If you haven’t heard of Aer yet, then let me be the first to say that their gear is where it’s at. Founded in 2014, Aer is a fairly new design company based out of San Francisco Bay Area. Their motto is “Modern, Functional, Bags and Accessories Designed for the City.” Taking just one look at their product line, you can definitely see the urban appeal. Aer was founded by designer Allen Choi who quickly gained the support of the Kickstarter community with their creative bags. The Travel Pack is their latest design, which is estimated to be ready to ship in late November of this year (2016). After receiving $452,676 USD of support from 2,434 backers on kickstarter it would appear that they are off to a good start. But does their design live up to the functionality in their latest Travel Pack design? We were lucky enough to get our hands on the Travel Pack before they start shipping out to the masses. After traveling with this pack for the last month, here’s our take on the Travel Pack.
- 1680D ballistic nylon exterior
- Quick-access, suspended laptop pocket (fits up to 15.6” laptop)
- Lay-flat main compartment for spacious storage and easy packing
- Ventilated shoe compartment (fits up to men’s size 13 shoes)
- Quick-access top pocket for small valuables
- Multiple internal pockets for accessories
- Padded top and side handles for versatile carrying
- Zippered, expandable water bottle holder
- Padded mesh back panel for enhanced comfort and breathability
- Sternum strap and load lifter straps for comfort and stability
- Internal framesheet provides structure and support
- Side compression straps for stability and security
- Optimized to meet international and domestic carry-on luggage size limits
- YKK zippers and Duraflex plastic hardware
Designed to be “THE CARRY-ON BACKPACK THAT KEEPS YOU MOVING”, the Travel Pack is definitely designed for a smarter way to travel. The overall look is sleek, but the actual design and functionality is even better. The padded top and side handles are great for versatility and mobility depending on how you pack the bag and where most of the weight is distributed. The side compression straps also help to ensure everything is snug and not flopping around making it difficult to carry. The straps also help to compress the rest of the bag for when you simply want a thinner and lighter daypack. I was also able to double the use of the compression straps by strapping down my Typhoon Quadcopter to the back, which was very handy for hiking day trips, but not recommended for air travel.
One of my favorite features is the Quick-access, suspended laptop pocket. Since I usually take my laptop with me wherever I go, having a separate and secure pocket that is suspended to help protect against any bumps along the way is perfect for the traveling worker.
No bag is complete without having a bottle holder. The Travel Pack comes equipped with a zippered side pocket that expands to hold a normal size water bottle and hides away nicely when not in use.
I would say your able to pack as much (if not, a little more) clothes into this bag as well as all your “On the Go” working accessories compared to a normal carry on suitcase. Plus, as I mentioned above, the design and layout of this bag utilizes all of the space. Although it is technically a backpack, it is shaped like a suitcase to offer the most storage and packs away neatly into packing cubes. The clamshell opening design creates an easy, full-access packing experience.
Aside from having a nice easy space to pack your clothes, there is also a separate section in the front that has room for many other accessories. From another deep sleeve for your iPad or tablet, to zippered, velcro, and elastic pockets to help keep everything tucked away nice and secure. I am also a fan of the three exterior zippered pockets for even quicker and easier access to your small items and travel documents.
Having a separate ventilated compartment for your shoes or perhaps a damp bathing suit or dirty laundry is a slick feature and perfect for keeping the rest of your clothes fresh and dry.
The comfort level on the Travel Pack is as good as you’d expect for the design. Because it has a more flat design that resembles a carry on suitcase, it does not have a contour shape that is complimentary of your back. However, the added ventilated mesh padding in both the back and the straps do help to keep cool and comfortable throughout your day of travel. The shoulder straps adjust nicely and allow for better weight alignment so you’re able to have better posture when walking.
Sure you can get a cheaper carry-on suitcase for under $100… even a really good one for under $200. So with a price tag of $220, I would say it is on the higher end. However, with the versatility and quality of this Travel Pack, I’d say you get your money’s worth.
- Smart storage
- Room for everything
- Makes packing and traveling easy breezy
- Comfort level could be better