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Day pack - old Civita or new Civita or ... ?

I have an old (~20 years old) Civita day pack that has been great for many trips. Looking at the current model it looks like the biggest change are the water bottle holder pockets that can close up. So they could function as an alternative outer pocket for other items.

I really need a light weight. I carry some unusual items like a light weight watercolor set with sketch pad. Plus the occasional light weight fleece for cooler conditions. Plus a few of my wife's items.

Is the new Civita an improvement in other respects over the model of old? Any other day pack thoughts? The Ravenna has more capacity but is 28 oz versus the Civita's 10 oz weight.

Posted by
78 posts

Hi Les. I love my LL Bean stowaway backpack and have been using it for years. At 14oz it is 1343 cu. in. Has just enough pockets for me and I am always amazed what I can fit in it. I’ve used it as personal carryon and as a day bag, on one shoulder or two.

Posted by
2744 posts

As near as I can tell, the old and new Civita daypacks are the same except for the side water bottle pockets. I love the new ones that zip up because I can put stuff in them, such as the chargers for my phone and kindle and adaptor plugs.

Posted by
1176 posts

If your old one is still working for you then I'd keep it. I used to have one (the older model) and it developed some holes where books and notebooks had rubbed against the fabric. I replaced it with an Osprey Daylite pack which I've been happy with. It has a mesh back that is held away from your back to let sweat evaporate, and the shoulder pads are more comfortable than the Civitas. However it isn't as light at 17oz and with the foam insert in the back it isn't as small to pack (although the foam is removable if you want).

I looked and Osprey may have discontinued it since I don't see it on their site although REI still shows it as for sale so if there is an REI store near you then you could check it out before buying. Link is https://www.rei.com/product/186382/osprey-daylite-pack

There are several reviews online including https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALlVP19mOFU

Posted by
15716 posts

What about a packable backpack like the one RS sells? It's even lighter than the Civita.

If not that one, there are plenty on the market. Just about all major backpack manufacturers have them.

Posted by
167 posts

I do have an Osprey Daylite but I prefer the convenient zippered pockets on the Civita especially for urban areas. The Daylite has that nice mesh to keep it off your back. One thing with the Civita is you can reverse it to go in front easily for situations like theft protection and such.

Posted by
1808 posts

The trick I found about the old Civita bottle pocket was cinching it tight with the neck of a water bottle and not just hoping the water bottle would stay put because it won't. This is a great bag because it is super light and holds a lot. It is too small as a backpack though for guys, but works easy over the shoulder. That is why you never see Rick with it on his back. The straps are too short unless you are a guy who wears a small shirt.

Posted by
167 posts

I use it either as a backpack or slung on the shoulder. I’m 5’7”.

Posted by
1450 posts

You mentioned the Ravenna being heavy.... it is so sturdy it tends to not lay flat when empty (looks like there's a sweater in it even when empty)

It's incredibly sturdy if you wanted to carry around books or bricks

Posted by
21 posts

I got a new Civita about a year ago specifically because of the larger side pockets. Totally worth it. My "old" one was only four years old, though, so I can't speak to the vintage you have - I just found those old shallow side pockets rather useless for a water bottle. I love my Civita and it seems almost endless in terms of how much can fit in it. I also like it because I've now switched to a larger "personal item" on the plane than the Civita and the Civita will mush up to almost nothing inside that personal item or my carry-on luggage.