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What’s the best sling bag for men you can buy?

How to choose the best bag for your needs?

Not all slings bags are the same. There are versatile bags which can be worn both as a crossbody, and as a sling bag. There are small minimalist sling bags with just a couple of pockets, and there are also spacious hiking sling backpacks and functional EDC sling bags. The choice is so wide, you may feel overwhelmed with all the options. Different styles, materials, features, color choices and, of course, price categories.

It’s very important to understand your needs first.

Only then you will be able to find the best sling pack for yourself.

Read on to find out what are the best mens’ sling bags available on the market.

Best Sling Bag for Men: Our Favorite

OutdoorMaster Sling Bag

Capacity: 12 Liters

Dimensions: 17.7″ x 11.8″ x 4″ (45 x 30 x 10.2 cm)

Pockets: Main compartment, 2 front pockets, side mesh pocket, secure back panel pocket, strap pocket

Material: Nylon

Available colors: 5+

What are the best ladies sling bags? Check out our guide to the best sling bags for women!

Headphones on a red bag
Image by JayMantri from Pixabay

Top Sling Bags for Men: Reviews

1. OutdoorMaster Sling Backpack

A classy and functional top rated sling bag.

Overall the best sling bag for men who love organization and classy design.

This 12 L sling bag is multi-purpose — take it on a trip, use it as an everyday bag, as a daypack for short hikes or outings to the city, or as a pack for a day in Disneyland. Can be worn on the chest, shoulder or as a crossbody bag. Due to the low price, good quality and versatility, the OutdoorMaster sling bag is one of the coolest sling bags you can buy online.

Not only the OutdoorMaster bag has several compartments and pockets, it also features a couple of useful features.

You’ve got:

  • Main compartment — which can hold a small laptop or a tablet computer of up to 12”;
  • Front compartment;
  • Smaller zippered front pocket;
  • Side mesh pocket with a drawstring;
  • Secure anti-theft pocket on the side of the back panel;
  • Strap pocket.

This sling bag features a reversible shoulder strap with a hook and loop closure. The shoulder strap is made of breathable mesh material, just like the bag’s back panel.

Dimensions: 17.7″ x 11.8″ x 4″ (45 x 30 x 10.2 cm).

2. Patagonia Atom Sling Bag

A sporty-looking sling bag with breathable mesh padding on the back panel.

The 8 liter Patagonia Atom is the best mens sling bag for travel and EDC.

Made of recycled 630D Nylon fabric, this sling bag features an ergonomic design. Its asymmetrical harness carries the bag close to your body for all-day comfort. The sling bag also has a good padding on its back panel, similar to that of a quality EDC backpack. The padded back panel has little channels that give you more breathability that other sling bags on this list. The shoulder strap also has a nice mesh padding.

The Patagonia Atom have only a couple of pockets. There’s just a main compartment, front zippered pocket and an expandable zippered pocket on the shoulder strap. There’s also a sleeve with soft padding in the main compartment where you can put your tablet – a really cool feature.

On the outside of the sling bag, there are two adjustable straps with buckles. Use these to attach your wet rain jacket to the outside of the bag. If you don’t want to use them at all, these straps can be tucked away behind the front panel. The shoulder strap features a couple of attachment points for carabiners and other accessories.

The outer material of the Atom sling bag is coated (PU), making it water resistant.

Dimensions: 17″ x 10″ x 3″ (43.2 x 25.4 x 7.6 cm)

3. Nicgid Sling Bag

A compact and lightweight EDC sling bag with many pockets.

Made of quality water-resistant and rip-resistant nylon, the Nicgid sling bag will hold up well, as well as keep your things dry during a light rain. This sling bag is versatile — it can be worn on the front or back of body. You can use it both as chest pack and shoulder bag. Not only it’s perfect for EDC carry, but also for festivals, theme parks and as a day bag during a trip.

What we like the most about the Nicgid sling bag is that it has so many pockets which will keep your things organized!

You’ve got:

  • Main zippered compartment with 1 interior slip pocket and 1 zippered pocket;
  • 2 front zippered pockets on the bottom of the bag;
  • 2 front zippered pocket on the top of the bag;
  • 1 back zippered hidden pocket.

As the sling bag is quite small, it will be perfect for smaller frames.

Dimensions: 14.5″ x 7.1″ x 0.8″ (36.8 x 18 x 2 cm).

4. Leaper Retro Messenger Sling Bag

A classy-looking canvas sling bag with plenty of pockets.

