Rain hike update: A full 10 miles in the rain, and the following observations.

  • My gear stayed dry (except …)
  • The belt pockets were worthless and soaked – nothing afraid of water can go there!
  • The cinch adjusters on all straps worked harder when wet – the stretch pockets bands I could not adjust without taking off pack
  • The top / outside pocket was sketchy damp – ‘toilet kit’ was there in plastic bag – was wet on outside on inspection at end of hike
  • The outside large stretch pocket was great for wet raincoat, gear – instead of putting inside or strapping to pack

NO change to ‘love this pack’ except the belt size and pockets – if it only had a replaceable belt.

<—- ORIGINAL POST below —->

A recent purchase of a Gregory Citro 30L Hydro Pack replaced an aged (at least 8 years) and painful REI Trail 40L. One key rationale behind the Gregory and not other packs was the Hydro system, which I already own a 20L system. All components are shareable – which is very good emergency contingency.

On REI website, it looks like this.

This is what mine looked like on the first hike.

The only tricked out elements added were a balled-elastic cord to hold my camera tight to belt, the sanitizer hanging in front, and the bells (Tibetan goat bells) hanging from the back.

First the bad points.

  • The belt pockets while zippered and well constructed are so small and positioned over my bone that they are practically unusable for anything larger than 2-3 inches.
  • The belt is really BIG – i’m a small person and almost no left belt to cinch after losing more water weight

Second the good points.

  • Light and strong (not ultralight, but good enough for me)
  • Good side pockets and easy to reach – not big enough for liter water bottle, but why if hydro?
  • Chest cross strap with magnet is easy
  • Load adjusting straps – BEST feature

Recommendation: It’s gotta work for you! This fits me pretty well, but really want an adjustable belt. The belt pockets I can do w/out or make do. For the Hydro system, the fit, the comfort, I like it. I hiked 3x so far with it: 16, 12 and 8 miles hikes — to buy again, I’d look for a Gregory w/ replaceable belt.

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