Everyday Carry

The 17 Best Travel Sling Bags for Your Next Adventure - Ranked!

Authored by:
Jonathan Tayag
Reviewed by:
Bernard Capulong
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
14+ Years Reviewing EDC Products
The 17 Best Travel Sling Bags for Your Next Adventure - Ranked!

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Sling bags are one of the most convenient ways to carry travel gear away from home. The sling design makes taking the bag on and off easier, especially compared to a traditional backpack. The single strap over the shoulder lets you carry a bag on either side of your body, and reducing the number of straps required to carry the same amount of gear tends to make things more lightweight.

With a travel sling bag, you can carry a bag at your front or back, depending on the situation. Back carry adds excellent stability, while carrying at the front lets you access your gear quickly, which is great if you carry a camera or other essential gear daily. While you can carry a backpack like a sling by only shouldering one of the straps, you’ll quickly find that to be highly uncomfortable and unbalanced compared to a sling. Some sling bags have even better padding than a traditional backpack, so they can be loaded to your heart's content with no problem. And unlike a briefcase or duffel bag, the longer strap is more comfortable for longer trips.

Like other everyday carry travel bags, there’s a wide variety of sling bag designs. They span the entire range from small personal bags that augment your other travel bags of choice to large and thoughtfully designed sling bags that can be your one-bag solution when you’re headed out the door.


Our Top Picks

The Best Overall Travel Sling: Mission Workshop Rummy AP [Buy]

The Best Budget Travel Sling: tomtoc Navigator-T24 [Buy]

The Best Water-Repellant Travel Sling: 1733 VX21 Side Pack [Buy]

The Best Large Travel Sling: GREENROOM136 JunkMonkey [Buy]

The Best Lightweight Travel Sling: Alpaka Flight Sling [Buy]


The Best Overall Travel Sling 🏆
The Best Budget Travel Sling
The Best Water-Repellant Travel Sling
The Best Large Travel Sling
The Best Lightweight Travel Sling
Mission Workshop Rummy AP
tomtoc Navigator-T24
1733 VX21 Side Pack
GREENROOM136 JunkMonkey
Alpaka Flight Sling
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
  • Weatherproof rolltop or flap-down configurations
  • Custom hardware
  • Large tech storage
  • Stabilizer strap
  • Made in the USA
  • Two sizes
  • Ambidextrous strap configuration
  • Large tech storage
  • Waterproof zippers
  • Secret back pocket
  • Waterproof zippers
  • Modular attachment points
  • Removable or tuckable strap
  • Roomy interior organization
  • Customizable build
  • Heavy-duty strap and removable stabilizer
  • Inner shell with weatherproof ripstop lining
  • Protected and lined laptop compartment
  • Packable
  • Fits and iPad mini or Nintendo Switch, or both
  • Detachable nylon strap
  • Silent YKK AquaGuard zippers
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
  • May be too large for smaller excursions
  • Expensive
  • N/A
  • Roomy interior, but no padded sections for tech
  • Double snap fasteners may not offer the quickest way into the bag
  • N/A
Bottom Line
Bottom Line
Bottom Line
Bottom Line
Bottom Line
The weather resistance is further enhanced because the Rummy is available in HT500 technical fabric and ultra-durable 10 oz American Waxed Canvas. The material design gives you the confidence to load the Rummy with your tech and travel essentials on your back wherever you go.
With the Navigator-T24, you get a lot of bang for your buck, and because you can pick up this pack right now for just over $50 at the time of this writing, it earns my pick for the best budget travel sling.
As for the design of the Side Pack, 1733 has reimagined the fanny pack with a cross-shoulder design that’s also highly modular. The best part is that shops with extensive experience and attention to detail stitch each bag in the United States.
Because you can pack this bag full to the brim and do it comfortably with its winged back harness and stabilizer strap, the GREENROOM136 JunkMonkey is my pick for the best large travel sling.
The 210/200D ripstop construction of the bag, combined with the YKK AquaGuard zippers, helps it keep the elements out when worn externally when you’re out and about at your final destination. The bag’s immense practicality and traveling versatility make it my pick for the best lightweight travel sling.
SPECIFICATIONS
SPECIFICATIONS
SPECIFICATIONS
SPECIFICATIONS
SPECIFICATIONS
Capacity
Capacity
Capacity
Capacity
Capacity
15L
7L
7L
15L
6L
Dimensions
Dimensions
Dimensions
Dimensions
Dimensions
18" x 11" x 5.5"
12.31" x 9.65" x 1.18"
12.6" x 6.9" x 5.5"
15.74" x 11.81" x 6.29"
9.84” x 6.69” x 1.97”
Weight
Weight
Weight
Weight
Weight
3.25 lbs
1.21 lbs
0.69 lbs
2.5 lbs
0.52 lbs
Materials
Materials
Materials
Materials
Materials
HT500, MultiCam Black Cordura, or 10 oz. Waxed Canvas
100% Post-Consumer recycled PET fabric
VX21 X-Pac
1000D CORDURA and 420D PU-coated ripstop nylon
200D ripstop nylon and 210D x-grid ripstop

