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RS Ravenna Roller or Rolling Carry On; Crossbody Travel Bag or Civita Shoulder Bag - Recs?

Has anyone actually used any or all of the above? Prices seem pretty good (especially with 20% off!), and quality looks comparable with other stuff I've been seeing. The other options are Briggs & Riley (pricy Riley), and Travelpro. I'll be traveling for one month, and plan to check (only if necessary) on the return home. I live in Santa Fe, the closest (and only) luggage store is 2 hours away in Albuquerque. ...and they don't have a huge selection!

Your feedback will be very much appreciated!

Posted by
1666 posts

I'm a big fan of the RS Rolling Carry On. It's gone with me on domestic trips, air and road, one trip to Italy and will go on another to France in September and Austria next June. Some trips were a week, others 5 weeks; Italy was 3 weeks, France and Austria will be 4 weeks each. It looks new, well almost new, and fits (most) carry-on size limits if you don't overpack it which is easy to do. When I bought the Rolling Carry On 5 years ago, I took forum advice to buy 2-wheel luggage to survive cobblestones.

I haven't used any RS personal items. Every time they go on sale, I look at the Veloce shoulder bag but always talk myself out of it. I have a PakSafe tote I like, however it's getting a little heavy on my shoulder. Next trip I'm using a RuMe cFold (company defunct) that's very light weight, 7oz vs 2lb. I also take a packable backpack for day trips.

Posted by
5507 posts

I have used the rolling carry on and it was fine. I had a problem with the first bag's zipper and Rick Steves stood behind the product replacing it immediately. I had no further issues.My sister uses this exclusively.

However, my favorite is the Mother Lode series from Ebags. I like it a bit more than Rick Steves' bag. Here is the link
https://www.ebags.com/luggage/wheeled-duffels/mother-lode-21-carry-on-rolling-duffel/117749XXXX.html?dwvar_117749XXXX_color=Brushed%20Indigo&cgidmaster=mother-lode

My favorite travel bag is the travelon crossbody bucket bag.

Posted by
4 posts

I really like my RS Ravenna rolling carryon so far. It's very sturdy. I have only used it on the 10 day Italy tour but the one that I bought from Amazon for my daughter broke on that trip. It had 4 wheels vs. the 2 on the Ravenna and 1 of the wheels broke on the Amazon one. I am planning on taking it to Ireland, Prague and Budapest this August so we'll see how it holds up. I really like the way it's set up inside and it holds more than expected. Thumbs up!

Posted by
7988 posts

Carol now retired, don’t you find the Mother Lode bag heavy to move around? Otherwise it looks perfect.

Posted by
26 posts

Thank you for your responses. Very Helpful.

@Horsewoofie, I very much appreciate hearing of your direct knowledge with the RS bags. Merci!

Posted by
5507 posts

@Suki, I do not find it to be heavy. It works great for me. The rollers have stood up to all sorts of terrain.

Posted by
26 posts

Hi Carol Now Retired (me too!),

The Mother Lode carry on seems to have a more interesting, and potentially more useful, interior design. Thanks for the tip.

Posted by
424 posts

I love my Ravenna rolling case. I have used it for many years now. Usually for 2-3 week trips. I like the hard edges and it's size works for carryon on many airlines. It's smaller size keeps me from packing too much and that's a good thing. I still usually have about a 24 lb bag. It also has that zipper around the edges that can make the bag bigger (for when you bring back souvenirs). That also helps when I pack it to compress the bag to the "proper" size. I would definitely buy it again when it wears out. And it's on sale right now!

