The Best Sling Bags For Everyday Carry Of 2022
It’s not a fad lads, the sling bag is here to stay, and in fact, it’s not even a new invention. If you think about it, we human beings have been carrying things around for eternity, useful stuff like tools for example. Back when we were cavemen, our everyday carry certainly looked a bit different from today’s high-tech offerings, but we always found some inventive way of transporting our things around, probably in an animal hide of some description. Of course, today bags have gone all “haute-couture,” and you can get messager bags, satchel bags, briefcases, backpacks, and more. Today though we are specifically taking a look at the best sling bags.
Sling bags may not be the most ergonomic, but they fit an excellent niche, a quick sling over the shoulder, a single shoulder strap, timeless style, and easy access by spinning your bag around. I wasn’t a fan of the sling bag or the crossbody bag until I started testing for this guide, but let me tell you, I’m convinced. The sling pack has earned a place in my arsenal, and now, I’ve written this guide to help convince you it deserves a slot in yours too.
- Editor’s Pick: Osprey Packs Daylite Shoulder Sling Bag
- Most Stylish: KAVU Rope Sling Bag
- Vintage Style: Leaper Retro Messenger Style Sling Bag
- Pockets on Pockets: Nicgid Sling Bag
- Cargo Style: Red Rock Outdoor Gear Rover Sling Bag
- Sleek and Trendy: Outdoor Master Sling Bag
- Best Canvas Bag: Neatpack Canvas Sling Bag
- Great Water Resistance: Waterfly Crossbody Sling Bag
- Maximalism in a Minimalist Package: Maxpedtiion Sitka Gearslinger
The Best Sling Bag
Osprey has long been at the forefront of amazing products that have the mark of quality on them. Their Osprey Daylite Shoulder Sling is a must-have for the student, the commuter, or for anyone running a few errands. This sling pack is one of the best sling bags on the market and is my new go-to pack when I’m headed out for a few errands around town. The simple, yet functional design belies a lot of the impressive components that come together to make this such a fantastic product. To further enhance the comfort of the user, the Osprey Daylite Shoulder Sling employs the use of breathable mesh material, which provides next-to-skin comfort for the user.
The bag also has a considerable zipped storage space in which you can store items such as books, clothes, a water bottle, and other things that will not go in your regular pocket. I’ve been able to stuff a surprising amount of stuff into this not-so-small bag! Moreover, it also comes with a smaller enclosure where you can store smaller items like wallets and phones. That’s not all; on the inside, there is also a mesh organizer and a key clip that will help keep your keys safe. Beyond this, the bag also features an incredible sling for added comfort, which also contains a tiny storage space where you can keep really small items like sweets in case you need some sugar reinforcement.
Durable nylon construction
Large storage area
Smaller pocket to store smaller items
Ergonomically designed sling with harness pocket
- Weight8 Ounces
Unleash your inner adventurer with the KAVU Rope Sling Bag, which is beautifully designed and suitable for nearly anyone. The design of this bag is striking, and the KAVU team put in a lot of effort to create a trendy look that’s perfect for casual settings. The KAVU Rope Sling Bag features two main pockets that can mostly handle all your essential items, such as clothes, everyday carry essentials, or water bottles. Besides this, the bag also contains an internal zip pocket and two additional pockets to store smaller objects such as your cell phone.
Moving on to the construction of this Kavu bag, it is made with 600D polyester, which is very durable and isn’t prone to tearing easily. This is a bag that can be used for a long time with very little drop in quality. On top of that, the bag also features a really impressive rope strap for easy carrying over the shoulder. What’s more, the strap isn’t bulky, is ergonomically designed, doesn’t break or cut easily, and is well poised to serve you for a pretty long time. So, whether you’re a student who wants a bag that stands out or an adventurer that wants a comfortable companion, the KAVU Rope Sling Bag is the bag for you.
Lightweight polyester bag
Numerous compartments for easy storage
Durable rope strap for secure handling
- Model944-1022-One Size
- Weight12.8 Ounces
This Leaper Messenger-Style men’s bag has a real vintage look and feel about it. It comes in a wide range of very classic colorways with contrasting PU leather decoration. It’s not the largest sling bag around, but it is practical, stylish, sturdy and can be securely fastened via two buckles on the top flap.
