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Best day bag

Looking for suggestions for a lightweight roomy crossbody bag to use as a day bag on tour. I have used Rick's Civita Backpack but want something similar as a secure crossbody bag rather than a backpack. I've tried it over one shoulder but it tilt and my water bottle falls out. The Civita shoulder bag doesn't seem big enough to hold a jacket, guide book etc. Any ideas or experiences to share?

Posted by
964 posts

Hedgren bags are great. I have had various bags in this brand for the last 20 years. They are really well made and super versatile.

Posted by
508 posts

Have you looked at the PacSafe bags? I have used an older bag similar to the StyleSafe Convertable Crossbody.

Posted by
6605 posts

I like our host's Euro Flight Bag but I'm not sure it would be "crossbody." You could certainly cross the strap over your body but the bag might be a little bulky. It certainly would be roomy enough.

Posted by
14153 posts

When you say you want to use it on tour are you doing a RS tour? I’m asking because I do things differently depending on whether I will have time on a bus and will be able to leave things there while I tour vs whether I am traveling independently.

I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t carry a heavy guidebook any more. I usually use a paper one for planning and then download the e-version to access on the Kindle app on my iPad Mini or phone.

For a larger crossbody personal item on the plane the last 2 times I've used a Baggallini Any Day Tote which weighs 1.5 pounds. For myself this would be too big for a day bag and it would have to be checked in any museum.

https://www.baggallini.com/any-day-tote-with-rfid-phone-wristlet/ADT336-BG.html

I believe Santa has placed a Longchamp Le Pliage Large tote under the Christmas tree which was purchased on a really good online sale from Saks, hahaha!! Clearly I have not tried this out and it’s not cross body but it weighs about 10 oz.

Posted by
3961 posts

Have you considered the Civita Day Pack vs the Civita backpack? It now has an “improved zip tight” water bottle pocket. Another plus with this pack is it has room for a lightweight jacket and other day items you may need. The one con is it’s not a crossbody. My husband likes this day pack.

My preference is a lightweight North/South Baggallini crossbody that weighs 9 oz. I particularly like a crossbody vs. a shoulder bag to prevent neck & shoulder discomfort. This bag is also machine washable and well made. I have collected many Baggallini bags over the years and they are very serviceable.

I like the large Longchamp bag but have only used it as a work bag (hand carried vs over the shoulder). It is lightweight and I have had it about 15 years. It still looks brand new.

As mentioned up thread Hedgren makes some great styles and lightweight bags. My personal bag that goes under the seat is the Hedgren Swing Large Tote with a trolley sleeve. Well made bags & some are on sale now. Edited to add: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjG_fSYj_X7AhXDADQIHefgA70QFnoECBEQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fhedgren.com%2F&usg=AOvVaw0uX-8OuV-BSBTqW_GHo8RA

Posted by
6793 posts

I have the Tom Bihn medium café bag that bogiesan was talking about, but I don’t think it would be big enough for what you’re looking for. You could easily fit a guide book in there, but not with a jacket as well. However, the large would certainly work. It’s a really nice bag. Unfortunately, they’re not making it right now and it’s unavailable. That will probably change, but I don’t know when.

Posted by
6793 posts

I also have the Rick Steves euro flight bag that Dick is talking about. That is also a nice very roomy bag, but it is definitely not a crossbody. That’s the only drawback. It’s very hard to carry across your chest, and really gets in the way because it protrudes. But it holds a lot! Probably more than you’re looking for in a day bag.

Posted by
6793 posts

Pam, try to act surprised when you pull out the present that you bought for yourself from under the tree! 🤣

Posted by
79 posts
Posted by
14153 posts

Mardee, I am sitting here at the dining room table looking at that dang package under the tree. I put a lot of tape on it so I could not sneak a peak at it. I've even hidden it from myself at the back. I am pathetic.

OP has no idea she has triggered another bag frenzy....

