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Aer Tech Sling 3 Review

The Aer Tech Sling 3 is convenient for carrying a laptop and tech accessories in a crossbody style, but while the strap is comfortable, the fit is limited.

Our Verdict

8.1 /10
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  • Good back panel padding
  • Feels bigger than expected considering its capacity
  • You can switch the strap orientation for ambidextrous carry


  • Positioning the padded strap takes getting used to
  • No luggage pass-through
  • Smaller users will have lots of extra strap to deal with

Technical Details

98 %

Carry-on Compliance

View 142/145 Airlines

38 %

Like the Look

Polled on Instagram

  • Capacity


  • Weight (lb)

    1.3 lb (0.6 kg)

  • Dimensions

    15 in x 10.25 in x 4 in (38.1 x 26 x 10.2 cm)

  • Notable Materials

    CORDURA® Ballistic Nylon, Recycled Nylon, DWR Coating, Nylon, YKK Zippers, Duraflex Hardware, Meets bluesign® CRITERIA

  • Manufacturing Country


  • Laptop Compartment Size


  • Warranty Information

    Aer Lifetime Warranty

Full Review

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Pack Hacker x Aer Giveaway (2024)

If you’re designing a Tech Collection, you probably would focus on things like a tech pouch and a laptop bag, right? Well, you would be right! Aer’s done that with an updated line of bags that they’ve translated from the Work Collection into the Tech Collection and then some.

Aer Tech Sling 3 Back
Aer Tech Sling 3 | You can carry your tech crossbody with this sling.

We’ve got a Tech Pack 3, a Day Pack 3, a Tech Brief, a Cable Kit 3, and, wait for it, a Tech Sling 3. It’s nice to have options, especially if you don’t like to rock a backpack, but is this a sling you want to swing crossbody for your next trip? Let’s find out.

External Components

However, this isn’t a fanny pack from the last century style of sling; it’s a laptop bag with one strap. It’s solidly built, with 1680D CORDURA® ballistic nylon around most of the bag’s exterior and an 840D nylon face coated for weather resistance. It’s not super shiny, and we like that you can blend easier into the crowd of commuters. Aer puts its branding on one Hypalon tab on the bottom right side with its name printed in small white letters. There’s no big logo or letters splashed across the front to let everyone know whose bag you’re carrying; the sling’s aesthetics speak for themselves.

Aer Tech Sling 3 Handle
Aer Tech Sling 3 | The padded handle is comfortable to use for carrying the bag.

There’s a carry handle at the top that’s small enough to hang on a hook yet comfortable enough to carry like a briefcase if you want to take off the strap, which you very well may want to do—more on that in the Fit Notes. The main compartment YKK zippers have metal pulls with cords woven through to make them easier to grab. There’s also a cylindrical piece of plastic at the end to provide a better grip and make it easier to spot the black zippers against the black bag. The top pocket zipper lacks those features yet locks down into place so it’s not jangling around as you walk.

Aer Tech Sling 3 Strap Buckle
Aer Tech Sling 3 | You won’t have an issue using these big Duraflex buckles to undo the strap.

We’re also happy to see Duraflex hardware for the two large buckles on the strap and the adjustment slide on one end. We have no issue with how the hardware functions; they’re just really big and bulky. While we’re on the subject of that strap, though …

We’re not going to lie. It’s not our favorite. It includes a long, thickly padded shoulder strap, and we’d normally totally be on board. However, the sticking point is that the padding is stuck. As in, you can’t slide it along the strap to get it in the right spot. It seems like it should move—it slides into a fabric tunnel atop the padding—but it’s stitched in place. It’s attached near one buckle and has the adjustment slide at the other end with a long strap attached.

Aer Tech Sling 3 Strap
Aer Tech Sling 3 | It has an ambidextrous carry, but some find it awkward to adjust to the proper angle.

The shoulder pad is always at the top of the bag because you can switch the strap around for ambidextrous carry. Putting the shoulder pad on the right side of the back panel allows it to be on your left shoulder when it’s on your back, and you can unclip it to put the shoulder pad on the left side to carry it on your right shoulder. Do the opposite to have it positioned correctly for front carry.

Aer Tech Sling 3 Back Pad
Aer Tech Sling 3 | There is a lot of breathable mesh padding on the back panel.

That sounds simple, and with more than an inch of padding covered in breathable mesh on the underside of the strap and on the back panel, it is fairly comfortable, just awkward to use and get into the proper position. However, it has the same strap design as on the Tech Sling 2, so if you liked it on that bag, you’ll probably disagree with us here and like it on this one. You do you. That’s why there are so many bag designs out there!

