Review: LOJEL’s Niru City Sling Crossbody Bag for Travel

This packable crossbody is my new go-to for travel.
LOJEL Niru City Sling crossbody purse worn by woman walking near flowers
(Photo: Christine Sarkis)

Designed by luggage company LOJEL, the Niru City Sling is a cross-body bag made for travel. I’m on a permanent lookout for travel-friendly cross-body bags, and when I came across this one it immediately caught my eye. 

The Niru City Sling has lightweight construction and interesting design, and after using it on two trips, I can safely say it’s a stylish and durable travel companion. Here’s my review of the bag—what I love, what I like, and the one thing I would change about the bag. 

What I Love

up close view of Lojel Niru City Sling
Snaps let you change the shape of the bag (Photo: Christine Sarkis)

I usually travel carry-on only, which means I need a cross-body bag that can easily be stashed in a larger bag without taking up too much space since I don’t use a purse in transit. With a leather cross-body, this can get tricky, since they tend to add bulk and weight, but the thing I really appreciate about this bag is that it’s ultra lightweight and packs flat, taking up basically no room when I’m not using it.

The Niru City Sling is lightweight but remarkably sturdy, since it’s made from sturdy nylon (with chic leather touches that up the style factor compared to the typical nylon purse. Also very cool is that it’s a shape-shifting bag: The integrated snaps can give it two distinct shapes, a streamlined look for when you have fewer items and a triangular shape if you’re carrying a bit more. For travel, when it’s nice to have single objects that offer multiple looks, it’s a cool detail.

What I Like

interior view of Lojel Niru City Sling
The interior of the main compartment of the Lojel Niru City Sling has three pockets and a little key leash (Photo: Christine Sarkis)

The City Sling comes in six subtle but interesting colors including Terracotta (the leather trim looks fantastic against the brick red), sleek black, and the hint-of-mustard Camel. I went for adaptable and got the neutral tan colored Sand, and it goes with everything.

I’m also a fan of the purse’s internal organization, which is not over engineered, but offers enough to be helpful. There are three internal pockets in the main zippered compartment (along with a little leash for keys). There’s also a small separate zippered compartment on the reverse side of the bag. 

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The fabric repels basic stains pretty well; I had this bag with me in New Orleans and it sustained a direct hit by something greasy and delicious. I looked at the care instructions and followed the suggestion to wipe it with a damp microfiber cloth and mild soap, and it fixed it right up. 

What I Might Change

close up of strap on Lojel crossbody
Here’s a closeup of the strap (Photo: Christine Sarkis)

When I first unboxed the purse, I was a little worried about the nylon strap. It doesn’t have any padding, and I wondered whether it would dig in or rub on my shoulder. It ended up being not a big deal because the purse is small enough that it’s not going to ever be super heavy, so the strap doesn’t rub. Part of the design decision might be precisely because it’s a crossbody bag (padding just at the top wouldn’t necessarily be the right place depending on whether you’re wearing it cross-body right or left). 

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And while it is by no means a dealbreaker, if I were in charge of designing the next version of this cross-body bag, I might include just a hint of padding along the strap just for comfort. The existing strap is removable, so this is also an issue I could solve by swapping out the strap for a different one, but I like the look of the one it came with.

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Christine Sarkis
A traveling parent and longtime travel writer and editor, Christine Sarkis is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of FamilyVacationist. She is the former Executive Editor for TripAdvisor travel magazine, she has spent nearly two decades finding and sharing the best places to go with an audience of enthusiastic travelers. Her stories have appeared on USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Her expert advice has been quoted in dozens of print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also shared travel tips on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, Here & Now, Life Kit, and California Now. Her stories have been published in the anthologies Spain from a Backpack and The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008, and she is working on a travel memoir. Christine and her husband first met in Paris, and travel remains a big part of their shared experience. With their two kids in tow, they have piloted a barge down canals in France, befriended llamas in Peru, tended olive trees in Italy, and gone snorkeling with sea turtles in Hawaii. The family lives in California and loves traveling around the state. Their California favorites include Yosemite National Park, Point Reyes National Seashore, and the West Shore of Lake Tahoe.