🔥 Get up to 10% off Aer • Join Pack Hacker Pro

Aer Go Pack 2 Review

The Aer Go Pack 2 is a capable, packable daypack that improves upon the previous iteration with features familiar to Aer’s non-packable offerings.

Our Verdict

7.7 /10
Good info

Form

87/100

Design

70/100

Value

77/100
Unlock the Pro Summary

Save time. Get access to brief summaries of our reviews so you can browse and make decisions more efficiently.

Join Pack Hacker Pro or, Sign In

Pros

  • Cordura crinkle nylon is durable, lightweight, and packable
  • Smarter internal organization than we’ve seen from other packable bags
  • Mesh on the back panel and shoulder straps keeps things cool

Cons

  • The top of the shoulder straps can rub on your neck
  • Back panel lacks structure, so items on the interior can poke you
  • Raised laptop compartment only offers protection when the bag is fully packed
Recent Pack Hacker Video

Technical Details

91 %

Carry-on Compliance

View 131/144 Airlines

84 %

Like the Look

Polled on Instagram

  • Capacity

    20l

  • Weight (lb)

    1.3 lb (0.6 kg)

  • Dimensions

    17 in x 11 in x 5.5 in (43.2 x 27.9 x 14 cm)

  • Notable Materials

    CORDURA® Nylon, YKK Zippers, Duraflex Hardware, Woojin Hardware, Hypalon®

  • Manufacturing Country

    China

  • Laptop Compartment Size

    16"

  • Warranty Information

    Aer Lifetime Warranty

Full Review

Get up to 10% off Aer • Join Pack Hacker Pro

The Aer Go Pack 2 isn’t a complete overhaul of the previous iteration. Still, we see enough noticeable differences to wonder how they’ll affect usage and our ability to stow gear. We still dig the original Go Pack but can’t help but wonder whether these updates will transform the series into something completely different. Let’s dive in.

External Components

The primary pack material on the Go Pack 2 is a bluesign® approved 210D Cordura crinkle nylon. The last iteration lacked a sustainability accreditation and was a higher denier, though we like the fresh new look presented here. It feels sleeker and can blend into any environment, whether you’re using it as a daypack to cross a new city or want something other than your travel backpack to lug around on your trip.

Aer Go Pack 2 Strap 2
Aer Go Pack 2 | This is a great pack for traveling.

There are YKK zippers and Duraflex adjustment hardware throughout the pack, which work just as well as we’d expect them to. A magnetic Woojin buckle on the front slide pocket works better than the previous iteration’s FIDLOCK counterpart. It’s quicker and easier to pop open, however, it stays closed when not in use—it’s the best of both worlds.

The top handle has a little padding, making it comfortable to grab onto. If you have heavy items at the bottom of the pack and grab onto the handle, the bag can look a little stretched out from top to bottom. This is the only carry method we noticed this issue, and it’s more of a ‘that’s weird’ moment than an actual problem.

Aer Go Pack 2 Water Bottle
Aer Go Pack 2 | No issue fitting larger bottles inside.

We’re excited about the dual water bottle pockets—one on each side of the bag. They’re crafted from the same crinkle nylon material as the rest of the pack and have a small piece of elastic to hold onto the bottle. It can hold a 32 oz Nalgene, which is pretty large, but still feels tight when holding a smaller bottle, which is a testament to the stretchiness of the elastic. Also, it’s worth noting that if you are using a big bottle (go you, hydration rocks!) and the zippers are on that side of the main compartment, it can be hard to grab onto the Hypalon pulls, as they get buried between the bottle and the side of the pack. You can address this by zipping it closed to the other side, though it’s easy to forget, and you can’t get around it as easily if you have two water bottles.

There’s a luggage pass-through on the back side of the pack. It’s very basic, but it gets the job done and has a simplicity we can’t help but appreciate. The pack is so small that you can stow it inside your carry-on or packed luggage on the way to your destination, and the inclusion of a pass-through makes it easy to fill the bag with trinkets and set it on top of your rolling luggage on the way home.

Aer Go Pack 2 Luggage 2
Aer Go Pack 2 | The luggage pass-through is easy to use.

There’s a slide pocket on the front of the pack that we briefly mentioned earlier when speaking about the Woojin magnetic buckle that secures it. It’s an excellent spot for a rain jacket, sweatshirt, or other weather-related gear you might need quickly. There isn’t a closure on the top, so the gear on the top may get wet when it rains.

Aer mentions that the Go Pack 2 can stow away inside a larger travel bag or piece of luggage. Aer designs some of our top-rated travel gear, so we figured we’d see how well it fits into some of our favorite bags. The Travel Pack 3 has more than enough room to hold the Go Pack 2, and it doesn’t feel like you’re losing a drastic percentage of space inside the pack to do so.

Aer Go Pack 2 In Bag 2
Aer Go Pack 2 | The pack nicely slides into the Aer Travel Pack 3.

It still fits inside smaller bags like the Travel Pack 3 Small, though it starts to take up too much of the main compartment space for practical usage. Moving further down the line—inside the Flight Pack 2, the Go Pack is monopolizing the area and is definitely affecting usage. Long story short, Aer is right. You can fit this thing inside larger travel bags, but depending on your definition of a travel bag, you might be disappointed by the ratio of space the Go Pack 2 takes up. Although we think this is a fair trade-off for the comfort and features it offers, it’s well worth considering.