I also have the crossbody shoulder bag, but I just use that as my everyday purse at home. If it had a pouch on the outside for a water bottle, it would have been perfect for travel for me. Others have mentioned that the zipper pulls don't have hole in them so you can't secure from thieves. I don't think this is a game changer really. Up to your comfort level, I guess. I don't secure my purse like that when traveling - just have my hand over the zipper usually. Anyway! It has lots of nooks and crannies to put stuff in. And it's very comfortable to wear. I wish RS would make a crossbody bag like this with a water pouch and some kind of strap that could be converted to a "backpack" purse. That would be just perfect! Are you listening RS? :)

I also always take the regular Civita day pack. It rolls up into a tiny size and weighs practically nothing. I use it on the bus as my stash bag for my sweater, snacks, anything I've bought that day, a bottle of wine, etc. Just as a tote really. But if I'm going to take a little hike, I have that pack which is more comfortable than a crossbody bag. Have fun planning!

Posted by
1126 posts

My favorite travel bag is the travelon crossbody bucket bag.

Thanks for mentioning this, I've added it to my list of potential bags.

Posted by
93 posts

Love the RS rolling carry on. I had the Ebags Motherlode and gave that one away in favor of the RS rolling bag. I also take the Euro tote as a bag for the bus or just in case I have to check the RS roller on a flight...can hold a change of clothes and meds if you need it...funny story...on the RS Ireland trip a few years ago I had the Motherlode and the Euro bag. I decided to check it and it went missing....showed up when we arrived in Dingle on day 9 of my trip...thankfully I had the Euro bag with me so other than needing to do way each day I was pretty well set.

Never again will I take a bag I can't carryon.....

Posted by
935 posts

You can buy with confidence from the Rick Steves shop but know ahead of time they do not offer free shipping for returned products. The bags offered by RS are popular topics around here. You can spend a few hours searching back through this sub-forum and see hundreds of threads, fascinating commentary, and opinions. In a nutshell, RS products offer good value and performance for the price.

If you are looking to buy luggage your grandchildren will inherit, these may not be the products you want, but you're going to spend two to ten times more money. B&R and TP are not the only options in this space at all. Just looking at REI (there's a store in Albuquerque) or online at eBags, you can shop brands like Eagle Creek, North Face, Gregory, Cotopaxi, Osprey, Patagonia, PacSafe, Matador, Thule, REI, and Timbuk2.

Shopping for luggage is complicated because there are so MANY ways to pack and transport your stuff depending on your style, preferences, tolerances, and needs. You seem prepared to go carryon-only so that will reduce your options tremendously. Try to have fun.

Posted by
2278 posts

I take the 21” rolling carryon and Civita backpack on every trip. It’s just right for me. I’ve had both for several years.

Posted by
11434 posts

I have had all of the RS rolling bags--except the spinner--at one time or another.

My first rolling bag had to be replaced. The second one wasn't much better.

I also had the Ravenna and the handle broke while visiting a country hotel in Tuscany. I was on a tour and had a hard time lugging the bag around for the rest of the tour. (The guide on that tour said she has seen that happen too often with RS bags.)

Every time, the RS store did the right thing.

Now, I have my trusty Samsonite bag. Its 2 pounds lighter than the RS bags and has taken a beating.

I have never had a problem with any non-wheeled bags from RS.

Posted by
1243 posts

I have the TravelPro Maxlite5 21" carry-on spinner and love it - I upgraded from a previous TravelPro that is still going strong, so I gave it to my daughter. It's one of the lightest bags out there but still very sturdy.

If you go with B&R and are a Costco member, you can find discounted BR bags at https://costconext.com/brand/briggs-riley.

Posted by
20 posts

We purchased the RS 21 inch purple rolling carry-on before Christmas. When I place it next to our 21 inch hardshell Samsonites, the RS rolling carry-on is visibly smaller, so much so that we did not take it on our most recent trip. My husband likes the Civita day pack. It is a small, soft, unstructured backpack that can be worn comfortably slung over the shoulder. I use the crossbody travel bag, with plenty of compartments, for my purse while traveling. It does fit flat in a carry-on should you choose to pack it We also have the Ravenna day pack. This backpack is larger, heavier and has more structure than the Civita day pack, It is more like a school size backpack that I don't see working slung over a shoulder.

