Gregory Citro 25 Backpack Review
NOTE: ADDITIONAL PICTURES COMING SHORTLY
The Gregory Citro 25 Backpack is a 25 liter pack designed for day hikes and approaches on hot days. It utilizes some of the company’s premium harness features to create a pack that is both stable and breathable. Gregory packed a lot of functionality into this bag including a hydration reservoir, hip belt pockets, sunglass storage, tool attachments, and multiple pockets for organization. How did all of this work in real life? Read on for our Gregory Citro 25 backpack review.
How Does it Fit and Feel?
Right off the bat, I unfortunately realized this pack was not for me because of my unusually long torso. Most day packs are short on me but the Citro 25 required me to choose between having the straps all the way at the end or having the hip belt around my stomach. I’m 6 feet tall for reference but have the torso of someone who is 3-5 inches taller than me. Because of this, I had to use a bit of my experience with packs to guess how it would work with average people. I also had my wife carry the Citro 25 for a bit to get an alternative perspective.
On the right body, the Gregory Citro 25 has a very nice suspension system and harness that can carry a pretty full load in a stable manner. The backpanel is suspended with a leaf-spring lower back lumbar design called Vaporspan Ventilation. What this does is isolate the weight of the pack on your lower back and the shoulder straps, leaving a good amount of air flow around the majority of your back. The lumbar pad can give a bit of a pointy feeling if it’s not in the right place and some people might find this less than idea. As you’d expect from a daypack, the hipbelt does not have padding and needs to be tightened pretty hard to take some of the load off. The shoulder straps do have some nice lightweight padding and have a good natural curve to them. When my wife wore the pack, the straps worked well and went along the contours of her body. Load stabilizer straps on the shoulder straps help to bring the pack closer to your back and minimize movement.
3D Hydro Reservoir: Included Hydration Reservoir and Dedicated Pocket
The Citro 25 comes with Gregory’s own-design hydration reservoir, which is a nice bonus at the cost. The 3D Hydro Reservoir holds a generous 3 liters, which is plenty for most outings this pack is designed for. If you need more water, this backpack also has two mesh bottle pockets on the sides that held both my Nalgene 1 liter and traditional water bottle adequately; part of my standard test. Starting with what I liked about the included reservoir, the cap is fairly easy to open and close and big enough for large ice cubes. A hangar for drying the reservoir upside down is attached to the hose outlet and this is very handy. I also like how the reservoir attaches to the bag with a clip and slot system that stabilizes and balances everything in the dedicated pocket. Finally, the 3D Hydro Reservoir is shaped to slide in nicely and not bulge against your back. Moving on to my critiques, I’ve come to appreciate the huge opening that some other reservoirs have, which allows you to get your hand inside for easier cleaning. The bite valve has a good flow but there are some major flaws. For one thing, I repeatedly pulled the center piece out by accident just from using it. I guess it is removable for cleaning but it comes out too easily. Also, the flow lock for the hose was very hard to open and close one handed at first, although it eventually loosened up a bit. More than anything, my main problem with the included reservoir on the Citro 25 is that the hose is simply too short. It barely reached the spot where it attaches to the sternum strap and there were too many times when I felt a tug on my back when I went to drink. It pulled across the side of my neck because of the short length, as well. I just wish Gregory would add 3-4 inches to it to make it more useful.
Features and Organization
One thing the Gregory Citro 25 is not lacking is organizational features and this is something I greatly appreciate. I love having places for my gear, even in smaller packs. The Citro 25 has two oversized pockets on the hip belt that are great for some snacks while on the trail. I threw my Honey Stinger gels and energy chews in these while hiking up My Asahidake in Japan and I enjoyed the quick access. There is also a good smaller pocket on the top front of the bag, which is great for a phone and other small items. Inside the main compartment, you’ll also find a mesh zippered pocket with a keyring. One of my essential features for a good hiking pack is a place for stowing an outerlayer that may be wet when you take it off. Thankfully, the Gregory Citro 25 has a good sized stretch stuff pocket on the front, perfect for my rain jacket.
A couple of thoughtful touches adorn the Citro 25 including a magnetic sternum strap and a magnetic attachment for the hydration hose. I really like the sternum strap since it is easy to put on and take off with one hand. The hydration hose magnet is unfortunately so weak, it borders on useless. Any movement caused it to teeter on the holder and it easily came off in many situations. Combined with the hose being too short, it got pulled away regularly until I just stopped trying to use it. Another feature that I found cool but didn’t work for me due to my size is the glasses Quickstow system. This is a nice way to quickly store your sunglasses for easy access on the shoulder straps. It worked well when my wife tried it. However, because this part of the strap was on top of my shoulders, I couldn’t use it properly.
Gregory Citro 25 Backpack Review Conclusion
The Gregory Citro 25 is a feature packed daypack with some nice design touches and an included hydration reservoir that integrates well. However, the fit was way off for someone my size (6′ with a long torso) and it was more noticeable than most packs I try. Make sure it fits properly before purchasing. The included hydration reservoir has some good qualities but needs refinement of the bite valve, the hose length is too short, and the magnet attachment is useless. We really liked the organization of the Citro 25 and its use of pockets and the sunglass Quickstow system is great. Overall, I’m left with mixed impressions of this backpack and cannot give it a full stamp of approval.