Gregory Citro 24 Day Pack Review

The Gregory Citro 24 is a compact daypack designed for comfort and durability on short outings. It carries well on day hikes and has plenty of pockets to stash gear. The ventilated mesh suspension keeps sweat from building between your back and the pack on humid summer days, which can be key during hot, humid summers. I’ve found that this pack easily and comfortably carries everything I need for a day hike.

Gregory Citro 24 At-a-Glance

MSRP: $119.95
Tested: Men’s
Weight: 2.02 pounds
Maximum carrying weight: 20 pounds
Volume: 24 liters; the Citro also comes in 30 and 36 liters
Fits torso: 16 to 21 inches
Fits hips/waist: 28 to 48 inches

Circumstance of Use

The game changed for me in this year of COVID-19 as day hikes have supplanted multiday trips. I’ve spent my summer exploring Connecticut’s blue-blazed trail system, which in my part of the state passes through forests pocked with foundations and stone walls of long-abandoned farms. And the Gregory Citro 24 has been a great companion, with its myriad outer pockets to stash rain gear, water bottles, a phone, and snacks.

Gregory Citro 24 Features

Fit: This is a one-size-fits-all pack. I’m five feet, 10 inches, 170 pounds, and the pack fits me comfortably. The shoulder straps have room to expand for a larger torso or tighten up for someone shorter. The hip belt has plenty of room for a larger waist and can snug down for a smaller waist. The load lifters adjust to keep the pack snug on your back.

Suspension: Gregory’s trademark VaporSpan ventilated suspension has moisture-wicking mesh and a perimeter alloy frame. The mesh suspension has plenty of room for airflow between your back and the pack, and I appreciated that while hiking through heat and high humidity. The mesh also kept my sweat from soaking into the pack. And the alloy frame that encircles the back of the pack kept the Citro straight on my back and prevented it from flopping over when I set it down on the ground.

Pack body: 210D Honeycomb CryptoRip Nylon, which Gregory says combines light weight and strength. This is a rugged exterior that should give the Citro years of use.

Pack bottom: 420D High Density Nylon. The reinforced bottom is plenty strong for setting the Citro down on rocks or rugged ground.

Hip belt and shoulder straps: Ventilating mesh lines the inside of the hip belt and shoulder straps, with padding underneath.

Sternum strap: Has the now-ubiquitous emergency whistle on the buckle.

Hydration: The internal hydration sleeve with a hanger is compatible with Gregory’s 3D Hydro reservoir (reservoir not included on the Citro I tested). There’s a clip on one shoulder strap to hold a hydration pack’s hose. I carry water bottles so I never tried the hydration pack holder.

The inside zippered mesh pocket where I stash my wallet and car keys.

Pockets: Lots. Top outside zippered pocket and interior mesh zippered pocket. I love having the interior pocket for my car key because I constantly worried about it inadvertently spilling out of my old pack’s single top pocket while I was fishing around for hand sanitizer, snacks, or anything else I stuffed in there. I stash my water filter, bug spray, Deuce of Spades, and TP in the top outer pocket, which also has a key clip. The stretchy mesh front pocket is good for stashing a raincoat, but that’s about it. There’s not enough room for rain pants so they go inside the pack.

Inner storage: Room for my first aid kit, rain pants, warm mid layer, and puffy in colder weather, lunch, and extra snacks.

Hip belt pockets: Good for a phone, hand sanitizer, and a face mask in one pocket, and two snack bars in the other.

My cheapo dollar store sunglasses attached to the sunglasses holder.

Sunglasses holder: Convenient place to store your sunglasses. But I’m not a fan of hanging gear onto the outside of my pack, fearing it will break or fall off and be lost.

Mesh side pockets: A Smartwater bottle can squeeze into a pocket on each side. These are the only side pockets that I’ve been able to remove the water bottles while wearing the pack. But putting the bottle back isn’t so easy. I have to unbuckle the hip belt and pull the pack toward my front to be able to put the bottle back in the pocket.

Zipper pulls: Large circular pulls. Easy to insert a finger into the pull while wearing thin gloves. (Yes, I put on gloves in the hot summer to see how gloved fingers could grasp the zipper pulls.)

