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Patagonia Atom Sling Bag Review

Patagonia Atom Sling Bag

Review of Atom Sling Bag from Patagonia: convenience of a messenger bag with stability of a backpack.

The Patagonia Atom is a great bag for people on the go, providing the support of a backpack with the convenience of a messenger bag. It’s small and convenient and is easy on your shoulder thanks to it’s teardrop shape.   To access the contents of the bag simply spin it around. Very convenient!

This bag is great for men or women.  For women who don’t like purses but want the convenience of one, this is an excellent choice. If you’re riding around town and taking care of a few errands, you don’t have to deal with a full-out backpack, you can easily carry most of what you need in the Atom sling bag.

Best Deals on Patagonia Atom Sling Bag. Atom Bag Sale.


Teardrop Shape

The atom bag is shaped as a teardrop, which allows the weight to be distributed uniformly through your shoulder.

Breathable, mesh padding

The breathable, mesh padding is moisture-wicking which allows you to stay comfortable and dry when sweating.

Hip Strap

The hip strap is an excellent feature.  It keeps your bag secure on your back but is easy to stow when not using it.

wearing patagonia stealth atom sling front
Sling bag showing front shoulder straps and media pocket

Media Pocket

The “media pocket” on the chest strap makes it very easy to access items, such as a cell phone, cash or bank cards – or whatever small items you may want to stash in there. However – this media pocket is too small for today’s smart phones, it seems to have been designed for those old flip phones. We would love if they redesigned this feature, because it is one of the only real drawbacks of this bag.

This Patagonia bag is great to use in place of where you may have used a backpack.   Instead of having to unbuckle backpack straps, all you have to do is sling it around to your chest to get access to your stuff, making it much more convenient – and much less bulky – than a backpack.

What could I fit into it?

It can hold an iPad mini, full digital SLR camera, extra lens, and a small windbreaker jacket.

The interior has a mesh-lined divider pocket which is excellent for keeping your gear organized instead of floating around in the bottom of the bag. However, this pocket could use a few extra dividers for pens and other ‘small things’ – such as chapstick, bus tickets, cash and so on.

For times when you don’t need a full backpack and are just shooting across town and need a few items – your jacket, wallet, cell phone and some snacks – this bag is perfect.

patagonia sling bag with jacket strapped
Strap your jacket to the outside.

I find this bag most useful for vacations or weekends. You have to keep in mind that at 427 cubic inches, or about 7 Liters the Atom is really small, often times too small for many things.  It’s great for traveling though.  It fits surprisingly more than I thought it would – heading to the office I find most daily essentials can be fit in here, such as a cardigan, thin bike jacket, my lunch, some toiletries and a small thermos of coffee.  For comparison, here are other extra small bags and small bags.

patagonia atom sling bag - women's - back view
The sling bag showing hip buckle.
patagonia atom sling bag - mens
Men’s sling bag showing hip buckle and shoulder strap


The bag is constructed from 420 denier 100% nylon oxford plain weave.  The base is 840 denier 100% ballistic nylon.  The lining is made from 200 denier 100% polyester.  All materials are treated with durable water repellent (DWR) finish.  It comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturers defects.

Pros and Cons

Things we liked

  • So convenient to swing around and access your things!
  • Hip strap keeps it securely in place when riding, and easy to put away when not needed
  • Light: weighs only 11 ounces (around 300 g)
  • Media pocket on chest strap for stashing things on the go
  • Water resistant, stays dry in rain or snow
  • Soft, comfortable chest strap, not cutting or biting in the shoulder area
  • Looks stylish: very careful attention to detail in the design and quality
  • Great for travel and weekend use

Things we didn’t like: a few disadvantages

  • The media pocket will not fit a smart phone
  • It is too small to carry my notebooks and books, not always practical. Check out the messenger bag store for larger sizes:  smallmedium, large or extra large

Dimensions and Specifications

The bag measures:

  • 15″ x 9.5″ x 4″ (inches)
  • 38 cm x 21.6 cm x 10 cm

Weight: 11 oz., around 300 grams.

Volume: 427 cubic inches, or about 7 Liters.

Where to Buy the Patagonia Atom Sling Bag on Sale

Looking for other messenger bags from Patagonia?

Check out the full selection of Patagonia bags or look at other messenger bag brands.

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