10 Best Sling Backpacks: Reviewed, Rated & Compared

Perfect For Hiking

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The Carqi bag is compact with plenty of compartments for all your essentials.

Great Tactical Sling Bag

The G4Free is built with tough materials and well-designed to cater to all outdoor needs.

Sling backpacks are ideal for everyday use, especially if you ride a bike to work or school. They're also well-suited to hiking and camping trips!

Here, we'll be going through 10 of the best sling backpacks available online, so you can work out which backpack is best for you.

Sling Backpacks Compared

Image

Model

Max Capacity

Waterproof

Check Price

OutdoorMaster Sling Bag, Hiking Daypack,...

OutdoorMaster Sling Bag

15 Liters

No - Water Resistant

NeatPack Versatile Canvas Sling Bags, Travel...

Versatile Canvas Sling Bag/Urban Travel Backpack

10 Liters

No - Water Resistant

No products found.

Carqi Sling Bag Shoulder Backpack Crossbody Purse

20 Liters

Yes

Plus Oversized Sling Bag for Men Women, Extra...

Plus Oversized Sling Crossbody Backpack

28 Liters

No - Water Resistant

G4Free Outdoor Tactical Bag Backpack,...

G4Free Outdoor Tactical Backpack

7 Liters

No - Water Resistant

No products found.

Nicgid Sling Bag Backpack

7 Liters

No - Water Resistant

MOSISO Sling Backpack,Travel Hiking Daypack...

Mosiso Sling Backpack

10 Liters

No - Water Resistant

KAVU Women's Rope Sling Backpack, Mojave, One...

Kavu Rope Sling Bag

15 Liters

Yes

Full Grain Leather Crossbody Sling Bag Chest...

Genuine Full Grain Leather Crossbody Sling Bag

10 Liters

No - Water Resistant

No products found.

Waterfly Chest Sling Shoulder Backpack

10 Liters

No - Water Resistant

The Rise in Popularity of Sling Bags

Sling backpacks have become more popular over the last few years, and there are a few reasons why.

One of the main reasons is that the shape of the bag helps to distribute weight evenly across the back, so they´re very comfortable to wear. This means that they´re ideal for travel, camping, hiking, work, college and school.

But that isn’t all; sling backpacks can also be very stylish! It´s possible to buy sling backpacks in a wide range of styles, colors and designs, including no-nonsense military designs and fun, colourful designs that are perfect for children.


Advantages Of Sling over Regular Backpacks

One of the main advantages of sling backpacks is the wearability. They have a simple design that’s easy to put on and take off, and the design means that the backpack won’t move around too much – even if you're riding a bike or scaling a mountain.

They also help to distribute weight evenly across the back, which is very important if you plan on carrying multiple items with you (such as a jacket and a lunchbox). After all, lots of people suffer from back pain that is caused by normal backpacks that are worn incorrectly!

The final advantage of a sling backpack is that it is easy to access your things; simply swing the backpack around and go inside. This means you don’t need to take the backpack off to get inside, which is ideal for hiking, biking and travelling.

If you're traveling, hiking, or climbing, you’ll need one of the best sling backpacks. These sling bags can hold all your belongings and stuff.

Assuming you're visiting a town and have left your backpack at the lodge, you might need a few things for the day like sunscreen, a map, camera, water, etc. Therefore, you might need the high-quality sling backpacks.


best sling backpack

Drawbacks of Using a Sling Backpack

Sling backpacks are ideal for a wide range of situations, but there are times when a standard backpack is a better option. One of the main drawbacks of sling backpacks is that they´re designed for balance, speed and movement, rather than heavy loads.

So, they´re ideal for people who travel frequently, but they´re not suited to people who are carrying lots and lots of things with them.

So, if you don’t travel far and you have a lot to carry with you (for instance, a laptop, a tablet and a change of clothes), a standard backpack with two straps is probably a better option.


Important Considerations When Buying a Sling Bag

Here are seven things to consider before buying a sling bag.

Size Needed

The first thing you should think about is the size of the bag. If you plan on using the backpack for hiking or work you´ll probably need a large sling backpack, as this means you will able to fit a laptop or a change of clothes inside – but if you´re buying a sling backpack for your child to take to school, a smaller backpack might be a better option.

For this reason, it can be useful to look at the bag capacity; 10 litres is an average size, while 20 litres is quite large.

Purpose

It´s also important to think about what the bag will be used for. This is because some sling backpacks are specifically designed for college or work (which means they will have a laptop pocket), while others are designed for outdoor adventures (which means they will be water resistant and very durable).

