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EPIC Bellroy Sling Review [April 2020]

Bellroy sling review

  • The best Bellroy Sling review on the web!
  • Written by Digital Nomads
  • Who the Bellroy Sling is perfect for
  • If it’s not the pack for you – we’ll show you which pack IS for you

Bellroy Sling Video Review

Our video review is 10x’s more epic – watch it below!

Bellroy Sling Overall Score

Our Take – If you are looking for a sling that looks and feels great (but at the sake of some functionality and organization), then this is one of the best slings money can buy. 

4.5/5
NN Overall Score - 4.2/5
Style
Comfort
Functionality
Durability
Value

Bellroy Sling Specs

The Bellroy Sling comes in a variety of colors, but only one size
  • Capacity: 7 litres
  • Dimensions: 230 x 340 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 350 grams (.7 lbs)

Pros of 7 liter sling – Super manageable size as it’s going to be less bulky and just have a great light feel to it.

Cons of a 7 liter sling – There isn’t a ton of room. This is more of a casual sling and less of a tech-sling. 

The Bellroy Sling is
PERFECT for you if...

  • You want a sexy looking sling

If you are looking for a sling to store some of your Digital Nomad gear AND look great while doing it – the Bellroy Sling is class.

  • You want a lighter/more basic sling

Not everyone needs 41 pockets and 23 futuristic features built into their packs. The Bellroy Sling thrives in its simplicity and minimalism.

  • You want a sling made from premium materials

At $99 USD the Bellroy Sling isn’t cheap, but it’s made from premium materials and is guaranteed to last for years. You do get what you pay for…

  • You want your first sling

The sling revolution is upon us! If you are looking to add a sling to your Digital Nomad packing list, the Bellroy’s build, price point, style, and functionality are all ideal for entry level sling-ers.

  • You want to buy eco-friendly products

Bellroy is committed to environmental sustainability and their Sling is made from recycled ocean plastics. We. Love. This.

The Bellroy Sling is
NOT for you if...

  • You need a backpack

This might sound obvious, but some people want a sling when really what they need is a backpack. Remember that a 7 liter sling cannot handle the amount of stuff a proper 20 liter daypack can.

→ If you need some sort of everyday backpack, check out our…

  • You want a BIG sling

Slings come in all shapes and sizes, and at only 7 liters, the Bellroy Sling is definitely on the smaller side. If you like to carry a ton of stuff, this sling will likely be too small for you. 

→ If you need a sling that is bigger, these are some of the best…

  • You want a sling with more organization

It’s important to understand that the Bellroy Sling is a very simple sling. If you are the type of person who wants pocket and compartments for everything you own, then the Bellroy Sling was not designed for you.

→ These slings have POCKETS…

  • You want a hiking sling

Can the Bellroy Sling accompany you for a nice nature stroll? Sure! But if you are looking for an active/hiking sling, do not bring the Bellroy along for the journey.

→ Instead check out the…

Pack Style

Bellroy Sling. You are a beauty.

In the humble opinion of Nomads Nation, the style of this sling is its biggest selling point. 

Sure, it will carry your stuff.

Sure, it’s comfortable.

Sure, it’s semi-affordable. 

But the best part about the Bellroy Sling is how beautiful it looks and how well it is designed. 

Why are we so enthused about it?

Well you have to understand that while most slings are great in their functionality… most of them look fucking awful.

Slings by nature have a tendency to look like a blob of a bag in the center of your body. Slings usually look bulky and awkward, and are usually too big or do not flow with the body. 

We like the look of the Bellroy (center) compared to it's bulkier competitors (left and right)

This is why we love the Bellroy Sling so much. 

As opposed to looking big and bulky, the Sling’s malleable shape allows it to flatten against your body, making the whole situation less awkward for everyone. 

How it Feels

Bellroy Materials

So while the look of this design is a home run, the feel and materials used on the backpack won’t delight everyone. 

But we are quite fond of the materials, and even more so because they are made of recycled ocean plastics!

The materials are a bit scratchy, but are high quality

While the feel is a bit on the scratchier side, there is still a satisfying smoothness to the feel of the pack. 

This is a big win. Sometimes scratchier materials = a more papery feel (think of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack), which we aren’t a huge fan of.

Plus, add in the fact that Bellroy is committed to eco-friendly materials. Everytime you wear your Bellroy Sling, you can do so knowing you are supporting a company that is committed to improving the world.

To us, that’s a small payoff for a scratchier material. 

YKK Zippers

Bellroy Sling YKK zippers
Strong zipper game on this sling

The Bellroy Sling continues the backpack tradition of using YKK zippers. 

YKK zippers are a staple in the backpack community and are widely regarded as the finest zippers in the land.

On top of the YKK zips are awesome leather pulls. They look class, and they feel great. These zippers are smooth, but with some stitching to provide some grip for an easy grab. 

The zippers themselves zip in a super satisfying, and easy-to-pull manner.

Comfort

Another perfect score for the Bellroy Sling is its comfort. 

The sling is light, compact, and just has a great feel when you are moving around with it on. 

The great comfort of the sling is due to a few things in particular. 

