Best Hiking Backpacks for Kids

Best Hiking Backpack for Kids

Exploring the great outdoors with your little adventurers can be a fulfilling and memorable experience. Whether you’re planning a family hike through scenic trails or a weekend camping trip, equipping your kids with the right gear is essential for their comfort and safety. One crucial item to consider is a reliable hiking backpack designed specifically for children.

Here is our ranking of the best hiking backpacks for kids. Take the time to compare different options before making a purchase, and consider the factors that we mentioned earlier.

Best Hiking Backpack for Kids

Comparison table of the top ten best hiking backpacks for kids in 2024.

NameBest forRatingWeightPrice
Deuter Junior Kid’s5-12 years5.014.8 ozCheck
Vibrelli Hydration Pack8+ Years5.014 ozCheck
REI Co-op Tarn 187-12 Years5.017 ozCheck
Gregory Mountain Products Icarus5-12 Years5.02.15 lbsCheck
Jack Wolfskin Kids’ Track Jack6-12 Years4.012.7 ozCheck
CamelBak Mini M.U.L.E. 1.5L7-12 Years4.07.4 ozCheck
Deuter Pico 2021 Kid’s Pack2-5 Years4.07 ozCheck
Hydrajet 12 Kid’s Hydration Bag4-12 Years4.01.1 lbsCheck
REI Co-op Tarn 12 Pack for Kids’4-10 Years4.012 ozCheck
Gelindo Hydration Pack for Kids7-12 Years4.010 ozCheck

Best OverallDeuter Junior Kid’s Backpack for Hiking

Best Ultralight Hiking Backpack for Kids – Deuter Pico 2021 Kid’s Pack

Best Value for the MoneyREI Co-op Tarn 18 Pack

1. Deuter Junior Kid’s Backpack for Hiking

1. Deuter Junior Kids Backpack for Hiking

Tech Specs:

  • Age Range: 5-12 years
  • Volume: 18L
  • Weight: 14.8 oz.

The Deuter Junior Kid’s Backpack is a great option for kids who need a durable and functional backpack for both school and hiking. The backpack comes in a range of bright and fun colors. It has a capacity of 18 liters, making it the perfect size for younger kids.

It features a spacious main compartment with a drawstring closure, as well as a front pocket and two side mesh pockets for water bottles. It has padded shoulder straps that are adjustable to fit the child’s size. The back panel is also padded for added extra comfort.

It is made of high-quality materials that are designed to withstand the wear and tear of daily use. The fabric is water-resistant. It also features reinforced stitching and heavy-duty zippers that are built to last.

Deuter Junior Kid’s Backpack is built with Airstripes System, which is secure and snug to offer effective ventilation. Overall, it is a highly functional backpack, with a range of pockets and compartments that make it easy to organize and access school supplies and hiking gear.

Pros:Cons:
  • Very comfortable
  • Airstripes back system
  • Lots of storage options
  • Practically structure
  • Lightweight
  • Poor ventilation
  • Doesn’t include the cover

Check on Amazon


2. Vibrelli Hydration Pack & 2L Water Bladder

2. Vibrelli Hydration Pack 2L Water Bladder

Tech Specs:

  • Age Range: 8+ Years
  • Volume: 2L
  • Weight: 14 oz.

The Vibrelli Hydration Pack is a versatile backpack designed for kids who enjoy different outdoor activities such as running, cycling, hiking, skiing, and snowboarding. It is lightweight and very comfortable. It has a capacity of 2 liters and features a high-flow bite valve that allows for easy and fast hydration. The bite valve is on a 360-degree swivel, so you can easily see it.

The backpack includes several pockets and compartments for storing personal items such as phones, wallets, and keys. The front pocket is perfect for storing snacks and energy gels.

It features adjustable shoulder straps and a breathable mesh back panel that allows for airflow and reduces sweating. The soft chest and waist strap helps to distribute the weight of the backpack evenly. It also has a nice little clip on the harness, which keeps the water tube out of the way when you’re not using it.

Vibrelli Hydration Pack is made of a durable nylon fabric that is water-resistant and can withstand the elements. The zippers are also high-quality and built to last. Overall, it is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities such as running, cycling, hiking, skiing, and snowboarding.

Pros:Cons:
  • Made from medical-grade materials
  • Multiple storage options
  • Comfortable and light
  • Fully adjustable
  • Good value
  • A little tedious to fill
  • Flimsy

Check on Amazon


3. REI Co-op Tarn 18 Hiking Pack for Kids’

3. REI Co op Tarn 18 Hiking Pack for Kids

Tech Specs:

  • Age Range: 7-12 Years
  • Volume: 18L
  • Weight: 17 oz.