Strap Design

You should also look at strap design, especially if you´re buying a backpack for a young child. Some sling backpacks come with a one-size-fits-all strap, which is fine for average sized people… but it can be a problem if the backpack is for a child or a very tall person!

So, take the time to find out if the backpack has an adjustable strap – and make sure that the strap is padded if you´ll be carrying lots of things with you.

Compartment Functionality

How many compartments do you need? If you are just using the backpack to take to the shops, one or two internal pockets should be more than enough – but if you're going on a hiking trip and you need to stay organized, you should look for a sling bag with lots of internal and external compartments.

It can also be useful to look for a bag with a water-resistant pocket if you plan on carrying a water bottle with you.

Materials & Comfort

You many also want to think about the material that the bag is made from. If you live (or hike) in an area that´s very rainy or snowy, it can be useful to pick up a waterproof or water-resistant backpack.

This is especially important if you plan on carrying valuable technology in the backpack (such as a laptop, a tablet or a phone).

If you plan on wearing the backpack while exercising you should also look for a sling bag with a breathable back panel. This means that you won’t get too warm while you´re wearing the backpack – and the backpack won’t get too sweaty either!

Security Features

Lots of people also want to find a bag with security features, such as anti-theft zips, locks and slash proof fabric.

This can make the backpack more expensive, but it´s well worth it if you plan on carrying valuable items around with you (especially if you will be spending a lot of time in crowded, busy areas).

Price Vs. Quality

If you are on a budget you will also want to consider the price of the bag. As a general rule, the more you pay, the better quality the bag – but this isn’t always the case.

There are lots of backpacks that are both affordable and high quality; you just need to search around to find them.


10 Best Sling Backpacks Reviewed

These are 10 of the best sling backpacks on the market, so you can work out which backpack is best suited to your needs.

1. OutdoorMaster Sling Bag

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Best For = Work, College
  • Max Weight Capacity = 15 Liters
  • Waterproof = No - Water Resistant
  • Material = Nylon

The OutdoorMaster Sling bag is perhaps the best sling backpack for travel. This is because the backpack has a comfortable, lightweight design that´s very easy to wear, and it´s also very spacious inside.

The backpack also has a large internal pocket that could be used to hold a laptop or a camera, which is ideal for travellers who fly regularly.

This sling backpack also has a few anti-theft features; there´s a hidden pocket inside the bag that can be used to store valuable items, and the thick material is adequately slash proof.

Finally, the backpack has a reversible strap, so it´s ideal for both right and left-handed people! The backpack also comes with a six-month warranty, which is very useful! So, if you damage or break the bag during this time, you should have no problem sorting out a replacement sling bag.


2. Versatile Canvas Sling Bag/Urban Travel Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Best For = Work, College
  • Max Weight Capacity = 10 Liters
  • Waterproof = No - Water Resistant
  • Material = Polyester Canvas

The Versatile Canvas Sling bag is the best women's sling backpack for work. This is because the backpack has lots of internal pockets for organization, including a large pocket that can be used to hold a laptop or tablet, so it´s ideal for working people – and the small size of the bag means that it´s comfortable for women to wear.

The backpack also has an adjustable strap, so it can easily be altered to fit the shape of your body. If you bike to work, that isn’t a problem; the bag has a reflective material to ensure that drivers can always see you, even when it´s dark.

Finally, this backpack comes with a lifetime guarantee, so it´s perfect for anyone on a budget! This is because the backpack is very affordable – and even if it breaks five years down the line, you should still be able to arrange for a replacement bag free of charge.


3. Carqi Sling Bag Shoulder Backpack Crossbody Purse

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Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Best For = Hiking, Camping
  • Max Weight Capacity = 20 Liters
  • Waterproof = Yes
  • Material = Nylon

If you´re looking for the best sling backpack for hiking, you may have just found it. The Cargi Sling bag is perfect for both hiking and camping; it has four large internal compartments that make it easy for you to stay organized, and the bag is seriously spacious.

In fact, the largest compartment can easily hold a jacket, and the smaller compartments can be used to store sunglasses, food and other supplies.

The bag has also been designed for exercise and movement; it has padded shoulder straps to ensure you are comfortable, even if you wear the backpack all day, and there´s a breathable mesh back panel so that you don’t overheat.

Finally, the backpack has adjustable straps, so you don’t need to worry about it swinging around as you hike. The only downside to this backpack is the size; while it´s fairly large, it probably isn’t ideal for a trip that will last longer than a day or two.


