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Sling bag vs backpack = no need to check bag at some sites

Just wanted to share my experience traveling with a sling bag for the first time, vs my husband’s experience with a backpack.

I carried this bag: G4Free Sling Bag RFID Blocking Sling Backpack Crossbody Chest Bag Daypack for Hiking Travel(Black) https://a.co/d/fmkkFnL

As a side note, I loved this bag: zippered pockets, additional organizers inside, a zippered pocket on the side against your body, side pockets big enough for a plastic water bottle. Didn’t make me to hot because I could change the way I carried it easily.

My husband carried a normal size backpack.

I was able to bring my bag into sites that advertised a requirement to check your bags, including St. Mark’s and the Doge’s Palace. My husband was required to check the backpack at both places.

We were both required to use a locker for our bags at the glass museum in Venice.

Posted by
86 posts

I just got back from 2 weeks in the UK using a Patagonia Atom Sling Bag. It’s very similar to the G4Free referenced above. I wore it at all the sites and never had a problem nor was I ever asked to check it. It’s 8 liters and was perfect for my phone, sunglasses case, RS guidebooks, maps, and any purchased souvenirs.

Posted by
69 posts

Thanks for the link! I was looking for a new bag for our fall trip. Good deal on Prime Day today, so I ordered one. :)

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5105 posts

travel4run, is it a stiffer fabric or more flexible like the G4Free backpacks? In other words, would it be easy to fold up and put in a personal bag that you bring onboard?

Posted by
2036 posts

Mardee, it’s a soft canvas material, softer than a typical backpack. But not a loud crinkly nylon. There is some padding along the back, but you can fold it/smush it into a personal item. That’s what I did.

Posted by
632 posts

Did you wear it mostly on your back...or in front, as many are doing these days? Just wondering...for security reasons.

Posted by
86 posts

I wore mine mostly in back, but it's super easy to switch it to a front carry if needed. It's also easy to swing to the side or front for quick access.

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5105 posts

Thanks! I wound up getting one in the floral pattern to match my G4Free floral backpack. :)

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2036 posts

I wore mine in front anytime I was in crowds: public transportation, tours, etc. I wore it in back when doing more walking. Or I just wore it on my shoulder.

I like the flexibility, and that the size limited how much stuff I dragged around. It’s big enough to bring en extra layer, or to put some souvenirs in. But not big enough to get stuck carrying 10 lbs of everybody’s extra stuff all day.

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2036 posts

I previously used a small crossbody bag like this: Roma Leathers Crossbody https://a.co/d/iZDDwPA

So I can compare these two.

The crossbody bag is smaller, the strap is not as comfortable, a water bottle or extra layer will not fit in it. Plus my husband or sons could wear it without feeling weird!

Posted by
590 posts

Thanks, travel4fun. I use a Piazza crossbody bag (discontinued now) from ebags, which is shaped differently from the one you shared. It works well for me, but was wondering about the sling bag as an alternative, mostly from the standpoint of comfort.

Posted by
164 posts

Thanks for the discussion regarding the crossbody vs sling. Both my daughter and I have used the Roma crossbody quite a bit for travel---and loved it. However, we both recently experienced one end of the of the strap coming unstitched and thus the bag fell---at first I thought someone had cut it to take it off me. I'm going to have it fixed, and reinforced, but I may need to consider the a sling (the G4 arrived yesterday for my husband) rather than the cross body (and sometimes an extra bag).

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585 posts

Has anyone found something with most of these features that is smaller? I’d love to find something that seems less like a backpack and more like a cross body bag but also includes a way to carry a water bottle. Maybe those 2 features are mutually exclusive?

Posted by
2036 posts

Ruth, something like this might work for you. You lose some of the organization, but it’s big enough for a water bottle. Small Sling Crossbody Bag for Women Men Trendy, Mini Crescent Bag with Adjustable Strap, 2 Zippers Lightweight Nylon Shoulder Waist Fanny Pack Belt Bag for School Sport Casual Travel Hiking Work https://a.co/d/56Q4Q1t

Posted by
172 posts

Ruth - I swear by my Ameribag.
https://ameribag.com/collections/healthy-back-bags

We actually call them our "Everything" bags, because they always seem
to be able to fit anything we need. And there is a side pocket for my
water bottle!

I have an Ameribag HBB from many years ago that I used as my carry-on to carry a clean shirt/underwear/nightgown, 3-1-1 bag, enough room to stuff my jacket and purse after checking a bag. It is huge!

One thing I didn't like many years ago was that everything in it sank to the bottom and it didn't stay up and conforming to my back. Packing cubes could help that. I actually quit using it for a more traditional "square" tote bag.

I'd like to try a smaller Ameribag. Like I said, my old one is huge, much larger than anything they have now. I'd also like to try their "Traveller" version with the RFD pocket for a laptop and what looks like a "close-to-body zipped pocket" so that it could be used as a day-pack. I like that the nylon versions can be washed and not just spot-cleaned.

How comfortable is it to wear in front?

Does it stay "up" like it advertises to be a HBB?

What size/style do you have?

Can you fit a small laptop, light jacket/coat, plus a small 1st aid kit, comfort kit, McGyver kit and all the other little stuff one carries around daily?