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Niko Camera Sling 3.0 Review: Great for an Outdoor Shoot Day

Rating: 8/10 ?
  • 1 - Does not work
  • 2 - Barely functional
  • 3 - Severely lacking in most areas
  • 4 - Functions, but has numerous issues
  • 5 - Fine yet leaves a lot to be desired
  • 6 - Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 - Great and worth purchasing
  • 8 - Fantastic, approaching best-in-class
  • 9 - Best-in-class
  • 10 - Borderline perfection
Price: $145
The Niko Camera Sling 3.0 wraps around the body
Hannah Stryker / LifeSavvy

There is something particularly appealing about a camera sling. With it secured around your torso, you have easier access to your equipment than you would with a backpack or shoulder bag. One minor adjustment for comfort and you’ll want to bring the Niko Camera Sling 3.0 everywhere you go.

Here's What We Like

  • Storage capacity for bag size
  • Weatherproof materials
  • Customizable interior
  • Adjustability of fit
  • Lifetime Guarantee

And What We Don't

  • Occasionally digs into side

LifeSavvy's expert reviewers go hands-on with each product we review. We put every piece of hardware through hours of testing in the real world and run them through benchmarks in our lab. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product and never aggregate other people’s reviews. Read more >>

A Quality Bag

You can see the quality of this bag right away through the material selection and the high caliber of construction. The main buckle has some serious oomph to it. It opens very easily without needing much pressure applied.

The zipper for the main compartment is integrated into a water-resistant edge. Water beads right off the top of the bag to protect your camera. It isn’t waterproof, but it will keep your camera safe during an unforeseen light rain.

This bag is built to last. Chrome Industries focuses on making high quality bags that will stand up to life. All of their bags come with a lifetime guarantee regarding material and construction defects.

From the second you hold this bag, you can tell quality was a top priority.

Compartments and Storage

Customizable interior of Niko Camera Sling 3.0 securing camera equipment
Hannah Stryker / LifeSavvy

Like most camera bags, the sling’s interior has customizable dividers which can be adjusted to hold the specific equipment you want to take with you. I’m glad Chrome Industries included this feature, but it’s not worth praising since it is a pretty standard feature amongst bags.

The main interior section comfortably fits a DSLR and two standard lenses. It can hold a 70-200mm lens if you’re willing to only carry one lens. The interior feels more spacious than you would expect looking at the size of the bag.

There are more compartments in this bag than I expected. The smaller pockets are perfect for all of your camera accessories and SD cards. A zipper pocket on the back of the bag rests right up against your body, which is perfect for your phone, wallet, and keys. It’s quite easy to stay organized with this bag.

There are pockets on the side that resemble water bottle holders, but nothing seems to fit in them. I ended up using them to quickly throw my phone in a few times. Since the bag can’t hold water, I wouldn’t recommend it for long day trips in the wilderness.

On the front of the bag, there is a fold-down pocket that allows you to carry a tripod. It has velcro and two buckles to keep the tripod in place. These secure it nicely, but it can feel a bit awkward to carry depending on the size of the tripod.

Overall, this bag holds a lot for a sling. With the dimensions of 7.5in H x 12.5in W x 5.5in D and only being 2.14 pounds, its capacity is quite impressive.

Quick Access and Adjustability

Niko Camera Sling 3.0 shifted to front
Hannah Stryker / LifeSavvy

If you stumble upon the perfect shot, this sling will help you get your camera out in record time before the photo opportunity disappears.

Using the metal D-ring, you can quickly adjust the fit of the sling. When you swing the bag to your torso, you can pull the D-ring down to quickly secure the bag. You don’t have to mess with the standard strap adjusters when getting the camera out.

The orientation of the zippers and top flap makes accessing the camera compartment simple. Within a matter of seconds, you can go from having your camera secured on your back to having the bag on your torso with your camera out.

Once you take your camera out, you’ll probably want to pull the bag back over your shoulder. Having a camera around your neck and the sling on your front feels a bit crowded. If you’re just taking a quick photo, it isn’t bothersome. It’s when you’re walking around with your camera out that it becomes a bit much.

Comfortable, Yet Not Comfortable

The Niko Camera Sling 3.0's smaller under the arm strap
Hannah Stryker / LifeSavvy

The previous version of this bag didn’t have the extra strap that goes under your arm. When I looked into the Sling 3.0 online before getting it, I expected this new strap to be an extra step that would just annoy me. While it is an extra step to unclip the strap’s buckle when shifting the bag to your front, it is well worth the minimal effort.

Having that strap run under your arm locks the bag in place. It isn’t bouncing around or slipping down your back when you move. This is great for photographers that walk long distances on a shoot day or who ride bikes. The weight is distributed so it doesn’t feel heavy. The fit is comfortable and secure.

The sling is a bit tricky to put on the first time, especially since you are able to adjust which side of you the small strap runs under. Initially, you aren’t sure where everything is supposed to sit, but once you get used to it, it works quite nicely.

The company says the bag can be worn around your waist, but it’s definitely too big for that to be realistic. The only scenario to consider wearing the bag around your waist is shooting a still subject with multiple lenses.

Niko Camera Sling 3.0's flap digging into side of body
Bottom corner of flap digging into side Hannah Stryker / LifeSavvy

My biggest complaint about the sling is that you can get jabbed in the side. The flaps that join the bag and straps have pretty rigid corners. The bottom corner pushes some of the bag’s weight into your side. When wearing a thinner shirt, it did start to irritate me as it prodded me. Wearing thicker fabrics, such as sweatshirts, can prevent you from noticing this all together, as long as the bag is adjusted correctly.

Should You Buy the Niko Camera Sling 3.0?

The Niko Camera Sling 3.0 metal buckle
Hannah Stryker / LifeSavvy

The Niko Camera Sling 3.0 is a well-constructed, spacious bag designed for quick access. If you are into street photography, event photography, commute with a camera, or take short hikes with a camera, you should absolutely consider this bag. It feels secure on your back, yet you can still get to your camera in seconds. You can also take comfort knowing that the bag is water-resistant and will protect your equipment.

This sling does so much, so well. If it didn’t dig into my side, I would be screaming from the rooftops that I found the perfect camera bag. When you are spending the whole day out in the world trying to focus on opportunities for great photos, this small flaw can be quite irritating. It can be remedied by wearing a sweatshirt, so it’s up to you if that is a deal-breaker. If Chrome Industries fixes this, they’ll have a top-tier bag on their hands.

Rating: 8/10
Price: $145

Here’s What We Like

  • Storage capacity for bag size
  • Weatherproof materials
  • Customizable interior
  • Adjustability of fit
  • Lifetime Guarantee

And What We Don't

  • Occasionally digs into side

Hannah Stryker Hannah Stryker
Hannah Stryker is the Product Tester and Reviews Coordinator for LifeSavvy Media.  She utilizes her background in product design to analyze products for LifeSavvy Media’s review sites. Her role is focused on standardizing testing procedures and streamlining the review processes. Read Full Bio »
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