When we first got our paws on the Aer Day Sling 2, a 4.5-liter sling designed to carry your everyday necessities, it was love at first sight. Well, the potential was there—because this sling is made with the same high-quality components as one of the Pack Hacker all-stars, the Aer Travel Pack 2. At first glance, the Sling Bag 2 seems a little less aesthetically pleasing as their other offerings, but it quickly grows on you and the attention to detail is impeccable. The durability of the 1680D Cordura® ballistic nylon feels like it can take a beating, and if filled with sand, could keep water off your property (Which I don’t recommend). The zippers are the proven heavy-duty YKK zippers with a great rubber seal to keep even dense moisture from reaching the inside of the bag. You can’t fit a water bottle, umbrella, or a sunglass case into it with your essentials which makes it not ideal for travel.

They are also a company that originally made specialized racing sails and found that the same materials could be used for bags. But ballistic nylon managed to find its way into the consumer market because of its excellent strength and slick finish. You can read this highly unnecessary guide on ballistic nylon I wrote because I don’t have a life. It’s when you wear it that I can see why the straps need to be thick. They just look more substantial at the angle where you can’t see the pack.

aer day sling 2 review

Not to mention, while 2.4L is not tremendously capacious, the organizational systems inside make keeping even a full load of gear organized a remarkably simple and satisfying prospect. It would perhaps be asinine to say that the Aer Day Sling 2 is the perfect travel sling bag, especially for day trips, but it definitely deserves to be in the conversation at the very least. The internal laptop sleeve is only big enough for me to fit my Macbook Air inside, so larger laptops may have to be packed with the rest of your bulky items inside. What I liked about the Sling Bag was the central ‘anchor’ strap, which allows the wearer to throw the bag over the left or right shoulder. This may seem commonsensical, but I’ve had a few other sling bags that make you wear the bag on either shoulder.

The strap is incredibly nice and is the same material as a seatbelt with the same thickness as well. They could have added a bit of padding here, but that could just be me being slightly petty. The absolute best thing about Aer’s ‘Active line’ is the external shoe compartment that can fit up to a respectable men’s size 13. This pocket is critical for me so I can fly in my comfy shoes and still pack a decent pair of shoes to pair with jeans during my meetings and dinners out. Even though this is a smaller sling, I still found the internal compartment plenty big enough for a toiletry bag, a change of clothes and some media equipment. There is an exterior quick access pocket that doesn’t have much depth to it, but is perfect for a book, some papers and miscellaneous pocket essentials like your boarding pass and passport.

Despite the relatively affordable $115 price point, the bag still feels like a premium product. For me personally, zippers can make or break the user experience of a bag. Fortunately, I love the huge and delightfully smooth YKK #10RC zipper for the main compartment, which makes access to that primary space a breeze.

And in the subsequent months of daily use I’ve put the bag through, nothing has changed. Though I haven’t yet flown with the bag, it has been on road trips, in and out of cars, and used as a daily carry for work. But I’m also not afraid to use them and the Travel Sling 2 has exhibited no signs of construction failure. This leaves me feeling fairly confident that this will continue to be the case in a longer-term scenario. This is a bag that gravitates towards the tech-savvy; if you need to carry an array of tech devices securely on a daily basis, this is a great option to consider. If you’re into sleek, minimal aesthetics with a dash of techwear, this is for you.

As impressive as the City Sling 2 is from an organizational standpoint, it’s arguably even more comfortable to wear. For though the webbing strap doesn’t sport any additional padding, the bag’s small size and low weight mean that it rests against your body without getting in the way of your movement. Whether it’s worn front or back, it’s an easy sling to set and forget. The Aer Travel Sling 2 is made of a very sturdy set of materials and though they will provide some water repellency, they are not explicitly waterproof. The zippers, smooth as they are, are YKK RC and not of the AquaGuard variety, except for the front pocket .

It shares many of the styling cues and external materials as its larger-format brethren and, while distinct, is also minimalist and clean from its greater silhouette down to its finer details. Branding is present only on a small side tab, which helps keep the gaudiness down to a minimum and allows the design lines to speak for themselves. For some, the lack of bombast could be a drawback, especially if you’re the type who likes your gear to make a big, clear statement. But we imagine most folks — those who are longtime fans of Aer and newcomers to the brand alike — will find solace and security in its subtlety. Along with its pleasing styling, the size and overall format of this sling — at least at a first glance — is about as close to perfect as we could want from a carrier of this class and purpose. One of the benefits of having a close-carry sling bag is that it is generally a more secure option than a bulky backpack, which is easier for thieves to slip their hand inside.