I can’t say enough about how much I love the Deuter Fox 30 backpack. I bought my son one when he was 6, but I could have waited a year for his slender body to grow into it. When my daughter turned 6, I ran out and bought her one as well. These packs have been very good to my kids over the past four and two years.
Why I love them:
- 1800 cu in. – This is just enough to space to fit a sleeping bag, waterproof pants, rain jacket, a few layers, snacks, hat, headlamp, Kindle, group 1st Aid Kit and still have room to slip in a heavy boulder when your kid starts hiking faster than you. The maximum weight each kid has carried has been 13 pounds.
- Side Straps on outside of the pack – These could have easily been eliminated in the development of a kid’s pack and I’m thankful they were not. Just like adult backpacks, the side straps allow items to be strapped on the sides. We use them for sleeping pads and fishing poles.
- Support and Suspension – The suspension system molds exactly to little kids backs providing adequate weight distribution. The padded shoulder straps sit comfy on a kid’s shoulders and far enough apart that rubbing does not occur. The hip belt is wide enough to cover enough surface area not to dig into the waist and the chest strap provides great stabilization while little ones are jumping from boulder to boulder.
- Ice Ax Loop – This was a major initial selling point to me. I knew my kids would follow my path into the Alpine environment and would need to store an ice ax.
- Side Pockets – I love that a 32 ounce Nalgene bottle can fit into this pocket.
- Sewn webbing – The webbing that is sewn onto the back of the pack is just another fantastic addition that could have easily been left of any other kids pack. This is perfect for clipping helmets on or carabiners to hold other things.
- Summit Pack – On occasion I have been known to leave my pack behind at base camp and use this pack as a summit pack. This allows my kid to hike up to the summit carrying little and I carry enough essentials in this smaller pack instead of my larger pack. I can’t recommend this for everyone based on size build, but I’m 5 foot 5 chick and it works.
Things I don’t love:
- Honestly, I haven’t found anything about this that I don’t like. I started my slender built kids in these packs a year earlier than I should have and it was obvious when all straps were pulled as tight as possible and there was extra room for movement of the backpack. To compensate for this, the weight was drastically reduced to just a 3 pound sleeping bag.