Over the Shoulder
For Urban Exploration, Skip the Backpack and Bring This Sling Bag
Exploration often implies traveling to the remote regions of the earth, but the term applies to wandering foreign cities, too. And while walking the streets of Lisbon for a day is vastly different than taking a day hike in the Tetons, one might consider packing under similar terms: you’ll want water, snacks and any essentials you might need throughout the day. A daypack suits the purpose in the mountains; in the city, opt for a sling bag, like the one recently released by Bellroy.
Like its wallets and backpacks, Bellroy’s Sling is notably minimal yet exceedingly intelligent in design. The pouch is made of lightweight, water-resistant fabric and the strap, which is mounted close to the bag’s center to provide balance and easy access, is nylon webbing. The main compartment is also gusseted so that it can expand and compress on its own to keep everything inside secure, no matter how much or how little you fill it up. While a backpack might leave you with lots of unused space, the Sling keeps everything you need to carry tight and neat.
And in terms of capacity, the Sling has room for all that you’ll need for a day of urban exploration — it’s long enough for a water bottle, wide enough for a camera, and all the smaller things you might bring with you will fit in the spaces between. (It’ll work for any spur of the moment day hikes, too.)