First Look: Aer’s Tech Pack

A couple weeks in with Aer’s latest backpack offering.

Note: this backpack was sent to me for review purposes.

Aer has built a brand around well-designed, purpose-built, bags. From their excellent Travel Pack, to the hybrid EDC-Gym backpacks they are known for. They recently released a new line they are calling “Work Collection” which as the name implies is for those who need a bag for work, not for travel or gym/work. The designs in this collection stand out as they all utilize a coated nylon as a key feature.

The Tech Pack is the largest offering of this collection and is what we’ll be talking about today in a brief post as I’ve only had it a couple of weeks.

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  • Airlines and Airports

    My many thoughts on air travel that I’ve come to believe is worth a post.

    Some random musings and thoughts about air travel, which I have been observing over the last couple of years of travel for work and pleasure. Your mileage may vary.

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  • Better News Using an iPad

    My news reading strategy.

    A popular post last week was from Farhad Manjoo, where he talked about his experience only reading newspapers for two months (or maybe not). In the article, Manjoo wonders how he can replicate something similar in a digital landscape — and this is more or less what I’ve been doing on my iPad. So let me detail how I got over my “all-the-news–right-now” addiction and moved to something much more manageable and sane.

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  • Flowfold Conductor Limited – 40L Duffle Bag

    A versatile and very light weight duffle bag.

    Note this bag was sent to me from Flowfold for the purposes of this review.

    Despite my predilection for backpacks, I’ve always been a huge duffle bag nerd, and so when Flowfold asked if I wanted to try theirs out — I jumped at the chance. I typically use duffle bags in one of two settings: I need to check luggage when I fly, or I am traveling with my kids or wife. Or, I guess, “all of the above”.

    Continue reading: Flowfold Conductor Limited – 40L Duffle Bag

  • A Modern Watch

    A look at the changing use and goals of watches, and what kind of watch really matters to me.

    Over the past couple of years I’ve been spending more time thinking about the tools I use at a deeper level of detail. One item I’ve been thinking about is watches — in part because of the Apple Watch and looking at how that distorts watches in general, but also because I’ve been generally unhappy with my current slate of watches to wear.

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  • Triple Aught Design Context Organizer

    Taking a look at a new gear organizer, which is quite a bit larger than you might expect.

    I’ve been looking for a solid organizer to use in place of my other options for carrying everything in my EDC kits. The idea being that if I can keep my standard gear all in one thing then I can have only one set of gear. As it is right now, I keep an entire set of gear in each bag, since I don’t have an easy way to move it from bag to bag. Thus I either spend a lot of money buying the same gear, or I have one kit of gear which is my favorite and the other kits made up of lesser goods (which is the reality).

    I’ve tried GORUCK Field Pockets and a few Maxpedition pouches, but today I take a look at Triple Aught Design’s latest offering the Context Organizer. The Context Organizer is fairly unique in this admin pouch realm, as it is expandable, able to hang with built in straps, and yet has tons of organization abilities in it. And it’s huge.

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  • iPad Productivity Report — 2/26/18

    Back to iPad Productivity, with a tip and a look at a bunch of apps.

    It’s been a good break a since the last Productivity Report, but I’m back at this week. Taking a look at org charts, hand written note apps, email forward tip, and lastly an app for planning your road trips.

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  • Impressions: OmniOutliner 3 for iOS

    How can you make OmniOutliner 3 for iOS a tool that is worth the money and time to learn.

    Last week, Omni Group launched OmniOutlier 3 for iOS — something I have long been waiting for. I was on the public-ish beta of the product so I’ve had plenty of time to use it. I am also a diehard OmniOuliner user, as it was the first Mac app I fell in love with. The problem, though, is that with OmniOutliner 3 for iOS — I struggle to speak positively about it.

    I thought about linking to it and letting that be that, no comment “hey new shiny” something of that ilk. I thought about writing a long and terrible post about where it misses the mark and how you probably shouldn’t buy it. Then I thought about writing a post about how it’s not really good, but it’s the best of a really poor app category so that by default makes it the best.

    And that’s the thing, OmniOutliner on iOS is the best outlining app you can get — by a huge margin. But that doesn’t mean it’s a wonderful app to use — I mean it tries to ignore that iCloud Drive exists.

