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Topic: Which backpack and sleeping bag for a 4-year old?, Also, Daypack or Overnight?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 29 2012, 1:08 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am starting to do research to get a backpack for my 4 year old daughter.  I am not set on whether it is a daypack or capable of doing overnights, but it would be nice if it would fit a kid's size sleeping bag.  Right now we do exclusively day hikes, but I would like to take her on her first overnight this summer. I don't have the sleeping bag yet either and have started checking out options.

For packs I have looked at these:

Day packs

Deuter Junior

Osprey Jet

Overnight packs
Deuter Fox 30

REI Comet

From the forum search I see that some of you have the Deuter Fox 30, looks like a quality pack.

A couple of sleeping bags options I have considered:
The North Face Tigger

REI Kindercone

Some good deals to be had, I just wanted to check and see what opinions are out there about these products.  Feel free to add any other suggestions.  Thanks!


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 29 2012, 3:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I looked at the Kindercones this week and they are big - like they roll up big so it would be hard to fit in a kid's backpack. They might compress using a compression sack but as they ship, won't fit in a backpack for a small child.

We use the LaFuma Junior but they are out of production and I haven't seen the new version in person. The older ones will fit in the Deuter Junior daypack with enough room for clothes and a toy or two.

For a 4 year old, I wouldn't bother with a real backpack yet. The hip belts are not going to fit. Just use the day packs for now. If she likes backpacking you can look at one of the larger packs and modify the hip belt. I'm not crafty so I haven't tried this but others here have added some foam to the belts to help them fit better.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 29 2012, 3:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How big (weight/height) is your daughter?  What does she normally carry now on dayhikes?  

Unless she's big for her age or an unusually dedicated hiker at her age, I'm not sure that it's worth worrying about a buying a special pack for her.  My son finally grew out of his Deuter Fox 30 last year, at the age of 12.  We dayhiked a lot when he was a toddler but I honestly can't remember what he carried; probably some sort of novelty pack like a "Thomas the Tank Engine" or something like that, and maybe carry his fleece or rain jacket, and maybe a snack and some water.  For a first overnight, you might add a flashlight or headlamp and something for camp, like a stuffed animal or a book?

I think backpacking with a toddler essentially means that the parents get to be Sherpa...


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 29 2012, 4:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks!  Exactly the type of input I'm looking for.

That Lafuma Jr. looks like a great fit, I found a 2011 version on sale ($27.95) if anyone else is in my situation:

Lafuma Yellowstone JR Print 40 Degree (2011) Sleeping Bag

I went ahead and picked it up.  Hopefully it'll work out!

I am leaning toward the Deuter Junior for the backpack, not quite ready to pull the trigger on it.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 29 2012, 4:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

TigerFan- she is a dedicated hiker, she is always asking me when we can go camping or hiking next :)

So far we have used very small bookbag type packs, and that has been perfect for dayhikes.  I am also thinking ahead as I have a 1 year old son who could potentially benefit down the road from his older sister getting good gear.

Yep, I am preparing to be "sherpa" for a while, looking forward to it!


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 30 2012, 12:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When ours were that age, they carried some kind of REI "Junior" daypack.  No way could they carry anything big enough to hold a sleeping bag--though they managed to get most of their clothes (and a stuffy) into it, along with some water and a snack.  

Here is Second Son on the trail in the Wind Rivers in 2005 (so he was actually 5 then, though no larger than many 4-year-olds, and his 6-year-old brother is carrying the same pack, and is the same size).


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 30 2012, 12:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Our kids used the NF Tigger, though we moved them into down adult-sized bags pretty early.  

One trick we used was to put one of our (tiny, highly compressible down bags) into a kid's pack, and the bulkier kid bag in ours.  Another, once we were all using down, was to use a compression sack and put 2 sleeping bags in one stuff sack, which made it easier to get them in our pack.  Our kids weren't big enough for the Deuter Fox 30 until they were 5 & 6.

Here they are on their first trip with the Deuters, at almost 6 and half-past 7 (still the same size--that didn't really change until Eldest Son became a teen):


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 30 2012, 12:55 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just for perspective, I think that Sarbar's son was carrying all his stuff by about age 6 or 7, and mine didn't start doing that (well, they still aren't carrying their own tent, though that will change this summer) until they were more like 10 or 11, and finally reaching Ford's age 7 size.  A lot depends not only on your kid's attitude, but her size and growth patterns.  

