If you are always on the go, whether you commute to work or you just can’t help but seize weekend getaway opportunities, the best sling backpack will come in handy. Our list of top recommended crossbody backpacks that you can easily order online is a good starting point. Expect to find in it all the relevant details, from color and style choices to comfort and security features. Of course, practical details, such as dimensions and organizing options, won’t be overlooked either!
It goes without saying that the more you travel, the more you need to pay attention to how you store your valuables. Next to security, accessibility is also important - you probably don’t want to constantly rummage through your travel sling bag for a very well-placed item (so well-placed that even you are having a hard time to find it…). And, if possible, this backpack should be so lightweight that you will barely feel it, right? The more features you want that best sling back to boast, the more it looks like you’re actually never going to find one that meets all your criteria? If you ask us, it just looks like you haven’t researched enough. But all that is about to change.
We’ve Handled The Tedious Part… You Can Check Our Findings! (And Save Precious Time!)
Here’s our TOP Sling Backpack List for the Smart (and Worry-Free) Everyday Traveler!
When I was a kid, going to school with a sling backpack hanging on my shoulder was the coolest possible dream. A dream, not a thing, because you see, my parents had a slightly different opinion (mostly arguing that I shouldn’t be wearing a crossbody backpack and put pressure on just one shoulder). So, for years, I was stuck with the traditional backpack while dreaming for that day when I won’t have to explain myself and I’ll just get the catchy sling bag.
When that day actually came, I was so excited that I literally forgot to look for anything else but the shape. That’s right, silly mistake, but you probably know how good looks can easily derail you from the details that actually matter - like the ergonomic features that my parents were actually trying to argue. It was the summer before my first year of college and I was spending most of my time hanging around the city, with little to no money at all for my travel plans. So, I thought that the least I could do was to get myself a sling backpack. I was planning to stash in it my library books, a sack lunch and a 24 oz bottle, a portable blanket, a cell phone battery and… some other things. Needless to say, with my first choice, I ended up barely carrying one book (smaller than what I initially planned), a sandwich and some miscellaneous. And I had to give up on the water bottle… But still, I was happy that my backpack was lightweight and I could carry it all around.
No, I didn’t stop there and a few years later (and some other more or less inspired choices in between), I’ve come to know exactly what I want from my ideal crossbody backpack. I have obviously remained a fan of the travel sling bag for everyday use, but guess who else is carrying it? That’s right, my parents! I actually got to convince them early on, from my trial and error stage, that this isn’t a bad idea at all. Needless to say, I find it to be one of the greatest arguments – I did convince two of the most stubborn people I know to give it a try! Now, I think I almost rest my case…
Here’s Why a Sling Backpack Is a Must-Have:
The best sling bags will sit somewhere between a bulky backpack and a shoulder bag. Men and women, we all need to carry our stuff around, every single day. The more space you have at your disposal, the higher the chances to end up carrying all kinds of useless things and suffering from unnecessary back pains. Think you’ve found the perfectly-sized shoulder bag? Wait until you start bending and watch it as it falls over. Oh, wait, you’re saying it’s already happening to you? Then you must see how convenient the alternative of a sling backpack can be in any of these situations – and remember, not just men’s sling backpacks, we’re taking women into account as well!
You’ll still enjoy just enough storage place, only that better organized. You can carry it on one shoulder, securely in place. And whenever you need to take something out of it, you just pull it around your waist and get easy access to the bag. You can attach a carabiner to it, keep valuable items in close range yet covered by Anti-theft protection, and adjust the shoulder strap to perfectly fit your body. Durability, comfort, and even versatility are key features of most sling backpacks that you nowadays find on the market. So, you can have a practical backpack without sacrificing the looks and the style that represents you. All that while walking around the city, without any worries, literally with your hands in the pockets (only if you want, of course!).
Now take a look at your bag. Will it pass these tests? Yep… that’s what we thought.
When you put it that way, it doesn’t look too good. Many people would either complain that the bag is too small or that they can hardly find their things in it. Which is it, in your case? If you’re tired of carefully looking at your bag whenever you’re in a crowded place, if you don’t like how it is organized and if you often have the feeling that you could use something more casual and practical… You need to get yourself a sling backpack.
But What If I Find It Hard to Wear a Crossbody Backpack?
You must have used your old shoulder bag as a cross-body bag at least once. So, now that you’re getting yourself an actual crossbody backpack, you won’t see much difference - at least not in negative terms relating to how you feel it. That’s because the benefits of carrying it on the right or the left shoulder will come into play. Then, it should have a padded back, ideally from a material that doesn’t overheat your back and that will evenly distribute the weight. Moreover, the adjustable strap will allow you to adjust the center of gravity for maximum comfort. Just try it and light traveling will get a whole new meaning to you.