The REI Co-op Tarn 18 Pack is a high-quality hiking backpack for kids. It has a simple and functional design that is perfect for kids sized to fit 8 to 12 years old. It has a capacity of 18 liters and has a spacious main compartment with a drawstring closure, a front pocket, and two side mesh pockets for water bottles.

It has padded shoulder straps, as well as a chest strap to help distribute the weight of the backpack evenly. The back panel is also padded to ensure extra comfort. This model is compatible with a hydration reservoir that is not included in the package.

The Tarn 18 backpack is made with recycled ripstop nylon with a durable water-repellent finish that sheds light rain and stains. It is designed for long-term use. It also features reinforced stitching and heavy-duty zippers. The external daisy chains can be used to attach additional gear.

The front pocket is great for storing smaller items like pens and pencils, while the side mesh pockets are perfect for water bottles. The drawstring closure on the main compartment makes it easy for children to access their belongings.

Pros:Cons:
  • Waist belt pockets
  • Compatible with a hydration reservoir
  • Versatile and fits well
  • Excellent adjustable chest strap
  • The webbing straps to adjust the length of the shoulder straps are not long enough

Check on REI


4. Gregory Mountain Products Icarus Kid’s Hiking Pack

4. Gregory Mountain Products Icarus Kids Hiking Pack

Tech Specs:

  • Age Range: 5-12 Years
  • Volume: 30L
  • Weight: 2.15 lbs.

The Gregory Mountain Products Icarus 30 Liter Kid’s Hiking Backpack is a high-quality backpack designed specifically for children who love hiking and other outdoor activities. This pack is made of durable and water-resistant nylon fabric.

It has a sleek and functional design. It has a capacity of 30 liters, making it suitable for day hikes and overnight trips. The backpack has several small pockets and compartments for organizing gear and supplies. The integrated safety whistle will be very effective for long-distance hiking.

It is designed to be comfortable for kids to wear during long hikes. This model also includes a chest strap and a hip belt that help to further stabilize the load. It has bottom zipper access for storing sleeping bag.

The Gregory Mountain Products Icarus kids’ backpack stands out with its adjustable trekking pole attachment system, facilitating the hassle-free carrying of trekking poles when not in use. With these features, it appears to be a suitable pack for both day hikes and overnight trips.

Pros:Cons:
  • Adjustable suspension
  • Integrated safety whistle
  • Sleeping bag compartment
  • Floating top pocket
  • Durable and well made
  • 1 liter hydration bladder

Check on Amazon


5. Jack Wolfskin Kids’ Track Jack – ONE Size

5. Jack Wolfskin Kids Track Jack – ONE Size

Tech Specs:

  • Age Range: 6-12 Years
  • Volume: 16L
  • Weight: 12.7 oz.

The Jack Wolfskin Kids’ Track Jack is a high-quality backpack designed specifically for kids. It is available in orchid color and features a full zip front with a chin guard to prevent chafing. I’ve purchased it for my 7-year-old kid for short trips, and the color is absolutely beautiful.

It is made of a lightweight and breathable fabric that is perfect for long-distance outdoor activities. This model features a high collar that provides additional protection from the wind and cold. It also has an adjustable hood that can be removed when not needed.

The durable fabric can withstand light rain and moisture. The zippers and snaps are high-quality and built to last. The backpack also includes adjustable cuffs and hem that help to keep the warmth inside and the cold out.

It is suitable for a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and playing outside. Jack Wolfskin Kid’s hiking pack includes several pockets for storing small items, including two side pockets and a chest pocket. It also features reflective details that improve visibility in low light conditions.

Pros:Cons:
  • Space for all the essentials
  • Sturdy and good looking
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Multiple organization pockets
  • Affordable
  • Small capacity

Check on Amazon


6. CamelBak Mini M.U.L.E. 1.5L Hydration Pack for Kids’

6. CamelBak Mini M.U.L.E. 1.5L Hydration Pack for Kids

Tech Specs:

  • Age Range: 7-12 Years
  • Volume: 1.5L
  • Weight: 7.4 oz.

The CamelBak Mini M.U.L.E. 1.5L is a high-quality hydration pack for kids. It has a breathable air-mesh back panel, which offers a lightweight and comfortable fit. This model is available in several colors and features a spacious main compartment.

It has two zipper pockets and an expandable outside pocket, making it perfect for carrying small hiking gear. The zippers and buckles are also high-quality. Its several pockets and compartments also help you to organize all your kids’ hiking gear. This model includes a 1.5-liter hydration reservoir, making it easy for kids to stay hydrated during outdoor activities.

