The use of sling bags is on the rise. With minimalism securely in the zeitgeist, we’re trimming down and carrying less, so a 20-30L backpack is an overkill for some. A good sling bag snugs tight to the carrier and allows freer movement and quick access to essentials on the go. And when worn crossbody on the chest, it makes pick-pocketing pretty darn tricky. So what features should you look for in a sling bag?
A balance between lightweight and durability
Sling bags are generally designed to carry smaller loads and less weight, so they don’t need to be built like a tank. That being said, if you’ll be reaching for it regularly or putting it to demanding use, you’ll want decent durability which may result in a slight weight penalty. Ultimately it comes down to your intended use but a balance between durability and lightweight should see you right for most carry needs.
Comfortable and adjustable strap
Good crossbody bags will offer a long, padded, and adjustable strap that can preferably flip from right to left depending on user preference. Some smaller, lightweight sling bags may not require padding in the strap since they aren’t intended to carry heavy loads. But they should still offer flexible adjustability. And while a fanny pack may not require an ambidextrous strap to wear it around the waist, you’ll still want the ability to cinch or loosen the strap as required.
Padded back panel
Whether you’re carrying the bag as a hip bag, across the body or as a shoulder bag, pens and other sharp contents can dig into you without sufficient padding. But a padded back panel will help cushion the load and stop you from getting jabbed. Again, smaller options may not require as much padding, but you’ll still benefit from at least a little protection.
Having to rummage for smaller items is annoying and wastes time. So consider a sling bag that has sufficient organization to suit your carry setup. Perhaps you just need one or two pockets for a phone and keys. Alternatively, you may want a padded pocket for a tablet or laptop or discreet storage for valuables.
One of the main benefits of a good crossbody bag is that it lets you readily access your gear on the go without having to remove it. So opt for one that shifts easily from the chest to the back and vice versa for smooth and friction-free access on the go. If you’re carrying it as a waist bag, it should still allow you to swivel it around easily for quick and convenient access.
Freedom of movement
Sling bags are designed to help keep you agile and nimble on the move. So you don’t want one that’s going to restrict your movement, regardless of how you’re carrying it. A good design will allow freedom to move, be it gliding across busy platforms or riding a bike.
Now that you have an idea of what to consider, check out our best sling bags for everyday carry…