This is your Ultimate Buying Guide to help you find the best travel sling bag. We’ll show you a variety of sling bags you can use for travel or every day.

In case you didn’t know sling bags are the updated version of the old 80’s and 90’s bum bag or for our US readers, fanny packs. Here in Australia, we don’t call them fanny packs for a reason, but that’s a whole different conversation!

I say updated because they have a variety of style choices and uses now, different shapes and sizes and they are also worn on different parts of the body, shoulder, crossbody or on your back.

Your ultimate guide to the Best sling bag for travel

The beauty of a travel sling is they are generally lightweight and easy to throw over your shoulder, across your body or on your back and go. But which one do you buy?

To ease the confusion we’ve compiled a list of sling bags for travel depending on your needs and situation. Let’s take a look at the best travel sling bags.

If you are anything like me I thought buying a travel sling bag would be a simple process until I started researching. Did I want a sling pack for my laptop, my camera, antitheft sling bag, one for my tablet, a sling bag to throw over my shoulder, a crossbody sling bag or a backpack sling bag?

See what I mean about confusing?! That’s why we’ve created this comparison chart to narrow down your choice so you can make the right decision that suits your travelling style and your needs.

Travel Sling Comparision Guide: Best Sling Bags For Travel

The guide covers the following categories

  • Best sling bag for women
  • Best sling bag for men
  • Best sling bag for girls
  • Best sling bag for boys
  • Best sling backpack
  • Best laptop sling bag
  • Best waterproof sling bag
  • Best sling messenger bag
  • Best sling messenger bag
  • Best sling messenger bag
  • Best shoulder sling backpacks
  • Best anti theft sling bag
  • Best cross sling bags
  • Best tablet sling bag
  • Best camera sling bag for travel

What To Look For In A Sling Bag

There are several aspects to consider when looking for a sling bag for travel or everyday use. They include:

  • Material
  • Size
  • Security
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Comfort
  • Weight
  • Price


Will your travel sling bag also double as your everyday sling bag when you are not travelling? If so you may want to consider a leather sling bag rather than nylon or polyester. You can look stylish whether you’re travelling or not.

Most materials are sturdy and high quality, however, none are truly waterproof more along the lines of water resistant.


Size is always a consideration, do you want a sling bag that you can throw your wallet and phone in? Or do you want a different compartment for everything, a drink bottle holder, a camera, your laptop and snacks throughout the day whilst you are out exploring?

There are sling bags as small as that old ’80s and 90’s versions to sizes that are the length of your back. Of course the larger the size the more “stuff” you are tempted to carry and the heavier your sling bag might be.

If you are like me, on flights I do want to carry my laptop with me as I never put it in my checked luggage. Mainly to avoid theft rather than damage.

Last year I collected my luggage in Mexico and somewhere between the Bahama’s and Cancun someone had searched through my bag. Everything in it was squashed to the bottom of the case. If my laptop was in there it would have vanished for sure.


Whether you’ll be using your sling bag for travel or every day might sway you on whether you need your bag to be anti-theft or not. Because of the type of material used, they are not the most stylish looking travel bag that you could use every day.

I have an anti-theft Pacsafe crossbody sling bag I bought specifically for travelling to Europe similar to this model, as I knew first hand about the notorious pickpocketers there. I don’t use the same bag though when I travel to Bali because I feel there is no need.

Where you are holidaying or vacationing may dictate if you need an anti-theft sling bag or not. Some of the anti-theft travel bag features are they are slash-proof, have hidden pockets, RFID safe, have YKK zippers (some lockable), locks, water resistant and has a warranty.

Design And Colour

Are you happy with a plain black all-purpose travel sling bag or do like something a little different and stylish? Together with the variety of sizes is also the consideration of shape. Narrow, wide, long or short.


One thing I despise is rifling through a bag trying to find something I need in a hurry. (Normally it’s my keys!) Therefore my travel sling bag has to be functional which means it has to have different compartments so I can file my bits and pieces away properly so I can find them later. It also has to be lightweight and durable.


Comfort is paramount when you are travelling and exploring a new place or town. We are often out for the whole day, so there is no point in lugging a travel bag around that is uncomfortable.

You will be less likely to use it if it is. The wider the strap the better the comfort and adjustable straps are a must too so it fits your body shape and height.


Like any purchase, price is always a consideration.

Some of the best travel sling bags are under $100 so they are quite affordable.

If you’d like a branded sling bag for women along the lines of a  designer sling bag, there are Channel sling bags and Prada sling bags. If they are more to your liking you’ll find they are definitely over $100!