4. Plus Oversized Sling Crossbody Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Best For = Work, Travel
  • Max Weight Capacity = 28 Liters
  • Waterproof = No - Water Resistant
  • Material = Polyester

This large sling backpack is probably the best men´s sling backpack for hiking. This is because the bag is very large; it has a seriously impressive 28 litre capacity, so it´s perfect for hiking trips that last a day or more.

Of course, the bag can still be used by women – but the large size may be uncomfortable for petite women. This backpack could also be used for hunting, as you could easily add a backpack rifle sling to the bag due to its size.

The backpack also has lots of special features that are perfect for an outdoor adventure; there´s a large external pocket that can be used to hold a water bottle, as well as a second external mesh pocket that can be used to hold sunglasses and other supplies.

Finally, the bag is ergonomically designed to distribute weight evenly – so even if the bag is full, you should still have no problem wearing it all day.


5. G4Free Outdoor Tactical Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Best For = Hiking, Camping
  • Max Weight Capacity = 7 Liters
  • Waterproof = No - Water Resistant
  • Material = Polyester

The G4Free Outdoor Tactical Backpack is the best tactical sling backpack we could find – although that isn’t too surprising, considering the name!

This is because the backpack is small and lightweight, so it´s very comfortable to wear all day, and it´s also a multipurpose bag; it can be worn as a backpack, a chest bag, a first-aid kit or even an EDC sling pack. So, no matter what outdoor adventure you´re planning, this backpack could certainly be a useful addition.

The backpack is also perfect for the outdoors, as it´s made from a water-resistant, durable material that can easily weather heavy rain.

However, it´s important to be aware that the bag is only water resistant, not waterproof – so if it´s raining heavily, you may want to avoid keeping valuable technology (such as a laptop or a tablet) inside the bag, as it could become damaged!


6. Nicgid Sling Bag Backpack

No products found.

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Best For = Work, College
  • Max Weight Capacity = 7 Liters
  • Waterproof = No - Water Resistant
  • Material = Nylon

If you´re looking for the best camera sling backpack (or the best sling backpack for laptop), this bag could be a contender.

This is because the bag is made from water-resistant nylon that will keep your camera dry, even if there is rain, and there is also a specific pocket inside the bag that can be used to store a camera or a laptop. And this pocket is a lot larger than most pockets; it can hold a 11.3 laptop or camera, which is great!

There are also lots of smaller pockets that can be used to store camera equipment, including two front zippered pockets that can easily hold chargers and plugs. The backpack is also very durable, so it´s well-suited to the outdoors. So, if you´re a hiker or a camper who loves to take snaps when they´re exploring, this could be the ideal backpack for you!


7. Mosiso Sling Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Best For = Every Day Use
  • Max Weight Capacity = 10 Liters
  • Waterproof = No - Water Resistant
  • Material = Polyester

This Mosiso sling backpack is very stylish – and it´s available in 24 different colors, so you should easily be able to find a design that you love!

The bag comes with a large internal pocket that could be used to hold an iPad, a Kindle or a small laptop, and there´s also a smaller zippered pocket that can be used to hold a charger and your phone.

This is perfect for office workers and students, but that isn’t all; the bag is also perfect for social trips to a coffee shop, a restaurant or a bar – especially as the funky design will add a little extra style to your outfit! The bag also has adjustable straps, so you can easily customize it to the shape of your body.

The backpack is also very affordable, so it´s perfect for college or school students who are on a budget.


8. Kavu Rope Sling Bag

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Best For = Hiking, Camping
  • Max Weight Capacity = 15 Liters
  • Waterproof = Yes
  • Material = Polyester

The Kavu Rope Sling bag is a waterproof sling backpack with a lot of style. The bag is available in over 20 different designs, including lots of funky Aztec-style designs that suit both men and women.

This means that the bag is perfect for every day use, from going to school or college to hanging out with friends.

And the bag isn’t just fashionable; it also has lots of practical features, including an insulated lunch box pocket that will help to keep your food either warm or cold. The bag is also made from 600D polyester, which is an extremely high quality, durable fabric.

There´s also an adjustable shoulder strap with a buckle fastener, so when you´re wearing the bag it should feel comfortable and secure, even if it is full to the brim. There are also two internal zippered pockets that can be used to store valuable items.


9. Genuine Full Grain Leather Crossbody Sling Bag

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Best For = Work, Hiking, Camping
  • Max Weight Capacity = 10 Liters
  • Waterproof = No - Water Resistant
  • Material = Leather

This beautiful leather sling backpack may look like it´s best suited to city life, but in reality, it´s a very versatile bag that can be used for both work and hiking trips. This is because it´s made from durable, water-resistant leather, and there are lots of internal pockets to make sure you stay organized throughout the day.

