Note: this sling was provided by Aer for review at no cost.
The City Sling is a more compact sling from Aer, with he goal of being for quick trips around the city — not for collecting, or traveling. Just the essentials.
At first I was worried it would simply be too small to be of use to me, but the more I used it, the more I understood where its strengths are.
The material on this bag is really neat, it is a 900D eco-dyed polyester exterior. Basically it feels like a somewhat rougher canvas. It has a very heavy texture and nice heather gray looks. It is a departure from the normal bag materials for sure and it works really well here.
The strap is a nice and wide seatbelt nylon webbing, which a large plastic buckle which rides at the center of the clip. The only material choice I really take issue with is the buckle. I’ll also note my happiness that elastic loops have been included to keep the main strap tidy looking.
This sling is a scant 2.4L and it sits long and flat against the back. It’s 12.5” long, while only expanding to 3.5” deep. With my normal load out of gear I put in these slings, it is essentially full.
I could put more in it, but not much more. At first this felt limiting but as I started to use it more, it felt like the point of this sling. It’s for what you take with you, not anything else, and it’s made to be small and discrete. To that end, the size works well. The one thing you won’t be carrying: water bottles.
Carry and Use
My analogy for this sling, as compared to the others I have reviewed so far, is that if the others are a purse, this is a clutch. It’s not made for the extras, but ideal for the essential. Low profile and nimble. It holds what you want, but nothing more than that.
And because of the small size, the organization has to be quite good for the sling to pull this off. The main compartment opens to reveal an open top pouch along the back, two open elastic topped pouches at the front, and one zippered section. At the front of the bag, the long zipper reveals a very shallow and nothing more than quick access area, while there is a somewhat discrete zippered pocket at the back of the bag from smaller items.
Overall, I found the organization to be just enough, without ever getting in my way.
One thing I did notice when using this sling was that more than any other sling so far, the front zipper pocket has proven ideal for PPE gear. It holds a mask, sanitizer, Altoids, really well and allows very easy access to them. And because it is a shallow pocket, that keeps those items dispersed enough and held in place enough that things don’t spill out or leave you fishing for them at all. And mask straps tend not to intertwine themselves with everything else. It’s great.
The only thing I found to be missing was a loop or handle you could pick up, or hang, the sling from. Ultimately I got around this by hanging the bag from the compression straps at either end. This is a rather minor thing with this bag, but would have been a nice add.
I was not sure I love going this minimal, but it is a really nice kit. I do prefer a larger sling which has room for a water bottle, but if you wanted something you could keep a base amount of stuff in, but store in a larger bag when you move from place to place, this becomes a much stronger contender. Overall it’s really nice, but I am finding that I prefer having a water bottle with me and this sling doesn’t accommodate that need.