The most important is the shape of the sling. Unlike other competitor slings, the Bellroy Sling is significantly more malleable and does not keep its shape when it is not full. 

It flattens out nicely

This malleability makes the sling somewhat of a chameleon. If you need to fill it with your stuff, it can easily handle that and will expand – making it as big as you need.

But if you do not carry a ton of stuff, the sling flattens a bit, giving it a great shape which flows better on your body. 

There are also a few other contributing factors to the Bellroy Sling’s impressive comfort. 

#1 – The materials (already discussed)

#2 – A great strap (which we will discuss in just a moment).

#3 – Back padding (also soon to be discussed)

Front of the Pack

Unlike our other reviews for best laptop backpacks, or best travel backpacks, there aren’t as many features to cover in a sling. But we’ll touch up on the most important stuff…

Front of the Bellroy

There really isn't much to the front of this sling

Remember when we said that the Bellroy Sling is super simple?

Well the front of the pack is a great testament to that.

While other slings might try and squeeze a pocket or two in the front, or add some louder branding – Bellroy kept things simple. The front is smooth and sleek, and accented by a leather patch with the Bellroy logo in the top right hand corner. 

We find the logo placement to be tasteful, and the leather patch to add a super nice aesthetic to the pack. 

 

Middle of the Pack

Let’s take a look at the middle of the pack, where we break into the main compartments, as well as the sides of the sling. 

Main Compartment

Main compartment of the Bellroy Sling
The main compartment of the Bellroy Sling is large... but lacks organization for some

For a sling, the main compartment is its bread and butter, and there are some very important things you need to take into consideration with the Bellroy Sling’s main compartment. 

#1 – It’s a good size

When flattened out it might not look like the Bellroy has much depth to it. 

Wrongo!

The flattened look is merely a decoy – this sling can pack a good amound of gear!

Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t a backpack, so don’t expect that kind of space – but a water bottle, big batteries, notebook, and other electronics will be no problem.

#2 – There is only one pocket

The lack of pockets on this sling was clearly an intentional move.

Bellroy is making a statement with this sling. They are saying ‘chill with the pockets bro!’.

Plus it makes it easier to add bulkier items such as a water bottle or a cool travel camera. 

#3 – Access can be challenging 

While the sling clocks in at 14 inches, the main compartment only zips open to around 9 1/2 inches.

This means that the inside of the sling is not always easily accessible, which can be really annoying.

Soft-lined Pocket

The only pocket in the main compartment

Located on the backside of the main compartment is the one soft-lining interior pocket.

The soft-lining does have a very nice, quality feel to it, and is advertised as a scratch-free pocket for your cell phone or sun glasses.

Note! If you are going to put your sunglasses in this pocket, be careful as it will be pressing against your body and is subject to get damaged. 

While the pocket is nicely designed and a decent enough size – we can’t help but wonder why not put the pocket on the other side of the compartment so your sunglasses won’t risk damage from being crushed against your body.

Keyring Holder

Compared to the rest of the bag, this keyring holder is pretty weak

Before we crush the keyring holder, let’s start by saying, it’s not terrible. 

It is a ring, and you can use it to clip and keep track of your keys. 

In it’s most basic form – it serves it’s most basic function.

But outside of the basic expectations of a keyring – the keyring on this sling is terribly disappointing. 

First off, it feels cheap. Neither the nylon strap, nor the plastic ring itself feels quality or durable.

Secondly – why put it in the main compartment dude?

The whole point of keys is that we want them to be protected, stored in a location we remember, and most importantly we want them to be accessible!

As we said before, the main compartment of this sling is not super easy to access, and the placement of the keyring feels unnecessarily deep, confusing, and counter productive. 

 

It’s a small design flaw – but this is a small pack! When making a pack that has so little real estate to work with, we think it’s incredibly important for every feature to be designed as intelligently and as intuitively as possible. 

And Bellroy failed with this keyring. 

It would make more sense for the keyring to be located in the front compartment

Front Compartment

Front compartment of the Bellroy Sling
No inner pockets, but still a solid compartment!

Another main compartment. 

And another lack of pockets.

(Gasp!)

Listen – don’t freak out!

Remember – while it seems a bit aggressive that this sling has so few pockets, it is a design choice that is 100% intentional.

Bellroy designed this sling with a travel style in mind. They view their sling more of a casual stuff-it-and-go type of pack than an everything-needs-a-specific-spot type of pack. 

So if you can accept the fact that this sling will never be your organizational masterpiece – we recommend trying to accept it for what it is!

Even though this pocket is clearly simple – there are a few things in particular we love about it. 

#1 – The Bright Color

This bright color of the pocket is super intuitive and helpful as it enables you to easier see the inside of what is a dark pack.

The light/bright colors are so helpful with seeing our stuff, that we wished they would have done the same with the main compartment!

#2 – Easier Access 

While it’s a smaller pocket, it’s actually a wider pocket as it’s easier to open and access your stuff inside.

Ultimately, while a bit more organization would be preferred by many – it’s a fine pocket.

Expandable Sides

This expandability is a key feature of this sling

As mentioned before the Bellroy Sling’s compression ability gives it HUGE points with its design, but also its functionality!