Compression straps: Nice feature to tighten up the pack when you’re not carrying a full load.

Trekking pole/tool attachment: A loop midway up the pack snugs down on trekking poles, and a bottom fixed loop keeps the poles in place. I would have preferred the adjustable loop to be higher up on the pack to keep my poles from jutting out from the pack.

Corporate responsibility: Gregory partners with nonprofits, alliances, and charitable organizations that share the company’s beliefs: to be kind, to be adventurous, and to leave it better than we found it.

Warranty: Gregory has a lifetime guarantee for all of its gear, with the exception of damage due to unreasonable or abusive use, improper cleaning or storage, or normal wear and tear.

What to Look for in a Day Pack

Pockets: Pockets can make or break a day pack. Who wants to take a pack off every time you want a snack, grab your phone for a picture, or drink water? I don’t. I wouldn’t settle for a pack without hip belt pockets and side water bottle pockets. And be sure the hip belt pockets can hold the gear you want.

The same goes for additional outer and inner pockets. Want just one place to stow your wallet and keys? This is where an inside zippered pocket is handy. And outer pockets can hold things like a raincoat, bug spray, water filter, cathole trowel, and TP. Do you want flexible cords or outer pockets on the front to stow quick-to-reach gear, such as a raincoat or water purifier? I prefer locking my gear into an outside front mesh pocket.

The panel-loading Citro opens wide to store gear, and provides easy access when you need something.

Size: Twenty to 30 liters is the sweet spot for most day packs. I wouldn’t go less than 20 liters unless you travel ultralight. Go larger than 30 if you want to store winter gear. Anything more than 36 liters is getting into multiday backpack territory.

Hydration compatibility: A hydration pack can be a plus if you don’t want to reach awkwardly to get at your water bottle in a side pocket. Are you peakbagging at high elevations, desert hiking, or hot summer hiking when hydration is super important? A hydration-compatible pack could be a game-changer.

Panel vs. top-loading: Think about how you want to stow your gear. A panel-loading pack like the Citro has a U-shaped opening that lets you pull the front flap down for easy access to gear. With a top-loading pack, you stuff everything into the pack using the top opening that closes with a cinch cord or a roll-top. Top-loading packs can be easier to stuff gear into, but it’s harder to get that gear out than a panel-loading pack.

Fit: If comfort is a priority, look for men’s or women’s specific packs that might give a better fit, or get a pack that can adjust to fit your torso.

Gregory Citro 24 Pros

Pockets: After years of carrying a top-loading day pack with just a fixed top pouch, I love the surplus of pockets on the Citro. Hip belt pockets? I’m sold on being able to grab a snack or my phone to take a picture without taking off the pack. Outer and inner pockets for small items? Fantastic. They give me a defined space for gear so I don’t have to pull everything out of my pack searching for one item. Can you tell I’m an organizer?

Plenty of room in the Citro’s outside top pocket.

Padded shoulder straps, hip belt: Extra comfort for your hips and shoulders, with mesh lining against your body for ventilation on sweaty days.

Suspension: I like the mesh padding that keeps the pack body off my back. My back still gets sweaty on a hot and humid day, but the pack doesn’t.

Gregory Citro 24 Cons

Weight: At two pounds, as heavy as my multiday backpack.

Side pockets: I’m able to get my water bottle out without taking off the pack, which is a plus, but I have to go through contortions to put the bottle back.

The upper strap that secures trekking poles to the pack is located too low, allowing the upper body of the poles to move about.

Trekking pole attachment: The upper loop for poles isn’t high enough, and the poles jut out from the pack.

Sunglasses holder: An extra I didn’t use or need.

Final Thoughts

The Citro impressed me over three months of testing with the way it rode on my back and the amount of gear I can store in it. I’ve already raved about the number of pockets. I keep hiking essentials stored in the pack’s pockets and inner body, so when I’m ready to hike I throw in clothing to suit the weather and hit the trail.

The Gregory Citro 24, at $119.95 MSRP, is spot on for packs of this size and with these features. Look for sales in this year of COVID. They’re out there.

Shop the Gregory Citro 24 Day Pack

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This product was donated for purpose of review.

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