Sling Bag or Backpack: What is Better?

Sling bag vs. backpack featured image

While backpacks have been a staple in most households for decades, sling bags are a much newer kid on the block.

Despite their newness, sling bags are taking the world by storm as they are stylish and work well with most outfits.

However, one question remains. Are these bags as good as or even better than backpacks? Below, we discuss the better alternative between the two.

Sling Bags

Sling Bag or Backpack

Sling bags are carried on the shoulder. To understand the effect of sling bags on your neck and shoulder, you need to look at the structure of the area around the neck and shoulder.

The shoulder part near the neck's base is naturally higher than the shoulder's tip. This creates a downslope from the neck to the tip of the shoulder.

To carry a slingback successfully, you will tend to lift the shoulder carrying the bag, so it does not fall off the shoulder. In the end, the effect is that the shoulder and neck muscles become stiff and painful.

For this reason, it is advisable to carry a sling bag across the chest so that the weight of the bag is pulled towards the neck's base ad it is not continuously slipping off the shoulder.

As a result, the shoulder and neck will experience less pull downward, and the back and hips can support the bag's weight. This leads to less pain in the neck and shoulder.


men wearing backpack

While there is a wide variety of backpacks in the market, they all have two straps on each shoulder.

Furthermore, unlike sling bags that slip when placed on one shoulder, backpacks do not slop off the shoulder as weight is distributed more evenly across the two shoulders.

This means that there is less risk of overusing one side of the shoulder when compared to using a sling bag.

When carrying a backpack, it is crucial to ensure that the length of the strap is just right.

If the strap's length is too long, the carrier will tend to lean backward and develop a forward-leaning or forward hunching posture, leading to shoulder and back problems in the long run.

Individuals should adjust the length of straps, so the back and the bag are in close contact.

Furthermore, you can look for bags with front straps that run across the chest and abdomen so the body can carry the bag naturally.

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The Bottom Line: Sling Bag or Backpack

There is no clear winner between backpacks and sling bags as both are fully functional bags that can be used on different occasions.

 You can choose either depending on your preferences, but backpacks could be more beneficial for activities such as hiking that will require you to carry essentials and move around.

For such a case, a sling bag may not work as it has decreased carrying capacity and can get uncomfortable when carried on a single shoulder.

However, sling bags are more efficient for those who need to carry out small errands or who want the convenience of more storage space as they move around.

Ryan Mills
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