May 18, 2011 at 6:55 am #1274013
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?May 18, 2011 at 7:52 am #1738042
@everreadyLocale: Sh!^^% Ohio
Jansport Scout.May 18, 2011 at 8:08 am #1738049
@daviddrakeLocale: North Idaho
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.May 18, 2011 at 8:59 am #1738070
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.May 18, 2011 at 9:39 am #1738088
@davidpasseyLocale: New York City
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.May 18, 2011 at 9:46 am #1738092
Osprey makes a couple kids packs that have adjustable torso length's (with quite a bit of range).May 18, 2011 at 10:33 am #1738122
@daviddrakeLocale: North Idaho
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.May 18, 2011 at 10:50 am #1738135
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
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.May 18, 2011 at 10:54 am #1738137
@bcampriniLocale: Southern Appalachians
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.May 18, 2011 at 11:14 am #1738146
@thomdarrahLocale: Southern Oregon
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.May 18, 2011 at 11:28 am #1738156
@risingsunLocale: Northern Arizona
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.
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.May 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm #1738220
@sockpuppetLocale: High Desert
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.May 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm #1738236
"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.May 18, 2011 at 2:36 pm #1738248
@crgowoLocale: Desert SW
You can still get the rei comet on their outlet
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.Mar 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm #1847444
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.Mar 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm #1847451
@kieranLocale: Seattle, WA
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):
a lot of younger scouts carry women's packs cause the size small tends to be just right.Mar 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm #1847453
@benwoodLocale: flatlands of MO
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?Mar 4, 2012 at 7:55 am #1848523
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.Mar 4, 2012 at 10:47 am #1848561
Is little light gear still around? They have cool kids packsMar 4, 2012 at 10:48 am #1848562
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.Mar 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm #1849147
@johng10Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
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 :).Mar 5, 2012 at 8:02 pm #1849343
@bobfnbwLocale: Corpus Christi Texas
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.Mar 6, 2012 at 10:50 am #1849613
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.Mar 6, 2012 at 11:14 am #1849616
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.Mar 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm #1849640
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!
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