Patagonia Atom Sling

8.8 score
[Editors rating (8.8)] = (TheGearHunt) score (8.8)/10

Editor rating: 8.8 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Patagonia Atom Sling Review Facts

When heading out for a long hike, going hunting, fishing or camping, you will have one thing in common- something to carry your gear. While not everyone uses backpacks to accomplish this, many of us do, so this is a topic we cover quite a bit in TheGearHunt. We like to try and keep you up to date on the latest packs available to carry all your other necessary gear in. This time we want to take a look at Patagonia’s Atom Sling Backpack. It is a single strap carrying bag that just might make or break any trip you might take. So, of course, we want to make sure that if you decide on this particular bag, you are going with what is best for your particular trip. For starters, you will need to know its intended purpose, after all, if it is meant for lightweight gear and you are hauling heavier items, it could end up leaving you with a lot of issues. This particular model is designed as a ‘daily bag’, meaning it doesn’t have a lot of room and only two compartments, though those are divided up into organized pockets. This is definitely meant for lightweight travel and a single day trip when out, rather than carrying everything on its own. It is still great for longer trips if you intend to be out from sun up to sun down and do not want to be caught without an essential item but is usually used when you have a base cap style area or hotel room to return to. That being said, let us check out what qualities this bag has that makes it noteworthy- whether for better or worse.


Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Light-weight
  • Quick travel storage
  • One strap
  • Organizational pockets
  • Quick release strap
  • Padded for comfort
  • Breathable back mesh
  • Small
  • Not easy to use if left-handed


Unlike many backpacks, especially the smaller ones, the Atom Sling is actually designed so that everything has a place where it can be easily reached. This is done by having several varying sized pockets throughout the entire bag. This prevents the need to go digging for most items and allows you to organize your supplies to give you easy and quick access to everything, which can be great when you are out on a long hike. This bag has everything from a perfect place for your water bottle to smaller pockets on your arm strap for keys and smaller items. It has quick release cords as well for many of the places to attack things to so you don’t have to struggle with an enormous number of buckles or Velcro straps.
The teardrop design, as well as the breathable mesh, make this backpack comfortable to carry for most. It doesn’t put a lot of strain on the back and will not be the cause of overheating. The only downside to its one strap design is that it is set up for those who are right-handed. The zippers only appear to close on one side of the bag, making it difficult to use when you are left-handed. While only a few people might find this something to turn it away, others may still feel that the rest of its design is worth having to take the bag off or to wear it differently to make it work for them easier.


Helping to try and keep more friendly to the environment by reusing materials is not the most common practice, nor the easiest, especially when you want a specific material for such. Patagonia has found a way, after years of research and trial, to create a recycled nylon fabric that works. They use this material for most of their products and, with no surprise, use it for their backpacks as well. It is an impressive achievement, to say the least. They are able to use waste material from some factories combined with other methods to prevent pollution by putting the material back into use. The material is strong, durable and is even able to be treated to be water resistant/ waterproof. When choosing a product that is quality and is part of the process to keep waste from reaching out into nature we have to give a big thumbs up here.


The combination of how lightweight this pack is, its teardrop shape and the breathable mesh make this n incredibly comfortable pack. With only one strap needed to secure it, this pack has been tested to show that even packed to the brim it doesn’t leave you feeling tired or sweaty after an entire day’s hike. It handles the weight placed into it easily by the way the pockets are organized and its overall shape. Spreading the weight evenly and keeping your muscles from straining. The pack itself doesn’t weigh much on its own, so you don’t have to fear that it will add tension. The single strap holds it securely and keeps it from rubbing too much against your back, and the mesh allows for your back to not feel the weight trapping heat against your body. This makes for a more comfortable and usable pack for single day excursions. Everyone who has tested it claims that it is one of the easiest on them and more comfortable bags they have used, and that gives us a boost of confidence that it is not just a sales pitch, it really is comfortable- and that is extremely important!


We researched to see what was said about the durability and to our happy discovery found that it is quite the durable little pack. Except for some very rare occurrences with the buckles, most found this pack to be extremely durable. It can handle being fully filled and carried all day long without being removed except when needed and do so for months without showing even the slightest form of wear and tear. Even the zippers and seams remained as they were on the day of purchase! This is definitely worth noting since the material used is actually recycled nylon, which we were not expecting to find was going to handle any real long-term heavy testing. The bag is an incredible testament to why using recycled materials is worth it.


