As its name suggests, The Man Bag offers a variety of bags catered to men. There are currently four offerings available, the best-selling of which is the City Sling. The brand kindly sent one over for me to review – let’s see if it’s any good.
The Man Bag – the Brand
The Man Bag was launched in 2020, with a mission to “help guys all over the world carry their stuff in a safe, secure manner (while lookin’ fresh AF at the same time), instead of stuffing the pockets of your skinny jeans”. In fact, the brand’s slogan is “Free Your Pockets”, as its bags are meant to help men organise their daily essentials.
For those interested to see some hands-on footage of the bag and its storage capacity, the brand actually did a hands-on video of the City Sling above.
The City Sling – Review
Let’s take a look at its flagship product, the City Sling.
The City Sling is crafted from “high quality, durable polyester” that the brand says is “weather-resistant”, meaning that it should withstand rainy weather with no issue. The material feels good, and reminds me of some of the other outdoor-geared bags such as Obbi Good Label’s OriGinaLe Tote Bag and Gnome & Bow’s Hitchhiker backpack that I’ve previously reviewed. In addition, The Man Bag states that the City Sling is partially made from recycled plastic bottles, thus making it slightly more sustainable than the aforementioned alternatives.
In terms of looks, the City Sling comes in an all-black aesthetic that’s sporty and versatile. It’s currently the only colourway available, so if you’re a fan of bright colours you’re out of luck. I wouldn’t call it boring, but it’s certainly a safer look. That said, given that the City Sling is pitched to active males as their accompaniment to the gym/mall it’s not a bad thing – it definitely goes well with a sweatshirt or a hoodie.
While it may not be an eminently striking bag, the City Sling excels in its practicality. For one, it’s padded both on its front and back, thus giving your items added protection should you accidentally drop the bag. That’s actually very useful, especially if you’re travelling with electronic gadgets (tablets, earphones, phones, etc).
Storage is aplenty too, with multiple compartments available. There’s one at the front, which features an additional 2 pockets for organisation. There’s also a keyhook to attach your keys. I personally used the front compartment to store my COVID essentials (extra mask, alcohol wipes, tissues, etc), and the two pockets for my tech gadgets (power bank and earphones).
The compartments feature a textured orange polyester lining that’s nice to the touch. It also provides a striking contrast to the black exterior of the bag. Black and orange is always a cool colour combination, and the City Sling is no exception.
The main compartment is pretty spacious, with plenty of pockets (six, and an additional zipped compartment) for further organisation. I have brought it to the gym, and it held my water bottle, extra clothes, gym gloves, phone, Ipad, towel and even an extra book without any issues. The pockets definitely came in handy to organise my items, and I was surprised by the sheer amount of items that I could fit into the City Sling.
There’s even a small zippered back compartment, which I mainly used to store my valuables (keys, passport, etc). I’ve actually brought the bag overseas whilst holidaying in Europe, and I have to say that this was actually the compartment that I appreciated the most. Europe isn’t as safe as Singapore, and I was constantly worried about losing my passport/boarding ticket/hotel keycard/etc so having a pickpocket-resistant back compartment certainly came in handy.
The City Sling uses YKK zippers, so zipping action was buttery smooth and I never faced any issues with the zippers getting stuck, etc. However, the zips themselves get easily scratched (as seen in the photo above), and I’ve unfortunately already accrued substantial scratches on them despite using the City Sling for only about 2 months. It’s more of an aesthetic concern rather than a functional one – the zippers still work fine – but it’s still an issue worth noting.
Of course, the City Sling comes with a sling, which is similarly made out of polyester. It’s attached to the main body using cross-stitching, thus enhancing durability. The sling also features a secure magnetic clasp, thus alleviating any worries of the strap being detached by accident.
The City Sling is 44cm in length, 20cm in height, and 10cm in width. In my opinion, it’s the perfect size for a crossbody sling bag. It’s large enough to store everyday essentials, but still sufficiently svelte to be carried with one hand. It’s definitely much more portable than a typical sling/messenger bag, making it perfect when you need to carry some stuff out (like to the gym, or a trip around town), but not too much (such as to the office).
Conclusion – so The Man Bag City Sling “shiok” or not?
I enjoyed using the City Sling. Be it on a trip to the gym (and dinner in town afterwards), or holidaying overseas, I really appreciated the functionality of the City Sling. There are plenty of compartments and pockets to organise my items, and for the most part, the bag feels well-built. At $76 (after the promo code below), the City Sling is relatively affordable as well for a crossbody sling bag. My only wish would be for the City Sling to be available in more colourways – I would love to see it in navy/grey/brown, or perhaps even in pastel colours.
Those interested in purchasing the City Sling – or any other products from the brand – can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all products from The Man Bag. After the discount, the City Sling can be had for S$76.50, making it an affordable way to free your pockets without blowing a hole in them.
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.