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  • Rising Early

    A quick aside about the culture of waking early to be the bestest person on Twitters.

    I really love ‘life hacking’ articles, specifically how they are based on sample sizes of one, often from people who have literally never tried anything else. (e.g. “I was born a vegan and that’s why I am amazing”, “Rich parents and how you can to”) And one of my favorite tropes is ‘rise early’. Why should you rise early? Because that person did it, started months ago actually, and shit has never been better? Is that really the object of desire? Are we so bad at being humans that the vast majority of people just don’t realize that all you need to do to make your wildest dreams come true, is to wake up before everyone else? But what happens when everyone starts waking up at 5am, then do I need to wake up at 4am? Why even sleep?

    Allow me to add my anecdotal evidence of one to the mix.

    Continue reading: Rising Early

  • Thoughts on New iPads

    Looking at how device orientation is going to be a bigger iPad problem to solve.

    Spring is the time of year when many are expecting new iPads to emerge from Apple — likely new revisions to the iPad Pro lineup. Last year we saw the introduction of a new size: the 10.5” iPad Pro, as well as other nice to have features. The big question this year, though, is what Apple might introduce because no matter what Apple does it has to solve a bigger problem: device orientation.

    Is the iPad a portrait, or landscape device? It’s clear with the iPhone: portrait. And with the Mac: landscape.

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  • Namisu X-01 Brass Pen

    Another brass pen which weighs a ton, but is it any good?

    When I last talked about pens, I talked about my Machine Era pen, which is brass and heavy. Today it’s about the Namisu X-01 in brass, which is amazingly heavier than the last.

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  • The Indie Blogging Problem: Money

    Why money causes problems for indie blogs, and is also critical to their survival.

    I’ve been writing this site for long enough now that I’ve seen a few shifts in the blogging community itself. When I started writing here, people were starting to jump on the band wagon of blogging in force. I read a plethora of sites, all publishing nearly daily (like this one), written by people trying to make it. Trying to strike out full time with their writing in some way. And all of these sites had the same model: small advertisement from something like Carbon, The Deck, or Fusion and weekly RSS feed sponsorships. This is the ‘Daring Fireball Model’ of monetizing a blog. Hell, even some of them sold t-shirts every year, same as John Gruber.

    I used this model too. I made roughly between $400-600 a month from the small ad (I think $600 was the highest I ever got to on that) and charged from $250-$550 per week for RSS Sponsors (near the end I just started cranking up the price to see what the fuck would happen). It took me at least one full day per week to manage all of this. It took away from my writing and my focus. And then in 2012 it started becoming a race to the bottom, because while my site was still seeing large growth, the advertisers were unwilling to pay more, and in fact wanted to pay me less for the same.

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  • First Impressions: Triple Aught Design’s Context Organizer

    Figuring out what is what with a new organizer for my backpacks I love so much.

    When Triple Aught Design previewed the Context Organizer on Instagram, I was sold on the fact that I needed to try it. The Context Organizer is part Admin Organizer (a term for those military inspired, MOLLE laden, pouches you see strapped to bags) and part DOPP Kit. What appealed to me was a few things:

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  • My EDC Setups

    Looking at my EDC setups, what I carry in my four kits, and what I’m still working on.

    I’ve recently had a good reason to pull out the EDC setups I keep (which turns out to be four) and go through them. I’ve long been a person who wanted to have each bag ready to go, so I didn’t need to think about adding the basics to them. However, the issue with that is that it can be quite expensive to duplicate all your gear, which means that some of the bags end up with items in them that I don’t like as much as the others.

    Continue reading: My EDC Setups

  • RUCKPLATE Mod (video)

    Quick video on a modification to my RUCKPLATE for the Rucker 1.0. You must be a member to view this content.

    Quick video on a modification to my RUCKPLATE for the Rucker 1.0.

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  • GORUCK GR1 21L v 26L

    Ok, so which GR1 should you get, the 26L or the 21L?

    I’ve written far too many words about the 26L GR1, or GR1s in general, so this likely is the last for quite some time. Since I’ve now reviewed and spent time with the 21L GR1, I thought a direct comparison between the two was in order.

    Let’s dive into these two bags…

    Continue reading: GORUCK GR1 21L v 26L