It´s also very easy to get things out of the backpack without taking it off, which is perfect for hiking or camping trips (or riding your bike to work).

Finally, the backpack has a large internal pocket that can be used to store a laptop, and iPad or even a spare change of clothes. So, it really is a very versatile bag! If you want a beautiful backpack that wouldn’t look out of place in a coffee shop or on a trail, this could be the backpack for you.


10. Waterfly Chest Sling Shoulder Backpack

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Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Best For = College, School
  • Max Weight Capacity = 10 Liters
  • Waterproof = No - Water Resistant
  • Material = Nylon

The Waterfly Chest Sling shoulder backpack is an excellent sling backpack for school. This is because it´s a fairly small sling backpack, so it´s ideal for young adults and children, and it´s also ultralight and comfortable to wear.

The backpack also has a padded strap for extra comfort, as well as a large internal pocket that could be used to hold an iPad or books.

There is also a second internal compartment that is large enough to hold a lunchbox, as well as a few smaller pockets that could be used to store keys, a wallet and other small items. It´s possible to tie trainers to the outside of the bag for sports days.

Finally, the bag is made from a very durable material, so it doesn’t matter if it´s spilled on or knocked around; simply put it through the washing machine and it should be as good as new!


Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

Best Situations to Use a Sling Backpack

Riding a Motorbike

If you use a motorbike frequently you may benefit from using a sling backpack. This is because sling backpacks tend to move around less than normal backpacks, especially if you buy a sling backpack with adjustable shoulder straps and a chest strap.

So, you don’t have to worry about the bag moving into an uncomfortable position as you ride!

Riding a Pushbike

Much like motorbikes, it can be very useful to invest in a sling backpack if you ride a bike to work or to school. This will be more secure than a normal backpack, and it will also be better for your spine.

This is because a backpack that moves around may put pressure on certain areas of your back, and over time this can cause back pain and spine problems.

Traveling/Backpacking

Sling backpacks are also ideal for travelling and backpacking. This is because small sling backpacks can be used as carry-on luggage, so you don’t have to worry about bringing a second backpack to use in the airport.

Sling backpacks are also very easy to access, so you don’t need to take it off every time you need your passport; instead you can simply swing your bag around!

Outdoor Adventures (Hiking & Tactical)

If you hike or go on tactical adventures you could benefit from using a sling bag. This is because sling bags distribute weight evenly across your body, so you can wear the bag all day without feeling uncomfortable.

They´re also very secure on your body, so even if you´re rock climbing the bag still shouldn’t swing around.

Everyday Use

Sling backpacks are also ideal for every day use (such as going to school, work or college, or simply meeting your friends for a coffee in town).

This is because they´re very comfortable to wear, and most designs have at least a few internal and external pockets for organization.

Sports Team Support

You can also use a sling bag to hold sports equipment. This is because some sling bags have lots of internal pockets to store sports equipment and balls, and many are designed to be used outdoors.

So, you can put them on the ground and they won’t get damaged, even if it´s raining!


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Why not just get a regular backpack?

If you're planning on wearing the backpack while exercising or moving around, a sling backpack is a better option than a regular backpack. This is because a sling backpack won’t move around as much as a standard backpack.

Which material is the best choice for a sling bag?

This depends on the activity. For instance, if you're hiking, a waterproof bag is the best option, but if you're taking the bag to work the best option is a lightweight, durable material such as nylon.

Will these bags come undone and fall off me?

No, this shouldn’t happen if you buy a high-quality sling backpack! However, it is important to buy a backpack that you can adjust to the shape of your body.

Are sling backpacks bad for your back?

Not really, but that will depend on the amount of items and the load that you're carrying. These are usually smaller backpacks, so they shouldn't represent any problems for your back. However, considering that the distribution of the weight is uneven, it could be exhausting to carry heavy items for a long period of time.

Are sling backpacks good for hiking? What about for travel?

For sure! Some of them are designed for outdoor adventures. However, for those long hikes or long camping trips, it may be better to get a bag that allows you to distribute the weight evenly across your body. For short hikes or as a carry-on bag, a sling backpack will do the job. 

Where is the best place to buy sling backpacks?

Amazon is always a great place to start, since you will be able to find a wide range of models, sellers, and prices. Some sellers even offer free shipping or life-long guarantees. 


Conclusion

Sling backpacks are designed for movement and exercise, so they´re perfect for people who bike or hike regularly. They can also be used by people who carry laptops with them, as many sling bag designs come with a padded pocket for laptops or tablet.


  • Updated July 29, 2021