Various versions of sling backpacks have existed since prehistoric times when men were stone-gatherers. Their modern versions haven’t changed much, right down to their intent. Essentially, a sling backpack is a triangle-shaped bag with a single strap and can be worn on the shoulder or across the body. There are even some that can be worn across the waist! The one-strap design makes it easier to ‘sling’ the bag from the back to front for accessibility. So, they’re also known as mono shoulder sling bags. Today, sling backpacks for men have taken a turn for the better, especially in terms of ‘haute couture’ style and functionality.
Just like men today have choices for hiking backpacks and work backpacks, they are spoilt for choice when it comes to the nifty sling backpacks too. Notwithstanding the purpose for which they’re used, most of them today offer everything from organizational pockets to waterproof protection. Also, all this is done in what are non-heavy, non-bulky, and pared-down versions. As the world leans towards minimalism, so do these mono shoulder sling bags. As a result, these bags today are leaner, ergonomic, and lightweight to boot. So, it’s no wonder that these travel accessories are making waves in unisex fashion.
To all the boys out there, we say step out in style by checking out these 13 best sling backpacks for men. And for your ladies, take a look at our list of best sling backpacks for women as well.
How to choose great sling backpacks?
Volume and size
While volumes aren’t the most accurate way of judging sling backpacks, they’re the best-known benchmark yet. Most sling backpacks have capacities ranging from 5 to 30 liters. However since the goal is to stay light, your backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 8-10 liters or 4-5 lbs when stuffed with your belongings. Also, remember that sling backpacks that weigh too much even when empty are basically worthless.
Profile and shape
Sling backpacks have a sleek profile and a streamlined, oblong shape. Also, they’re designed to only hold bare essentials like tablets/e-readers, phones, wallets, travel documents, and sundry items like headphones. That being said, there are also wider sling backpacks that double up as hip/waist packs. It all depends on what you find more comfortable.
Material and durability
The best sling backpacks for men feature weather-resistant materials that avoid damaging your belongings. What’s more, weather-resistant backpacks can also be quickly wiped down and be done with. Most of the better ones are made up of materials like nylon, ballistic nylon that is tough, ripstop nylon that is tear-resistant, polyester, canvas, or leather. However, avoid leather sling backpacks as they can be absolute overkill on the weight and maintenance.
It’s also important to check the durability and build of the hardware, like zippers, buckles, and straps. Usually, zippers from SAB, RiRi, and YKK and those that are not too big or small in size are perfect. Zippers stamped with ‘RC’ indicate that they’re water-repellent. Similarly, ITW, Woojin, Ykk, and Duraflex buckles are the most durable in the market. When it comes to straps, they’re usually made of nylon webbing and are padded for carrying comfort. While straps are usually right-handed, there are bags that are designed for the left-handed users too.
Kavu Rope Sling Bag
The Kavu Rope Sling Bag is the perfect sling backpack for the innate adventurer in you. It is one of the best traditionally-designed sling backpacks for men. Moreover, it features a horde of 35 patterns and colors for men of all ages at any stage of their lives.
To begin with, the bag is constructed of tear-resistant, water-resistant 600D polyester. This makes the bag perfect for camping, rafting, hiking, and even exploring the city. What’s more, the impressive strap comprises four thick ropes bound together using canvas loops. Even then, the strap isn’t bulky at all. The backpack can be carried across the chest or over the shoulder easily due to the ergonomically-designed strap. What’s more, an easy-to-use buckle fastener is primed for a quick release.
Coming to its interiors, the Kavu Rope Sling Bag features two main pockets of which one is zippered and the other has a flap closure. Between them, they can carry all essential travel items, ranging from water bottles to small tablets. Besides this, small items like keys, wallets, and phones can be stashed in the two extra smaller, quick-grab pockets.
Weight: 0.75 lbs (0.3 kg)
Capacity: 10.8 liters
Dimensions: 15 x 12 x 3 inches (38.1 x 30.5 x 7.6 cm)
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- Good organization.
