National Geographic Explorer Small Sling Bag
UK Price: £49.95
Pros: Everything to hand and safe, well made, comfortable to wear when walking or trekking, rain resistant
Cons: Possibly price a bit steep and maybe a bit OTT for gentle travelling.
Verdict: A good buy
Available from: National Geographic shop, Regent Street, London
There are some occasions when a handbag is not a good look. Like when trekking through the bush. But most bags just don’t deliver; a rucksack necessitates whirling it off your back and setting it down to take something out. I wanted a bag to hold all my stuff securely that could be quickly accessed: camera, two phones, tissues, notebook, travel papers, passport, sunglasses, cash – coins and notes, and other essentials. Oh, and I wanted it to look reasonably OK and be fairly rugged. Wandering into National Geographic one day last autumn, I set eyes on this sling bag and was smitten.
I’ve taken it on my travels ever since. The straps can be adjusted, so when the bag is worn across the body, the phone pocket is at chest height. There are five pockets, plastic lined with Velcro fastenings, to hold everything in its place, so there is little need for rummaging around. A camera can be found in a flash (no pun intended) so a shot is not missed. Similarly, if I want to write something down, the notebook is out before I’ve forgotten what I wanted to write.
The cotton and hemp bag is in khaki with beige trimmings and has a webbed wide strap. The only slight downside is National Geographic emblazoned across the top pocket. Some light ribbing might be forthcoming from fellow travellers, but personally I put it down to jealousy.
Although I’ve written this from a female perspective, I don’t think chaps should dismiss it. The price tag might seem a little steep, but I feel I have had value for money out of it already.