Best Sling Bags for Travel – A traveler’s review guide

So, what are the best sling bags for travel?

As an avid traveler, you surely find it difficult to store all your ‘must have’ travel items in one place. You probably carry multiple bags to store all your travel essentials. Why don’t you switch to a sling bag that is lightweight, comfortable to carry, and a great way to store all your belongings in one place?

Now that you know a sling bag exists, let’s deep dive into the world of sling bags. In this article, we’ll talk about the best sling bags for travel on the market and help you pick the right product to suit your requirements.

What is a Sling Bag?

First of all we should answer the very question of what is a sling bag exactly?

Well in short, a sling bag is usually a fashionable looking bag that’s also durable and has one strap attached to the top of the bag, and the other attached to the bottom, and is carried over one shoulder.   

Why buy a sling bag for travel?

Even though messenger bags and backpacks are ideal for travel, you can get the best of both worlds in a sling bag.

Sling bags are more spacious than messenger bags, and more convenient to carry as compared to backpacks. The best sling bags for travel will have several pockets, a comfortable strap, multiple partitions, a streamlined design, and much more. You can use them during trekking or a day out at the beach.

In the next section, we will discuss the best sling bags for travel on the market. Keep reading to know more.

The best sling bags for travel – Top 8 picks

So, here comes the most important section of this article, the genuine product reviews.

Here, we’ll talk about the top 8 best sling bags for travel that have stormed the market. You can use them for travel purposes or as daily use bags for carrying your books, grocery, etc. Almost all the bags are gender neutral.

The product reviews are based on market research and ratings provided by existing customers. By the end of this section, you’ll be able to hopefully identify which one is the best for your needs.

Okay, so let’s look at the best sling bags for travel one by one:

Waterfly Sling Bag

Product specifications:

Product weight14.8oz / 800g
Product dimensions10.6 x 4.7 x 16.5 inches / 27cm x 12cm x 42cm
MaterialNylon
Water resistantYes
Pockets7
Ideal forMen, women, teenagers


The Waterfly Sling Bag is one of the most casual, cool, and useful sling bags for travel. The design of the product is simple, yet stylish and makes it ideal for both, men and woman. The sling bag is available in five colors; black, brown, blue, grey and dark grey.

Whether you want to store an umbrella or your iPad, there are plenty of pockets to accommodate all your travel essentials. The sling bag has 7 pockets in all. One bottle pocket is present on the side of the sling bag, while two small pockets are strategically located on the back and strap. Other small pockets are located inside the bag and on the base of the exterior of the sling bag.

The wide, adjustable strap is crafted in a way that makes carrying the sling bag very convenient, without any undue pressure on your shoulder. Whether you want to use the Waterfly sling bag on your right shoulder or your left shoulder, the choice is completely yours. Moreover, the strap is made of an anti-sweat, breathable material that makes the sling bag ideal for high temperature conditions.

Pros and cons:

ProsCons
LightweightThe strap is not well-fitted
Comes with plenty of pockets for storing different sized travel itemsSome customers have mentioned that the overall material is not very soft
Pocket-friendly price
Ideal for both men and women all ages
Durable
Adjustable strap
Allows you to easily switch from one shoulder to another

Meru Sling Bag

https://www.amazon.com/Meru-Sling-Backpack-Bag-Crossbody/dp/B01EZZUV0O/ref=sr_1_1_sspa

Product specifications:

Product weight14.2 oz / 800g
Product dimensions19.5 x 11.5 inches / 50cm x 29cm
MaterialCanvas
Water resistantYes
Pockets5
Ideal forMen, women, children, college students, school kids


When it comes to the best sling bags for travel, the Meru Sling Bag is another name that is popular among travelers.

Meru is a teardrop shaped, ergonomic sling bag for travel. The canvas material used to make the product is durable and high-quality. It is one of the most stylish and elegant crossbody sling bag for travel. The strap is crafted from advanced memory foam that makes is extremely comfortable to carry the bag for longer periods.

In all, the product contains 4 pockets. The largest pocket and a hidden bottle holder can be found in the 8.5 Liter inner compartment of the sling bag. There’s an individual, insulated pocket for tablets and iPad, and two small pockets in front of other travel items such as keys, credit card holders, mobile phone, earphones, etc.