This is where many buyers were somewhat disappointed. The bag is intended for direct necessities, which means many of the medium-sized to larger objects will not fit inside of it. While it can carry keys, clothing, and even a water bottle easily, objects such as notebooks and laptops won’t fit inside the pack. If you are looking for something that can carry these, you would need to carry a secondary pack as well. Of course, we look at its intended use, so even before we look into the complaints we are considering just what the design was made for. If you are looking for something to carry the mid-sized objects as well, then this isn’t the bag you are looking for, however if you really only need a day bag, since that was what it was designed for, and have a ‘home base’ to return to, then this is perfect for needs away from that main area and home.


This is intended as a day bag. While many of us who either travel, hike or enjoy outdoor activities understand what that means, we want to clarify for those who may be looking to buy something like this for the first time. A day bag is a sort of like a purse or a light pack meant to carry main essentials while away from home. For instance, if you are planning an excursion to visit out of state, or out of the country, you will find this to be a key component, even if not going into the wilderness. When leaving the place you are staying at overnight to go and explore the sights, you will want to have your keys, something to drink from, and any necessities that you would normally run to a store for back home, but may not be able to locate where you are. Personal items that you would be uncomfortable if you needed but could not reach in time if you had to head back to your room to get them. A day bag is essential for such things, and this one makes it easy to keep all of that close by without carrying something bulky. This is also useful for long hikes away from camp or just for a day trip where you intend to return home.


While not flamboyant, this pack has its own sense of style and both blends in well, while remaining n added taste to your look. It won’t make you stand out as a complete tourist despite being a backpack, instead, the one-armed sling trap gives you more of a sophisticated appearance. It almost provides the feeling of being a business bag. The Patagonia Atom Sling even has several color options to either match up with your other luggage or even your clothing. You can look good and not have to feel like every person you talk to will see you as out of place and therefore unknowledgeable. If you are using it for hiking or hinting, you can even choose more natural colors, so you aren’t as easy to spot with it. This will allow you to carry extra’s such as a camera or supplies to enjoy your trip out as much as possible. If you prefer a more sporty appearance, it even has a white and orange combination that makes it easier to spot when using it for carrying lunch, drinks, a towel, and clothes if you want to use it as a small gym bag. The diversity of color makes this a good choice for many different activities.


This was a definite thought that went into this packs design. After all, the purpose was to assure that the pack supported all the needs it can hold without applying the pressure to you. Comfort was key in its build. Everything from the purposely made teardrop design to the way the strap sits on your shoulder. The weight is divided perfectly due to the teardrop shape to assure that it doesn’t pull on your shoulder or your back too much. It takes most of the weight onto the material itself rather than onto you. The strap balances everything out so that it does not end up hanging the way many other day bags might. The set up of where things fit best organizationally also adds to this ability to support the way the rest of the design was set up for. Thanks to the sturdiness of the material itself and the zippers, wear and tear is minimal and the mesh allows your back to breath so that you do not overheat, which also assures your muscles won’t wear down as fast and prevents chafing. Altogether this pack supports you and your items so that you can wear it easily and not have to worry.


This is the other big sell for this pack. Organizing your items for easy access has never been more simple. There are pickets both inside and out to keep everything in its place. This prevents the need to dig for items that may slip or fall to the bottom and become buried otherwise. It even has a padded inside sleeve for carrying a tablet, which means you can safely keep it with you and not be concerned that it isn’t protected. The pocket area’s in the arm strap provide room for keys and cell phones so that they are right where you can easily reach and use them without having to take off or lower the bag to reach them.

Key Features

-Organized pouch with divided pockets
-Breathable back mesh
-Exterior compression balances weight
-Single strap easy on and off shoulder use
-Recycled materials
-Color choices
-Easy access cords

Bottom Line

If you are looking for an environmentally friendly way to travel, both in a carry along and in how it prevents, or rather uses, disposed material’s rather than just leaving them to endanger nature, this is it. A day bag that has everything you need to be comfortable and still carry all your necessities with you. A great bag for an adventure!