Waterfield Design Sling

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For the past 8 months, my everyday gear bag of choice has been a custom Bagaboo messenger bag. That bag ended a long personal quest for the perfect bag… That is until I saw Waterfield Design’s latest creation, the Sling. Actually, I didn’t really pay much attention to the Sling when I first saw it show up on Waterfield’s site. Then they contacted me to ask if I would like to review it. I said sure, but still was not totally excited about it. Then it arrived and my mind instantly changed.

waterfield sling 1

The Sling is unlike any Waterfield bag that I’ve reviewed in the past. It has a messenger bag shape and style with material that is almost metallic looking… shiny. It has a fine canvas look and texture, but feels somewhat slick to the touch. A friend at work said it reminded him of a space suit. Guess what? This ‘spacesuit’ is machine washable!

Available in Blue, Brown, Green, Red and Silver, I was sent the Sling in Green. My favorite color! Yay! The exterior of the bag is plain except for a small Waterfield logo along the bottom edge of one side.

waterfield sling 2

Both ends of this bag have a roomy open pocket that is large enough to stash items such as phones, PDAs, digital audio players, a water bottle, etc.

waterfield sling 3

The bottom of the Sling is covered in a layer of nubby rubber that both keeps the bag from sliding around on a slick surface and also protects the bottom from dirt. The padded adjustable shoulder strap has the same nubby rubber strip on the underside, to keep it from slipping off your shoulder.

waterfield sling 4

Access to the interior is accomplished by unzipping dual zippers across the top of the bag. Inside you’ll notice that the bag has a lighter color lining. This makes it easier to see dark objects that might be hiding on the bottom of the bag.

waterfield sling 5

One interior wall of the bag has side by side 7 x 7 inch zippered mesh pockets.

waterfield sling 7

The opposite wall has one large 6.5 x 11 inch non mesh zippered pocket.

waterfield sling 6

Both ends of the bag have open topped mesh pockets. The mesh used for the interior is finely woven and is not snaggy. You can see through it, but just barely. Also, one end has a strip of canvas that you can attach an optional matching pouch or a set of keys.

waterfield sling 8

The matching zippered pouch is 11 x 7 inches and has no padding. There are no pockets inside the pouch.

The Waterfield Sling bag might not be the right bag for everyone given the fact that it is a ‘soft’ sided bag. Since it has no padding or support, it doesn’t make a very good laptop bag. But it makes a great ‘throw all your junk into it and go’ kind of bag.

waterfield sling 9

Now let’s load it up with all the stuff that I carry with me on a day-to-day basis:

Some mail
Waterfield Wallet
Various Waterfield Pouches (4) which hold all kinds of nifty things
Eyeglass case for my magnetic sunclips (which is entirely too big for what it holds…)
Treo 680
Inka Pen
Huntlight FT-A2 Flashlight
Gomadic car charger with several exchange tips
Miquelrius book for my Gadgeteer ideas, to-dos and lists
Stack of 3×5 index cards with often used info for my day job

waterfield sling 10

Now here is the Medium sized Sling containing all the items listed above. There is still plenty of room left for other items.

waterfield sling 11

Here I am holding the bag which is still containing all of the items that I listed above. Just for reference, I’m 5’6″ tall. The bag is very comfortable to carry on your shoulder.

If I had the opportunity to change one thing about the Sling bag, I would add a grab handle to the top. Maybe a rolled handle on either side attached by rings so that it would fold down flat when not being used. Other than the lack of a grab handle, the Sling has all the features that I look for in a great gear bag: storage capacity, easy access to interior and all pockets, no Velcro, flat bottom so that it won’t topple over when sitting on a desk / floor and of course, style. I think I’ve found my new favorite gear bag. Thanks Waterfield!

Large Sling $139 / 17″ x 14″ x 10 ” / 1.9 lb.
Medium Sling $129 / 15″ x 11″ x 8 ” / 1.4 lb.
Small Sling $99 / 12 ” x 8 ” x 5 ” / 1 lb.
Matching Gear Pouch. $10 / 11″ x 7″


Product Information

  • Good storage
  • Great look
  • Comfortable to carry
  • No grab handle

12 thoughts on “Waterfield Design Sling”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. What is the size of the sling bag that you have reviewed? Medium or large? Thanks for the great review! I am thinking of getting one myself.

  3. Julie:
    I’ve been a longtime fan of Waterfield…and use their cases exclusively for iPods and all gear…including, like you, a wallet! Great review on the sling bag…I saw it recently on their website, but they didn’t have the kind of in-depth pictures you did. My only question: Some of the other reviews they reference on their site refer to the sling as a bag “for women.” In your view, is this gender-specific, or suitable for men as well? It looks terrific — and must be, if it “de-throned” your bagaboo model!

  4. Good grief, that’s absurdly expensive! It doesn’t even have that many pockets!

    Do yourself a favor and get an eBags Thunder.


    It’s only $40, $35 with the 10% discount that’s available right now (and eBags is constantly running promos with free shipping and other discounts). It’s incredibly well-designed, very well-made, has a lifetime warranty, etc. I use it every day and I can hardly imagine a better bag of this type and size. And the price is so good, you should almost go ahead and get two!

    It amazes me that it’s the only messenger bag I’ve seen that doesn’t have stupid straps with buckles that require two hands and several seconds to operate every time you open or close it. It’s just plain smart. So check it out!

  5. DocGo:
    The bag they sent me is a Medium. If you get one, please be sure to come back here and let us know what you think of it.

    I think this bag does look more feminine that any bag I’ve carried to date. The slouchy style and color make it look more like a ‘girl’ bag to me. But, this is coming from someone that has their own warped sense of style, so if you like this bag then get one. 🙂

    No offense, but I think that Thunder bag is ugly 🙂

  6. Julie:
    Thanks for the quick bounce-back!

    I agree with your assessment on color/style making it tilt more toward women than men…at the same time, I really like the layout, pocket design, and, of course, the quality I’ve come to expect from Waterfield.

    I’ve sent Gary there a note asking if a “black” sling bag is on the drawing boards…terribly uncreative of me, I realize, but that might tilt the needle more toward us men! 🙂

    Thanks again…it may still be worth a look in silver just given functionality.


  7. Ugly, huh? 🙂 Well I think if you had one to use you would appreciate its design and abilities. From looking at your photos of this bag, the Thunder seems far superior. You should really check one out and do a review; eBags will take it back if you don’t like it.

  8. I received a couple emails from people asking about the material this bag is made of. I just got word from Waterfield that it is a poly-blend that is spot and machine washable. It is also highly water-resistant.

    Just thought you all might like to know 🙂

  9. blujay:

    I’ll considering buying the Thunder bag to test for a future review 🙂 Or better yet, why don’t you write one for us and I’ll post it on the site! 🙂 Contact me via email if you are interested ( [email protected] ).

  10. I like the bag and the color is great. I also like the fact that it does not have handles at the top and no velcro flap. I hate those flaps on messenger style bags and like the idea of the easy access of the top zipper. This seems to make the bag lie better against the body and looks less bulky.

  11. The bag is very soft and comfortable to carry. I especially like the shoulder strap. I’m actually getting ready to go back to carrying this bag full time. <- until I find my next favorite.

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