Travel is at the core of modern living — whether it be to and from home, the office, and the gym or something with a bit more distance, like jet-setting to your favorite international destination. It’s also an idea that’s been at the heart of what the folks at Aer do dating all the way back to their birth as a crowdfunded project back in 2014. In fact, every single product they offer — whether an EDC cable organizer or a fully-featured hybrid gym-work duffel — was made specifically with some kind of excursion in mind.
Their purpose-driven dedication to both utilitarian functionality and modern styling has set the brand apart from the competition. Their carry solutions are built with purpose and that’s reflected in everything from the quality of construction to the timeless silhouettes of their packs. And while much of their catalog centers on larger haulers — like duffels, backpacks, and briefcases — they also offer a few smaller, more streamlined options. Their Day Sling 2 is one such option and we’ve had the good fortune of getting up-close-and-personal with it for the hands-on review below.
Even at a distance, it’s clear that the Day Sling 2 is an Aer product through and through. 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.
Most closely associated with mil-spec tactical gear, this bag is actually built primarily from 1680D Cordura ballistic nylon — a material that’s remarkably rugged and has its own natural resistance to water, abrasion, puncture, and more. And that material inclusion helps to illuminate one of our favorite things about the Aer brand: they use extremely rugged materials in a way that manages to somehow still look refined and urbane. The Day Sling 2 is certainly no exception.
The pack also has a trio of water-resistant zippered pockets, the zips of which are all equipped with pull tabs for even more ease-of-use. Alongside the zippers, the pack has a pair of attachment tabs — one on each side — suitable for keychain carabiners or any other tools you might need quick-and-easy access to. And, finally, the main strap — complemented by a single quick-grab handle on one of the upper corners, as you might find atop a backpack — has a unique attachment scheme. The integrated main strap is actually connected at the top on one end and at the side on the other — making this pack ideal for wearing in a cross-body style, specifically with the bag at your right hip. If you’re exclusively a left-handed user or you wanted to wear it around your waist, this is going to be an immediate issue, as the scheme can’t be altered to suit any alternative style of wear.
It’s worth noting that, while we’ve been tossing around the phrase “water-resistant,” the Aer Day Sling 2 is not going to protect your expensive tech from an all-out downpour. Yes, the zippers were designed to help stave off the ingress of moisture and the ballistic nylon has a natural resistance to liquids, but full submersion or extended exposure will still result in soggy contents. That being said, if its nothing more than a mist or a slight drizzle, this bag should be good to go for quite some time before things get too wet.
While the exterior styling and construction of Aer’s Day Sling 2 is superb, it’s very clear upon a quick glance at the inside of the pockets that the 2.4L interior is where this bag truly shines. The system is built on a trio of pockets — one at the front, a large main compartment, and a third hidden one at the back — offering a shocking amount of organizational options. If your ideal sling bag is one with a minimalist exterior and comprehensive internal organization, this one might just make the cut more than any other available.
The first pocket at the front, accessed via a water-resistant YKK zipper, is deceptively spacious, as it can actually bulge out some to offer more internal room. But it isn’t just one big slot, as the inside actually also has a duo of elastic-banded pouches for a measure of organizational options. They’re not entirely capacious, but there’s more than enough room in this front pocket for a full EDC loadout — ranging from a modern smartphone to a pocket knife and pen and more. If you’ve got a small kit of gear you need kept at the ready, this is a great quick-access area for just that purpose.
The second large main compartment, which has a two-way YKK water-resistant zipper granting ingress, is the most impressive of the trio of pockets and actually hides a whopping five secondary organizational pockets within it. First, there’s a large unstructured space at the front. Behind that, another pair of elastic-banded pouches for quick-access organization. Behind that, there’s a discreet zippered pocket ideal for slim sensitive materials — like cash, important cards, or anything else you don’t want immediately in eyeshot when opening the bag — which also has an integrated keychain lash point. Finally, there’s another large pouch, similar to the one at the front but a bit tighter — ideal for stashing a small tablet or e-reader — which is backed by a bit of padding for a little extra protection.
Finally, the third and smallest of the pockets is also the most discreet. Accessed via a recessed zipper found below the main compartment on the back of the bag, this pocket isn’t super spacious — which actually makes it more ideal for discretion and the storing of vital documents, like a passport, tickets, a small stack of cash, your ID card, etc. All told, this trio of zippered pockets (and their subsequent pouches within) represent one of the most well-organized sling bags we’ve had the pleasure of getting our hands upon and the whole system works just as well for everyday carry usage as it does for international travel.
Straps & Hardware
As previously mentioned, the integrated main strap has one immediate drawback: it appears designed exclusively for right-handed over-the-shoulder wear. And if that doesn’t suit your preferences or style, you’re — simply put — out of luck. If you can look past that or it doesn’t affect you, then we’ve got good news: it just gets better from here.
Just like you might find on Aer’s duffel bags, the strap is crafted from sturdy and soft seatbelt-style nylon and is wide enough that it helps displace what little pressure is created by a full load — making it comfortable even for all-day wear. The strap is also quite durable and features a handy system that keeps any extra length from dangling in an unsightly manner.
Along with the strap management system, there’s a single stationary buckle just above the left (if you’re wearing it on your chest) uppermost strap connection point. It’s the same heavy-duty plastic clip-together buckle found on the brand’s other offerings and, while sturdy, takes a bit of practice to unclip one-handed and requires a fair amount of pressure to get clipped together again. We imagine most folks will get the strap to a length they want and keep the buckle secure, but we do worry about the speediness of getting it unclipped in those times when we do need to get the bag off ourselves in an expedient fashion.
As we’ve come to expect from Aer, this bag looks great from the outside, offers a surprising amount of internal organization, and truly is great all-around. It does come with a few minor pain points — most notably the lack of left-handed friendliness and alternative carry-style options — but those are far outweighed by the abundance of beneficial features. The exceedingly-tough ballistic Cordura exterior is tough enough for outdoor usage but the styling and silhouette scream refined city living. 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.
Aer Day Sling 2
Sleek and minimalist sling that's still capacious, weather-resistant, and durable.
- Minimalist Styling
- Great Internal Organization
- Ballistic Nylon Construction
- Not Lefty-Friendly
- Shoulder-Only Carry
- Limited Strap Adjustment
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