If you only pack a few things, the pack will remain thin and compressed. And if you want to load it up, the pack will expand to your needs 🙂

 

Metal Buckles

These buckles are METAL 🤘🏼

While it might not seem like a huge deal, the use of metal buckles on this is super nice!

They feel great – very smooth – and provide a really nice touch to the overall feel of the backpack. Metal is (obviously) heavier than plastic, but the bit of extra weight is worth the feel of the metal buckles. 

The Strap

The nylon strap is super basic – but quite comfortable!

Bellroy brought a simple, but strong strap game

Magnetic Buckle

Another key feature of the Bellroy Sling – possibly our favorite!

Bellroy Sling Magnetic Buckle
This magnetic buckle is a freaking delight

It’s really the small things in life that bring us the most joy, and this magnetic buckle perfectly embodies that claim.

Plus, magnets are cool!

Easy to connect, and easy to disconnect – this magnet buckle is a key feature of the Bellroy Sling and really streamlines the entire experience with this sling. 

The magnet gives a strong connection, and connecting the two sides of the sling is both effortless and delightfully satisfying. 

Little touches such as this are what makes a simple product a more enjoyable experience on a day to day basis. Well done Bellroy!

Back of the Pack

Padded Back Panel

There really isn’t much to discuss about the back of this sling (or really most any sling), but Bellroy did add a bit of padding to the back of this pack, and while it’s subtle, it does add a small dose of additional comfort. 

Back of the Bellroy Sling
Nice subtle back padding

We are happy Bellroy didn’t go overboard with the padding here, and instead chose to remain consistent with their vision of a light, minimalist sling. 

Overall Pros

  • Possibly the best looking sling on the market (both due to it's aesthetics and expandability)
  • A great strap with a delightful magnetic buckle feature
  • High quality, durable materials
  • Made of 100% recycled ocean plastics!

Overall Cons

  • Lack of organization and pockets
  • At 7 liters, it might be too small for professionals
  • Keyring is super disappointing

Other Bellroy Products

If you’ve never heard of Bellroy before, you might be surprised to hear that they are very popular, and make a wide range of gear. 

Here are some of our highest Bellroy Recommendations. 

#1 - Bellroy Classic Backpack

Bellroy Classic Backpack

One of our favorite daypacks, the Bellroy Classic Backpack is exactly that – a classic!

Using a similar look as they use for their sling, the Classic Backpack is stylish, durable, and is also made of recycled ocean plastics. 

If you are looking for a daypack that is great for a laptop, has a decent amount of organization, all while being minimalist, we recommend taking a look.

#2 - Bellroy Slim Sleeve

Bellroy Slim Sleeve

Possibly our favorite minimalist travel wallet, the Bellroy Slim Sleeve is one of the company’s flagships products. 

Made from high grade European leather, this is the slimeed down version of their Note Sleeve (up next on the list).

This is a great wallet if you love the feel (and smell!) of quality leather and only need space for a few cards and some cash. 

#3 - Bellroy Note Sleeve

Bellroy Note Sleeve

If the above slim wallet is a bit too small for you, then upgrade to the next Bellroy wallet on the list – the Bellroy Note Sleeve.

A bit bigger than the Slim Sleeve, the Note Sleeve has the same high quality leather and commitment to minimalism, but while also providing dedicated pockets for your coins and keys.

#4 - Bellroy Shift Backpack

Bellroy Shift Backpack

This backpack is a rolltop backpack, which means you are either going to love. it or hate it.

Compared to the Classic Backpack, this pack is a bit less geared towards classic-travel, and more geared toward techy-travel.

Advertised as a laptop backpack, this pack has the same classic Bellroy look, and is one of the coolest laptop backpacks we’ve seen in a while. 

Also check out our review of the best laptops for Digital Nomads. 

#5 - Bellroy Phone Case - 3 Card

Bellroy Phone Case - 3 Card

Bellroy’s phone cases are like ther wallets – minimally designed and made with amazing leather (seriously, love that leather smell). 

While they have made a phone case for every type of person, we like the 3 Card the most.

Why?

Digital Nomads can be at peace knowing that if they lose their wallet, their phone will always carry backup debit and credit cards. 

FAQs

How many slings does Bellroy have?

While Bellroy has a ton of products, they are currently only producing one sling. 

Where should I buy Bellroy products?

Be careful where you purchase Bellroy products from. Our articles always have most up to date information as well as the best prices.

Where is Bellroy based?

Launched in 2010, Bellroy is an Australian based company that has grown to almost 100 eomployees. 

How fast does Bellroy ship?

Bellroy ships to over 120 countries and most orders are delievered within 7 business days.  

Conclusion

We have reached the end of our journey!

We hope that this Bellroy Sling review covered everything you needed to know to decide whether or not this amazing sling is for you.

And if we didn’t answer your question or you just feel like saying hi – give us a shot below! We respond to every comment 🙂

Travel on Nomads…

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Written by Aaron Radcliffe

City dweller. Dumpling crusher. Aaron is a serial entrepreneur, and the founder of Nomads Nation. Connect with Aaron Radcliffe -