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Day bag suggestions?

Any one have a good day bag that they liked? I want something light, cross body and with a few pockets to keep my phone, small camera, a little spending money, tissue, guide book and maybe a water bottle in. Thanks!

Posted by
1217 posts

I'm one of the resident Tom Bihn fans here. The base model bags are nicely organized with multiple pockets and spaces for pens, cell phones, and lip balm, and you can infinitely customize them by adding pouches and key straps to the o-rings inside the bag. (I actually clip a key strap to a ring on the side of my pocketbook for extra security, even if it makes me look a bit like a chav when I pull it out) A medium Cafe Bag is my 'city' bag on trips, and can swallow up all of the above plus a DSLR camera and a modest lens.

https://www.tombihn.com/collections/briefcases-and-messenger-bags

It's a smaller company, and they do rotate the colors available and in-production on a somewhat regular basis.

Posted by
1175 posts

I've just used regular cross body bags from Kohls. I usually get Relic. The important thing is to get a soft leather or fabric purse that will fold up and pack well.

Daymakers of Santa Barbara also sell nice purses. I use their wallets.

I generally go for a size of 8" x 11" x 3". That's enough for a foldable water bottle, a sweater, phone, and wallet. It will also take my rolled up rain jacket if needed.

Features to look for:

  • adjustable strap
  • outer zip pocket
  • inner zip pocket
  • low profile

I use a small locking S binder to lock the zipper to the purse strap hardware.

Posted by
362 posts

While you can't do this with an online order, if possible try out a few bags in local stores. I ordered a gorgeous bag online before a trip. Unfortunately, it was too heavy for me to comfortably carry around on my journey. The strap ate into my shoulder, and the overall weight of the bag was just wrong for me.

Posted by
7762 posts

I like the LeSportsac Everyday bag. It has 2 large zipper pockets and a couple of smaller zipper pockets. Its a fairly lightweight fabric bag and the fabric seems water resistant. Have not had it in the open in heavy rain. It will hold a guidebook and a Kindle or iPad Mini. It IS possible to load it up so it is too heavy, lol!!

This trip I did add some spring loops ( like key chain loops from Michaels) to the zipper tabs and some s-biners to attach them to the strap. I got pickpocketed in Paris in April and this added safety measue helped me feel confident last week in Paris.

Many love Baggalini.

You may be able to see some of these at a TJ Maxx if you have one near you.

My main criteria is that it HAS to have a zipper as a theft deterrent. 2nd level things - I want a bag that is horizontal not vertical, I don’t want any magnets as they can de-magnetize the individual Paris Metro tickets, I want an inside zipped pocket I can use for my day money.

Posted by
3487 posts

I'm a Baggalini fan. My current one is about 12x 9". Back zipper is for the room key. Top zipper ( main section) holds mints, pen, paper, Burts Bees, small bag of almonds, and tissues. Front has a pocket with a clasp. It's the perfect size to hold "today's section" of the RS guide book. Also, it has the perfect little pocket to keep my gelato spoons!! The lower front zipper contains my phone which I use as my camera, also.

Sturdy shoulder strap, nice sapphire color, and it can be washed in the washing machine on "hand wash" setting.

Posted by
35 posts

Thank you for all the suggestions! Going to head to Kohl’s and TJ Maxx to try some. Has anyone used one from Sherpani? I used to have a bag from them that I loved because it was so light.

Posted by
1217 posts

I do use a pouch within the Bihn bag for, um, personal care supplies because it's a little more discrete.

Posted by
35 posts

One of the joys of being almost 50 (and a hysterectomy) is fortunately not having to worry about that anymore. 😀

Posted by
182 posts

Another vote for Baggalini. I bought one last year at TJ Maxx for a reasonable price and used it for last year's trip to Europe, and for last month's trip. It is medium size, but I was still able to carry a super zoom camera in it along with everything else that I needed. The fabric is light weight and it has various compartments.

Posted by
3401 posts

Another Baggallini fan. Both hubby and I have used this bag (his is black, mine khaki):
journey crossbody style #JOU878
[http://www.baggallini.com/journey-crossbody/JOU878-BG-B0021-NS.html][1]
Big enough to hold what you mention in an organized way (side mesh 'pocket' for the bottle of water and a 2nd one on other side that can hold an umbrella) and even hold a very light weight 'windbreaker' type of jacket that folds small. It also had plenty of room for a passport holder on travel days. You could even include a few other things like daily medications, etc.

Baggallini has plenty of other styles that would work for you too. I like that the fabric they use is pretty waterproof and cleans easily. They are light, but sturdy.

Posted by
35 posts

Having got the Baggaleni home my only concern is there is a lack of padding to protect things like sunglasses or reading glasses from being crushed. I guess I need one of those protective sleeves for those. More roomy than I thought. Plenty of room for my iPad, kindle, ear phones and a guide book to carry on the plane.

Posted by
37 posts

Just returned from the 21 day Best of Europe and used a large crossover Baggallini. It was a perfect size to hold my travel wallet, snacks, maps, water, small camera, and more. It also has a zippered pouch inside that is securely attached with a clasp and another clasp which I used for my wallet (with a few dollars, a credit card and an ATM card). I did wear a money belt around my waist that contained additional money, cards, and my Passport. After awhile I didn't even feel it around my waist. Another great bag that I use when traveling is a LeSport Sac. They are lighter in weight and have several zippered pouches. They come in fun prints, and many styles and sizes. You can't go wrong with either. Both have wide straps that make them comfortable when crossed over your body.

Posted by
520 posts

I've used both the LeSportsac that Pam uses and several Baggallinis. It depends on the trip and what I need to carry around with me during the day. They all seem to be quite water resistant.

