Sling bags are all the rage these days. Designed to carry the bare minimum for a day out, they allow the user to move quickly and keep their essential items close at hand. There are a large variety of these hitting market in recent months, and today we will take a look at one offering from Lii Gear, the sling they have named, “Mr. Control.

Lii Gear is not widely seen in the western world. They are based in China, but have been reaching a greater audience through Suburban, their stockist in Hong Kong. Last month I took at look at one of their backpack offerings, giving that pack high marks, overall. Let’s see how it’s little cousin stacks up.

Tech Specs

ImperialMetric
Height4.9″12.5 cm
Width10.2″26 cm
Depth2.0″5 cm
Capacity97 cu. in. 1.6l
Weight0.5lb235g
Specifications as listed at Suburban.com.hk
*Volume calculated from linear measurements.

Quality and Comfort

Starting with build quality, Mr. Control is no slouch. There are no stray stitches and no panels appear to be crooked. This unit was built in Lii’s “Black Fog” pallet, which features their Dyneema-like material that has a slight sheen to it, as well as X-Pac on the bottom. Zippers are water repellent and size no. 8. This bag does have binding tape used on all exposed seems, something that was missing on the backpack I received from them.

Comfort of the sling seems good to go. It features a padded, mesh lined strap, and the back panel has two raised, padded areas as well. Given its size and intended use, I see no issues arising in the area of carry comfort. The strap is reversible using what I presume are WooJin buckles. Other hardware includes something like an ITW Grimloc on top and First Spear Tubes on the sides. The strap also has a more standard side release buckle to allow quick donning and removal.

Organization

Mr. Control likely gleans it name from the numerous built in organizational options. There are pockets and elastic loops throughout the bag. The face of the bag features a loop patch panel, two open top pockets with elastic loop inside, a zipper pocket that fits a minimalist wallet (though none of these will fit my iPhone XS). There is also a small area of PALS-type webbing. Atop the bag is a pair of elastic loops that seem designed for securing a pen. Each side of the sling feature paracord counter pulls to aide in opening/closing the bag.

Pictured here a Gannett wallet from Range Leather, Retrakt pen from Karas Kustoms, Olight S15 and Kershaw Dividend.
iPhone XS is too chunky for these exterior pockets.

The rear of Mr. Control has a hidden pocket with hook and look closure. This is a good place to stash some cash or a small wallet. A passport will fit in there, but it is too tall to secure with the closure.

Looking inside reveals 3 more open top pockets and a fleece lined rear panel to accept hook backed accessories.

What’s Perfect

  • For the price, I’m rather impressed with the build quality on this. It is a well constructed and finished piece.
  • This little guy features plenty of options for those who must organize all the small bits and bobs.

What’s Not

  • The pen loops atop the bag seem too far apart. Perhaps I am mistaking their intended use?
  • I’m 5′ 10″ and a chunky 215lbs. The strap length maxed out seems to be a good fit for me, but anyone bigger is going to have issues getting this sling slung.
  • The rear pocket is just too small. I understand the impulse to add one back there, but the darn thing should be able to secure a passport. Besides that, a zipper would be much more secure than the hook and loop used. It’s flimsy and not all that reassuring.
  • There is no pocket for my phone. All the front facing pockets are just too shallow.
  • Speaking of the front pockets, other than my small wallet, I’m not sure what would be a good fit in these, given their lack of security and the bags intended use in urban areas where sticky fingers abound. Maybe chapstick?

Wrap Up

I was expecting a lot from this little sling after being impressed with the design of Mr. Octopus, but this bag turn out to be somewhat of a let down. The pocketing on it seems designed haphazardly and unable to handle most common EDC items. This would be a better option for EDC if it were simplified just a little and the pockets not so specific. Over-pocketing is a sin, especially when the pockets don’t hold real-world objects. Unfortunately, Mr. Control seems out of control.

Disclaimer: The Mr Control was supplied by Suburban HK for use in this review. The content of the review was not shared with Suburban or Lii Gear prior to publication. Our reviews are impartial and never changed to keep a brand happy.