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Top Sling packs and one strap backpacks Reviews and Buyer's Guide

Last updated July 2, 2019

There are quite a few sling packs available, so it's probably no secret that not all of them are great quality bags.

It's therefore super important that you spend some time comparing the different options, so you can make sure you buy a quality pack.

The Best Sling Pack/One Strap Backpack

Having checked thousands of sling pack/one strap backpack reviews, we can say that the Incase Reform is the best choice for most people.

The Incase Reform got a rating of 4.47 out of 5, while the average rating in the list below is just 3.87.

Incase Reform
This is the best reviewed sling pack/one strap backpack.
How we rate the bags

We have checked 5,940 sling pack/one strap backpack reviews, so we can show you the weighted average rating of all the bags.

Using the average ratings, you can check what all the reviewers think instead of just viewing the subjective opinion of one specific reviewer.

It's much simplier to find the best bags that way.

Also Great

If the Incase Reform isn't your style, you might also consider the Vertx Commuter.

The Commuter is a close runner-up with a rating of 4.33 out of 5, but it's often more expensive than the Reform.

Vertx Commuter
The second-best reviewed sling pack/one strap backpack.
Finally, you might consider the Orvis Safe Passage.

The Safe Passage is the third-best rated sling pack/one strap backpack with a rating of 4.25.

Orvis Safe Passage
The third-best reviewed sling pack/one strap backpack.
Below is the list of all top 11 best sling packs and one strap backpacks. Great if none of the three bags above are your style.

The 11 Best Sling Packs And One Strap Backpacks

PS: We have checked 5,940 reviews to make this top 11 list!

RankSling Pack/One Strap BackpackRating
1Incase ReformIncase Reform
Available on Amazon
Check Deals
172 reviews
2Vertx CommuterVertx Commuter
Available on Amazon
Check Deals
139 reviews
3Orvis Safe PassageOrvis Safe Passage
Available on Amazon
Check Deals
100 reviews
4LowePro SlingshotLowePro Slingshot
2,802 reviews
5Hazard 4 EVACHazard 4 EVAC
605 reviews
6Tenzing TXTenzing TX
34 reviews
7Eagles Nest KangaEagles Nest Kanga
31 reviews
8Tamrac EvolutionTamrac Evolution
310 reviews
9Eagles Nest Possum PocketEagles Nest Possum Pocket
84 reviews
103V Gear Outlaw3V Gear Outlaw
1,336 reviews
11Fox Outdoor Tactical DutyFox Outdoor Tactical Duty
300 reviews

Buyers Guide to Sling Packs And One Strap Backpacks

[toc] If you are looking for an easy and secure way to carry around your belongings, a sling backpack is just what you need. Whether you want to keep important items safe with you or just want a bag for errands, this type of bag is for you. While these bags are rather popular, it can be difficult to find a guide to help you out when you want to choose the right one.

This is why we decided to compile a list of the important points ourselves. Here, you will find all of the elements that you will need to look for in a sling backpack. This way, you will not go wrong with your choice.

What to Consider When Deciding on a Sling Backpack

At first glance, a sling backpack can look rather simplistic and appear to serve just one purpose. However, this is not the extent of what this type of backpack can do for you. If you don’t understand all of the features and specifics of this backpack, you will not know how to make the right decision for you. In this article, you will be able to find all of the information that you require to make the best choice.

Sling Backpacks, Backpacks, and Crossbody Bags – What’s the Difference?

There are quite a few types of bags and backpacks available on the market. So, when a handful have similar names or features, it is quite easy to get confused about the function that each of them serve. So, the first thing that we shall look at is how a sling pack differs from a backpack and a crossbody bag – its closest cousins.

Now, a lot of sling backpacks look like the traditional school packs that you are used to carrying. The main variation here is that a typical backpack has two shoulder straps while the sling backpack has just one long interconnecting one. While both are worn on your back, the sling backpack is worn over just one shoulder.

The real confusion arises between sling backpacks and crossbody bags or backpacks. This is because the terms are often used interchangeably. The most obvious difference between these two bags is that the crossbody often hangs loose, near your hips. The sling backpack, on the other hand, is secured against your back.

Is a Sling Backpack Right for You?

The next point to ponder is whether or not a sling bag is right for you. Now, this type of backpack has numerous uses but it is not ideal for every situation. So, you will need to determine if it is right for what you have in mind.

The main advantages associated with sling backpacks is that they are easy and comfortable to carry. This is a backpack that you can carry for long periods of time without feeling the weight of it. Also, there are enough of sizes available to make sure that you can carry as much as you need to.

They also allow you to be more careful with your belongings, particularly when you are traveling through crowds or using public transportation. You can easily adjust the bag so that it is sitting on your chest rather than your back. This also means that you have easy access to your belongings at all times.

Of course, the design of the sling backpack limits just how much you can carry as weight. So, if you want to lug around a heavy load, this isn’t the bag for you. After only a short period of time, you are sure to feel the entire weight of your bag on your back.