Posted by
6 posts

I have an eBags Piazza bag that I love and have used on many trips. It's light weight and low key but sadly, doesn't have have a gelato spoon pocket, (love that!) It looks like they have redesigned the Piazza bag to to add some new helpful features, like a handy phone pocket.

I use a Rick Steves Civita day bag as my daily work bag and it's perfect, I often use it on trips also.

I also have a Travelon bag that I don't like because it's too heavy and the strap cuts into my neck.

Posted by
684 posts

I have THIS bag but regretfully didn't use it on my last trip to London. It is big enough to hold my dSLR camera in case it needs protection from the elements and has some great features. eBags often has coupons available if you sign up for their email list. There are plenty of zippered areas. On one end is a zippered area that holds a compact umbrella and the other end can accommodate a water bottle. It'll repel water too! My problem is I often over pack it which causes strain on my body when worn as a crossbody bag!

Posted by
406 posts

Another vote for the Civitas Rick bag. It is a backpack. We call it "Rick" it is my go to bag for every activity. 5 RS tours, beach days to museum days at home. I have had it for 11 years & it still holds up.

Here is the really crazy thing I actually sell bags for a living (promo bags ) but nothing gets between me & my Rick. Light weight washable the only negative the mesh pocket on the side is not tall enough. Water bottles do not stay in it without falling out. I sound like a commercial. Ha always thought I should do a scrapbook on all the places my "Rick" has been. Enjoy

Posted by
35 posts

Kathy I actually bought that bag for a recent trip to Mexico and have ended up using it as an everyday bag I like it so much. I wonder if it is padded and sturdy enough to put my DSLR in. Will have to test it out!

Thanks for another good suggestion LA!

Posted by
359 posts

I also love my CiVITA day bag.(s). Yep, I have 2 and husband has one, all different colours. I first used it on RS Best of Italy tour 10 years ago and have used it for so many things and trips since. I’ve even used it for mushroom picking. It washes so well and is very sturdy. Re: water bottles, yes the pocket is short but I hook the elastic around the neck of the bottle and it stays put. Not waterproof or padded but I don’t use it for fragile things. I’m guessing that they’ll be on sale this weekend during the travel fest. I have the back pack model but the shoulder strap version could be used cross body.

Posted by
35 posts

Thanks Sherry! Do you think the bag is big enough for a DSLR? I could put a sweater or something in there as padding I suppose.

Posted by
406 posts

I put my DSR in the Civitas backpack on most of my excursions.

Posted by
64 posts

Because I love my Rick Steves Civita daybag, but can't use it as a crossbody, I purchased the crossbody/shoulder bag version of the same bag. Like the day pack, it weighs virtually nothing. My original Civita has lasted forever. I purchased a second one, several years ago, to have on hand just in case, & have not needed it yet, as the original is going strong. Civita bags have three zippered sections, plus a separate area for a water bottle. When I want to carry something with a bit more structure (but still lightweight), I use a Baggelini crossbody, which I own in several sizes...These have lots of compartments. AlI the bags I mentioned are excellent choices & will fit the items you want to carry.

Posted by
5184 posts

teresa, we've used Civitas for years. But you should note that the photo on the site is misleading in that there is no structure to it - empty, its as limp and formless as a pillow case. So there is not much protection for something fragile like a camera. With a sweater and a camera, there wouldn't be much room for anything else.

Posted by
35 posts

Thank you Stan and Patrice. I am wondering if a Kavu bag would be a good choice. It is a heavier canvas so I feel like it would protect a camera a little more as long as I don’t sling it around. They are comfortable to carry with the cross body straps. I like my Baggaleni but I don’t think it is sturdy enough to handle the weight of a dslr.

Posted by
33 posts

My wife and I use Pacsafe. She uses the backpack and I use the larger cross shoulder bag. Pretty much everything can fit in my bag for a day including my micro 4/3rds camera and an extra lens. I like the anti theft features, the organization and its relatively small size. The only thing I would add would be a small and shallow zipper pocket for change.

Posted by
3 posts

Anyone have experience using the Kavu Rope bag or Sling? My wife was looking into these as a possibility. Thx

Posted by
35 posts

Kavu bags are comfortable, but there are not a lot of compartments. One large one you could fit a camera and sweater in. A long narrow one for some other items and a short outside pocket. It is nice for kids going on a school trip or a day trip, but basically everything will fall to the bottom of the bag and you have to open the zip all the way in order to retrieve things at the bottoms which may lead to small items falling out.

Posted by
2489 posts

I know you said crossbody, but I'll address carrying the DSLR, and my gradual progression. I have used a cross body purse like Kelly Moore makes and I still do (Mine is a Posey), but not internationally any longer. I then found a lighter crossbody that looks somewhat like a purse, but not as much as the Kelly Moore, which definitely look like purses(This is a Tamrac but they don't seem to make my version any longer). I use the Tamrac when I usually take more gear for car trips...it is light. I am not a backpack fan, but after finding the crossbodies just too heavy by the end of the day, I have switched to a Travelon backpack. So far I have taken it on several trips where I might have the camera with me all day, and I'm very happy with it. The weight is balanced better. When my DSLR is in the pack, I'm changing locations or not using the camera. I'm not one to put it in and out repetitively, so the backpack is not inconvenient. I will be carrying the camera in my hand if I'm active with it, and the backpack is nice because it is out of the way. This has been a gradual transition. I use a small travelon crossbody when I don't need the backpack. When I do use the backpack/purse, the purse just fits right inside or I wear it separately. I also have been known to carry the above mentioned cross body, and place my camera in a recycle grocery bag...that will fold up small and attach to my crossbody purse.

This being said, IMO, there is never be a perfect solution. Just when you think you have perfected it...