That elf/hobbit blood in my husband's family really slowed down the transfer of gear from our packs to the boys :p


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 30 2012, 10:12 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

RebeccaD, awesome stories and examples of the changes to expect in the future.  I think for now I am going to wait on purchasing the pack.  First I'll take her on a few hikes to see how much she is comfortable carrying.  I can always find a spot for the sleeping bag in my pack this summer if we manage to get out for a backpack trip.
Thanks again!


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 30 2012, 2:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My two younger kids, age 5 and 6 use the REI Tarn 18 pack...costs $40 at REI...
http://www.rei.com/product/808317/rei-tarn-18-pack-youth

They love this pack as they can hold their sleeping bag ,some snacks, hydration bladder, a small first aid kit, and socks and underwear. Anything else clothes wise I usually carry in my pack.

The sleeping bag is a North Face Blue Ridge 20 degree synthetic, it sells for $47....
http://www.sunnysports.com/Prod....RN.html

they are worth checking out..

For what its worth my youngest daughter will actually be 5 in June..I have tried the pack on her and it is a descent fit for her..this being about 4 months ago. I will be taking her out this spring. It will be a short overnighter, 2 miles or so each day.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 30 2012, 3:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

GottaGamble, thanks for the input.  That REI pack looks nice, I like that it is hydration compatible.  I'll definitely keep it in mind.  What's funny is that she already asks to drink out of my tube!  One dayhike we went on I even resorted to carrying a small hydration bladder with her own tube just for her in my pack :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 01 2012, 1:45 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My granddaughter carried an almost full pack (her bag and clothes and pad) at 8.  And she used a couple dif packs and the one she really liked was a cheapo LL Bean...go figure! So...same as with us, whatever is the most comfortable! Have her wear it in the store with her stuff just like you would....

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 01 2012, 1:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Definitely what ndwoods says--find what's comfy on the kid.  Mine do find that a hip belt helps, less than on me, because they haven't much in the way of hips, but more than nothing.  I can explain how to pad a hipbelt for skinny kids, if needed.

That pack Gottagamble uses looks nice--but I notice that it's not an adjustable torso.  How does that "Fits ages 8-12" work if the torso is fixed?  My boys did a LOT of growing in those years, and they did less than most kids!

The reality we've found is that they need upgraded packs every few years to keep up with both the increased bulk of their clothes, etc., and their increasing ability to carry group gear/food--not to mention their growth (last year, Eldest Son grew 5 inches from Feb. 2011 to Feb. 2012, most of it between about May and August. That changes things!--and is apparently totally normal, as he turned 14 last fall).  

Apropos of which, I may have a pack for sale by the time the summer hiking season starts--this one:
http://www.rei.com/product/813846/rei-comet-pack-kids-special-buy

Supposedly it's 40 liters, but seems smaller than the Deuter Fox 40 we got, and the torso definitely stops shorter.  Second Son is at the top of the torso adjustment now, so we'll see--he turns 13 in 6 weeks (ulp).

I have a Fox 30, as well, though Hikingurl put in a dibs on it last fall--not sure if she's able.  But at least one of those is apt to be an option soon, if you want to go used (most of us do around here--the REI pack has been passed around a bit!).

Hey, anyone got a Fox 40?  Or maybe an adult pack for shorter torsos and super-skinny hips?  I could always give Eldest Son an even larger pack (and more of the food. . . ).


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2012, 11:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RebeccaD @ Apr. 01 2012, 1:11 pm)
QUOTE
That pack Gottagamble uses looks nice--but I notice that it's not an adjustable torso.  How does that "Fits ages 8-12" work if the torso is fixed?  My boys did a LOT of growing in those years, and they did less than most kids!

