Advertiser Disclosure: Travel Freedom has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel Freedom and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
If your adventurous spirit has you traveling to the four corners of the earth, then you’d better be prepared. Not having the right gear can weigh you down and interfere with precious moments. One of a serious traveler’s most prized possessions, the sling bag, proves to be an essential sidekick to take with you on your journey. We made it our duty to find the very best sling bags for travel.
However, you may be feeling stumped trying to find the sling bag that’s most suitable for your needs. It’s understandable because there are a lot of bags on the market. That’s why we’re here to educate you on a few of the best sling bags for travel. With the help of Travel Freedom, you can get back to doing what you love.
Top Five Best Travel Sling Bags
Before you run out and buy just any old bag, first consider what you need. If you’re the stylish type, you may be willing to sacrifice weather resistance for a design that stands out.
Like most of us, your cargo will probably include some high-tech electronics. For this reason, you may want to set your priority on buying a sling bag with compartments that hold laptops, cameras, tripods and so on. Whatever your needs, it’s important to peruse some of the best sling bags for travel to find that one that’s right for you.
KAVU Rope Sling Bag – Best for Style and Comfort
KAVU is a company built on the philosophy of adventure seeking and provides travelers with the goods they’ll need for the next escapade. The KAVU rope sling bag is both stylish, ergonomic and able to hold many of your travel items.
The material options include comfortable cotton canvas, polyester, and water-resistant polyester as well. No matter which material you choose, you’ll quickly appreciate the ergonomics. The teardrop design rests cozily on your back and an adjustable wrap contours the shoulders. Furthermore, it’s surprisingly spacious and has three exterior pockets.
What makes this bag stand out at first sight among the best travel sling bags would be the colorful designs, all 42 of them. There should be little worry about finding the best color and pattern to fit your personality. From dark colors like black oak and dark forest to the bright saffron, KAVU fits right in with adventure.
- Multiple fun designs
- External compartments
- Comfortable design
- Left side use may feel a little awkward
- Not the best fit for laptop transport
OutdoorMaster Packable Sling Bag – Best Lightweight Bag for Travel
This bag lets you carry along all your travel necessities with a lightweight design. With 12 liters of volume, it’s like your sling bag is barely there. Avoid feeling weighed down on your hike, trip to the mall and beyond. To top it off, the nylon bag is foldable, making your packing incredibly easy. It will fit nicely into a suitcase or purse until you’re ready to use it. You also get to choose from a variety of colors, adding some glamour to your escapades.
A final perk is that among the best sling bags for travel, this one is the most affordable. Lastly, there’s an anti-theft section where you can safely secure your valuables, such as your wallet and phone.
- Lightweight design
- Anti-theft design
- Not enough compartments for some users
- Less durable material
5.11 Tactical RUSH MOAB 10 Military Sling Bag – Best for Strenuous or Off-Grid Trekking
The Rush MOAB (Mobile Operation Attachment Bag) series bags take packing seriously and aren’t for the faint of heart. Rush MOAB 10 is suitable for military officials and ideal for travelers and outdoorsy types. The many outstanding features below earn it a top spot on the list of the best sling bags for travel.
This bag has a plethora of pockets, so many that we can’t imagine you’ll ever run out of space for your tools and trinkets. The material consists of 1050D nylon. Additionally, there’s tacky rubber to keep the bag in place while you’re wearing it. There are also Velcro strips attached to the back for nameplates, making sure your possessions aren’t lost in a mix-up.
Added perks you might not want to pass up are the scratch-free sunglasses pouch, easy grip handle and built-in hydration valve. It’s also easy to reposition, so you can wear it on your side or in front of you for easy access. These features are ideal for hikers and climbers. Furthermore, the weapon pocket may be handy for scaring off those mountain lions.
Even more, it’s one of the few bags available that’s made for both left and right-handed users. There are hidden straps on both sides, and you can choose to use the left or right one while the other stays tucked away. You may also find the extra strap, padding, and ventilation quite useful for the rugged outdoors.
The bag is only available in sandstone and black, but the comfort and safety features available clearly outweigh the need for style.
- Military grade
- Water resistant
- Suitable for lefties and righties
- Multiple compartments
- Not many style choices
- Shoulder comfort diminishes after long-term wear
MyGreen Canvas Cross Body Shoulder Sling Backpack – Best for Carrying a Laptop and Phone
This vintage messenger bag is both stylish and convenient, making it just as fitting for a camping trip as it is for a trip to the mall. It has durable canvas and leather on the outside and soft, luxurious material on the inside. Style-conscious users will also appreciate the color varieties, along with the leather and metal accents.
