Last month, we introduced you to the Hex Ranger Sling XL (you can see that here), a much larger (but still compact) gear-carrying option that seemed a definite step up in capacity to our prior Hex sling review. Well, wouldn’t you know it, we got one in and have been spending some time with the bag. Read on to see what it’s all about.

Ranger Sling XL vs Mini Sling

As you can see from that photo above, the Hex Ranger Sling XL is quite a bit larger than the Mini Sling. While the Mini was able to carry a camera body and a lens (and a few other odds and ends), the XL is able to carry a good deal more. In the photo below, you can see that it easily swallowed my DSLR (with a lens attached) as well as two additional lenses, and space left over (the thing that looks like a black bag is an included rain cover). You’ll also note that the dividers, along with being soft, are attached to the back panel via hook-and-loop. This means you can set it up for whatever you need to carry, or completely remove them to just have a large space.

Whatever you’re storing in the main compartment of the Hex Ranger Sling XL, you will have no problem getting at it. The zipper from the main compartment has the bag opening up like a clamshell case, easily laying flat and out of the way. This is great for loading in or getting things out, as you’re not dealing with narrow openings trying to get at your gear. Along with the customizable storage, you’ve got some zippered mesh pockets there as well, great for tucking away smaller things that you still want to see where exactly they are. Of course, those aren’t the only spots to store things!

On the front of the bag, you’ve got two zippered pockets, and an expandable pocket on the side to hold your beverage. The smaller front pocket is faux fur lined, perfect for sliding your phone into. The larger one has some organization to put a battery pack, clip your keys, and the like. For me, I found it was a perfect spot to stash my Kindle. On the side opposite of where the water bottle pocket is, there’s another “hidden” pocket. Under a zipper, you’ll find a small flat space where you could stash away some emergency cash (if you didn’t want to use the velcro pocket on the strap) or whatever else you want more hidden away. Speaking of hiding, the padded back of the bag has one more secret.

As you can see from that photo, there’s a zipper running across the padding. Open that up, and you can easily slide in a 13″ laptop to take along (or a tablet) for whatever you may need to do. If it’s photography or video, of course it would be to get those images and footage off of your camera to get things edited and looking sharp. On the other hand, if you wanted a compact commuter bag, this would work as well. Just reconfigure that main compartment to hold what you need for your work day, and you’re ready to go. With the adjustable sling strap, things will be held close to your body as you move about your day.

In short, we think the Hex Ranger Sling XL is a $149.95 bag that could be quite versatile for a number of folks. Whether you’re hauling camera gear or just what you need to get to the office, it will adapt to your needs. And while it is one of their larger slings, it’s not so large that you’d be tempted to load a ton of stuff on your back. For something that won’t weigh you down when you head out, it’s worth checking out in our opinion. While our reviewer came in camo, it comes in glacier camo, blackout camo, or “goes with everything” black. Check out the options, as well as their full range of bags, directly at hexbrand.com

Specs from Hex

  • 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
  • MSRP: $149.95

By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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