Carhartt Sling Bag Review
The Carhartt Sling Bag uses their trademark look and rugged materials to craft a budget-friendly sling bag that isn’t intuitive to use but gets the job done.
- Durable polyester primary pack material
- Rugged hardware from trustworthy brands
- Three pockets to stow gear
- Internal organization is lacking
- Pack can get sweaty due to a lack of aeration
- Zippers inaccessible while wearing the pack
12.8 oz (362.9 g)
polyester with Rain Defender® durable water repellent
13 in x 17 in x 4 in (33 x 43.2 x 10.2 cm)
Polyester, DWR Coating, YKK Zippers, Woojin Hardware, Duraflex Hardware
When you think about Carhartt, what comes to mind? Rugged jackets, work pants, and coveralls? How about a sling? No? Well, here we are. The Carhartt Sling Bag utilizes the look we’ve come to know and love in recent years to craft a comfortable daily carry. Does it work, or will we be left wanting more? Let’s dive in!
The primary pack material on this sling is 600D polyester. It’s durable but lighter weight than we were expecting. We expect it to feel more like a Carhartt jacket. However, that doesn’t mean this material isn’t rugged and worth your time.
At the time of writing, this sling bag comes in Burgundy, Carhartt Brown, Gray, and Black. All the colorways are unique, but Carhartt Brown is the most classic. We went for Black because it matches our preferred travel look. The logo on the bottom right for all four colorways gives the pack the Carhartt vibes we came for.
The pack utilizes YKK zippers, which are easy to use and the industry standard for good gear. Nothing to report here; they work as we’d expect them to.
The plastic hardware is from Woojin Duraflex. You heard us right, and we’re just as confused as you are. If you aren’t aware, Woojin and Duraflex are two of the best plastic hardware manufacturers. The odds are that you’ve used both brands dozens of times and didn’t even know it. However, they don’t appear to do business together. On one or two occasions, we’ve seen hardware branded as Woojin Duraflex, which is confusing. Regardless of its origin, it works as we’d expect it to.
This pack has a top handle; however, it’s tiny. You can use it to hang the bag on a hook but not hold it. It excels at its purpose, but it’s a bummer you can’t easily hold onto this pack with your hand.
The back panel has little padding but is comfortable for most situations. There’s no mesh or aeration, so it can get hot, especially on the black colorway, although we can’t vouch for the others. All the colorways are dark, but the black hides sweat, whereas the lighter ones might not.
The shoulder strap is a straight line—it doesn’t curve or conform to your body. This isn’t uncomfortable, but it doesn’t feel like it becomes a part of you, which would be ideal for long walks around a new city. It’s comfortable enough, but it feels like it could fit better.
There’s a strap keeper, which we dig, as it keeps things organized and ensures you don’t have extra materials hanging around. It adds to the minimalistic look bolstered by the sleek, black colorway.
This pack isn’t reversible; the strap only goes one way. This isn’t the end of the world, but it’s worth noting. You can’t comfortably access the zippers while wearing it, which is a bummer. To get good access, you have to take the sling off.
Inside The Sling
There’s a side pocket where you’d usually expect a travel water bottle holder to be. There’s no specific place to hold water here, so don’t hold your breath. However, this spot is an excellent place to stow your phone. It is a soft material that’ll protect your screen from scratches and can fit a plus-sized phone. It isn’t very large, so not much else works here.
The front pocket is flat and doesn’t have much organization. There’s a zippered mesh pocket to lock smaller items down, but that’s it. The rest of the space is free for you to work with, but because of the pocket’s design, flat items like a book or notebook work well here. You can stow other quick-use items you might want to access at a moment’s notice inside the zippered area, like headphones, your wallet, or keys.
The main compartment is much larger and more organized, but only by a little. On the back panel, there’s a padded tablet sleeve. It is amply thick, though it’s worth keeping a case on your iPad for extra protection.
A mesh liner pocket with an elastic topper is on the front side. You can stow gear here if you want to keep it out of the hubbub of the rest of the compartment; however, it might pop out of the top if the going gets rough.
Apart from that, there’s no other organization, so keeping your gear segmented and accessible is up to you. This pack isn’t large enough to warrant packing cubes, but a tech pouch and other small sacks are a good idea.
For the price point, this sling bag is good. It’s a sub-$50 sling, at least at the time of writing, that gives you durable materials, 14 liters of space, and multiple pockets to work with. It doesn’t feel intuitively designed, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work or you won’t like it. Sometimes, you just need to get the gear there. Plus, if you already own Carhartt gear, it’ll match perfectly!
- Materials feel less hardy than we’re used to with Carhartt but durable all the same
- Curious to see how the zippered pockets work in testing
- We dig the colorway—it’s sleek
- Materials show no signs of wear
- The pack can get sweaty but doesn’t show residue
- Comfort depends on how much gear you have stowed inside