Best Sling Backpack For Travel

The travel sling backpack is prefered by some travellers. Rather than throwing a sling bag over one shoulder they would rather their back take the load with a sling style backpack. There are many varieties of sling bag backpacks so we’ve made a list for you to compare.

Best Crossbody Sling Backpack

These types of sling backpacks are popular amongst travellers as they are so versatile. They tend to feel more comfortable to wear too. They come in both a small sling backpack and large sling backpack depending on your needs.

This Davidnile Crossbody Backpack is large enough to carry your phone, keys, camera and umbrella.

It’s comfortably worn as a backpack and is so versatile can also be worn on your shoulder. Zips are featured throughout, adjustable straps, easy access to smaller items such as keys.

Durable lightweight water-resistant canvas with quality fittings and features. Its unisex design with multiple colours and a water bottle holder can be used as a travel sling bag or for everyday use.

Excellent carry on travel bag with a lifetime warranty.

Click here for more information and to check price

Under Armour Sling Backpack

Made from a combination of Nylon, polyester and polyurethane this popular sling backpack is highly water resistant and durable enough that your belongings will stay dry if you are in wet weather.

This is mainly due to the large front pockets that not only keep everything dry it helps keep you organised too. It has adjustable straps for support and added comfort.

Two water bottle pockets and two water-resistant valuables pockets. This multifunctional sling backpack also holds up to a 15″ laptop so it will also accommodate a tablet.

Choose from a variety of colours. The handle on top makes it easy to grab and the D-Ring located on the front panel is an easy reach for your key chain.

Click here for more information and to check prices

Kavu Sling Backpack

One shoulder sling backpack, signature teardrop shape with rope strap is clearly a Kavu. Kavu is one of the top sling bag brands, are unisex and popular with all ages.

Multiple colour and colour and pattern combinations, this one sling backpack is easily worn crossbody too. Made from 50% polyester and cotton canvas they are easy to clean.

External pockets with on for a water bottle, inside compartment with a mesh zipper closure and no more digging around for your keys as it also has an internal key clip.

This “Paxton” one shoulder sling backpack version stands apart from the rest of the rope family as it has a few more inches in depth. Kavu single sling backpack is versatile as they are great for travel and everyday use.

Click here for more information, current prices and see the fantastic colour combos

Women’s Sling Bag Backpack

We love this women’s sling backpack purse, it where practicality meets style! The Italian’s are renowned for their leather and this women’s sling bag backpack won’t disappoint.

If you want to wear or carry this sling bag differently it easily converts to a lightweight handbag for travel or tote.

Loads of colour and combinations to choose from in rich beautiful Italian leather made in Florence, Italy.

Durable, stylish and could easily be unisex in traditional colours such as black.

Click here for more information, colour combinations and to check price extra large sling backpack

Extra Large Sling Backpack

Look no further if an extra large sling daypack is on your list. This sling daypack is fully customisable, water-resistant shoulder sling bag with adjustable cushioned shoulder strap.

This military sling pack backpack has a covert tactec pocket at the rear, coms pocket on the shoulder and features a hydration pocket with a pass-through port.

YKK self-healing zippers, hook and loop flag patch and a fleece-lined pocket to keep your sunglasses safe and scratch-free.

You can use this sling backpack for work or pleasure and will easily double as a carry on laptop sling backpack due to it’s size.

Chick here for more information and to check price

Anti Theft Sling Backpack

Pacsafe are known for their range of practical anti theft travel bags. It’s the original anti-theft brand.

This could also double up as the best sling backpack for laptop because of the capacity. Even though it’s large for a sling backpack it has padded straps and back for maximum comfort.

Although the Pacsafe Metrosafe LS350 lightweight it’s large enough to fit an iPad, a 13″ laptop and a large camera.

Slashproof, lockable zippers and RFID blocking with keep your belongings safe and it’s available in other colours too.

Click here for extra information and to check price

Ladies Sling Bags: Best Travel Sling Bags For Women

I don’t know about you but I prefer something a little more stylish than a plain black polyester sling bag. We’ve assembled the following list of sling bags for women to offer you choice.

What I might like you might not so we’ve included a good variety. The following best sling bags for women guide includes:

  • sling purse
  • shoulder sling bag
  • small sling bag
  • leather sling backpack
  • sling bag purse
  • women’s sling backpack purse
  • large sling bag
  • leather sling backpack purse
  • sling bag ladies

Best Camera Sling Bag For Travel

As a travel blogger sometimes I feel like a pack horse when I travel. This is due to the amount of gear I have to take. A DSLR camera, lenses, cords, batteries, microphones, filters and storage. A laptop (mine is as light as a feather) more cords, adapters, power boards and of course my phone.

