Best Hydration Packs for Kids

Most adults are pretty conscious about having some sort of hydration with them for bike riding, hiking or other outdoor activities.  Whether it is a water bottle on their bike, hydration pack or a hydration belt that you see many runners use.  When we use to bike with our kids when they were younger we always made some pit stops along the way so they could rest their legs and take a couple pulls off our water bottles.  Now that they are older, we make as frequent of stops as we used to. camelbak

This led to an issue with staying hydrated.  My youngest sons 20″ bike didn’t have enough room to properly mount a water bottle cage. Our solution was a CamelBak hydration pack.  Besides the novelty of the easy t use sipping tube; we didn’t have to worry about them losing it as it was strapped to his back. We have categorized hydration packs for kids as packs containing a 2L or smaller reservoir.

5 Best Hydration Packs for Kids

Most of the hydration packs available from trusted brands like CamelBak, Dueter and Osprey do more then just hydrate.  Here is snapshot of our favorites.

1. CamelBak Skeeter

Camebak is perhaps the best known name in hydration packs; with their origins dating back to the 1990’s.  The Skeeter is a no-frills hydration pack for kids at a price point that doesn’t hurt the pocket book. Although we prefer the packs with pockets, the skeeter is lightweight, not too bulky and features reflective accents for visibility.

camelbak-skeeter

Specifications:

  • 1.5L reservoir
  • 3 oz pack weight
  • 6.5″ Wide x 12.2″ Long x 3.5″ High

What we like:

  • Lightweight
  • Crux reservoir delivers 20% more water per sip.
  • Reflective Accents

 2. CamelBak Mini MULE

The Camelbak Mini MULE is our favorite hydration pack for kids. Slightly larger than the Skeeter but with added pockets (3) which is inline with more grown-up hydration packs.  Safety features include reflective accents on the back as well as a whistle for kids to alert their parents if they are trailing behind. The features make this pack twice the weight of the Skeeter but at an overall weight of 7 oz, it is clearly not an issue.

camelbak-mule

Specifications:

  • 1.5L reservoir
  • 210g pack weight

What we like:

  • Lightweight
  • Available in 5 colors/styles.
  • Mesh straps
  • Padded Back
  • (3) Pockets

3. Osprey Moki

The Moki by Osprey is a hydration pack for kids that is very similar in size and features to the Camelbak Mini Mule.  The Moki has a front zippered pocket to stash some snacks for the ride and a zipper on top that allows for a small jacket to be placed behind the water reservoir.  We prefer the Moki due to this additional storage area that makes it more versatile.  The safety whistle is attached to the front strap and is visible in the picture below.

osprey-moki

Specifications:

  • 1.5L reservoir

What we like:

  • Lightweight
  • Front gear pocket
  • Top stuff pocket for large items

4. Evoc Joyride Kids Hydration Pack

The Evoc Joyride hydration pack is a new product added to our list.  We discovered this little gem at Amazon.com and on one of our favorite online stores; backcountry.com. Slightly larger than the Mini Mule from Camelback and made for older kids 7 to 12 years of age. Multiple pockets for cell phones, money make this a great pack for traveling to amusement parks or being out on the trails.  My older son uses a camelback when he is snowboarding to stay hydrated and have a nice place to store his cell phone in the small fleece-lined pocket.

evoc-hydration-pack

Specifications:

  • 2L reservoir
  • Fits children ages 7-12
  • 300g weight

What we like:

  • Lightweight performance MTB hydration pack for kids
  • Comes with the same functional features as adult models
  • Works with up to a 2L hydration bladder
  • Detachable hip belt for a secure fit while riding
  • Fleece-lined pocket safely holds phone and essentials
  • Mesh outer pocket for additional storage

5. CamelBak Scout Kids Hydration Pack

The Camelbak Scout is more than just a hydration pack because it doubles as a backpack with 760 cu in of cargo capacity versus 90 cu in with the Mule and 240 cu in on the Kicker. Slightly larger than the Kicker but with added pockets (3) which is inline with more grown-up hydration packs.  Safety features include reflective accents on the back as well as a whistle for kids to alert their parents if they are trailing behind. The features make this pack twice the weight of the Skeeter but at an overall weight of 10 oz, it is clearly not an issue.

camelbak-scout

Specifications:

  • 1.5L reservoir
  • 310g pack weight

What we like:

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable Mesh Rear Panel
  • Available in 3 colors/styles.
  • Mesh straps
  • Padded Back
  • Reflectivity
  • Safety Whistle
  • (3) Pockets
 

Hydration Pack Buying Guide

Now that you’ve seen some of the best hydration packs for kids on the market, let’s learn about some important information that all hydration pack buyers should know. This guide will serve as an educational tool for potential hydration pack buyers who want to know about the key features.

Hydration Pack Terminology

Knowing the terminology will making shopping for features easier.

  • Reservoir – or “bladder” are commonly made of rubber or flexible plastic. Attached to  reservoir contains a capped mouth for filling with liquid and a hose that allows the wearer to drink without using their hands.
  • “L” – Hydration pack reservoir capacity is measured in liters.  1 liter is approx. 33 ounces.  The daily recommended intake for a 5-8 year old child is 1 liter.
  • Mesh – A material that is characterized by equally spaced open holes.
  • Hanging Loop – Loop attached to top of pack for easy hanging during storage.

Sizes Of Hydration Packs

Packs come in all different shapes, sizes, and prices with differentiating features.

  • Compact – Reservoir Only – These offer hydration and a very small amount of cargo space.  Mainly used for hydration purposes only.
  • Reservoir and Cargo – The kind of pack for older kids that doubles as a storage pack for gear with the added benefit of hydration.

Performance

Stick with a known brands such as Camelbak, Osprey, Evoc  and others.  Name brand packs will be made with stringent quality and safety standards.  These companies also stand behind their products with lengthy warranties.

Reservoir Capacity

Most of the reservoirs and packs we recommend will have a minimum reservoir size of 1 liter.  The 1 liter size packs are great for young children ages 4-8 years but we lean to the larger 2 liter packs for kids over the age of 8 years.  The older the child, the larger pack they can carry and the more water they require when active.

Cargo Capacity

Know what activities you are most likely to use the hydration pack for.  If you place importance in carry cargo as much as reservoir capacity you will want to carefully choose a pack that is large yet can be safely worn by your child.

Safety

Many packs come with different added safety features.  We like the reflective accents on the straps and rear of the pack for late in the day activities.  Another great feature are the whistles that are attached to the pack straps.  Great for getting mom and dads attention or alerting people of trouble ahead.