REVIEW – Aer got their start by crowdfunding a combination gym/office bag and as they approach a 10 year anniversary next year, they now have quite an exhaustive collection of bags and travel essentials. I still have their first generation Travel Pack and after all this time it’s barely showing any wear. So a chance to review their Travel Weekender was a no brainer. Let’s take a look at what this duffle has going for it.
What is it?
The Aer Travel Weekender bag is a tech-focused duffle. Heavy duty Cordura, YKK zippers and seriously solid construction provide a ton of room for packing, your clothes, gear and tech items.
• 1680D Cordura® ballistic nylon exterior (bluesign® approved)
• YKK® zippers (Lockable on main and front compartments)
• Duraflex® plastic hardware
• Soft woven lining for a premium look and feel (bluesign® approved)
• Padded laptop pocket with soft lining (fits up to 16″ laptop)
• Spacious main compartment for your clothes and gear
• Smart organization compartment for your travel essentials
• Quick-access back pocket for small valuables
• Exterior water bottle pockets
• Padded shoulder strap and carry handles
• Luggage handle pass-through
• Dims: 35L | 19.5 x 12 x 9″ (50 x 30 x 13mm) | 2.7 lbs
Design and features
The Aer Travel Weekender definitely looks the part of a sophisticated yet durable duffle.
Burly, lockable YKK zippers provide or limit access to the three main compartments as long as you supply your own locks. The 1680D Cordura material is extra tough without being stiff. You can see that here as well.
A voluminous main compartment easily swallows a weekend’s worth of stuff.
The Aer Travel Weekender’s front compartment is efficiently divided into two large vertical pockets, three elasticized pouches, a large zippered pocket and then the full width pocket itself.
The other side has a full length pocket with a padded and elevated laptop sleeve and plenty of extra room for a tablet or other low profile items.
Each end of the Aer Travel Weekender duffle bag has pockets perfect for a water bottle or insulated mug and a padded wrap on the handle makes carrying easy and the padded shoulder strap makes longer transit more comfortable.
If you’re already wheeling around, the pass-through strap on the back will keep it stable, and the small zippered pocket is convenient for last minute pocket dumps before security.
For a duffle claiming ‘Weekender’ status, it better be able to hold enough gear for a long weekend. I can safely check that box as all this fits with room for more. The large compartment is easy to load and the bag stands open without needing support.
There are only two small things that I’d call out as misses. First, the front pocket has a vertical zipper, but only half of the bag’s width is a pocket. That makes it work great for a right hander when using the shoulder strap. A left hander is completely out of luck. And when the back is on a table, it’s not super obvious which direction to reach into until you try.
As for the second one, Aer decided that the main compartment (clothes) and the front compartment (gadgets, pens, etc) both received locking zipper heads where you can secure the pocket by adding a lock. This is a great move. Unfortunately, the laptop/tablet pocket does not get this feature which seems really strange considering the cost/value of what you’re going to put into this very specific section of the bag.
As for heft, volume, fit and things like that. Everything else checks out. Below are images of carrying the Aer Travel Weekender in a traditional duffle mode and slung over my shoulder. The bag can take on a decent amount of width and weight when loaded so be prepared for that. The shoulder strap is adjustable on both sides and the pad free-floats on the strap so it’s easy to keep centered.
What I like
- Exceptional build quality
- Generous size and thoughtful organization
- Both the Cordura material and the YKK zippers are bombproof
What I’d change
- Sideways front pocket is confusing and only makes sense for a right hander while in shoulder strap mode
- Laptop pocket should really have a lockable zipper since the other two compartments do
My overall impression is that the Aer Travel Weekender is one seriously well put together duffle that should serve you well and last for years. It can fit plenty of kit for a weekend and as long as you aren’t looking for convertible backpack straps, you can’t go wrong with the Travel Weekender.