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Aer City Pack Review


Aer City Pack Review

by , October 20, 2021
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The Aer City Pack fits right in with their iconic look and styling, including their ballistic Cordura® fabric and the signature coated center zip. It is a small pack, coming in at just 14 liters, but is filled with well-thought-out features and organization that make it a nice choice for everyday tech carry. 

Aer calls it “the essential, everyday backpack designed for the city”. But after using it for a month, I’d call it “the everyday work pack designed for the essentials”. 

Aer City Pack


  • Name: City Pack
  • Brand: Aer
  • Format: Backpack
  • Measurement: H 18″ (46 cm), W 12″ (30 cm), D 5″ (12.5 cm)
  • Capacity: 14 liters
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs
  • Zippers: YKK® zippers
  • Material: 1680D Cordura® ballistic nylon exterior, Duraflex® plastic hardware
  • PriceUS$149


Who It Suits

The everyday minimalist. You don’t need a lot of extra space and like to keep things neat and organized. You want a tech-focused bag that is tough and at the same time sleek. 

Who It Doesn’t

If you carry more than the bare minimum this bag won’t be for you. Also, the bag is pretty tech-focused, making it great for carrying to the office, but it will have a hard time transitioning into other roles.


The City Pack has Aer’s coated, center zip on the front, making it easily recognizable as one of their bags. The 1680D ballistic Cordura® nylon feels like it could really take a beating, but the small size and clean design keep the bag from feeling tactical. Overall, the bag has a really simple form, but there are a lot of nice details in how they’ve done the darts, and angled a lot of the seams which help to elevate the bag.

Aer City Pack

Trims & Hardware

The thing I like most about this bag is probably the trims: the zipper sliders and pulls, the branding, and even the hang tags. The small hits of Hypalon for the branding look and feel really nice. And they add some interesting contrast to the bulky weave of the 1680D nylon. The exterior zippers have large sliders with a matte black finish and custom plastic pulls molded over a narrow cord, which are some of the coolest I’ve ever seen. The one drawback of the trims is that only the pocket on the bag’s front has a coated zipper. I wish that the other zippers were coated as well, especially with this being such a tech-focused pack. 

Aer City Pack


• Padded, suspended laptop pocket with soft lining (fits up to 16″ laptop) 

• Quick-access top pocket with soft lining

• Thoughtful organization for tech accessories and smaller items

• Contoured back panel

• Exterior water bottle pocket

• Hidden smart tracker pocket designed for AirTags or Tile trackers

• Padded, quick-grab side and top handles

• Luggage handle pass-through

Aer City Pack


Carry & Comfort

The back panel is pretty flat and structured, but the small angling at the top makes it comfortable on the shoulders. It is a relatively short bag, so it sits high enough on the back to be comfortable even without any lumbar curve.

Aer City Pack

Aer City Pack

The shoulder straps have thick foam padding and an adjustable sternum strap with magnetic hardware that will make long commutes a bit easier on the shoulders. The shaping of the shoulder straps, along with the angled gusset at the top of the back panel made this a really good fit for me. I am on the shorter side, 5’5″, so it might not fit so well on someone much taller.

Aer City Pack

The top handle is a nice tubular webbing with a foam insert. They’ve also added a second handle to the side of the bag which makes it easier to manage when it isn’t on your back.

Aer City Pack

Space & Access

From the outside, you have access to the bottle pocket on the side of the pack and two smaller pockets; one on the front of the bag, and a padded and plush-lined pocket on the top of the bag – perfect for small tech or sunglasses.

Aer City Pack

The smaller of the main compartments has a document slip pocket as well as several other small slip and zip pockets that are great for tech accessories and chargers. With most backpacks, I usually carry a cable/tech case that has all my charging bricks and cables. But there really isn’t any need with the Aer City Pack. I was able to neatly store the chargers and accessories for my phone, tablet, and laptop in this one section of the bag so that they were easy to access when I needed them.

Aer City Pack

Access to the main compartment is interesting. Due to the bottle pocket on one side, Aer has made the height of the zipper ends asymmetrical. This means that the front of the bag folds down at an angle, but you still get good access. The main compartment has a padded laptop sleeve (fits up to 16″ laptop) and a non-padded tablet sleeve, as well as two other medium-sized slip pockets. This section is rather small, but I was able to fit my large, over-ear headphones and a small rain jacket in with my laptop and tablet. Also, hidden behind the hanging pocket there is a very small slip pocket. This is meant for holding tracking devices like AirTags and Tiles.

Aer City Pack

The Good

Its compact size and good organization make it a really great work bag for commuters.

The materials and construction feel solid and tough. 

The matte black finish on the zipper sliders is really nice, and the custom plastic zipper pulls are clean and minimal, while still being really easy to pull. 

Aer’s signature coated center zip on the front of most of their bags is something that I have mixed feelings about (mostly for functional reasons). But on this bag, that center zip both looks and works great.

Not So Good

The only real issue I had in my month of testing this pack was with the sternum strap. I’d be wearing it and then notice that the sternum strap had loosened on its own. They use a nice, thick webbing, but for some reason, it wouldn’t always stay tight. 

The small volume was sometimes an issue. Some days I would take lunch or exercise gear with me to work and on those days I would have to carry a second bag because there wasn’t enough extra space in the Aer City Pack.

Another thing to note is that the bottle pocket on the side of the bag is a little small. When the bag is full, it can be difficult to get my water bottle in there. I usually carry CamelBak’s Eddy+ 25oz Bottle and it fits really snug.


Aer City Bank


The City Pack walks a nice line between techwear and techy. Aer makes the straightforward layout and functionality feel cool. If you’re in need of a compact and well-built pack for work or school, this could be a good option. 

Aer City Pack

Photo Credits: Christopher Hales

This article was written by new contributor, Aaron Puglisi, professional designer and maker behind Denier Lab, an experimental carry design space on Instagram.

The Breakdown

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Geek (Performance)

Space & Access

Style (Design)

Look & Feel
Build, Materials & Hardware

Stoke (Experience)

Warranty & Support
Brand experience
X Factor

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