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Details

  • Price $50 on aersf.com ($65 for X-Pac version)
  • Dimensions Length: 9″ (23 cm), Width: 6″ (15 cm), Depth: 3″ (8 cm)
  • Volume 1.8L
  • Weight 0.7 lbs

Overview

In my short thirty-something years on this earth, I've developed relationships with several brands. Momotaro was one of my favorites in my denimhead phase. Supreme took over my life when I was hooked on streetwear. Now, in what I would like to consider my final phase, Aer is one of the brands that I have an affinity with.

As I try different products and gone through different experiences in life, I've started to have a good idea on what my preferences are.

I love things that look understated but sleek at the same time. I love things that look simple but just work. I love minimalistic, intuitive designs. It should be easy to tell why I love Aer.

For those who haven't heard of Aer (you are in the wrong neighborhood), they are a sleek-as-hell SF-based bag brand that makes beautiful backpacks. While brands like TOM BIHN and GORUCK are known for their durability, Aer stands out for their design.

The craftsmanship and durability of their products don't lose out, but their design really puts them a step above the rest.

I have quite a few products from Aer and what really seals the deal is how consistent they are. Even without the brand tag, you can tell if a product is by Aer. As I review various backpacks and cubes from Aer, I could tell that my expectations go way up when I review Aer. Aer's products are always so pristine and well-thought out, even down to the little details, that I struggle to fault.

The same is to be expected with Aer Cable Kit 2.

Style

The Aer Cable Kit 2 comes in two versions—a regular one and an X-Pac version. The X-Pac one, costing $15 more, is without a doubt the more premium choice.

There are little tangible benefits to X-Pac when it's on a pack that's sitting inside your backpack. But, there are those, like me, who just obsesses enough on that subtle criss-cross pattern to be willing to fork out the extra.

Material-aside, the Cable Kit 2 carries much of the usual Aer design sensibilities. The quiet and reserved but strong aesthetics makes it suitable for most preferences.

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The Cable Kit is completely black, which is the only color option available not that I am complaining. The only tinge of detail is in the lightly-patterned zipper pulls and Aer logo in bauhaus Helvetica logo.

Speaking of branding, the only other piece of visible branding, is the nearly-invisible debossed Aer logo on the zipper pulls.

The 1.8L capacity Cable Kit looks relatively large. Unlike something like the Aer Slim Pouch, the Cable Kit 2 is a cube with a base large enough to stand on its own no matter how you put it down.

Stands on its own.

On the front side of the Cable Kit has cinching on each corner to create additional space towards the center. Depending on how filled the compartment is, the front could sometimes look indented.

Front can look indented depending on the content.

The zippers used are the tape-seamed kind which adds on to the premium aesthetics. Functionality aside, tape seamed zippers always look better.

There is little to dislike about how the Aer Cable Kit 2 looks. The moment you take it out of your Aer Travel Pack 2 and put it onto the table at Starbucks, you are going to draw some attention despite how understated it looks.

Material

The Cable Kit 2 comes in two material options, a 840D nylon and VX-42 X-Pac option.

While X-Pac has different versions, like the VX-21 on the Tortuga Outbreaker. The VX family of X-Pac fabrics are four-layer laminates. The main difference between each version is the denier count of the top layer. The VX-42 which the Cable Kit 2 uses has the following layers

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  • 420D nylon with DWR and UV resistant coatings (hence the 42 in the model name)
  • Black polyester “X-Ply” (Also what gives the criss cross pattern)
  • 0.25 mil (that's 0.001″) PET film
  • 50D polyester taffeta backing

It says something when the Cable Kit 2 has twice the denier count of a workhorse bag like the Tortuga Outbreaker.

In my experience with multiple X-Pac products, like the CODEOFBELL X-Pak, X-Pac offers crazy water-resistance without loss of durability. Aer has probably decided on the X-Pac to protect the electronic accessories against the rain.

Together with the best-of-the-best, YKK Aquaguard zippers from Japan, you could tell that Aer was trying to keep water out. While it does come with a handle, I can't really imagine myself carrying it on it's own outside my backpack. So, for me, the water resistant materials might be best protecting against inner-bag spills.

The plastic hardware, which I can only find on the zipper pulls, is by Duraflex. On those same zipper pulls, are subtle reflective stripe pattern to increase visibility on the otherwise blackhole of a pouch.

Organization

For pouches like this, the organization is the key deciding factor for most. After all, you want a pouch that could fit the things you want it to, yet, shouldn't have too many pockets that you won't use.

The Cable Kit 2 has three main compartments.

