The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack Review

The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack dazzles with premium features and materials, though switching between modes feels more clunky than versatile.

Our Verdict

6.7 /10
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  • Well-constructed with premium materials
  • Fits a 16-inch MacBook Pro
  • Dual compartments roomy in medium sling mode


  • Tedious and clunky to switch carry modes
  • Laptop sleeve has no bottom, so device is at risk of falling out
  • Small sling mode too bulky for minimal capacity

Technical Details

87 %

Carry-on Compliance

View 126/145 Airlines

44 %

Like the Look

Polled on Instagram

  • Capacity


    Expands to 10L

  • Weight (lb)

    1.1 lb (0.5 kg)

  • Dimensions

    18 in x 12 in (45.7 x 30.5 cm)

    (backpack) | 12 in x 9 in (medium sling) | 12 in x 6 in (small sling)

  • Notable Materials

    Leather, Carbon Fiber, FIDLOCK Hardware, Unbranded Zippers

  • Manufacturing Country


  • Laptop Compartment Size


  • Warranty Information


Full Review

When a brand decides to make a bag fulfilling more than one role, there’s always the risk of it not excelling in any specific one. The upside is the versatility that comes with multi-role functionality. For example, backpacks you can carry like a duffle provide a more convenient way to lug a large load if you don’t want to fuss around with shoulder straps each time. Or what about a rain shell that doubles as a sling? Yep, it exists, alright.

The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack | It’s more like two slings and one backpack, but we’ll count it as three.
The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack | It’s more like two slings and one backpack, but we’ll count it as three.

In this review, we’re looking at The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack. It’s a small sling, a medium sling, and a backpack all rolled into one. Perhaps it’s more appropriate to say “all folded into one” since that’s how it transforms. Nevertheless, like its cousin, the SL Speed Backpack 23L, it has some clunkiness that we simply cannot overlook. For example, switching modes is a tedious process that requires straightening out and unjamming the strap. Plus, despite technically fitting a 16-inch MacBook Pro, the amount of protection is near-negligible besides the fabric of the pack itself. It still has the versatility we’re looking for, though the compromises make us think twice.

External Components

We’ll first start with what The Frenchie Co. does so well: aesthetics. Check out the leather fabric and carbon fiber accents on this; it’s very premium-looking. It’s not just purely looks, either, because the build quality is just as superb. You get AquaGuard-style zippers for added weather protection. Bonus points: the zipper gets a matte finish because of this, and it really matches the style. Mind you, although these are AquaGuard-style zippers, they are unbranded and not from YKK.

The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack Brand
The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack | Ballistic nylon and vegan leather options are available, too.

At its smallest sling configuration, the bag packs down to about a third of its largest size. First, fold it down from backpack to medium sling mode, then fold it in half to get to small sling mode. There’s one snap to hold the bottom and top edge in medium sling mode and another pair when the bag’s folded in small sling mode.

The concept sounds simple when you distill it to its core: fold the bag to make it smaller; unfold it to make it bigger. Even the harness system’s ingenious design saves you from fussing around with clips or buckles. The single strap, a soft seat belt-like material, is stitched near the bottom corners of the pack and split in the middle by a magnetic Fidlock buckle. Each half passes through a pair of D-rings near the top corners, which allows them to transform seamlessly into a pair of shoulder straps once the bag’s fully unfolded into a backpack.

The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack Snap Button
The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack | Snap fasteners make sure the pack stays folded.

Unfortunately, that’s where the positives end, at least for backpack mode. The strap tends to kink and twist, and we have to straighten it out each time. It’s enough to make us think twice of even bothering to use backpack mode because of how tedious it can be. Length adjustment can also be quite fussy as the sliders aren’t the smoothest to move despite the softness of the strap. Mind you, we haven’t even gotten to how comfortable the strap is to wear.

The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack Buckle
The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack | A large magnetic buckle is bit overkill for our needs.

There’s also an issue worth mentioning when going from sling mode to backpack mode. Since you’ll have the strap much tighter in sling mode, the sliders are much closer to the D-rings, causing them to jam into them when unfolding rather than feeding through. This means more fussing around with the sliders, which is inconvenient.

Fit Notes

The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack Side By Side
Left: Lauren Maternowski, Height: 5’6” (168 cm), Torso: 16.5” (42 cm) | Right: Eric Hergenreder, Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), Torso: 18.5” (47 cm)

Backpack mode isn’t uncomfortable per se, although it’s not our favorite mode of carry. Even once you’ve dialed in all of the adjustments, the pack can still feel somewhat awkward to carry. The shoulder straps sit very widely apart where they’re anchored on the D-rings, meaning they can be near the edges of the shoulders for those with narrow torsos. Furthermore, we can feel the straps twist since they’re tethered vertically to the pack itself yet sit horizontally on your shoulders. There’s also no back panel, and we can feel the Fidlock buckle between the shoulder blades, so it’s a very different carrying experience from regular daypacks.