no adjustable torso, correct. I am not sure how it will fit an 8 year old. My oldest is 10 and she uses an Osprey Imp. However, at a cost of $40, i felt if they can get a good 3 or maybe 4 years out of it, then it was well worth it. When the time comes that they outgrow the packs, I will most likely be giving them away to someone on here that is searching for one...no charge except for shipping. I will have my 10 year old try it on maybe tonight if I remember..see how it fits her, she is tall and slim.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2012, 11:12 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Once again, you all are great, thanks for the excellent advice.  I think as it gets closer to summer (probably mid-May) I will post a "WTB kid's pack" thread as a reminder and see what might be available.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2012, 12:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If anyone is looking for a warmer kids' bag, I can recommend the Eureka Ladybug (lavendar/pink) and Grasshopper (green).  It is rated to 30 and much to my surprise, seems to be accurately rated. My girls have been comfy and warm a few degrees below freezing, just wearing their usual jammies and sleeping on a standard thermarest.  The specs are comparable to the TNF Tigger and REI kids' bags, but for less than half the $.  Compressability isn't great, but again, comparable to the spendier kids' bags.  The construction is good on the 2 bags I have.  My only minor gripe was the stuff sack that comes with the bags.  Aside from being very flimsy, it is also too big to use for backpacking and too small to use for storage.  Otherwise, it's a good bag.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2012, 1:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Since a question was raised about the hipbelt modifications, and I can't put pictures in a PM, I'm going to post some photos here of what I did to make a hipbelt for a 22" waist fit a kid with about a 17" waist.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2012, 1:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A little more detail:

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2012, 1:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

And from the front to see how it fit behind the belt:

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2012, 8:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks Rebecca! That's kind of what I was thinking about.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2012, 1:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My son's first overnight was when he was 6, it was a 1 mile hike to a beautiful lake, and he carried a day pack with his lunch and a rain coat in it.  It was a few years before he carried his sleeping bag.  His first real pack was an external frame pack, the smallest Kelty or REI made.  



This was his pack when he was 7, which he used for a couple of years.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2012, 1:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Rebecca, when my skinny little girls are tall enough for a real backpack, I can see I'll have to ship them to you for alterations (the packs, not the children).  Maybe we could work out some kind of swap, like baked goods in exchange for sewing skills?    :p

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 08 2012, 1:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

All 3 trips my now 5 year old son has done now he's just used his lightest yet biggest preschool backpack (a generic one with Star Wars graphics). I certainly wouldn't buy him a pack that weighs more than my 70 L one (29 oz). I would like to find or make him one with nicer straps though as on this particular pack they meet in the middle, and I think they irritate his neck. He doesn't complain about that, but it gets red.

He uses a women's down bag, which I carry. He carried all his clothing, rain jacket, pillow and quart of water. Total weight of all he carried, including the pack, was about 5 lbs. He's small and skinny (38 lbs).

We just did one of the toughest trails in IN. Bailed half a day early because of rain (I let the boys decide) so we missed the last 3-4 miles of trail, but they still did over 18 miles in 2.5 days. I'm quite impressed with how he did, especially given the near record heat.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 08 2012, 1:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ponderosa--I'm sure we can work something out :).  I do my own baking, but other peoples' goodies can always add variety.  OTOH--what do you know about web pages, Facebook, and marketing?  :p

topshot--great job by your kids!  We moved our kids to down bags very early, too, despite dire warnings from salespeople.  I just couldn't see hauling a kid's bag that weighed more and took up twice as much space.  Wish I still had the little packs our guys used when as small as your son--they were perfect for small, skinny kids (that's the sort we have around here, too--though one of those itty bitty kids is almost as tall as me now! [N.B. That doesn't exactly make him a giant :p ]).  I'm trying to think who has them now. . . someone on these forums.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 04 2012, 3:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As a follow up, I'm still continuing to look at packs, pretty fun even if I wasn't planning on purchasing one yet :) I found a couple of good deals on Deuter packs, free shipping with a purchase over $39.00:

Deuter Fox 30 $69.27

Deuter Junior $24.97

If anyone has either of these packs used at a better deal I might be interested.  If not, I probably will get the Junior this weekend.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 04 2012, 11:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Carl, I have a Fox 30 I'd be willing to sell for $40, shipped in the the lower 48.  It is set up with the belt-for-skinny-kids pictured above (it is in fact that very pack). I have a whole long of longies in different sizes, too, if you're interested in really cheap clothes that will be soon outgrown (though if I recall, your kid is still smaller than the sizes I have).  

Anybody have a Deuter Fox 40 they would like to offload?  Second Son needs to move up a little.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2012, 8:23 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wish it wasn't so heavy or I'd take you up on the offer if Carl passed. Hopefully, I'll have the time to make one. Even that Junior pack is almost twice the weight of his current one.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2012, 4:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, one thing I noticed is that kid packs with good suspension weigh about the same as adult packs.  Probably because it's the suspension that has the bulk of the weight.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2012, 5:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

RebeccaD... I will take you up on the offer!  I'll send you a PM.
Thanks.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2012, 6:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Carl, take good care of that pack, and I'll buy it from you for $30 in a couple of years.  :)

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