The product is available in a wide range of colors such as pink, grey, green, blue, purple, black, etc. to name a few.

If you find any issues in the product upon delivery, you can use the 6-month free product replacement warranty provided by the manufacturer.

Pros and cons:

ProsCons
An ideal size sling bag – neither too large, nor too smallThe strap is slippery
Made of durable canvas materialNo compartments inside the bag to organize items
Soft-strap technology makes it easy to carry the bag for extended periods
Ideal for men, women, teenagers, kids
Teardrop-shape gives the product a chic look

Outdoor Master Sling Bag

https://www.amazon.com/Under-Armour-Unisex-Compel-Silver/dp/B0711SJPFG/ref=sr_1_1

Product specifications:

Product weight16 oz /  450g
Product dimensions11.8 x 4 x 17.7 inches / 30cm x 45cm
MaterialNylon
Water resistantNo
Pockets6  
Ideal forMen and women


The Outdoor Master Sling Bag is a compact yet roomy sling bag for travel. You can even store your DSLR camera or up to 12.5 inch notebook in the 12 L sling bag.

The sling bag comes with hidden, anti-theft pockets and bottle holder on the side. The straps are made of a soft, breathable material, and are reversible (a unique feature that is not present in a lot of travel sling bags). Whether you want to carry the bag across your right shoulder or your left shoulder, the sling bag serves the purpose on either side.

You’ll be delighted to know that the product is available in 10 different colors.

Pros and cons:

ProsCons
LightweightNot waterproof or water resistant
Compact but spacious enough to carry a 12 inches laptop
Hidden anti-theft pockets
Also available in an army variant that comes with a channel for charging cable and headphone
Ideal for both the shoulders
Adjustable strap
A wide assortment of colors
High-quality construction
Reversible shoulder strap

Kavu Rope Sling Bag

https://www.amazon.com/KAVU-Rope-Pineapple-Passion-Size/dp/B0711RSJG9/ref=sr_1_3

Product specifications:

Product weight14.4 oz / 400g
Product dimensions15 x 13 x 4 inches / 38cm x 7.6cm x 10cm
Material100% cotton
Water resistantNo
Pockets3 main plus additional Velcro pouches and pockets
Ideal forMen, women, teenagers

The Kavu Rope Sling Bag is indeed the most stylish and fashionable sling bags for travel. The teardrop shape provides you with ample of space to store all your travel essentials at one place. Books, chargers, power bank, camera, card holder – the sling bag can easily accommodate all these products at once.

The signature rope strap is adjustable and comes with a buckle fastener. The strap is durable and soft. The rope style gives the sling bag a funky look. The sling bag comes with 3 pockets – a single zipper pocket inside the bag and two vertical zip pockets at the front. Apart from these, you can also use the small zip pouches and Velcro pockets at the front of the bag to store small items such as your keys, phone, etc.

The 100% cotton material makes the bag ideal for almost all climates (although not suitable in harsh winter conditions such as snow). The Kavu Rope Sling Bag is available in multiple colors and designs. Moreover, every season, the brand prints limited style designs.

So, if you are not looking for the usual dark and dull sling bag for travel, go ahead and pick the Kavu Rope Sling Bag for your travel needs.

Pros and cons:

ProsCons
Optimum size to carry travel items of different sizesNot water resistant
Eye-catching design and styleDoes not contain a bottle holder
100% cotton material
Rope strap is soft and comfortable
Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns

Carqi Sling Bag

https://www.amazon.com/CARQI-Waterproof-Shoulder-Backpack-Crossbody/dp/B072Z8836Q/ref=sr_1_5

Product specifications:

Product weight10.6 oz / 300g
Product dimensions15 x 4 x 8 inches / 38cm x 10cm x 20cm
MaterialPolyester like Pearl Luster Material
Water resistantYes
Pockets4 inner compartments
Ideal forMen and women

The Carqi Sling Bag is another fantastic option with 4 spacious main compartments to store all your travel essential at one place. The largest compartment that measures 10.6 x 134 inches can be used to securely store an iPad up to 10.6 inches. The other compartments can be used to store items such as a torch, books, sunglasses, headphone, power bank, cosmetics, etc.

