It doesn’t matter if you’re speedwalking the urban trails or just hoofing it for the downtown bus, if you need a good carry-all bag; you should try using a single sling backpack.
What makes a Single Sling Backpack Different?
Compared to its big brother a double strap backpack, the sling backpack (sometimes mistaken for a sling bag) has only the one strap that diagonally fits cross the chest with a pack bag down the back. The single strap is like a messenger bag, in that it allows for quick and easy removal and one handed operation.
But unlike a messenger bag, a single sling backpack (and its load) is positioned straight up and down the center of the back, instead of crisscrossing the spine. This in turn prevents strain on the back and neck due to lopsided or shifting loads. And this design typically allows you carry bulkier and heavier items than with a similar sized messenger bag, briefcase or purse.
7 Things Look For in a Good Single Sling Backpack
- Durable Material – Seek out sling backpack that is made of tough polyester or heavy-duty nylon. Specifically look for reinforced stitching at the bottom and side seams. Also see if reinforced areas have double thick material or metal grommets at stress points.
- Zippers – The last thing most people look at are zippers, but nothing is more frustrating than to having to junk a perfectly good bag for a busted zipper. A well made zipper should last longer than the material it’s sewn into. If possible buy a sling backpack with YKK® zippers in high stress sections.
- Outer Storage – A sling backpack with lots of external front and side pockets for water bottles, cell phones and MP3 players is ideal. This lets you have fast access to frequently used items.
- Spacious Inner Storage – Look for a big, roomy main compartment. It should be large enough to hold all your books and binders, work files and personal gear.
- Interior Accessory Pockets – if possible find a single sling backpack that has inside pockets to organize your wallets, keys, PDA, pens, etc. A big main compartment is great but not if you have to paw around in it for 10 minutes to find your door keys!
- Wide Shoulder Strap – The main point of support and load bearing for this style of backpack is the diagonal strap. It should be wide (3+ inches), well padded and constructed of a strong and wear resistant material. And it must be adjustable enough to fit around your torso.
- Hipbelt & Top Carry Handle – An excellent addition to any sling backpack would be a hipbelt. This would pull the backpack into the torso and minimize any swaying or slippage. A strong carry handle up top makes it very easy to stow your backpack under desks, inside lockers and beside your legs when on public transport.
If you are serious about dumping that bulky briefcase or that super-sized purse, you should consider getting a single sling backpack. Its compact size and adjustable single shoulder strap will help reduce back pains and give you a more secure feeling since it can’t be grabbed off your shoulder.