Aer Go Tote 2 Review
The Aer Go Tote 2 will help you carry what you need as you explore a new city, though it has a larger footprint than other packable totes we’ve seen.
- Handles stay together thanks to snapped loop
- Magnetic clasp is easy to use one-handed
- External zipper pocket keeps small gear contained
- Interior pockets can snag when packing larger objects
- No padding on laptop sleeve for protection
- Not the thinnest design we've seen for packability
1.2 lb (0.5 kg)
15 in x 11 in x 5 in (38.1 x 27.9 x 12.7 cm)
CORDURA® Nylon, YKK Zippers, Hypalon®, Woojin Hardware
Laptop Compartment Size
Get up to 10% off Aer • Join Pack Hacker Pro
We like to pack only a carry-on bag when heading out on vacation. And while that’s fine for getting us there, what about when we’re sightseeing around town? We’re not always down for entirely unpacking our travel daypack to have a way to carry groceries or souvenirs back to our digs. A tote bag is perfect for that purpose, and Aer has released the Go Tote 2 as part of its collection of packable bags designed for all-day adventures in the city.
While it doesn’t compress down to the palm of your hand or pack into its own pocket, and it’s not even the thinnest tote we’ve tested, you may want to add it to your vacation packing list to be ready for whatever adventures you have in store. So how does it work in the real world? Let’s take a look.
Aer uses 210D Cordura crinkle nylon for the Go Tote 2. It’s lightweight and bluesign® approved, so you can feel good about the environment and look good carrying your tote at the same time.
It has two straps that extend about 12 inches from the top of the bag, made from nylon webbing that’s doubled over for added heft and durability. You can keep them together with a loop of webbing that slides around the back handle. Wrap it around the front handle and snap it shut for the handles to stay together, or unsnap it to pull them apart.
YKK zippers with Hypalon pulls are easy to grab, and the front section snaps closed with a Woojin magnetic fastener. Each zipper pull sports the Aer brand name. It’s also stamped in white on a 2-inch tab of material on the front of the bag. We’re unsure what it is, though it’s soft like Hypalon.
On the back, a strap allows you to slide the tote onto a luggage handle to make it easier to get through the airport or a city street if you want to use it while traveling instead of packing it in your pack. It’s a nice feature as added storage for all those extra souvenirs we pick up!
The Aer Go Tote 2 looks pretty sleek for a tote bag. Although it is square when we flatten it, the tote looks somewhat tapered toward the bottom in daily use. While it’s a casual bag, the black crinkle nylon looks stylish enough to carry through metro areas, and it doesn’t look out of place in the park or at the pool, either.
The comfort is about what we expect from a tote bag. Since there’s no padding on the handles, how it feels on your shoulder depends on what you’re carrying. Loading it up with water bottles and other heavy gear causes it to dig some into your shoulders, though it’s not unbearable and is easy enough to switch sides to give one a break. It stays put as we wander throughout the day, too, which we appreciate—it’s rather annoying when a shoulder bag slips off your shoulder constantly, and we didn’t find that happening with the Aer Go Tote 2.
Inside The Tote
The Aer Go Tote 2 has four exterior pockets for stashing gear you prefer to have within easy reach, with the largest on the front. It almost looks like an arrow pointing to the top of the tote. At the arrow’s tip is a magnetic fastener holding the compartment closed. This large sleeve takes up nearly the entire front of the bag at 11 inches wide and is 12 inches deep at the fastener.
We like that it’s easy to open one-handed while the tote is over your shoulder, and the clasp neatly snaps back together when you get the two sides close. There’s no other organization in this area, though we find it a handy spot for metro maps, museum brochures, and snack bars. You can put thicker items here as well, as long as you realize that it doesn’t shut completely at the top; anything tossed in here has the potential to fall out if the bag spills.
There are water bottle pockets on each side of the tote. When we’re not using them, they flatten, and when we want to tuck a bottle in, we can fit anything from a standard to a wide mouth, thanks to a 1.5-inch fabric gusset and elastic at the top of each pocket. Squeezing in wider containers requires a little more effort, though.
As with many bags, the water bottle pockets encroach upon the internal capacity of the tote, so take care with packing. If you’re bringing along larger gear, it may take some playing around to figure out which you should pack first. Hint: grab your largest essential gear and get it in the bag before working everything else into place. For example, it’s easiest to pack a lunch cooler in the main compartment, then slide in a water bottle before adding a slim laptop.
Before we get there, flip the bag around to find a zippered pocket on the back. It’s 8.5 inches wide by 6 inches deep and the only sealable pocket on the bag, so we find it a good spot for a wallet, cash, and other items you don’t want to slide out accidentally.
Covering the main compartment is a 10-by-5-inch piece of fabric that closes with a zipper to keep large items contained. However, there is a 2-inch gap on either side between it and the bag edges, so small gear can still fall out. It is easy to open, thanks to the extended zipper on one side and a thin webbing loop on the other. Whether we’re zipping or unzipping the tote, we have something to grab to hold the floppy fabric taut.
Inside, the 17.5L capacity is primarily open space, except for a few pockets and sleeves. Along the back is an unpadded sleeve that fits up to a 16-inch laptop. While we realize padding would hinder the packable nature of the bag, it’s worth mentioning that your computer will fall right to the bottom of the tote, so take care when sliding it inside.
This isn’t the most packable bag—whether you roll them or fold them (or the bag) it’s a tad larger than two T-shirts—so light padding wouldn’t likely add much depth beyond what’s already there. If padding is important to you, consider using a separate laptop bag or a protective case, although a 16-inch device extends to the top (and beyond) of the tote and hits the zipper when it’s closed. In that case, you won’t have much extra room for protection.
On the opposite side are two small pouches with elastic at the top. They’re each 5 inches wide and just over 6 inches deep, so they easily fit cords, battery banks, and wall chargers, plus an e-reader or a Nintendo Switch to take your entertainment with you to the beach or the park.
The remaining capacity leaves room for a lunch cooler, travel towels (or even large beach towels), farmer’s market purchases, or library books. Since the pockets lay flat when you’re not using them, you can make the most of the Aer Go Tote 2’s capacity when needed. With Aer aiming for this to be a packable travel tote bag, we think the lack of organization makes it easier to tote souvenirs, beach gear, or anything else to and from a hotel or Airbnb.
- Crinkle nylon seems like it will hide imperfections and dirt
- Nice to have a clasp to hold straps together
- Seems like thoughtful organization for a tote
- Fits three full-size beach towels
- Fabric continues to look like new
- Stays put on shoulder in use