New Aer Tech Collection: A First Look at the Release and Aer’s Future
New Aer Tech Collection: A First Look at the Release and Aer’s Future

Certain things call to mind a new season: birds chirping, longer days, and brands debuting new bags. While we’re happy to see spring arrive outside, as a team of gear reviewers, we’re even more excited for fresh Aer!

Getting ready for a launch from one of our favorite brands is arguably more exciting than a birthday because we know we’ll get something good. After 10 years of making incremental edits to bags and introducing features we didn’t know we wanted, we can’t wait to see what’s improved this time.

Introducing The Tech Collection

Aer Tech Collection New Release
Aer Tech Collection | The brand is always iterating on its designs to improve the user experience.

Aer’s new line, the Tech Collection, is developed with makers, creators, and remote workers in mind. It includes:

  • The Aer Tech Sling 3, a crossbody with a more streamlined design than the previous iteration and an updated strap that switches sides so you can carry it on either shoulder;
  • The Aer Day Pack 3, a 14L daypack with a much sleeker harness system than the V2 that has a better (magnetic) sternum strap and more breathable mesh for carry comfort;
  • The Aer Tech Pack 3, a larger travel daypack with enough organization for all your tech accessories and room for more than one laptop for heavy users;
  • The Aer Cable Kit 3, a tech pouch with plenty of space to stow larger tech inside without giving up organizational features; and
  • The Aer Tech Brief, which is a messenger-style bag with convenient access to the main compartment and additional structure lacking in the Commuter Brief 2, its predecessor.

While the prior versions were part of Aer’s Work Collection, the San Francisco-based brand has shifted gears. We spoke with Allen Choi, Co-Founder and Head of Design, to get more insight on the new releases.

Aer Tech Pack 3
Aer Tech Collection | The structured design of the Tech Pack 3 is great for protecting your gear.

“The goal was to be more intentional and specific with the naming of the collection,” said Allen. “The bags in this collection have a sleek, technical look to them, and they also have a structured design that’s perfect for protecting your everyday tech.”

What’s New

Aer Day Pack 3
Aer Tech Collection | We dig improvements to the harness system on the Day Pack 3 and other bags in this line.

He said a key change to the bags in this collection is their structure, which allows them to stand independently and “be used like toolboxes at the office, cafe, airport, and even on the train.”

The new collection features more sustainable and premium materials, and we’re especially digging the bluesign® approved recycled nylon liner. It’s got a tighter weave and more stretch that holds your accessories in place, and it just gives the bags a luxurious feel. The streamlined harness system also adds to that vibe on the daypacks, with magnetic sternum straps on a sliding rail and breathable mesh back panels on all the bags (including the sling).

Allen said they really listened to their users when creating the latest iterations.

“An example is designing the Tech Pack 3 to accommodate two laptops for users with multiple devices. Another is including a reversible strap for the Tech Sling 3 because users want to choose which shoulder to use the bag with.”

Lefties everywhere are rejoicing!

Our History With Aer

Aer Travel Pack
Aer Tech Collection | The original Travel Pack launched our addiction to Aer.

We’re going to add that to the reasons why we’ve loved Aer products for the past decade. Pack Hacker’s founder, Tom, supported their Travel Pack Kickstarter campaign because he couldn't resist the aesthetics that balanced durable materials with streamlined design. He quickly found the bag the right fit for everything from casual use to one bag travel, with user-friendly features like the standalone shoe compartment and padded top pocket. He has continued to support the company because he recognizes good design when he sees it.

Aer’s branding feels so cohesive that it’s easy to spot one of their bags on a crowded subway platform or while boarding the plane. We also love how every piece works together, like how the Pro Kit and the Dopp Kit 3 form a perfect cube that slots well into the Travel Pack 3. The company does a great job of blending DIY organization with built-in features, too, like on the Tech Sling 3, which has fewer pockets than V2 but gives you more space to add the Cable Kit 3 if you need more places for wall chargers, over-ear headphones, and a phone stand.

Aer Tech Sling 3
Aer Tech Collection | There’s a good mix of organization and space in the Tech Sling 3.

Pack Hacker fans may notice that we’re always excited for the brand’s products to launch. Even casual users may see that we have a lot of Aer reviews on our site (59 at the time of writing if you include this new line), but it’s because we think they’re so great at refining their bags in between versions, paying attention to every last detail. For example, the location of the smart tracker pocket on the Day Pack 3 will make it harder for anyone who gets a hold of your bag to find it and ditch it, giving you precious time to locate it before they do.

Aer also excels at designing new products that have a slightly different version of an existing design, like adding a partial frame sheet to the Tech Brief to make it easier to pack than the Commuter Brief 2 or how the Dopp Kit 3 isn’t just a smaller version of the Travel Kit 2, but a unique design that adds features that make more sense for a bag of its capacity.

Aer Tech Brief
Aer Tech Collection | The Tech Brief is a new iteration of the Commuter Brief 2.

Of course, that’s not surprising from a brand whose motto is “Travel Every Day.” Like us here at Pack Hacker, the people at Aer try to incorporate travel into their everyday lifestyle. They’re obsessed with finding ways to do it better, and a lot of us find that their products are so well-designed that we like using them at home as well as on a trip.

ICYMI: More About Aer

Aer Cable Kit 3
Aer Tech Collection | This gear is designed to get your gear where you need it to go.

Aer began in 2014 as a crowdfunding project that combined a gym bag and an office bag into one simplified design. Since then, their product line has expanded to include everyday bags, travel packs, and more to help you get where you need to go comfortably and in style.

The small team, which includes Allen and his co-founder and head of operations, Andy Choi, has an office in San Francisco’s Mission District and a warehouse in the East Bay.

“I can’t believe it’s been 10 years already and looking back, a lot has changed, but our approach has stayed the same,” Allen said. “Our goal is to keep improving our designs and provide the best possible products for travelers around the world.”

Moving forward, we’re eagerly anticipating the company’s foray into rolling luggage. We’ve included their Travel Packs on many of our packing lists and taken them everywhere from across the United States to Australia to Thailand and beyond, and we can’t wait to see how their carry ons fit into our pack-out.

What’s Next

Aer Travel Pack 3 Outdoor
Aer Tech Collection | We love Aer’s travel packs, but what’s next for the brand?

Aer will be launching its line of rolling luggage this spring.

“Luggage is the natural next step for us,” Allen said. “We looked at the offerings out there and felt like we could offer something different and in line with our design DNA. So expect to see something made with the very best materials and trims in a design that’s minimalist, thoughtful, and smart.”

“We’ve learned a lot over the years when it comes to manufacturing and designing travel gear, and we’ll continue to learn and improve our products.”

And over here at Pack Hacker, we’ll continue to wait with bated breath for every new release so we can keep putting each one through its paces.

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