Bellroy Lite Sling Mini Review
The Bellroy Lite Sling Mini is a small sling that utilizes lightweight, durable materials and can store a surprising amount of gear while retaining comfort.
- Durable materials don’t weigh you down
- Strap is comfortable in most cases
- Well-designed organization
- No real padding or aeration
- Can be hard to find small gear in main compartment
- Water can get inside small holes created by gusset
6.53 oz (185.1 g)
6.69 in x 7.87 in x 2.75 in (17 x 20 x 7 cm)
Recycled Polyester, Recycled Nylon, YKK Zippers, Woojin Hardware
The Bellroy Lite Sling Mini is, you guessed it, a smaller version of the Bellroy Lite Sling. It looks like a cross between the latter and the Bellroy Lite Sacoche—which isn’t bad company. However, we’re curious how this footprint will affect usage and how much gear we can stow inside. Let’s dive in!
The primary pack material is a lightweight ripstop fabric. It’s durable, water-resistant, and not very heavy, which we dig. We’ve seen this material numerous times in the Bellroy Lite Collection and haven’t had any issues with it. It’s a good combination of lightweight and rugged.
At the time of writing, there are four colorways to choose from. Arcade Gray has a visible ripstop design, Chalk is clean-looking, Copper offers a pop of color, and Shadow is dark and sleek. There aren’t many options; however, we dig what’s currently available.
The Bellroy logo is placed subtly on the top of the sling. We’re used to seeing this on their daypacks, travel backpacks, and slings, so there are no surprises here. It blends in reasonably well, despite contrasting the primary pack material color.
Below that, there’s a small loop made of the same fabric as the rest of the pack. You can throw a cycling light here for riding at night or attach other gear using a carabiner or strap. When not in use, it blends in nicely, which we dig.
On the exterior, we’ve got YKK AquaGuard zippers. The internal zipper is also from YKK but without the water-resistant finish. The AG zippers can be slow to open and close; however, we love the extra protection from rain and spills. The main compartment has two zippers, meaning you can get creative with operating this sling. It might feel like overkill for some on such a small pack, but they don’t get in the way when you’re not using them, so we don’t mind. If you haven’t had a pack with this design, it may take some getting used to.
Under the sides of the main compartment zipper is a gusset to help the sling expand and compress when you have more or less gear inside. The gusset has no upper connection with the sling, so there’s a small hole. The main compartment zipper covers it; however, in a perfect storm, water could sneak inside there and get your gear wet. We’ve seen this design on other Bellroy slings and have never had such an issue, but it’s worth reporting.
The strap has a Woojin magnetic closure. It’s easy to open and close and is snappy. Some folks don’t enjoy using them, and users have had them pop open on them in the past, but we haven’t had such an issue. It’s situated so that if you’re wearing the sling on your front, the buckle won’t be on your back, so you can still wear a backpack comfortably. It’s small attention to detail like that, we think, that sets companies like Bellroy apart.
There’s some padding on the back panel, but it’s not as thick or complete as other slings we’ve used. That isn’t to say it isn’t comfortable; however, if you’re used to a dedicated back panel, this will be a step in a new direction. The padding here is between the liner and the external shell, not its own thing.
The materials don’t hold their shape, so whatever you stow inside the sling on the rear side affects the comfort of the back panel. It’s designed to hold a flat item against the back, which is helpful. However, if you need to carry something bulkier there, it can be a little uncomfortable. This is an outlier, so it should be noted that this sling is comfortable 9 times out of 10.
The strap doesn’t have padding or aeration and is incredibly similar to other Bellroy slings we’ve tested. It’s soft and comfortable but can dig in if the pack has a lot of heavy items inside. It’s hard to stuff it that full at just four liters, though.
The strap is easily adjustable to find the right fit. Once you’ve located it, it stays put fairly well, too, so it won’t slide around while wearing it.
You can wear the Bellroy Lite Sling Mini on either shoulder, which is nice for extended trips or folks who like to switch things up now and then. It’s not designed for wearing as a waist pack; this is a crossbody sling.
Defining what something is can be helpful, but what can you fit in here?
Inside The Sling
We’ve got just one secondary compartment to work with on this sling. It’s in front of the main compartment and can act as a quick-access pocket, not because it’s easier to get to than the main compartment, but because it’s the perfect size for frequently-used items.
It’s small, with no internal organization, but it works well to stow a phone so long as you don’t have an oversized case. A wallet works here, too, alongside a pair of headphones. There’s a key leash, which isn’t very long but is easy to use and is a handy inclusion for Airbnbs with keys or to use at home.
Moving into the main compartment, there’s a smidge more organization, like that zippered compartment on the back wall we referenced earlier. It’s the perfect size for a phone, passport, or other small, flat item. By putting a piece of gear like this here, you ensure that the back panel remains comfortable because it has no significant protrusions.
The rest of the space in the main compartment is up for grabs. There’s quite a bit of it to work with, and you’ll also get a good look at the gussets we mentioned earlier. Sometimes, the space feels hard to adequately utilize because of its height. It isn’t taller than other slings we’ve tested; however, it’s a lot less wide, so stacking gear isn’t as easy because you can’t get as creative with your organization. This is only an issue if you plan to stow many smaller items inside—if you have a few medium-sized things, you shouldn’t have a problem segmenting your gear.
Overall, we’re amped with how much gear we can stow inside this four-liter sling. It packs a punch for its size, and the design makes it easy to expand or compress the pack so it still looks good no matter how much is inside. It sometimes feels tall when organizing or grabbing gear from the main compartment, but that’s a minor issue for such a well-designed sling!
- The materials are lightweight but feel durable
- High-quality hardware throughout the sling
- Having two zippers on the main compartment is handy, but we’re curious how useful it will be on a 4-liter pack
- The materials have remained in good shape and held up durability-wise
- No issues with water getting into the primary or secondary compartments
- The strap is comfortable, even when the sling is fully packed