EverydayCarry.com x Manhattan Portage Atlas Sling Pro

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Bike messengers and New York have had a long and intertwined history, with the city’s courier needs relying on its cyclists’ speed and agility. It was a demanding job with demanding needs on gear, and for 40 years, Manhattan Portage has been a part of that history as the go-to with their messenger bags. 40 years is a long time for any company to be in business, especially for an EDC or bagmaking one, so saying that Manhattan Portage knows a thing or two about bags would be a considerable understatement.

This heritage, enduring quality, and purpose-built philosophy led us to collaborate with them in the first place, releasing two iterations of the Atlas Sling that gave EDCers a robust and sleek way to organize and stow our essentials. And to celebrate Manhattan Portage’s monumental 40th anniversary, we’ve partnered with them again with an all-new silhouette that caters to modern carry needs while sticking to the speedy sensibilities and built to the same rigorous standards of those riders from the 80s and 90s.

Our latest collaboration is over a year in the making, and we’re proud to bring the latest in the Atlas Sling lineup to our community. The new Atlas Sling Pro brings more capacity, organization, and modularity to your everyday carry.

Why We Made an All-New Design

When I last worked with Manhattan Portage on the Atlas Sling V2, we refined a solid design with an iterative update. To celebrate Manhattan Portage’s milestone 40th anniversary, I wanted to offer a new, more feature-rich silhouette to both complement the existing Atlas Sling V2 and cater to a wider range of people. This new design delivers on the most common request of increased storage capacity while retaining the design DNA that made the Atlas Sling V2 so successful.

For the foundation of the Atlas Sling Pro’s design, I chose the Ironworker Sling, a premium Black Label product in Manhattan Portage’s catalog. At 8L in capacity, it hits a versatile sweet spot between a smaller hip bag and a full-sized day pack or messenger bag that accommodates many EDCs, in a unique use niche not often explored.

Its vertical “bullet” profile made it a good platform for a sling of this size. It fits more gear and even a tablet while remaining narrow and nimble while commuting through crowds. It sits centered on the back and, when slung forward, grants ergonomic dominant hand entry from the side for better usability.

Design Philosophy and Process

I brought back the core functionality and visual design identity of the Atlas Sling V2 to the new Pro, then added all-new features optimized specifically for its larger capacity.

The Atlas Sling Pro features the line’s signature robust organization in the form of an elastic web matrix in a hidden compartment, low-profile exterior seatbelt MOLLE webbing, and a quick-adjusting but beefy shoulder strap.

New features include improved modularity with internal and external loop fields, a larger dedicated tablet sleeve, and four points of pull handles for grab-and-go convenience, whether picking up the sling from your desk or retrieving it from a plane’s overhead compartment.

I spent over a year designing this bag with Manhattan Portage from the inside out, leaving no component exactly the same as the original silhouette. The Atlas Sling Pro is the result of thoughtful modifications to its exterior, interior, layout, hardware, materials, and feature set.

Modularity in Mind

MOLLE-compatible seatbelt webbing spans the front of the bag as a nod to tactical platforms popular with EDCers but done in a sleeker presentation in line with Manhattan Portage’s urban aesthetics. It offers attachment points for lightweight gear while keeping a low profile when not in use.

Given the rise in popularity of EDC patches in the years since the last bag, I reworked the top of the bag with a generous loop field. This lets you customize the bag further with any patches in your collection, or you can opt for a stealthier look by removing the pre-installed co-branded label patch.

The final detail on the front of the bag is a strip of reflective material that lends visibility at night. Given Manhattan Portage’s history among the bike commuter community, I wanted to keep some urban commute-friendly features on the bag.

Capacious and Capable

The most common feedback we got with the Atlas Sling bags was that people would appreciate a bit more space in the bag. The Atlas Sling Pro offers many more compartments overall.

The front of the bag features a small zippered compartment, sized to fit commonly used essentials like your phone, wallet, or keys.

