Backpacks for Children

10:37 a.m. on April 22, 2008 (EDT)
32 reviewer rep
122 forum posts

I'm looking to take my 7-year-old son on another 3-day backpacking trip in May or June. On past trips, my son used a standard school backpack. However, what we discovered is that the backpack was heavy even before we put stuff inside, and it was uncomfortable when he carried it. Consequently, I ended up carrying my pack and his for about 60% of the trip.

I looked at the gear reviews here and didn't find much to go on. Does anyone have a couple of recommendations on good backpacks for a 7-year-old? Ideally, the pack would be light, durable, and able to carry several large items (sleeping bag, water, clothes). I don't think my son is ready for a typical Boy Scout external frame backpack, but I'm not sure what the alternatives are.

Thanks for any suggestions.

11:24 a.m. on April 22, 2008 (EDT)
848 reviewer rep
3,902 forum posts

Osprey introduced three youth packs this spring (

The smallest is the Imp ( It has an adjustable torso and fits:
* Approximate age range 8 - 12 years
* Torso Length 13 - 18" / 33 -45.5cm

It might be too big for your son yet, but is worth checking out. There's a 4 1/2 star review for it on Trailspace for a 6-year-old's usage though:

12:04 p.m. on April 22, 2008 (EDT)
38 reviewer rep
1,902 forum posts

REI,Eureka and Campmor have smaller packs for kids. The Deuter Fox 30 is another kid's pack. An external frame pack will adjust more than most internal frame packs and will last a couple of seasons for a growing kid.

Also, you might look at smaller women's packs made by companies such as Granite Gear.

I would stay away from the really cheap packs you see on eBay or in big box stores-they tend to be too heavy. You can save money by buying a used pack off eBay or Craigslist once you know what you are looking at.

4:09 p.m. on April 22, 2008 (EDT)
32 reviewer rep
122 forum posts

Thanks. I'll check out the above mentions.

June 23, 2018
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