If I’m out and around and I do not have a bag slung over my body, I feel naked and unprepared. It’s like venturing into a dungeon without health drinks. What if I need ChapStick? Did I bring ChapStick? How can I fit my phone, keys and face mask, all in the shortened pockets of my jeans? Where should I put the cool stone I just found? Extra storage capacity is essential for my daily transport, and it is crucial to be able to swing the bag around the front and grab everything I need.
Backpacks are better for heavy loads or all-day hiking, but for light everyday needs, nothing beats messenger bags, sling bags and convertible hip bags. I have tested dozens over the years and these are my favorites.
Be sure to check out our many other buying guides, including the best backpacks for work, the best clothes and purses, and the best camera bags.
Updated June 2022: We added the Carhartt Crossbody Snap and updated prices.
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