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What’s the Difference Between The Sling Bag and Hip Pack?

  • 2 min reading time
What’s the Difference Between The Sling Bag and  Hip Pack?

You’ll see people on the internet equating sling bags with hip packs (or waist packs, fanny packs, bum bags, belt bags, whatever you want to call them), but sling bags and hip packs aren’t one and the same. We repeat: sling bags and hip packs are not the same things.

Simply put, a hip pack is the rebranded fanny pack, while a sling bag is something different (it’s the hipster cousin, remember?). A hip pack can almost always be a sling bag, albeit not necessarily a good one, but a sling bag is virtually never a hip pack (like a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square).



That said, almost every single company out there has its own definition of a sling bag and a hip pack. To make things even more complicated, some companies will throw in the term “crossbody bag” to describe what we consider a sling bag. So, it gets messy—and our rules and definitions are by no means absolutes.

In this guide, we won’t be discussing hip packs. Getting into the nitty-gritty of sling bags is complicated enough.

Editor’s Note: To all you fanny pack, excuse us, hip pack enthusiasts out there—we may work on a hip pack guide soon.
Why a Sling Bag?
Now that you know what a sling bag is, let’s talk about why a sling bag will change your life (or, at the very least, make carrying stuff easier).

Sling Bags Are Perfect for Your In-Flight Essentials
Since wearing one backpack on the front and one on the back hasn’t caught on yet (yes, we’re surprised too), a sling bag becomes a great place to keep your pocketable items, especially while in transit. Just toss all of your stuff in your sling and throw the entire thing in a bin as you breeze through airport security like a pro, thus avoiding the much-dreaded “security shuffle.”

And, unlike pockets, a sling bag will fit almost everything you could ever want in-flight (within reason—a masseuse obviously won’t fit). Of course, what you carry in your sling bag is as unique as you are. Here are a few suggestions based on what works for us:

A smartphone
Snacks (arguably the most important)
USB cables
Tech chargers
Battery bank
Earplugs (every plane has at least one crying baby, even if it’s your own; it’s like a law of physics or something)
Eye mask
Headphones
Notebook and pen (something about being at 35,000 feet gets the creative juices flowing)
Tissues
An e-reader or book (depending on your sling, some are too small to fit one)
Once in flight, you can use a carabiner to hook your sling bag to the seat in front of you. That way, you can quickly grab a snack before you get hangry, some tissues because the movie you picked happens to be a lot sadder than you thought it’d be, or a phone charger because Tetris drains battery life surprisingly quickly. You know, only the essentials.

 

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