I am absolutely obsessed with packable/compact things; I currently own of a packable Duffel bag and packable ottoman, as well as a packable backpack and tote bag. It’s pretty easy to understand why I jumped at the opportunity to review the Waterfield Packable Sling backpack.
My previous packable backpack was a black, formless bag that all in all feels flimsy. Oftentimes, bags of this nature can be sometime come across as cheaply made, or almost trashy looking. Waterfield’s approach is anything but.
The Packable Sling is a sling backpack that holds its form well, thanks to a solid construction with minor padding inside and reinforced stitching. It is also water-resistant, something that doesn’t happen all that regularly with bags like this.
In my experience, the WaterField can easily, if not routinely hold two water bottles, a tablet, notepad, reading glasses and some pens. It expands nicely to allow for more storage than you might expect. But, to me, the best part is that the bag folds up to about half the size of a paperback book when not in use.
The Packable Sling is designed for day trips to the beach, a hike in the hills, or hopping around town. It’s the sort of thing you’ll want to have on you if you’re tired of carrying keys, cables, and other small items in your pocket or hands.
It’s not quite a bag for laptops or tablets, but it can accommodate an 11-inch iPad Pro or a Surface Go. If you’re doing that, you’ll want to put them into a sleeve first so it has cushion and protection.
The bag can be worn on either side of the body, on the front or the back. Just note that when you purchase it you’ll decide whether it’s a left or right shoulder design.
I like that there are a number of pockets here and that it’s not just one big pouch. The exterior one is great for tossing in a wallet and earbuds; an attached hook is located inside so you can clip your keys or fob.
The Packable Sling is currently available for $99 from Waterfield in four colorways (Black, Olive, Burgundy, and Khaki). I personally think the price is overshooting a bit. In a market where these types of products run you $20-$30, this bag, while amazing, costs around three times that.
Now, to be fair, every other product we’ve tested from WaterField Bags has held up over time. The build quality is as promised and the lifetime warranty (defects in materials and workmanship) are both certainly worth extra money.