Sutter Sling Pouch declares war on pockets [Review]

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Watch out pockets — the Sutter Sling Pouch is gunning for your crown.
Watch out pockets — the Sutter Sling Pouch is gunning for your crown.
Photo: Nuria Gregori

The Sutter Sling Pouch is a gentleman’s handbag that’s just big enough for you to empty your pockets into. It is also the end of pockets as we know them. What kind of dumbo would stuff their pants full of keys, wallets, multitools, iPads, Kindles and other uncomfortable gear when they can just dump it in the Sutter Sling instead?

A dedicated dumbo, that’s what kind. Smart folks will join me in acknowledging this as a turning point in history: The death of pockets as we know them. When our climate-decimated society is dug up by the Indiana Joneses of the future, they will look at the patches sewn all over our human trousers, and wonder what the hell we thought we were up to.

Sutter Sling Pouch review

The Sutter Sling Pouch carries everything a hipster needs to survive.
The Sutter Sling carries everything a hipster needs to survive.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Sutter Sling Pouch comes from long-time friends of Cult of Mac, WaterField Designs. It’s a cross-body sling that is smaller than a messenger bag, but big enough for the essentials. The strap has a metal cam lock so you can cinch it tight, which is handy for keeping the bag under an arm in dodgy neighborhoods, or keeping it on your back when biking. You can also quickly swing it to the front, and open it up to retrieve your wallet or shades. In this mode, it stays mounted on your chest, like a high-up kangaroo pouch. I love this for shopping, as I don’t have to take off a backpack every time I want to pay for something.

Daily carry

I have been using the Sutter Sling while both walking and cycling, and it’s perfect for when you don’t need to carry a big load. My “daily carry,” as they say on internet bag forums, is as follows:

  • Wallet
  • Keys
  • Large notebook and pen
  • Sunglasses (maybe)
  • Kindle
  • Rolled-up canvas tote bag for shopping
  • AirPods

Amazingly, all that fits inside without stuffing the Sutter Sling full. Inside, there are two side pockets plus a key hook. On the front is a plush-lined pocket, ideal for your iPhone or even something a little bigger. You can comfortably slip an iPad mini into the main section, too — the Sling measures just over 10 inches long.

The Sutter Sling Pouch is happy crammed up under your armpit.
The Sutter Sling Pouch is happy crammed up under your armpit.
Photo: Nuria Gregori

Other nice touches are the padded, sweat-wicking mesh panel on the back (watch out for this on slippery jackets, as it can slide over them easily, instead of staying in place on your back if you ride a bike), and water-sealed YKK zippers, which feel very solid.

The apocketalypse is nigh

Goodbye — and good riddance — to pockets.
Goodbye — and good riddance — to pockets.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

This bag is pretty much perfect for its purpose. If you need something bigger, though, just buy something bigger — don’t try to overload the Sling. If you stuff in too much, your load will be heavy, and the thin strap will start to dig in. I guess you could add a pad to mitigate that, but then you’d just be messing up a precision-engineered portaging device. Aka the scourge of pockets. Aka the harbinger of the apocketalypse. And yes, I’m running out of synonyms for “pocket.”

Anyway, do yourself, and your overtaxed pants, a favor. Buy yourself a Sutter Sling Pouch, in 1050 Denier black ballistic nylon or brown waxed canvas.

Price: $119

Buy from: WaterField Designs