Carry in Comfort: Top Sling Bag Picks for Every Occasion

The sling bag is an incredibly adaptable accessory, welcoming individual styles and needs. Whether you want a sleek messenger-inspired crossbody for hiking, a fanny pack for your bare essentials while traveling or a modern sling that carries your everyday electronics and accessories, the right bag can make a big difference. But with so many options, how do you choose the best sling bag picks for your specific needs? To help, we’ve rounded up our top picks for the ideal sling bag for different situations.

For the minimalist traveler who prioritizes a sleek and lightweight companion, WANDRD’s D1 sling bag is the perfect choice. Its compact, cleanly-styled design holds your daily necessities and gear in a range of interior pockets and features enough room for a small camera if desired. The bag also features a range of rugged construction elements, including coated 840D Jr. and 1680D ballistic nylon, YKK water-resistant zippers and a magnetic Fidlock strap buckle. It’s built to handle the weather and other harsh conditions.

While a small sling, the Day Sling 3 offers all the capabilities of larger bags at a much more affordable price. Its compact design is sized to fit an 11-inch laptop or tablet and offers plenty of internal storage space for other gadgets, chargers, and other accessories. Its Dyecoshell exterior is abrasion-resistant and waterproof, while the scratch-free front pocket and multiple internal organizational pockets keep your items organized. And its ambidextrous design makes it comfortable for both righty and lefty wearers to carry.

The Tensile Sling is one of the most durable sling bags you can get. This sling bag is a favorite among NYC’s hardworking bike messengers, and it’s designed to hold the gear of a busy traveler or hiker on a tight schedule. A large zippered main compartment and a host of thoughtful organization features offer ample capacity for a full trip. Its expandable gusset is a nice touch, allowing the bag to grow or shrink as your needs change.

Lastly, a dedicated water bottle pocket and reflective treatment offer peace of mind on nocturnal adventures. Its structured build provides excellent protection for your gear, but some travelers might find it bulkier than ultra-minimalist sling options.

If tactical-style sling bags aren’t your thing, turn to AER’s City Sling 2 X-Pac instead. This sling bag is designed as an urban EDC companion, with room for an 11-inch laptop or tablet and plenty of organization features. The sling features an urban aesthetic that blends in with city life, but it’s tough enough to get you through the roughest commutes and adventures. Its weatherproofing and YKK Aquaguard zippers help protect your electronics from the elements, while the MOLLE webbing on the sides allows you to customize it with additional attachments and gear for any situation.