The backpack is fun and simple to use. The chest strap and a hip belt help to further stabilize the load. It is also very useful for kayaking, skiing, and just about any time!

CamelBak Mini M.U.L.E. kids hiking pack is made of 200-denier polyester for maximizing long-lasting durability. The adjustable trekking pole attachment system makes it easy to carry trekking poles.

Pros:Cons:
  • Breathable
  • Safety whistle
  • Stretch overflow storage compartment
  • Visible in low-light environments
  • Small pockets

Check on REI


7. Deuter Pico 2021 Kid’s Backpack for Hiking

7. Deuter Pico 2021 Kids Backpack for Hiking

Tech Specs:

  • Age Range: 2-5 Years
  • Volume: 5L
  • Weight: 7 oz.

The Deuter Pico is a versatile backpack designed for kids to use for both school and hiking. It has a functional and stylish design that is perfect for kids aged 2 and up. It’s small and suitable for the child’s back.

The easy-access main compartment is designed with a curved zipper with fabric pulls, which is very kid-friendly. It has padded S-shaped shoulder straps with soft edges, which are fully adjustable and feature a chest strap to help little ones carry loads more comfortably.

The backpack includes a built-in rain cover that helps to protect the contents of the backpack during inclement weather. The adjustable shoulder straps and a padded back panel are also very comfortable. The side pocket is designed to fit water bottle.

Overall, the Deuter Pico Kid’s Backpack is an outstanding choice for children in need of a versatile backpack that seamlessly transitions between school and outdoor activities.

Pros:Cons:
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Side pocket fits water bottle
  • Pretty robust
  • Cheap price
  • Designed for small kids under 5 years

Check on Amazon


8. Hydrajet 12 Kid’s Hydration Hiking Backpack

8. Hydrajet 12 Kids Hydration Hiking Backpack

Tech Specs:

  • Age Range: 4-12 Years
  • Volume: 1.5L
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs.

The Hydrajet 12 is a top-notch hydration backpack crafted specifically for kids aged 4 to 12 years. Its functional and stylish design perfectly aligns with kids’ tastes. The backpack is equipped with a 1.5-liter hydration reservoir, and the overall quality is enhanced by smooth zippers, ensuring superb durability.

It is designed to be comfortable to wear during any outdoor activities. It is made of high-quality materials, such as durable nylon fabric that is water resistant. It has lots of web loops at the front to attach things via carabiners.

Being an Osprey brand, the quality of the Hydrajet 12 is exceptional. The zippers operate smoothly, the straps are easily adjustable, and the overall fit provides a comfortable experience.

This model has dual side pockets and a front stretch pocket, so you can store water, extra layers, and plenty of snacks. It is highly functional, making it suitable for a wide range of activities, including hiking, camping, and biking.

Pros:Cons:
  • 1.5L hydration reservoir included
  • Wide mouth
  • Bucket-style main compartment
  • Built-in whistle
  • Lots of web loops at the front to attach things to via carabiners
  • A bit pricey compared to Camelbak packs
  • No stabilizing waist band or hip pocket
  • No built-in rain cover

Check on Amazon


9. REI Co-op Tarn 12 Pack for Kids’

9. REI Co op Tarn 12 Pack for Kids

Tech Specs:

  • Age Range: 4-10 Years
  • Volume: 12L
  • Weight: 12 oz.

The REI Co-op Tarn 12 is a real pack—not a toy. It has a stylish and functional design, making it perfect for kids. The backpack includes a built-in hydration sleeve that can accommodate a 2-liter hydration reservoir. The whistle is also integrated, which is a great safety feature.

It includes several pockets and compartments, including a front pocket and two side mesh pockets for water bottles. The backpack is easy to carry. The sternum and waist straps can be adjusted very easily. It has enough room from day to day times for a Child under 10.

Like the REI Co-op Tarn 18, this model is made from recycled ripstop nylon with a durable water-repellent finish. However, if you’re going to use it for school it won’t fit a folder without mashing it up.

There are also hose openings at the top of both straps. However, this kids’ hydration pack does not have a rain cover. But you can easily be covered by any type of rain cover.

Pros:Cons:
  • Easy to carry
  • Plenty of compartments
  • Versatile pack
  • Well balanced
  • Too small
  • Short side pocket for standard kid’s water bottle

Check on REI


10. Gelindo Hydration Insulated Pack for Kids

10. Gelindo Hydration Insulated Pack for Kids

Tech Specs:

  • Age Range: 7-12 Years
  • Volume: 18L
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs.

Gelindo Hydration Backpack with 2.5L BPA Free Bladder is a versatile and durable backpack designed for outdoor activities such as hiking, running, cycling, and festivals. It has a sleek and stylish design that is perfect for men, women, and kids.

