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Rick's Travel Bags

Getting ready to get luggage for trip to Italy and looking at travel bags and back packs in Rick's travel store. Has anyone bought and used the convertible bag and the small backpack? I'm considering the expandable one for $99 and the Civita bag. Been warned off roller bags and checking luggage.

Posted by
21202 posts

We have three of the older style convertible bags. Not sure how they compare to the current bags but have found the older ones to be of high quality, very durable and a great value for the price.

Posted by
31290 posts


I've also looked at Rick's Convertible bags and might consider that for future trips. I'm going to wait until I have the opportunity to assess one first hand, perhaps at the next Travel Festival in Edmonds. One thing I want to check is the torso range these are designed to accomodate? I have a good quality Backpack now, so there's no hurry.

I also want to see the size, as in my experience even Backpacks with those dimensions have been disallowed for carry-on (unless they're very lightly loaded).

Regarding the Civita Bag (AKA "Ricardo's secret") I have one and use it at home on a regular basis. It's a well made product, but keep in mind that it's made of microfibre so is best considered a light duty Backpack. It's not intended for heavy loads (however, it works well as a substitute pillow with a rolled-up coat inside!). If you want a really heavy Daypack, look at the Appenzel model which is designed to carry six bottles of wine!


Posted by
81 posts

I have a expandable convertible, which I am very happy with on several trips so far. Also have a Civita day pack, circa about 2004. Very nice, but as noted above don't let it get too heavy; I have had the arm strap detach from the pack at the bottom end and had to do an emergency repair with dental floss!

Posted by
1352 posts

We have 3 of the old convertible bags and I bought 1 of the new ones for my daughter recently. We were thrilled with the bags. The new one isn't too much different - slightly lighter material and a rounded zipper. I highly recommend them. We also have civita day bags for all of us. They aren't the most comfortable, and they don't have a large carrying capacity, but they are extremely light weight and packable. We could easily stuff them into our our convertible bags just before getting off the train.

Posted by
1449 posts

I have last years model of the convertible bag and like it. No problem carrying it on a plane, or carrying it.

The only thing I'd change is the zippers are in about the middle of the thickness of the bag when laid down to pack. If you have clothes and things such as smaller stuff bags piled up in the bag they'll all fit when you get the thing zipped but they tend to spill out until then. I wish the zipper was higher up so that the unzipped part was more like a door than 1/2 the thickness of the bag.

Posted by
10344 posts

Rick makes a Civita shoulder bag, are you asking about the shoulder bag? I have one and it is good as a light shoulder bag for men, suitable for small camera, phone, maps, water bottle, and more.

Posted by
34 posts

Honestly, we bought very nice Kelty day packs at our local outdoor store (large size) for 100$, that's all we used and it was fine, we were a family of 3 and spent 2 weeks in Tuscany, Rome, Venice, Florence, & Cinque Terre ... got home last week. I'm sure Rick's bags are nice but I also think another bag can work just fine. I liked my two mesh side pockets for my water & maps & handwipes etc... I don't think we'll ever check luggage again, unless we do winter/cold climate travel. The only downside was not being able to do too much shopping! However, I squeezed a few things in my bag to take home! Hope you have a great time!

Posted by
84 posts

I personally use the little-known (and well-made) MEI Voyageur bag, which I found out about from

I will never go with anything else. The straps and back support, not to mention the internal frame, are amazing! I am a fairly small person ~ about 5'2" and I find this bag very comfortable. It costs around $125 if you buy direct from the manufacturer. They are a little hard to find/order, but they are handmade right here in the USA and the guy I talked with was very personal and helpful.

Here are some websites. I would recommend contacting Genuine Gear directly (from the second site listed here).

Posted by
934 posts

I like Ricks bags and have a convertible,My wife one with wheels and a civita day bag.I have used all three for many trips and they are very durable.