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Which sling bags are best?

Sling bags come in a number of different styles, including messenger bags, wallet cross-bodies and sling backpacks, and they’re a great way to carry your most important belongings and give you the design and durability you need. 

The OutdoorMaster Sling Bag is designed to hold a small laptop or tablet up to 12 inches wide, has several compartments, an ergonomic design and a reversible shoulder strap.

What to know before you buy a sling bag

Type of sling bags

There are several kinds of sling bags, including classic slings, designer slings, wallet cross-bodies, sling backpacks, messenger bags and cross-body hiking bags.

  • Classic: The classic sling is a bag with one end of the strap attached to the bottom of the bag and the other attached to the top. Classic slings are used as daypacks, especially if you’re tired of lugging around a big, heavy bag. These bags are slightly larger than wallets with interior pockets to store items, such as your wallet and phone.
  • Designer: Designer slings are much like classic slings but more appropriate for special occasions or date nights. They come in various shapes, colors and styles and are sometimes bejeweled.
  • Wallet cross-body: A wallet cross-body is the ideal bag for a casual day out. It’s similar to a classic sling, but it’s a wallet with a leather strap or chain attached to it.
  • Sling backpack: Sling backpacks are backpacks with one strap worn across the body and a zipper on the strap.
  • Messenger bag: The messenger bag is a larger version of a classic sling and works well for work settings.
  • Cross-body hiking: Cross-body hiking slings combine backpacks and messenger bags.


Sling bags are streamlined and simple to carry — you can throw the strap over your head and carry the bag across your chest. You can open your bag and grab whatever you need, even while you’re walking.


Sling bags are comfortable to carry, since most of these bags have a broad shoulder strap that can be slung across the chest. They lay flat against the body, so they’re not overly bulky and they let you stay mobile when necessary.

What to look for in a quality sling bag


Genuine leather and thick canvas are great materials to look for in sling bags if you want something durable. Pay attention to the quality of the seams of the sling bag, since they’re typically the weakest points. If the seams aren’t reinforced or double-stitched, they might rip under heavy stress.


Shoulder straps go across your chest and come in a variety of quality levels, styles and sizes, so don’t ignore this feature when selecting your bag.

How much you can expect to spend on a sling bag

Sling bags cost about $15-$200, depending on the materials, quality, construction and features of the bag.

Sling bag FAQ

What’s the purpose of a sling bag?

A. Sling bags feature an ergonomic design that works with your shoulders to reduce and/or eliminate back, shoulder and neck pain. The proper way to carry your sling bag is with the strap going across your chest.

What are the benefits and disadvantages of sling bags?

A. Sling bags can help you keep from filling extra space just because you have it, since you really only have enough room for your water bottle, headphones, phone, wallet and keys. They also simplify what you carry — you have less bulk to manage and fewer pockets to check. They’re more comfortable over the long term compared to shoulder bags, and you can easily and quickly access your things without removing your bag.

On the flip side, sling bags usually have a lower carrying capacity than other bags, such as backpacks. They aren’t right for carrying heavy loads, since the bag weight is placed across only one shoulder. Carrying a heavy bag could lead to shoulder and neck strain as well as issues with your posture.

What’s the best sling bag to buy?

Top sling bag

OutdoorMaster Sling Bag

OutdoorMaster Sling Bag

What you need to know: This versatile, sturdy sling bag is the perfect everyday bag.

What you’ll love: This sling bag is designed to hold a laptop or tablet up to 12 inches wide. It has a water bottle pocket as well as a hidden anti-theft pocket. Its ergonomic design means it’s lightweight but can hold lots of items, and it’s a decent size with a comfortable, reversible strap.

What you should consider: Several people had issues with zippers breaking or coming open after limited use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top sling bag for the money

Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag

Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag

What you need to know: This sling bag is made for multiple activities and boasts plenty of space for all your things.

What you’ll love: The Leaper sling has a number of compartments and pockets, including those sized for a laptop and phone. The washed canvas is a durable fabric, while the outer flap and buckles provide security. It comes in over 20 colors in a unisex design. Its medium size makes it convenient for travel.

What you should consider: It isn’t waterproof, so it isn’t best for trips where it could get wet.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

PacSafe MetroSafe LS150 Sling Backpack

PacSafe MetroSafe LS150 Sling Backpack

What you need to know: This sling bag is functional, attractive, high-quality and a top-notch pick for a travel sling.

What you’ll love: This sling gets high marks for looking sleek while being durable. It’s a smart design for travel and daily use with accessible pockets, a helpful RFID sleeve and locking mechanisms.

What you should consider: The zippers on this bag are hard to close.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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