If you are going to carry technology around, you might as well do it with some utility and a bit of style. One of the latest bags from Waterfield, the Sutter Tech Sling, manages to do both.
What Is the Sutter Tech Sling?
The Sutter Tech Sling, named for California Gold Rush explorer John Sutter (in fact, Waterfield has a whole line of bags under the “Sutter” name), is a minimalist bag designed to be carried over one shoulder or snug against your body. It is designed for smaller devices like Apple’s new iPad Pro lineup, the MacBook, and the Microsoft Surface Pro 6. The “sling” aspect of the design makes it easy to carry the bag in a large variety of situations where you don’t want or physically can’t have a large bag hanging off your body (like while riding a bicycle or on a long walk). Here are some of the specs on the Sutter Tech Sling:
- Outer material comes in 1050 Denier Black ballistic or brown waxed canvas
- Two sizes:
- Standard: 11.5″ x 8″ x 3″; 1.25 lbs. (4.5 liter volume)
- Full: 14″ x 9.5″ x 3″; 1.5 lbs. (6.5 liter volume)
- Adjustable Cam-lock for securing the sling tight to your body (with a one-handed cam lock buckle)
- D-ring-to-strap – 180-degree swivel strap attachment means the bag stays flat on your back, regardless of positioning
- Flexible strap options – strap attaches to D-ring on left or right side of wearing over either shoulder
- Built-in back/shoulder pad
- Padded tablet/laptop compartment
- Swing around front pocket – accessible via the left or right side
- Interior hand pocket – keeps small items easily accessible
- Three interior pen pockets – stows Apple Pencil and your favorite sketching pens
- Gold interior lining – in front pocket and main compartment for visibility (which is pretty much a standard feature across the entire Waterfield product line)
- Inset waterproof front zippers
- Interior key fob attachment
- Rear mesh padding – enhances airflow and cushioning
- Optional Stylus Pencil Case for holding Apple Pencil, Surface Pen, or any other stylus
How Have I Been Using It?
My review unit was the Full Size with waxed canvas and chocolate leather trim. My work laptop is a 13” MacBook Pro and I also own a 12.9” iPad Pro, so I needed the larger “full size” capacity to accommodate those devices—check out the “what fits” tab on the Sutter Sling product page to figure out what size you need for your device(s). Up until about 2-weeks after I received my Sutter Sling I was still using the Waterfield Bolt backpack I reviewed last year here on GeekDad as my everyday carry bag into work.
But then I changed things up from working out at the gym and work to working out at home, so I didn’t need the extra capacity anymore in my work bag for workout items. The timing was perfect because the Sutter Sling was able to become my everyday carry bag for work. To give you an idea of capacity, here are the things I carry in the Sutter Sling every day into work:
- 13” MacBook Pro (in the padded sleeve in the back section of the bag) with the charger in the main compartment
- Car Keys
- Work badge (I actually use the interior key fob attachment this rather than my keys as my badge for some reason is always harder to find when I need it)
- Portable battery charger
- Sunglasses (in the swing around front pocket)
Inside the Sutter Tech Sling, I also carry the Waterfield Tech Pocket (which I reviewed a few months ago) and use the Tech Pocket to carry the following:
- Adapters and dongles for my laptop
- Wired headphones (mostly for air travel) or when I need the extra sound isolation)
- iOS charging brick and cord
- Extra Apple Watch bands
- Microfiber cloth (for cleaning off grimy screens)
My wife and I carpool into work together and I generally get dropped off and she continues on with the car to her work location. So that means I quickly grab my Sutter Tech Sling and my lunch bag from the trunk at the curb next to my building and walk up two flight of stairs to my office. Now I don’t know about you, but coffee is a requirement for me so that only leaves one hand free and that hand is used for my lunch bag. It’s a good thing the Sutter Tech Sling can be quickly slung across my back (and actually it can also be carried over the should too). I’ve found it’s well worth the extra 2-3 seconds it takes to sling it over your back and adjust the cam-lock to secure it tight against your back. It makes walking any distance and taking the stairs a much more comfortable task.
One week at work I found the Sutter Tech Sling particularly useful. I had to work most of the week outside at an operational location where space was limited and there were people everywhere (but I still needed to carry my computer). I was able to stand all day long and easily maneuver through all the people all while wearing my tech sling. Even after wearing it all day I was still quite comfortable (thanks to the rear mesh padding that kept my back cool). The total weight (even with the laptop) was still light enough when tucked securely against my back I hardly knew it was there.
The new Sutter Tech Sling from Waterfield is a very useful and versatile product for people who need a minimalist tech bag they can take with them almost everywhere…and comfortably, to boot. Walking for long distances, taking stairs, riding a bicycle, and standing for long periods of time are all use cases where this bag particularly shines. My family and I just moved into a new house and we have a coffee shop within walking distance, so having the option to grab the Sutter Sling instead of a larger backpack on those walks has been great. The Sutter Tech Sling quickly adjusts to hug your body so that you hardly know it is there and the design is flexible enough that you can choose to wear it in any orientation you want and not lose any functionality or access. I really wish I had not been sick and missed CES in Las Vegas this year, as that would have been another really good environment for a tech sling.
The Sutter Tech Sling is available from sfbags.com in both the “standard” size (for $169) and the “full” size (for $179).
Disclaimer: Waterfield provided me with a Sutter Tech Sling review unit, but the calories spent roaming around with bag were all my own!