The strap is made of a soft, padded, and breathable material that makes the sling bag featherweight and easy to carry, especially during hiking. Sweat a lot? Don’t worry; there’s no room for sweat on the strap.

You can wear the sling bag across either shoulder and adjust the strap up to 47.6 inches.

The best thing about the Carqi Sling Bag is the Pearl Luster Material that gives the sling bag a smooth look. The material is tear resistant, scratch resistant, and waterproof. So, if you’re planning to a place with a wet climate, this one can be a good buy. The sling bag can be easily hand-washed.

Pros and cons:

ProsCons
CompactSome customers have reported that the material of the zip is not up to the mark
4 useful interior compartmentsMissing bottle holder
Waterproof
Tear resistant
Scratch resistant
Extremely lightweight
Budget-friendly
Ergonomic design

Patagonia Atom Sling Bag

https://www.amazon.com/Patagonia-Atom-Sling-Backpack-Black/dp/B0721NVLHJ

Product specifications:

Product weight10.2 oz / 290g
Product dimensions17.7 x 14.2 x 9.4 inches / 45cm x 36cm x 24cm
Material100% recyclable polyester
Water resistantYes
Pockets3
Ideal forMen and women


The Patagonia Atom Sling Bag is one of the finest sling bags for travel on the market today. The product is ideal for all outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, mountain climbing, fishing, etc. It is made of 100% polyester material that is water-resistant.  

The sleek design along with a three-point harness makes the product the best choice for travel related activities that require you to run or move quickly. The teardrop shape effectively manages the load behind your shoulder.

Patagonia Atom Sling Bag comes with spacious, zippered main pocket that contains a mesh inner pocket for small size items. You can use the tiny pocket on the strap of the sling bag to store your phone or card holders. The shoulder strap is padded and made of a breathable material that keeps you cool even if you’re adventuring in a desert.

The bag is available in 7 different colors. If you’re planning to take part in a rigorous outdoor activity that requires you to stay in action, the Patagonia Atom Sling Bag is a good option that you can consider while hunting for the best sling bags for travel.

Pros and cons:

ProsCons
Very lightweightMissing bottle holder
Water resistant
Three-point harness to allow free body movement
Robust and durable
Perfect for outdoor activities and travel
Comfortable, padded strap

Maxpedition MX431W-BRK Sitka Gearslinger 

https://www.amazon.com/Maxpedition-MX431W-BRK-Sitka-Gearslinger-Wolf/dp/B00O45TRNS

Product specifications:

Product weight16 oz / 453g
Product dimensions10.5 x 7 x 18 inches / 27cm x 17.7cm x 45cm
MaterialNylon
Water resistantYes
PocketsMultiple pouches and pockets
Ideal forMen and women


Lastly, the Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger is a high-utility travel sling bag that’s designed for robust outdoor activities. The sling pack is designed in a way that allows you to rotate it by 270 degrees to bring it to the front. Whether you are walking, sitting, or standing, you can easily access the front pockets by rotating the sling bag.

Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger is basically a military ranger sling bag for travel lovers. It was originally designed for military persons, so you can imagine how sturdy and resistant it is.

If you’re a die-hard photographer, this travel sling bag can come as a blessing to you. It’s roomy enough to store your camera and camera accessories. The product comes with many interior and exterior pockets that allow you to store all kinds of items required during traveling. The side pocket can be used to carry a beverage or water bottle.

The bag is made of 1000-denier glazed nylon which makes the product more durable. Moreover, the material is abrasion and water resistant. The strap comes with padding and makes it very comfortable to carry the sling bag while you’re climbing a difficult terrain.

The product is available in different colors such as grey, brown, green, and black. Overall to summarize, a versatile, sturdy, and useful sling bag for travel.

