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.
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.
Price: From $75
Origin: Melbourne, Australia
No list of best sling bags would be complete without Bellroy. The Australian bag maker extraordinaire consistently produces bags of high quality and with ingenious design features.
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.
Price: From $45
Origin: San Francisco, California
One of our absolute favourite brands here at DMARGE is Everlane. The direct-to-consumer retailer regularly drops incredibly well-made pieces that are even more incredibly priced. The majority of Everlane’s collections are made from recycled materials, and you can even see how the company landed on the price.
The ReNew Transit Bag is made from 100% recycled polyester and provides ample storage for your everyday essentials. Available in multiple colours, Everlane provides an inexpensive avenue into the world of sling bags.
Price: From $89
Origin: San Francisco, California
Also high up on the list of incredible bag designers is Peak Design. The American brand has an extensive range of everyday, travel, and camera bags that are all designed to make your life as easy as possible when out and about.
The Everyday Sling is a 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.
Price: From $25
Origin: Vancouver, Canada
Hipster’s favourite Herschel Supply Co. is a force to be reckoned with in the bag industry. The Canadian company recorded stratospheric success soon after it was founded in 2009, thanks to well-designed and well-made bags that were – and are – suitable for any purpose.
The Seventeen Hip Pack may be called a hip pack, 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.
Price: From $60
Origin: Aarhus, Denmark
Scandinavian supplier of weatherproof outerwear and bags, Rains has quickly occupied a unique space in the market and is now renowned for their simple yet stylish waterproof products.
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.
Price: From $90
Origin: Metzingen, Germany
For designer fashion without eye-watering price tags, Hugo Boss has you sorted. The German menswear master has always been one to push the boundaries of fashion and style, often serving up eclectically-designed pieces that make a surefire statement on the streets.
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.
Price: From $70
Origin: Berlin, Germany
Horizn Studios lives up to the claims of German efficiency. The Berlin-based company is rather adept at producing bags with real purpose, just check out their range of carry-on luggage and you’ll soon see what we mean.
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.
Price: From $30
Origin: Detroit, Michigan
Carhartt has always been known for its technical prowess, employing materials that are designed to withstand a great range of outdoor elements. The Work in Progress label takes that same philosophy and gives it a healthy dose of streetwear credibility.
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.
Price: From $75
Origin: Bozeman, Montana
Founded in Montana in 2000, Mystery Ranch came up with four guiding principles for all its products: function, comfort, quality, and durability. These qualities still ring true today, and the company has enjoyed much success, being the bag manufacturer of choice for emergency service teams and military personnel.
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.
Price: From $630
Origin: London, England
If it’s the ultimate in luxury and quality you’re looking for in a sling bag, you can’t get much better than Smythson. The British leather goods manufacturer has been kitting out customers with some of the absolute finest leather bags, wallets, and other everyday carry items since 1887; and even has Royal Warrants to be the official supplier of stationary equipment to the Queen of England.
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.
Price: From $28
Origin: Bavaria, Germany
For simple, affordable sling bags, you can always turn to the sportswear brands. Often favoured by school kids or gym-fanatics, sportswear brands such as Adidas can always be relied upon for all your bag essentials.
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.
Keeping with the sportswear theme but offering a little more in terms of brand appeal and usefulness is Nike. The US brand is always looking for areas within which to innovate or use effective materials, and that extends to its bag selection.
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.
Price: From $39
Origin: San Francisco, California
Timbuk2 has been a driving force in bags of all shapes and sizes since its founding in 1989, and is one of the pioneers of the now-ubiquitous messenger bag. Today, the company produces custom-order bags in its San Francisco workshop, but also offers an extensive range of ready-to-use bags.
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.
Price: From $40
Origin: North Vancouver B.C., Canada
If there’s one company that understands the great outdoors and the gear you need to survive any situation, it’s Arc’teryx. The Canadian outdoor gear specialist is no stranger to mountainous regions, multi-day hikes and climbing, and so develops a range of products built to withstand whatever may come their way, while serving a purpose in the process.
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 a transit pass, or other small items that you need quick access to, Arc’teryx’s sling bags are also extremely sophisticated looking.