Sling backpacks are handy and versatile and, for someone who travels light, a real lifesaver. There are many options and models out there, suited to different uses and types of activities. Some are made for hikers and campers, others for urban settings, and still others would allow you to conceal a handgun or two.
There are many things to consider when buying a sling backpack. Keep reading for a buyer’s guide and our reviews of the top candidates for the best sling backpack of 2019.
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Find below all the info you need in order to be able to choose the right sling backpack for your needs and situation.
What Is a Sling Backpack?
A sling backpack is a backpack with only one instead of two shoulder straps. This may limit the carrying capacity of the backpack toward lighter loads. The material is often nylon, polyester canvas, or cotton.
A sling backpack would have one main opening, perhaps with multiple compartments, and several smaller pockets on the outside. It is not uncommon for a sling backpack to have a mesh water bottle holder.
A great thing about sling backpacks is that you can wear them pretty much any way you want to. All models have adjustable straps that can be attached to either side of the backpack. The standard options include over the shoulder and across the chest. Some smaller models can also be worn as fanny packs around the waist.
Sling Backpack vs. Hiking Backpack
The main difference between a sling backpack and a standard hiking backpacks is in the shoulder strap count. While the sling models have only one, regular hiking backpacks have two.
This means that hiking backpacks can take on heavier loads, especially if they feature frames and other structural reinforcements.
On the other hand, a sling backpack is for when you only want to pack the essentials. A sling backpack, even one that’s made for outdoor activities, can be limited in terms of how much it can carry. Also, sling backpacks and bags are a good option for carry-on luggage if you’re flying.
How to Choose a Sling Backpack
When shopping for a sling backpack, there are several things you ought to take into consideration. First, you should inspect the materials and build quality of each pack on your shortlist. Then, you should look into the backpack’s size and capacity, as well as available pockets and storage options. Finally, you’ll want to consider the comfort and ease of use of each backpack.
Sling backpacks are mainly made of nylon, polyester canvas, and cotton.
By far the most common material in modern backpacks, including sling backpacks. Some tactical models may have 600D, 900D, or even stronger nylon. By the nature of nylon, these backpacks would have some semblance of water resistance.
b) Polyester canvas
While taking a backseat to nylon, polyester canvas is also a popular option. Canvas backpacks can sometimes be rip and cut-resistant. They’ll have to be coated for waterproofing, as canvas is inherently water resistant but not waterproof.
Cotton is the third most popular option. The material is comfortable to wear, breathable, and lightweight. However, it’s also easy to tear and offers poor protection from the elements.
The zippers, buckles, and D-rings are either plastic or metal. You’ll want to look for the latter if you care about high durability, though it’s easier for metal zippers to slip out of alignment. Vintage-style backpacks might have faux-leather details as well.
2. Weight and Volume Capacities
The weight and volume ratings of a sling backpack play a huge role in the selection process simply because you’re going to need something big enough for your needs. If you plan on packing only your phone, wallet, tissues, and such, a small sling bag might be the best option.
On the other hand, if you want to take your tablet or laptop with you, you might also need to pack a power bank, adapter, and other accessories. In such cases, a larger backpack would make more sense.
Finally, if you’re heading into the wild, you might want to go with a larger sling backpack, preferably one with metal hardware and a reinforced lining. The additional storage space would allow you to pack a battery light, extra clothes, a water bottle, and other necessities.
Regardless of the size, it is always a good idea to go with bags and backpacks that have multiple pockets. Concealed pockets are a nice bonus and the perfect place to hold your credit card, ID, phone, and other valuables.
3. Comfort and Ease of Use
When shopping for a sling backpack, you should aim for one that’s comfortable to wear and easy to use. Make sure to check whether the shoulder strap is padded and whether it has mesh on the inner side.
Also check whether the back is designed for heat dissipation and perspiration control. The shoulder strap should be attachable to either side and length adjustable.
Inspect the pockets for accessibility. You shouldn’t have any problems opening and closing them regardless of how you wear the backpack. Also, check whether the pockets are secure or prone to opening on their own. This is especially important if your backpack has vertical zippers.
Top 10 Sling Backpack Reviews
In the section below, you will find our compression socks review of 2019.
The list covers all the positive aspects and downsides of each pair of compression stockings. Hopefully, after reading this review, you will easily decide which stockings are the best fit for you.
The MOSISO Sling Backpack is a simple and affordable solution for those who need a basic sling backpack for everyday use. It is compact, made of lightweight materials, and available in a wide range of color options.
This practical and compact backpack is 15.3 inches long, 7.5 inches wide, and 3.5 inches tall. The main compartment is spacious enough to accommodate an iPad Air or a Kindle tablet. It is closed with a sturdy zipper and secured with a plastic top buckle for additional safety.
You can store small items in the front zippered pocket, the non-zippered pocket between it and the main compartment, and a pair of side-mounted mesh pockets. The side pockets can accommodate small water bottles, napkins, and other quick access items.
The sling, like the rest of the backpack, is made of water-repellent polyester. The D-ring and hook are made of sturdy plastic. You can adjust the length of the sling from 18 to 36 inches. Finally, you can carry this backpack on either shoulder or across the chest.