Here’s a little dance I do every six months or so:
- Buy a new backpack for work
- Revel in all that extra storage space
- Add even more things to my everyday carry
- Decide I’m now carrying way too much
- Switch to a compact messenger bag to cut things back to a respectable level
- Run out of space
- Start eyeing new backpacks
Recently, however, I have attempted to break this cycle with the help of our friends at WaterField Designs. Their new Field Sling falls somewhere between the diminutive laptop messenger bag and the bulky carry-all backpack. It’s a solid middle ground, built with all the care and character you’d expect from WaterField.
While the features of the Field Sling—you can also get it as a backpack if you desire that second strap—likely won’t surprise you, the way that they are implemented should. Available in WaterField’s trademark black ballistic nylon or brown waxed canvas, each with corresponding leather accents, the Field boasts a trio of water-resistant zippers with custom pulls—one for the larger main compartment and on both the smaller side pockets.
These exterior pleated pockets are sewn close to the body of the bag, making for an impressive storage capacity while still achieving a minimum footprint. They are perfectly sized to carry all your go-to accessories from a collapsible umbrella to a naked Nintendo Switch Lite, while the main compartment includes space for general storage, a smaller internal zippered compartment, and the obligatory laptop sleeve.
Specifically designed for 13-inch laptops and tablets, it fits my new MacBook Air perfectly, and despite the ample padding it still has room for a slimline case. There is gold water-resistant lining throughout, adding a pop of contrasting color while also helping to keep your gear dry.
The Sling’s strap is secured via sturdy metal d-rings, with lower attachment points for left- and right-handed carriers. Breathable mesh bolsters the rear of the bag, and a non-slip pad assures the carry strap stays where you put it. The star of the show, though, is its Cam-Lock buckle that can be adjusted with one hand to tighten or loosen the strap as needed.
All of this comfort and style pairs nicely with WaterField’s unique visual aesthetic. The grab-and-go leather handle on the top looks as good as it feels—and it also allows you easily hang the Field Sling on an office doorknob or bathroom coat hook. But while all these elements contribute to its overall appeal, the focal point is its distinctive front pocket.
It contains a pen slot, two organizational pockets, and a key hook, which are nice enough on their own, but the full-grain leather flap that secures them is a real eye-catcher—especially when paired with its easy paragliding buckle. This is yet another ideal example of the WaterField team emphasizing functionality—in this case, the ability to swing the bag around, remove or store what you need, and return the bag to its original position all while on the move—without compromising their stunning design.
The Field Sling (and its sibling, the Field Backpack) is available in both colorways for $249, and like all WaterField products, it’s designed and constructed in sunny San Francisco.
Review materials provided by WaterField Designs. This post contains affiliate links. The sling bag is back, baby!