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John Gilbert
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Packs for Scouts on 03/05/2012 15:42:42 MST Print View

I found the Osprey Talon 44 worked very well for my skinny 11 year old Scout. 2.2 lbs, big enough for 4 days of 3 season light weight (not UL) gear, durable fabric, stiff frame, adjustable torso, straps were narrow enough and close together enough for youth size shoulders, short enough that it's not top heavy for 4.5-5 foot tall kids when the torso adjustment is at it's smallest setting.

And most importantly, it's size forces them to not pack 5 sets of clothes :).

Robert Fomenko
(bobfnbw)

Locale: Corpus Christi Texas
deuter fox 40 on 03/05/2012 21:02:36 MST Print View

http://www.backcountry.com/deuter-fox-40-pack-2450cu-in-kids?CMP_SKU=DTR0096&MER=0406&CMP_ID=SH_FRO001&mv_pc=r126&003=7162907&010=DTR0096&mr:trackingCode=54F42FA4-41D1-DF11-A880-001B2163195C&mr:referralID=NA

Bought this for my then 9 year old last year. So far he's carried it on 3 trips, one to the Texas hill country, one in Colorado at 9500 feet, and some cub scout adventures. This year will be in New Mexico in Pecos wilderness or Wheeler peak area. It seems to fit him well. Carries about 12 lbs easily in it. ( he weighs in about 90 lbs.)
I like the pack, he likes it as well. Probably will last him about 2-3 years then I will upgrade to a x small adult size pack.

Michael Foster
(nolamyke)

Locale: Louisiana
Osprey Jib on 03/06/2012 11:50:39 MST Print View

Osprey Jib 35
My son has loved his Osprey Jib 35. He loves the suspension system. The torso and the hip belt are adjustable. It has really cool pockets on the hip belt for snacks. The stretchy stuff pocket on the back has been great for jackets etc.. You can't beat Osprey's lifetime guarantee. It's a pack that can be handed down and passed on for many, many kids to experience the outdoors. Edit: It has an attached rain cover, which I love on a kids pack as the little buggers are known to misplace things.

Edited by nolamyke on 03/06/2012 11:53:52 MST.

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Pack weight on 03/06/2012 12:14:16 MST Print View

One of my biggest complaints of most of the kid's specific packs is unnecessary weight. A lot of these weigh 3 lbs or more, most of us would consider that too heavy for a full-size pack, let alone for a little one.

I just bought a small Jam2 off gear swap to try with my 7 year old daughter. It has way more volume than she'll ever need, but is light enough that hopefully she won't complain about the weight this year. I made the mistake last year of letting her carry her own 1L water bottle, this year I want to minimize the weight as much as possible so she enjoys it as much as possible. I think I'll be able to keep her total weight below 6 lbs.

Michael Foster
(nolamyke)

Locale: Louisiana
Weight Issues on 03/06/2012 13:02:04 MST Print View

I'll make a comment about the weight issues of these packs: You can't evaluate a child's pack like you would an adult pack. In my opinion the focus of a child's pack should be on comfort and durability. ANY pack whose comfort and durability are the guiding qualities of design are going to be heavy. You want a pack that is going to stay comfortable for the child depending on how a normal load feels to them. This is going to be their introduction to backpacking, make it one that is pleasurable. The only things my nine year old carries are his sleeping bag, water, snacks and a few clothing items. His pack stays below 10-11 lbs and he weighs nearly 100 lbs. So his pack makes up 30% of his carried weight which would be silly for a UL backpacker but makes for a very comfortable experience for the kid. Sure my pack goes from 34L to 65L and 15lbs to 27, but I want to make sure it is always enjoyable for him so he keeps on wanting to do it. We've been going on 5-6 trips a year for 3 years now covering 7-12 miles per day and he is loving it!

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Weight Issues on 03/06/2012 13:32:37 MST Print View

Michael, I fully agree with you on the comfort comments. My struggle has been trying to outfit a 7 year old girl that only weighs 42 lbs herself. I started with what seemed reasonable, a REI Passage pack, which is an extremely well built pack, and plenty comfortable and I liked the idea that it can grow with her and my son. But with that, a NF Tigger, a Zlite small, 1L of water, a few clothing and personal items and the pack was up to 10-11 lbs, that was just too heavy for her. It was plenty comfortable, but after 1/2 mile she'd complain about the weight.

So this year my plan is to use the Jam2, still a plenty comfortable pack for light loads, the Tigger, a NeoAir and limit the personal stuff she brings and carry some of it and her water myself. I need to bust out the scale, but pretty sure I'll have her pack down to around 6 lbs, which will be a major improvement.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
circuit on 03/06/2012 15:56:50 MST Print View

Small circuit with adjustable shoulder strap panel. 34 oz. Adjusts torso from ~13-18". Not shown on website, but call and ask them.

My 12yo, 14" torso, 125 lbs , carrying 17-23 lb pack 12miles per day.

small circuit ~13-18" torso adjust


Not sure I agree with kids packs being any different from adults. KEEP IT LIGHT and the comfort takes care of itself. My son let all the wt ride on his hipbelt sometimes, you can see there is NONE on his shoulders in this pic, I could slide a finger under the strap. Just the way HE prefers it for some reason.

He carries ALL his own gear, water , food, and half tent with me. THe only thing he doesnt have to carry is stove and pot, because we only bring one and I carry that. Our packs essentially weigh the same.

Edited by livingontheroad on 03/06/2012 16:11:59 MST.

John Gilbert
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
packs on 03/06/2012 16:43:13 MST Print View

My kids liked carrying all their own gear as soon as they were around 10 years old. With a light pack (XS womens), they were able to stay within 15% of their body weight - as long as I carried the shared gear and food. When they were about 12 years old, they could also carry their food and stay within 15% of their body weight.
We learned 3 lessons:
1. ”adjustable” packs that also for adults are too tall - they pull the kids off balance and are very fatiguing.
2. ”kids” packs are too heavy for a 10-15% weight budget.
3. 9-12 year olds ”need” a womens short sized sleeping bag to stay warm, and to fit their gear into a small pack. The ”youth” bags are cheap, but too heavy.

Otherwise, backpacking for 9 year old or older kids is the same as for adults.