Aer Travel Pack 3 Review: Two Steps Forward But One Back
The Aer Travel Pack 2 is the backpack I’ve been using and traveling with for years, but it’s not a perfect bag. It has some design choices that make it a confused crossover between a one-travel bag and a travel-tech backpack. But the Aer Travel Pack 3, improves upon the 2, and moves it closer to a travel backpack. Still, for all it’s improvements, the Travel Pack 3 has some new drawbacks.
Sizing Them Up
On the outside the Travel Pack 3 looks a lot like the 2 but this time has a little more depth adds some more space, totaling a 35 liter capacity compared to the 33 liters of the previous version. The Aer Travel Pack 3 has gained some weight too, coming in at 1.87 kilos, about 200 grams from the previous version.
Aer also make an X-Pac version of the travel pack 3, which basically swaps out the nylon exterior with a water proof material made from sail cloth. The X-pac version is a bit lighter, but also a bit more expensive. If you’re traveling to places where you’ll be taking this bag out in the elements often – or hanging out in Southeast Asia where there are frequent downpours, the X-Pac version might be worth considering. Otherwise the regular travel pack 3, although not waterproof, is solidly water resistant and can handle a decent amount of rain from time to time.
The weight difference between the Travel Pack 2 and the 3 is surprisingly noticeable when you pick this bag up. Though there’s only 200 grams difference the Travel Pack 3 just feels weightier and more solid.
A Look Inside
1680D Cordura is used for the exterior, a very strong fabric that’s a bit heavier than alternatives but is incredibly durable. You’ve got YKK zippers, basically considered the gold standard of zippers. They’re thick, easy to open and close, and don’t snag or get struck. Some of the zipper pulls are longer, but the ones for the smaller pockets aren’t as dangly, and a bit less in the way. But either way, like the rest of the Aer Travel Pack 3, the zippers are made to last.
Inside the Travel Pack 3, the basic design is roomy. There’s a large main compartment for the bulk of your gear. It’s very spacious and if you travel with a lot of stuff, whether it’s camera gear, drones, or an extra jacket, the travel pack 3 will have space for it. In the main compartment you have a small zippered pocket for papers, or a passport, or any other thin items. Up top the cutout of the small upper pocket and behind that a little elastic pouch, perfect for an AirTag.
Who’s This Back For?
Now, if you’re already using the Aer Travel Pack 2 though, I would say the improvements aren’t enough to justify upgrading and you might not like some of the tradeoffs or design changes. But if you’re looking for a large backpack for travel – one that’s pretty much at the maximum size most airlines will accept for carry on, then the Aer Travel Pack 3 is a good one to look at.