Trust the Experts: The Best Sling Backpack Will Soon Become an Extension of Yourself.
1. Waterfly Bag
The Waterfly bag sling backpack is the best choice for anyone looking to purchase a small, lightweight and versatile travel sling bag or just an everyday crossbody backpack. Made of high-quality polyester, it weighs as little as 0.5 pounds and has a 10L capacity. The storage space is conveniently divided into 9 individual pouches, which means you no longer have to discard the entire content of the bag just to find something that ended up on the bottom of the one and only compartment.
If you’re super-organized, your eyes will sparkle at the sight of all those pockets tucked inside other pockets. The Waterfly bag sling backpack boasts a 9.84x13.78-inch main pouch with a special interlayer for an iPad or even an A4 magazine; a 7.48x9.45-inch front pouch with custom separators to hold your notebook, wallet, and credit card, plus a key rack and 2 pen pouches; the shoulder strap is yet another perfectly designed area for holding a phone while the side mesh pack can hold a 2.35-inch diameter bottle without a problem. And still, what puts this model on top of our preferred sling bags for men and women is the attention to the design details. This pouch is water and snow proof, perfect for any season, easy to adjust (with a shoulder strap that dilates from 44 to 50 inches) and interchangeable, with a padded back and reflective stripes for night walking. You can use it as either a back sling or as a front crossbody bag, pulling it around your waist however you need.
This Waterfly bag, as it was designed by one of the most popular sling backpack sellers, will shift your perspective on light traveling. Whether you’re taking your dog out or you’re heading for a long bike ride, trying to replace your daily shoulder bag or hoping for a better fit for your weekend getaways, it will cover all your basic needs. And when we say needs, we also mean style, as you’ll probably appreciate getting to choose from a series of 4 colors: Army Green, Black, Blue, and Rose.
To see the Waterfly bag live in action with this video:
The next best sling pack is this KAVU Rope Bag, which somewhat balances the need for a smart architecture with a multitude of design choices. As opposed to our selected best sling bag from Waterfly, this one comes in no less than 25 different colors and imprints – now talk about versatility and options to choose from!
Before you let your inner, skeptical voice come into play, let us underline the main features. The KAVU Rope Bag is, indeed, slightly heavier, as it weighs 0.75 pounds. And still, it is made of the same 100% polyester formula, which makes water slip on its surface, and it has 4 pockets. While this means half the number of compartments we’ve seen on our top choice, this crossbody backpack is the proof that sometimes, less is better. So, if you don’t enjoy throwing all things in one place yet you tend to forget in what compartment you’ve put something, this is just right for you: 3 exterior pockets and 1 interior zip inside the main pouch, 2 of which are actually key or cell phone pockets. The latter are padded back with the popular KAVU embroidery, yet another option to show off with your personality by making a creative choice.
When shopping for all things travel sling bag, the KAVU name might get you choose between a so-called rope backpack and this sling backpack. Go for the latter, as it is made of polyester, not cotton (remember the water-resistance part?) and you’ll basically enjoy the same design. The KAVU Rope Bag also has an adjustable shoulder strap that can extend up to a 27-inch maximum length. And whether you’ll consider it for occasional light travels or for everyday use, it’s a top choice.
To see the KAVU Rope Bag live in action with this video:
The Under Armour Compel looks, at a first glance, as a perfect selection in a top of the best men’s sling backpacks. Yet plenty of women (this one included) will swear by the fact that ladies can take advantage of it too. Sure, compared to the 25 models of the KAVU Rope Bag, the Compel crossbody backpack is trying to impress with only 3 catchy models, which is a tough mission. But if there’s one thing that really catches the eye about it, I would bet on its rectangular pattern. Kind of like a regular backpack but with a comfortable padded HeatGear crossbody strap – it is well worth the attention, isn’t it?
All in all, this Under Armour Compel travel sling bag measures 19x13x6 inches and gives you up to 10L volume to fill in. Made of 100% polyester, its water-resistant natural features are enhanced by a special DWR finish that contributes to water repel with no pressure on breathability. To wrap it up, the bag includes, aside from the main pocket, a soft lined laptop sleeve (consider anything with a display of up to 15 inches), a water-resistant valuables pocket, a front zip organization pocket and a mesh, stretchy pocket on the side, for the water bottle. The adjustable strap will only go up to 16.5 inches in length, but it still gives plenty of wiggle room.