Internally there is enough space for a slim laptop and plenty of additional internal zippered pockets and flaps. While it has been designed to be worn over your shoulder in the sling style, there is also a convenient carry handle so that you have options on how to wear it. Unfortunately, it’s not waterproof but other than that it makes a super stylish everyday or laptop bag. Although, with a single carry strap, a laptop may be a heavy and uncomfortable addition to this crossbody bag.
Versatile design that’s both attractive and functional
Numerous pockets to store various materials
Adjustable strap which eases the task of carrying the bag
Durable canvas material
- Weight1.79 Pounds
Some might categorize the Nicgid Sling Bag as a fanny pack, and the design does give it the look of one. However, it is just as much a bag as other items on this list. It features a lovely design that is simple and understated. The bag is made with rip-resistant nylon, which is rugged and long-lasting. On top of that, this bag features several wearing styles that provide options on how to don this accessory. You can wear it as a chest bag, or over your shoulder, or if you’re really trying to be radical, you can wear it as a pouch. We love all the options with this shoulder bag!
The inside is also a delight as the main compartment is significant and can fit items such as iPads or other tablets. It also contains four front zippered pockets that offer enough space for smaller items that could get lost in the main compartment. The versatility of the Nicgid Sling Bag is another reason for its popularity. It is just as useful for men as it is for women. Overall, this is the ideal back for hiking trips, shopping, bicycle riding, and so on while also making an incredible gift for the important people in your life.
An ergonomically designed bag that is easy to carry
Durable and long-lasting nylon construction
Waterproof bag for adverse weather conditions
Numerous pockets for extra storage
A very military and tactically inspired sling bag makes it onto our best sling bags review list in the shape of this Red Rock model. It comes in a range of camouflage-inspired colors that will have you blending in with your environment. We’re talking olive, coyote, and woodland themes. Constructed from durable and sturdy 600 D polyester, this has undoubtedly been manufactured to last and is ruggedly stylish with plenty of molle webbing throughout and lots of pockets and convenient attachments.
The sling-style shoulder strap is ambidextrous, so whether you are a leftie, a rightie, or just like to mix and match, you can wear this bag any way you choose. There’s also a conveniently concealed snap closure on the back panel, which makes a great anti-theft deterrent and an excellent city sling for peace of mind when you are traveling with valuables. We love the tactical feel on the front, which is quite a departure from the typical fanny pack or versatile sling bag. This bag features several zippered pockets on the front for all sorts of valuables.
Rugged and sturdy construction throughout
Molle webbing for customization
Adjustable ambidextrous shoulder strap
4 convenient compartments for storage
Snap closure concealed back pocket
- BrandRed Rock Outdoor Gear
- Weight2 Pounds
Spacious internally but with a compact and stylish-looking design, this crossbody sling bag is hugely practical and has ample room for all your everyday carry. There are plenty of internal pockets and compartments for storing your valuables, and it even comes with a discreet anti-theft hidden pocket, perfect for your cell phone or wallet and keys.
The shoulder strap is multi-directional, too, so whether you are a leftie or a rightie, there’s no wrong way to carry this Outdoor Master Bag. That’s partly why it’s made it onto our best sling bags recommended list. It also comes in a host of contemporary colors to suit your style and mood. Packed with smart storage features, this is small, spacious, sturdy, and still stylish. We love the primary two zippered compartments on this city sling and the compact feel.
Lightweight and compact crossbody design
Hidden anti-theft pocket and water bottle holder
Reversible shoulder strap direction with soft padding
Ample room for camera, tablet or small laptop
Available in a variety of fun, modern colors
- Weight1 Pounds
The NeatPack is just that, seriously neat regarding its functionality, design, practicality, and how it allows you to store and organize all your gear. It even features RFID blocking, so your personal data is safely stored. This sling bag has certainly been designed with your comfort in mind. You can also wear it both ways, over your left or right shoulder plus, there’s an ergonomic comfort fit strap that you can conveniently fasten over your chest. It’s so comfy and lightweight, in fact, you might even forget that you are carrying it at all!
