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Sling Bag or Backpack | Sling bags | Totem bags

Sling Bag

Sling Bag or Backpack – Which One is Best?

If you are in the process of choosing a bag to use for school, work or just regular general use, you may wonder which bag would be best – a sling bag or a backpack? Of course, the bag has to look good, and often a sling bag is considered more stylish than a backpack. On the other hand, the general perception is that a backpack is better for your posture, and that a sling bag is unhealthy. Let us look at some facts regarding both these types of bags.

Sling Bag

We usually carry our bags hanging from our shoulders in order to keep our hands free to do other things. When a sling bag is thrown over one shoulder only, the natural downward slope of the shoulder will cause the bag to slide off. We also tend to favour one shoulder over another, and if a sling bag is carried habitually on one shoulder, it could result in spine or posture problems, and even back or shoulder injuries or pain. This, however, does not mean that a sling bag is bad for you.

The secret is to carry it correctly in order to avoid pain or injury. A sling bag has to be carried diagonally with the strap going from the one shoulder to the opposite hip. This means that the bag will not slip off the shoulder, and that the weight of the bag is not carried only by the one shoulder, because part of the weight rests on the hip. Carrying the bag diagonally also lessens the downward pull on the shoulder, and part of the weight is distributed to the area where the neck and the shoulder meet, and this provides much more support.


There is a general perception that backpacks are safer to use, but often people become lazy and sling the bag across only one shoulder anyway. Because we tend to favour one shoulder, the repeated use of only this shoulder to bear the weight of the backpack can result in injury and neck, shoulder and back pain. It is therefore essential that the bag be carried correctly – with both shoulders engaged in the straps; the bag is less likely to slip off as well.

For backpacks with heavier loads it is necessary to get a bag that is ergonomically designed – this means that the bag is specifically designed to accommodate the interaction between the bag and the body, and this is less likely to cause injury. Heavy backpacks also have to have a hip or waist strap, and this strap has to be used to redistribute the weight across the hips as well, which puts less strain on the shoulders.

In essence: both bags are great to use, but the key is to use them correctly. Because our bags at TOTEM are all ergonomically designed, you are free to choose any bag and wear it in a correct manner without sustaining injury. Therefore, whether you prefer a sling bag or a backpack, you will find that all you have to do to stay injury-free is to wear it correctly. Call our specialists to find out more.

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