This pack worked pretty well for me. I used it for…
Height of Owner: 6'2"
This pack worked pretty well for me. I used it for dayhikes and as a bookbag occasionally for school. It didn't fit quite as much as I would have liked, especially with a full 2-liter water bladder in the built-in pocket. It does have two side pockets for water bottles, which is a nice feature, but I found them a little hard to reach.
Overall this is a good backpack. Unfortunately it was stolen out of my car a couple weeks ago, and REI doesn't sell them anymore. Maybe I will spot one at a used gear sale. In the meantime I got a Kelty Redwing. It's larger, we'll see how it works out. (I got the women's version as it was 65% off at REI. I am secure in my masculinity.)
It is very unfortunate that they no longer make this…
Size: 25 liters
Height of Owner: 5'9
Price Paid: $50
It is very unfortunate that they no longer make this model backpack, or evidently anything similar.
The REI Vista backpack is one of the few small backpacks with side pockets that are big enough to carry a normal water bottle. Most other small packs have elastic side pockets that seem to be designed to carry a map or something. They are usually too small or tight to put a water bottle into, while it is on one's back.