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Civita Day Pack Review

After 10 years or so of use, my Civita Day Pack is starting to wear through on the front pocket, where it drags on the floor when you set it down. Who'd have thought that a light weight, economical day pack would last this long? Narry a failed seam or a broken zipper. Even when I've loaded it down with half a case of wine, 20 pounds of books, or a smoked ham.

This day pack has served a variety of purposes. For 2 or 3 days trips, it's big enough to act as my only piece of luggage. When I travel, it's been my laptop toter. It's joined me for 8 weeks of travel in Europe over four trips, and countless trips across the US. It's my hiking pack for day hikes. And it generally acts as my guy purse while I'm traveling.

The variety of pockets and pouches makes it convenient to use. Things I want easy access to, such as water bottles or a travel pack of Kleenex, go in one of the web side pouches. The stuff the TSA wants to see goes in a pocket separate from everything else I've packed. In preparation for a trip throughTSA screening, small electronics, car and house keys, and a pocket compass go in another pocket. The main section easily handles computers, jackets, a few days of clothes, wine bottles, or a pair of steel toe boots. Or a combination of those items.

Overall, the Civita Day Pack is highly functional, appropriately sized, and pretty near bomb proof.

Well, gotta go. I need to order my new Civita Day Pack. I'm going for graphite gray this time.

Posted by
16883 posts

It's hard to let go of an old friend. I hope the next one will serve you just as well.

Posted by
11613 posts

Terry, I have the graphite gray bag, it's so old that it looks purple. I am never giving it up. You are right, it has magical properties: no matter how much stuff I put into it, there's always room for one more thing in one of the pockets. It's been through many 3-month trips to Europe. The Civita pack can handle almost as much as the 20" rolling carry on.

I've seen the new version (traveled briefly with a friend who had a new one), and it looked like the shoulder straps are a little bit narrower.

Posted by
945 posts

I have taken mine all over Europe during the last 7 years and I find it to be a essential piece of gear for traveling. I have even put my down-filled jacket in it and used it as a pillow on the train! It's like an old friend and when ever I run across it at home it reminds me of all the great times I've had during "back-door" adventures.

Posted by
11613 posts

I use a cross-body messenger bag (by Mandarina Duck, bought it in Italy) instead is a shoulder bag (which I guess you could wear cross-body). The messenger bag looks less daytrippy to me.

Posted by
11460 posts

I have both styles of Civita bags. The shoulder bag is smaller than the daybag but has the same design. The strap is shorter than an inch worm. If I try to wear it cross body, the bag rests under my armpit. I replaced the strap with a different one--the Tom Bihn regular shoulder strap--and it works fine.

I like the shoulder bag because it keeps my hands free and I can keep it in sight. With the backpack, you either have to wear it, or hold on to it with one hand.

Posted by
524 posts

Which is better to use as a purse for on the plane. I don't plan on carrying it around touring, but want something to use as a purse I can store under my seat, put my paperwork in and maybe even one more pair of shoes. I will have a carryon suitcase already, so don't want something that looks like a 2nd carryon.

Posted by
220 posts

Lulu -- I am a huge fan of the Veloce bag for under the seat. There are so many pockets that it's easy to keep things like earphones/chargers in one, pashmina for a blanket in another, books papers etc in another so you don't hav to rummage around in right quarters looking for something. It also has a shoulder strap and back pack straps.

Posted by
11613 posts

My trips are pretty long, so I take the rolling carryon and the Civita daybag on the plane and keep the messenger bag in the carryon until I get to Europe. Then I expand the carryon, dump most of the stuff into the carryon, squish the Civita bag into a corner of the carryon and put the day-to-day stuff in the messenger bag. I use the Civita bag if I am hiking or something but not in crowded cities.

Posted by
524 posts

Thanks. I will need to decide between the that bag and the Euro bag. I like the thought of having the flexibility to carry the veloce bag as a backpack, but the Euro can slide on my carryon luggage when walking and is quite cheaper. I'll wait a couple more months to see if there is a sale again before deciding if I buy. I do like the thought of it matching my luggage.

Posted by
3657 posts

Lulu, Unless the design has changed you can also slip the Veloce bag over the handle of your regular rolling carry on bag. There is (on the back) a strap that unsnaps to provide a small "sleeve" that accommodates the handle. Another good thing about the Veloce is that it is small enough to not look like another carry on bag, but still large enough to contain essentials and a regular purse that already contains things. That way if your regular carry on has to be gate checked you can still have you essentials and purse with you. The Veloce bag fits under the seat with room to spare

Posted by
524 posts

Good point Terry, about it not looking like another carryon bag...that is sort of my fear. I want it to look like a small daybag, backpack...not a "bag".