I bought the original Air Sling through a Kickstarter campaign, and, while I liked the design, I was not happy with that purchase. My only complaint was with the strap, but it was enough of an annoyance that I rarely used that bag. The strap was bulky, uncomfortable, and hard to adjust while being worn. The V1 also did a terrible job of managing loose strap after adjusting, and that was not a good look. The V2 solves every issue I had with the previous version's strap, and now I can see myself using this sling on a daily basis.
The Air Sling V2 was not my first choice for a sling purchase (mostly because of the bad experience I had with the V1). I was originally looking to the Modern Dayfarer Active Sling, which has a similar aesthetic, but that one was sold out. My third choice was the Aer City Sling, but I ultimately went with Alpaka because I wanted a sling whose aesthetic wouldn't look of place with a button-up or gym clothes. I do think the Modern Dayfarer bag looks slightly better, but the Air Sling 2 is undoubtedly the better bag overall when you factor in the how intentional the design is. I stuck with Alpaka vs Aer because, not only is it more pleasing to the eye but, the taller design of the Air Sling 2 guaranteed that I'd have space for a Kindle or large journal while that seemed questionable with the Aer
Since I'm not some who typically carries a bag or sling, I wanted something on the smaller size to reliably carry my belongings when pockets aren't enough—i.e. when I'm wearing active clothes or when I want to carry around the aforementioned Kindle or journal. This bag is actually bigger than I wanted, but Alpaka made the right choice. Any smaller would have only been useful to replace pockets when you have none, so I appreciate the extra space with the Air Sling V2, though I would still appreciate a smaller sling for those occasions where I really only need to securely carry the essentials—if Alpaka made an Air Sling Mini, I'd get it in a heartbeat. In the meantime, I have to remind myself that I don't need one of their bigger slings...yet.
Compared to the V1, the V2 is taller and feels less bulky with the amount of items I currently have in it, so that's another improvement. I could probably comfortably carry even more, though that would cause it to bulge out in the same way the V1 does with less items, but I appreciate the versatility. As mentioned before, the strap was improved immensely, and that includes comfort. The straps are angled, and that allows it hang comfortably on my body whether it's on my chest or back, and it also doesn't dig into my neck too much like some bags do. I wasn't keen on the X-Pac fabric from the photos and descriptions of it, but, after seeing it in person, I like it a LOT more than I would have expected. I have the bag in all black, and it looks sleek and durable. This is exactly the sort of style I wanted in a bag I plan to use every day.
The main pouch is split in half by an internal divider, and it feels very spacious on either side. The orange accent helps to highlight your belongings and make them easy to find while digging around. Under the flap on the front of the bag, you have a zippered compartment with four internal pockets, two on either side, and space in the middle to still be able to just drop something in without using one of those four pockets. On the back of the bag, you have one final zippered compartment that's split into three—two pockets plus one large space for dropping items—and it's here where you'll find the key leash. If you have a big phone, keep in mind that you'll have it lay it sideways—my Galaxy S22 Ultra is too tall to be placed vertically here. The bag is set up in a way that'll make it easy to organize and retrieve your belongings.
Overall, this is an incredible bag, and I am happy about this purchase.
Here are a few changes I would have liked to see: (1) I wish there was some sort of internal pocket UNDER the flap, or possibly a stealth pocket on the outside of the flap, that I could have placed a transit card or work badge so that they would be usable without opening the bag to retrieve them; (2) because the buckle to open and close the bag is slightly under the flap (and for a good reason—security), it's a little cumbersome to use at the moment—the lower half of the buckle goes over the top half to snap shut, and I think this should have been reversed (so that the buckles would snap shut when closing the bag)—this is probably just something I'll get used to over time; and (3) I would have liked a D-ring near where the straps connect to the bag or near the strap buckle just so that I'd have more attachment points.
I'm sure that when I use the bag more, more would come to mind, but that's what sticks out. Great bag. Glad I didn't let my experience with the V1 discourage me from making this purchase.
Black X-Pac VX42