Types of Sling Backpacks

There are several types of sling backpacks to choose from:
  • Urban Sling Backpacks: a great deal of sling bags fall under the umbrella of this category. These backpacks are lightweight, have a chic design, but also have plenty of storage options for various situations – school, work, errands, etc.

  • Sports Sling Backpacks: these sling bags are actually designed to take slightly heavier loads, such as small pieces of gear, etc. They are also quite comfortable to carry as the design has compensated for the additional weight that you may be carrying.

  • Heavy Duty Sling Backpacks: these backpacks are made from incredibly strong and durable materials. They are meant for more rugged terrain or use and are more likely to last for longer.

  • Photography Sling Backpacks: these backpacks have special compartments for your photography gear, allowing you to safely store it.


As mentioned, sling backpacks aren’t all that big. This is why they are typically referred to in sizes (XS, M, L, and XL) rather than liters. Still, for the purpose of clarification, here are some of the sizes that you can come across:
  • XS – S: these bags are all about carrying the bare minimum. There are incredibly lightweight and typically are enough for keys, phone, wallet, and maybe a book.

  • M – L: most sports and urban sling backpacks are available in these sizes. These can carry sports gear, laptops, tablets, and similarly sized objects.

  • XL: bags of this size are used for shopping or even short trips. Due to how much weight they can carry, they are typically quite strong and durable as well.


Now, to move onto what these sling backpacks are made of. The most common materials that you will come across are polyester and nylon. The bags made from polyester are often quite light and they offer a certain amount of durability.

If you are planning on putting your sling backpack through the works, though, nylon may stand up better to use. In particular, ripstop nylon will work best for most hardwearing backpacks. This material is abrasion resistant and will prevent tears from spreading throughout.

If you will be carrying digital devices or cameras in your backpack, then you will need to protect these from moisture and rain. Here, you will need to look for water resistant bags as they aren’t really any sling backpacks that are truly waterproof. Either nylon or polyester that has been covered with substances that have been labeled as being durable water repellent or DWR will do.

Suspension System

It is important to pay attention to the suspension or carrying system on the sling bag as there is just one strap involved. This one strap will need to distribute the weight of the backpack as evenly as possible. So, you should look for a strap that is slightly wider. Now, there aren’t really sling backpacks specifically for men or for women. However, if you are a woman with narrow shoulders, you should look for a strap that has a width that fits your width.

The strap should be well padded so that the weight is easier to bear. It should also have an adjustable feature. This will ensure that the backpack will fit securely to your back and will not move around as you walk.

You should also check that you can switch sides while wearing the backpack. Ideally, you should be able to wear this backpack over either shoulder comfortably.

Storage Features

Now, the storage features that you will require depends on how you will be using the bag. If you just need a bag to take with you while you go shopping or run errands, you aren’t going to require a lot of organization. Here, you will not need more than a few internal and external pockets.

On the other hand, if you are looking to keep laptops, tablets, or documents in your backpack, then you may want to consider several compartments. It will help if the backpack has sleeves that are specially fitted for a laptop or tablet. This way, your digital device will be kept secure as you walk around.

If you will be storing a camera and accessories, then you will need structured compartments or pockets. These will keep all of the parts and pieces in one place so that they will not get damaged while you are in transit.

Additional Features

Here are a few other features that you should think about:


Are you looking for a quick and easy way to store your backpack or carry it while it is not in use? If so, you may want to search for a packable sling backpack. These fold into themselves or can be folded and placed in an external bag. This feature makes this a great go-to bag while exploring or if you need an emergency bag.


It can be quite helpful to have a backpack that has hydration features. A sling backpack can have one of two hydration elements. The first is a simple mesh pocket on the outside, one which can fit bottles of most widths and heights. The other is a pouch that can store a hydration reservoir and that has a drink tube of sorts attached to it.

External Loops

These are quite often found on heavy duty or tactical sling backpacks. Since most sling bags are quite compact and don’t have much internal capacity, you have to look to the exterior to carry larger pieces of gear. If this is something that you require, you should look for lashings and loops on the outside where you can attach these items to.

Best Way to Carry a Sling Backpack

It is important that you know the best way to pack and carry a sling backpack. This is how you will be able to shoulder one for longer. The first thing to remember is that you should avoid putting more in the bag than is strictly necessary. This means not putting more than a few pounds in your bag, even if there is room for more. Now, when you do pack this type of bag, you should make it a point to place the heavier items on the bottom. This suits the curve of your back better.

The reason that it is a good idea to consider a backpack that has a switchable strap is because it is vital that you switch shoulders. This is particularly true if you will be carrying the bag for a long time. By switching sides, you will be able to avoid putting too much strain on one shoulder.

There you have it, all of the points that you need to consider before you go ahead and buy yourself a sling backpack.

1 More Sling Packs And One Strap Backpacks

Classic sling packs and one strap backpacks and models that haven't yet got enough reviews to be ranked.

RankSling Pack/One Strap BackpackRating
1Vanquest JavelinVanquest Javelin
27 reviews

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Last updated on July 02, 2019