This backpack is roomy! What we like the most about the Leaper sling bag is the amount of pockets it has. It has a roomy main compartment with an unpadded sleeve for a small laptop or tablet and multiple inner pockets. There’s a zippered pocket on the flap and two larger pocket under the flap. The exterior of the bag also features a side pocket. The flap has a snap button closure which will hold it in place.

The Leaper sling bag is made of canvas and feature a PU leather elements.

The bag features a top grab handle and an adjustable shoulder strap.

Available in two sizes: large and medium.

Dimensions (Medium): 12.4″ x 9.4″ x 3.4″ (31.5 x 24 x 8.6 cm);

Dimensions (Large): 13.6″ x 10.2″ x 4.4″ (34.5 x 26 x 11.2 cm).

5. OZUKO Anti-Theft Sling Backpack

A cheap sling bag with anti-theft features.

The OZUKO anti-theft sling bag features a unique design and multiple useful features. The exterior of the bag is quite hard (not a 100% hard shell, though) and looks like a tortoise shell. However, what we like the most about this sling bag is its safety features.

The sling bag boasts multiple cool features:

  • Main compartment with lockable zippers (via built-in zipper lock with a passcode);
  • Hidden anti-theft pocket on the back of the sling bag;
  • Hidden pocket for cards and money on the shoulder strap;
  • External USB port (power bank is not included).

The OZUKO sling bag also features a few pockets and compartments.

You’ve got:

  • Side pocket with a vertical zipper;
  • Secure, hidden pocket on the back panel;
  • Hidden pocket for cards and money on the shoulder strap;
  • Roomy main compartment with multiple interior pockets.

Featuring an ergonomic design and adjustable strap to perfectly fit your body, this inexpensive sling bag will feel comfortable on your back or chest. The back panel as well as the shoulder strap are well padded and are lined with moisture-wicking material. One end of the shoulder strap is detachable. It can be attached to either of the D rings at the bottom of the sling bag, depending on what shoulder you prefer to carry the sling bag.

The OZUKO sling bag is made of high-density oxford fabric.

Thanks to the latter the bag is water and wear-resistant.

Dimensions: 13.4” x 6.7” x 3.2” (34 x 17 x 8 cm).

6. Champion Life Stealth Sling Backpack

A slim and compact sling bag, left and right shoulder compatible.

One the best sling bags for men who are looking for a quality product. Made of durable polyester, the Champion Life Stealth sling bag will last long and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

The Champion Life Stealth is compact yet it has a surprising amount of room for all your essentials, and even more! The sling bag can even hold a small laptop (like a 12″ MacBook) with its charger with some room to spare. There are several pockets and compartments which will keep all your stuff neatly organized. You’ve got the main compartment with a dual zip-around closure and another, smaller compartment, also with a dual zip-around closure. Interior of the bag features slip and zip pockets.

There’s a pocket with flap closure and zipper pocket at the front of the sling bag.

The sling bag features a top carry handle and an adjustable single crossbody strap.

One end of the shoulder strap is detachable. It can be attached to either of the D rings at the bottom of the sling bag, depending on what shoulder you prefer to carry the sling bag.

Dimensions: approx. 14″ x 7″ x 4.25″ (35.6 x 17.8 x 10.8 cm).

7. OSOCE Crossbody Shoulder Sling Bag

An inexpensive and versatile small sling bag.

Overall the best sling backpack for teenagers (it’s cheap).

Due to its slim build, compact size and durable material the OSOCE is a perfect everyday bag both for men and women. You can wear it as a crossbody, sling bag or a side bag. Pack it in your suitcase and use it later, already at your destination. Or, use this sling as a personal item on a plane. It’s compact but it will hold all your essentials.

The OSOCE sling bag is made of water-resistant material which will keep your things dry during a light rain. Note that the bag isn’t waterproof, and it will get wet in a downpour.

The OSOCE sling purse features a main compartment and two zippered front pockets, as well as a phone pocket with a snap button closure. There is a quick release buckle which makes it easy to take the bag off.

The bag comes in two styles — with hidden front pockets or more visible front pockets.

Dimensions: 12.5″ x 7.5″ x 1.5″ (31.8 x 19 x 3.8 cm).

Waterfly Mini sling bag
Waterfly Mini Black Sling Bag

What is a Sling Bag?

A sling bag is a compact bag resembling a fanny pack (British — bum bag).

In fact, design of sling bags is inspired from fanny pack design.

There are smaller and larger, less compact sling bags. There are sling bags that can hold a laptop, and there are sling bags that can hold only essentials.

