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Backpacks for Kids
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Jeremy Olson
(Kayaker7775) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Backpacks for Kids on 05/18/2011 07:55:29 MDT Print View

Does anyone have a good suggestion for a durable yet lite backpack for a 10 year old boy? I would like to get my son a real backpack this year for our summer trips. It is time he started carrying all of his own gear. He has been using a day pack to this point. He also starts Boy Scouts in the fall and will need one for all the trips his new troop takes. I would like to find one that will actually fit his body and yet will be adjustable enough that he can use it as he grows. I was thinking of Granite Gear as they have a fantastic adjustable harness system. Any suggestions?

Al Nichols
(everready) - F

Locale: Sh!^^% Ohio
Pack for kids on 05/18/2011 08:52:52 MDT Print View

Jansport Scout.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Backpacks for Kids on 05/18/2011 09:08:32 MDT Print View

One of my kids has a Deuter Fox 30. Very adjustable (torso 10-17"). Plenty durable and fully featured, making it a bit heavy at 2 # 7 oz. They also make a 40 liter version at 2# 14 oz (torso 11-18"). REI has 'em.

Edited by DavidDrake on 05/18/2011 09:10:12 MDT.

Paul Osborn
(bcoutdoors) - F
Deuter fox 30 on 05/18/2011 09:59:11 MDT Print View

I've had my eye on the deuter fox 30 as well. You wouldn't want to go too UL for a kids he's probably going to scrape it up and melt it a bit.

Playoutdoors has the pack too.

David Passey
(davidpassey) - F - M

Locale: New York City
Re: Backpacks for Kids on 05/18/2011 10:39:47 MDT Print View

I also have my boys in the Dueter Fox 30, and will use that pack when daughter starts to hike.

Around 11/12, they are big enough to transition to a smaller adult size pack. I have my older boys in a Small Gossamer Gear miniposa and a medium ULA Circuit.

I think they could use the fox 30 for a year or two more, but at some point, I like them to carry their own gear, and I get embarrassed when my gear weighs less than theirs . . . so I transition them to a lighter pack.

R S
(rps76) - F
Osprey Jib and Ace (Spring Series) on 05/18/2011 10:46:39 MDT Print View

Osprey makes a couple kids packs that have adjustable torso length's (with quite a bit of range).

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Osprey Jib and Ace (Spring Series) on 05/18/2011 11:33:23 MDT Print View

The Fox 30 is almost a pound lighter than similar offerings from the other big makers (Osprey, TNF, REI, Kelty, etc). Even at that, it uses 1" webbing, buckles and ladder-locks throughout. With a little surgery, you could replace with 3/4 web and buckles, and use cord for side compression. Probably save several ounces.

Crazy that no one makes an off-the-shelf sub 2 pound pack for kids.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Backpacks for Kids on 05/18/2011 11:50:45 MDT Print View

Deuter gets my vote. Ford used a Fox 30 for years - and he was NOT easy on his pack - and it still looked near new when I sold it off when he hit around 11 or 12 (he is very tall). It may not be the lightest but it is well made and kids like them. They wear well and have an excellent suspension system.

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Backpacks for Kids on 05/18/2011 11:54:38 MDT Print View

The Deuter Fox and Osprey Jib both seem really good, but I was surprised to find that my 9 y/o son prefers a frameless pack. After struggling with a problematic REI pack that's no longer on their website, I got my son a Golite Jam in size small. Don't think they still make this size, but if you can pick one up on Gear Swap or if he can wear a medium, and you keep his load light enough, it's proven to be a great kid's pack. Personally I'm a fan of some type of frame, but I keep my son's load so light that he prefers the frameless (but padded) Jam. He uses a folded and barely inflated pad for some structure. The only other frameless pack I know of that would fit a kid is a MLD Prophet. I was skeptical on the frameless thing for him but he's more comfortable and agile with it, but we aren't doing major miles.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
Backpacks for Kids on 05/18/2011 12:14:23 MDT Print View

I would strongly recommend a MLD Burn in size XSmall or Small. My daughters XS Burn was a custom order and Ron did a beautiful job. MLD offers the Prophet in size XS for those wanting/needing more volume.

Edited by thomdarrah on 05/18/2011 12:31:04 MDT.

Dan Cherry
(risingsun) - F

Locale: Northern Arizona
We went with an REI comet and a Gregory Maven... on 05/18/2011 12:28:11 MDT Print View

My 7-year old got an REI Comet this spring that was on closeout. She loves it. Not made anymore, but REI has similar products available.
http://www.rei.com/product/733276/rei-comet-pack-kids

For my 11-year-old, we bought her a Gregory Maven in the XS size that fits her great and is adjusted down. It was very slightly used, spent about $75 on it and is so adjustable it should fit her for 5 years or so, at which time it can shift to my younger daughter. Disclaimer - we're huge Gregory fans and have been for years despite the heavy pack weights.

