What are Sling Bags?

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  • Written By: R. Kayne
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 17 December 2019
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How many times have you slung a backpack over one shoulder? If this is a habit of yours, you might have noticed the tendency it has to slip down your arm. A sling bag is a hybrid pack designed to rest comfortably behind you, while allowing easy access by simply swinging it off your shoulder.

A sling bag resembles a triangular backpack with a single strap. The position of the curved, padded shoulder strap causes the bag to ride on the back without slipping forward. Best of all, sling bags are virtually the same size as backpacks, carrying everything you'll need for school, work or play. Convenient front and side pockets keep sunglasses, cell phone and audio player easily accessible. Many styles also include a mesh pocket for a bottle of water or your favorite refreshment.

Sling bags come in a wide variety of styles, from nylon and canvas to high-quality leather. While many sling bags are basically backpacks, others more closely resemble purses. If you will be carrying valuable items in your sling bag, you'll want to pick a style that provides some security by fully closing, important for any item worn on the back.


Sling bags have become so popular that one can even choose from designer sling bags. These range in price to well over US$100, but some provide very nice functionality along with luxurious style. Advanced features like zippered single straps that unzip into a double strap for optionally wearing the sling bag like a backpack, quick-release buckles and extra security features make these sling bags a great value.

Regardless of age, gender or need, there is a sling bag for everyone. While for many people the sling bag has replaced the daily backpack or purse, others reserve sling bags for visits to the gym, yoga class, day-beaching or other outings. Sling bags can be found everywhere backpacks are sold, and start at about US$20. Many online vendors feature sporty sling bags, designer sling bags and travel sling bags. If you've been carrying a large purse or backpack, you might consider the ease and convenience of a sling bag.


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