Inateck Sling Bag review – an excellent thing if slings are your thing!

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REVIEW – I carry too much stuff around in my EDC, so I’m the perfect target for the sling bag (or man-bag, or satchel, or whatever you want to call it). My latest candidate is the Inateck Sling, which combines a whole ton of organization with some interesting geometry tricks to make it upsize and downsize according to your needs. How do it do? To the review!

What is it?

It’s a sling-style bag for your essentials.

Hardware specs

  • 13.4″ long by 5.9″ tall by 3.1″ deep
  • 0.8 pounds
  • 29″ – 48″ shoulder strap length
  • 900D ployester build
  • YKK Zippers
  • Duraflex buckle
  • 4 Liter capacity

Design and features

Our journey around the Inateck Sling Bag begins with some really interesting shapes. The front profile is tapered on either end with some angled cuts that give the bag a futuristic look.

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A look from the side of the bag, however, shows that the front face wraps around what is a classic squared bag profile for carrying the bulk of your stuff. With a total measurement of 13.4″ by 5.9″ by 3.1″, it’s almost (but not quite) big enough to work as a small messenger bag.

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But this bag has more tricks! The shoulder strap loops through to connect the front and back parts of the bag and can be expanded as shown below. This helps to compress the bag for smaller payloads, but also exposes a pocket between that tapered face and main body of the bag.

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That pocket is large enough to stash an umbrella or a water bottle. I have my 18 ounce Yeti shown here for reference…

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… which slides into that pocket with a bit of elastic webbing on the bottom to keep it from falling out when you’re moving. This is about as big a bottle as you can get into that pocket, so think midsize (16-20 ounce) narrower hydration bottles. Or something like a collapseable umbrella.

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The build is excellent, leveraging 900D polyester as the primary material for resilience and durability. YKK external zips help keep moisture out, and rugged hardware is used for all the buckles and rings. The finishing details throughout top-notch, including a variety of soft-touch fabrics, glossy finishes, and elastic materials that add variety and style. The attention to detail in this build is comparable to bags I have handled that are 2- or 3-times more expensive than this bag.

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Start digging around and you’ll find pockets and organization for all of your little things. The front face has a hidden zip that runs behind that angled cut across the face, revealing a quick-grab pocket with a key lanyard and a small pocket sewn into the back of the space that feels perfect for a work ID or a transit pass.

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The main compartment is chock full of pockets and organization spaces. The main space is 2″ wide and runs the length and height of the bag. I have a hard sunglasses case in there for reference, but could easily fit a number of things in there.

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Both sides of the main interior compartment have places to stash the smaller things. The side that faces the front of the bag has a wide zip pocket to keep loose stuff, which is fronted by two rows of drop pockets.

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The drop pockets take up 2/3 and 1/3 of the width in each row, and the front set is elastic mesh. I’m thinking this is where you’ll stash earbuds, chargers, and the like.

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The opposite side is a wide deep pocket that will handle an iPad Mini or tablet reader up to roughly 9″ by 5″ (check your size!), and has a set of elastic bands on the front to stash pens, coiled cables, and those sorts of things.

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Swing around to the back face of the bag and you’ll find a secure pocket with a set of card slots as well as a narrow space for cash or travel documents.

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Your shoulder strap is adjustable from 29″ – 48″, and is managed with a flip-up buckle mechanism for quick adjustments.

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Pull on that tab on the buckle to unlock the mechanism and the strap slides freely for adjustments.

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Flip that tab back and it locks tight until you want to adjust it again.

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You also have a Duraflex buckle for quick release of the strap. This sits just around your shoulder when wearing the bag. Pinch the taps and the strap is detatched for quick removal of the bag.

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The Inateck Sling Bag is an excellent middle-ground compromise for a travel or EDC. You’re not going to haul the world around in this bag, but you have a little more room for going beyond the essentials. Here’s a typical bag dump for me for day trips and errand running:

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I’ve been using this for a few weeks as a complete replacement for my wallet and pockets, so I have all the stuff: credit cards, cash, sunglasses, earbuds, car keys, and various sundries. I could still get a small notebook in there and have room for other small bits including my phone, even with my hydration bottle. All of the pockets and stash points are very accessible and usable without pinching my fingers or fighting to get into the nooks and crannies. I also really like the three zone design for quick access stuff, secure stuff, and main compartment with multiple subdivisions. Obsessive compulsive organizers will love all of that.

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I really like it for daily use to hold all of the things, particularly when NOT carrying the hydration bottle. It’s lean & mean with a low profile that doesn’t get in the way.

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Adding the hydration bottle, however, changes the carry dynamics. I have the bottle stashed in the bag in the pic below. See how the strap doesn’t quite hug my body anymore? It feels different. Not as snug. Not necessarily bad, but different given the position of those anchor points.

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I have no complaints about the build and the organization. It does have a lot of small pockets for all the EDC things that I don’t use right now, but I appreciate that they are there. I can see all those bits really shining when I start using it for travel and extended day trips. This will be a good one as a personal item o the plane if I don’t need the extra space for my iPad or other larger items.

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I do want to caution buyers who may have larger torsos, however. I’m 5″10 and 220 pounds. You can see from the pics that the strap length is just about right for comfort, but it’s pushing it! If I was any bigger I would not find it comfortable to do a lot of adjustments on that strap. I definitely can’t sling this bag lower on my hips.

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I particularly notice this when I want to use that Duraflex buckle. I have big shoulders, and the buckle almost sits on my back unless I pull the whole bag over my shoulder to get to it. That said, it is easy to manipulate when needed. Note that if you wear the bag over the left shoulder this buckle will sit on your lower right side and may be a bit easier to get to.

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This does bring up one oddity about the bag with respect to left-or right-hand use. The water bottle pocket is designed so that the bottle is inserted from the opening on the right, with the lid/cap facing that side. This means that if you’re moving and you want your bottle facing upwards you’ll need to sling it over your right shoulder or flip the bag over your left shoulder so that the zips to the compartments face the ground. It’s a little quirky, but seems to be a compromise required to add a space for the hydration.

Zips all travel well and stay where you need them, and the strap adjustment works smoothly from both the fully tightened and fully extended position. Given the quality I’m seeing in the build and finishing, I have no issues recommending this as a long term purchase.

What I like

  • Excellent build quality
  • Versatile
  • Excellent usability
  • Lots of organization

What I’d change

  • Not ideal for people with bigger torsos
  • Could use an extra 6″ in the shoulder strap
  • See notes above about left/right shoulder use

Final thoughts

Call it a sling, a satchel, a man-bag… whatever you wanna call it, the Inateck Sling is a well designed multipurpose hauler for EDC and travel with very few compromises. The price-to-value ratio is ridiculous at under $50, given the quality of the build.  I put this in the category of a medium-sized sling, but you’ll want to consider your own EDC needs to see if the size is right for you.

Price: $46.99
Where to buy: Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Inateck.

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