I'm a big fan of sling bags because they fit my run-and-gun style of photography so well.
I like that I can quickly access my gear - much more quickly than with a backpack - and I like having a back that isn't overly huge and obtrusive.
And while some people will say that sling bags fatigue your shoulder, modern sling bags have comfortable shoulder straps that help distribute the weight of the bag over a larger area.
I've used sling bags for years, and some of the very best ones I've found to date are listed below.
HEX Ranger DSLR Sling Bag
I only picked up this bag about three weeks ago, and I can tell you that it's already my favorite sling bag of all time.
That's saying a lot because I've used the Peak Design 10L Everyday Sling Bag for a long time, and it's one of the best bags on the market. That says a lot about HEX given that it's dethroned Peak Design as my favorite sling bag.
One look at the specs on this thing, and you'll understand why I think so highly of it...
What strikes you immediately is the small form factor of the bag.
It weighs only 1.3 pounds and is 14.5"L x 7.25"W x 4.75"H. Though it's rated at 8 liters, I could fit everything from my 10L Peak Design bag into the HEX bag, no problem. There is no wasted space in this thing, so the manner in which it was designed gives you the utmost efficiency of space.
Additionally, this bag hugs your body, so it's a carrying experience unlike any other I've ever had with a sling bag - it stays in place and doesn't bounce around or knock into things as some lesser sling bags tend to do.
The outside of the bag features adjustable load straps and adjustable bottom carry straps, so I can easily add my Peak Design tripod to the bottom of the bag when need be.
There's a front access organizer for small things like batteries or memory cards and a faux fur lined pocket on the front where you can keep your phone. There are multiple stash pockets too.
Inside, one of the best features is the collapsible interior dividers.
The dividers can be folded up or even removed so you can truly customize the bag to suit your needs.
My setup includes a Nikon Z7 with a lens attached, an additional lens, and filters, and there's plenty of room for all of it inside the bag.
The HEX Ranger is just a great looking bag that's well-thought-out and beautifully crafted. If you're in the market for a new sling bag, give this one strong consideration!
Peak Design 10L Everyday Sling Bag
As I noted earlier, this was my go-to sling bag for a long time. It really is a fantastic bag, but the HEX Ranger just outdoes it!
At any rate, I'd still highly recommend this bag because it is impeccably designed and built.
The weatherproof 400D nylon canvas shell keeps things dry while also being a highly durable fabric.
Like the HEX Ranger, this bag also has a low-profile design that keeps it from being obtrusive as you work.
You can easily access your gear via the wide-mouth opening, and if you have small accessories that need to come along for the ride, there's plenty of pockets where you can stash your stuff.
That includes an expandable outer pocket that can accommodate a flash or other small camera accessory.
There's even a side-load option for the main compartment and an external carry system so you can easily carry your tripod.
The best part of this bag, though, are the internal FlexFold dividers.
Inspired by origami, these dividers can be molded into various shapes, including walls, cubbies, and passthroughs, so you get a high level of customization of how the bag works with your gear.
And since they fasten with Velcro, you can take them all out if need be. Heck, the back even folds flat for traveling!
The Everyday Sling is super comfortable, easy to use, and well made. It's definitely deserving of consideration if you want to invest in a new sling bag.
Timbuk2 Camera Sling Bag
Weighing in at just .66 pounds and with a carrying capacity of 7.39 liters, the Timbuk2 Camera Sling Bag is the smallest on this list, making it an ideal choice for mirrorless shooters.
But just because it's small doesn't mean it lacks functionality or features.
In fact, this bag has a modular, scratch-resistant interior that allows you to customize the interior compartment to your specific needs.
The removable camera insert is heavily padded and has two removable dividers as well.
To keep your smaller items like memory cards and batteries nicely organized, there's a small mesh zip pocket that gives you an easy view of what's inside.
The cross-body strap is highly adjustable and fits virtually any body shape and size. And with the grab handle, it's easy to pick the bag up off the ground and get underway.
You can get this bag in a number of colors, and there's a lifetime warranty on the bag too!
Domke F-2 Shoulder Bag
I know what you're thinking...this is a shoulder bag, not a sling.
But with a nice, highly-adjustable strap, this bad boy can be worn as a sling bag!
The Domke F-2 doesn't sacrifice quality or carrying capacity.
In fact, you can carry two cameras, several lenses up to 300mm in length, a flash, and a tablet.
Inside, there are 12 compartments and pockets to keep things organized.
The compartment insert system is even removable so that you can use the bag to carry things other than photography gear.
The non-slip strap stays put on your shoulder and gives you a comfortable carrying experience.
The durable waxed cotton canvas exterior of this bag will also hold up nicely. Domke even throws in a tin of wax!
Copper River Bag Company Lewis & Clark Bag
While this leather messenger-style bag isn't technically a sling bag, if lots of space is what you need, you might consider the Copper River Bag Company Lewis & Clark Bag.
The 14-inch version of this bag can hold a great deal of gear, including a 14-inch laptop, a camera body, a lens, and various accessories like a flash.
It's got a wide-mouth compartment that makes it easy to see what's inside and grab what you need quickly.
The interior features two cargo pockets, ideal for small items like your smartphone or keys, as well as a padded and adjustable camera insert that keeps your gear safe and organized.
Outside, the bag is crafted of 100% full grain leather that's water-resistant and ages beautifully over time.
The solid brass hardware with nickel finish is tough as nails, offering you safety and performance for years to come.
These bags are even custom made when you place your order!
Plus, this thing just looks like a million bucks, doesn't it?!