Posted by
76 posts

My husband uses the Civita Daypack. He uses it as a day bag for touring and short hikes. An asset is that it's small enough to carry on one shoulder and tuck under your arm like a purse in museums so that you don't have to check it (as long as it's not overstuffed). It's exactly as described-a small backpack that can fit some essentials for the day. Also works well as the personal item for the airplane. As someone else said, unstructured and squishable, so it fits under the seat in front of you nicely. We've thrown it in the washer several times, and it comes out fine. Worth the $20, as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by
381 posts

I have an older (2014?) RS Rolling carry on bag that has held up well. We take 2-3 trips with it annually, all the zippers still work perfectly and the fabric is still in good shape. It’s only been checked luggage maybe twice. Main likes are the many pockets and compartments, sturdy wheels and two hand grips. Main dislike is the weight—mine weighs about 7 lbs. This bag plus the RS Euro flight bag are all I take for any length trip.

Posted by
3453 posts

Another nod for the Regular Civita day pack. My husband has used his for years. It’s a durable bag and machine washable. “Wouldn’t leave home without it!” We have had 2 wheeled Travelpro’s for years. We have the 22” & are very pleased.

Posted by
11 posts

My Husband and I currently both have the Civita Day Packs. I traveled to Italy in 2018 (pre-marriage) with the Day Pack. Although it held my daily needs, and I could carry it from my shoulder, tucking it under my arm, I am used to cross-body styles. We are planning to travel on 3 international trips this year, and with this 20% off bag sale going on, I am considering the Civita Shoulder Bag. My question is this...although the strap looks to be adjustable, will it lengthen so I can wear this bag in a crossbody manner? Is there someone out there who knows this information? I'm ready to jump on buying the Civita Shoulder Bag, but the crossbody feature is key to me. Thanks so much!

Posted by
69 posts

I am also looking at crossbody bags and wondering if the Civita shoulder bag can be worn crossbody. I am 5’4 so not tall but they don’t show it worn crossbody in the video. I was also looking at the Veloce guide bag for iPad but like the lightness and arrangements of the pockets of the Civita.

Posted by
37 posts

My husband and I have used the RS rolling carryon for 7 years for domestic and international travel. We have been happy with them and they have fit all overhead bins on all our flights. We have also enjoyed the day bags and Veloce bag. I typically use a Kipling bag for my carryon. They are quite lightweight.

Posted by
69 posts

Regarding the Civita shoulder bag and whether it could be worn as a crossbody this is the response I got from Customer Service in case anyone else had this question

“At its longest, the strap is 40 inches. It can technically be worn crossbody, however, it would be uncomfortable for me personally that way. It sits too high up under my arm (I’m 5’1”) to be comfortable. However, some people may like it that high for safety reasons – it’s just personal preference. If you decide to get it and it doesn’t work, you are welcome to return anything that is new/unused, but you do have to pay the return shipping. The other alternative, if you really like the bag, because the strap is not sewn on – you can purchase a replacement strap (Amazon sells many) that is longer. Since the zippers and trim are black anyway, any black strap would still look OK.*

Posted by
4 posts

I bought the RS Civita Crossbody and returned it, even though I had to pay the postage. It doesn’t have a spot for a water bottle, and the pockets on the side will not hold one as I hoped.. The strap is unpadded and was uncomfortable around my neck. Those of you who wear a pack on your back, do you have any concern about thieves slashing the bottom (still happening?) or somehow getting into it with it behind do you like that?

Posted by
434 posts

I have the rolling Carry-on and the Civita shoulder bag. I really liked the rolling carry-on. However, after about 6 years or so, the retractable handle kept getting stuck. I contacted the Rick Steves site and they said it was basic wear-and-tear and suggested I look into getting it repaired on my own. I haven't done that yet - a local luggage shop said it would cost $50-$60 if they could get a compatible part. I've purchased another rolling carry-on for now; a London Fog brand that I found on sale for less than $100.

The Civita shoulder bag is great. It's very light, but can hold a lot of things if needed. I like the water bottle pockets on the side. All in all, I think RS products are a good buy.