- Durable rope strap.
- Available in more than 30 colors and patterns.
Under Armour Compel Sling 2.0 Backpack
From Under Armour’s ‘Storm’ gear lineup comes the Compel Sling 2.0 Backpack. The rough-and-tough sling backpack offers the same water-resistance and durability as their famous running gear.
Built from 100% polyester, the backpack features a DWR finish that is as breathable and airy as it is water-repelling. The bag can easily hold up to 16 liters worth of stuff, which is a lot for a sling backpack. On the inside, the Compel Sling 2.0 features a soft-lined laptop sleeve that can comfortably fit in a 15-inch laptop. At the same time, it has a water-resistant valuables pocket where you can store tech items like memory cards and batteries. In addition to that, there’s a frontal zippered pocket for stashing quick-grab items. So, even if you’re caught in a downpour, you can rest assured that your belongings are safe.
Equally important is the Compel Sling 2.0’s comfort factor, which is also very high. The crossbody-style, fully padded, and completely adjustable strap makes the backpack a comfortable carry. Additionally, the side mesh pockets for water bottles are super-handy, keeping you hydrated all day long.
Weight: 1.62 lbs (0.73 kg)
Capacity: 16 liters
Dimensions: 19 x 13 x 6 inches (48.2 x 33 x 15.2 cm)
- Separate water-repelling pocket for valuables.
- Comfortable crossbody strap.
- Features Under Armour’s water-repelling ‘Storm’ tech.
- Some might find the features more suited to a regular backpack.
Osprey Daylite Spring
For many, the Osprey Daylite Spring Backpack will surely be love at first sight. The minimalistic and sleek backpack is one of the highest-rated sling backpacks for men. In fact, we’d go so far as to call it a stylish Instagrammer’s dream!
It’s easy to see why. The bag is available in timeless hues like sagebrush blue, stone grey, and something known as granny green! Made from robust 210D ripstop nylon, the backpack also features additional durable features in the form of YKK buckles and zippers. The strap is very comfortable and highly adjustable, with an elastic fastener keeping everything looking neat. Moreover, both that and the back panel feature soft, breathable NeoSpacer mesh material that lends airy comfort.
The organization of the backpack is equally good. Random, quick-access accessories can be slipped into the front zippered mesh pocket. On the inside, the main compartment can stuff in all your belongings, and then some. Finally, a zippered inner pocket is ideal for keys and cards.
Weight: 0.5 lbs (0.2 kg)
Capacity: 6 liters
Dimensions: 14.5 x 8 x 5 inches (36.8 x 20.3 x 12.7 cm)
- Available in 8 colors – black, sagebrush blue, petrol blue, real red, amulet purple, granny smith green, and stone grey.
- Lots of pockets.
- Comfortable and padded strap and back panel.
- Only right-shouldered.
Outdoor Tactical RUSH Moab 10 Backpack
Feel right at home with a Special Ops team with the Outdoor Tactical Rush Moab 10 Backpack. Whether it is an outdoor weekend getaway or an endurance hike, this ambidextrous crossbody backpack has you covered.
Firstly, the tough backpack is made from incredibly lightweight and water-resistant 1050D nylon. The padded shoulder strap is fully adjustable and keeps the weight of the bag supported without causing you any backache. When it comes to storage, the backpack is a truly military-style one. With a discreet rear tactical pocket, shoulder pockets, and another double zippered pocket, all your belongings will easily fit in. What’s more, an inner stash pocket, a hydration pouch, and a pass-through port are great for storing valuables and remaining hydrated.
Adding to the sling backpack’s durability are the sturdy YKK zippers. Overall, the dependable, robust, and rugged Rush Moab 10 is an outdoorsmen’s dream.
Weight: 2.6 lbs (1.18 kg)
Capacity: 18 liters
Dimensions: 18.25 x 9 x 7.25 inches (46.3 x 22.8 x 18.4 cm)
- The ambidextrous strap allows the bag to be worn on both shoulders.
- Shoulder strap could be strained with the backpack is at full capacity.
