As soon as our son was old enough to start hiking around on his own two feet, he wanted to carry his own backpack. We wanted something small and light enough to fit his slender frame, but big enough to be able to last a few years.
After researching our options, the Deuter Schmusebar was the pack we chose, and we have put it through the ringer for several years. We have been super happy with this pack, and even happier to see the improvements Deuter has made to its most recent version.
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- Volume: 8 Liters
- Weight: 10 oz
- Dimensions: 13″H x 7.9″W x 6.3″D
- Hydration Compatible: No
- Exterior Pockets: 3 + main compartment
- Hipbelt: No
- Material: 600D Polyester
- Ages: 3-5
- Constructed from high performance materials with a PFC-free coating to resist water and dirt
- Breathable, sturdy 3D Airmesh lining provides excellent ventilation
- Stretch side pockets easily hold water bottles or other small items that need to be easily accessible
- Bright colors and kid-friendly designs with reflective accents increase visibility in both daytime and nighttime light
- Adjustable sternum strap
Best Uses for the Deuter Schmusebar
Walks and Hikes
While the recommended age range on this pack is 3 years and up, our son started carrying it on short walks and hikes when he was 2. The 8-liter size is a sweet spot that makes it manageable for toddlers and still big enough to hold what he needs at almost 5 years old.
The adjustable sternum strap is easy for little kids to buckle and unbuckle themselves, and does an excellent job keeping the shoulder straps snug and secure while hiking.
We do a lot of biking around our neighborhood parks and trails, and the Schmusebar is my son’s go-to choice for 2-wheeled adventures. Even without a hipbelt, the pack fits nice and close to his body and we’ve had no issues with it sliding around.
He’s becoming a more and more adventurous rider, and even as he navigates tricky terrain he never complains about the pack getting in his way or making him feel unstable.
While I can’t vouch for the teddy bear’s comfort level, it has definitely stayed securely buckled for many, many rides!
Appearance and Functionality
Deuter really has the aesthetics of this pack dialed. The designs are super fun! In addition to the bears pictured in this post, the pack is also available in a woodland animal theme and an outer space theme. And all of the designs include a significant amount of reflective material for added safety.
The fabric of the pack is really high quality and durable. And even though it is not waterproof, the material does an excellent job shedding light rain and puddle splashes. Bonus: it wipes clean really easily with a damp cloth!
The shoulder straps also contain reflective striping, a really nice touch for added visibility.
What Does it Hold?
When the 4-year-old is in charge, this pack easily holds enough tools and matchbox cars to keep him entertained for a long car ride or a trip to Grandma’s house.
When we need him to help carry what he needs on a day hike or afternoon bike ride, the Schmusebar has loads of space. Extra layers, hat and sunglasses, snacks, water bottle, and even a stuffed turtle fit inside with room to spare.
In addition to the stretch side pockets, there is an extra exterior stash pocket on the top of the pack for smaller items that might require easier access on-the-go.
The Bottom Line
What we Love
The Deuter Schmusebar is a durable, fun, practical pack that can easily grow with a young child for several years.
We love the creative reflective designs, ample storage capacity, and how smoothly the pack adjusts for a comfortable fit.
What we aren’t so crazy about
Our only real issue with this pack is the design of the cinch closure on the main compartment. While the fabric slider is easy for little kids to open and close on their own, we have found that it doesn’t stay securely closed.
If you have the lid buckled closed this isn’t necessarily a huge issue. However it does mean that it’s easier for dirt or moisture to get into the main compartment or for smaller items to fall out if the pack gets jostled around.
Side-by-Side: Deuter Schmusebar vs. Deuter Pico
The Pico and the Schmusebar are the two smallest backpacks in Deuter’s lineup, and both packs are excellent choices for your littlest adventurers. If you’re wondering how they compare, here are the main differences:
- Capacity – Pico: 5L // Schmusebar: 8L
- Main Compartment Closures – Pico: Zipper // Schmusebar: Cinch and Buckle
- Side pockets – Pico: Stretch mesh // Schmusebar: 600D Polyester with drainage hole
You can read our full review of the Deuter Pico here.
Where to buy
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