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The North Face Recon Squash

The North Face Recon Squash is a youth backpack that checks to two kid-friendly boxes: fun design and plenty of storage space. Take a look at why we recommend this pack!

See all our backpack reviews here.

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The Recon Squash is designed to be a multi-purpose backpack. Whether your kid is making a trek to school or out on the trail the 17-liter capacity can accommodate a full-sized folder, or a day’s worth of hiking necessities. With two water bottle holders and several mini and full-sized internal pockets, it’s easy to keep gear separated and accessible.

Tech Specs

  • Volume: 17 Liters
  • Weight:  14.5 oz 
  • Dimensions: 16″H x 11.5″W x 6″D
  • Hydration Compatible: No
  • Exterior Pockets: 4 + main compartment
  • Hipbelt: No (does include chest strap)
  • Material: 600D Polyester
  • Ages: 6-10
The North Face Recon Squash

Key Features

  • Comfortable stitched-foam back panel and padded shoulder straps
  • Front stuff pocket and side mesh water bottle pockets that can double as treasure keepers
  • Interior mesh mini-pockets for small storage
  • Secondary interior pocket to provide additional storage in the main pocket
  • Internal name label
  • Reflective bike-light loop
  • Adjustable breakaway sternum strap designed specifically for kids
  • Zipper pulls and lash loops double as reflective accents for added nighttime visibility

My daughter goes to an all-day summer camp where a day pack is a MUST. Last year we had a difficult time fitting all her gear for a day out on the trails in a 12 liter pack. We looked at several larger packs but struggled to find something under 20 liters.

The North Face Recon Squash

The pack lends itself to compartmentalized storage. With the Recon’s strategic placement of pockets, your items won’t all smush to the bottom creating an uncomfortable lump on your back. Additional pockets reduce your time spent trying to find your fruit snacks that have dropped to the bottom. My favorite feature is the exterior shallow pocket that kids have quick access to items like sunglasses, sunscreen, and lip balm.

Another great feature for the Recon Squash are the adjustable shoulder straps and chest strap. My daughter is petite (but tall) and can tighten the pack nicely so it doesn’t wiggle around, and if she’s wearing her bulky winter coat, she can easily extend the straps to accommodate.

Best Uses for The North Face Recon Squash

All Day Hiking

If you are headed out for an all-day adventure, the Recon Squash will be a perfect trail partner. Lightweight, comfortable, and easily organized, your kiddo will be able to keep all of their gear close at hand without having to feel like they’re wearing a turtle shell!

The North Face Recon Squash

School-day Adventures

With ample storage space and a clean design, the Recon can easily transition from a day pack to school backpack. The interior small mesh pockets can hold a wallet or snacks, and the main pocket can carry folders, lunch boxes, and even an extra sweatshirt. The interior key keeper is easily accessible and a great feature for older adventurers.

Appearance and Functionality

From classic solid colors to a fun outdoor print, your kiddo will have several options to suit their style. The metal zippers on the bag are incredibly durable, have an easy grab coating on the tab and strong stitching. If your kid tends to stuff their packs full- these zippers will hold up to the test. Again, the storage options on the Recon Squash are top-notch and when you combine that with well-padded shoulder straps and back panel you know that your kid will stay comfortable all day.

What Does it Hold?

There’s no shortage of space in the Recon. It lends itself to half-day or all-day adventures.

The main compartment can hold a lunch box, snacks, extra shoes, and outer-layers. With the additional small mesh pockets, you can separate morning and afternoon snacks, stash an extra pair of socks, a shirt, or crayons!

The North Face Recon Squash

The Bottom Line

What we Love

The North Face Recon Squash is a great option for your 6-10 year old who is ready to start carrying their gear on the trail. When my daughter goes off for a full day at ski-school or summer camp, I know that she can store everything she needs and has a little room leftover for things she might not need (like six bajillion more rocks)! The pocket placement really allows for a balanced approach to filling the pack, which is great for all-day adventures.

Side mesh pockets fit larger water bottles.

Mid-range price ($50.00) with high-quality components. It’s not often that I see a company put a durable metal zipper on a backpack, so when I do, I’m willing to pay a little more.

What we aren’t so crazy about

With a larger capacity backpack, comes the ability to over-pack. While the padding on the straps and back panel are excellent, there’s no hip belt. Weight distribution is key whether your child is carrying items for a hike or to-and-from school.

The North Face Recon Squash

Where to Buy

The North Face Recon Squash is available for purchase directly from The North Face , from Amazon and from other outdoor retailers.

© 2020, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

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