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Our Top Picks for Travel Sling Bags in 2024

The Best Overall Travel Sling: Mission Workshop Rummy AP

With a generous 27L capacity, room for up to a 17” laptop, and a thoughtful, travel-friendly design, the Mission Workshop Rummy is my pick for the best overall travel sling. The Rummy features Mission Workshop’s patented Arkiv closure system, which uses a unique slotted pairing of metal hardware and cloth to ensure the bag doesn’t open in the wind and rain while remaining easy to open and close when needed. The weather resistance is further enhanced because the Rummy is available in HT500 technical fabric and ultra-durable 10 oz American Waxed Canvas. The material design gives you the confidence to load the Rummy with your tech and travel essentials on your back wherever you go.

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The Best Budget Travel Sling: tomtoc Navigator-T24

The tomtoc Navigator-T24 provides a slim, sleek, streamlined design with much padding for your work laptop or tablet. Its 7L capacity gives a lot of internal organization space to help keep small daily essentials like pens and pencils from tumbling around in your closed pack as you go about your day. Its crossbody design supports left and right-handed carry, requiring only swapping the sling from one D-ring buckle on the side of the pack to the other. And the premium YKK zippers and Duraflex buckles used also provide a long-lasting usage lifespan. With the Navigator-T24, you get a lot of bang for your buck, and because you can pick up this pack right now for just over $50 at the time of this writing, it earns my pick for the best budget travel sling.

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The Best Water-Repellant Travel Sling: 1733 VX21 Side Pack

Regarding water repellency, few things beat sailcloth, and the 1733 VX21 Side Pack sling features this in spades. VX21 X-Pac is an American-made laminated synthetic fabric with a diamond ripstop layer and integrated waterproofing that makes bags featuring this material shed rain. The material is also immensely lightweight, especially compared to higher denier fabrics that still require a DWR layer on top of it to get close to the same amount of weatherproof performance. As for the design of the Side Pack, 1733 has reimagined the fanny pack with a cross-shoulder design that’s also highly modular. The best part is that shops with extensive experience and attention to detail stitch each bag in the United States. The Side Pack features MOLLE/PALS compatible webbing and an elastic rope lid to augment the pack. There’s enough room inside to fit a mirrorless camera and other small essentials, all secured with rugged YKK Aquaguard zippers.

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The Best Large Travel Sling: GREENROOM136 JunkMonkey

The JunkMonkey is a Malaysian design from GREENROOM136, and it features a bombproof 1000D CORDURA nylon fabric for the bag's exterior and 420D polyurethane-coated ripstop nylon fabric for the interior. These protect 19L of space inside for your tech, travel, and everyday essential needs. One of the most unique things about this bag is the internal ripstop lining that increases its weather resistance and allows you to slightly overpack the bag while keeping it close to your back. That ripstop lining is high-visibility yellow, making it easier to identify the gear you need inside the bag, which can support up to a 15” Apple MacBook Pro or similar laptop. Because you can pack this bag full to the brim and do it comfortably with its winged back harness and stabilizer strap, the GREENROOM136 JunkMonkey is my pick for the best large travel sling.

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The Best Lightweight Travel Sling: Alpaka Flight Sling

The Alpaka Flight Sling is a slim travel bag that’s useful for carrying your passport, boarding pass, and other small travel essentials close to your person at all times. You can use it to augment your travel space on a plane that limits the number of bags you can have in the cabin since you can tuck it under clothing once you clear security. The 210/200D ripstop construction of the bag, combined with the YKK Aquaguard zippers, helps it keep the elements out when worn externally when you’re out and about at your final destination. The bag’s immense practicality and traveling versatility make it my pick for the best lightweight travel sling.

Check It Out


Our other recommendations

Manhattan Portage Atlas Sling Pro: Our co-founder Bernard spent over a year designing this sling with Manhattan Portage. The bullet profile fits up to an 11" tablet (one of the few slings able to accommodate the size) and all your gear while remaining narrow and nimble while commuting through crowds. It sits centered on the back and has fantastic modularity and organizational space.

Aer Day Sling 3 Max X-Pac: Using X-Pac fabric allows Aer to provide substantial padding and protection for tablets up to 11” without bringing the weight of the overall bag up too much. The high-visibility interior also makes it easy to rapidly access your notes and other small gear essentials at the office or on the go.

