ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling review: Carry just the essentials, including iPhone

Alpaka Modular Phone Sling Hero
(Image: © Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

iMore Verdict

Bottom line: This sling is perfect for carrying just your iPhone and other small necessities, and it has a magnetic closure. It also has multiple carrying styles.


  • +

    Fits up to iPhone 13 Pro Max

  • +

    Multiple ways of carrying

  • +

    RFID blocking front pocket

  • +

    Weatherproof nylon exterior with magnetic closure

  • +

    Comes with a detachable, adjustable strap


  • -

    Minimalistic design is not for everyone

  • -

    Bulkier cases may lead to a more snug fit

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When it comes to carrying my iPhone everywhere, I usually depend on my back pocket. However, as I've learned in recent weeks, as I've continued to just get more pregnant, my regular jeans just aren't cutting it anymore. I've had to resort to maternity pants or leggings, which usually don't have pockets, or they're a tad lower in placement than I prefer (girl pant problems). Because of this, I've had to look for alternative methods of carrying my iPhone 13 Pro around.

Enter the ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling. It's a simple little utility sling that has enough space for your best iPhone, along with a few cards, some cash, or even your keys. You know, the bare essentials. I have been using the ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling on my daily walks with the dog, and it's pretty much become a must-have for me.

ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling: Price and availability

Alpaka Modular Phone Sling Up Close

Alpaka Modular Phone Sling Up Close (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

While you can find some ALPAKA products on Amazon, the Modular Phone Sling is a newer product that is only available directly from ALPAKA on its website. It comes in a black nylon exterior with a blue ripstop nylon interior, and it costs $35. You can also find limited edition Forest Green and Black Modular Phone Slings on the website for $39.

ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling: Just the bare essentials

Alpaka Modular Phone Sling Interior Full

Alpaka Modular Phone Sling Interior Full (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

Ever since I've started wearing pants that lack pockets, I've needed alternative ways to carry my phone around in a convenient fashion. I stumbled on the ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling, and it seemed perfect for the job.

The ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling is made with a 500D Kodra (Nylon) exterior, which I find tough and durable. It's also weatherproof, making it a perfect companion outdoors. Since I live in Southern California and it's been dry, I can't see how it holds up in a downpour, but it does seem to repel water quite well. The interior features a blue ripstop nylon fabric, and it has a subtle grid pattern that reminds me of Tom Bihn's halcyon fabric.

The ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling seemed perfect for the job when I just needed my iPhone and some cards.

On the back exterior, you'll find two fabric loops so you can attach the detachable strap. You can use the ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling as a super-compact crossbody or shoulder sling with the adjustable strap. But if you don't prefer those methods, you can use the velcro straps to attach it to something like a backpack, or even wear it on the waist by sliding a belt through the button-snap attachment. I prefer carrying the ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling as a crossbody, but it's nice that there are multiple carry methods, so you can change it to suit your preferences.

Alpaka Modular Phone Sling Back

Alpaka Modular Phone Sling Back (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

On the inside, the ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling has two compartments: the main phone section and a smaller front pocket with a pull tab designed to hold some of your cards, cash, or even keys. The phone compartment can hold up to an iPhone 13 Pro Max, though it may be a little snug if you are using a bulkier case. I can fit my iPhone 13 Pro with an average case on, including a MagSafe PopSocket Grip, without an issue.

As far as the front pocket, it is fairly roomy enough to hold all of your essential cards. In fact, the ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling can hold my Bellroy Flip Case wallet, which holds my five most-used credit cards, my driver's license, and my insurance card. There is also a pull tab that allows you to easily get to your cards (or, in my case, a slim wallet), and it retracts when you put your cards back. The front pocket is also good for storing some folded bills or even your keys, as long as it's not very bulky.

To keep everything inside secure, the ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling has a magnetic closure that has a pretty good hold. Your phone and cards won't be falling out if it ends up upside down, but it's also easy to get to your stuff when you need it. On the side, there is also an elastic loop that looks like a perfect spot to hold a pen or even a stylus like the ZAGG Pro Stylus.

I've found the ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling to be the perfect companion, especially when I'm just walking the dog. It holds my phone perfectly, and if I need it, my slim wallet, all without getting in the way.

ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling: It may be too minimal for some

Alpaka Modular Phone Sling Strap Clip

Alpaka Modular Phone Sling Strap Clip (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

My one big complaint with the ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling is the clips on the end of the detachable strap. I personally found it a little hard to push the metal clip downward so that it goes past the small plastic hook to remove, making it annoying to remove the strap if I change my mind. However, it seems that this style of clip is getting fairly popular, as I've seen it on various bags and pouches, so it may just be an industry standard. Still, I wish it was a little easier to deal with.

It may be a little on the snug side if you use a Plus or Max phone with a bulkier case.

Also, while I don't feel like it's a huge issue with me, I do feel that the ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling maybe a little on the snug side for those who use the iPhone 13 Pro Max (or similar phone) in a thicker, more rugged case. If you don't use bulky cases, then this should not be a problem, but it is something to think about.

Due to the super minimalistic design of the ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling, you won't be able to carry much else besides your phone and cards or slim wallet. I do wish that there was a D-ring or something that you could attach keys to if the front pocket is already occupied. That might need to be something that one would have to modify to add themselves if they were really determined to do.

ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling: Competition

Waterfield Mini Hip Sling Bag Interior Empty Key Fob

Waterfield Mini Hip Sling Bag Interior Empty Key Fob (Image credit: Karen S. Freeman / iMore)

If you want a phone sling that offers a little bit more room for other necessities, then you'll want to check out the Waterfield Designs Mini Hip Sling Bag. This one can fit your phone, keys, slim wallet, and a few other small items. It's made with full-grain leather and can be worn as a crossbody sling or on the hip, similar to a fanny pack. However, it's also a bit more expensive, starting at $89.

ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling: Should you buy it?

Alpaka Modular Phone Sling Wear

Alpaka Modular Phone Sling Wear (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

You should buy this if ...

  • You want something minimal but tough and durable
  • You just need a pocket to carry your iPhone and cards
  • You like having multiple ways to carry

You shouldn't buy this if...

  • You need to carry more than the bare minimum
  • You want colors other than black
  • You tend to use bulkier cases on a Plus or Max iPhone

If you just want an external pocket on your person to carry your iPhone and some cards, then the ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling is perfect for the job. It's made with a tough and durable nylon fabric that can withstand any weather condition, and the magnetic closure keeps everything safe and sound. The main compartment can fit up to an iPhone 13 Pro Max (as long as your case isn't too thick), the front pocket has a pull tab for easy access to your cards or a slim wallet, and a side elastic loop holds a pen. You also get a detachable adjustable strap, but it can also be worn at the waist or attached to a bag.

However, if you need more than just your phone and some cards, then the ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling is not for you. And if you have a Plus or Max-sized iPhone, and also use a thicker, rugged case, then it may affect the fit of the device in the sling itself. The Modular Phone Sling was designed for case-less phones, or at least slim profile cases.

Still, the ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling is great for those who just want a minimalistic carry for their iPhone and bare essentials. Plus, the price is quite affordable.

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed. When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.