It is constructed from durable and water-resistant materials, which protect your belongings from unexpected rains and rugged terrains. While it may be smaller than your average backpack, it’s remarkably roomy and serves as the perfect companion for hiking adventures.

The total weight is 1.4 lbs and with a loading capacity of 18L, making it the perfect match for short trips. It is designed with 11 diverse storage compartments to keep things organized. You can carry keys, a cellphone, and smaller items in the side pockets.

The insulated hydration bladder compartment keeps your water cool and fresh, even in hot weather conditions. The padded back and chest strap reduce fatigue and strain during the adventures. This model also includes a built-in rain cover that can be easily pulled out during rainy weather.

Pros:Cons:
  • Hydration storage bag
  • 11 diverse storage compartments
  • Thoughtful shoulder straps
  • Leakproof design
  • Breathable
  • The material is fairly thin
  • Does not come with a rain cover

Check on Amazon


Buying Guide

Choosing the right hiking backpack for kids is an important decision, as it will impact the child’s comfort and safety on the trail. Here is a complete guide on how to choose the best hiking backpack for kids:

  • Size: The backpack should be appropriately sized for the child’s height and weight. It should not be too big or too small, as this can cause discomfort and make it difficult for the child to carry.
  • Capacity: Consider the amount of gear the child will need to carry on the hike. A backpack with a capacity of 15-20 liters should be sufficient for day hikes, while overnight hikes may require a larger backpack.
  • Fit: The backpack should fit the child’s body comfortably. Look for backpacks with adjustable straps and hip belts, so the backpack can be adjusted to fit the child’s torso and waist.
  • Weight: The backpack should be lightweight, as it will be worn by a child who may not have the strength to carry a heavy load.
  • Durability: Choose a hiking pack for kids made from durable materials that can withstand the wear and tear of outdoor activities.
  • Features: Look for features such as hydration systems, external pockets, and compression straps, which can make the backpack more functional and convenient for the child.
  • Brand reputation: Choose a reputable brand that specializes in hiking backpacks for kids. Research the brand and read reviews from other parents to ensure that the backpack is of good quality and will meet your child’s needs.

As we mentioned at the beginning of this guide, the right hiking backpack for kids should be comfortable, lightweight, durable, and functional.

FAQs

What is the ideal size for a hiking backpack for kids?

The ideal size for a hiking backpack for kids will depend on the child’s height and weight, as well as the length of the hike. A backpack with a capacity of 15-20 liters should be sufficient for day hikes, while overnight hikes may require a larger backpack.

How do I measure my child for a hiking backpack?

To measure your child for a hiking backpack, you will need to measure their torso length. Have your child stand up straight with their arms at their sides, and measure from the base of their neck to the top of their hips.

Can my child carry a backpack that is too big for them?

It’s not recommended for a child to carry a backpack that is too big for them, as this can cause discomfort and strain on their back and shoulders. It’s important to choose a backpack that is appropriately sized for your child.

What should I look for in a hiking backpack for kids?

When choosing a hiking backpack for kids, look for features such as adjustable straps and hip belts, durable materials, lightweight design, and functional features like hydration systems and external pockets.

Can my child use my hiking backpack?

We don’t recommend a child use an adult-sized hiking backpack, as the fit may not be appropriate for their body. It’s important to choose a backpack that is specifically designed for kids.

Can a hiking backpack for kids be used for other activities?

Yes, a hiking backpack for kids can be used for other outdoor activities such as camping, backpacking, and day trips.

Conclusion

After reviewing several hiking backpacks for kids, it is clear that there are many great options available today. And each backpack has its own unique features and benefits, and the best one for your child will depend on their specific needs and preferences.

That being said, there are a few standout options that are worth considering:

  • Deuter Junior Kid’s Backpack – This kids’ hiking backpack is well-designed for both school and hiking, with a comfortable fit and several pockets for organization.
  • Gregory Mountain Products Icarus – This model is perfect for longer hikes. With a larger capacity and adjustable suspension system, it has a great customized fit.
  • REI Co-op Tarn 12 Pack – It is a versatile and functional hiking pack. It is built with a hydration sleeve and several pockets for organizing gear and supplies.
  • CamelBak Mini M.U.L.E. 1.5L – This kids’ hiking pack is lightweight and compact. It has a 1.5-liter hydration reservoir for staying hydrated during shorter hikes.

Ultimately, the best hiking backpack for kids will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the child and their family. By considering factors such as size, durability, and functionality, you can find a backpack that will provide your child with the comfort and support they need during outdoor adventures.

See Also…

Leave a Comment