A sling backpack is quite different from a regular backpack given that it only has one strap and is worn cross-body. The big benefit of a sling backpack vs a regular double strapped is the ease of access to your kit. Just slide it around and you’re in. However, the trade-off is space. In this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at sling backpacks and helping you find the best sling backpack for your laptop.
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Factors to consider in choosing the best sling backpack for laptop
Before we introduce our favorite five sling laptop bags, let’s take a quick look at a few of the things to consider when selecting a backpack for your laptop
It should be pretty straightforward to understand that size matters. Unlike regular backpacks, sling backpacks will often be too small for a laptop, so be sure to fully read the product specs.
It is very important to look for a backpack whose dimensions match those of your laptop, you should get a sling backpack of the same or slightly greater length and width of your laptop.
Remember, to keep the laptop secure, the backpack should offer a snug fit, this will help keep your laptop in a fixed position and prevent it from jiggling around within the bag while you are moving. This goes a long way in preventing damage to your laptop.
Material and durability
Sling backpacks need to be tough if they are looking after your valuables. In choosing a backpack with one strap, you should go for the one made with materials that are weather and terrain proof. For durability, endeavor to choose a bag that is made from a strong, hard-wearing material such as canvas or heavy cotton.
If you are in a rainy zone or a moist environment, you should consider getting a sling backpack made of hard-wearing and water-repelling materials such as nylon, tensaerlite, PVC and neoprene.
The same also applies if you are planning on heading out into unpredictable weather or considering a water-based trip. You should also look for backpacks that have velcro or nylon straps as well as those with a foam layer which are also great for cushioning.
Choose a backpack that is sleek and compact with straps that are adjustable. The straps should be non-slip and thick to enhance cushioning and comfort. Adequate zippers and flaps are also indicative of good design.
Another aspect of design that you should consider is based on your personality. Most sling backpacks come with their different styles and back designs so you should really consider getting one that carries a design that best fits you.
Don’t forget that your sling backpack is not only intended to hold your stuff but also to make you look super cool.
Internal and external compartments
You must make sure that your sling backpack has enough space for your laptop as well as compartments for some other essentials such as documents and some other electronic devices such as headphones, power banks, cameras, and chargers.
It’s also good to consider sling backpacks that contain some external compartments such as bottle holders, pockets and key rings. A shoulder sling backpack with loads of storage space will reduce the necessity of your having to carry an additional bag on the trail.
Comfort is a very important factor to consider when looking for the best sling backpack for laptop, an uncomfortable one can cause pain. Look for backpacks with adjustable, wide and padded shoulder strap because they tend to be comfortable. Also, consider back padding and try not to get one that is too small for your body as it may poke you in places you don’t want to be poked.
Quality and warranty
The overall quality pretty much depends on all the above factors – materials used, design, storage space and build. If you have adhered to the above suggestions, then you should be fine. Just remember to be cautious of cheap bags as often you get what you pay for and it won’t last very long.
Also, lookout for a warranty. This will ensure that you are covered should your backpack start falling apart at the seams on the first use.
Our top five sling backpacks
Having outlined some important aspects to look out for in the best laptop sling bags, we have done some research for you and you can confidently purchase any of our best sling backpacks for laptops to take on your next camping or hiking adventure.
1. Anti-Theft Sling Backpack for Laptop
Measuring 11.02”(L) x 15.75”(H) x 4.33”(W), this sling backpack is capable of carrying laptops or tablets up to 13″. Made out of water-resistant, black nylon, this bag opens like a clamshell for easy access with two zippers with a large main compartment that can hold a lot of stuff such as laptop, notebook, torch and a host of many others. We also love the external USB charging port which allows you to charge your phone outside with your portable power pack inside the bag.
Outside is a thin front compartment for incidentals, detachable fob inside for holding keys, the backside contains an anti-theft compartment which is handy for holding things like a cell phone, airline tickets, and a passport. Even the shoulder strap has a small compartment at the bottom that is RFID protected.
This is a nice, compact, messenger bag that is a well made and highly functional and outstanding value. Highly Recommended.
2. Under Armour Unisex Compel Sling
As you’d expect, the Under Armour Compel Sling offers excellent build quality and is perfect as a sports bag or even for your daily commute. The compact bag is quick and easy to strap up in a hurry and the padded crossbody strap offers total comfort.
In its standard form, the bag is already a good size, you can fit in 15-inch laptops with ease. There are multiple storage compartments and tons of pockets for all the essentials and smaller electronic gadgets. However, something this offers that many doesn’t is expandability. There is a zipper around the bottom of the pack that allows you to expand or collapse the storage capacity making it large enough to also operate as a great weekend bag.
