The Best Kids’ Backpacks of 2013

Are you planning on taking your kids with you, on your next camping trip? If so, it is important to realize that your children will want to be just as prepared as you are. That means having all of the necessary camping equipment and gear, specially tailored for teens and younger children.

Perhaps your family will be hiking through the wilderness in addition to camping in tents. Or maybe you will be spending some time on a fishing boat. No matter what the specifics of your family camping trip, you and your children will need to have the right gear to tote all of the snacks or camping gear you plan to bring along. The best solution is to have a solid backpack in which to carry all.

Here are some of the best backpacks, designed specifically for kids.

Gregory Wander 70 Internal Frame Pack

Gregory Wander 70 Internal Frame Pack

The Gregory Wander 70 Internal Frame Pack is meant for youths, ages 10 and up. It is a sturdy and stable pack, and it is very adjustable. That means that as your child grows, the backpack can grow with them. The backpack is just three pounds, six ounces, and has a 3,051 cubic inch storage capacity. The torso length is 13 to 20 inches and it has seven pockets. The designers have taken all of the specifications of the adult backpack and turned it into a size appropriate for youths. The thing that really sets the Gregory Wander 70 apart from the others is its adjustability capability. The pack also has a versatile hip belt.

Kelty Red Cloud 65 Junior Internal Frame Pack

Another top backpack for youths is the Kelty Red Cloud 65 Junior Internal Frame Pack. This backpack is most suited for a young teenager or a bigger preteen. Just like the Gregory Wander 70, the Kelty Red Cloud 65 Junior model offers all of the exact specifications of the adult pack, just in a scaled-down size. It has quite a few special features, including a sleeping bag compartment, zippered side pockets and light beam suspension system. This backpack weighs four pounds, one ounce and has a roomy 3,900 cubic inch storage capacity. The torso length is 14 to 18 inches and it has seven pockets. Similar to the Gregory Wander 70, the Kelty Red Cloud 65 Junior also prides itself on its adjustability in height.

Osprey Ace 48 Internal Frame Backpack

A third, very good option for a youth backpack is the Osprey Ace 48 Internal Frame Backpack. The age range for this backpack is between 12 and 16, so it’s great for teen campers. The Osprey Ace 48 is a great backpack for scouting and long-distance hiking and mountaineering. This one has a little bit of a different look than the first two options because of its vertical zip access. The Osprey Ace 48 only has three pockets, but its functionality is intended to be a bit different. Some of its key features are a sleeping pad strap and an integral rain cover. It also has zippered sleeping bag access. This pack weighs three pounds, two ounces, and has a 2,900 cubic inch storage capacity on an aluminum frame.

Osprey Ace 48 Internal Frame Backpack

North Face Terra 55 Youth Pack

The fourth pick Campmor has for children’s backpacks, is the North Face Terra 55 Youth Pack. Much like the Osprey Ace 48 Internal Frame Backpack, this one is designed for scouting. It is light but sturdy and has enough capacity for several days of camping out. The Opti Fit suspension system adapts to a wide range of torso sizes for children, but it really is designed for a torso size of 15 to 18 inches. It has a deluxe vertical mesh channel on the back panel which provides a cooling comfort. The Terra 55 Youth Pack also has a cushy shoulder harness, which is sleek and anatomical and makes carrying heavy loads easier for young shoulders and backs. The entry to the main compartment has a huge zipper, which also has sleeping bag compartment access. There are two side mesh water bottle pockets. The North Face Terra 55 Youth Pack is also hydration compatible. The pack has a maximum load capacity of 45 pounds and it has a 3,350 cubic inch storage capacity. It weighs 4 pounds and 1 ounce.

With all these great backpacks designed just for kids, camping with the family is now easier and more enjoyable for everyone.

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  • Nancy

    The first time I took my boys backpacking, they were seven and nine. They used the Kelty Jr. Tioga which worked great for them. The seven year old carried his Ridge Rest ground padm sleeping bag (lashed below the packbag) the tent body and his own clothing and water. The nine year old carried his ground pad, sleeping bag, the tent fly, his clothing and water and the bagels. I carried everything else. They were able to carry their loads comfortably. The nice thing about the external frame is that you can lash things to the pack without shifting the weight distribution much. On subsequent trips the kids have carried more and more, including such fun items as fishing poles and “pool noodles.” I wouldn’t recommend the pack for kids younger than 7 because the waist belt won’t adjust small enough.

    My older son is now twelve and long waisted and now carries the Osprey Ace. It is amazing how much gear fits in this pack and how comfortably he can carry it. Since the torso adjustment goes to 20 inches, most adults could probably use this pack as a light-weekend pack; I’m going to try it when he graduates to a full sized pack (if he ever needs to!) I’m seriously impressed with the features on the Osprey Ace. It looks as though the Gregory pack (above) also adjusts to 20 inches but most of the other internal frame packs for youth have a narrower torso range (up to about 18 inches.)

    • disqus_Rjk0Gk7SZj

      thanks. I always appreciate a real user comment. This is a year later now.. so if your children have upgraded.. I need a pack.. I am a beginner mom and my son will be 11 in Sept 2014. IF you wanna sell let me know… I would rather have the money for my size since I am new to this and older!! lol so trying to keep up with my son who is nature boy! I am on Fb as bobbi mileham. kn Eureka CA

  • Oldelvis

    Care has to be taken to recommend Large backpacks to younger kids. Kids should carry no more than 35% of their body weight in the pack. For kids as young as 10 this is not really that much. I heartily agree with the Sprint Ace shown here. It is my go to pack for Webelos transitioning to Boy Scouts, as they will likely be able to use it until they are 18, and the adjustment is a piece of Cake.

  • Brian

    just my two cents but I can go personally for 4 days on a 40L pack so 65L and 70L packs seem like over kill. The extra space possibly not compressing well thus sitting wrong and more likely the urge to over load it. ie I can take 3 pairs of pants because I have the space. I am looking at the deuter 40L for my 10 year old (and the 30L version) and while the 30L is appealing now I think the 40L will work longer into the teens ie 18 or 19 years old so I will probably go bigger and get the 40L but unless the kid is 16+ a 60L is a recipe for issues. Just my two cents and it helps that my sleeping bag only takes up 6L compressed

  • Brian

    ps. maximum load capacity of 45 pounds!!!! I carried 65lbs with my wife carrying 40lbs for 4 people of 5 days (the kids carried water and some snacks) if you are carrying 45lbs it is time to buy some lighter gear!