Front Compartment

The front pocket is a pocket that can be opened like a clamshell. On the flap side there are two pockets.

Can be opened clamshell.

There's a slot on the bottom which is the perfect size for a Mac charger or mouse. Since it's pretty spacious, I love just dumping wires in here without rolling them up neatly.

Above the slot is a zippered almost opaque mesh pocket. I use this pocket to keep my three-inch USB-C to Lightning and USB-A to Lightning cables.

Almost opaque mesh zippered pocket.

There is also an elastic loop here for a pen. There are also two similar elastic loops long the hinge of the flap for more pens or cables.

With the Nitecore NTP31 Pen.

Across, there are two mesh slots, one twice the width of the other. The smaller one was the perfect size for my RAVPOWER 61W Charger. I put my NOMAD Powerpack into the larger one. The width of these slots can be deceiving and they are not 3D pocket, therefore I can only fit my NOMAD Powerpack in vertically despite looking like it can fit horizontally.

With the RAVPOWER 61W Charger and NOMAD Powerpack.

Behind these two slots is a zippered pocket. The lining of the pocket is a felt-like material making this pocket ideal for something you want to protect from scratches, such as a second mobile device.

Middle Compartment

The middle compartment is relatively simple. It has two slots, similarly-sized to the mesh ones in the front compartment, just that these were not mesh.

There is also an Aer logo and Dimension Polyant, the makers of X-Pac, brand tag in here.

This compartment looks to be a catch-all but is, at the same time, relatively narrow. I rarely use this slot, but sometimes put a spare mouse in here.

Quick Access

The quick access is a simple compartment. It sits lower than the zippers on the top of the Cable Kit. I use this mainly for my Apple AirPods in the NOMAD Active Rugged Case.

Usage

The Cable Kit 2 is a very straightforward piece of gear. Most of your digital nomad arsenal is going to be in the front compartment. Plop the Cable Kit 2 down on your table and open up the front compartment, clamshell-style. Now, you are ready to work.

The middle compartment, to me, seems like a good spot for backup devices that you don't usually need.

As there is a handle along the bottom of the Cable Kit, I try to put it in my backpack zippers facing down, so I can just pull it out once I grab the handle.

Even though I have been using the Cable Kit 2 for just a few weeks now, I can tell from my experience with Aer and the materials used, that it's going to last for a long time. Especially as a piece of gear that will sit in your backpack most of the time, it's not going to see the amount of abuse or abrasion that's even going to put a scratch on it.

Aer Cable Kit 2 vs GORUCK Wire Dopp

These are two highly-popular pouches for taming your electronics and cables, but which is better?

Organization

These two products were clearly made for different type of people. Aer has been known to provide thoughtful organization for their backpacks and packs.

GORUCK, on the other hand, likes to give you one empty space to make it your own with cubes and pouches like on the GORUCK GR1. The same idea goes for the Wire Dopp.

The Wire Dopp is essentially three pockets for you to dump whatever you want into it. Sure, you might run into a tangled mess trying to pull a cable out, but at least you can see where everything is and there is minimal wasted space.

The Aer Cable Kit 2, on the other hand, has slots and zipper pockets to compartmentalize your kit. However, most of us would not be able to use every single slot and pockets perfectly, resulting in some wasted space.

GORUCK Wire Dopp on the left, Aer Cable Kit 2 on the right.

Style & Materials

The materials are different, VX42 X-Pac vs 1000D Cordura. Both materials, especially for this use case, will probably outlast you. There won't be any differences that you can feel with durability so your choice come down largely to aesthetics.

Aer is definitely the clear winner in terms of aesthetics. It has a classy, pristine feel that oozes premium-ness. The Wire Dopp, on the other hand, has that military look which is signature of the GORUCK brand.

Both are far from ugly so it's down to whether you will value the aesthetic of something that's going to sit inside your backpack.

Cost

The Aer Cable Kit is twice the cost of the $25 GORUCK Wire Dopp. With more pockets and organization and many custom designed parts, the cost of of the product goes up along with the more expensive material.

Whether it is justified depends on how much you value the design and how well you think the organization will work for you.

Conclusion

As with the other products in Aer's lineup, the Aer Cable Kit 2 is a highly polished, insanely stylish piece of gear. It is, as expected, slightly more expensive than other such pouch, but not overpriced.

Many, like me, who can appreciate the design and attention to details to a piece of gear they use everyday, would have no problem justifying that slight premium.

Additional Images

With the RAVPOWER 61W Charger and NOMAD Powerpack.
Quick access.
Nice catch-all for crazy cables.

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Tagged accessory aer digital nomad review x-pac ykk