A few final things worth pointing out are the water-repelling fabric helps to keep your stuff dry when out in the rain and there is a side water bottle pocket. But in all honesty, it is far too small to be worthwhile.
Overall a great bag if you are looking for something that is a bit more than a compact sling bag.
3. Incase Designs DSLR Sling Pack
If you’re looking for a sling backpack that can handle a DSLR Camera and a small laptop then this may well be your bag. The Incase Designs DSLR Sling Pack is great for travel photographers whether as a day bag or as a secondary bag on longer journeys.
The internal compartments of the bag are customizable to fit any brand of camera and a padded tablet sleeve that a small laptop or tablet can slide in to. The bag is very comfortable to wear with a large padded strap to help spread the weight of your tech packed inside.
There is some light padding on the inside which is OK but could be a bit thicker for those of us that are a little heavy-handed when putting a bad down.
Overall a very nice bag and one of our favorite camera sling bags. It offers quick access for your camera and can fit plenty in. Perfect for hobby photographers who like to edit on the fly.
4. Crossbody Messenger Bag
Another great budget option is the Crossbody Messenger Bag. Measuring 9.84in(L) x 15.35in(H) x 3.9in(W), this bag fits a slim laptop up to 14.1-Inch without laptop sleeve or case. It is made of high-quality water-resistant nylon material that is resistant to light rain but is not completely waterproof on the outside.
It features multiple internal pockets and three external compartments including one back anti-theft pocket and two side pockets. It is compact enough to keep your accessories organized.
The buckles on the top flap open and close easily and keep your gear very secure. Adopting a hand handle or adjustable shoulder strap design, this bag can be used as a sports bag/cycling bag or a handbag. It is great for indoor and outdoor uses including travel, camping, hiking, sports, and school supplies. It is a solid choice if you are looking for a cheap multipurpose sling bag.
5. WOWBOX retro sling bag
This great-looking Sling Bag from WOWBOX has a large capacity that will fit a laptop or tablet up to 15.6 inches. It has an adjustable padded strap that can be adjusted from 33 inches to 44 inches to fit different body types and offers superior comfort.
The bag is made of heavy-duty washed canvas with leather decoration and sturdy metal buckles. It is a single shoulder bag is that is very stylish, sturdy, and durable. Top buckles open and close easily to keep items secure. This bag has plenty of well-made pockets which makes it appropriate for travel and school.
If you are looking to stand out and want something a little different, this may well be the bag for you.
6. AOPUOP Canvas Sling Chest Bag
We love this bag and it is cheap. Made from high-quality waterproof canvas, The AOPUOP Sling Bag contains a breathable, lightweight, adjustable shoulder strap with ergonomically designed pad penetration. It can store valuables such as mobile wallets as well as laptops with a maximum capacity of 14 inches.
It also contains an external waterproof anti-theft USB interface, built-in charging line but excluding batteries, you need a mobile power supply to charge.
On the inside, it has a dry pocket to keep your electronics safe in a storm as well as a quick-access pocket on the front of the strap.
It is a top opening bag rather than on the side and the buckles open and closes easily to keep items secure. This bag has plenty of well-made pockets which makes it appropriate for travel and school.
Finally, a nice touch is the velcro strips across the bag meaning you can easily personalize it with patches that you pick up on your travels. It shouldn’t really matter, but it kinda does :).
This bag is suitable for work, travel, mountain climbing, school, fitness, dating, shopping, and daily life.
7. JOCHUI Sling Travel Bag
If you’re looking for a compact bag for a smaller laptop, the JOCHUI Sling Travel Bag is worth considering. It is great value too. Measuring 11.5″(w) x 19″(h) x 7.2″(d) inches, this bag fits up to 13 inch laptop or tablet. It is made of soft and lightweight water-resistant Polyester Oxford material, build in top-quality zippers and durable strap clips with a high-quality guarantee. It can be used on any occasion like traveling, camping, shopping, outdoors or jogging to keep all your accessories or gadgets organized.
Final thoughts on finding the best sling backpack for a laptop
The great thing about sling backpacks is aside from looking amazing (personal opinion) they can easily fit on a train or bus seat, under a plane seat in front of you if you are traveling internationally and they can be stuffed in an office drawer when not in use.
Given that it is worn cross-body, it offers easier access to the items in your bag, it also has a lesser tendency to cause pain in your shoulders, not to mention the fact that (when you get used to it) you look way cooler when putting on a sling backpack than when putting on those boring backpacks with two straps.
The majority of sling backpacks are designed to carry a few essentials while maximizing mobility. The 6 we have chosen above just take that a step further by also being large enough to carry a travel laptop as well.
If you do end up with a sling backpack for your laptop that is not on our list and you love it, be sure to stop back here and tell us about it, we’ll definitely check it out and maybe we can include it when we update our list.