We Review the HEX Ranger Sling XL

The new HEX Ranger Sling XL bridges the gap between a large backpack and a traditional sling, combining elements of both for photographers who want to travel light without leaving nearly everything at home.

HEX Ranger Sling XL Specifications

  • Padded laptop compartment up to 13″
  • Water resistant ballistic nylon shell
  • Hidden mosquito net for additional weather protection
  • Generous exterior organizer with HEX signature faux fur lined phone pocket
  • Air mesh back for breathability
  • Bottom straps for tripod or jacket
  • Interior with EVA padded dividers
  • Dimensions: 14.5″ x 11″ x 5″
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Capacity: 15L

Travel light

I put the HEX Ranger Sling XL through its paces on a hike with my son and a few friends recently. During the day, we visited two Long Island nature preserves, hiked many trails, hiked a beach, and explored an old Gothic house. I usually carry a small backpack on trips like this so it was a new experience to go through the day with a large sling with a lot more capacity than I’m used to on a one day trip. daytime. The Ranger Sling XL carries a surprising amount of gear, and I was able to lug the following items:

HEX describes the sling as “camera ready”, and I quickly found out what they mean because it’s very easy to partially open the sling while wearing it via the clamshell zipper system and to take out your camera for a picture. The camera sits snugly on one side of the bag with a small to medium sized lens attached, and due to its design it admittedly forms like a sling. To access everything else, though, it needs to be placed securely on a surface and treated more like a backpack (in other words, don’t open it all the way if you’re wearing it).

The ability to quickly access the camera came in handy several times during the day, and since I also fitted the camera with a HEX strap, it was convenient to store the camera while we were hiking, without having to deal with an annoying neck strap the shoulder strap of the sling. I found the strap and wrist strap to be a great combination, although the wrist strap took a minute to get used to as it has a very open design and doesn’t cinch tightly on the wrist like other wrist straps do. ‘others.

The Ranger Sling XL is very well made and has a stiff back, so it doesn’t feel floppy like other slings. It has a premium feel throughout, including the exterior construction and interior dividers. The padding is thick, the zippers are large, the canvas is also water resistant and includes an additional hidden flysheet for extra weather protection when needed.

As I mentioned above, the Ranger Sling XL fits an impressive amount of gear. The slingshot does what HEX intended, and falls somewhere between a large backpack and a small slingshot, both of which have their downsides for street photographers, day trippers, and content creators. I found the size and capacity to be perfect for our hike as I could carry enough gear for me and my son as well as record video clips of our adventure. When we stopped at a local restaurant in between visits to nature reserves, I appreciated that the slingshot was compact enough to sit next to me on the restaurant bench without being bulky.

The internal dividers can be customized extensively and I actually had extra dividers that I didn’t need for the amount of gear I was carrying, which was appreciated. I also found the front faux fur lined phone pocket to be perfect for storing my phone as it provided easy access when needed. The large outer pocket and the two inner zipped pockets also offer plenty of space for accessories such as memory cards, batteries, chargers, adapters, car keys, etc. There are also two small hidden pockets built into the shoulder strap that can hold memory cards or other small items that you want to quickly retrieve, which is a fun and useful addition.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the HEX Ranger Sling XL is a great camera bag, and one of those products I didn’t realize I needed. Indeed, the size and capacity are right between carrying a huge backpack full of gear and a small sling that only holds a camera and a few lenses. With this scarf, I get the best of both worlds, as it’s great for times when I want to travel light but still need a fair amount of gear, like when I’m shooting a YouTube video or take a day trip where I am doing both portraits and landscapes.

The biggest downside I found with the sling is that carrying at full capacity becomes hard on the back as the day progresses, leading to a lot of shoulder changes later in the day as the weight is not evenly distributed as with a backpack. Because of all this, the shoulder strap would also need a bit more padding.

What I liked

  • Excellent build quality
  • Lots of storage capacity
  • Sleek yet understated design
  • Very customizable
  • Perfect for day trips and content creators

What I did not like

  • The padded shoulder strap is too thin
  • A fully loaded Ranger Sling XL weighs a lot for a shoulder

To buy

A HEX Ranger Sling XL is available in four color styles and can be purchased here.

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