The Uniqlo Single Strap Backpack is the first bag I’ve owned that’s given me zero back pain since I started carrying it. It has a great design and plenty of space for all your needs to last you throughout the day, but how comfortable is it.
Even if you weren’t there during the late ’80s and early ’90s fanny pack fashion explosion, you’re acquainted with the intense feelings that come with them. Because bright colors, unusual patterns, and hefty profiles aren’t for everyone, we’re glad to see that several firms have adjusted their designs to fit the 21st-century aesthetic. Uniqlo Single Strap Backpack | The Uniqlo Single Strap Backpack is ideal for daily use.
While we wouldn’t call the Uniqlo Single Strap Backpack a fanny pack (or, despite its name, a backpack), we’ve seen enough slings to know what we’re looking at. It may be worn in various ways, and it adds some fashion-forward variety to your wardrobe.
We’re huge admirers of stylish bags, and this sling checks all the boxes in that department. Is it, however, the package deal? What is the function of its shape in its position? Let’s get started.
Aesthetics & Materials
Unlike some of the other sling bags we’ve reviewed, the Uniqlo Single Strap Backpack is primarily about carrying your daily essentials in a practical and visually beautiful manner. Yes, the ballistic nylon shell is tough by nature, but the matte color and simple design seem more like something you’d see at a music festival than on a digital nomad looking to make the most of their luggage space.
It’s also incredibly flexible, so you can wrap it up and store it in a giant bag if you want to take it with you on your trip but don’t want to carry it every day. This sling balances a daypack and a cross-body bag when you need something in between.
Uniqlo Single Strap Backpack | The ballistic nylon shell is lightweight yet durable. No, we don’t believe it’s solely for super-hipsters, but there is a distinction between this sling and, for instance, the CamelBak Pivot Sling & Waist Pack, which has a similar design and organization. The ripstop nylon diamond pattern on the Pivot Sling, for example, has a gleaming appearance that we like. Still, we believe the matte material and absence of branding on the Single Strap’s ballistic nylon make it more adaptable for everyday usage.
The shell also has a water-repellent covering, which comes in helpful if you get caught in a downpour. It withstands a strong stream of water (thanks to our showerhead), and the inside polyester lining gives an extra layer of protection. However, the polypropylene straps do not withstand moisture as well as leather, so if at all possible, avoid walking during the rainy season.
All zippered pockets include YKK zippers, although only the two zippers in the main compartment have to pull tabs. We also found that, while being smaller than the others, the top compartment’s zipper is still a touch too wide to go within its fabric welt and, as a result, often sticks up.
Uniqlo Single Strap Backpack | While the fabric welt has no functional influence, it may be unpleasant. However, the cloth welt covering the main pocket zipper does not remain in position very well, which is our biggest complaint about the sling. When we unzipped the sling, it folded up but did not move back into place when we zipped it back up. Although this is a minor annoyance, we believe it detracts from the sling’s clean appearance when the puckering cloth displays the zipper.
We only saw a minor fading during our testing—there are a few patches on the top of the sling that seem lighter than the rest. While it’s hardly noticeable on the green, we can’t say the same for darker hues like black, so keep that in mind if you’re against all aesthetic wear and tear.
Components from Outside
Though this bag is designed to be worn as a sling, it may also be worn as a shoulder bag or waist pack. We found that a sling was the most comfortable, but if we put it over our shoulder, it still hung pretty flat on our back, which was convenient for rapid transporting. Whatever style you choose, everything is easily accessible anytime you need it.
We found it comfortable in almost every position on the front if you appreciate having everything in your sights. It fits similarly across the back if you wish to keep it out of the way. The ease with which we could switch between the two settings was one of our favorite features.
Uniqlo Single Strap Backpack | Everything you need is right at your fingertips. When you’ve gathered all of your belongings in the back, grip the strap and pull it like a pulley to transfer the sling to your front. Now you can get to whatever you so much need within. We’re talking to you, chapstick addicts.
The KAM plastic clasp allows for rapid on-and-offs, but we found that slipping the bag over our heads when we came home was just as effortless at the end of the day. The buckle can be adjusted on either side, giving you more options for where you want the sling to sit on your body. Strap keepers protect any excess material from flapping. Still, we discovered that if we moved the sling from front to back often, the keepers would start to slide back toward the buckle, causing the excess material to bunch up or drop out altogether.
The Sling Inside
There is little to no organization on the interior of the bag. This is fantastic if you like to carry as little stuff as possible during the day, but it might get you into difficulty if you have goods that readily tangle. For example, we shiver at having to disentangle wired headphones from a keychain full of keys.
Uniqlo Single Strap Backpack | These pockets are inconveniently situated and challenging to access. Even though there are two pockets in the main compartment, they are near the seam and difficult to access when wearing the bag. Sure, we could get a tiny wallet or keys in there, but we spent so much time trying to get everything in and out that we put everything into the main compartment loosey-goosey.
However, since this is a sling and it lays diagonally across your torso, anything that isn’t wholly secure falls to one side, because, well, gravity. This was never a big problem for us regarding aesthetics or functionality, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re carrying a lot of stuff.
Uniqlo Single Strap Backpack | While the backpack is on, the critical strap is a little short to utilize. The quick-grab pocket on the sling’s very top is a touch too tiny for a standard-sized smartphone, but it’s ideal for less bulky goods you need to get often, such as a face mask or a thin wallet. There’s an essential lash, but it’s not very long, so you’ll have to remove any keys on it before using them.
The bag’s zipped rear pocket runs almost the whole length of the bag, making it ideal for storing big, flat goods. Also, because it’s so much easier to get into than the main compartment, it worked great for storing a mobile phone close at hand.
Inside the pocket, a mesh lining offers to pad between your body and whatever’s inside. However, it made it difficult to feel a phone vibrate, so if you’re waiting for a Very Important Call, keep an eye on alerts yourself.
Uniqlo Single Strap Backpack | Keep your phone secure and close at hand. Overall, we found this sling ideal for everyday usage when we needed to keep our load modest. However, it doesn’t seem as technical as other slings, and since it’s so close to the body, it’s easy to overlook its low profile fit. We wish the fabric welt had remained in place to cover the zipper without our help and the internal pockets had been more practical, but the bag’s low price allowed us to overlook these minor flaws.
This bag is a terrific way to dip your toes into the world of slings in a low-stakes approach if you’re not one to spend a lot of money on what may merely be a fad.
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