One of the advantages of using a sling style backpack is that you can carry it in two ways – slung on one shoulder or across the body and behind you. While carrying it the latter way, all you have to do to access its contents or to sit down is swing it to the front without taking it off. A well made sling bag is also very comfortable to carry this way and is a good choice if you want to carry your things with you for a long time but don’t want the bulkiness of a regular backpack. Imagine traipsing through Disney World for a week while carrying your family’s supplies! You should also consider a structured or packable daypack that is much lighter than a regular backpack for the same use.
Sling backpacks also come in varying sizes, so you can choose to use a small one to replace a purse, a medium to hold a tablet or a large one to hold a laptop or enough supplies for yourself and kids for the day. While small and medium sized bags are good for use as day packs while sightseeing, large ones should not be carried for too long if they’re loaded with very heavy items. They can be a good option if you want to use it for your laptop while in transit. However, if you’re carrying anything of value in places that are known for theft, you should consider slings that are theft-proof.
I’ve sorted out my top picks for sling backpacks by size – the large ones can hold a laptop, the medium ones can hold an iPad, and the purse sling bags will be the lightest and will hold essentials like keys, a wallet, a phone, etc.
My absolute favorite sling bags are the Ameribag Healthy Back Bags. They come in four different sizes and are available in leather, distressed nylon and microfiber, so there’s a bag for any type of need. I like them so much that I’ve reviewed them separately too!
They are contoured to hug your back so that you eliminate shoulder and back strain and the shoulder strap is padded for added comfort. They’re also very durable and come in a variety of colors. To top things off, there is a special padded compartment for your tablet or notebook.
Large Sling Backpack for Laptop
Ful Women’s Brickhouse Sling Bag
For an affordable laptop sling backpack that has lots of compartments for organization, this Ful Women’s Brickhouse Bag should be just right. It is a polyester bag and available in black, pink, orange and purple. It measures 6 x 18 x 11 inches. With all the extra space, it’s easy to over pack this bag and make it too heavy for the average woman to carry.
The shoulder strap is adjustable and can swivel to the left or right, so that you can carry the bag on either shoulder – something most sling bags don’t allow you to do so easily. There is a small cell phone holder attached as well.
The laptop compartment features foam padding, is accessed from the side and can hold a laptop up to 14 inches. The large main compartment features an internal pocket. There are 2 zippered pockets on the front – one large U-shaped organizer pocket and a smaller diagonal one placed in front of that. One side features a smaller U-shaped pocket, while the other side has an elastic mesh pocket for a water bottle. There is also a front access audio pocket with a headphone port.
J World New York Kitten Sling Bag
For a fun and feminine print option to hold a laptop, consider this J World New York Kitten Bag. It is an affordable bag made of polyester and available in 6 different colors. It measures 19″ x 15″ x 6″.
The main zippered compartment is so spacious that not only will it hold a 15.4″ laptop in its own sleeve, but also an iPad and many other personal items. There is a large zippered pocket on the inside and a small accessories flap pocket on the front exterior. The adjustable shoulder strap contains a cell phone pocket.
The back panel is padded and so is the shoulder strap. This bag would also be great for a shopping trip to hold souvenirs from a holiday!
If you’d rather carry your laptop in a more protective bag, take a look at these messenger style bags for laptops.
Sling Backpack for iPad
OutdoorMaster Sling Bag Backpack
For a more trendy look, the multipurpose OutdoorMaster Sling Bag is a popular choice and is built to hold quite a heavy load despite it being a compact bag. It fits a 12″ laptop or an iPad. There are several zipped pockets to hold all kinds of things.
The main compartment is good for a laptop or tablet in the built in sleeve and is spacious enough for several books or a pair of sneakers and gym clothes. The middle pocket is smaller and has two slip pockets – a larger one and a smaller one with pen pockets for a cell phone. The front pocket is the smallest and good for easy to reach items. There’s also a small zipped pocket on the inside of the sling strap that’s big enough for a set of keys and some cash. A side mesh pocket is good for a (16 oz) bottle that’s just under 3″ in diameter. At the back is a hidden side pocket that’s anti-theft and meant for a slim wallet, credit cards, keys, cash, etc. This pocket is against your body however you wear it for extra protection.
This sling backpack for women is available in 4 colors, black, dark blue, grey or green, weighs 1 pound and measures 18.9″ by 4″ by 12.6″ at its broadest part. The body is water resistant nylon and the lining material is polyester. The well padded shoulder strap and back panel feature spacer mesh to wick away moisture and improve air circulation for a comfortable carrying experience. The shoulder strap is adjustable and the bottom can be clipped and unclipped to either of two D-rings and the bottom corners at the back of the bag. This means you can wear the bag on either shoulder and switch easily anytime. You can also swing it around to the front to easily access any of the pockets or keep an even closer eye on your stuff in crowded spaces or when when you want to sit down without taking the bag off.
KAVU Rope Sling Bag
If you like a chic print or popping color on your bag with differently styled features, the KAVU Rope Sling Bag is a great choice.
The material is 100% polyester and available in 13 prints with a fabric lining on the inside. The rope shoulder strap is adjustable to provide an ergonomic fit. The measurements are 11″ x 20″, with light tapering towards the top.
There are two vertical zip compartments – the main compartment includes an inner zippered pocket, and can hold an iPad, while the front compartment is great for smaller items. There are two small pockets on the front exterior for an MP3 player, small cell phone, change or keys.
The back panel is padded and has subtle embroidery with the brand’s name.
Small Sling Backpack Purses for Women
Victorinox Luggage Altmont 3.0 Dual-Compartment Monosling
If all you want is something casual but contemporary to replace your purse while exploring your destination or even for everyday use, this Victorinox Altmont 3 Dual Compartment Monosling is a good bet. It measures 16″ x 9.25″ x 5.5″ but tapers towards the top, so getting anything bigger than an iPad Mini in there will be a tight squeeze. It is, however, big enough to hold everything else you might need for a day out, including a DSLR and a 30 oz water bottle, along with travel documents, and smaller gadgets.
There are two compartments, both zippered closed from the side – the larger one is on the back and the smaller one on the front. The front compartment holds an interior drop pocket and is also covered by a snap closure flap on top, so that the zipper is not accessible to anyone else.
The back panel is padded, and the adjustable shoulder strap contains a zippered pocket that is large enough for an iPhone.
The main body fabric is a durable Versatek with an abrasion-resistant ballistic nylon base. The colors available are red, black, gray and navy blue.
While these sling backpacks for women are all great looking, if you’re after a more expensive look, take a look at these sling style backpack purses in leather.