The NeatPack is also water resistant which is a convenient feature, plus has the added safety feature of a reflective material strip, so it provides added visibility if you are using it while cycling or at night. We love this sturdy canvas sling bag, and it’s a serious contender. Other features we like are the easy access pocket for quick access to valuables on the shoulder strap, the mesh pockets for a water bottle, and the tablet sleeve.
Constructed from durable, water-resistant polyester
Serious amounts of practical storage and compartments
Versatile carry options; can be worn a number of ways
Ergonomically designed with comfort padding
Reflective material strap for added safety
- Weight14.4 Ounces
A cost-effective and attractive option that comes in a range of contemporary colors, all constructed from water-resistant, hard-wearing lightweight nylon fabric. The Waterfly Crossbody is a lightweight, portable sling bag with a wide cross-body adjustable strap. The body contact points are all designed from breathable mesh fabric for superior comfort. There is also a very convenient additional pocket on the chest strap itself, ideal for safely and discreetly securing your cell phone.
Easy to take on and off, the bag features a durable, quick-release buckle, plus there is a flexible swivel clip so that you can change the direction of the shoulder strap from left to right according to your personal preference. It’s easy to see why this crossbody backpack has made the grade. This model is an excellent option for everyday use and has a loop for attaching extra gear. It’s a great travel sling bag with multiple pockets and plenty of room for EDC essentials.
Soft, water-resistant nylon construction
Sturdy reinforced seams and zippers
Generous 10-liter capacity with side mesh pocket
Shoulder strap pocket ideal for a cell phone
Plenty of internal compartments for organized storage
- Weight8.8 Ounces
Designed for the keen adventurer, this tactical-looking sling bag for men is full of practical and convenient features. There’s a concealed anti-theft carry pocket along with an anti-theft zipper capture system to prevent unwanted pickpockets or opportunistic thieves from accessing your possessions. It also comes in a range of camouflage-inspired colors that will have you blended in with your surroundings. The Maxpedition Gearslinger is thoughtfully designed to support you no matter what your exploits are, whether that is just the daily commute to work or a tactical mission.
There’s plenty of space for a laptop and a sizeable onboard hydration reservoir system. It’s nearly indestructible and constructed from 1000 denier water- and abrasion-resistant nylon fabric. There’s also an additional Teflon coating that protects against grime and dirt and allows easy cleaning. Crossbody slings are usually chosen as a minimalistic choice, but for the minimalist who truly wants to maximalize space without getting a traditional backpack, opting for a fanny pack or a hip pack, this heavy-duty sling bag should fit the bill!
Robust and sturdy utilitarian style backpack
Single shoulder strap design
Versatile and can be worn in different ways
Features a main compartment with internal organization
Available in a choice of tactical-style military colors
- Weight3 Pounds
Why Trust Us
When combined, we have decades of gear testing and reviewing experience as athletes, adventurers, writers, and tech reps. We love gear, we know gear, we live gear! Personally, I've spent years working as a writer, editor, and tech rep. I've also spent decades adventuring and testing gear personally, and it brings me great joy to pass that knowledge on to you and to help you make the right choice when it comes to purchasing the best sling bags.
Who This Is For
This guide is for anyone looking for the best everyday sling bag. Whether you want something stylish or purely functional, we have a unique blend of options in our guide. If you don't find the right option for you, we hope the buyer's guide below will offer some insight into how to choose the best men's sling bag.
How We Picked
Our selection of the best sling bags was curated with the intention of creating variety in fabric, style, purpose, and budget. We think that this variety allows there to be something for everyone, and even if someone doesn't love something on the list, it gives a better view of the options available on the market.
How We Tested
When testing the best EDC sling bags, I made sure to carry them around in a variety of scenarios. I ran errands while walking and riding a skateboard and scooter. I drove around town, went to work, and even for hikes with these bags. I took my Osprey bag rock climbing too; I essentially worked to make it my daily companion to get a true feel of what this bag performs like on a daily basis.
Features To Look For In Sling Bags
Choosing the right sling bag that personally works for you is essential as it's likely you will use it most days. It will no doubt end up being an extension of yourself, so it needs to look and feel right and be easy to carry. There’s no point in buying a bag so that it can sit at home unused!
