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Topic: Recommend a technical daypack for a young child, Hydration pack/waist strap for children< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2013, 6:49 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am figuring out how to have my son carry his own water on day hikes, most especially so he'll hopefully drink far more and more regularly. Weighing in around 45-50 pounds, he can carry 7lbs for a good long slog (about 15% of his weight), and as the day goes, the water weight will decrease, making for a good trade-off.

3L of water (~6lbs) and a pack to carry it in would be ideal for our upcoming desert day hikes. And on shorter hikes, we just won't fill it as full.

I'm having trouble finding a pack for his size, though. They are all basic backpacks. I want a daypack with fully functioning waist and sternum straps. The closest I can find is the Deuter Fox 30, but the backpacking bag is overkill for day hikes and way too big in the waist, making it pointless.

The REI Sprig 12 fits well (though it could stand to be bigger), but the waist strap is only for show and doesn't get any of that weight off his shoulders. The REI Tern 18 has a functioning waist strap but the whole thing is too big for him.

What can I do? What have others done? Surely there's a small bag with functioning waist strap out there that I could put a hydration system in. What's your advice?
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2013, 3:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For day hikes when my son was that young/light, he just carried whatever kids' daypack he liked at the time.  I don't ever remember thinking that a hipbelt was necessary, or him complaining about sore shoulders.  I don't think they had sternum straps either.

My son's first "real" pack was the Fox30.  I think he weighed about 75-80lb at the time and the Fox30 was the first (and only) pack we found with a small enough hipbelt.  Even so, I had to sew on extra padding for him to be able to cinch it tight enough.  He used it only for backpacking and I think the total packweight was just under 20lb or so that first time.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2013, 3:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the response and for sharing your experience!

I want the straps primarily to have it well-attached so it feels more like a part of him so he'll hopefully keep it on for a long period without getting annoyed by it's presence.

The store was concerned about 7lbs being all on his shoulders, saying it would give him headaches. She wanted to get some of it onto his hips.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2013, 10:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Not sure what to tell you except that kids are all different.  What does your son say?  Do his shoulders get sore?  Does he find carrying a pack annoying?  You gave his weight but how old is he?  When they're really young, I think basic maturity may be more of a factor than size/weight/fitness/pack weight.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2013, 2:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When our boys were very small we used packs that had pretty insignificant hipbelts, which still didn't do much because they didn't have hips.  We didn't really hit packs that could do the job until they were big enough to  carry the Fox 30 (I also had to add extra padding on the belt for Eldest Son).  Before that was the REI Little Teton, I think, and they never carried more than about 5 lbs in those.  You might want to compromise by using whatever pack you can find that fits, and you carry exits water for him to refill when he runs low.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2013, 5:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The only complaint I've seen is when the bag is big or unwieldy or flops around; he gets annoyed and takes it off. I think if he had it firmly attached to him that the weight itself wouldn't be a problem at all. As a matter of fact, he regularly asks to have weight and compression added as it helps him to stay focused.

Your experience helps me a lot in understanding what's important and the options we have. Thank you!
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 11 2013, 4:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Momma @ Oct. 09 2013, 5:37 pm)
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The only complaint I've seen is when the bag is big or unwieldy or flops around; he gets annoyed and takes it off. I think if he had it firmly attached to him that the weight itself wouldn't be a problem at all. As a matter of fact, he regularly asks to have weight and compression added as it helps him to stay focused.

Your experience helps me a lot in understanding what's important and the options we have. Thank you!

Maybe keep in mind that 2" webbing and buckle can be added to just about any pack if you're looking for a waistbelt.  If you're only wanting him to carry water, a hydration pack made for runners might not be a bad choice. They're usually pretty light/simple with maybe one pocket and an extra tie-on point for a jacket. Many have waist straps for extra stability as well.

I really wouldn't worry about having all the weight on his shoulders unless he's complaining about it. In my admittedly limited experience, kids tend to complain more about something resting on their hips than their shoulders, just 'cause there's such limited space there between their hip bones and ribs.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 17 2013, 8:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

We tried on a lot and settled on the Gregory Dipsea 6 hydration pack. It fits a wide variety of torsos, going down to 14" and up to 20" so it should serve him for a good, long time. It has a sternum strap and full hip belt, so we should be good to go.

It only holds 2L of water, but weighing in at an ultralight 15oz we can add a 1L platypus pouch that isn't quite full and still keep him well under the 7lbs. That will also allow us to lighten his load quickly and easily if it turns out to be too much.

We'll see how it goes!
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