Fit Notes

Aer Go Pack 2 Side By Side
Left: Eric Hergenreder, Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), Torso: 18.5” (47 cm) | Right: Kristyne Defever, Height: 5’5” (165 cm), Torso: 17” (43 cm)

The back panel lacks padding but includes mesh, which has some inherent cushion. It’s pretty comfortable, though it doesn’t have the structure to stop items inside the pack from poking through. This isn’t a huge issue with common travel or EDC items, but if you had to carry something odd, like a pumpkin around Halloween, you’re going to feel it.

The shoulder straps are slightly padded and have the same aeration as the back panel. This stops near the top of the straps, where they connect to the pack via a small piece of strap. This gives the harness system more mobility, but those with larger necks or traps might feel some rubbing. Though the shoulder straps are pretty basic, they’re more comfortable than other packable bags we’ve tested.

Aer Go Pack 2 Back
Aer Go Pack 2 | It blends in nicely in any situation.

There’s a D-ring on the right strap to attach a carabiner or pair of sunglasses, which is a nice inclusion. There are strap keepers on the bottom to help keep extra materials at bay. While riding a bike without using them, the amount of extra strap makes you feel like you’re in a parade with two long streamers coming out of each armpit—which is a mood in itself, but probably not the one you’re going for.

When you pack the Go Pack 2 out completely, you start to feel that it’s a packable bag. The materials are lightweight, there isn’t much additional comfort through added padding, and it doesn’t have much structure. This is especially true when you have a laptop, which can dig into your lower back. We found this to be the case with larger laptops. The first iteration could only hold a 13-inch laptop, whereas this updated version can stow a 16-inch. It’s nice to have the option, though you feel it after a while.

Inside The Pack

Another change from the first Go Pack is the location of the quick access pocket. It’s now on the front side at the top, which makes it easier to access, though more noticeable to others. It closes using a YKK #5C and has a small zipper garage to keep water out. The pocket is large enough for your phone, sunglasses, and other everyday items of similar size. However, the pocket shares space with the main compartment, so it can be hard to get things inside if you have the pack stuffed to the brim.

Aer Go Pack 2 Top Pocket
Aer Go Pack 2 | The top pocket has ample space.

The main compartment has a fair amount of organization for a packable bag, and we’re here for it. A lot of the time, packable options are a big chute to throw gear into—which has a time and a place, but having the option to organize things will be important for some users.

The compartment closes using a YKK #8RC with those Hypalon pulls we mentioned earlier. They work superbly so long as they aren’t trapped behind your water.

Aer Go Pack 2 Inside Pocket
Aer Go Pack 2 | Loaded up with goodies.

The front side has two liner pockets with elastic tops. You can fit your phone here, a small notebook, or even larger items like an apple, thanks to the stretchy topper. When examining these pockets, it’s easy to notice the flap dangling above—which is the quick access pocket we just went over. It doesn’t get in the way for the most part, but it can dangle down occasionally and make access to the elastic pockets harder.

The back side has a small zippered compartment that utilizes a YKK #5RC zipper. It’s crafted from mesh, so items inside can bulge out should you overstuff it. It’s a nice place to lock things down and the only place to stow smaller gear inside the main compartment with a closure on the top.

Aer Go Pack 2 Side
Aer Go Pack 2 | Ready to hit the road.

There’s a basic laptop slider on the back panel that can hold up to a 16-inch computer. This compartment is suspended off the ground, but only by a few centimeters. This works fine when you have the packed stuffed to the brim, but if it’s on the emptier side, the materials don’t have the structure to hold themselves up, and your laptop will hit the floor when you set it down.

There isn’t a ton of padding to protect your laptop, but it’s adequate for a packable bag. The back panel offers some padding on the back side via the mesh, but there isn’t any on the bag’s interior. This will be an issue if you plan to carry rocks in the Go Pack 2, though most other items will fare just fine.

Aer Go Pack 2 In Use
Aer Go Pack 2 | Can’t forget your cell phone!

Aer has brought a lot of awesome features into a more packable daypack form, which we dig. The organization presented is worth commending, even if some users might find it superfluous. It’s an excellent option for trekking across a new city, but we would leave it at home should the sidewalk turn into a more rugged trail.

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • The Woojin magnetic front clasp is a nice change from the previous iteration
  • Materials have a soft vibe but still feel durable
  • The quick access pocket has moved forward, making it easier to access
2 Weeks of Use

Condition: Excellent

  • The crinkle nylon is durable and holds up well, even in rugged conditions
  • Not the most comfortable pack, but it fits in small places
  • No issues with hardware—from strap adjustors to zippers and closures
mm
By Eric Hergenreder
Created September 12, 2022 • Updated September 15, 2022
Access the Pro Community Discussion

Get your questions about the Aer Go Pack 2 answered from our team and the Pro Community right here on the page. Plus, join discussions with other members about gear, guides, and more.

Join Pack Hacker Pro or, Sign In