It's important that you first assess your needs and requirements to ensure that you pick a bag that is fit for its purpose. If you are just commuting to work, you probably don’t need an onboard hydration reservoir, but you will be keen to have anti-theft protection. Likewise, if you do participate in any tactical pursuits or you enjoy energetic outdoor activities pitted against the elements, then you need a sturdy, rugged and dependable bag that can withstand the elements.
Below are just some of our recommendations for the features that you first consider before you go ahead and make your new investment:
Material - Canvas, nylon, and polyester are the most popular threads for sling bags. We recommend ensuring whichever fabric you choose is durable enough for the activities in your day-to-day life. If you live in a rainy city like me, you will want a DWR coating regardless of the material. For durability, polyester, ballistic nylon, or recycled nylon might be a top choice. Canvas can be stylish and give you a weathered look, though.
Compartments - Generally, if you are choosing a sling bag, you are choosing to go minimal, but that doesn't mean you need no space at all. Typically, you'll need a spacious main compartment, at least one other zippered pocket and often another potentially hidden zippered pocket or additional zippered pouch is a nice bonus.
Size - Given that most of these sling bags are worn crossbody and feature a single strap, you don't want them to be huge and heavy, so the size should not be huge. However, they should be spacious enough to hold your essentials. The best travel sling bag should hold maybe a passport, headphones, gum, a phone, wallet, snacks, and not much else. Sling bags, in general, shouldn't be huge.
Capacity - Much like our comments on size above, you don't need a large capacity sling bag. A sling bag is designed with a large capacity, but a single strap will become unwieldy and uncomfortable to carry. We recommend sticking with smaller loads for a sling bag or fanny packs and saving larger loads for backpacks, messenger bags, and more ergonomic bags.
Sling Bag FAQ
Q: What is a sling bag?
A: A sling bag features a single strap and is designed to be durable, dependable, and convenient to carry, and if you purchase the right one, a stylish and fashionable investment too. Customarily worn across the body and you got it, slung over a shoulder, they’re an effortless way to carry your everyday essentials. Generally minimalist and simplistic in design and of universal and unisex appeal. Some might call them a man-bag as opposed to a handbag!
Sling bags vary in shape, size, and construction, but most will be characterized by having a strap that attaches to the top and the bottom end of the bag itself. They usually are larger in size to allow for the storage of plenty of items and tend to be constructed from more durable materials like canvas and leather. The strap itself has been designed in such a way as to be worn at a jaunty angle to the body, normally diagonally. You may have lots of pockets and compartments or not, depending upon the design of your model and make. The one uniform feature overall that defines a bag as being a sling bag is the angle at which it's worn.
Q: Are sling bags comfortable?
A: A sling bag is very comfortable if it's carried correctly. Don’t be tempted just to carry it hanging over one shoulder. It’s not been designed to be carried in that way. If you try and wear it only on one shoulder, the tendency will be for it to slope downwards, and by counteracting that and hiking your shoulder upwards, you’ll just end up with neck and shoulder pain.
The correct and most comfortable way to carry a sling bag is across your body, with the strap flush to your chest. This way, the weight of the bag can also be distributed more evenly, with your hip and back, easing some of the load. So yes, sling-backs are a convenient and comfortable choice and a great casual alternative to a backpack. They happen to come in all kinds of models and designs too so many do resemble a backpack style if this is a look that you particularly like. You will also find that messenger, tactical, and sports-style sling bags are just as comfortable and easy to wear. Look out for a bag that has the versatility to wear in multiple ways so that you have the flexibility to adjust your positioning. Many of the bags are what is known as ambidextrous, which regardless of whether you are indeed left or right-handed, will give you some relief if you’ve been carrying your bag for an extended period in the same position.
We love sling bags for its practical convenience, and the front carry style design also makes them a significant security option and minimizes the risk of unwanted theft, so sling bags are far more than a comfortable carry; there are also security-savvy ones too. What are you waiting for if you haven’t invested in a sling bag yet? After all, you can never have too many bags!
Q: Which brand is best for sling bags?
A: There isn't necessarily a best brand but our two most highly rated options are from KAVU and Osprey!
Q: Are sling bags in style in 2022?
A: Absolutely! Sling bags have remained in style for years and are still in style throughout 2022 and are looking to stay in style in 2023.
Q: What is EDC sling?
A: EDC means Everyday Carry, so an EDC sling is an Everday Carry Sling.