Thursday, January 3, 2013

How do I select the best hiking backpack for my child?

Most young children want to wear their own daypack so they can be like the adult. Unfortunately, most backpacks for kids are overbuilt and too heavy. Even light ones that safely can hold up to 50 pounds are inane for most children.

When buying a daypack for your child, look for:
g Sternum straps – These help keep the straps on the shoulders. This is vital for prepubescent children as they do not have the broad shoulders that come with adolescence, meaning packs likely will slip off and onto their arms, making them uncomfortable and difficult to carry.
g Lightness – For elementary-age children, a daypack should weigh roughly 18 ounces. This ensures children can’t carry so heavy of a load that they hurt themselves in the process.
g Hydration system – These are “canteens’ located inside the backpack with a straw that children can drink from, sort of like what astronauts use. Such a system will help ensure they drink a lot of water.

Read more about day hiking with children in my Hikes with Tykes guidebooks.