Though it’s not huge in size, it’s nonetheless quite spacious. The bag’s main compartment can hold items such as a 13-inch laptop, a mobile phone, snacks, wallets and much more. Customers found this bag to be much more spacious than it looks.
The magnetic pocket makes securing your items super easy and the mesh pocket with an elastic band secure your water bottles with ease. Furthermore, one feature that sets it apart among the best travel sling bags is it’s suited for both lefties and righties.
- Made for lefties and righties
- Stylish vintage design
- Contains multiple compartments
- Suitable for laptop transport
- Small size
- Straps may break over time
Altura Photo Sling Bag – Best for Photo Gear
What’s traveling without captured memories? If it’s important for you to document your travel experiences with a camera, then you need a safe way to carry and protect your tools. The main compartment is equipped with padded dividers to hold your standard zoom lens camera. The top compartment fits flash tools, extra lenses, and other accessories. There’s even an external tripod holder.
The padded sling adds comfort and rotates for easy front access to your bag. Mesh and zipper pockets also add comfort and protect your camera’s parts. Among the best sling bags for travel, this one is guaranteed to catch the photographer’s eye.
- Designed for photo gear
- Multiple padded compartments
- Comfortable sling
- There’s not much room for more than camera equipment.
Sling Bag FAQ
When considering the best sling bags for travel, there are a few attributes to think about. Some of those considerations include whether to use a sling or a backpack, tips for getting the best out of your sling bag and features to look out for in a sling bag.
The Difference Between Backpacks And Sling Bags
Backpacks are two-strap bags that are generally bulkier than sling bags, which have only one strap. The single strap makes sling bags easy to carry and shift position, making them popular among travelers.
Avoiding Back Pain Associated With Sling Bags
Sling bags are easy to carry have fewer straps and generally weigh less. However, the bulkiness and larger number of straps you’ll find on a backpack help to evenly distribute weight. This leads to less stress on the back. So, while sling bags are light, stylish and easy to transport, they could be the culprit for lower back pain.
Studies have found the correlation between sling bags, backpacks and back pain. Because of stress on muscles like the trapezius, lats, and spine, experts recommend two-strap bags for long-term use.
Therefore, to avoid the damage associated with sling bags, we recommend the following tips:
- Adjust the weight from one side to the other periodically or remove the bag periodically to avoid asymmetrical stress on the back and shoulders.
- Aim for thicker straps to prevent straps from cutting into your shoulder muscles.
- Try not to carry more than 10 percent of your body weight.
- Choose a smaller bag because the smaller the bag, the less likely you are to pack it with heavy items.
- Remove your bag from time to time or substitute with a backpack.
Specific Features To Consider
Features such as design, size, comfort, and materials can make the difference between a bag you pack for every trip and one you give away. Considering each feature will ensure you’re getting what you need in a bag as an individual, not the status quo.
Because sling bags have a tendency to shift weight unevenly, it’s important to find one that’s as comfortable as possible. Also, because we tend to wear them for hours at a time, the best travel sling bags are equipped with thick straps, padding, and an ergonomic design. Don’t let style or necessity distract you from choosing a bag that’s comfortable.
Among the best sling bags for travel are those that are designed to carry your favorite items with comfort. They are a combination of lightweight, comfort and durability and a built with enough space for your favorite cargo.
The best travel sling bags are compact and are easy to transport. For instance, they’re usually considered acceptable to take on board an airplane. Even so, sizes vary. Some can fit laptops, for instance, while others are just suitable for small items like phones, water bottles, and wallets.
Be sure that you choose a size that’s bigger than you actually think you’ll need, just in case.
Among the best sling bags for travel are those that are both affordable and expensive. The good news is that there’s no need to go beyond your means. There are plenty of affordable and high-quality sling bags out there. Don’t assume a high price equates to quality.
Sling bags are usually available in canvas, polyester, nylon, and leather. If you’re looking for a bag to take to school or on a shopping spree, then material materials may not be much of an issue. However, if you’re made for the outdoors, then a material like water-resistant nylon may be more suitable. Be sure to choose a material to fit the environment you anticipate to avoid damaging your bag and your goods.
Which Sling Bag Would we Choose?
If we had to choose one from the list of best sling bags for travel, we’d recommend the Tactical Rush MOAB. It’s almost impossible to find yourself lacking space for your travel items. Furthermore, it’s got a comfortable design and durability for harsh weather conditions and getting down and dirty.
However, if the price doesn’t sit well with you, we’d recommend the MyGreen Canvas sling bag. Like the MOAB, it’s made for both lefties and rights and has multiple compartments. It also has space for laptop transport, a feature not popular among the best sling bags for travel.