When I started to settle on wanting to take the Mystery Ranch ASAP to the office everyday, I also started looking at laptop sleeves I could use to house my iPad Pros safely inside the bag. The Aer Tech Folio was one I kept looking at, but passing on because of the price and what I perceived as redundant nature of the storage didn’t seem like a good fit.
But I picked one up from the buy/sell/trade of my Member Discord and have quickly taken to this folio. It’s really smartly put together, and although it can be quite bulky, it does its job very well.
Size & Materials
The materials on this folio are top notch, as you typically get from Aer. It’s made of 1680D Cordura Ballistic Nylon on the outside, with a thinner nylon lining the interior and a nice a soft feeling laptop area. The webbing on it is exceedingly well done, with the edges rolled and finished and what feels like some padding added as well — not to mention the webbing itself being smooth to the touch.
The materials are outstanding.
The folio comes in two sizes: 13” and 16”. You size based on the MacBook Pro you want to fit in the folio, this is the 13” model and it feels just right for the size. It can easily hold both of my iPad Pros and my other gear, even at only 1.5” deep.
Use / Carry
My use case for this is to load it up with my standard tech gear for the office, and use it between many different bags. For that, it works very well. If I simply were to only use it in one bag, I think it will be hit and miss and mostly determined by the bag itself. I find it is overkill for the GR1 or Urban Assault 21, but ideal for the ASAP which lacks almost all built in organization — and this Folio nicely provides it all.
The weird thing about this Folio is that my main complaint about it is that it feels unnecessarily bulky, but my main complement is that it holds a surprising amount of gear. Those are both set to be opposing each other a bit.
It’s a heavy, well padded, a well made folio/organizer which can hold all you need if all you need is some tech gear to head out into the world. And it can hold a ton of that and do so while keeping it all reasonably easy to access.
But at the same time, it doesn’t hold overly bulky items well, and can start to feel lumpy if you really push the capacity on it with more oddly shaped items.
The thing is, I hated it after the first day of using it, then the second day I kind of got it. Fast forward some time now and I simply love it. It’s not perfect, but it keeps all the stuff I need together, and makes it very easy for me to change out bags, or just use the ASAP I love.
Tech Folio in the ASAP and filled. Looking from the top down.
It also holds two iPad Pros better than anything else I have found. I keep both in the laptop compartment and they fit nicely together and are easily stowed and removed. The main organizer area holds what I need fairly well, with my only complaint being that it should actually have more pockets/dividers than it does — the pouches would be better with some zippers and smaller sections overall. That said, nothing ever falls out unless you really toss it about — and I’ve yet to find it becoming a black hole of gear either way.
Inside the Urban Assault 21.
The front vertical pocket is weird. It is aesthetically pleasing, but only one half is functional. I find that to be a bit odd in practice and while it holds bulky things well (like a charger) it just feels like it should work on both sides. It’s not a big thing, but it is the one thing that does bother me.
Inside the 26L GR1.
Here’s the thing: I kind of love it. It works exceedingly well for keeping my stuff secure, protected and organized. When I get where I am going it is easy to pull the entire kit out and get my gear out and settled and stash it back away. No digging in and out of the bag — this can transform almost any bag into a great tech bag.
The only thing I ask: put a couple webbing loops on either side, so that if I needed to, I could attach a shoulder strap.
As it is, I am a huge fan for carrying this to the office and I think it would make one bag travel really nice as you can pull this out when you stuff a larger bag in the overhead bin, and keep the Tech Folio at your feet. It’s a great piece of kit.
It’s $75, and I recommend it.