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Youth Packs Revisited
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Dan Smith
Youth Packs Revisited on 07/09/2012 09:15:35 MDT Print View


I'm at a crossroads trying to find a pack for my 8 year old. My 11 year old has an Osprey Ace 48 and loves the pack.

However, my 8 year old son is already 5' tall and weighs 90lbs and is the same size as my 11 year old.

The majority of hiking will be short trips and various Scout outings and I'm not overly worried about UL for these packs.

I need a 40-50L pack that we can get at least 3-4 years out of. My 8 year old is very active in athletics and when we were at Mount Evans National Forest last week, he hiked circles around all of us in the group on the ascents with this Deuter Fox 30 that was way too small for him. I'll have that for sale shortly in the classifieds.

Besides the Osprey Ace 48 and the Deuter Fox 40, what are your thoughts on the Deuter ACT Lite 40 + 10 for youth?

What other youth packs with adjustable torsos can you recommend in the 40-50L size? He's going into 3rd grade and by 6th grade, he'll most likely be close to 6' tall. I don't want to purchase 2-3 packs during this time frame and want an adjustable torso pack.

Osprey Ace 48 14-19 inch torso, 25-29 inch waist
Deuter ACT Light 14-19.5 inch torso, 22 - 46 inch waist
Deuter Fox 40 - 11-18 inch torso, 24-36" waist

Would the ACT light have shoulder straps that are wider? I'll have to try some on him, but from the measurements, it will fit him now with lots of room to grow.

I'm open to all suggestions here.

pack on 07/09/2012 20:30:18 MDT Print View

May not be what you are looking for if you arent concerned with UL, but my 13yo son has used a small ULA circuit with adjustable shoulder strap option for last 2 yrs. It adjusts from about 13-18", wt is 34oz with add-on items removed. He has completed fairly long distance multi day hikes with his, at up to 20 mpd in the mountains and has had no complaints. (I constantly ask if feet are OK, pack is OK, etc)

ULA finally mentions this option on the website I saw the other day.

His torso was 13.5 when he got it, and is up to 16 now, and by the looks of it will outgrow it in another yr. He has always carried all his own food, water, gear, up to 25 lbs with a weeks food. No complaints.

There actually have been times he outhiked me for a few miles.

Edited by livingontheroad on 07/09/2012 20:32:16 MDT.

Dan Smith
Thanks on 07/10/2012 09:31:00 MDT Print View

Thanks. I'll look into that pack. He's already got a 16" torso height at 8. I think any way I look at it, he's going to outgrow whatever fits him now in a couple of years. It's inevitable.

16" torso height, 26" measurement around the middle. I may look into purchasing him a women's pack like this:

I want to get at least 3 years out of this, but if he stays the course, he's going to be 9" to 12" taller in the next 3 years. It's ridiculous keeping up with his growth.

I'm 5'-11" and if his growth stays on par, he'll be 6'-6" by highschool.

pack on 07/10/2012 20:51:46 MDT Print View

If you buy a high quality lightweight pack, you will be able to resell it for a good percentage of what you pay for it.

Heavier cheaper gear doesnt resell as well.

Lee Fitler
(tdilf) - F
pack on 07/12/2012 10:43:13 MDT Print View

I got my 11 year old an Osprey Talon 44. I stripped a bunch of extra junk off of it and it seems to work well. He liked it alot and it looked to carry quite well.

(NotLight) - F

Locale: Midwest
Pack on 07/12/2012 15:04:59 MDT Print View

I went through the same dilemna a few years ago. I ended up buying my daughter, who was a similar size at the time, the ACT Lite 60+10 SL. I've had zero regrets, and she loves it. Factors: (1) "always" on sale, (2) torso adjustable, (3) reasonable weight, (4) if filled halfway, fits within airline carry on length limits (similar sized bags always often don't), (5) size 60 cinches down very small but is also big enough for synthetic bag or winter gear - a 40 might be too small sometimes, (6) limited buckle and strap insanity. The belt buckle seems a bit flimsy compared to other bags - never been an issue, but I wouldn't carry more than 25-30lbs in it. The fabric seems thin, but we've had no issues with snags or rips. As for sizing, I may be incorrect, so you'll want to check yourself, but I think the difference between men's and women's is not the belt but the shoulder harness. You can buy the women's (narrower) shoulder harness for any mens bag in the series but not vice versa I think (again, I may be incorrect). So maybe go with a mens bag and swap out the shoulder straps if needed if you went this route.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Pack on 07/12/2012 15:47:39 MDT Print View

>> It's ridiculous keeping up with his growth.

I have trouble keeping up with mine, period.

My 13 year-old is only slightly taller but about the same weight. He's pretty well outfitted with UL gear and packweight rarely gets much above 20lb. 35-40L is plenty big enough for our hikes (3-season, 4-6 days.) He carried the Deuter Fox30 until last year and used my old GoLite women's Jam2 on his last hike. He tried on the Osprey Talon 44 and really liked it and, if we can manage to eke out a week of backpacking in his high school schedule somewhere, that's probably what I'll get for him.

That said, I don't think you can beat the GoLite prices for what you get right now.