The Best Single Strap, One Strap & Sling Backpacks

Let’s face it, backpacks with two straps can be annoying, the straps often slip off of your shoulders and can be uneven, making the backpack uncomfortable. A single strap backpack can often be more stable and comfortable due to the single strap cutting across your body for extra security, they can also look more stylish than other backpacks.

Why should I get a Single Strap Backpack

Single strap backpacks share the benefits of both messenger bags and backpacks such as being more convenient and lightweight:


An annoying feature of standard backpacks is that they are easy to steal as they can be pulled off of your shoulders. One strap backpacks do not have this problem as the strap is secured by your whole body.


One strap backpacks require less effort to put on and they can also easily be shifted around to the front of your body if you need to pull anything out of the backpack while you are on the move. This makes them great for runners, cyclists and other active people. This is also useful for school students who are constantly removing and putting things back in their backpack.

Fit Snugly

Single strap backpacks fit more snugly against your body than standard backpacks, this makes them great for cyclists, motorcyclists, horse-riders and other activities which require sitting on a saddle where a normal backpack can be uncomfortable. As a motorcyclist, I find this especially useful.  


Single strap backpacks can be more stylish than standard backpacks as they look similar to a messenger bag and often have a more minimalistic look. They are also less bulky than standard backpacks and therefore do not protrude as much from your back which makes them more subtle when you are trying to look smart.

Below we have created a list of the best single strap backpacks, if you see one that you like on the list, just click the image and you will be taken to Amazon to find the best price. These backpacks are the best one’s that you will be able to find on the internet or in stores and are all very highly reviewed.

Kavu Rope Backpack

The Kavu Rope Backpack is a very stylish and high quality single strap backpack that uses a unique rope single strap. It is a smaller backpack, but has lots of pockets including a stash pocket on the back of the backpack, which is ideal for storing valuables that might get stolen. There is also a front pocket and two internal pockets for keeping your things organised. The backpack is available in a huge number of different colors and patterns, so you will almost certainly find one that suits your personality.

Under Armour Compel Sling 2.0 Backpack

This is one of the larger one strap backpacks and is great if you need to carry around more bulky items such as a laptop (this backpack has a laptop sleeve for laptops up to 15 inches in size). The backpack is water resistant, so should keep your laptop and other items dry in all but the heaviest of rain. It is also very comfortable with a wide padded strap that is very easy to fasten. This single strap backpack also has two front pockets for organising your things and is available in three different colors.

OutdoorMaster Sling Backpack

The OutdoorMaster Sling Backpack is a very versatile single strap backpack that is also one of the lower cost backpacks on this list. Compared to many one strap backpacks it is very spacious and can fit smaller laptops / tablets and books. The shoulder strap on this backpack is very comfortable and can even be reversed so that it can be used with either of your shoulders in-case one of your shoulders gets tired. Another interesting feature for the security conscious among you is the hidden pocket which will help keep your possessions safe from would be thieves as well as numerous other pockets and a mesh side pocket for your water bottle.

Pioneeryao 9L Sling Bag Backpack

This is a very stylish and functional single strap backpack that is available in seven great looking colors. The single strap is well padded, comfortable and can be adjusted to fit on either of your shoulders. The strap also contains a hidden pocket where you can safely store smaller cell phones, credit cards, cash etc. The Pioneeryao backpack has lots of pockets to keep your stuff organised including two front pockets additional to the main compartment, a side pocket for your water bottle and the anti-theft hidden pocket previously mentioned.

Mens Tactical Gear Molle Hydration Ready Sling Backpack

If you are looking for a very durable single strap backpack, with a lot of space to store your things and a very functional design for people who enjoy cycling, hiking and other sports.  This backpack comes in a large number of colors and has a rugged, military-like design that as someone who hikes a lot, I personally think looks great. Some of the color variations of this backpack even come with a compass!

The backpack is made from 600 Denier Polyester which is a very strong form of polyester that should withstand a lot of abuse and their are numerous pockets for safely keeping your stuff. The storage can be expanded further with the attachment points on the backpack. This one strap backpack can even hold a hydration bladder, which makes it perfect for use during outdoor exercise.


adidas Capital Sling Backpack

The adidas Capital is a very nice one strap backpack that is very very comfortable. While it is more expensive than some of the backpacks on this list, it is worth easily worth the price with it’s durability, comfort and lifetime warranty! The lifetime warranty means that this might be the only single strap backpack that you ever need to buy, as if it breaks, they will simply replace it. This is a very functional sling bag with rip-proof and waterproof fabric, a very comfortable padded strap, and padding on the back of the backpack.

What should I be looking for in a single strap backpack?

A good one strap backpack can be hard to find as there are not as many of them on the market as normal backpacks with two straps. Here are a few features that you should look for:


One strap backpacks are generally not as spacious as normal backpacks, so it is important to know how much you would like to carry in the backpack. Some single strap backpacks are large enough to carry a laptop and other items, whereas most will not be large enough. If you click on the links to the products above, you will find many more reviews of these backpacks where people often say what they have been able to fit into the backpack. Many single strap backpacks are somewhere around the 10L mark, which keeps them small but still useful enough to carry around items that you will regularly use. This size makes them lightweight and more comfortable for when you are exercising and in other situations where you might only need to carry around a few smaller items, e.g a water bottle, some food and a jacket.


Again, this depends on how much you are likely to carry. If you only intend to be carrying a few lightweight items in your one strap backpack, then making sure that the strap has adequate padding isn’t quite as important. But, if you intend to carry around heavier items then a decent amount of padding on the single strap is a must. Many one strap backpacks will also have padding on the back of the backpack as well as the strap which can increase the comfort of the backpack greatly when carrying heavier items. Also, look for a backpack where the side of the strap can be changed so that if one of your shoulders starts to ache from carrying the single strap backpack, you can simply adjust the strap so that you can use it on your other shoulder instead.


Since you can’t normally fit as much in a single strap backpack as a normal backpack, having a decent number of pockets can make your one strap backpack far more useful as keeping your things well organised in the backpack will allow you to carry more items. Try to make sure that any single strap backpack that you buy has more pockets than just the main compartment. Many one strap backpacks also contain special pockets such as theft-proof pockets on the strap to keep your valuables such as your cell phone, credit cards and keys safe. Others have media pockets to keep a tablet or small laptop, however most single strap backpacks won’t be large enough to store a full size laptop, such as a 15 inch one.


We have checked one strap backpacks on this list for durability, but if you decide to go with a different single strap backpack, make sure that you check the reviews (both positive and negative) to make sure that the backpack is well built and made to last. While almost every backpack will have a few negative reviews, if there are a large number then it may be worth buying a different backpack. Some single strap backpacks come with lifetime warranties, which is a sure sign of quality, as if the company is willing to sell the bag with one, then they must have carried out a lot of testing on the bag and are confident that they will not see many returns.

My experiences with using a single strap backpack

As someone who cycles a lot and also rides a motorcycle, I often find that my normal backpacks are too bulky and hang too low, making them uncomfortable even on shorter rides. This is especially pronounced on my motorcycle as the rear seat is higher than the rider’s seat, which means that the seat is always pushing on the backpack. I have found that using a one strap backpack mitigates this effect and is much more comfortable. Whenever I am not carrying a larger amount of stuff, I now use a single strap backpack due the the increase in comfort and reduction in weight.

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