The 8 liter Patagonia Atom is a well-built, comfortable sling-style bag that’s ideal for most day trips. There are a lot of bags on the market, but the Atom’s features makes it a top choice.
The Atom is light, weighing in at just 10 ounces. At eight liters, it’s one of the smaller sling bags you’ll find. Its compact size makes it just right for day trips. I can easily fit 2 big water bottles in the main compartment. In other words, it’s actually big enough to carry supplies for day hikers! For city use, it also has a padded slot for a tablet. It fits my iPad Pro (10.5”) comfortably.
There are two other compartments, plus some extras features that can extend its capacity as needed. On the outside of the main compartment is another zippered slot for easy access to smaller items like sun lotion or bug spray. That compartment includes a ring that keeps your keys handy and prevents them from getting lost in the clutter or dropping on the trail.
The third little compartment is on the front chest harness. With its zippered access, it looks a bit like a vertical travellers wallet. It’s big enough to accommodate most phones. Anything you need at your fingertips can go right there. A map, a flashlight. In other words: your phone.
The compression straps over the main compartment are dual-function. You can quickly adjust your load to keep everything close to your core. This makes movement more balanced and more comfortable—you don’t want gravity pulling you this way and that. They can also function to hold extra cargo. Walking to your yoga studio? The compression straps will hold your mat perfectly.
The sling is easy to maneuver. If you need to grab a water bottle, just rotate the main
compartment to the front. From here you can access anything without breaking your stride.
The Atom is my go-to bag for hikes in the woods or day commutes in the city. Built by Patagonia, you can count on tough durable design, and it looks great. If you’re thinking of going bigger, give this sling a serious look first. It has a really small footprint, covering just a small part of your back. That makes a big difference if you’re active because any bag interferes with your natural cooling system. The Atom’s small profile makes it easy to shift when you need to cool down. And the padding throughout is designed to be breathable and wicking for optimal comfort. At $59, the Atom may be on the pricey side, but its utility and durability earn the pricetag.