check out how safe the sling felt. You get the gist right!?


    Some people say that travel gear doesn’t need to look good as long as it functions. Well, those people are fools obviously not TBB testers because here we don’t do things by halves! Nah! Here we expect our gear to not only perform well but to do it whilst looking good too… a bit like us!

    Durability and Weatherproofing

    If you’re putting expensive gear into your sling, then you want it to be safe from the weather. You also don’t want to be investing in some tat that’s going to be falling apart after a few weeks. So we took built quality and weatherproofing seriously. We inspected the materials used, checked out how the zippers felt in use and had a good look at the pressure points most likely to break.

    Next, we gave the weatherproofing a good old test by pouring a pint of water over the slings to see how well they fared!

    FAQ about the Best Sling Pack

    Still have some questions about the best sling packs? No problem! We’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions below. Here’s what people usually want to know:

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      Final Thoughts on the Best Sling Packs

      best sling pack. An open sling with a camera inside.
      What sort of features do you like to see in a sling pack?

      Congratulations, you have made it to the end of my best sling packs review! Well by now you are well of aware of the benefits of choosing an awesome sling bag for travel.

      In the end, sling packs are great travel companions. They are compact, minimalist, and very handy little units to take on any backpacking adventure in addition to being extremely practical for everyday use.

      Now that you know what to look for when it comes to picking the best sling bag for travel, you are now ready to make the informed choice of which one to go with.

      I know that choosing the perfect sling pack can be a challenge, so I am glad you took the initiative to read this epic review!

      If you are still having doubts about which sling pack is best, I recommend going for the Patagonia Atom Sling; my top pick for the overall best sling bag of the year.

      Did you enjoy reading this best sling bags review? Let me know how I did in the comments. Happy travels amigos.

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