- Fabric is balanced in structure and softness
- Well-organized main compartment
- Harness system is comfortable to wear
- Omits the second loop from the previous version
- A pen can partially obstruct the rear pocket
- Aluminum release buckle feels loose, and jingles
.64 lb (0.3 kg)
6.3 in x 11.8 in x 3.9 in (16 x 30 x 9.9 cm)
Nylon, Polyurethane, Polyester, YKK Zippers, Aluminum
When we first looked at Heimplanet’s Transit Line Sling Pocket, we praised it for its organization, durable materials, and great size. But it did have its own cons in terms of carrying comfort and some visual nitpicks.
Enter the Transit Line Sling Pocket XL. It comes in a bigger size than the original, but it answers the points we had about the original. The harness system is comfortable, the fabric held up well, and the logo is no longer the translucent sticker-like type. The Sling Pocket XL has its own flaws and highlights, so if you were interested in the Sling Pocket before but wondered how it would have been like if it were bigger, this review’s for you.
Materials & Aesthetic
Take a step back and look at the Sling Pocket XL, and you’ll notice that it has a subtle eight-sided diamond shape to it. Recalling the smaller Sling Pocket that came before, it has a much sharper profile. Heimplanet has cleaned up the aesthetics in a low-key way. Though somewhat ironically, the Sling Pocket XL also feels a bit busier at the same time.
There are more lines courtesy of the front compartment’s zipper, which adds a few more creases to the facade of the sling. But that’s all minor details we just picked up on. We still dig the clean-cut aesthetic. Bonus points, they made the logo opaque, as opposed to the translucent one, which we didn’t love on the smaller Sling Pocket.
One thing that is making a comeback is the DYCOSHELL main fabric, composed of two types of nylon, all “dope-dyed.” For the uninitiated, dope dying is a process of dying fabrics like nylon that uses less dye. Less dye used means less impact on the environment, which we can all get behind. Despite the dye-saving process, the looks are still on point, and we still dig the colorway. We have the black version in this review, but there’s also the dope-dyed Castlerock, which we think is, well, dope.
The structure is also praiseworthy on the Sling Pocket XL. Simply put, it’s well-structured enough that it doesn’t feel flimsy or like it will collapse into itself when it’s not packed up full. At the same time, it’s also not too hard, like it’s made out of rigid cardboard. It’s just a good balance, landing in a sort of Goldilocks-zone of firmness and softness.
Other praiseworthy ingredients found on the Sling Pocket XL are water-resistant YKK zippers—now with more grabbable pulls—a Hypalon loop at the front, and premium-feeling aluminum hardware on the harness system, which we’ll get more into later.
Starting at the back, the Sling Pocket XL retains the polygon-patterned foam-padded back. It remains flat against you, regardless of whether the sling is full or not. The large surface area got us wondering if the back panel would benefit from some air channels similar to the NOMATIC Navigator Sling 1L. However, it never felt too warm to warrant additional air channels, so it gets a pass there.
At the front, we noticed that Heimplanet had omitted one of the two front loops that we previously saw on the original Sling Pocket. Just one of these Hypalon loops comes in handy for accessories you may want to hang off of your sling, but we still would’ve preferred to have two of them like before.
The harness system is simple and straightforward, just a strap mounted on the top corners of the sling. It’s non-removable, though we didn’t find any major reason to have it replaced. The strap is comfortable to wear despite the larger size of the Sling Pocket XL. It also adjusts more easily compared to the original Sling Pocket and is dangle-free, thanks to the built-in elastic strap keeper.
What we didn’t like about the harness system is the aluminum quick-release buckle found near the left side of the strap. It’s not uncommon to find quick-release buckles on slings. The Chrome Industries Kadet has a seatbelt button style release, while the Bellroy Sling Mini has a simpler magnetic snap-on buckle.
Those all work great, but the one here on the Sling Pocket XL feels loose. One end simply threads through the larger aluminum piece, but it doesn’t totally lock into place, so it kind of jingles when you’re handling the sling. If you’re not fond of metal pieces clanging together, you might find this a nuisance. On the flip side, it does look nice, and the aluminum pieces feel chunky and high-quality. Plus, the larger end can be used as a bottle cap opener in a pinch.
Inside The Pack
One of the favorite things we like to bring around when we’re exploring the city is a trusty pair of sunglasses. There’s nothing quite like admiring the view without the sun getting too much in the way. That’s why we’re stoked to see the dedicated sunglasses compartment on the Sling Pocket XL.
It’s a side-loading pocket on the right side of the sling that goes deep, spanning approximately half the sling’s length. You’ll have no problem fitting in large sunglasses or even a sunglasses hard case. The Sling Pocket XL is structured enough that we’d feel fine throwing in our sunglasses without a hard case, but we prefer to do so for more protection. Suppose you’re not fond of carrying sunglasses or reading glasses with you. In that case, you can still take advantage of this compartment by turning it into a granola bar dispenser, compact flashlight pocket, or anything of a similar shape.
In addition to a sunglasses pocket, you have your more typical front quick-access pocket for your everyday carry items. We threw in some cleaning kit materials for our camera, and it works well for not-so-small items that are easily visible. The interior fabric is black, so we wouldn’t put anything too hard or too small to find. But chunky items like spare batteries, a small bottle of IPA, and a cleaning cloth work fine with it.
Battery banks come in all shapes and sizes, and you can kinda go back and forth whether you want to keep it in a quick-access pocket or the main compartment—it all comes down to size. We preferred to use the Sling Pocket XL’s main compartment because of the impressive organization we found inside.
Inside the main compartment, you get two-liner pockets flanking the front side. These work well for wireless earphone case-sized items, bundles of keys, small travel bottles, that sort of stuff. These liner pockets are immediately visible when you have the sling on your front; hence you’ll want to use these for other quick-grab items.
Towards the rear, you get two more liner pockets with a pen silo in between. The liner pockets are for more items you want to keep from free-floating inside. What you’ll want to be mindful of is the pen silo. If you occupy it with a regular-sized pen, it can partially obstruct the rear zippered compartment. Not a major flaw, but it does get in the way when unzipping.
Finally, the zippered compartment at the very back acts as the security pocket for your important travel documents, or maybe some emergency cash you want to keep in reserve. We used it for our small field notebook, filled with hilarious anecdotes of our adventures.
Apart from the pockets and organization, the main compartment itself has good volume thanks to the depth of the Sling Pocket XL. Even large wallets, thickly-cased smartphones, high-capacity power banks will fit inside no problem. Additionally, unlike the front pocket, the interior fabric here is a nice mix of light grey and black, upping interior visibility.
The Sling Pocket XL retains what we liked with the original Sling Pocket—it’s got great structure, tons of organization. The aluminum buckle can be a love-or-hate thing, but the harness system is more comfortable to wear—overall, a good sling for those who liked the original but needed a bit more space.
- Everything we loved about the regular-sized Sling Pocket with a bit more room and extra organization options
- The strap adjuster is a little more featured than the smaller version—the buckle that holds the strap together is less traditional, but does the job and looks nice
- We like the eco-friendly fabric
- The bag material & design is great—it keeps it’s structure and form just enough while empty without feeling rigid
- We dig the two smaller interior pockets—a lot of slings don’t take advantage of adding organization options to these small areas
- Middle pen pocket is nice, but it obstructs the back zipper access—the compact James Brand The Stilwell Collapsible Pen fits in quite nicely here without obstructing anything