Written by: Young Jeohn
Moshi's Aerio messenger bag is both a blessing and a curse. It's handsomely designed yet discrete enough not to call any attention to itself to all but the most discerning eye. The zipper, for one, is a dead giveaway - it's actually my favorite component of the bag, and truth be told I've never felt a zipper like this before. Yes, that's right... felt.
So the zipper. As you're probably well aware, zippers usually hang downwards (as most things do) due to the law of gravity. But careful observation will offer you three chances to notice that Aerio's zippers (there are three of them) hold itself along the zipper line - at horizontal level! Its custom made metal tab is shaped like a semi-circle on one size and is flat on the other that "snaps" open or closed so it looks like a man's tie that is tied correctly at all times, and not "it sometimes looks tied, but sometimes not." But my greatest appreciation was the tactile feel incorporated in the design, which was something I liked the more I used it.
Getting into a bit more detail, the flat side has seven raised ridges, which is more than enough for the biggest of fingers to feel while the semi circle side is smooth with "Moshi" etched into it. In practical terms, you don't even need to look - you close the zipper, and it snaps neatly into place; and without looking, you can feel which side should be against the bag. It just looks well polished all the time, and it somehow quietly infers this quality to the owner of the bag. Plus, you no longer have loose zippers making clanking noise every time you take a step down the street.
This bag is full of these little surprises that make it a joy to use as you get to know it better. And so far, I've only talked about zippers.
Too much space? Or too much design?
I could go on and on about this bag, but just from my talking about the zipper, you can already get the feeling that it's well made and looks the part. But how does it fare in the functionality department? The minute you open up the bag and start putting things in, you immediately start to see why it's both a blessing and a curse.
The typical backpack I use on a normal day is a fairly common sight - and if you look inside, it feels like you've stepped into the life of a hoarder. It's a mess of things all jumbled together; a charger, micro usb cable, laptop and power brick, wallet, keys, several pens, loose coins, water bottle, a couple of books, a long sleeved shirt for when I brave the freezing cold of a coffee shop in the the hellish summer heat of NY, eye drops, tissues, sunglasses, face mask, plastic bags... ok, I'm more of a bag lady than I care to admit, but I swear to you it didn't start like this in the morning. But as you take things out and put them back in over the course of the day, your efforts at organization goes out the window with the only way to fix it being a dump of your bag when you get home to start the process all over again.
Somehow miraculously though, I've been able to transfer all this stuff into the Aerio's multitude of pockets and still have easy access to it all. I can now even throw in a pair of full sized headphones or even a dslr camera using the cleverly made, padded pull-out divider. This is terrible news, I remember saying to myself. I'm already a bag lady and the Aerio is offering me even more places to put things. And I don't even have to do an end-of-day bag dump.
Now how did this happen? With a lot of fore-thought, Moshi's made accessibility a non-issue for the most part. First, there's a cushioned compartment to hold a 15" laptop (though I did manage to fit in my 15.6" lappy) or your over-sized trade journals. The stated dimensions are 16.93" x 5.91" x 11.02", but I use my 15.6" laptop size as a reference, because who actually hears these numbers and says "oh yes, I can picture exactly what the size means in my head"? The bag is well formed so it doesn't lose its shape, plus there's a velcro strap to keep it in place. Even the velcro is industrial grade stuff that won't fuzz up any soft material it may brush up against (like a long sleeved cotton shirt, for example.) It's got pockets for everything from quick access in the front, to the zippered one the back to keep your keys, wallet and other things more secure.
Looking Out for your Shoulder Health
There's a curious use of stretchy nylon/spandex material on the shoulder strap they call ViscoStrap. Instead of sourcing a typical cloth strap with plastic clasps on the ends, Moshi has sewn in a strong, smooth and almost silk-like feeling material with a stretchy band on one end of it. Like most things implemented by Moshi, you won't think much about this ingenious addition until you step into a pothole or miss that step while texting - you'll be surprised to feel the Aerio bounce lightly from your shoulder without any pain or pulling.
When paired with the included shoulder padding (which is, of itself another topic for discussion), the bag seems to do a great job of minimizing pain and injury. With the typical messenger bag, you'd have a large red scar mark where the strap had dug into you all day long, which is usually an "Oh sh!t, what the..." moment when it's late, you're tired and finally changing out of street clothes. I say this in reference to the detrimental effects it would have for people like actors and models whose livlihoods depend on being unblemished by scars like these that could last for days.
It's also worth noting the bag's value to people living in metropolitan cities where public transportation is a large part of the commute. Without having a car to throw your bag into, the prolonged amount of time that people spend with bags hung on their shoulders is cause for some concern. All efforts, no matter how small, to minimize the stresses to the body helps a great deal over extended periods of time.
Buy One - In Limited Herringbone Gray
If you like what you've read so far, you'll have understood that there's more to discover about the bag the more time you spend with it - as I have. It's definitely worth a look-see at your local retailer such as B&H, Apple Store, Bed Bath & Beyond, Nordstrom, Best Buy and even the Sprint store to name a few places. But if you already know that you absolutely must have Moshi's Aerio messenger bag, you can pick one up online at their website or on amazon.com.