Bobby Sling Review: David Backpack in the Goliath World
XD Design continues to innovate anti-theft backpacks – we continue to test them. But with each review, the same story was repeated … It was worth saying that the proprietary protection against thieves works while Bobby is hanging behind his back, in the comments they noticed: “What about transport? In the metro, you will have to take off your backpack! ” I dare to hope the Bobby Sling has solved this problem. Below the cut – the results of the test from a person who has never worn a sling before.
When you hear the word “sling”, you think of a bag for carrying children rather than gadgets. I hope that by the end of the text there will be fewer such associations. The philosophy of a sling backpack is, in principle, close to the idea of a sling for babies: high mobility, freedom of movement and all the most valuable is at hand.
Unlike another compact XD Design solution – the Urban Bumbag belt bag (aka “cosmetic bag on steroids”) – Bobby Sling can be considered a full-fledged backpack. Yes, without laptop compartment, but still with tablet compartment up to 9.7 inches.
The world has long been ready for the one-line Bobby. Those who copy the XD Design style picked up this idea almost before the authors of the anti-theft backpack themselves. But what will the old audience say?
I can refer myself to the old audience. In peacetime, I prefer a classic 20-liter backpack – and I was skeptical about the new format at the start.
Are you really a backpack?
Let’s start with the first impression and appearance. I got a black model for the test. There are also dark blue and gray.
The only strap that has become a feature of the model is two-tone. The model from the review has the upper wide part – black, with soft padding under the shoulder. The lower part, with which the strap size is adjusted, is in khaki color. On the question of adjustment: the strap is tightened in one motion, keeps the length well. It takes a little more effort to loosen it and remove the sling over the head.
For those cases when you need to quickly throw off the backpack from the shoulder, a buckle is provided on the strap. It has the same three-point construction as the Urban Bumbag, so you can’t accidentally open it. It takes both hands to push from different directions.
The frame of the backpack is quite rigid: even if you stuff the Bobby Sling to the eyeballs, things will not burst it in different directions. And it “will not be blown away”, remaining half empty.
The appearance of the Sling is more reminiscent of the latest XD Design models – the Hero line and the Trolley transformer than the very first Bobby backpack. The body is slightly beveled, the front side is smooth, the sides are rough to the touch. Model dimensions: 21 x 9 x 32.5 cm.
Proprietary protection system in place: multi-layer lining that prevents the fabric from being inconspicuously cut and reaching the contents, and hidden zippers, which can only be accessed by the user when the backpack is close to the body.
The art of light touch
The main skill to master when switching to a sling is to move the backpack from back to chest in one movement. The first couple of days, until experienced colleagues showed me this trick, for any reason I was eager to take off my backpack entirely.
When the backpack moves forward, you do not have to worry about discomfort to others. You begin to confidently maneuver in crowded public transport and quickly take up free space. This adds +100 points to mobility. In this position, you have access to all content. Finally, you can delve into Bobby on the go! Those who have dealt with past models will understand what a step forward this is.
This laptop will stay at home today
Good things come at a price. Before I got acquainted with the sling, I thought that I carry few criminal things in my backpack. It was worth changing from 20 liters to 4 liters of Bobby Sling, and the realization came that you could refuse something in your daily travels.
If the large Bobby’s main compartment swung open like a suitcase, 180 °, the sling opens 45 degrees. Considering that large-sized things will not fit there, the solution is quite understandable.
The backpack has one compartment, but it is designed in such a way that objects do not dangle in a mix. On the side that is closer to the body, there is an organizer for technology: with a wide compartment for a tablet up to 9.7 “and three pockets for smaller gadgets. You can adapt them to a removable hard drive, headphone case and smartphone. The tablet compartment is fastened with Velcro to secure the contents.
I didn’t find a suitable tablet, but I did find Switch Lite. Before the test, I rarely took a portable console on the road – I still haven’t got a case. Bobby Sling came to the rescue: one of the sides of the tablet compartment with a soft, velvety finish. We unfold the gadget to face it – and there is no need to worry that the screen will be scratched when carrying it.
On the opposite side of the main compartment, there are a pair of mesh cells and a zip pocket. It is definitely worth putting a power bank in one of the grids. Like other Bobby, Sling is able to charge gadgets on the go: outside, next to the zipper of the main compartment, a USB port is brought out, which connects from the inside to the battery.
The consumables of 2020 – gloves and masks – will definitely go to another grid. A bunch of keys can be hung side by side on a plastic ring that clips to the compartment wall.
For the inner zip pocket, I didn’t have any special ideas. But if you carry your passport separately, you can keep it there.
In my case, in 4 liters and 4 kg of maximum load, Bobby Sling managed to fit: a couple of moleskines, a softcover book, foldable headphones with a rim, a power bank, a smartphone, a switch, and other little things – and there was room for a small thermos and an umbrella. At the same time, the backpack did not lose its shape and did not press on the back.
In addition to the main compartment, Bobby Sling has an RFID-protected pocket for bank cards and documents. By sliding the sling to your chest, you can remove the wallet in a couple of seconds.
A couple of little things for lovers of little things
Traditionally, a map-sized pocket is built into the strap of the backpack. The feeling that it was made especially for Troika.
A loop for glasses is sewn next to the pocket. It’s hard to believe that many people use this feature, but XD Design repeats this solution from model to model.
Respect for A4 documents is not the strongest side of the sling. If you wish, you can squeeze a flexible folder with sheets inside, slightly bending its edges. But there is a high probability that the pages will get wrinkled along the way.
XD Design remains committed to the eco-trend. Bobby Sling uses recycled materials (plastic bottles) and water saving technology.
The velcro fastener of the tablet compartment has a very pleasant to the touch rubberized tab. I couldn’t help but mention.
From denial to acceptance
As I said in the introduction, getting to know Bobby Sling cannot be called love at first sight. It took me a couple of days and wise advice to adapt to the new format. But after 2 weeks with the adoption, new options opened.
Yes, in a sling you cannot rake half of the things from the work table in one motion. Or drop any purchase on the way home. But in a public place, there is no feeling that you take up twice as much space.
Is the arrival of the one-strand Bobby changing the balance of power in the XD Design collection? I don’t think that the story of David and Goliath will be repeated here (by the way, very bloody, google painting masterpieces on this topic). The series will continue to be associated with roomy backpacks for oversized gadgets, but fans of the brand now have a compact, masculine alternative.
Bobby Sling has become a good example of minimalism for me, in which you don’t have to completely abandon your favorite habits.
Shop the Bobby Sling backpack in one of three colors – black, blue or gray – you can visit us at Madrobots store… For Habr’s readers, there is a special 20% discount for the TRYSLING promo code. The price will be
5990 RUB 4 792
Currently, we have a special offer for all Bobby backpacks: a protective set of a reusable mask and XD Design filters as a gift. The promotion also applies to Bobby Sling. Another proof that a sling backpack is also a backpack.