If you are a content creator, a photographer, or a videographer, you probably have used a smaller sling-style bag for easier portability on day shoots. The challenge with these bags is that you are usually limited to a camera, one extra lens, and just enough room for a battery, some cables, memory cards, and that’s it. HEX realized a gap in the market for a bag that landed “in between,” and they have just dropped the new Sling XL. This model adds more versatility to HEX’s Ranger Collection of discreet, on-the-go camera bags.
The Sling XL was developed hand-in-hand with photographers and reflected customer feedback, creating an entirely new design. This mid-sized bag can fit a 13-inch laptop, multiple bodies, lenses, a drone, and more, and can even be custom-configured to fit a change of clothes for weekend trips.
“The Ranger Collection conveys the essence of HEX as a brand: functional, sharp, and street-ready styles that are all designed with feedback from creators, and we’re really excited to be introducing a new level of versatility with the Sling XL,” said Trent Valladares, HEX Founder and CEO.
“A key feature of the new sling is the padded compartment that accommodates a 13-inch laptop, a huge deal for a bag with such a small footprint. We’ve also incorporated our patented Clamshell zipper system, which allows for multiple access zones depending on preference. The Ranger Sling XL is a really unique size that we think photographers will find perfect for mid-size carry needs.”
Sounds Great, So How Did It Perform?
We got a Sling XL and put it to the test. We loaded it full of gear and shot some street art in the RiNo neighborhood in Denver, along with a few drone shots.
DJI Mini Pro 3 + RC Controller
Sony A7 III
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2x Tamaron Lenses
MacBook Air M1
Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod
Smaller accessories (iPhone, cords, batteries, lens filters, chargers, etc.)
What we liked:
- The Sling XL provided enough space for more gear; this allows you to do more creative stuff.
- The padded iPhone / sunglasses pocket on the front and computer storage are clutch, allowing you to dump memory cards and edit remotely.
- The organizer pocket was big enough to hold all our RC remote and tons of extra stuff like cables, batteries, memory cards, etc.
- The fabric is probably water resistant enough to manage to get a little wet, and there is also a rain fly if you get into a monsoon situation and need to protect your gear.
- The extra handle, so if you have to grab it from another angle.
- The customizable interior, just rip up the velcro dividers and customize the bag for whatever you are doing.
What we didn’t:
- The clamshell opening is easy to get at, but you need to set it down to get at all your gear, and it’s a good idea not to rush it because you could have a costly yard sale. Smaller slings have the easier access upside, but this depends on how you shoot. A good solution for quick access is the Peak Design Capture Clip system. This device creates a solution that allows you to essentially holster your camera on the bag strap while not using it. Check it HERE
Summary: If you have been struggling to find a mid-sized bag that gives you a little bit more space for smaller operations, then you have found the solution. The Sling XL has some compromises with access; however, those can be easily fixed with bolt-ons like the Peak Design Capture Clip. The build quality is solid, the price is reasonable, and it’s easy to maneuver. This is a bag that any pro or prosumer can dial in easily to manage their needs for different scenarios.
HEX Ranger Sling XL Specifications:
- Padded compartment for up to 13-inch laptop
- Water-resistant, ballistic nylon shell
- Hideaway rainfly for additional weather protection
- Generous exterior organizer with HEX’s signature faux-fur lined phone pocket
- Air mesh back for breathability
- Bottom cinch straps for tripod or jacket
- Interior features EVA-padded dividers
- Dimensions: 14.5” x 11” x 5”
- Weight: 2.2 lbs
- Capacity: 15L
- Available in Black, Camo, Glacier Camo and Blackout Camo colorways
- MSRP: $149.95