Gear Review: Aer Travel Pack



I have had the Aer Travel Pack since July 2017, it has been on almost every trip since then including forays to Japan and Argentina, two week extended European trips each summer, as well as all over the US. It serves as either my carry on or as my one bag travel solution. In either case it carries all of my tech — cameras, lenses, laptop, Bluetooth speaker, iPad, etc. It has proved an extremely capable companion.

The Good

Almost everything about this bag is good — big, easily accessible, main compartment. Excellent organization panel, accessible from the front. Comfortable to carry, generally manageable no matter how packed out. Excellent materials:

• 1680D Cordura® ballistic nylon exterior

• YKK® zippers

• Duraflex® plastic hardware

Minimalist design, no garish logos.

The Bad

The lack of a luggage pass through for attachment to rolling luggage is an unnecessary inconvenience and annoyance — fixed in version 2.

The laptop sleeve does not offer a reassuring amount of protection, and the elasticated pocket has become loose and floppy over time, fraying at the edges.

The top front access pocket is virtually useless as it will only hold papers when the bag is packed out — Moved in version 2.

While the straps are very comfortable with the sternum strap attached, adjusting the strap itself is very difficul, requiring two hands.

The lack of handles on some of the sides is inconvenient.

Wear and Tear

Generally the bag has held up very well. The only breakage was on a single pull tab (not the zipper itself) whose string broke after three plus years of use. Replaced without question by Aer, and with a new version that seems far more robust.

There has been sagging and some fraying of the laptop sleeve as noted above.

Conclusion

An absolutely superb bag, very robust, and with good customer support. Highly recommended. Almost all of my criticisms appear to have been addressed in version 2 of the bag. While $230 seems a lot for a bag it will last a decade or more. The zippers especially inspire confidence . But the whole package is extremely well thought out and robustly constricted. Most of my criticisms have been addresssdd in version 2. Also note that a smaller version is now available for $200, if I didn’t carry camera gear I would probably opt for that one.

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