Sling bags, along with their cousin the bum bag (or fanny pack for our US readers) have slowly but surely become a part of everyday carry culture. With the bare essential items for any outdoor trip being a smartphone, a portable charger, and a wallet, we no longer need a large backpack to facilitate our everyday needs.
What was once a hit in the 90s died a tragic death in the early noughties, but now they are back in a big way. Not only do they provide a genuine functional purpose, but sling bag designers are able to inject their own stylish flair into their respective models, providing you with an extra accessory through which to show off your personality.
The rise in popularity of the sling bag – and their adoption by men – has also meant more and more manufacturers are jumping on board the bandwagon, giving you even greater choice. That does, however, make your task of finding the best sling bags that little bit trickier, but not to fear, we’ve got you covered with this definitive list.
Sling Bag FAQs
How do I carry a sling bag?
You just slip it over one shoulder and wear it across your back.
Are sling bags comfortable?
Sling bags are extremely comfortable as they don’t put as much pressure on your back when compared to a backpack. If you get a sling bag with a padded strap, your neck and shoulders will be extra comfortable too.
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If you’re after a stylish yet high-quality sling bag to carry all your daily essentials in, look no further as we’ve rounded up the best sling bags for men available.
The company's Sling is one of the best on the market. Available in numerous colours, some of which comprise recycled materials, the Sling has two compartments: one large and one smaller, but its ingenuity comes in the form of an expandable design. You can easily compress the bag down to a smaller size when it doesn't have much in it, simply by adjusting the shoulder strap. Clever.
The ReNew Transit Bag is made from 100% recycled polyester and provides ample storage for your everyday essentials. Available in a triage of colours, Everlane provides an inexpensive avenue into the world of sling bags.
The Everyday Sling is testament to that, coming in three size options, all of which will hold a camera, and the two larger models even have space for your tablet. Peak Design's proprietary strap technology is out in full force, which allows for quick and easy adjustments and 400D outer shell makes the Everyday Sling completely weatherproof.
Herschel Supply Co.
The Seventeen Hip Pack may be called a hip back, but its strap can just easily be worn over the shoulder, transforming it into a sling. Available in a wide range of colours and offering up 3.5-litres of internal storage, the Seventeen offers just the right amount of space for the bare essentials and keeps them close in a stylish package.
The company's Box Bag is unequivocally Danish in its design and oh so chic, but it has substance too. Naturally, it's made from Rains' waterproof fabric – the zipper is waterproof too – and sports one main 2.5L compartment.
Their range of sling bags is rather understated by Hugo Boss standards. Part of the Hugo collection and made with a nylon twill fabric, Hugo Boss' sling bags will easily hold your essentials in minimalistic style.
As for sling bags, however, Horizn Studios offers the Gion Cross-Body M. An 'S' version is also available, but we're not entirely sure what you could realistically fit in it. The M, however, is a much better option. Available in four colours and is made from vegan tarpaulin material which is both waterproof and designed to retain its shape no matter how old it gets.
Big enough to fit an iPad Mini and with extra padding for added comfort, the Gion Cross-Body M is a premium, over-the-shoulder companion.
This super stylish hip sling bag can go over your shoulder and is kitted out with plenty of padding an linings for comfort and to keep your gear scratch-free.
The Full Moon Hip Pack can be worn around your waist or over your shoulder, and in a similar vein to Bellroy's Sling, Mystery Ranch's bag has dual compression straps to minimise the size wherever possible. You get one large compartment with its own smaller internal pocket, as well as a large exterior pocket on the front. It can hold pretty much anything you want, is available in a great choice of colours, and is incredibly affordable. Sign us up.
The Panama Sliding Strap Crossbody Bag is made from the company's iconic Panama crossgrain leather – a Smythson stalwart since 1908 – and can be worn either landscape or portrait. One main compartment gives way to three further internal pockets, while on the exterior you'll find two more zipped pockets, providing plenty of storage space. It is further lined in smooth calf leather.
Adidas' small range of sling bags can be worn either around the waist or over the shoulder. With multiple colours on offer, an Adidas sling bag will hold your phone, wallet, sunglasses, and keys in style.
This Tech hip pack can be worn in multiple orientations and rocks three zipped compartments, one of which includes a dedicated loop for attaching your keys. The woven fabric is designed to be far more durable than your run-of-the-mill polyester, while the chunky zips and pull-tabs make opening and closing compartments a breeze. Certainly on the larger side of sling bags, resembling a small, single-strap backpack, Nike's sling bag should provide all the space you could need.
Timbuk2 prides itself on its bag design, offering as much usable space from bags that are as compact as possible, and a prime example is the Vapor sling crossbody bag. Made from a recycled nylon for added durability and serving up four separate zipped pockets, including a soft, tricot-lined pocket for sunglasses, a large main section that will happily gobble up a tablet, and a front pocket that is perfectly placed to take your keys and other quick-access essentials.
The Mantis Waist Pack comes in two sizes, both on the smaller side of sling bags, so while it may not necessarily be suitable for a particularly tough hike, it's the perfect accompaniment for inner-city explorers. With prime spots to put your phone, any form of transit pass, or other small items that you need quick access to, Arc'teryx's sling bags are also extremely sophisticated looking.