Fortunately, there are only 2 of us when we travel, I’ve forgotten what it is like to travel with kids!

Here we show you the best camera sling bag Lowepro is the leading manufacturer of camera bags and camera sling bags.

The reason we think this sling bag is the best sling bag for camera is that it’s functional and doesn’t look like your typical camera bag.

This camera sling bag fits a DSLR camera, lens, flash and water bottle. Inside it has a customisable removable camera box and expandable compartments allowing you to increase space by 30%.

Lightweight, durable and comes in black, grey or as shown here black and red.

Click here to find more information and to check price.

Best Mens Travel Sling Bag

We’ve found a variety of practical sling bags for men including a mens leather sling bag and sling bag backpacks.

We think the Niceer mens sling backpack mens sling bag backpack is one of the best on the market for its functionality and price and it’s great value for money.

This backpack is lightweight, waterproof, has a charging port and fits a 9.7″ tablet. The attachments and buckles are stainless steel and it has multi-layered padding throughout for comfort with wide adjustable should straps.

Tons of compartments and pockets, for your books, clothes and other necessities. Also includes a variety of functional pockets at the front for your phone, pen, coins, etc.

There is a keychain to hook your keys and easy access pocket for your sunglasses. Measuring 7.8 x 3..5 x 12.9″ this man sling can also be worn as a crossbody sling backpack.

Click here for more information and to check price.

Mens Leather Sling Backpack

For an upmarket leather backpack, the Polare Vintage leather sling bag for men definitely fits the bill.

Deep brown and made from full grain leather and inspired by classic Italian design is top quality. Magnetic snaps for easy access and two adjustable shoulder straps.

The backpack is large enough to use as a carry on travel backpack with a deep compartment and strap that sits over the handle of your suitcase if you are taking both.

It’s also great for work as it holds a 17″ inch laptop, has pen loops and pockets for tablets. Dimensions are 12.6 x 4 x 16.5″

Click her for more information and to check price.

Mens Shoulder Sling Bag

We couldn’t go past Polare again for a small sling bag for men.

This Polare original is also one of the best side sling bags for men for its soft cowhide leather and small dimensions 10..6 x 3.1 x 18.9″

Good size compartment for your wallet, keys, phone, charger, etc, leaving you hands-free.

Adjustable to be worn either left or right or across your chest or back.

Click here for more information and to check price.

Best Laptop Sling Bag

This type of sling bag is generally larger and in the shape of a crossbody messenger bag. They can be unisex depending on the style and colour.

Popular Case Logic SLRC-26 SLR Camera and 15.4-Inch Laptop Backpack is an all-in-one 15 inch laptop sling bag, a drone sling bag and camera sling bag for travel.

We think it’s one of the best laptop sling bags for men and women. Not only will this bag fit your laptop it spends your DSLR above the bottom of the case protecting your camera from impact.

Plus there is memory foam to protect the fragile LCD screen. Easy access computer compartment will carry laptops up to 17″.

Click here for more information and to check price.

Outdoor Sling Bag

Doing some hiking or other outdoor activities on your next trip? You’ll be looking for lightweight but durable bags so you can take the essentials with you whether you are hiking, cycling or walking.

These travel slings packs for hiking may suit your weekend and weekday needs.

Kaka Hiking Sling Bag

Compact with an adjustable shoulder strap and variety of colours.

Multifunctional as it carries your camera, water bottle, USB charging port. Phone pocket and a sunglass pocket.

High-quality material with a soft pressure-reducing strap, lightweight, waterproof, one of the perfect sling packs for hiking.

Click here for more information and to check price.


Hiking Sling Backpack

Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Daypack is the choice for serious hikers. Lifetime guarantee for repair or full replacement. With a variety of colours, this hiking sling backpack is suitable for men and women.

Ergonomically designed for comfort together with wide, padded, adjustable straps. You can also attach a number of Osprey travel bags and larger packs.

Large zip panel allows easy access to the main compartment and the side mesh pockets will hold your water bottles.

A multifunctional interior sleeve that either holds your tablet or hydration sleeve.

Click here for more information and to check price.

Best Sling Bag Brands

For the final section of our best sling bag for travel, we have the best sling bags brands. Choose from the following branded sling bags

We hope we’ve eased the confusion about which sling bag is the best for travel for you. Let us know in the comments which sling bag for travel best suits your needs. Which one did you choose?

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