A half-length zipper grants access to the main compartment. It’s roomy and has the most volume overall, complete with volume pleats towards the bottom for added structure that helps it stand upright under load. A single top-down slip pocket helps divide contents. To give you an idea, I’ve fit a 32-ounce water bottle in this pocket, or a rolled-up windbreaker with no problem.

The bag’s rear compartment opens fully flat thanks to a full-length zipper, revealing a dedicated tablet compartment and a couple of zippered mesh pockets.

The tablet sleeve accommodates tablets up to 11”, and it’s padded on both sides for a protective, snug fit. Few, if any, slings can hold tablets of this size, further underscoring the niche capabilities of the Atlas Sling Pro. The sleeve pulls double duty as a large loop field as well, giving you an internal platform for customization and modularity.

The two-tiered zippered pockets are made with Powernet, a stretchy mesh fabric that gives at-a-glance visibility to its contents.

Everything In Its Place

The Atlas Sling Pro offers more organization to your gear than ever thanks to its larger elastic webbing loop lattice hidden in the center of the bag, the design a callback to a similar lattice in the previous Atlas Slings. A series of elastic webbing of various widths and thoughtful placement lets you secure your cables, pens, tools, and other gear without them knocking around loose in your bag. It can help declutter your carry when loaded up, but completely hides away when you don’t need it. Lastly, a vertical slip pocket can stow away more sensitive documents like a Passport or small notebook.

Sustainability and Stability

I’m proud to share that the new Atlas Sling Pro is built tough with 100% recycled CORDURA® re/cor™ RN6 nylon and recycled YKK hardware. We’ve used CORDURA® nylon and YKK hardware on the previous bags for their top-tier quality, performance, and durability, but this time around, we can deliver functionality worthy of your EDC more sustainably.

In my experience, the combination of materials and hardware makes all the difference in an EDC bag. We consider even the small details, like metal zipper pulls customized with the Manhattan skyline and Manhattan Portage’s signature red nylon interior for improved visibility and contrast when retrieving your gear in low-light conditions.

The recycled YKK hardware plays an important role in the Atlas Sling Pro’s shoulder strap design. I chose a wider, 1.5” seatbelt webbing to better distribute load and alleviate pressure across the shoulder for this larger bag capable of carrying heavier loads. I prioritized comfort, ease of use, and adjustability with this strap. We replaced the heavy metal hardware from the base design to use a YKK swivel buckle, quick-adjust D-ring, swiveling gate clip, and excess strap keeper.

The strap can be worn on either shoulder by clipping to a D-ring mounted on either side of the bag, making it truly ambidextrous. The quick-release swivel buckle rotates dynamically as you move, keeping the load manageable and comfortable on your back. Ample padding on the back also adds comfort, protects your gear, improves airflow, and mitigates abrasion.

I added an extra D-ring just under the buckle that can be pulled to easily let out slack in the strap to facilitate slinging it forward, and also doubling as a quick-access attachment point for a keychain. The added slack leaves the bag closer to your waist when slung forward so you can more comfortably access its contents without your arms being up in your chest. A keeper clip to manage any excess strap from flapping about rounds out the design.

The shoulder strap isn’t the only way to carry the Atlas Sling Pro, though. Every side of the bag has a pull handle for grab-and-go convenience. The low-profile seatbelt webbing handles on the sides let you carry the bag like a briefcase and stay out of the way when not in use. The traditional top loop makes suspending from a hook or rack or grabbing from under your seat easy. A pull handle on the bottom comes in clutch for retrieving the bag in an overhead compartment or shelf, too.

The Atlas Sling Pro is available now directly from Manhattan Portage at their website in both Black and Navy for $199. Readers of the site can use coupon code EDC10 to save 10% off the Atlas Sling Pro (which should be applied automatically at the link below), and purchases made with the coupon also help support EverydayCarry.com.

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