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Aer x 9H Capsule Collection

Mikey Bautista
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Aer x 9H Capsule Collection

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As any traveler knows, space is a valuable commodity. You deal with space when packing your bag for a trip, space on the plane for your luggage, and space at your destination when checking into your accommodations. So when Aer set out to develop their next bag, they sought to answer the former while taking inspiration from the latter. They partnered with 9 Hours, a capsule hotel group in Japan, to design the Capsule Collection, their next generation of travel bag designed as an all-in-one, versatile solution. With a sleek, minimalist style inspired by 9 Hours’ sleeping pods and the fit, finish, and features you’ve come to expect from an Aer bag, it’s a solid option for your travel—and EDC—needs.

The Capsule Collection comes in two sizes: 40L for the Capsule Max, and 35L for the regular Capsule Pack. Other than the dimensions and capacity, there are no differences between the two bags, so you can pick the one that suits your needs best. If you’ve used a flagship Aer bag before, you’ll recognize all the same hallmarks of their construction, from the 1680D nylon exterior, to the use of YKK water-resistant zippers and Duraflex hardware, to the heavily-padded straps and back panel designed for comfort. They’re all here on the Capsule Collection, along with a few new features that give it a unique spin when compared to Aer’s other travel bags like the Travel Pack 2.

The big difference for the Capsule is that its main compartment—accessed via the pod-shaped round zipper compartment—is essentially a large “bucket” for your main load, which means making use of pouches and packing cubes to maximize the space. Since the Capsule dedicates that space for your clothing and larger gear, it then makes the most out of its exterior compartments to make it easy to grab your smaller essentials.

Rather than a front admin panel/dump pocket, the Capsule moves its smaller compartments to the top of the bag, which makes it a handy spot to keep quick-access essentials like a power bank or a boarding pass. On top of this top-loading section is a smaller, felt-lined pocket ideal for a phone or wallet. On the left side is a zip-up water bottle compartment, and on the top and sides are grab handles for ease of carry. Last but not least is the laptop compartment on the rear, with a dual-pocket, felt-lined laptop sleeve with a false bottom. This compartment is also reinforced by a stiff frame sheet, ensuring both structure for the bag and protection for your laptop.

The straps are the other feature where the Capsule sets itself apart. Unlike their other backpacks these now can detach and stow in a compartment for a neater profile while on the move, or when using the bag in its other modes (as a messenger bag with the included strap or as a briefcase via the side handle).  Besides the sternum strap and length adjusters, load lifters on the top of the straps also help to dial in an exact fit when the bag is on full load, adding even more to its comfort. And speaking of load, a detachable hip belt on the Capsule Max ensures that you aren’t bearing the brunt of a full one on your back.

With a sleek new design inspired by one of the most innovative ways to spend a night in Japan and features that set it apart from its other travel bag brethren, the Aer Capsule Collection is worth the space it takes up in your EDC. Both the Capsule Pack and Capsule Max are available starting today on Aer’s website at the link below.

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