Not all rifle slings are created equal. Not all rifle slings work with every purpose.
Hunting is best suited to a two point rifle sling that is comfortable to keep you alert, secures your rifle without binding when awkard shot positions are necesary, and durable enough to withstand the rough handling of hunting in the field.
Below are my choices for the best hunting rifle slings, detail of each sling, an how I arrived at my rankings.
Types of rifle slings
There are three primary types of rifle slings.
Single point - as the name implies it connects at only one point on the rifle. Usually somewhere around the balance point of weight distribution. You see a lot of these in the military on ARs. It keeps the rifle in the front and allows quick access to the shooting position.
The drawback is if you are moving, bending,, or stooping you have to hold the rifle with both hands to keep it from flailing around, hitting things, or sticking the barrel in the mud. Not good for a hunter.
Two-point – attaches to the rifle in two places, the fore end and the butt stock. This is the most popular sling you will see in use. It allows a few different options for carry because of it's design.
Three-point sling – connects exactly like a two point sling but offers an additional loop for stability. Great military option but can bind easily in awkward shooting positions which can be required in hunting.
Best 5 hunting rifle slings of 2020 ranked
All slings were tested during real hunting situations throughout the last season. Features were compared and rankings established. Detail of each sling is below.
Comparison of Top 5 favorite hunting rifle slings
Ranking Factors Explained
To earn a star in this category, the product just needed to meet it's basic claim.....to allow the rifle to be easily and dependably carried through the normal course of activities experienced during a day of hunting. The design of the sling including buckles and connection hardware must be strong enough to easily support the weight of the rifle through many years of use.
A one point sling is great for a military operation or even a stalking situation where your rifle must be in front of you in a semi-ready shooting position at all times. When quick time on target is of the essence the one point sling is the answer.
When hunting, you will have to perform tasks such as climbing into a stand or blind, dragging or picking up your kill, or accessing calls or other accessories in your pockets, climbing, stooping, etc. A one point sling can allow your firearm barrel to get plugged in the mud very easily, allow it to swing freely if you are not holding it with both hands, and can actually be binding in certain shooting positions. None of this is good for hunting.
For hunting, a 3 point sling is also not the best choice in my opinion for some of the same reasons but binding in awkward shooting positions is the primary weakness. You woul probably be really frustrated if your rifle strap cause you to miss a shot on a trophy animal.
For these reasons, when recommending the best hunting rifle sling to you, only 2 point slings were considered.
The amount of adjustment needed to accommodate all sizes of hunters as well as ease of making the adjustments during a hunting situation was taken into account during analysis in order for the specific product to earn a star. At times a hunter will just want to carry over the shoulder, other times, when traveling far and / or fast, back carry with the sling over one shoulder and the neck is a better alternative.
It must have enough adjustement to allow quick access from the shoulder position to a shooting position without binding.
A star is earned in this category if the material and design of the sling appears to be capable of lasting a lifetime. That's right. In my opinion, a rifle sling should be a lifetime investment. Any product that clearly won't last a lifetime does not get a star.
Hardware should be metal, not plastic or other breakable material and any stitching should be double stitch.
A hunter can spend hours carrying his rifle. If the strap is not comfortable it can ruin the whole experience in addition to reducing awareness and the ability to stalk / sit for long periods of time. To earn a star in this category, the sling must have a shoulder pad or be wide enough to distribute the weight so as not to dig into the muscles.
To earn a star in this category, the product must be able to be used for things other than it's originally intended use. The first three slings are made of paracord. If you know anything about survival techniques you know that paracord can be used for a multitude of things from building a shelter to setting snares and many others. These straps can be "untied" and yield many feet of material.
If you are ever in a situation to use this feature, don't plan on putting it back together. The average person won't be weave the material as it was one originally.
My rank of the best 5 slings is my opinion on how well it meets the features described above which was not determined by a visual inspection, but by using the product on actual hunts. The entire experience was considered.
Detail of best hunting rifle slings
#1 Pick - Ten Point Gear Paracord 550
Handmade paracord 2 point sling with standard swivels. Several great looking color options, all adjustable from 33" to 44". Very lightweight and comfortable. Paracord has hundreds of survival uses, making this sling versatile in many ways if necessary.
Sling stud connectors and buckle hardware is super strong and should last a lifetime. The sling feels really good on the shoulder. Not too wide or too narrow. Fits well into collar bone pocket and doesn't slide off of your shoulder when that is not your intention.
Perfect for use as a rifle sling, shotgun sling, and even a crossbow sling! Looks great on all firearms, both traditional and tactical.
#2 pick - Eagle Rock Gear 550
If unraveled there is more than 86 feet of 550 paracord in this sling. But don't plan on weaving it back together should have to use it. The paracord is definitely strong, lightweight and will last a lifetime with minimal care.
Total length can be varied from 43 inches to 57 with an easy pull loop that makes adjustment easy and fast. Can be used with most long guns and crossbows. The strap is around 1.5 inches which makes a good shoulder fit. Hardware is metal.
The black color really makes black rifles look good. Hard to beat at this price.
#3 Pick - TLO Outdoors Paracord X-Wide
TLO Outdoors 2-point 550-rated paracord sling for guns, rifles, shotguns, and crossbows. Also functions as a survival tool.
Numerous colors and styles to choose from, each sling has over 17 inches of high quality, woven paracord and has a beautiful leather patch featuring the TLO Outdoors logo. The strongest 550-rated paracord with adjustable metal buckles and swivels that easily attach to your rifle, shotgun, or crossbow.
Adjusts from 33" to 44". For extra comfort, wider than most paracord gun slings, adding an extra 1/4" to width. The width of the sling makes it very comfortable but the tendency to slip off of your shoulder when you lean over is greater than the #1 pick.
#4 pick - Boosteady 2 point
All metal hardware. Cheap plastic components can crack or break just when you need them most. Boosteady rifle sling is fitted with metal clips for a lifetime of use. Make fast length changes without having to disconnect sling.
Minimize tangles and fumbles in the field. HK hook, QD swivels. Will fit any sling swivel attachment point. Removable shoulder pad. Provides better grips, reduces slippage and prevents shoulder strain, allows you to carry comfortably. It adjusts from 30"- 57".
I couldn't believe how comfortable the shoulder pad was for such a low priced sling. Can't go wrong with this one.
#5 pick - Allen Company Gear Fit Pursuit
This is a very comfortable strap. The shoulder strap makes it that way. I found myself constantly holding it on the front of strap though because there was always the feeling that it would slide off since it didn't really fit well into the pocket of the collar bone / shouder.
After a while I quit worry about it slipping because there is a non slip texture on the underneath of the pad to prevent this from happening. A very good addition from the manufacturer.
Adjusting the pad and putting the strap over my head to the opposite shoulder with the strap going across my chest eliminated this issue but did make removing the rifle much slower.
The sling appears to be durable but there is some plastic hardware. The pad is leather / nylon and the strap is made of a web material rated at 300 lbs which makes it more than strong enough to carry a rifle. I wouldn't call this a lifetime sling but it would certainly be around for a few years.
The entire system adds almost no carry weight to the rifle and the padding provides fast on and off the shoulder for those quick shots.