10 Best Sling Backpacks for Travel [Reviewed]

If you travel a lot, you know that having something light and comfortable to keep your stuff in can be a lifesaver in a new city. Sling backpack is the perfect solution to this because it is a one strap backpack designed to distribute weight across your upper body more evenly and thus reduce the strain on your muscles and fatigue that accumulates after a whole day of sightseeing.

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What is the best sling backpack for you?

When choosing your sling backpack, there are several things you need to consider. Some are better suited for certain environments than others, some have features other models lack etc. So, first try to define what your trip is going to look like, what you’re going to have on you, and then start looking for the right product. Keep reading and see what we think is the best sling backpack for every occasion.


Patagonia Atom Sling

When it comes to versatility, you don’t have to look any further than Patagonia Atom Sling. It is a high-quality versatile backpack with great design which allows the product to fulfil several different roles (a backpack, a carry-all etc). It is a one strap backpack with a very wide strap which is very easy to maneuver, so you’ll always be able to quickly access whatever it is that you’ll be keeping inside.

Patagonia Atom Sling has two main compartments and several smaller pockets (one is even on your shoulder), all of which can be closed with a zipper, which means a lot in terms of security and allows you to organize things quite efficiently. It is also a polyester bag with fantastic ventilation. To be perfectly honest, you can’t go wrong with any Patagonia sling bag you choose, but Patagonia Atom Sling is the company’s crown jewel.


  • – two main compartments
  • – dimensions: 17 x 10 x 3 inches
  • – a large amount of recycled polyester
  • – durable water repellent finish
Patagonia Unisex's Atom Sling 8L Backpack

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NeatPack Versatile Canvas Sling Bag

Another versatile sling backpack you should keep in mind is NeatPack Versatile Canvas Sling Bag. It comes in three colors, and that’s about the only thing anyone could ever reasonably object to if you’re used to a wider variety of choices. Although versatile, its prime purpose is to serve you if you’re spending a lot of time outdoors. However, it will just as well serve you in your walks around a city.

Large compartments offer plenty of space for absolutely anything you may use, and they are all very well protected and water-resistant, plus the main compartment is lined. It should also be mentioned that all of them can be closed with a zipper, which means your stuff will always be nice and safe and never get mixed up. On top of that, thanks to the material used, this one strap backpack is extremely comfortable. Oh, and have we mentioned the lifetime guarantee that comes with it? To put it simply – this is a great choice.


  • – padded strap
  • – front pocket for your cell phone
  • – anti-theft pocket
  • – comes in three colors (black and gray)
  • – lifetime guarantee if you register on the company’s website
NeatPack Versatile Canvas Sling Bag

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5.11 Tactical RUSH MOAB 10

If you want to know what the best tactical sling bag is, the 5.11 Tactical RUSH MOAB 10 will be the answer pretty much wherever you look. As you would expect from this type of bag, utility is the name of the game – not only do you have a compartment designed to protect your sunglasses, but you can also store up to one and a half litre of water inside and even carry a gun in it.

It is made of extremely durable nylon and good for pretty much all conditions, and the numerous pockets inside can be closed with zipper or velcro, a feature that only adds to the flexibility of this truly excellent tactical sling backpack. Furthermore, this is a one strap backpack, but it is designed in such a way that it’s easy to use it on both sides of your body, so no matter if you’re a righty or a lefty you’ll have no problems at all. Absolutely perfect for hiking, hunting, fishing and similar outdoor activities.


  • – completely made of nylon
  • – can be connected to other 5.11 RUSH tactical sling bags through the 5.11. Tier System
  • – comes in five colors
  • – main compartment: 18.25 x 9 x 5.25 inches; front pocket: 12.5 x 8 x 2 inches
  • – total volume: 18 liters
  • – ambidextrous strap
5.11 Tactical RUSH MOAB 10

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Red Rock Outdoor Gear Rover

Red Rock Outdoor Gear Rover is another excellent example of what a tactical sling bag should look like. Several large compartments allow you to prepare yourself for anything the wilderness can throw at you, plus there are several smaller pockets through which you can easily access the things you need, but the bag never becomes difficult to carry. There are two main reasons for that: it is very light and its strap is padded. You can also easily adjust the strap (which is designed so that it accommodated both left-handed and right-handed people), which is quite important when it comes to this type of sling backpacks.

The bag comes in four color schemes and we also have to say that it represents excellent value due to its very reasonable price. A fantastic choice for any kind of trip to the wild.


  • – a variety of available colors
  • – ambidextrous strap
  • – made of 600D polyester
  • – the strap comes with a buckle for quick release
  • – excellent value and very light
Red Rock Outdoor Gear Rover

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Koolertron’s sling bag with USB port

You’re going on a trip, but you’re taking your work with you? Then you will surely need a laptop sling bag and the one we would recommend is Koolertron’s sling bag with USB charging port. You can see right away why it’s going to be quite useful, especially because it comes with a USB cable, and we really like the design, to be perfectly honest.

Thanks to the charging port, you never have to open your bag if you need to charge the device you’re carrying around in this thing. On top of that, the bag can be unfolded completely to give you a nice overview of the situation inside, plus the whole thing is made of very resistant and high-quality polyester, meaning anything you put inside will be well protected. With several compartments inside it, organizing things is really not a problem. Considering all of that, it’s not a big surprise this laptop sling bag has received raving reviews across the board.


  • – USB charging port with a USB cable
  • – dimensions: 13.4 x 8.7 x 4 inches
  • – several zip compartments
  • – the strap can be adjusted to fit left-handed and right-handed people
  • – scratch-resistant canvas
Koolertron's sling bag with USB port

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Supa Modern Canvas Messenger Bag

Supa Modern Canvas Messenger Bag is a laptop sling bag of a more classic design. That design, however, is fantastic and the bag comes in a variety of colors. There are eight pockets and compartments in total – the main one for your laptop and seven other smaller (actually, some of them are not small at all!) ones which combine zippers and open design. So, plenty of space for your machine and many other things that go along with it. If you’re not going to carry a lot of stuff around, however, it is also possible to order a smaller version of the product if you have no need for all that space or the XL version if you need even more.