Pacsafe Vibe 325 Cross Body Pack
Safety and security are combined beautifully with minimalism in the Vibe 325 Crossbody Pack from Pacsafe. With as many as nine inbuilt safety features, the sling backpack is security on-the-go.
Underneath that spartan appearance and the rough-and-tough 210D nylon surface, the Vibe 325 is chock-full of security features. To begin with, the exterior shell is lined with the stainless-steel, slash-proof eXomesh web that makes the bag slash-proof. To top it all, smart, interlocking zippers, a Roobar Sport locking system, reinforced PopNLock security clip, and RFID-blocking capabilities add to its security!
Apart from the above, you get to spread your belongings across two spacious and organized compartments. An internal padded sleeve and a frontal mesh zippered pocket are excellent for further organization. So, it’s only fair that the bag has padded shoulder straps that allow you to easily swing the bag from back to front for quick access.
Weight: 1.37 lbs (0.62 kg)
Capacity: 10 liters
Dimensions: 15.8 x 9.1 x 3.2 inch (40.1 x 23.1 x 8.1 cm)
- Padded and detachable shoulder strap.
- Lots of security and safety features.
- Minimalist and elegant.
Tumi Alpha Bravo Monterey Sling
The Tumi Alpha Bravo Monterey Sling oozes oodles of understated competency in a rugged, lean offering. It is easily one of the most organized sling backpacks for men.
The Monterey Sling is an organizational gem and has been designed keeping the average organizational fiend in mind. The bag features a lined, roomy, zippered compartment for storing all your everyday necessities. There’s a two-way zippered back pocket for stashing your tablets and e-readers. In case you’re doing a bit of wet walking, then the Monterey Sling also features a lined pocket that has a drain hole. Thus, it can be stuffed with everything from wet raincoats and umbrellas to even water bottles. Furthermore, two long-ish zippered side pockets allow you to quickly grab phones, keys, and wallets. Besides, there’s even an inbuilt frontal luggage tag that can be customized according to your liking.
However, what makes this sling backpack particularly appealing is that its shoulder strap is ambidextrous and can be used easily by both right and left-handed users.
Weight: 1.56 lbs (0.71 kg)
Capacity: 24 liters
Dimensions: 3.54 x 8.66 x 14.57 inches (9 x 22 x 37 cm)
- Ambidextrous shoulder strap.
- Excellent organizational pockets.
- The size of the bag might be a bit small for some.
Arc’teryx Slingblade 4
The Arc’teryx Slingblade 4 is a versatile sling backpack with a clear, organizational purpose and a pleasingly intricate design. The Slingblade 4 can be used as a regular knapsack, a shoulder sling, as well as a crossbody bag, demonstrating its virtue of versatilility.
The sling backpack from Arc’teryx makes for a highly organized and comfortable carry. The main compartment features a dedicated sleeve that can store a small tablet or an e-reader. An internal zippered mesh pocket is super-useful for storing small items like keys, loose change, and the hotel key card. Equally important are the zippered and stash pockets on the outside, which features dedicated slots for everything and stores quick-grab items respectively. Finally, a rather clever and discreet back panel that can be used for storing maps or travel passes. Again, the bag even helps you stay hydrated, thanks to the side loops where you can attach water bottles. A padded back panel and a top handle make the bag all the more comfortable to wear and easy to grab.
What’s more, the Slingblade 4 can be worn in a whole lot of ways, all thanks to the adjustable shoulder strap. Right from crossbody to across the body to the one-shouldered way, the bag is secure while you’re on the move.
Weight: 1 lb (0.45 kg)
Capacity: 4 liters
Dimensions: 12 x 9 x 3 inches (30.5 x 22.9 x 7.6 cm)
- Excellent organization.
- Lots of pockets.
Patagonia Atom Sling
No list of excellent sling backpacks for men is complete without mentioning the Patagonia Atom Sling. Boasting a strong outdoorsy vibe, the sling works not only in the great big outdoors but for city exploration too.
