Looking for a sling backpack for your everyday carry? In the post, we’ll share what we think are the best slings a guy can buy.
Call them whatever you want — sling backpacks, satchels, hip bags, man purses — these rough-and-ready bags are a quick and effective way to bring your EDC gear with you on the fly.
In addition to my larger backpack (for camping and hiking) and my messenger bag (to bring my laptop to cafes), I always have a sling bag at my fingertips.
And after trying out a dozen or so, then comparing my experiences with those of my gear-obsessed friends, I’m confident that my recommendations are solid.
Here are our top three recommendations from the list:
Sling Bag 3 is designed to hold your everyday essentials without sacrificing style and functionality. It has multiple quick-access pockets and a ventilated shoe compartment as well.
Fjällräven Vardag Pocket is a stylish sling bag with that classic nordic design showing through in its color and fit.
Bellroy Venture Sling 9L is a great looking sling bag. It is the perfect bag for your sunglasses, camera, an extra lens, water bottle along with all of your normal EDC stuff (keys, wallet, etc.)
Read on for more info and the complete list…
Best Crossbody Sling Backpacks for Men
So without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the 10 best sling backpacks that you can buy today. I’ve done my best to represent the widest range of sizes possible, at every price point that will still get you a top quality bag.
Aer Sling Bag 3
If you’re not ready to make the full switch from a two-strap backpack to a sling bag, the Aer Sling Bag 3 has you covered.
It’s one of the largest sling backpacks featured on this list, with a 13.5 liter volume that can accommodate a 13-inch laptop.
The padded shoulder strap gives you enough support to carry as much as you need, and the 1680D Cordura ballistic nylon exterior is damn near bulletproof.
Add all of that to multiple quick-access pockets and a ventilated shoe compartment, and you get a bag that can take you from the cafe, to the office, to the gym, and back home with ease.
Matador Freerain Waterproof Packable Hip Pack
And on the complete opposite end from Aer’s Sling Bag above, you have the ultra-small and completely packable Matador Freerain Hip Pack.
I’ve been really impressed with Matador’s gear — it’s designed specifically to offer as much versatility as possible, including having a whole range of bags that can pack down inside themselves for a tiny storage footprint.
The Freerain gets my highest recommendation for a sling backpack, though, because its compact 2 liter size and 100% waterproof exterior make it ideal for anytime, anywhere storage for your EDC gear.
The adjustable belt lets you wear it either crossbody or on your hips, too, making it doubly useful for everyday or hiking wear.
Chrome Kadet Sling Bag
Every friend that I know with a Chrome bag just… Won’t. Stop. Talking. About how awesome and durable their bags are. But you know what? They’re right.
The entire design of Chrome’s bags is made to be as durable as possible, from their iconic seatbelt buckle straps to the extra-high-denier nylon and double reinforced stitching.
Their Kadet Sling Bag carries all of these qualities in a 9 liter crossbody bag — wide enough to accommodate all your daily gear, but not so big as to feel bulky while you’re wearing it.
If I didn’t already own one of Chrome’s larger messenger bags, this would be my first choice for a sling backpack.
Boundary Supply Rennen Recycled Crossbody
Looking for a sling bag that’s easy to travel with? Boundary Supply’s Rennen Crossbody will do the trick.
At a volume of 2.5 liters, it’s small enough to carry through TSA without batting an eye, but large enough to carry your wallet, keys, knife, and notebook without a problem.
That’s complemented nicely by a ripstop nylon lining, internal stash pockets for organization, and material that’s 100% recycled.
In short, the Rennen Crossbody is a bag that’s as good for your daily gear as it is for the environment, and that’s pretty remarkable.
Patagonia Black Hole Waist Pack
Patagonia was one of the first outdoor gear companies to bring the hip bag back into the public eye.
Basically, their original Black Hole Waist Pack was responsible for shucking the image of a fanny-pack-wearing bozo, and transforming it into a utilitarian piece of wearable gear that’s perfect for the outdoorsman.
Now over a decade later, their new and improved Black Hole pack is just as good as ever. It’s a medium-sized 5 liter bag that’s lightweight, cool, comfortable, and affordable — making it an excellent way to get started with this category of backpacks.
Osprey Daylite Sling
Osprey’s bags have a reputation for being buy-it-for-life certified, and their Daylite Sling is no exception.
Every aspect of the design is geared towards casual comfort, with an eye towards long-term durability thanks to its shape and reinforced stitching.
At 6 liters, it falls right in the middle of bag capacity — but feels larger thanks to nested pockets and an exterior cell phone pocket for quick access.
Combine that with being the most affordable bag of its size, and you have an excellent sling backpack for first-time users.
Herschel Supply Co. Sinclair Large Crossbody Sling Bag
For the most casual use cases, a crossbody pocket bag is the way to go. Herschel Supply Co.’s Sinclair bag does it up right, with an extra-large 1.5 liter capacity that’s atypical of this style of sling bag.
It can be converted from a crossbody shoulder bag to a hip bag, too, making it a great choice for adding a little extra capacity to your usual larger backpack while camping.
I’m particularly fond of the exterior mesh storage pocket, as it makes instant access to your essentials a quick reality.
Fjallraven Vardag Pocket Bag
Fjallraven Kanken has a reputation for their tiny backpacks, but I’ll go so far as to say that their tiny pocket bag is a much better use of your money.
It’s one of the most stylish of the sling bags on this list, with that classic nordic design showing through in its color and fit.
Wear it as a crossbody bag to keep your essentials with you, and you’ll appreciate the zippered security pocket on the back side that keeps your valuables safely stowed away.
Bellroy Venture Sling 9L
The larger of Bellroy’s crossbody bags, this 9L sling is smaller than a messenger bag but large enough for just about everything besides your laptop.
Let’s say you’re running out to snap some photos. You need your sunglasses, camera, an extra lens, water bottle and a couple of granola bars, along with all of your normal EDC stuff (keys, wallet, etc.).
You also want to pick up a bottle of wine on the way home, because you’re living a magical life in the big city, just like you thought you daydreamed about in high school.
The Bellroy Venture Sling 9L is the perfect bag for this kind of day. You can probably even fit your tablet or small notebook computer in this compact crossbody bag.
Oh, it looks great too!
Topo Designs Mountain Sling Bag
If you’re more of the outdoorsy type, you’ll love the Topo Designs Mountain Sling Bag. Topo products have always been rooted in functional outdoor use (think urban biking, downhill skiing and mountain climbing), and this bag is no exception.
Even if you only use it to ride an electric scooter a half mile from your apartment to work, you’ll find the Mountain Sling a useful companion.
In terms of aesthetic, this bag has a bit more going on than some of the other options on our list. You’ll either be drawn to this or not. If you prefer the minimal aesthetic, this bag isn’t for you.
But if you like a more colorful and playful look, I think you’ll love this small 13” wide sling. I should also mention that, even though this bag is small at just 6.5 liters, the adjustable cinch cord can be used to attach extra gear.
Plus, it’s made from recycled nylon, so you can feel good about purchasing this bag over a less eco-friendly option.
Which Bag Will You Choose?
There you have it! That’s our list of the best sling backpacks. They each have different features and looks that suit different styles. With so many good choices, we hope you find a bag that works great for your needs.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!
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