We see just about every size and shape of bag — no complaints here — but we’ve grown fond of the proficient carries from Topo Designs. Blame it on a blend of proficient design and great prices. And of course, the fact that each bag is made in the Colorado Rockies.

As a follow-up to the Klettersack we reviewed several months ago, Topo sent us another one of their wares to go hands-on with. The Sling Bag ($90) isn’t quite a messenger bag, but has the convenience of one. It also isn’t a backpack, but has the benefits of a vertical profile. This is not without purpose though. Co-founder Mark Hansen calls it “a minimal bag for the bike and for travel, easy on the plane, and doesn’t feel like I’m carrying a giant tourist bag around … great for walking through crowds”, which we can attest to. The tubular design provides ample stowage capacity, the straps are comfortable, and the bag keeps everything in place even on the roughest of bike rides. It even held up nicely in our inadvertent water-proofing test involving an inverted water bottle. The bag strikes a fine balance between design and effortless-ness — just don’t blame us when your significant other steals it.

More photos after the jump.

Buy Now: $98

Photos by Mali for Gear Patrol