Morgan Rogue 01.27.22 When I took my firstborn on a camping trip, just the two of us, she was 18 months old. I packed a tiny little kid’s back
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1. REI Co-op Tarn 12 Pack
This is a kid’s pack offered by REI. It’s a real pack, definitely not a toy!
It’s 12 liters, weighs 12 ounces, is reservoir compatible, and has a hip and chest belt.
This pack is light enough and small enough that it’s easily doable for kids as young as 5.
It does not have a frame, but for a kid’s pack, I’m not sure it’s 100% necessary.
I do feel the hip and chest straps are necessary so I’m glad to see those on there.
Pros/Hip and chest straps, lightweight, comfortable
Bottom Line/Great starter pack at a great price
2. Osprey Ace 38 Kid’s Backpacking Backpack
I love Osprey, they put out fabulous products.
Though this looks like a larger pack, it can fit a child as young as 5 and as old as 11. Though this will all depend based on the size of your child.
A few features:
- Adjustable tension back panel.
- Integrated raincover
- Internal reservoir sleeve
- Hip and chest straps
- Plenty of straps and pockets for just about any packing needs
This is a 38 liter sized bag, but has a lot of adjustable options so it could grow with your child for at least a few years.
Pros/Adjustable, plenty of options, grow with your child
Cons/Hip strap is a little thin
Bottom Line/Great pack that will take a beating
3. Deuter Kikki Kid’s Backpack
Deuter makes some amazing packs, especially for kids. This specific bag may not be the absolute best option for backpacking so I would suggest looking at their entire line of kids packs.
However, I wanted to show this one because of how adorable it is. Kids will really gravitate towards this pack, I know my kids do! There are several different animals and colors to choose from, as well.
This is an 8 liter so it’s the smallest of them all so far. Because of the size, though, this would be ideal for kids 3 years to 6 years of age.
However, the biggest negative to this pack is that it only has a chest strap. No waist strap. However, again, look to Deuter’s other bags as they do have packs made for older kids that are more suitable for long backpacking trips.
This pack is comfortable, compact, and has plenty of room for anything they may need or want.
Pros/Chest strap, comfortable, great for kids as young as 3
Cons/No waist strap
Bottom Line/Fantastic starter backpack for young kids
4. Gregory Mountain Products Icarus 40 Liter Kid’s Hiking Backpack
This is the biggest pack of them all coming in at 40 liters. Gregory has fabulous products so you know if your child is sporting this pack, it’ll be able to take a beating or two and still look brand new!
It has a chest and waist strap and all the straps are thick and comfortable.
There are so many pockets and attachment points that your child will spend plenty of time making it their own.
Because of its larger size, this would be best for kids 7-11 years of age.
Pros/Adjustable, comfortable, plenty of storage
Cons/No bladder resevoir
Bottom Line/Fantastic pack for kids who are serious about the outdoors
5. CamelBak Mini M.U.L.E. Kids Hydration Backpack
So while this may not be something you’d take with you on long backpacking treks, this is a great pack to start kids out with on short hikes.
My kids have loved having their own water source that they can control. In addition, they have plenty of space for a few odds and ends, but mostly snacks.
It’s lightweight, even with the 50oz water bladder filled up.
It only has a chest strap, but that seems to be enough for the kids and the abilities of this pack.
Pros/Stay hydrated, great starter pack, simple
Cons/Bladder hose can kink sometimes
Bottom Line/Great intro pack to keep your kids hydrated
Which pack is right for your kid?
Fitting your child with a pack that is right for them is essential. If you can head to a store to size backpacks, that’s absolutely ideal.
Kids grow so fast so make sure their packs are growing with them and their interest.
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