Bellroy Venture Sling Camera Edition: This bag is suitable for short photo trips with room for a small mirrorless or compact camera and lots of tech organizer space. It can also be used as a travel bag, with all your camera gear ready to go once you’re where you need to be.

Peak Design Everyday Sling 10L: The seatbelt fabric design of the strap, quick adjustability, and hinged attachment make this one of the most comfortable slings you can carry, even if you don’t tote around cameras regularly. Peak Design’s lifetime warranty is also hard to beat, making this bag a buy-it-for-life deal you won’t regret.

Trakke Largo Sling: The Trakke Largo Sling takes quick access to the extreme, with two large zippered compartments and organizational space that make retrieving your everyday carry gear easy. The COBRA buckle strap is also quicker than a standard buckle, and its reversibility adds to the Trakke Largo’s ambidextrous appeal.

WNDRD Rogue 9L Sling: With its 1680D and 840D ballistic nylon with 5PM coating, the WNDRD Rogue 9L is one of the most heavy-duty and water-resistant sling bags you can carry. The internal dividers and tripod holder make the Rogue great for dedicated photography carry, but you’ll also appreciate the added padding if you carry tech essentials.

Mystery Ranch Hip Monkey Sling Bag: The Hip Monkey fits more of a traditional fanny pack style, but the wide strap makes it comfortable to wear as a sling. The bag fits a professional-sized mirrorless camera and lens with room to spare. If you find yourself in Japan, there’s an exclusive version of this pack using X-Pac fabric, and that is my current daily driver for 1.5-bag travel.

EVERGOODS Mountain Hip Pack: While the EVERGOODS Mountain Hip Pack is best carried ergonomically behind you at your lumbar region, the body-hugging design of the pack lets it work well slung over your shoulder, too. Its name denotes its intended use, and the breathable back panel on the Mountain Hip Pack deals with sweat and outdoor exertions better than standard spacer mesh on other bags.

North St. Bags Pioneer 12 Hip Pack: The Pioneer 12 is a versatile hip-pack sling that can also be used as a handlebar bag if you have a bicycle. It’s also made in the United States in Portland, Oregon, and North St. Bags guarantees it for life.

Wizard Works Hobgob Hip Pack: Wizard Works designed the Hobgob to minimize sharp edges and plastic hardware from rubbing against you while you wear it, making it comfortable for long-term use. Unlike many sling bags, you can add their Quick Draw Bottle Pocket to stay hydrated throughout the day.

DSPTCH Slingpack RND Dyneema: The technical construction of the DSPTCH Slingpack RND Dyneema makes it lightweight for its 15L capacity at 1lb 14oz. A hidden security pocket also serves as an excellent place to carry items you cannot lose, like your passport, when you’re out of the country.

Osprey Metron: The Osprey Metron was designed as a bike messenger sling bag, and it has lots of storage for laptops, tablets, parcels, and essential documents. The flap cover is also secured with buckles and hook and loop, making it highly unlikely that anything flies out of your sling when you’re screaming down a hill on a bike.


Features to Keep in Mind When Shopping for Travel Sling Bags

The plethora of choices for travel sling bags can make it intimidating if you’re looking for your first bag, but a few considerations should always come into mind when making your choice. These boil down to a few things: the material your bag is made of, the size and capacity of the bag itself, how comfortable it is to carry daily, and any special features any particular design might have compared to the rest.

Material

The material in your travel sling bag is essential because it impacts the durability of your bag and more. Picking a sling bag made out of flimsy material means it will break easily. If weight is an issue, you can choose a bag made out of ripstop nylon, sailcloth, or Dyneema Composite Fabric to maintain a good level of durability while being less hefty than traditional materials like waxed canvas or leather. If you’re looking for absolute bombproof construction, high-denier ballistic nylon is your best choice.

Size

The size of your travel sling bag is essential because it marks the limit of the gear you can pack. However, travel limitations also dictate the size of the bag you pick. Depending on the airline or railroad restrictions of your choice, you may have to limit based on a personal bag or carry-on size compatibility.

Comfort

Comfort is sometimes underrated when picking a travel sling bag, but it’s critical because a poorly designed sling bag will be more uncomfortable to carry compared to a backpack that might be designed sub-optimally. The single strap design can bite into your neck or shoulder if it’s not done well, and that’s why picking a bag with a good strap and enough padding to make it comfortable is essential. Some sling bags further augment the equation by adding stabilizer straps and ambidextrous options that make switching between left-handed and right-handed carry easy based on the load and travel.

Features

The features emphasized in each travel sling bag should correspond to your travel needs. You may value padded dividers and laptop sleeves if you carry a laptop, tablet, or expensive camera gear. People with lots of stationery in their everyday carry will value dedicated organizational space. If you live or travel to places that rain or snow a lot, waterproof materials and quality zippers like those from YKK come into play. You choose the most important features to you, and sometimes that may mean picking more than one travel sling bag for different situations at different times.