Durability is one of the high points of the Patagonia Atom Sling. The bag is made from 630D nylon and is lined with 100% recycled 200D polyester that makes it both water and abrasion-resistant. However, what sets it apart from the crowd is its inimitably comfortable carry. The credit for this goes to the soft, breathable mesh on both the shoulder strap and the back panel. Likewise, the compression straps on the sling backpack deserve a mention. They can not only be loosened to free up more inner space but also hold stuff externally. Finally, a stretchy pocket and a loop are handy for quick-grab essentials and for attaching accessories.
On the inside, the bag features two compartments that are excellent enough for organizing all your stuff. The main compartment even has a padded sleeve for e-readers and tablets, while the key clip is useful for not having to rummage for your keys in there. At the same time, the sling backpack is available in a gamut of colorways, ranging from smokey purple to navy to classic black. Overall, this reliable workhorse of a sling backpack works in more ways than you’d imagine.
Weight: 0.63 lbs (0.29 kg)
Capacity: 8 liters
Dimensions: 17 x 10 x 3 inches (43.2 x 25.4 x 7.6 cm)
- Excellent materials and design.
- A good amount of organizational pockets.
- Very comfortable carry.
- Shoulder strap is only right-shouldered.
Waterfly Chest Sling Backpack
One of the nicest everyday sling backpacks for men is the adaptable and durable Chest Sling Backpack from Waterfly. Whether you’re running errands or have office gear on-the-go, this sleek sling backpack will certainly have your back.
Above all, the most fantastic fact about the DSPTCH Waist Bag is that it weighs less than half a pound! In spite of weighing so less, the bag doesn’t skimp on resourcefulness and boasts a whopping 10-liter capacity! Made of water-resistant nylon, the durable and tough bag features a padded back and hardware from SBS and YNS. Additionally, the interior organization of the bag featuring nine pouches is top-notch. The main padded compartment can easily fit in an iPad/tablet, a sack lunch, and a water bottle. A bevy of frontal zippered pockets is mighty useful for stashing quick-access items, while the secure key clip is great for hanging your keys. Plus, the side mesh can also be used for stashing your water bottle. Moreover, there’s even an extra pouch on the shoulder strap that can store your wallet and phone both.
What’s more, the padded sling straps make carrying the sleek bag an absolute dream. In addition to that, the bag offers a whopping variety of eight colors. And all this is available for less than $20!
Weight: 0.51 lbs (0.23 kg)
Capacity: 10 liters
Dimensions: 7.9 x 3.1 x 14.2 inches (20.1 x 7.9 x 36.1 cm)
- Very inexpensive.
- Available in six colors.
- Ambidextrous strap perfect for both shoulders.
- Breathable mesh back panel.
- Not machine washable.
Nicgid Sling Backpack
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced good product, then you would do good to choose the Sling Backpack from Nicgid.
Made from water-resistant and rip-resistant nylon, the versatile, ‘fanny pack-esque’ sling bag can be slung from the shoulder, across the chest, as well as on the waist. Furthermore, the bag features numerous excellent storage pockets. The roomy main compartment can fit in a ton of stuff, while the inner concealed pouch is perfect for your keys and phone. At the same time, the four frontal zippered pockets are super-convenient for quick-grab items. The corrosion-resistant metal zips help with durability.
What’s more, the bag is a comfortable carry as well. Not only is the thick shoulder strap padded but it is also adjustable. Hence, it is comfortable for everyone, regardless of their height and size.
Weight: 0.51 lbs (0.23 kg)
Dimensions: 14.5 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches (36.8 x 18 x 2 cm)
- Adjustable thick, padded strap.
- Two-year warranty.
- Thick, padded shoulder strap.
- Tear-resistant construction.
- Not waterproof.
Travelon AT Classic Sling Bag
Are you looking for a particularly secure and safe sling backpack? Then the AT Classic Sling Bag from Travelon is one of the few dedicated anti-theft sling backpacks for men on this list.