Main Uses of Sling Bags

Good sling bags are versatile and can be used for anything from an overnight bag, an EDC bag, a beach bag, and more.

But the most popular uses of sling bags are:

  • ‘Everyday carry’ (EDC) bag;
  • Commute bag;
  • Daypack for short hikes;
  • As a daypack for travel;
  • As a personal item or carry on.

Remember that sling bags are not as ergonomic as backpacks. If you plan to carry heavier loads, consider buying a backpack.

If you are a professional who carries a lot of gadgets, consider buying a special laptop bag which will provide a better padding for all your electronics.

Are Sling Bags Comfortable?

Yes and no.

It depends on what you’re planning to use it for and how much you usually carry.

While sling bags are way more comfortable than tote bags and crossbody bags, they are not as comfortable as quality everyday backpacks.

Sling bags are sturdier and offer more padding than handbags. Sling bags are designed so that they stay close to your body, not flapping around, as messenger bags and crossbody bags tend to do.

Sling bags are not as bulky as backpacks. Less bulk, but also less storage space and pockets. This means, a sling bag is a great option when you want to carry quite a lot of stuff, but not as much as you would in a backpack.

If you are planning to carry a lot of gadgets, a laptop backpack would be a safer choice. They are more ergonomic and offer more padding for electronic devices.

While sling bags are great for travel, they can’t be used as the main baggage.

They lack space, proper padding and comfort.

Sling bags are great for summer, as there is only one shoulder strap and they’re smaller. Less contact with your body means more ventilation and less sweat.

Compartments of a sling bag - Best sling bag for men 2021
Compartments of the Waterfly Messenger sling bag

What to Look for in a Sling Bag When Buying One?

Looking for a new sling backpack? Not sure if you even want a sling bag?

It depends on what you’re planning to use it for.

Size

Just like with other bag types, there are larger and smaller sling bags.

The largest sling bags are great not only for your everyday essentials, but also for a commute as they can hold a tablet computer or even a small laptop.

The smallest, however, are roomy enough to hold a a couple of paperbacks, a smartphone, wallet, pack of Kleenex, passport, notebook, cables and a water bottle.

Still quite a lot of stuff, isn’t it?

Material

The most popular fabrics for sling bags are: nylon, polyester, canvas and leather.

More durable bags may be made out of polyester, leather and sturdier type of canvas.

If you are living somewhere where rain is common, then we strongly suggest you to buy a sling bag that is made of water-resistant material. Usually sling bags made of polyester or nylon offer some protection from the rain.

However, this type of material doesn’t make the sling bag completely waterproof. This means that the sling bag can’t be submerged, and it will get soaked in a heavy rain.

Compartments and Pockets

If you love to keep your things organized, you absolutely have to buy a sling bag with multiple pockets and compartments. Majority of the popular sling bags have multiple pockets and compartments, so it won’t be a problem to find a bag that is good for organization.

A sling bag with multiple pockets and compartments is ideal for commute, college, travel and short hikes. If you are using a sling bag for any of these purposes, you’ll need some organization to keep everything tidy and easy to locate.

If you are looking for a minimalist sling bag, you still have plenty of options. These kind of bags are great for everyday use. A small, minimalist sling bag is more of an everyday bag for those who don’t like carrying a handbag or crossbody bag.

Style and Features

Not all sling bags are created equal. Some are fancier while others are more no-frills. There are designer sling bags, sporty sling bags, and there are inexpensive, very simple looking sling bags.

There are sling bags that are more classy looking than others. And there are sling bags that are really heavy on features.

The best sling bag for men will have some of these features (if not all of them):

  • Laptop sleeve (in most cases — unpadded, though);
  • Hidden zippered pocket / pockets;
  • Side pockets;
  • Phone pocket on shoulder strap;
  • Water resistant body (note — it doesn’t mean that it’s waterproof sling bag!);
  • Anatomically shaped single shoulder strap;
  • Interior organizer;
  • Earphone hole;
  • Reflective strap;
  • Key fob;
  • Detachable end of the shoulder strap.

If you are not sure, over which shoulder strap you would like to wear a sling bag, see if one end of the shoulder strap is detachable. In this case you will be able to attach it to either of the D rings at the bottom of the sling bag, depending on what shoulder you prefer to carry the sling bag.

Have you ever owned a sling bag? Do you prefer sling bags or backpacks? What is your favorite sling bag?

Featured image by Krisztina Papp from Pixabay

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