The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack Backpack Studio
The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack | Watch out as the sliders can jam on those D-rings near the top.

The weight balance between each shoulder strap can also be a bit iffy. You have to make sure that the length adjustment on each side of the buckle is equal (or results in equal weight distribution in case you have uneven shoulders). As we mentioned earlier, adjusting the sliders can sometimes be fussy, so we fully loosen the straps to ensure equal lengths.

That pretty much sums up our thoughts about the backpack mode’s fit, but what about the sling modes?

The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack Small
The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack | Small sling mode feels more comfortable with a tighter adjustment.

Medium sling mode is our preferred way to go in terms of comfort and size. We’ll discuss capacity in more depth in the next section, but for now, let’s focus on how the strap performs. To put it simply, the only nitpick we have is the placement of the bulky Fidlock buckle. The small torso members of the Pack Hacker crew feel it sitting atop their shoulders. Your mileage may vary as the buckle’s position will depend on where you adjust the strap.

We’re not quite sure how necessary a magnetic Fidlock buckle is for this pack. On the one hand, it’s a quick and handy way to take it off. On the other hand, the pack is easy to put over your head anyway. Still, the very inclusion of a magnet may be a plus for some, and we don’t mind its inclusion despite its relative bulkiness.

The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack Strap 1
The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack | Medium sling mode can settle for a more relaxed fit.

Medium sling mode is most comfortable when the pack hangs along the side. On the other hand, the smallest sling mode feels too bulky for that. A tighter strap adjustment is better suited for the pack to sit crossbody closely behind you. You can also have it on the front, though we think it’s too bulky in that position.

Inside The Sling

There’s only one secondary compartment on this pack. Interestingly, it’s along the top of the backside, so it’s only accessible in backpack mode. The space inside is shallow, although there is some organization in the form of two liner pockets on one side and one on the opposite side. There’s not much to say about this pocket other than it’s handy for the small gear you need to frequently access when using the pack in backpack mode.

The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack Opening
The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack | This pocket is only usable in backpack mode.

Now it’s time for the main compartments. Both sling modes have two main sections of equal size. The only means of organization for each area is the laptop sleeve which pulls double duty as dividers. Space feels lacking in small sling mode as both compartments are relatively shallow. There’s realistically only enough space for everyday essentials like a wallet and a smartphone. For how bulky this folded-up bag is, the usable capacity almost seems wasteful, and we only recommend it if you’re sure you’re bringing the bare minimum gear.

The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack Sling Small
The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack | Small sling mode’s interior is too small for the pack’s overall size.

Medium sling mode feels the most optimal for us. You get more depth in each compartment without dealing with the inconveniences of backpack mode. You’ll have to unpack your gear if you want to return to small sling mode—which makes sense since you’re squeezing the space by folding it. Kudos to The Frenchie Co. for going with a gray interior, by the way. It’s not the brightest, although at least they didn’t go for a pitch-black liner fabric for the sake of aesthetics.

The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack Medium Studio
The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack | Medium sling mode’s deeper interior feels more balanced for everyday use.

If you want the most space possible, you’ll have to go into full backpack mode. Putting aside all our issues with transforming the pack into this mode, you get a fair amount of usable space inside. The organization is minimal, as there are no additional pockets apart from the zippered pocket from earlier and the laptop sleeve. In backpack mode, one of the two openings from the sling mode becomes the floor, so make sure to zip it properly to prevent gear from falling out.

The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack Laptop
The Frenchie Co. 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack | Take note that the bottom is only zipped up, so make sure to seal it properly.

The observant among you might have noticed that there’s no floor on the laptop sleeve itself—and you’d be correct. We prefer it when laptop sleeves have a false bottom, typically in the form of a gap between the base of a laptop sleeve and the bottom of the bag itself. In the case of the 3 in 1 Sling/Backpack, not only is there no false bottom, the base is only a zipper track, so there’s very little to no protection here in case of a gentle drop. It’s a shame since it can fit up to a 16-inch MacBook Pro—a pretty huge laptop for such a small daypack.

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • Materials feel premium and luxury
  • Interested to see how storage capacity feels compared to the bag’s bulk
  • Fussy to switch between carry modes—curious if practice makes perfect
2 Weeks of Use

Condition: Excellent

  • Switching between carry modes is pretty tedious
  • Materials are still in really great shape—solid build quality, as we’ve seen before from The Frenchie Co.!
  • Zippers and hardware are holding up well
1 Month of Use

Condition: Excellent

  • Still in really great shape
  • Still pretty tedious to use in any carry mode
By Lauren Maternowski
Created February 7, 2023 • Updated February 7, 2023
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