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5 Best Hiking Backpacks for Kids - A Buying Guide You Should Not Miss

If you are looking for a hiking backpack for kids, check out the 5 best hiking backpacks for kids in this guide. Choose the pack that best suits your kids.

By Lane | @Lane

Updated on Aug 05, 2019

Hiking is a great experience for kids to touch with nature. In order to make this activity as easy as possible, it’s necessary to get a good hiking backpacks for kids to store their stuff. After doing some deep researches and evaluating online reviews, we select the 5 best hiking backpacks for kids to make your buying decision easier.

hiking backpacks for kids

1: Osprey Youth Jet 12 Backpack

Osprey’s Jet 12 is good for little kids who are big enough to carry their own gear. Coming with mesh back panel and fleece-lined shoulder harness make it breathable and comfortable. There are several pockets to store various gear. The external reservoir pocket is a great additional feature. 

hiking backpacks for kids

Pros
  • Mesh back panel
  • Bright design
  • Numerous pocket options
  • Reservoir pocket
Cons
  • Non-waterproof

2: Deuter Climber Kids' Hiking Daypack

The Deuter Climber kid's pack is perfect for the little hiker in your family. There is a chest strap with emergency whistle. The packs have an added layer of individual adjustment with the ladder style shoulder harness that can be moved incrementally as the child grows. With many integrated features from Deuter’s Guide Lite series, this backpack is a great one for long-day hiking trip.

best hiking backpacks for kids

Pros
  • Durability
  • Highly comfortable
  • Hydration pack compatible
  • Great backpack for kids of varying ages
Cons
  • None

3: Gregory Wander Kid's Multi Day Backpack

Thanks to ergonomically contoured and adjustable torso belt, Gregory Wander Kid's Multi Day Backpack is a one-size-fits-all pack. It has adult pack features, including a zipper to access gear packed in the bottom and a fishing pole/trekking pole loop. There are enough pockets: 1 interior slip, 1 interior zip and 6 exterior. 

best hiking backpacks for kids

Pros
  • Adjustable to fit growing kids
  • Enough storage pockets for organized
  • Internal hydration sleeve with hose management
  • Useful packing tips and measuring ruler graphic under the lid of the backpack
Cons
  • Could not adjust small enough kids to properly fit

4: Kelty Yukon 48 External Frame Pack - Perfect Fit for Kids of Any Age

Kelty Yukon 48 is one of the best external frame backpack for growing youths. With both torso length and torso width adjustment, this backpack is perfect for hiking who are too big for a junior backpack and too small for an adult backpack. It is made from durable polyester fabric, featured a hydration compatible and a sleeping bag compartment that makes it perfect for overnight trips.

best hiking backpack carrier for toddler

Pros
  • Both torso length and torso width adjustment
  • Provides plenty of storage space
  • More comfortable than the standard backpack
Cons
  • The bottom compartment zipper particularly is hard to zip shut fast without catching
  • Heavier than standard backpack

5: Mountainsmith Pursuit 50 Backpack

best hiking backpack carrier for toddler

The Mountainsmith Pursuit 50 pack is designed for adolescents and small users. It is made from durable Cordura fabric. Coming with a floating lid, you can move it up and down considerably and have an extra 5 L of volume. The internal frame is X-shaped, so it is one additional horizontal stabilizer.

Pros
  • Durable material and many convenient pockets
  • Sized for small adult & adolescent torso sizes
  • Separate sleeping bag compartment with internal divider
Cons
  • Internal frame make it a bit heavy

A Comparison Chart for the 5 Best Kids Hiking Backpack


Osprey Youth Jet 12 Deuter Climber Kids' Hiking Daypack Gregory  Wander Kid's Multi Day Backpack Kelty Yukon 48 external frame pack Mountainsmith Pursuit 50 Backpack
Price (Amazon) $49 $70 $179 $135 $99
Dimensions 15 x 7 x 9 inches 20.5 x 10.6 x 7.9 inches 25.2 x 15.9 x 5.7 inches 22.5 x 23 x 11 inches 20.5 x 8.5 x 11.2 inches
Weight 0.9 pounds 1.7 pounds 2.1 pounds 4.9 pounds 3.56 pounds
Volume 12 liters 22 liters 38 liters 48 liters 50 liters
Chest Strap
Hip Belt
Hydration pack compatible
Adjustable harness
Multiple Pockets
Waterproof -
Torso fit 11 - 15 inches 10-18 inches 13-20 inches 13 - 19 inches 3 – 17 inches 

Bonus Tips: How to Choose the Best Hiking Backpacks for Kids

After reading the 5 best hiking backpacks for kids and you still don’t know which one is the best for your kids, read on the important tips about how to choose a good hiking backpack for kids.

• Fit

best hiking backpack to carry toddler

A hiking backpack must fit your kids comfortably. If not, it will become a burden rather than a useful tool. To find the right fit backpack, you should measure the torso length of your kids. Measure along the spine from the base of their neck to the top of the hip. According to the above picture and choose the backpack size.

• Capacity

How to choose a suitable backpack’s capacity depends on how long your kids’ hiking trip is. Backpacks volume of less than 25 liters is good for a 1-day trip while backpacks with a volume of up to 40 liters are suitable for 2,3-day trip. If the hiking trip is more than 3 days, choose backpacks with a volume of more than 40 liters. 

• Weight

A hiking backpack for kids should be as light as possible because hiking is a strenuous activity. It makes kids hike faster and easier with light equipment. So choosing a lightweight backpack for your kids is important.

• Adjustable harness

The adjustable harness on the backpack can fit your kids comfortably. Besides, a backpack with an adjustable harness can fit a child for years and no need to buy a new backpack every year.

• Pockets

Easily accessible pockets in the backpack make the stuff easily organized. 

• Hydration System Compatibility

Hydration system compatible backpacks are equipped with a special pocket for a water reservoir and water tube. Some come with a pocket designed to hold a water reservoir. It’s convenient for kids to drink through a tube.

Conclusion

In this article, we narrow down the 5 best hiking backpacks for kids and all of them come with good functionality and adjustability. You can pick up the best one according to your kids’ torso and hiking time. Don’t forget to add one GPS tracker in the hiking backpack for your kids to keep the hiking trip safe.

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