I’ve been looking for a sling bag to travel with — something I could use walking around so I didn’t have to drag around my Evergoods CPL24 backpack all the time. After a few mis-fires, I bit the bullet on the Mission Workshop Axis Sling Bag. And I think it’s going to be a keeper.
It’s beautifully minimalistic, built extremely well, and holds just the perfect amount. There’s not much to it as it’s really just a small sling bag. There’s a zipper pocket made of mesh inside and behind that are two slots.
The 1.5 in strap goes through the back of the bag and is sewn to the bag’s fabric in 4 places so you can hang things on it (more on this later). The straps are able to tuck away in the space between the bag and the back fabric.
There is a semi-rigid piece of plastic on the back to give it a little shape. It’s very thin and light — almost like a heavy piece of fabric. The one thing I would knock about the craftsmanship is the folded fabric that holds the piece of plastic is not sewn down. Maybe it’s to allow you to take the plastic out but you can feel the opening when you stuff the straps inside the back. And it sometimes catches when you pull them out.
The fabric is High Tenacity 500D. 500D is one of my favorite compromises of strength and lightness. But whatever it is about the HT though makes this fabric pick up lint like no business though.
For me, one of the main purposes of this bag is to carry a lens or two along with my camera (Fuji X-T3 with 10-24mm). No way is the camera with lens attached going to fit INSIDE the bag and I find it awkward to carry a sling bag AND the camera sling I normally use.
So I looked for a way to use the sling bag as the sling for my camera — finally settling on attaching a fabric strap to the INNER hem… this way when the bag hangs, it pulls on that hem. The bottom half of the strap detaches and is what I use as a wrist strap.
When I hung the camera on the section where you are supposed to, it pulled on the that part of the strap and made it droop. Maybe if they had sewn a few tacks to keep the strap against the back fabric but then it starts to look like Molle. This works.
Lastly, I upgraded the buckle to a Fidlock. You can take the buckle off no problem but it won’t fit into the Fidlock. I had to remove the stitch and RE-SEW after putting on the Fidlock. Pretty easy if you know how to use a sewing machine.
As for the Code of Bell X-Pak One, I really wanted to like it but it just became too much and a bit overkill. Also, I had a hard time packing it inside my Evergoods CPL24. It’s an innovative design but the achilles heal for me is the fact that it zips in such a way so you can only open each side halfway and you have to access through the short side — not the entire horizontal section like a normal sling and thus items tend to get lost at the bottom.