Easily access your DSLR or Mirrorless camera while on-the-go with the Mini Sling Bag from Hex.
When it comes to carrying my Canon EOS 80D camera and gear, I feel like I am perpetually looking for the perfect bag. I have a Lowepro rolling backpack that is my absolute favorite carry-all bag, a chest rig, a waist rest, a wrist grip, a monopod, etc. However, I have not yet ventured into the avenue of the sling-style bag. Similar to comparing an EDC (Everyday Carry) style backpack with that of an ultralight backpacker, the smaller bags are designed to carry just the essentials. Perfect for a day hike, a trip to the zoo, a family outing, etc. bags like the HEX DSLR Mini Sling bag should allow you to carry what you need but without the added bulk of every accessory that you own.
The 2.5 L Hex Ranger Glacier Camo DSLR Mini Sling bag was designed for an on-the-go photographer with a smaller DSLR camera, DJI MAVIC Mini Drone, or a Mirrorless camera. The 2.5L, 0.8lbs waist bag had a large 1 1/2 inches wide buckle with dually adjustable 1 1/2 inches wide straps. Both sides of the waist lashings were attached to a 3 5/8 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide by 3 1/4 inches wide black/grey Camo trapezoid. To tighten the waist straps, simply grip the lashing closest to the snap buckle and pull the slider buckle toward the side camo trapezoids. To loosen the straps, grip the lashing closest to the side nylon trapezoids with one hand, the slider buckle with the other hand and then pull towards the click buckle. I loved how easy the straps could tighten/loosen and how secure the buckle felt. With the straps fully opened and draped to the sides, the rear face of the 900D Poly-nylon bag measured 10 inches wide by 5 inches tall. Along the top ~1/3 of the rear face, Hex included a 5 3/4 inches wide by 1 inches thick carry handle. Instead of designing the handle to rest above the surface of the panel, the company created a trapezoidal cutout to accommodate the handle. I know that it may not seem like this cutout was that big of a deal, but the thicker edging, the double secured lashing, and the ability to lay flat showed their attention to detail.
Resting the bag flat on its back panel, the front panel had a 10 inches wide by 4 inches tall black faux-fur lined phone/glasses compartment. Interestingly, the compartment had an “r” shaped zipper access port, which was offset 2-inches from the edge. As an enhancement, I wish that they included a Velcro or zipper divider to separate the two compartments. I think it would have been neat to use that extra space to house a charging cable or perhaps a pair of earbuds. Behind the front/main compartment, you will find the administrative pouch, which measured 9 1/4 inches wide by 4 1/4 inches tall. The grey inner flap of the pocket had a soft fabric-lined surface, while the back was divided into two specific administrative rows. The front black-mesh row was broken into three 2 3/4 inches wide by three inches tall pockets. Behind this row, you will find two 4-inches wide by 3-inches tall pockets. Just along the rim of the back panel, you will find a ring keeper. This compartment will work perfectly for extra batteries, lens caps, keys, screen cleaners/wipes, and possibly lens filters. You can also use the section for your wallet or for a place to store your business cards.
Along either side of the bag and the lower edge of the bag, you will find a total of four 3/4 inches wide lashings with slider buckles. If desired, you can expand the bag to the 3 inches wide maximum, by expanding the sliders. Additionally, you could compress it down by constricting the buckles/straps. Each of the aforementioned compartments could be accessed by sliding the smooth, metallic, YKK zippers into the unzipped position. I was pleased with the machination but found the metallic zipper pulls to jingle when changing positions or with walking. I would have preferred for the zipper pulls to have a rubberized coating to reduce motion noise. However, if desired, you could remove the pulls and add personalized paracord pulls. Before moving to the main compartment, I would like to draw your attention back to the side fabric attached to the main belt lashing. If you look closely, you will notice that they included a hidden velcro-sealed compartment within the male buckle side. The pocked worked wonderfully as a hidden cash slot and was able to house my lens cleaning cloth. Although the pocket measured 3 1/2 inches wide, the variable height (1 1/2 inches near the buckle and 3 inches adjacent to the bag) made it incompatible with larger items. The concept, however, would have paired perfectly with the front compartment to separate it into two useful pockets.
The main compartment of the HEX bag could be accessed by sliding either of the dual YKK black, metallic zippers apart from its pair. The pocket was lined by 14-inches of water-resistant zipper, similar to the materials used for the other pockets. With the top flap opened, you will find a 7 1/2 inches long, red, water-resistant zipper, black metallic zipper pull, and red mesh webbing (8 inches wide by 2 1/2 inches tall). This compartment worked quite well for my lightning cable. At first, I was worried that the metallic zipper would scratch the top of my DSLR. However, I soon realized that they included a 1-inch long nylon zipper pocket to prevent the zipper from flopping around within the compartment. The inside of the bag, measuring ~10 1/2 inches long by 3 inches wide, was lined with soft, grey, felty material. Within the chamber, they included four collapsible interior organization dividers. The large padded floor divider measured 9 1/2 inches long by 3 inches wide and had a black Velcro attachment point that ran along one of the long edges. The medium divider measured 6 inches long by 3 1/4 inches wide and had Velcro attachment points on all but one side. Along the middle of the medium-sized divider, the company provided stitched a hinge into the larger structure. The smallest divider measured 3 3/8 inches long by 3 1/4 inches tall and had Velcro attachment points at all but one of the edges. Similar to other camera bags, the included adjustment dividers will allow for a plethora of possibilities. Add your camera, add your lens, and then use the included padded adjusters and the adjustable load straps to secure your device.
Working in the hospital during COVID-19 has not been the most stress-free environment. Since December, I have changed from wearing slacks/button-up shirts daily to scrubs. Normally, I would carry my wallet and keys within my pockets, but this change eliminated my pockets. I still carry my iPhone 11 Pro Max in a Nite-Ize hip holster, but I have struggled to carry my belongings within the hospital. I thus turned to my Hex bag to accommodate my needs. I loved that I could fit my phone, keys, and wallet inside of the device and could rotate the bag to just above my back pant line. I could add gloves, I could even use the main compartment for my goggles/mask if needed. This placed the buckle in a comfortable position, directly over my abdomen. I could cinch down the bag, and I could place my lab coat over my shoulders, giving me a hidden personal item stash. The lower compression straps could be used to store items as well (shirt, tripod, etc.). I was pleased with the stitching, with the layout,w tih the buckles, and even with the metallic zippers. Reading the included “What the Hex” card attached to the bag, I was able to see the efforts that the design team undertook. Since everything old will be new once again, the Hex may have a leg up on other waist bags. Hello 1990’s, the fanny pack is back!
If the Mini Sling is a little too small for you, check out the DLSR Sling.