Best Travel Sling Bag FAQs

Are sling bags good for travel?

Sling bags are great for travel because they are easier to carry than a backpack or tote bag. Sloping a bag across your shoulder on either side makes it easy to get through crowded bus terminals and get to where you need to go without hassle.

Is a sling bag considered a carry-on?

A sling bag can be considered a carry-on bag if it meets your airline's size requirements. However, most sling bags on the market are substantially smaller than the carry-on size limit because sling bags that are too big can become very uncomfortable to carry long term.

What is the difference between a sling bag and a crossbody bag?

There is a bit of interchangeability between a sling bag and a crossbody bag. However, some are dedicated crossbody bags that only make sense to carry across your body. A sling bag is versatile enough to be carried in several ways that are not just across your body.

Is a sling bag the same as a fanny pack?

Some sling bags can be used as a fanny pack. Some fanny packs can be deliberately carried as a sling bag through modification or sheer determination. It depends on the bag and the user whether a fanny pack can make for a good sling bag.


How we picked

Decades of experience and deep connections in the everyday carry industry give us a unique viewpoint on the market to inform our product recommendations. We have the depth of information for thousands of products that have come before and an extensive eye on the market to see what's new and trending for each piece of gear. The result is a buying guide that we feel is informative and useful for EDCers of every trade, industry, and budget.

What is Everyday Carry?

Everyday Carry is both the concept of what people carry in their pockets and the process of picking out gear that thoughtfully considers what one wants or needs in their daily life. It encompasses everything from style to preparedness to utility, meaning an entire industry full of valuable tools and essentials to choose from.

Why you should trust us

Our team has decades of combined experience in all aspects of everyday men's essentials, from wallets to pens to bags and everything in between, and we know where to find great gear ideas that you may not come across at your local stores or when shopping online. Our expertise in the industry and familiarity with design, materials, and usability help you make more informed choices when it comes to picking up your next piece of gear.

Jonathan Tayag

Senior Contributor


About the Author
Jonathan Tayag is secretly an information technology and corporate security expert who prefers to moonlight as a creative event and commercial photographer whenever possible. His varied experience and substantial travels have led him to seek, without even thinking about it at first, the best gear for the best use at the best price available. Before the concept of EDC (everyday carry) firmly took hold, Jonathan already spent untold amounts of time optimizing for the best-in-slot pieces of gear, from cameras and lenses to pocket knives, pens, and bags and packs. In November 2015, Jonathan joined EverydayCarry.com and has since written numerous articles and guides to help impart his knowledge to the community as a whole.

Jonathan's photographic works have appeared on numerous online websites, print, video, and television outlets for over a decade. Jonathan's previous clients include Blizzard Entertainment, Red Bull, ESL, Razer, and several other endemic and non-endemic esports sponsors and brands. His work also features heavily in online competitive gaming communities, especially those of the StarCraft and Fighting Game genres. You've likely seen his work if you've spent time in a stream or in-game chat over the years.

Bernard Capulong

Founder and Editor-in-Chief


About the Reviewer
Bernard Capulong is an everyday carry (EDC) gear expert, entrepreneur, all-around nerd, and the founder and editor-in-chief of EverydayCarry.com—the largest online community for EDC gear enthusiasts. Since founding Everyday Carry in 2009, he’s built over a decade of experience in the industry, reviewing and highlighting brands and products, including pocket knives, flashlights, wallets, watches, bags, pens, and much more.

Bernard is known for bringing everyday carry out of obscurity and into the mainstream, having been published or featured in various publications such as GQ, TIME Magazine, The New York Times, VICE, HYPEBEAST, Outside, and many others. He has also played a part in curating, designing, and developing digital and physical products, resulting in successful crowdfunding projects or limited edition collaboration products with established softgoods brands. He stays on the pulse of the EDC industry by attending trade shows, participating in online interest communities, and actively engaging with fellow gear enthusiasts on social media.

In addition to being the editor-in-chief and main social media personality for EverydayCarry.com, Bernard is an avid gearhead and collector in general. His personal collections span technical bags, fountain pens, digital cameras, retro gaming hardware, personal hi-fi audio gear, and mechanical wristwatches, to name a few. Bernard Capulong is a prominent figure and trusted authority in the everyday carry industry with a career dedicated to helping people discover this hobby and stay prepared with quality gear.

Discussion (3 total)

This backpack looks very good. I have used a CVLIFE backpack for a few years. The quality has been very good. I use it to climb, camping and cycling. Because I have been carrying for many years, I want to try another style. If you want to buy a backpack, I highly recommend the backpack I carried before, which is great.
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