We’ve all seen the group of girls holding a map, standing on the street corner in a foreign country with large, 30 pound backpacks, on their backs. But what if you want to be a more fleet-footed traveler who zoots in and out of train stations and airport lounges like a light breeze.
You can’t be weighed down by heavy packs and the excessive straps that come with them. The better option is a small, single strap travel sling bag which you can whip over your one shoulder and move like a ninja through the crowded terminals and streets.
Once you arrive at your destination, the bag has to also keep your valuables secure and have convenient compartments and pockets built into the design.
We’ve reviewed the five best edc travel bag designs you can buy online today.
Related Article: Best Anti Theft Travel Purse
The Best Sling Backpack Winners!
OutdoorMaster Sling Bag
Designed to be unisex, this simple looking Outdoor Master sling bag has a ton of hidden functionality. Inside, you’ll find several small compartments that help keep your daily-carry gear neat and organized. You’ve got a front zippered pocket with pouches for a wallet, passport, personal hygiene products, and any other small goods you want to keep organized.
In the main storage area, you’ll find small pocket that can fit a tablet up to 12 inches in size, as well as a section to store a camera. The strap can be attached on either side making it left- or right-shouldered. There’s a sunglass pocket in the strap too.
The bag is made lightweight canvas material, keeping it lightweight without compromising on durability. It’s available in four earthy tones, and is suitable both as a city commuter bag or an airline carry-on. If you want a lightweight over shoulder bag that offers a deceptively large amount of storage, this is the bag for you.
DDDH Large Sling Bag Crossbody Backpack
Are you a serious adventurer who can’t live without their tech? The DDDH Bag offers superior weatherproofing, helping you keep up to a 14.1” laptop nice and dry even during unexpected weather. This one-strap backpack uses a crossbody design, keeping it safe and secure against your body at all times. Two D-Rings make it easy to adjust. Small or large, this bag is comfortable for everyone.
The bag is made from water repelling material, and features a large cover that stretches over all of the pockets. This helps rain water drain away from any leak points, and keeps all of your electronics safe and secure.
While all of your clothing and electronics can be stored inside, there are several outer pockets that help keep things accessible. With a zippered pocket for keys, your boarding pass, and other small goods, everything is kept safe and secure. A mesh pocket is designed to hold your water bottle, so you’ll have it on hand at all times.
NeatPack RFID Backpack
Even when compared against full-size backpacks, there are very few bags on the market that have this many storage pockets. This NeatPack Versatile Anti Theft Crossbody Travel Bag has three main storage areas. In the front you can keep keys, your wallet, or other compact valuables. The center pocket is great for books, maps, and other documents. In the center, you’ve got room for all of your larger gear. All of these pockets are RFID blocking, which prevents anyone from stealing data from your tap-enabled debit or credit cards.
This lightweight travel bag is designed with a stylish fabric that is available in black, grey, or red. It’s comfortable to wear both backward and forward, for those times when you want to keep your valuables protected. With a sleeker appearance than competing models, this is our first choice for city travel.
Leaper Messenger Bag
If style is important to you, look no further than this classically designed Leaper Messenger one-shoulder backpack. Featuring a polyester canvas foundation with PU leather accents, this bag will look like you paid many times the price.
Measuring 9.5 x 14 x 3.4 inches, this bag is smaller than your average backpack. (This is a truly lightweight travel option when you’re only abroad for a day or two.) But thanks to a 41 inch strap, it can still sit comfortably by your side whether you like it snugged up, or loose fitting. It’s got two zippered pockets: one large area with a built in tablet holder, and one smaller area for keys, documents, or other compact items. The third pocket is held on with a magnet snap, making it quick and easy to grab things that you want on hand at all times.
This bag is well padded, and feels just as good on your shoulder as it looks. The design is timeless, making it something that you could enjoy for many years to come.
Small Sling Backpack by Under Armour
For the athletic types, Under Armour is a brand that you’ll immediately recognize. As the brand would imply, this is the best shoulder bag available for anyone who likes to get up and go. This Under Armour Polyester Bag is coated with a DWR finish making it water resistant, but also keeps it smooth and breathable. Whether you’re working up a sweat during a high speed commute, or just fighting the weather on a cloudy day, the last thing you’ll be worried about is moisture when you’re wearing this bag.
It’s small and rounded, so you can slip through crowds effortlessly.
Available in black and white, this bag looks great on both women and men. It’s compact size makes it easy to carry, but the dual storage compartments are simple in design – letting you fit more than some larger bags.
How to Choose the Best EDC Sling Bag for Your Needs
Having a hard time deciding? Each of these bags have the advantages, but finding the one that’s right for you requires knowing how you’re going to use it. Depending on your circumstances, we’ve got a few recommendations.
Best Value for Money EDC Bag
On a Budget? The OutdoorMaster Sling Bag is simple in design, but offers all of the most important features for a fraction of the price. It’s compact, lightweight, comfortable, streamlined, inconspicuous and has ample storage pockets to help you stay organized… This is why it’s our favorite.
The DDDH is the biggest on the list. It holds the most stuff but is still streamlined in that you can flick through crowded stations with ease.
Water Resistant & Moisture Wicking
Worried about the weather? If you’re looking for a bag that can hold up in rain or shine, there are 3 great options available. The DDDH Crossbody Backpack has a water wicking design and zippered hood that keeps moisture out of the inside. Alternately, the Outdoor Master and the Under Armour Compel Sling 2.0 are treated with a special coating that makes it more water resistant than most.
The RFID Blocking pockets of the NeatPack is a great feature for protecting your digital data.
Looking for something that won’t cramp your style? For the fashion focused, there is no better choice than the Leaper Cross Body Messenger Bag. If you’re going to be walking up 5th Avenue NYC or riding a camel in Morocco, this classic leather and cloth design is timeless, and will serve you well for years to come.
For something a little sportier, check out the NeatPack Versatile Canvas Sling. With three great colors to choose from, this bag can match any of your favorite outfits.
The models above are all pretty compact. If you need something much bigger, check out our Best Rolling Duffel bag for International Travel review.
Our Winner – The Outdoor Master
No matter which option you choose, a sling bag is one of the best travel buddies you can have. Keeping all of your essentials in a compact and comfortable case that’s easy to access means you’ll spend less time digging around for the things you need, and more time taking in the sights.