Neither pack is ultralight, but for kids the need for comfort and adjustability outweighs the ultralight needs. My 7 year old carried about 15 pounds into the Grand Canyon this spring and my 11 year old was around 17 or 18 pounds of pack weight. Both were happy at those weights.

Of course I was loaded up like a mule.

Edited by risingsun on 05/18/2011 12:31:00 MDT.

Jeremy W
(SockPuppet) - F

Locale: High Desert
Deuter on 05/18/2011 14:39:17 MDT Print View

We bought a Deuter Climber for my youngest daughter. Probably a bit smaller than you want for your older kid, but it's a good option for others with smaller children.

R S
(rps76) - F
Re: Backpacks for Kids on 05/18/2011 15:14:50 MDT Print View

"I would strongly recommend a MLD Burn in size XSmall or Small. My daughters XS Burn was a custom order and Ron did a beautiful job. MLD offers the Prophet in size XS for those wanting/needing more volume"

Wow.

Cesar Garcia
(crgowo) - F

Locale: Desert SW
rei comet on 05/18/2011 15:36:49 MDT Print View

You can still get the rei comet on their outlet
http://www.rei.com/product/813846/rei-comet-pack-kids-special-buy

Jeremy how do you like the Deuter climber?
I have a fox 30 for my 8yr daughter thats built like a twig. Anyhow I don't think the hip belt fits her snug enough and even on the lowest setting and after adjusting the shoulder straps they dont seem to fit right over her shoulders but in fact go up about 1/4 inch past her shoulders then back down her back. I think, and I don't have it infront of me at the moment, that the load lifters cause this gap. Shes uses it on a couple of trips but would like to try the climber.

Jamie Estep
(jestep) - F

Locale: ATX
Deuter Climber on 03/01/2012 15:01:19 MST Print View

I got my 6yr old the Deuter Climber last summer. Couldn't find it in the US and had to order it from the UK. Absolutely great pack. We literally couldn't find anything lighter with any sort of decent support system. You could probably remove more weight from it as there are daisy chains and other stuff hanging off all over the place. Doesn't have quite the support of an internal frame as it is less rigid, but for a sleeping bag and a pound or two of stuff it's great. It also looks like a real pack, so they think they're doing the real thing. She's only 7 now, but unless the kids are work horses, this should be good starting at 5 or 6 up to 10 year old or so.

Kier Selinsky
(Kieran) - F

Locale: Seattle, WA
Couple options on 03/01/2012 15:15:28 MST Print View

I like the Deuter Climber, but at 10, he's probably too big to start there. My son is 9, and he's ready to give up the Climber and move up.

What about the REI Flash 50 Women's pack? For a few more hours, with coupon code OUTSAVE22, it's only $78. Would he fit into it? Says it's only 29oz in minimalist config (take off the lid and framesheet):
http://www.rei.com/product/830583/rei-flash-50-pack-womens-special-buy

a lot of younger scouts carry women's packs cause the size small tends to be just right.

ben wood
(benwood)

Locale: flatlands of MO
Re: Re: Backpacks for Kids on 03/01/2012 15:18:21 MST Print View

rps76,

wow in a good way?

i think its awesome that Ron makes packs for kids.

btw, i thought you were "done" with BPL because of the member's only gear swap?

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Small Jam 35? on 03/04/2012 08:55:09 MST Print View

I originally bought my daughter the REI 40L kids pack. When I did that, I thought it would be a good pack since it can "grow" with my kids and I hadn't yet "discovered" BPL or the idea of ultralight. Like most things REI, it's a high quality pack, but at 3 lbs 4 ozs it's a heavy start for a 7 year old.

This year when hiking with my daughter I plan to let her use my Murmur or possibly a Jam M that I have, but obviously they're not sized right for her, but since I don't hike far when the kids are along, it might be just fine. I love the idea of getting a MLD pack in size small, I have a Exodus FS myself and MLD makes a very high quality product.

With the introduction of the Jam 35, I'm thinking that at $100 a size small is a great option for kids.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Backpacks for Kids on 03/04/2012 11:47:17 MST Print View

Is little light gear still around? They have cool kids packs

Dan Smith
(DCSmith)
DF 30 on 03/04/2012 11:48:42 MST Print View

I got a Deuter Fox 30 for my 8 year old. Only problem is he's almost 5' tall. I'll pass this along once he outgrows the pack.

In fact, I bought this pack used, and they are pretty easy to find around $40 used.

Highly recommend.