When most people think of a backpack, they think of the traditional double-strap version that sits on the back. While these can be nice, you may want to choose a sling pack instead.
Sling backpacks are an excellent alternative, but you need to find the best one, and we’ve reviewed five different options to help you as listed below:
Last update on 2020-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Whether you want to go on a vacation or you’re planning to create a bug-out bag for your survival in case something goes wrong, a tactical sling backpack can be an excellent choice. You’ll have both hands free so that you can catch a ride on public transportation or navigate the busy shopping centers. They’re also suitable as a small bug-out bag or something you can keep in your vehicle to hold essentials.
The sling pack is a great design because it can be worn in a variety of ways. You can wear it across the hips or waist, which allows you to see it with your peripheral vision. You can also wear it on the chest instead of on the back so that thieves can’t easily access your items. Plus, it makes it more difficult for thieves to unzip the pack without your knowledge.
- 1 Best Sling Backpack Reviews
- 2 5.11 RUSH MOAB 10 Tactical Sling Bag Shoulder Pack
- 3 HAZARD 4-Plan-B Sling Pack with MOLLE
- 4 Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger
- 5 REEBOW GEAR Tactical Sling Bag
- 6 Red Rock Outdoor Gear Rover Sling Pack
- 7 The Benefits of the Sling Backpack
- 8 Conclusion
Best Sling Backpack Reviews
The RUSH MOAB Tactical Sling Bag is a single-strap backpack made of 100 percent nylon. It’s fully customizable and is considered to be a tactical sling backpack. The shoulder strap is adjustable and cushioned, but it’s also made with water-resistant materials that are lightweight.
You will find coms pockets around the shoulder area, a second double-zip pocket, and a covert tactic pocket in the back. It offers a variety of interior stash pockets with a hydration pocket. It is suitable to be used as a tactical pack, military backpack, hunting bag, bug-out bag, hiking bag, or as an everyday backpack. It also comes in four different colors. It also looks very tactical, so it may be suitable for someone going into the military or coming out of it.
- Excellent design
- High-quality construction
- Sturdy zippers
- Hidden compartment
- Padded sunglass storage area
- Works with a variety of bladders
- Uncomfortable strap
- Doesn’t stay ‘tight’ on the shoulder
- Not enough shoulder padding
- Not suitable for excessively heavy items
The Hazard 4 Plan-B Pack is made of nylon, and it is completely customizable. It offers a fully modular accessory strap, which also has a moveable, and padded internal divider. The compression straps are a nice touch because they can cross to help secure larger objects stored inside the pack. This pack is a little larger than some others, which means it can hold bulkier items without any issue.
The pack is compatible with a full hydration bladder and can fit a three-liter hydration bladder that is about 2.5 liters full. The back of the pack is padded, as well, which makes it easier and more comfortable to carry for extended periods. Of course, the padding allows for air circulation, so you don’t get that uncomfortable back-sweat moisture. It also comes with a large pocket, which is easily accessible on the chest.
- Compression straps, crossing options
- 3D air-mesh under straps for comfort/ventilation
- Compatible with hydration bladders
- Trap-door for hydration hose
- Inner compartment not suitable for organization
- Small pockets
- Zipper flap (for security) gets in the way
The Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger made the list for a variety of reasons. While I absolutely love the name, that’s not one of the reasons it’s here. For one, it looks exotic and a little hard to use, which can deter would-be thieves. The intricacy of the pack with the bow-tie style front and the buckle clips everywhere make it look like a tactical bag (which it is). It’s also abrasion and water resistant and features a lightweight, ballistic nylon. It’s also coated with polyurethane to make it more water resistant.
The padding material is made of AS-100 high-grade foam, which is also a shock absorber. The internal seams are both finished and taped, as well, which gives you optimum protection. The main compartment is 16.5 inches high and has a variety of internal organizational pockets. The top front is about 7.5 inches wide and also comes with compartments for organization.
While it has the shoulder strap and can be worn across the chest, it also has side and top handles if you’d like to carry it and give your shoulders/back a break.
- Y-compression traps
- Ergonomic design
- Anti-theft zipper feature
- Concealed weapon compartment
- Not suitable for heavy items
- When slung forward, water bottle on the bottom
The REEBOW GEAR Tactical Sling Bag is a small tactical pack that can be used as an EDC or day pack. It is made of polyester. The pack is about 12 inches high and can carry a 9.7-inch iPad, keys, notepad, cell phones, gloves, water bottle, chargers, and much more.
The bag has a Velcro pad in the back and front compartment, and the main compartment is concealed from view. It’s suitable as a tactical assault pack or a pistol range bag and can hold ammo and about two handguns. The backpack includes a comfortable and adjustable shoulder strap. It also includes two small straps to reduce bag sway when you’re moving, similar to a military rover pack.
We really liked the design, as it has a black-and-white appliqué of the American flag on the front. It’s also very compact while still looking good and giving you plenty of room.
- Excellent design
- Plenty of room in the pockets
- Holds hydration pouch
- Comfortable with weight
- Smaller than you might think
- Side strap could be longer
The Red Rock Outdoor Gear Rover Pack is made of polyester and has a large primary compartment with touch-fastening secured slip pockets on the sides and front. You can find a wide range of tablet products in here. You will also find two outside pouches for items that you need to quickly access. On the back, you’ll also find a concealed carry sleeve with a snap closure system.
The MOLLE webbing platform is found at the shoulder and along the front, which allows you to add gear and pouches as needed.
