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Backpacks for kids?

We are traveling with two 6 yr olds, 11 yr old and 14 yr old. We are traveling in Europe for 17 days and bringing backpacks only. Any suggestions for the 6 yr olds?

Posted by
401 posts

Last summer my 6 year old did well with an Osprey Porter 30 for three weeks. I believe it was around 12 pounds fully packed. If we had a long walk, it was easy for me to carry to give him a break.

My daughter used an older version of the RS Appenzell quite a few times when she was small. She still uses it as a teen to carry about 3 - 4 days worth of clothes. Kid’s clothing is smaller. So, the appenzell does work with packing cubes which I highly recommend anyway for all types of travel. Alternatively - Patagonia has a lightweight tote pack that is easy to pack. (I use the Patagonia pack myself.)
You basically want one large compartment to place the packing cubes with clothes, then a few smaller pockets for organization. has the daylite 26 liter travel backpack. It costs more than the above suggestions, but is a quality bag that should last a long time.
LLBean has the explorer pack designed for kids. It’s a school backpack, but I bet it would work with packing cubes for travel. (Packing cubes - I recommend Ebags brand, classic cubes in sizes medium, small, and slimline.). My only concern about the LLBean bag is whether the main compartment is deep enough to hold packing cubes. I would investigate this further with LLBean before buying.

The patagonia lightweight tote pack and the Appenzell can definitely hold an Ebags medium sized packing cube and more. These two bags basically have one large compartment and a couple of extra pockets. Makes dropping in the packing cubes easy. The Patagonia bag is the easiest to pack. My family and I have used both with no problems.

Patagonia also has the atom backpack. Not sure it would hold a medium packing cube, but it should hold small and slimline cubes. 20 liter. Good size for a child. You can remove the electronics sleeve.

Posted by
124 posts

Congratulations your family is going to Europe!

We just got back from a 17-day trip to France in May with our 5-year-old daughter. She had a Junior Original Book Pack from L L Bean. It's a smaller version of their regular school backpack. It was the perfect size for her stature and a 5-year-old's clothes are small. We did not use packing cubes, we used ziplock bags for her things. I will say, make sure it's lite, with a child that small you may be carrying it with yours most of the time. Ours complained about wearing the backpack. In her defense, her legs are short, and we had to walk quite a bit (so will you). So sometimes it was just easier to carry hers with mine. Then she was a happy walker and could keep up with the adults. Don't forget the sketchbook and colored pencils. Work less on your vacation - PACK LITE.

I hope you and your family have a great trip!

That’s a good reply. Earlier today, I found my daughter’s old LLBean school bag. It’s the one with one main compartment and a small front pocket with organizer. I tested it with an Ebags medium packing cube. The packing cube fit just fine. It would make a good travel bag for a child. Probably better than the LL Bean explorer pack which has 2 main zip compartments and other features.

Posted by
78 posts

My suggestion is for the Red Oxx K-12 Kat Pack backpack. It is about 20 ltrs, comes in 13 colors and was designed for kids, but I use mine for commuting with my laptop, lunch, breakfast, and various personal items. It is made in America and has a lifetime warranty. Your kids will love the colors and they can choose different colors so they will not be mixed up. I believe they would hold enough for your six year olds and possible the older children, too.

I just looked up the RS Ravenna Day Pack. The dimensions are very good for small children while still providing enough volume for children’s clothing. Nice back padding as well. This would be good for the 6 year olds. The older kids could well handle the appenzell or other bags suggested above.

Posted by
14117 posts

Tom Bihn used to make a backpack for kids called the Sprout. 13.8" x 11 x 5.7 inches. It weighed 15 oz.

You may be able to find one on ebay.