The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

A sucker for a new bag

Jory Raphael recently tweeted about a new bag he’d picked up. And I must say, nothing piques my clicky finger interest like bags. Messenger bags, duffel bags, backpacks — this is an area of temptation for me and I can never resist scrolling through pictures of people sharing their own.

This last fall I was needing a new bag as I’d given my daughter my old Tom Bihn Smart Alec for school. This time I didn’t jump to a decision immediatly. Instead, I did a lot of research and spent way too much time watching Chase Reeves talking about bags… (seriously though, the next time you’re in the market, Chase has you covered with his BagWorks review site).

Here are a few of the bags I considered:

In the end, I went with the Day Pack from Aer.

What's nice about the Aer

There are quite a few things I like about this bag. First, it's a great mixture of form and function. Tom Bihn bags work very well, but they're just not nice to look at. Other bags look great but aren't laid out well.

The Aer is the best of both. It looks sharp. I wasn't sure about the glossy aspect of the front, but this makes it super easy to clean.

As for the design, this one has been well thought out. The top pouch is perfect for AirPods, sunglasses, or your passport. It's easily accessible even when the bag is over your shoulder.

The two main compartments also work well. The front one is perfect for your gadgets and tech dopps. You can also easily fit a light jacket in there.

The rear most compartment (closest to your back) has a nice section for your laptop. In front of that go your notebooks (and an iPad or alternate tablet would also fit easily). In his video, Chase talks about “papers”, but notebooks and novels work perfectly in that space.

This compartment also has a nice water bottle sleeve. The only issue is I think this would be more appropriate in the front pocket. A leak in the back would be an issue with all your electronic gear.

Last, build quality is something to think about with bags. Cheap bags from Walmart feel like you'd expect: they won't last much longer than a school semester. A good bag has a solidity to it. And you know it when you feel it. Zipper and pocket linings are the place to look first. Next are the straps. And the Aer passes the test!

Overall, I'm a big fan of this bag and would recommend it. I would also assume the Fit or Flight bags are excellent options as well.

&