Gear Advice for youth...

7:32 a.m. on March 29, 2019 (EDT)
Tyler Veinot
252 reviewer rep
9 forum posts

I have 2 girls (9 and 12) the 9 year old is small for her age and the 12 year old is tall for her age (go figure)60lbs and 90lbs. They are both in Cadets and will be soon going on 2 to 3 day camping trips with their respective units. Food and Water is supplied, what they need to bring is; Tent, Sleeping Gear, Rain Clothes, and Layers (this time of year could be hot could be quite cool), toiletries, etc.. Would also like them to start carrying their own stuff when we go out as a family (Day trips and car camping mostly, this might change). Anyway I am looking for suggestions on packs that have a good price/quality ratio; the 12 year old I was thinking a Red Rock from Alps Mountaineering or something in that size and style (Kelty maybe if on sale/used). But my youngest is harder, everything seems too big on her small frame. Tried a North 49 day pack and it looked oversized on her. When I was in I had an old Canadian Military Rucksack, circa 1950's I would guess. I could get a spec 82 Rucksack from the local Military Surplus for a good price but it looks too big on the 12 year old and the 9 year old could fit in it.

9:41 a.m. on March 29, 2019 (EDT)
73 reviewer rep
4,111 forum posts

One of the standard youth packs is a Kelty external frame in youth sizes that are adjustable.  Your 12 yo would fit one. 

12:21 p.m. on March 30, 2019 (EDT)
2,017 reviewer rep
406 forum posts

Get to a store like REI where your kids can try on a variety of packs. There's no way to think ahead of time about what pack to get or for someone to just recommend a pack for someone else because a pack is all about fit -- what works great for my kid may be terrible for yours, or vice versa. A shop like REI can load up weight in a pack, adjust it properly on your kids, and let them try it on.

8:48 p.m. on March 30, 2019 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
915 forum posts

I have a Mountain Hardwear Mountain Goat 20 degree sleeping bag that I would be willing to part with.  My son has outgrown it.  He used it when he was 8 - 12.  It is almost like new condition.  If interested email me.  If I can find his pack it would be good for your 9 year old.

9:31 a.m. on April 1, 2019 (EDT)
Alicia MacLeay @Alicia
2,386 reviewer rep
4,536 forum posts

We've had good luck with the Deuter youth packs, but they likely are too small for your girls in capacity:

I think the other brands and suggestions above are all good. If you can get your girls to try on the packs where you'll buy them, that would be ideal.

Also, here are all the kids packs on Trailspace to give you some background on other brands and models out there:

Good luck!

May 27, 2020
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