Nothing divides the bag enthusiast community like shoulder and sling bags. The man purse, or murse, is a love it or hate it idea. I personally find them useful. The Concealsling is a 5L small sling bag by The Brown Buffalo. This is a California based company that designs daily-carry focused backpacks and accessories. They also run bag making workshops. While some of their higher end packs are made in the US, the Concealsling is designed in the US but made elsewhere.
|Capacity||308 cu. in.||5L|
Quality and Comfort
This bag is well made. Stitches are straight and color matched. The internal divided pockets have reinforced stitching at the split as those areas will be under higher stress. The back panel is almost overly padded for a 5L bag with ⅜ inch foam inserts.
The back panel splits into three segments. When you wear the sling, it gently molds to the curvature of you back. While this is a sling bag, I can shorten the straps enough to wear it as a waist pack around my 33 inch waist comfortably.
The outside of the sling is made from water-resistant 420D nylon. It’s the perfect weight to toughness ratio for a small sling. The inside is made from water-resistant 210D ripstop nylon. I’m generally a fan of ripstop – the durability and the grid pattern add an element of interest to the bag. It uses YKK zippers throughout. The zippers are reverse coiled, giving it a smoother look and better water resistance.
The strap on the sling is made from 2 inch wide seat belt type webbing. I find it comfortable to wear. The sling includes two strap keepers, one on each side, to hold down the loose ends. Though, it doesn’t matter because the strap material is so slippery that both ends keep slipping on the main buckle. I had to constantly tighten the straps after any movement with the bag on me. Luckily a member of the TPP community suggested that I loop one end of the strap back over the buckle to lock one side down. This makes the sling much more usable.
The sling is ambidextrous, which is important for a sling bag. There are otherwise well designed slings out there that I cannot use because they are designed for the wrong shoulder carry for me. For larger slings having a carry side specific build make sense, because a curved strap will help the sling sit more comfortable on one’s shoulder. For a small sling the straight strap attachment is perfectly adequate.
The front of the bag has a low key logo that is laser engraved with the brand name. I love the subtlety of this design. With a small bag, a larger logo would overwhelm the look of the bag.
Starting from the front of the bag, there is an almost full width zippered compartment that is about 80% tall, and has no extra volume. It’s good for flat items like a small Fieldnotes notebook, or bills to be mailed, or airplane tickets.
Next up is the admin compartment. The double zipper opens all three sides, and the front drops down but is held back by side panels, leaving a drop open angle of about 30 degrees. This design let me put items in the compartment without having to worry about the items falling out when I opened the sling.
The back wall of the admin compartment has one smaller and one larger sewn in pocket and two generously sized pen slots. This compartment is just over one inch deep. I can carry a small A5 Hobonichi notebook in this compartment. There’s also a keyring and another small branding patch at the front wall.
The main compartment has a double zipper opening that only opens slightly beyond the top, stopping about an inch down on each side. This is because both sides of the bag have a compression strap in that area. This main compartment is deeper at the bottom, 3 inches wide and slightly tapered to 2.5 inches at the top. It’s large enough to carry typical EDC items like books, iPad, a small water bottle and even a packable jacket. Note that only a relatively small water bottle will fit, sideways, in this compartment.
There’s a tablet pocket at the back wall of the main compartment. A kindle fits easily, but m 11 inch iPad Pro did not. I regular carry my 11 inch iPad Pro in this sling, just by putting it in the main area in the main compartment.
You can see from the photographs that The Brown Buffalo included a compression strap on each side of the bag. I would argue that for such a small sling, there’s really no need for it. However It does add some interesting lines to the bag. I also find that it’s the perfect place to hook a HeroClip or other carabiner onto the bag. It’s a more friendly alternative to adding molle webbing to the bag, like other more “tactical” designs.
- Just the right amount of organization for running around town myself or with family.
- Comfortable carry with the segmented padded back.
- The shape of the bag makes it appear smaller than it really is, perfect for urban EDC use.
- The slippery strap was a big problem until I did the double loop back threading.
- The main zipper is not perfectly smooth around the corners, hopefully it will get smoother with use.
- A minor issue, the “navy” color is an unusual one. Maybe it’s Wedgewood, Port Gore or Air Force Blue. I like the color myself but it is definitely not your standard navy blue.
This is a well made and designed bag. From the admin compartment to the segmented back panel. I keep several sling type bags in my rotation depending on how much I need to carry with me. For a few hours away from home base, this sling fits that need for me. The compact low key look add to the usefulness no matter where I’m heading. The Brown Buffalo Concealsling is available in navy, black, and coyote and retails for $69.
Disclaimer: the Brown Buffalo Concealsling was purchased privately and used subsequently for this review. The content of the review was not shared with The Brown Buffalo prior to publishing. Our reviews are unbiased and never edited to keep brands happy.