All the 3 Under Armour Compel models come in dark colors with some trim variations, as in black, grey with pink trim (Steel/Graphite), and black with blue trim (Black/Arden Green) – a man would certainly appreciate it by the looks while a woman won’t help but notice how easy it is to clean and how conveniently it hides away the occasional dirt.
To see the Under Armour Compel live in action with this video:
This Mixi Polyester Sling Backpack, just like the UA Compel, comes with a small selection of colors: Black n’ Blue, Skywalker Blue, and Tuxedo Black. But what it may lack in terms of looks, it certainly compensates in terms of versatility. With its compact and convenient design, it competes for the title of the best sling pack with all packing tasks - from occasional travel and hiking sessions to daily cycling to the gym or school rides, or whatever!
You can get the Mixi Polyester Sling Backpack in one of the two available sizes: 17-inch, 0.8 pounds (16.7"H x 10.2"L x 4.7"W) and 19-inch, 0.9 pounds (18.7"H x 11.8"L x 5.1"W). While the smaller crossbody backpack can hold a 9.7-inch iPad, the bigger model can hold even a 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Otherwise, the product features are the same: a spacious main compartment and an Anti-theft pocket, a special side holder for the water bottle and a cell phone pocket with zippers, key rings, and hanger loop. The padded back panel and the changeable, adjustable strap are also welcomed additions to this particular model.
To sum up, the Mixi Polyester Sling Backpack offers you the classic traits, somewhat like all the other models in this best sling backpack series. What sets it apart, however, is the special balance of functionality and style. Ready to throw over one shoulder and hit the road, this Mixi model is functional enough for everyday use, but also stylish enough to help you make a statement anywhere you go.
The Outdoor Master Packable sling backpack is the second most versatile in terms of colors and styles, after the KAVU Rope Bag. But it doesn’t just come in six different colors - Army Green, Blue, Ocean Green, Purple, Red, Rose Red… This model is also lighter than our recommended best sling backpack, the Waterfly bag, weighing as little as 0.33 pounds, at a 12L volume!
With this Outdoor Master Packable bag, you get a storage space of 10 inches (H) x 18.5 inches (L) x 7 inches (W), which makes it enjoy the reputation of a perfect choice for those who frequently ride bikes. It has a bottle water pouch on the side, essential for your casual daypack, with a small notch next to it, where you can easily attach some other lightweight objects, followed by three compartments. Starting from the largest one, the main pouch that will sit on your back, and carrying on to the front pouch, you’ll notice the main difference. This sling backpack has no outside zippered pockets for your phone and your wallet, but it tucks a couple of smaller compartments, without any zipper, in the mid-sized pouch.
After all, the Outdoor Master Packable has the potential to draw the attention of anyone looking for a crossbody backpack, not just cyclists. Spacious and yet surprisingly lightweight, easy to fold and snuggle into a zippered pocket and very affordable, you might want to consider it even for your travel and hiking sessions.
To see the Outdoor Master Packable live in action with this video:
Last but not least, the Pacsafe Metrosafe LS150 will give you a hard time when trying to choose the best sling backpack out there. The 1-pound weight and 7L volume are not necessarily the greatest combination – at least judging by the entire above – but the bundle of security features and the quality of this product will win your heart. So, it’s a 26-inch (shoulder drop) x 13-inch (high) x 8-inch (wide) bag made of 100% nylon with polyester lining. You can get it on Black or Pine Green. Now, what’s with all the security buzz?
Pacsafe Metrosafe LS150, as a Pacsafe product, is well-known for its Anti-theft technology. You have a special fabric, embedded with a stainless-steel wire mesh (eXomesh Slashguard) – lightweight and flexible, it certainly protects your gear from any kind of slash-and-run theft. The adjustable crossbody strap (Carrysafe Slashguard) is strengthened with an inner flexible, stainless-steel wire – again, to protect against any attempt of slicing through and running with your bag. And just as importantly, the bag is attached to a fixture with a Turn & Lock security hook. On the inside, the Lockabout security clip and the smart zipper security gives even more protection against pickpockets. To top it off, your credit cards and IDs can be safely stored inside a RFIDsafe blocking pocket.
Should you consider the Pacsafe Metrosafe LS150, keep in mind that you’re getting a lot more than all those seamlessly integrated security features. Your sling backpack will also give you plenty of functionality inside a classic design. Roomy and sturdy, with just the right kind of organizational options, it will serve you well. Daily commute or endless abroad adventures, you’re ready for it!
To see the Pacsafe Metrosafe LS150 live in action with this video: