Volume: 28 L Number of pockets: 7 (including a free strap pocket for your phone that comes with the sling backpack) Material: Polyester Water resistance: A little water-resistant, not waterproof. Extra features: Laptop sleeve for devices as big as 15”; Adjustable strap;
Overall this is a nice affordable bag, which you might use if you need to carry a large number of belongings with you.
The 28 liter capacity of this backpack allows for a computer, some books, some clothes, maybe even a camera with room to spare.
It’s a great choice if you are on a budget and need some way of carrying your belongings during your trip.
Volume: About 25 L Number of pockets: 7 pockets Material: Mainly Cordura fabric (well known for it’s resistance to tears, scuffs, and abrasions) Water resistance: Water-resistant but not waterproof Extra features: Laptop sleeve for devices up to 15”; Security features (lockable laptop compartment); padded and adjustable shoulder strap; padded back panel.
This sling backpack as a lot of good things going for it. Besides the large space it provides to carry belongings, it’s very comfortable to wear due to the back and shoulder padding.
It also has a double adjusting feature since it has Velcro and a buckle, meaning it will work very well independently from your height, providing a great comfort when walking long distances.
The huge “K-cliffs” logo on the strap might be just a little too flashy and big, but looks should always be secondary to performance. The security features are quite good as well.
Volume: 32 L Number of pockets: 10 pockets (6 external pockets and 4 inner pockets) Material: Polyester Water resistance: Some water resistance (not waterproof) Extra features: Laptop sleeve advertised to 14” devices but can easily fit a 15”; Padded back; Adjustable strap
This is a really large sling backpack, possibly as big as it can get without forcing you to change to a regular backpack for comfort purposes.
It’s ideal for someone looking to carry items that take a lot of space, but that is pretty much all it has going for it.
There are better options with more features for the price, but it all depends if those extra 4-6 liters are worth it for you or not.
Doesn’t have a water bottle mesh to carry your bottles
Big sling backpacks like this are a little bulky and start to lose the advantages they should have when compared to regular backpacks
Big sling backpacks like this are a little bulky and start to lose the advantages they should have when compared to regular backpacks
My pick for sling backpack for travel?
Between these three options I would probably go with the second one (K-Cliffs), it has a nice weight to comfort ratio and the security features are good for any traveler. It’s the one that better suits the purpose.
Sling Backpacks for Laptop
If you want to use your sling for a laptop, your main concerns should be how big of a computer it can hold (to know if your computer fits), how padded it is to protect your device, how comfortable it is to carry the weight and how secure it is to keep your device secure.
Maximum laptop size: 15” Laptop security: Soft lined laptop sleeve Material: 100% polyester Water resistance: Water resistant material with DWR water repelling finish Extra features: Adjustable and padded strap.
This is a nice basic option to carry your laptop. It’s padded enough but you still have to be careful when handling it.
It’s lightweight which makes it very versatile and comfortable to wear.
It could be a little larger, in order to fit a few more things besides the laptop but overall it does it’s job.
Maximum laptop size: 14,1” (advertised but it could fit a 15” without a problem) Laptop security: Padded laptop sleeve Material: Water resistant nylon Water resistance: Some water resistance but not at all waterproof Extra features: Softly padded adjustable shoulder strap.
This is good for a budget option to carry your laptop. The material is more resistant than it may seem like and the backpack itself has a lot of space.
The interchangeable shoulder strap definitely works in your advantage since it is really easy to get tired when carrying heavy objects like computers ad having the possibility to change the shoulder supporting the weight once in a while is really good.
Maximum laptop size: 13” Laptop security: Nicely padded laptop sleeve Material: Non-specified water-resistant material Water resistance: Some water resistance but not waterproof Extra features: Concealed pocket in the front of the strap, exterior USB charger, adjustable strap
This backpack is a little smaller when compared to the other ones but it does provide a little more protection to your devices than the others. The interchangeable strap is again a good feature if you plan to carry your items for medium to long periods of time.
The external USB charger is a nice extra if you are someone who uses your phone or other devices a lot on the go.
All option considered, the third option (TECHQ) is probably the one who would suit you better. The most important feature in a sling backpack for laptops will always be the device protection it provides and although none of them has the much needed bottom padding, the third one had better overall protection.
Sling Backpacks for Everyday Use
If you want to use your sling backpack every day with regularity, it is totally up to you which features are more important to you so I’ll leave some options for sling backpacks to choose from.
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OutdoorMaster Sling Bag – Small Crossbody Backpack
Volume: Non-disclosed (small backpack) Number of pockets: 3 external pockets plus one anti-theft pocket Material: Lightweight polyester like material Water resistance: A little water resistant, not water proof. Extra features: Laptop sleeve for devices as big as 12”; Adjustable strap; interchangeable strap
It is an overall nice sling for everyday use if you only plan to carry documents and other small to medium size items with you.
If you intended to carry a jacket or something like that, this might not be the best choice for you.
Volume: 10.8 liters Number of pockets: 3 external pockets (one of them with 2 separate zippers) Material: 100% cotton Water resistance: A little water resistant, not water proof. Extra features: Adjustable strap; interchangeable strap
This one is just great if you are looking for a small, high quality, stylish bag. It is the definition of what an everyday sling backpack should be.
It is only big enough for the essentials you might need to carry so it keeps your back and shoulder lightweight and free for all sorts of movements.
Volume: 8.5 liters Number of pockets: 3 external pockets Material: Cotton canvas Water resistance: A little water-resistant, not water proof. Extra features: Adjustable strap; I-pad sleeve, Memory foam shoulder strap padding, secret credit card storage
This is a good backpack but not at all recommended if you usually carry many things with you. It is a great sling backpack for a child though, as it offers almost everything you would want, just in a reduced sized.
