12 Single-Shoulder Backpacks in Versatile, Comfortable Styles

Updated April 8, 2021
Smiling man with backpack walking in city during sunset

Single shoulder backpacks can give you the comfort a regular backpack can't. The contoured lines of most single shoulder backpacks mold to your back for a comfortable fit.

Shop for Single Shoulder Backpacks

When you shop for a single shoulder backpack, you have many beautiful options. Some choices include designer backpacks while others are a spin of an iconic fictional characters.

1. KAWELL Sling Bag Crossbody Shoulder Triangle

The KAWELL Sling Bag Crossbody Shoulder Triangle features a retractable shoulder strap that can be changed from one side to the other should you prefer.

  • Size: 18.5"Hx11.8"Lx5.1"W
  • Colors: 29 Available
  • Price: Around $28

2. Women's Sling Backpack Crossbody

The Women's Sling Backpack Crossbody is made of 100% nylon for durability. The adjustable strap is padded for added comfort. There's a convenient front pocket and several storage compartments, along with a zip pouch.

  • Size: Not provided
  • Colors: 5 available
  • Price: Around $17

3. Athletico Pickleball Sling Bag

The Athletico Pickleball Sling Bag has reversible shoulder straps, lots of pockets, and an external water bottle holder. You can store a 15-inch laptop, tennis and racquetball rackets, or other sports accessories.

  • Size: Not provided
  • Colors: 4 available
  • Price: Around $30
Red pickleball sling bag

4. Vans Cross My Heart Sling Bag

The Vans Cross My Heart Sling Bag is a compact design that is made of polyester. The sling bag features an exterior zip pocket and an adjustable strap.

  • Size: 7"Wx2.5"Dx10"H
  • Color: Rose dawn
  • Price: Around $32

5. KAVU Women's Rope Sling Bag

The KAVU Women's Rope Sling Bag is water resistant. The sling bag features two front pockets that are ideal for storing your phone and wallet.

  • Size: Not provided
  • Colors: 11 available
  • Price: Around $55

6. Waterfly Crossbody Sling Backpack

Waterfly Crossbody Sling Backpack is made of 100% nylon and features a zip closure. The backpack has enough room to store an iPad or mini Kindle.

  • Size: 7"Lx3.5"Wx15"L
  • Colors: 10 available
  • Price: Around $17

7. Vera Bradley Sling Backpack

The Vera Bradley Sling Backpack is lightweight and made from recycled water bottles (PET). There are lots of pockets for easy storage solutions. You can use the provided D ring to secure your keys.

  • Size: 9.25"Wx19.25"Hx3.0"D
  • Colors: 6 available
  • Price: Around $55
    Grey Vera Bradley Sling Backpack

8. Vera Bradley Harry Potter™ Mini Sling Backpack

The Vera Bradley Harry Potter™ Mini Sling Backpack is made of Signature quilted cotton. A hidden pocket in the back will keep your valuables safe and secure.

  • Size: 7.0"Wx13.5"Hx2.5"D
  • Colors: 5 available
  • Price: Around $55
    Vera Bradley Harry Potter™ Mini Sling Backpack

9. Vera Bradley Disney Mini Sling Backpack

The Vera Bradley Disney Mini Sling Backpack is made of Signature cotton. The backpack is fashioned from the Disney pattern, Minnie's Garden Party.

  • Size: 7.0"Wx13.5"Hx2.5"D
  • Price: Around $55
    Vera Bradley Disney Mini Sling Backpack

10. Marc Jacobs Nylon Sling Backpack

The puffy Marc Jacobs Nylon Sling Backpack features a two-headed, red plaid, teddy bear patch on the front of the backpack. The backpack has several zip pockets and compartments for extra storage options.

  • Size: 8"Lx3"Dx12"H
  • Colors: 3 available
  • Price: Around $195

11. Tumi Anna Sling Bag

The zip closure Tumi Anna Sling Bag comes with a 5-year limited warranty. Inside, you'll discover a key leash, card slot, and a zip pocket.

  • Size: 6.5"Wx2.875"Dx12"H
  • Color: Black
  • Price: Around $245

12. Hammitt Hunter Med Single Shoulder Backpack

The Hammitt Hunter Med Single Shoulder Backpack is made of black pebbled leather. The sling bag features a red twill lining. You can store your cell phone in the exterior pocket. If you're traveling, you can take advantage of the luggage sleeve or if you prefer, you can carry the backpack by using the top handle.

  • Size" 10"Lx3"Dx14"H
  • Color: Gold
  • Price: Around $295

Presenting Options for Students

While the traditional backpack will always have two straps, the single strap backpack offers what is sometimes a better option. However, many professionals prefer a single shoulder backpack over a purse. However, further research reveals that single shoulder backpacks can have a negative impact on your health.

Clinical Findings

A surprising study on the effects of loaded backpacks on lung function yielded some brow-raising results. The 2004 analysis focused on carrying loads in both single and double strap styles of backpacks. It was already known that carrying such heavy or military-moderate loads compresses the chest and restricts ventilation. In comparing the two types of backpacks, researchers concluded that a backpack carrying a load of 13 pounds could indeed produce a restriction on lung function, however mild. The impairment was found to be greater in individuals who carried a single strap backpack as opposed to the traditional double-harness style.

Things to Keep in Mind

If you do choose to carry a single strap backpack, bear these helpful points in mind. A school bag should have plenty of interior pockets to keep small items organized, plus a separate zipper compartment for other essentials.

  • A loaded backpack shouldn't weigh more than 25 pounds (or exceed 15 percent of one's body weight).
  • Wearing a heavy load solely on one side of the body (as with single strap backpacks) can result in neck, shoulder and back strain.
  • Choose a single strap backpack with a wide, padded strap that is long enough to slip over your head and across your body. This helps distribute the weight slightly more evenly.
  • Choose a backpack made of lightweight, comfortable material.

Single Shoulder Backpacks for Style and Comfort

There are many single shoulder backpacks available, ensuring you can find one you like. When you shopping for a single shoulder backpack, keep in mind that you may not be able to carry all the items you normally carry in a traditional backpack.

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12 Single-Shoulder Backpacks in Versatile, Comfortable Styles