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Sling Bags?

Sling bags seem to be the new "thing" for EDC. They are somewhere between a backpack and a messenger/shoulder/cross body bag.

What's your opinion of them? Has anyone here use one? Which ones have you used?

Posted by
175 posts

What is EDC?
I bought a small Osprey sling bag when it was on sale several months ago and have been using it locally on short hikes. What I especially like: If I want to take out something from it, I just slide it to the front, unlike a backpack, which you have to remove.
What I don't like: Stuff in it seems especially vulnerable; no way to secure. Also, depending on size, it doesn't hold a lot.
I may take it on our next overseas trip (whenever that will be), but I would also take my foldable Eagle Creek backpack which has a pocket for a water bottle.

Posted by
517 posts

Nothing is new these days, hahahahah. Like fanny packs or bum bags, Slings go in and out of style or solid functionality about every ten-fifteen years. My first sling in the 90s was from Chrome, made of recycled Dodge seatbelt material, and had a funky seat belt buckle. It was cool but ultimately was replaced with a more functional and WAY more practical lumbar bag from Mountainsmith.

I’m a shoulder bag guy these days, Tom Bihn Cafè.

Posted by
3564 posts

Left shoulder? Right shoulder? It matters. Also, not all are ergonomically correct and balance weight load evenly like a backpack. I still use a cross body bag, but the day will soon come I need to change it up for better ergonomics, but want the security of being able to hold the bag in front. Some of the sling bags linked above seem to still be messenger bags, IMO.

Posted by
6982 posts

Is this bag for tourists as their day bag, or is it the replacement for a briefcase for one's daily work trip? or both?

Posted by
2716 posts

Joe32F I should have said exactly what you are asking. Our son uses his Solo sling bag daily for work and errands. My husband uses his mostly for travel but takes it along for day visits to family too. The pictures on the link I gave aren’t very convincing because they don’t actually show it snapped to the left or right and worn over either shoulder, wearer’s choice. My son bought his because I’m sure he thought it was stylish and comfortable. My husband, who crushed a vertebrate in his back 6 years ago, bought his when he saw how snug it fit without adding much weight.

I like that he wears it because I too have downsized my travel purse from a bigger Baggalini to a small, flat crossbody purse and now he can carry a couple things to even out our small items.

Posted by
193 posts

I bought an Eddie Bauer sling bag a few years back and ended up donating it recently, as it sat unused for the vast majority of the time I had it. I discovered that I really don't like a sling bag - it seemed awkward and didn't have the utility (for me, anyway) of a lightweight backpack or a cross-body purse.

Posted by
817 posts

Hi. Ameribag has been around for quite some time. I recall having one or two of these back in the day. Then, I discovered a more streamlined version from Baggallini, which I still own and love, and used (until Covid) as my daily commuter bag. I took it on my last RS tour in Dec 2019. Sadly, it has been well used and is showing it. Also sadly, Baggallini appears to have now moved to triangular vs kidney shaped versions, so I am back to the drawing board, and maybe back to Ameribag.

I preferred the Baggallini because of all the handy pockets and zippers. Maybe Ameribag has stepped up - I'll give them a look.

Posted by
5518 posts

I dont see the advantages of these. I often carry a day bag with both straps over one shoulder if I'm expecting to get into it. I had one, I think it was a Patagonia, a few years ago. Tried it out and was uncomfortable keeping it on the shoulder while managing other things and movements.

Posted by
3564 posts

@Debbie, maybe check out the sports stores (REI). Patagonia might have something, but it has it's name in big letters on it, so might not be as 'commuter' as Ameribag.

Posted by
979 posts

I bought a sling for travel 7 years ago and have been using it as a daily bag since. The advantages: I like that its close to my body, that I can spin it around to the front when I feel vulnerable (on the metro) or to get money out, without having to take it off. It is compact and yet I can fit a ton in there including a camera and rain jacket. But the reason I bought it in the first place was that we were planning a lot of biking (including in Amsterdam) and I didn't want the size or weight of a backpack and didn't want the bag to fall forward as a purse or other cross-body bag would do. The sling bag can fit under a rain jacket (and it poured on us in AMS on the bikes in July). In short, its the most practical and safest for travel in my experience of using it for years now

Posted by
7964 posts

I think I probably have the Eddie Bauer sling bag slws mentions. I use it only when I travel to Yellowstone as I can put my bear spray in the water bottle slot and have it quick to hand across my chest if I'm not wearing pants that I can put my spray holster on. I love the aqua color but it is less than functional. I have the medium size one and there's not quite enough room, it's not quite laid out right...plus it's weird-hanging to just have it over one shoulder like a regular shoulder bag. It's not big enough to stuff a jacket in either.

I also, like Debbie, years ago had the Ameribag. I used it for years but it was before I got into European travel so have not used it for that purpose. It was "the thing" then but I always wore it over my shoulder which I puts the bag part in the back and would not work for myself for Europe.

Posted by
817 posts

@MariaF: Thanks for the REI tip. There is an Osprey bag that looks good - and it is being discontinued, so I will be checking it out.

BTW, I wear my sling bag like a crossbody; mostly it hangs left front for me, though I have moved it around as needed. I like that it fits under a coat. I mean it in not invisible, but it is kinda tucked away.

Posted by
327 posts

My husband I both have an earlier version of the MEC bag that Maria references above. We both love it for all the reasons that Jessica indicates. It also comes in a larger size, which holds sweater, guidebook, snacks etc. These bags have a great price point and we've been using them for years - both at home and when travelling.

Posted by
26 posts

@Debbie,
check ebay for the older versions of Baggallini bags. That is where I like to get mine. Also, Marshall's/T.J. Maxx sometimes have older versions. Might be worth a look. I have three colors of my favorite one because it is perfect for travel, they don't make that exact one anymore, and I want to make sure I have backups if I wear one out!

Posted by
5483 posts

My sling bag is called Sling rePETe. It’s nylon, cross body and folds up into itself. Has a tiny carabiner. Got it years ago in Yosemite. You’d have look online to see if they still are sold but it’s NOT the type of sling bag others are posting about.

My travel bag is a Patagonia Refugio 2 which works perfectly as my under the seat carry on while my 21 inch canvass roller bag fits easily in the compartment above my head on my flights.

Posted by
990 posts

My husband has used a sling bag for years, but it is for his camcorder (Yes he still uses one) and can expand to hold his jacket, water bottle etc. He loves it. His is the Lowpro Passport Sling Camera bag

Posted by
9070 posts

I've seen many people wearing waist packs/fanny packs/bum bags--whatever you want to call them--as sling bags rather than around their waists.

Posted by
3564 posts

@ travelerfll, look at Mona's link 3 or 4th post. It is designed to carry a tablet.