The shoulder strap itself is ambidextrous, so you can wear it on either shoulder. You will also find a quick-release buckle so you can shed off the pack quickly. This is extremely helpful for me because imagine if a friend fell into the water without knowing how to swim. You can quickly release the pack (so as not to get it wet) and jump in after him! It also includes a carry handle, which is nice if you’re just walking a couple of blocks, or you don’t want to use it as a backpack.
- Concealed-carry features
- Ambidextrous strap
- Fits tablets (not laptops)
- Three storage compartments
- Could be a little bigger
- MOLLE isn’t military-grade
The Benefits of the Sling Backpack
If you’re not sure that a sling backpack is right for you, it’s essential to learn about the benefits of owning one. When looking for the best sling backpack make sure you tick off the following items:
Heavy or Light?
Sling backpacks are usually lightweight, weighing in at about a pound. You can carry that small amount of extra weight without it hurting your arms or back. Plus, you can wear the pack different ways to help reduce fatigue.
Because the backpack runs across the body (and can be worn on the chest, waist, or back), it reduces the risk of someone reaching into your pack without your knowledge and taking something. Many times, a tactical sling backpack gives the utmost in security because it includes a variety of features to help you stay organized .
Most sling packs have two or more compartments to help you stay organized. You may want to put heavy or bulky items toward where the back goes to make it more ergonomic. You’ll also find many pockets, both on the outside and the inside of the pack, allowing you to store small items, such as hand sanitizer, sunglasses, and more.
If you prefer to wear the pack on the back, you can still easily get any items you need without having to remove the backpack. Just slip it to the front (chest), reach in, grab what you require, and slip it back to the back.
Choosing the Right Sling Backpack for Traveling
As when you’re shopping for anything, you need to consider a few things when you’re searching for the best one-strap backpack.
How You’ll Use It
The first step is to think about how you’re going to use the backpack. Are you going to carry it to work every day? Are you taking it on vacation with you? Are you going to go hiking, use it as a bug-out bag, or do something else with it? These questions can help you determine what to look for in the pack. If it’s going to be a work bag, you’ll probably need it to be roomy enough to carry a laptop and your lunch.
If you’re going to use it for hiking, vacations, or a bug-out bag, you’re going to want something with a pocket for a water bottle. Possibly a variety of small pockets for matches, lighters, flashlights, and everything else you might need.
It’s also important that the backpack has an adjustable strap so that you can adjust it as needed based on how heavy it is. If you’re going to buy a backpack for everyone in your family, the adjustable strap can also be helpful because it allows a variety of people to use it, including children.
Keep in mind that sling bags aren’t appropriate for overnight hikes or extended trips. As an emergency bug-out bag, it can suffice, especially if it’s your extra pack, which includes the bare minimum to help you survive in the wilderness for three days.
These bags are also suitable as book-bags for teens, shopping trips, and your gym bag. Some are even designed to take photography equipment.
Before choosing the right sling backpack, you need to know what size is most appropriate. Many times, sling packs are smaller than traditional backpacks, so you may be more limited as to what you can carry. Larger slings might be big enough for a small laptop and a phone. Smaller ones might only be suitable for the essentials.
If you are going to travel by airplane to your destination, make sure the sling backpack meets the dimensions of the carry-on bag for that particular airline, so you don’t have any complications.
Features to Consider
If you plan to use this for hiking or tactical needs, you’re going to want a pack that is water resistant. You should also ensure that it is durable and sturdy.
You may also want to consider something ambidextrous, which allows it to be worn on either shoulder. It is particularly useful when out shooting with a crossbow as you can choose which shoulder you want the heavier item to sit on.
While we liked all of these bags for various reasons, there has to be a winner, right? We liked two very much, so we decided to have one cost-effective winner and one overall winner. If you want something inexpensive that does the job, the REEBOW GEAR Tactical Sling Bag is a suitable choice. It has a variety of the same components as the overall winner (announced below), but it is less expensive.
However, it isn’t quite the same, so if you need something sturdy and larger, it might be best to go with the winner.
For the best sling backpack, we recommend you choose the Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger. While the design wasn’t the only thing we considered, we loved the way this one looked. It just screams military-grade and says, “Don’t mess with me.” We liked that in a pack, especially if you’re taking it on vacation. We also liked that it came in a variety of colors.
The inside of the pack was well-laid out, allowing you to store a lot of stuff if you know how to organize it effectively.
- Optimized ergonomics
- Uses the highest quality materials and world-class craftsmanship
- Comprehensive panel of lab tests to ensure quality, reliability and longevity
- Main compartment: 16.5” high x 8.5” wide x 3” thick with internal organization
- Top front: 7.5” wide x 4” high x 2” thick with internal organization
- Great small tactical rover sling pack with molle as day pack or EDC bag, it's made of durable 600D polyster.
- Sling pack size: 12 * 9.5 * 6 inch (H*W*D), enough for carrying 9.7 iPad, small notepad, keys, wallet, cell phone, flashlight, gloves, bottle of water, chargers etc. on a daily basis
- Tactical sling bag with large Velcro pad in the concealed main compartment and the back compartment. Awesome as a pistol range bag for 1-2 handguns and lots of ammo or as tactical assault pack.
- Sling bag backpack has adjustable and comfortable shoulder strap, and also has two smaller straps to help reduce the sway of the bag while moving as small military rover shoulder sling backpack.
- Tactical sling pack is a great small everyday carry diaper bag or travel sling bag to take on small trips or go hammocking for a little bit where you may require some snacks or other relatively small items.
Last update on 2020-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API