Designed with security in mind, the Travelon AT Sling features not only a slash-resistant shoulder strap but also lots of RFID-blocking pockets. Coincidentally, it is the ambidextrous shoulder strap that makes the bag a very comfortable carry. Additionally, the bottom hook can secure the strap around a table/chair and ensures that it won’t be stolen anywhere. The nifty carabiner serves more than just one purpose. Firstly, it can be used to attach useful items like a water bottle. Moreover, it can also lock the shoulder strap in position and stop it from sliding down if the bag is weighty.
Mesh expansion side pockets store water bottles easily and keep you hydrated, no matter where you are. Plus, the bag is available in more than just black – it also comes in interesting hues like midnight blue, stone, and nutmeg.
Weight: 0.65 lbs (0.29 kg)
Capacity: 5 liters
Dimensions: 3.5 x 14 x 7 inches (8.9 x 35.5 x 17.8 cm)
- Slash-resistant, ambidextrous shoulder strap.
- RFID-blocking pockets.
- Tear-resistant construction.
- A bit on the expensive side.
Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger
Are you a regular trekker or hiker? Then one of the best tactical sling backpacks for men out there is the Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger. Why is it called Gearslinger, you ask? That’s because apart from the shoulder strap, the bag features another that slides beneath the opposite arm. When the under strap is released, the bag can be ‘slung’ below the right arm right to the front.
The tactical-looking sling backpack is chock-full of convenient and practical highlights for all your outdoor exploits. The bag is constructed from 1,000D nylon that is both water-resistant and abrasion-resistant, which keeps the bag pretty much indestructible. Additionally, a Teflon coating protects the exterior against dirt and grime. Heavy-duty anti-theft YKK zippers and a discreet anti-theft carry pocket are perfect for keeping pickpockets at bay. Within the main compartment, there’s lots of space for a laptop, rain poncho, a meal, a small first-aid kit, and even a pouch for a water bladder.
Furthermore, the Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger even comes in a range of camo-inspired shades that are perfect for the keen adventurer in you.
Weight: 3 lbs (1.3 kg)
Capacity: 15 liters
Dimensions: 8 x 15 x 3 inches (20.3 x 38.1 x 7.6 cm)
- Lightweight for a tactical bag.
- Indestructible exterior.
- Anti-theft pockets.
- Sleek and stylish despite being practical.
- Might feel a bit heavy on the shoulder to some people.
Peak Design Everyday Sling
If you’re a photographer, it’s easy to fall in love with the Peak Design Everyday Sling Bag. For photographers looking to fit in their equipment, this bag is your answer to your prayers.
The Peak Design Everyday Sling Bag is available in three sizes – 3 liters, 6 liters, and 10 liters. No matter the size you choose, the profile of the bag stays slim, sleek, and stylish to boot. The exterior of the sling is DWR-infused and double poly-coated 400D nylon canvas. In other words, the bag is durable, robust, water-resistant, and abrasion-resistant. You’ll certainly dig the UltraZip zippers on this sling bag, which makes getting in and out of the bag smooth. The swivel strap is padded, thick, and very comfortable to wear. Moreover, it allows the bag to be worn like a waist pack around the hips too. However, the real gamechanger is the quick-release adjuster that allows the sling to be easily adjusted across the chest, shoulders, and hips.
On the inside, the compartments can easily hold one camera and one lens in the 3-liter pack. The exterior pocket can be stuffed with everything from batteries, extra cords, keys, and phone. The included Flexfold divider can be adjusted in numerous different ways to adjust your stuff within. Flexible pouches on both sides and a quick-grab pocket further help with the organizational aspect.
Weight: 0.99 lbs (0.4 kg) for the 3-liter pack
Capacity: 3/6/10 liters
Dimensions: 7.4 x 12 x 4.3 inches (18.8 x 30.5 x 10.9 cm) for the 3-liter pack
- Compact, sleek design.
- The quick-release adjuster makes the bag versatile.
- Customizable due to the Flexfold divider.
- Could feel a little bulky when full.