Gone are the days when wearing a backpack was automatically associated with an informal outfit. Times have changed and so did the uses and types of backpacks.
Nowadays, backpacks have become more of an accessory rather than a necessity and you can choose from a huge variety that can compliment even your most elegant outfit.
Single strap backpacks or sling bags, are smaller versions of messenger bags and were originally used by bike messengers and postmen. The reason behind that was that they needed to carry a relatively small amount of weight in a hands free manner for maximum mobility.
Smaller than traditional backpacks but larger than hand bags or fanny packs, sling backpacks are the perfect choice for city walks, one day trips, biking and different outdoor activities. The one strap design makes it easy to sling the bag from your back to front for accessibility, making it a great choice for those days when you feel like you’re always on the move.
Before choosing a sling backpack that works for you, it’s important to think about what you would like to prioritize: design, price, size or the practicality of it. Like traditional backpacks, some are more durable, smaller, larger and prioritize different features and knowing exactly what you are looking for will make the decision a lot easier.
Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger
Although single strap backpacks are not built to carry high amounts of weight like traditional ones do, the Maxpedition Kodiak Gear Slinger seems to be the exception to the rule. The Kodiak should be your number one choice if you plan on hauling a lot of stuff in the smallest one strap bag possible.
This backpack is one of the most durable single bag on the market right now and is optimized to meet rugged and urban conditions, making it great for hiking trips.
The backpack is designed to maximize utility when rotated towards front of the body so you can easily access your gear while sitting, standing or moving throughout your day. The backpack fits up to a 15.4” laptop, comes in four colors and has a concealed carry pocket that keeps your wallet safe and reachable.
NeatPack Versatile Canvas Sling Bag
If you’re looking for a sharp-looking, well made and elegant sling bag that doesn’t break the bank, you’ve found it.
The Versatile Canvas Bag it’s exactly that, versatile. It has plenty of compartments which helps you keep everything organized. Gadgets, books, water bottle, laptop and even your small items will have their own place.
It even has a small pocket with headphone cord access on the front strap which is perfect for keeping your cellphone or wallet.
It’s worth mentioning that the NeatPack backpacks come with 100% lifetime guarantee: all you have to do is register your new bag on their website.
Leaper Retro Messenger Bag
The Leaper Retro Messenger bag has that classy messenger bag look we’ve talked about earlier and it’s one of those backpacks that can complement even your most elegant outfit.
Made of soft and durable washed canvas, this bag is not a large backpack that can carry a lot of weight like the Kodiak, but it’s the perfect size for a day trip, college or for the office.
The backpack comes in a variety of colors and has a vintage look. It has multiple pockets so you can easily organize reach your items without making a fuss. This is a great choice for a daypack when all you need to carry is some light stuff, maybe a set of clothes or your iPad.
The backpack is not waterproof so we do not recommend to use it for demanding outdoor activities.
SEEU Plus Oversized Sling Backpack
Another great sling backpack that’s perfect for traveling or longer trips is the Plus Oversized Sling Backpack. Although this is not an oversized bag as its name suggests, it can carry more than just a tablet and a few books.
The bag has a 28L capacity and has tons of space to store everything you need for the day, and then a little more. The functional design makes it a perfect choice for traveling and customers reported great feedback. The bag fits easily beneath seats on the airplane and in bins of security checks and the over shoulder design does not get tiresome when carried for longer periods of time.
The backpack comes in four colors and at a very good price. We recommend it for longer trips, commuting and other daily activities.
OutdoorMaster Sling Bag
One of our favorite single strap backpack is the Sling Bag from OutdoorMaster.
Although very tiny and minimalist looking, this backpack somehow has room for all your essentials: camera, tablet, small laptop, whatever you need.
It’s made of lightweight, sturdy material, it’s waterproof and has reversible shoulder straps direction, which is a great feature that not all sling backpacks have. This means it’s the perfect pack for both lefties and righties and, as a leftie, I can assure you it’s a big plus.
The OutdoorMaster always have the outdoors in mind when designing their backpacks, so you don’t have to worry about the durability of their products.
KAVU Rope Sling Bag
Another small and minimalist looking sling backpack is the KAVU Rope Sling Bag. This backpack comes in one size and all the possible colors you can think of.
With only 3 pockets, this backpack has a very simple design and it’s the perfect choice for those who know exactly what they need to carry and don’t need room for anything extra.
The two vertical interior zip compartments are perfect for books, bottles or cameras, while the internal zipper is better suited for keys or smaller accessories.
The bag is made of 100% polyester and we recommend washing it by hand.
G4Free Outdoor Tactical Backpack
We consider the G4Free Outdoor Tactical Backpack the mini version of the first backpack on our list, the Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger.
With a similar design and also extremely durable, this backpack is perfect for hiking trips and outdoor activities. The backpack has multiple internal pockets and three external compartments, helping you keep everything organized.
This small tactical backpack is very popular because it can be used for a lot of outdoor and indoor activities, camping, hiking, hunting, school and much more.
Everest Sling Bag
Despite its pretentious name, the Everest Sling Bag is by no means suitable for hiking the Everest.
Like the previously mentioned small bag, KAVU Rope Sling Bag, this is a small single strap backpack perfect for those who know exactly what they need.
Incredibly comfortable to wear and available in a variety of colors, the Everest Sling Bag is the perfect choice for a day trip around Disneyland or your favorite park.
Red Rock Outdoor Gear
The Rover Sling Pack from the Red Rock Outdoor Gear is ready to rock your world. The brand is known for its quality outdoor products and its reasonable prices and it’s safe to assume that this is a backpack that will last for ages.
With a large master compartment and two external pouches for quick access to items, this sling pack is perfect for most outdoor activities you can think of. Another great feature is the ambidextrous strap which we already discussed and love it.
This model comes in different sizes so make sure to pick the right one for your needs.
MOSISO Sling Backpack
The last single strap backpack on our list is a more feminine one. The Mosiso Sling multipurpose backpack has a feminine and elegant touch to it and comes in a lot of colors and prints.
Made of durable, water repellent polyester and with breathable shaped padded shoulder straps, we recommend wearing it as a day pack for those days when you want a fancier look but still want to feel comfortable.