We just spent two weeks in the desert and my 5 year old wore his new CamelBak Kids’ Scout Hydration Pack every single day, sometimes for hours on end. This day pack is the perfect size for 4-7 year olds, and we used it on both hikes and bike rides.
I like my new backpack because it has water in it. I also like the blue camo color because it helps me blend in with my surroundings.August, age 5, proud new owner of the CamelBak Kids’ Scout Hydration Pack in Maui Blue color
- Main Compartment Volume: 12.5 Liters
- Hydration Capacity: 1.5 Liters/50 Ounces, hydration bladder included
- Weight: 11 Ounces
- Dimensions: 4.6″ x 10.2″ x 9.4″
- External Pockets: 4
- Material: Free from BPA/BPF/BPS
- Ages: 4-7
- Torso Fit: 15″-19″
- For reference, my 3 year old has a 14″ torso, and my 5 year old’s is 16.5″. This pack is a much better fit on my 5 year old.
Key Features of the CamelBak Kids’ Scout Hydration Pack
- The brand new Crux hydration bladder delivers 20% more water per sip, with an ergonomic handle for easier refilling, an on/off lever that makes it easy to prevent leaks and a self-sealing bite valve
- Safety whistle on sternum strap
- Breathable air mesh back panel for a lightweight, comfortable fit
- Reflective accents for visibility in low-light environments
I really like the new design of the hose valve. There’s an on/off tab (that’s easy enough for my son to manage independently), and the bite valve never drips or leaks, even when it’s been chewed on.
Another feature that I appreciate is the hose length. The bladder and hose is designed for a small kid. The hose doesn’t dangle down too far, or make a huge loop.
Best Uses for the CamelBak Kids’ Scout Hydration Pack
The Scout is technically a day pack due to its 12.5L capacity. In comparison, the biking-specific CamelBak Mini Mule has a 1.5L capacity. BUT this doesn’t stop us from using the Scout on bike rides!
We were recently biking in the desert where we experienced some cold, windy days. I could easily fit fleece gloves, a rain jacket, and snacks in the pack with room to spare. When the sun came out, of course my kid had to remove his shirt, which fit in the pack with the rest of the gear.
Even with the extra layers and the hydration bladder near capacity, the entire thing weighed about 5 lbs. My 5 year old never complained about the weight of the pack.
There is no waist belt on the Scout, but the sternum strap helps keeps the pack securely in place while riding on bumpy singletrack.
The large 12.5 L main compartment makes this an excellent pack for day hikes. My son is an over packer, but I try to let him be in charge of the things he needs to bring.
On a recent snowy hike, he managed to fit a fleece vest, rain jacket, fruit pouch, 2 string cheeses, a notebook, a Stormtrooper and Darth Vader. And there was still (a little) space left over.
A warning to my fellow mamas: this pack may turn your kiddo into an extra slow hiker.
My son was constantly drinking water and playing with the on/off switch, and then of course he had to pee all the time. But the built-in sternum strap whistle will ensure that you’ll always know where they are if they start to lag behind.
The Bottom Line
What I love
I love the carrying capacity of the CamelBak Kids’ Scout Hydration Pack. It can fit a lot of stuff! My kids are always more cooperative about wearing a pack when they can be in charge of what goes in it. And there’s plenty of room for the essentials, and the non-essentials (ie: Stormtroopers).
I also love that the hydration bladder comes with this pack. I think that at $60, a youth day pack with a hydration bladder included is a good deal.
There are some details that I really appreciate, too. Our pack is the Maui Blue color, and my son appreciates that it doesn’t look like it’s for babies. He thinks it looks very cool and it almost matches dad’s camo print CamelBak.
The pack has several reflective accents (on the large CamelBak logo, as well as along the straps) and it makes keeping track of your kid at dusk way easier.
The 12.5 Liter main compartment is awesome for all the essentials, but there’s also a top zipper pocket, with 2 internal mesh pockets, that I love for sunglasses, power pellets (ie: gummy bears) and other things that require quick, easy access.
What I Don’t Love
I think this is more a reflection of my kids chewing habit, but in 2 weeks, the bite valve on the hydration bladder is destroyed. I don’t remember my kids ever chewing up a valve so quickly, so I wonder if the valve is made of a softer, less durable rubber.
The good thing is that even though the valve is totally chewed up, there’s still no leakage thanks to the on/off lever. But once you turn the lever to ‘on’, the water gushes out. CamelBak sells replacement valves, and i’ll just have to try to curb my son’s chewing habit.
The bottom line is the CamelBak Scout is an awesome hydration pack for kids ages 4-7, for hiking or biking.
The hydration bladder can carry more than enough water for day-hikes, and the 12.5 L main compartment will fit all the layers, snacks and trail treasures. And it’s a really nice looking pack – which means kids will want to wear it!
Find it directly from Camelbak or on Amazon.
- Osprey Hydration Packs for Kids
- CamelBak Mini M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack for Kids
- Best Tips for Hot Weather Hiking with Kids
- Best Insulated Water Bottles for Families
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