Trying to find the best light sling backpack ever
January 21, 2012 8:18 PM   Subscribe

Please help me find another incarnation of the best school orientation giveaway ever, my perfect one shoulder, cross body bag.

What I love about it:
- By itself, it's super light
- It rolls down tiny/flat for packing
- The shoulder strap clips together in the front for easy locking and unlocking
- There's a cellphone pocket on the shoulder strap
- There's a lot more space than appears - I can fit my laptop plus power cord plus other stuff in there if I need to. (laptop is about 12.5x9in.) I don't often carry my laptop this way so I don't miss the padding, but I love that I can when I need to.
- It's simple and not ugly

What would make it even more perfect, but is by no means necessary:
- Nicer material so that it would be dressier
- More pockets/dividers

A two shoulder purse like backpack that does all this would be all right too, especially if the straps zip into one. I love the look of messenger bags but they always seem to make me ache.

I'm searching for 'sling bags' and 'one shoulder bags'. So far I'm finding that most narrow at the top, and don't seem to fit a laptop (many seem to top out at 12in, is there a good way to predict whether they'd comfortably stretch??), and/or seem too heavy or bulky to pack

The closest I'm finding seem to be these:
- Very very close and awesome pockets, but unless it stretched (might it??) just barely too small for a laptop.
- Nearly identical but definitely too small
- beautiful and large enough but too expensive and too bulky
- Nice but too branded and probably too bulky (and expensive)
- Looks perfect, but 1.5 pounds empty!?! (also out of stock)
- This looks like it would work but I couldn't find any actual availability

Please help! My friends are laughing at me that I'm still using this bag, but the real problem is that it is starting to look pretty worn out. Is there another 'promotional' source to try?

Thank you!!
posted by Salamandrous to Shopping (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Have you looked at Mountain Equipment Co-op's options?
posted by smilingtiger at 8:32 PM on January 21, 2012

This ful sling fits a 14".

Are you sure that the much beloved AmeriBag slings won't fit a 12" laptop? Have you searched through some of the comments? Usually you can see the dimensions of the laptop in the "Features" or "Specs" but not in this one.

This Under Armour is branded but has a laptop sleeve.
posted by barnone at 8:34 PM on January 21, 2012

Best answer: I just want to say that if you go with Mountain Equipment Co-op, that their products are incredibly well made (and I am very hard on bags). I've had mine for almost 6 years and there no fraying seams, no busted zippers etc.
posted by asockpuppet at 9:02 PM on January 21, 2012

Best answer: Incase - fits a 15" laptop

Codi fits a laptop.

Decent looking Belkin with lots of good reviews.


Nike Air Jordan

Looks like there are a bunch of promo slings out there - maybe you can just buy another one like yours!
posted by barnone at 9:35 PM on January 21, 2012

Oh yes, MEC! This Flux 2 definitely fits a 12" laptop. Check out the Ask section and someone confirms it there too. I'm pretty sure the Big Pod would work too.
posted by barnone at 9:45 PM on January 21, 2012

Best answer: I second mec, have one of the sling bags (smaller) very durable.

Contact McGill and ask who their supplier was for the bags. You may be able to buy a single one, or even one with your own slogan sewn on it, OR maybe McGill also sells them.

I know at UVIC there are certain suppliers used for such things and they will be able to give you contact from their records for many years afterwards.


get a friend who sews (well) to take it apart and replicate. Fun project!
posted by chapps at 10:59 PM on January 21, 2012

Anti-vote for the Incase bag: I bought one, several things about it annoyed me, and then one of the zippers caught on the liner and broke.
posted by Nomyte at 11:25 PM on January 21, 2012

depending on how long ago you acquired it, you may be able to contact mcgill university's PR/design department, and see if they remember who they contracted with to make the bags. they may have continued to use that vendor for other years as well, so it may not be too hard overall. i assume there's no tags sewn into the lining?
posted by koroshiya at 1:56 AM on January 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

How about this one from 5.11 Tactical? The picture you provided looks dark, but it appears as though your bag's strap is attached at the top, then at the side, which is how this bag works.
posted by SillyShepherd at 4:00 AM on January 22, 2012

Most thrift stores are swimming in bags like that - Perhaps you could find something that meets your needs at a Value Village or Goodwill.
posted by davey_darling at 5:21 AM on January 22, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks you so much to everybody! I'm not sue which one I'll settle on but I feel so much better that there is something out there for when this bag falls completely apart.

smilingtiger - I'm living in the States now and didn't even think about MEC, but their bags look great!

chapps and koroshiya - Good idea! I think it's worth a try to call McGill - it's been a while but not yet a decade. (It looks like there was a tag in the lining once, but it's long since disintegrated.

barnone and Nomyte - wow, a great set of finds (though thanks for the anti-vote too Nomyte)! Also, where did you see the promo slings?

davey_darling - I'm a big thrift store fan and I've never seen one of these there! I would definitely not have passed it up. I wonder whether this style is more popular in Canada??
posted by Salamandrous at 8:36 AM on January 22, 2012

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