BTW, I agree about the Eurotote not really being a cross body bag. SIL has one and for either of us (both about 5'6") it is too wide across the bottom to be comfortable.

Posted by
12 posts

Many thanks everyone for all the great suggestions. I will be looking into each and every one of them! By "on tour" I meant on our Best of Eastern France tour spring 2023. This forum is terrific and it's wonderful to get so many ideas along with valuable real-life experiences. Thanks again!

Posted by
964 posts

she recommends this bag made by Pacsafe. It looks very nice and now I’m interested in it

We have had one of these Pacsafe bags since 2019 but no longer use it because the anti theft strap is incredibly uncomfortable if you wear it crossbody. It is very stiff and the edge digs into your neck/throat. The clip for the body of the bag is also fiddly to undo, so although this deters pickpockets it also makes it really difficult to open the bag quickly yourself.

The bag itself is a good size and fits an iPad easily. It also looks more like a satchel so my husband was happy to carry it.

Posted by
14153 posts

I've not done that tour but just had a look at the itinerary. On your transit days you'll want a day bag that you could leave in your bus seat while you get off to tour or whatever on those transit days. You've got a couple of days where you go out on the bus from your base (Colmar and Vaison-la-Romaine) so you'd want a bus bag those days too. Otherwise you might not need anything more than your regular travel purse for your days in various towns. Will you plan to hike in Chamonix? If so, I'd probably recommend a light backpack for your personal item/bus bag so you've got it available.

The day pack I've taken a number of times when I knew I might have hiking days is the Lite-Gear Mobile Pro which I got at my local AAA store. I've also requested from Santa a Sea to Summit Ultra Sil packable day pack for my next trip as I don't think I'll actually be hiking more than a couple of times on my spring trip and I want something less than the Lite-gear bag. To me the Lite Gear bag is too big for use as a day bag around town but I don't take much stuff with me in a city. If I am thirsty I usually stop for something to drink as I probably need to sit down by then anyway, hahaha!!

https://litegearbags.com/product/mobile-pro/

Posted by
288 posts

Tom Bihn Co-Pilot. 10l is a great size for everything you have mentioned. Anything larger feels too floppy so that is when I switch to a backpack.

Posted by
10329 posts

@Pam, that Mobile Pro bag looks like a newer version of the personal bag I’ve been using for years. I think it’s time to replace it and I was hoping it was still available because after much trial and error with other types of bags I determined it was the best option for me. Online it doesn’t offer the ability to see it from more than two views, the front view and the front view with open spaces. I’m trying to envision how it might work as a shoulder bag. Mine is strictly a backpack. How do the straps attach to bottom of the bag in the back. Mine has plastic clips and one of them broke when I was in Germany 4 years ago. Thankfully I was able to “fix” it with a carabiner, but I have not found a way to actually fix it so I’ve been continuing to use it with the carabiner, including 16 weeks of European travel this year. Now I’m having problems with a couple of the zippers sticking. I would appreciate learning more about this new version. Thanks!

Posted by
14153 posts

Andrea, I have not used it as a shoulder bag, I strictly use it with the backpack straps. I use it here at home and in Yellowstone for day hiking. For myself it would be too big for a shoulder bag both in length and depth. It does have plastic d-rings on the sides to attach a shoulder strap. I changed from the Veloce bag which is wider to this one because the width of the Veloce took up all of the foot room in the underseat area. This one is a bit taller but narrower and fits better as an underseat bag.

I will also say that when using it for day hiking, the straps are a bit wide for my shoulders. I don't hike that far any more so can manage for 4-5 hours on a day hike but it would not be comfortable for more than that.

The bottom has plastic D-rings attached to a loop at the bottom corners. Backpack straps are clipped in there. It has a trolley strap and the back is lightly padded with an open weave cover to cut down on the heat.

I will What'sApp you some pictures?

Posted by
10329 posts

Pam, thanks for the pictures. It is indeed the same bag I have. I love it and will be buying a new one. I appreciate your help.