Youre right. There arent tons of youth packs out there, in large part because there just isnt much market for them. Backpacking kids are relatively rare, and in most cases mom and dad get wheedled in schlepping the gearor they do so voluntarily to reduce the whining quotient.
Kelty Yukon 2900 Backpack
Yukon 2900 Backpack
So your grandkids are the exception, and Im please to see them so interested in getting outdoors. And there are indeed some packs that would work for them. Sort of the boilerplate pack for youngsters is the Kelty Yukon 2900 ($110). Its a classic external-frame design, which is actually a good design for a kids pack because it can be telescoped as the child grows. Torso length, in fact, can be adjusted from 13 to 19 inches. Capacity is pretty good at 2,900 cubic inches. And there are plenty of pockets for kids to placeand losetheir stuff. JanSport makes a similar pack called the Scout Pack ($90). On the internal frame side, Deuter makes the Fox 30 ($79), an 1850-cubic-inch pack that can support loads of up to 20 pounds.
As the grandkids grow, put the biggest one into The North Face Terra 55 Youth pack ($129). Its a more modern internal-frame design, for more comfort and load-carrying capacity (3,350 cubic inches). It can then be handed down, and when that happens, the first to use it will have grown into small adult packs.
The 2008 Summer Outside Buyers Guide is now online. From riding to trail-running to camping, get reviews of nearly 400 gear must-haves.
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.