How to Wear Sling Backpacks

How to Wear Sling BackpacksSling backpacks have just one strap that typically crosses from one corner of the pack to the other. While you can just tuck your arm through the sling loop and carry the pack on one shoulder, with heavy loads it is most comfortable if you cross the strap over your chest like a bandolier. This way the weight is on your back, not your shoulder. The body of the pack may have a conventional square or teardrop shape, narrow at the top and wide at the bottom.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
With the backpack empty, take the backpack on and off a few times to familiarize yourself with how it adjusts. Some sling straps are made of one solid piece, while others adjust via hook-and-loop or buckled closures.
Step 2
Adjust the hook-and-loop closure or buckle system so that the sling backpack rides comfortably in the center of your back, with the strap crossing from one side of your waist to the opposite shoulder.
Step 3
Take your backpack off and load it with the heaviest items on the bottom and lighter items on top. Some sling backpacks have no internal frame system at all. I that's the case with yours, try to place something flat or soft in the very back of the pack to cushion and protect your spine from other items that may poke through.
Step 4
Put your backpack on again by slipping the strap over your head. This eliminates the need to continually readjust the strap closure.

Tips & Warnings

Sling backpacks are stylish and easy to get on and off, but because they compress the entire weight of the pack on just one carry strap, they're not recommended for carrying very heavy or awkward loads.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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