Pros and cons:

ProsCons
Abrasion and water resistantSuitable for carrying only on one side
Suitable for different carrying positionsA bit pricey
Large compartments and pockets
Robust and durable
Perfect for outdoor activities and travel
Available in a wide range of colors

WANDF Sling Bag

https://www.amazon.com/WANDF-Backpack-Crossbody-Charging-Camouflage/dp/B07GF3Y7KZ/ref=sr_1_14


Product specifications:

Product weight14.4 oz / 410g
Product dimensions10.2 x 5.9 x 16.9 inches / 26cm x 15cm x 42cm
MaterialNylon
Water resistantNo
Pockets5
Ideal forMen and women

There’s not just one, but several compelling features of the WANDF sling bag that make it one of the best sling bags for travel. This multi-utility sling bag is perfect for both, men and women. You can use it as a sling bag, chest bag, messenger bag, office bag, computer bag, and what not.

The sling bag comes with 5 pockets – one large pocket that can even store a notebook up to 12 inches in size, magazines, iPad, etc., one zippered medium pocket to store medicines, cash, cards, etc., one tiny pocket to hold your batteries, phone, etc., one mesh bottle holder, and one hidden pocket to store your valuables. Other incredible features of this sling bag are an external USB charging port and a headphone port.

The reversible strap is made of breathable mesh and can be worn across either of your shoulders. The WANDF sling bag is a new entry on the market and travelers are loving it.  

Pros and cons:

ProsCons
Large capacityNot water resistant
Very affordable
Reversible strap
Can be worn on both sides
Robust and durable
5 different size pockets
External USB charging port and headphone port

Things to keep in mind while buying the best sling bags for travel

Now that you’ve gone through the detailed reviews of the top 8 sling bags for travel, let’s discuss different factors on which we evaluated these products. When narrowing down your ideal pick, make sure you keep these things in mind.

Comfort

The first and the most important factor that you need to consider while purchasing the best sling bags for travel is the comfort. Even though sling bags are one of the most comfortable bags to wear during traveling, certain other factors such as the material of the strap, design of the strap, size of the sling bag, etc. can affect the comfort.

Look for a travel sling bag with a soft and padded strap. Also, check if the strap is adjustable. All in all, a sling bag should not be very loose or tight.

Pockets and compartments

Since you are purchasing the product for storing your travel essentials, the more pockets, the better. If you pick a sling bag with only one massive compartment, you won’t be able to well organize the items. Look for a sling bag with 2 or 3 main compartments, a bottle holder, and 3-4 extra pockets. Hidden pockets are also a good idea.

Durability

You can encounter all types of weathers while you are traveling, especially if you are traveling to the mountains. One moment it’s rain, the next moment it’s all sunshine. So, look for a sling bag that is water resistant or waterproof. Nylon is a suitable fabric as it does not chip off easily. Avoid purchasing a sling bag without an inner lining. The absence of an inner lining makes the product less durable. Test the zippers and the strap buckles.

Convertibility

Many sling bags for travel these days come with removable straps that allow you to convert your sling bag from a right shoulder sling bag to a left shoulder sling bag. Some sling bags can also be transformed into backpacks.

Price

Price is a critical factor here and a confusing factor too. While your mind may tell you that you’re not going to use the sling bag enough to make it worthwhile, your heart will tell you to stop fretting about the price and purchase a high-quality product. What will you do in this case? Well, it’s difficult for us to tell you. The choice is completely yours and depends on your requirement. All we would say is, don’t discount the importance of quality, especially if you’re planning on using it semi regularly.

Final thoughts on the best sling bags for travel

Although regular backpacks are very useful, at times, you need a sling bag that is lightweight and can store your travel basics in one place. Using sling bags, you can quickly access your belonging whenever you want without taking the bag off your shoulders.

We hope you enjoyed reading the detailed product reviews to find the best sling bags for travel. Each product has something special to offer. Based on your requirements and budget, you can pick the one that suits you the best. All the sling bags discussed here are great, and it’s really difficult to choose which one is truly the best sling bags for travel.

If you are planning a day trip, Outdoor Master and Patagonia are the two most suitable options in our opinion. However, if you are planning an elaborate outdoor vacation, then nothing can beat Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger.

Lastly, if style and design is something that concerns you the most, we would recommend you go with the Kavu Rope Sling Bag.

So, do you agree or disagree with our selections above? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below, and if you have any more questions, please drop us a note. We’ll get back to you as quickly as we can!

Lastly, if there are any other specific products you’d like us to review, we’ll be happy to do so, just contact us.

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