Think we can fit it all in there? Watch this 15-second time-lapse video of us packing Aer's Travel Pack.
We recently told you of our adventures in Guatemala; however, in this post from the La Matera Explorer series, we wanted to share more of a behind the scenes look at a new piece of gear that we put to the test. The good folks over at Huckberry hooked us up with Aer’s Travel Pack and we immediately hit the road with it strapped to our backs. Three airports, two countries, five days.
Sourcing and research trips aren’t the same as packing for the annual trip to Jackson Hole or the long weekend in the Hamptons. We’re hitting the road, anticipating as much as we can, but having no idea what lies ahead. We carry the essentials – clothes, travel documents, laptop, notebooks, camera, and whatever we pick up along the way – and we’re in and out of our bags constantly. Hoist, drag, throw—moving from place to place, walking for hours if necessary and rarely staying somewhere for more than one night. We’re in and out of taxis, jumping on trains or riding on boats and catching much needed shut eye whenever we can somewhere in between. We have to be mobile, have to be organized and have to have a bag that can keep up.
At first glance, the pack is sleek and looks worthy of the cause. It’s made of ballistic nylon, outfitted with weather proof zippers and defines itself somewhere in between a large suitcase and a backpack. It has that slightly urban look to it but also says “I can handle whatever road your journey will take us on.” It’s evident from all the pockets and compartments that organization was top of mind for Aer and something that will be much appreciated as the trip begins; however, looks can be deceiving and what’s on paper doesn’t always translate in the real world, so we couldn’t help but wonder whether this bag could deliver on what we would need and expect.
On the Ground:
Navigating the airport, with the bag fully packed on our backs, it feels just like you’re carrying an oversized backpack. It takes some getting used to but it’s actually quite comfortable. The rugged side and top handles also let you carry it like a briefcase or piece of luggage.
Getting through security was a breeze and no one flinched at the size. On the plane, the bag was a bit too large to fit under the seat so we had to remove a few things for the flight and place it overhead. Yes, a slight inconvenience at first but then a pleasant surprise as we stretched out and made use of our newfound legroom. The pack did fit nicely in the overhead bin.
On the ground in Guatemala, the pack overdelivered. The size was enough to carry everything we brought with us and we added more as we found things on our journey. The bag allowed us to remain mobile and was easy to bring along, even serving as a pillow from time to time. We stayed well organized with the bag and were able to quickly locate our passport, wallet, camera and other belongings when needed. We also got to appreciate the separate shoe compartment, throwing our muddy shoes in there without ruining anything else in the bag.
If there’s one thing we would change, it would be to add a side pocket opposite the water bottle holder. There isn’t anything going on over there and a pocket where we could quickly put our phone, another water bottle or keys would be that finishing touch.
Room to Grow:
Below is a list of what we packed and we can tell you that even with this, there was still plenty of room to pack more.
1 pair of pants
2 pairs of shorts
La Matera Paloma Belt
La Matera Trucha Belt
3 polo shirts
2 pairs of flip flops
1 pair of Toms shoes
1 pair of boots
5 pairs of boxers
La Matera San Martin Watch - Red
La Matera Alvear Shade Anchors
La Matera Trucha wallet
La Matera card wallet - cognac
GoPro selfie stick
5 Field Notes notebooks
The Aer Travel Pack is a great bag for a short getaway—domestic or international—that can weather the road. It’s the perfect size for a long weekend trip where you may be carrying a bit more than usual or a week long excursion where you’re trying to pack light. This pack is comfortable to carry, airport friendly and allows you to be mobile for whatever adventures await.