Fit Notes

Aer Tech Sling 3 Side by Side
Left: Kristyne Defever, Height: 5’5” (165 cm), Torso: 17” (43 cm) | Right: Eric Hergenreder, Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), Torso: 18.5” (47 cm)

To be a little more clear, the strap requires you to wear the bag in a particular way, angled across your back, where it can bounce around as you walk. You can’t wear it at your side (even though it looks like a messenger bag) unless you don’t care about the shoulder pad resting on your actual shoulder. Some Pack Hacker Team members resist being told what to do and are frustrated by trying to fit themselves to the bag instead of vice versa, while others find it less awkward to adjust.

We find it looks much better on larger users than on smaller ones, too. There’s a ton of strap left over if you’re more petite, and even though there’s an elastic keeper, folding it back and forth through the loop creates a floppy look on your front, like a smushed hairbow. Or, you can just let the extra dangle. Either way, it’s not a look we love.

That’s a shame because the bag itself looks very polished and professional, so we can see ourselves commuting through the city or using it on the front as a personal item bag with a travel backpack through the airport, except for the fact that it doesn’t really lay flat, and looks large on smaller users. We think a luggage pass-through would be a great addition to this bag because it’s the perfect size to slide over a rolling carry on luggage handle, especially if you don’t feel like fighting with the shoulder strap. Alas, there is no pass-through. Pro tip if you do want to do this, though: you can get the strap pretty tight and use that to hold the sling on your suitcase instead. It’s not the greatest, but it gets the job done.

Inside The Sling

There’s one quick-access pocket at the top. It’s bluesign® approved recycled nylon and is large enough for your phone, minimalist wallet, and keys.

Aer Tech Sling 3 in Use
Aer Tech Sling 3 | A top quick-access pocket fits the essentials.

However, it’s right next to another pocket in the main compartment, and they share space. Open up the horseshoe double-pull zipper to get into this area, and you’ll see what we mean. This zipper pocket is stretchy and raised off the bottom of the sling, though, making it a great spot for sunglasses. Plus, there’s a hidden smart tracker pocket in here, as well, for your AirTag, Tile, or whatever brand you’re using. It’s not extremely secure, but there aren’t a ton of places to put it in this sling, so this seems to be as good a spot as any.

Aer Tech Sling 3 Interior Pocket
Aer Tech Sling 3 | This stretchy pocket is good for sunglasses and a smart tracker.

We haven’t spoken much about the changes between the Tech Sling 2 and the Tech Sling 3, but when you open up the main compartment, you’ll start to spot the differences—starting with the fact that there is only one compartment in the third iteration of the bag. So, instead of a large front pocket with slots for notebooks or a tablet and pockets for your gear with a separate laptop compartment, you get a main compartment with all that organization in the same space.

Aer Tech Sling 3 Empty
Aer Tech Sling 3 | Pack your tech in stretchy pockets in front of the laptop sleeve.

Well, almost all of that organization. The back panel is lined with soft material and thick padding to protect up to a 14-inch laptop. It’s slightly raised from the bottom of the bag, too, in case you set it down slightly too hard. There’s a large slip pocket in front of that where you can slide in a tablet, notebook, Kindle, or Bluetooth keyboard. But then there are just three stretchy pockets below that for a wall charger and cord, a travel mouse, or a USB hub. Compared with the seven pockets in the prior version, the five here seem a bit spare.

Aer Tech Sling 3 Stuffed
Aer Tech Sling 3 | Gussets on the front panel give you extra space for gear inside.

However, there is plenty of space in front of that organization for a tech kit like the Aer Cable Kit 3, which has so much space and organization that you’re unlikely to miss the pockets on the Tech Sling 3. Or use a smaller tech kit, and you’ll have room for your lunch in a small cooler, an extra layer, or even (if you play your cards right) a small packing cube with your overnight gear inside. That will take a lot of packing skills, but you’re here at Pack Hacker, and we believe in you!

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • Nice padding on the shoulder strap, though it doesn’t seem to move along the strap
  • A good amount of organization
  • Almost seems large enough to be a backpack
2 Weeks of Use

Condition: Excellent

  • Easy to flip front to access gear on the go
  • Comfortable to carry when you get the right spot
  • Wish you could slide the shoulder pad along the strap
By Kristyne Defever
Created March 11, 2024 • Updated March 13, 2024
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