Great quality build and if what are looking for is just a small sling for documents, phone, maybe a wallet and some other items, this might work for you, just don’t forget about the small size.
Volume: Non disclosed (small/medium sized) Number of pockets: 4 external pockets Material: water resistant polyester Water resistance: A little water resistant, not water proof. Extra features: Adjustable strap; shoulder strap padding, secret valuables pocket with RFID blocker
Although this bag has some great features, it doesn’t sit as well as I would like in this category.
I still find it to be a great bag, just not for everyday use. At the same time it doesn’t really fit in other categories due to the lack of a laptop sleeve or more pockets.
To be honest, this might be a good sling backpack if you need to carry a larger volume of items around on a day to day basis (almost like a diaper bag) but if that’s not the case, you can find better choices.
The phone pouch could be less deep and bulky as it feels weird in the strap
Medium size is a little to big for everyday use
Secure RFID pocket could have a little more space and not be angled, like this it can only hold small wallets
My pick for sling backpack for everyday?
If I had to choose right now, hands down, the KAVU (2nd one) would be the one for me. It just does a really good job of balancing comfort and carrying potential, and that is all I could ask for in an everyday sling backpack. I actually had some trouble finding problems with it to list in the “Cons”.
These are my picks for the best sling backpacks for traveling, carrying a laptop and everyday use. I hope you found this information useful and it helps you pick your next travel companion.
How Do I Pick The Perfect Sling Backpack?
Like I said before, when choosing your sling backpack, depending on the use you’ll give it, you might want to look for specific characteristics. Right now, I’ll go over every important characteristic that you should inform yourself about when buying a sling backpack:
This might be one of the most important factors to consider when you are choosing your sling backpack. Most of them are sized between 5 and 25 liters in volume but larger ones are recommended for traveling.
If you’ll be using your sling to walk around in a day to day basis, you might choose a smaller one since it only needs to hold some essential items like documents and your phone, but if you intend to use it for traveling, then maybe you should go with a bigger size.
Like any other product that you expect to use regularly, durability should be a concern of yours. Finding a sling with durable materials isn’t that hard but you should still know which are the main qualities that contribute to durability. Obviously, the main material is one of them.
No matter if you prefer strong cotton, polyester, nylon or some other kind of fabric, you should always check if it has a high thread count, which directly relates to the quality of the material and helps prevent damage like rips and tears.
Another thing that is often neglected is the zippers, the best ones being from the market leader YKK but many brands provide quality zippers even if not from this particular brand.
If you are buying a sling backpack, you probably intend to carry it around during a long period of time, so obviously you want it to be comfortable and balanced. Nobody wants a backpack that needs to be adjusted again and again throughout the day because it gives you shoulder pain or feels uncomfortable.
Some of the basic features you should look for if you’re trying to improve the comfort that your sling backpack will provide are padded shoulder straps, waist belts, and adjustable shoulder straps.
Having a padded shoulder strap is very important since all the weight is carried in a single shoulder and it will allow you to carry more weight and feel less uncomfortable while doing it. Same thing with the adjustable strap that allows you to control where your sling will sit on your back.
If your height is a little bellow or above the average, the capability of the backpack to adjust is very important to you. The waist belt is a minor improvement but still a good one since it prevents the sling from moving around too much or slipping to the front when you are moving a lot.
This is a minor characteristic, but if you want to use your sling backpack when you are traveling but not during the trip, it’s good to have a foldable one. If you want that, the only thing you need is to make sure the one you choose doesn’t have rigid parts.
This is possibly a very important feature, depending on the weather conditions of the place you will be using your sling in. Almost no material is 100% waterproof, but there are different kinds of water resistance.
Slings treated with a water repellent coating will handle light rain very well but almost nothing will prevent the soaking of your items in heavy rain. Another option you might find are built in rain covers and those can be fully waterproof.
This is what defines the use you’ll give your sling backpack. Features might include the size of the pockets, number of pockets, laptop and tablet sleeves for your delicate electronics, hidden pockets to keep your money and documents to avoid pickpocketing, exterior pockets for easy access to your stuff, specific camera pockets to transport your valuable camera in, dual-side strap (interchangeable) to change what shoulder you carry your sling on, etc…
This obviously affects your decision right from the start. The sling backpack might be perfect for you but if it costs twice as much as you are willing to pay, it might as well not exist at all.
But there is a bright side when it comes to sling backpacks versus regular backpacks, they are usually much cheaper. The highest quality slings might be really expensive but you can get great sling backpacks even if you are on a budget. Many affordable options will last you years and never give you any problems.
Why Don’t I Just Buy A Regular Backpack Instead?
Sling backpacks have several advantages when compared to regular backpacks, especially if you are not planning on traveling with too much stuff. They come in handy in situations when you have to constantly take things out of your backpack and put them back in, since you can easily swing them around from your back to the front and access what you need while keeping it on.
It also makes walking around crowded spaces a lot easier since it’s “close to the body” design and small dimensions allow you to squeeze through large crowds. Besides this type of backpack almost never causes troubles when trying to go somewhere, whereas a regular one would be forbidden due to its size, museums and some other attractions are an example of that.
Sling backpacks are also fairly comfortable to wear and give you a good weight distribution and balance across your back.
Now, keeping all this in mind, I’ll give you some options you might want to consider when choosing the perfect sling backpack for you, depending on the purpose it will have.
Photo by TECHQ, Modified by Author.
Last update on 2021-05-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API