In any case, though, the bag will be extremely comfortable because of the material used to make it, plus it has a strap that can be adjusted according to your wishes. Thanks to all these features, this laptop sling bag can also be used as a bag for school/college students.


  • – available in a variety of colors and three different sizes
  • – the cotton canvas the bag is made of boast high density
  • – high-quality zippers
  • – one main compartment and seven different pockets
  • – comes in a package with a Supa Modern discount card
Supa Modern Canvas Messenger Bag

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Baggallini Big Zipper Crossbody Bag

While the previous categories can arguably be considered more as belonging to sling bags for men, this is something more suited for ladies. In the category of best crossbody bag for travel, we have to mention Baggallini Big Zipper Crossbody Bag. With five pockets on the outside (three of which can be closed with zippers) and a long strap, the things in this sling bag will always be very well protected and easy to reach.

The whole thing is made of very light and comfortable nylon, so you won’t tire even if you carry it around all day with you. On top of that, it has several compartments on the inside too, meaning it is exceptionally easy to keep your stuff well organized at all times. Not to mention that it’s water-proof, as well. All in all, a perfect choice if you’re planning to spend a whole day casually strolling around a city and visiting the most important sights.


  • – made of light, water-resistant nylon (100%)
  • – also has nylon lining
  • – available in a variety of colors
  • – 52-inches strap (adjustable)
  • – dimensions: 11 x 11 x 1 inches

Baggallini Big Zipper Crossbody Bag

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Haiku Ascend Hobo bag

Haiku Ascend Hobo is another excellent soft and comfortable crossbody bag for travel. The main compartment has a zipper and two inner pockets, plus there are four other pockets on the outside of the bag. It is interesting to note that the strap can be separated from the bag and replaced with a shorter hand strap, so you can carry everything around in a multitude of ways, however you see fit.

Ascend Hobo also offers plenty of protection from the elements to the things you store inside thanks to the fact that is is completely made of recycled plastic. Yes, by buying this bag you will be helping the environment too because at least a dozen used bottles go into making every single one of them. On top of that, you can also choose between five different colors. Really now, what reason could you possibly have not to buy this bag?


  • – removable strap
  • – made of 100% recycled polyester
  • – dimensions: 10 x 10.75 x 7.5 inches
  • – available in five colors
  • – both outer and inner layers are water-proof
Haiku Ascend Hobo bag

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AmeriLeather’s Grylls Petite Sling Purse

Now this is definitely not a type of sling bags for men. Sling purses are ideal if you’re not planning to carry around too much of your stuff and can be quite beautiful fashion accessories. The girls on our team absolutely love AmeriLeather’s Grylls Petite Sling Purse, a small leather sling backpack which can be used to carry all the basics you need when you go out.

It comes in three colors (black, brown and waxy brown) and is quite durable and comfortable. You won’t even notice you’re wearing it! It has a big and a small pocket on the front, the main compartment can be closed with a zipper, and there’s even another compartment (also with a zipper) on its back. Therefore, you should be able to maintain order in this sling bag purse quite easily. And don’t worry, the zipper on the back doesn’t take away anything from your overall comfort – you won’t even feel it.


  • – made of high-quality cowhide leather
  • – three available colors (black, brown, burgundy and waxy brown)
  • – magnetic button for the cell phone compartment
  • – dimensions: 11.25 x 6.75 x 2.5 inches
  • – the strap (also made of leather) is adjustable

AmeriLeather's Grylls Petite Sling Purse

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Women’s leather convertible purse from Vine Branch

Women’s leather convertible purse from Vine Branch isn’t your typical purse – it can be used as a backpack or shoulder bag too, thanks to an adjustable strap, which certainly adds important points to it if you’re planning to take it with you on a trip. Many people have already expressed their pleasure with the quality of this product which has several pockets with a zipper (including the main compartment) and one with a buckle on the front. Therefore, you should be able to organize your stuff quite easily.

The whole thing is made of leather, so it feels pretty good to carry it around, and you can choose between two colors – black and brown. You can fit things like your Kindle or a tablet computer inside without any problems, so it’s a great choice if you need to carry along something that will help you pass the time while traveling.


  • – a multi-purpose small bag
  • – dimensions: 15 x 10 x 8 inches
  • – made of cowhide leather
  • – front, back and side pockets
  • – strap that can transform the purse into a backpack, shoulder bag etc.

Women's leather convertible purse from Vine Branch

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So there you have it, those are the best sling backpacks in every major category, at least as far as we are concerned. Like we said in the beginning, you should first analyse what your needs are and what kind of trip is in store for you before you make your decision on the type of bag you need. But if you want to play it safe, Patagonia Atom Sling seems like the best choice, especially if you know you are going on a trip that will last only a few day and during which you will be involved in all the standard tourist activities.

A comfortable crossbody bag for travel is also a great choice in that kind of situations. The Buzz is an excellent way to make sure your laptop is always well protected because of the sturdy materials it is build from, and the MOAB 10 is pretty much the definition of a tactical sling bag. Keep in mind, though, this latter example is meant primarily for outdoors activity.

10 Best Sling Backpacks for Travel - Reviewed10 Best Sling Backpacks for Travel_Reviewed

In any case, with a good sling backpack your trip will be much easier and your overall experience much better. Drop us a line in the comments below if you have any other suggestions!

Make sure you have everything you need

What to pack for your next trip?

Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.

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