kids in hydration packs

Best Hydration Packs for Kids - 2021 Reviews

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Last Update: 08 July 2021
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CamelBak Kids Mini M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack, 50oz

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CamelBak 2018 Kid's Scout Hydration Pack, 50oz

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Osprey Packs Kid's Moki 1.5L Hydration Pack

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While searching for an ideal hydration pack for yourself might be exhausting, it gets worse when searching one for your kid.

That’s why we sifted through the various options, tested some of the top-rated hydration packs for kids (on children of varied ages) and came up with the list below (in no particular order) of best hydration packs for kids. To say that this list is among the best on kids’ hydration packs would be a gross trivialization. Quite honestly, we think there isn’t a better review out there.

So you can, without a second thought, pick one from the list below, fill its reservoir, add some snacks and have fun taking your kid with you for that hike or ride!

The best hydration backpacks for kids:

1. Osprey Packs Kid’s Moki 1.5 Hydration Pack

Salient Features

Osprey Moki 1.5 Kid's Bike Hydration Backpack

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This newer model of Osprey’s Moki 1.5 ranks best for short trips as it is made for kids who travel lightly. With an overall weight of 8.64 ounces, this pack measures 11.81 by 7.8 by 3.94 inches, a perfect fit for most kids. Though heavier than the previous model by about 2 onces, it is still lightweight enough to boost your kid’s speed.

Storage space

It has just enough capacity for necessities such as a layer and some snacks as well as a water capacity of 1.5 liters; this pack is perfect for a short outdoor adventure.

Comfort

To improve your kid’s access to essentials, there is an external zippered pocket which not only stores your kid’s items such as snacks but also ensures that they are secure. The panel load access ensures that loading and offloading gear is easy.

It also has a magnetic bite valve attachment on the chest strap from which your child can drink. The magnetic attachment ensures that the mouth piece remains closed and immune to entry of dust.

Furthermore, the back of the pack is rigid and hangs exceptionally well on a child’s back owing to the fact that the straps are adjustable.

Reservoir features

With this pack, you are guaranteed that there will be no leakages. The kids can also refill the bladder on their own as the cap width is accommodating of this feature.

If you are worried about any choking hazards from the mouthpiece, then this is the perfect pack for your kid as the mouthpiece is tightly attached to the hose.

User-Friendliness

The quick access of this pack will ensure on-the-go hydration for your kid. All your kid has to do in order to access the main compartment which hosts the reservoir, is to open through the zippered front panel.

It also has a front shove pocket which is ideal for a quick layer change. There will be no need to slow down or stop for this change.

Extra Features

While designing this pack, Ospey undoubtedly had your kid’s security in mind. Endowed with a back attachment where you can attach a blinker light, convenience at night is guaranteed. The blinker light attachment is located at the base of the front panel of the pack, ensuring visibility at night or in dark areas.

Another reason to invest in this pack is the appealing colors it comes in. The grasshopper green and wild blue colors will certainly be attractive to kids who love bright and outstanding packages.

Cons

The drinking tube is not insulated meaning that this pack would not be ideal for a skiing experience as your water would most likely freeze. It also comes as a disadvantage that the bladder is not located in a separate compartment meaning that it is susceptible to damage from your other cargo. The pack is perfect for your three- to five-year old but the minimized storage space may not be suitable for older kids.

Bottom Line

Equipped with features such as a chest strap that keeps the load steady and a magnetic bite valve attached to it. These guarantee your child’s comfort and even go further to ensure your kid’s security with the installment of a safety whistle. We highly recommend the Osprey Pack Kids Moki Hydration backpack for hiking.

We rate it at 4.6 out of five stars.

2. Osprey’s Packs HydraJet 12 Kid's Hydration Backpack

Salient features

Osprey HydraJet 12 Kid's Hydration Backpack

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This pack from Osprey measures 14.57 by 9.84 by 8.27 inches and weighs 13.44 ounces. You can choose either the wave blue or cosmic red colors that the pack comes in.

Storage Capacity

This pack has the advantage of having a larger storage capacity than the Ospreys Kid’s Moki which can accommodate an extra change of clothes or even a rain jacket. As such, the extra storage capacity makes it have a wider age range of wearers as it can fit a six- to ten-year old.

Comfort

This pack is embellished with features found in the adult pack that enhance comfort such as a mesh back panel for ventilation. It also has an inside mesh pocket where you can shove delicate items such as sunglasses. Its shoulder harness is fleece-lined providing further comfort for the wearer in addition to the sternum strap that distributes the load.

Because activities such as hiking usually result in sweating, this pack has a mesh backing which enhances breathability.

Reservoir features

The 1.5 liter (34 ounces) hydraulics lt reservoir it comes with is located at the external reservoir sleeve. The reservoir is easy to clean and fill. It comes with a magnetic bite valve that falls back into place after sipping from it.

User-Friendliness

With this pack, your child can access the main compartment easily through its front panel. Furthermore, the front panel bungee provides extra storage for essentials that need quick access.

Its side pockets can be used to hold even more necessities.

Extra Features

This pack has a safety whistle that alerts you of your kid’s whereabouts in case of danger.

Bottom Line

This pack ranks as the best overall for hiking. It accommodates a wider age range with a longer torso, has more room for storage, guarantees no leakages from the bladder and ensures that your kid is well ventilated on the go.

It is everything you would expect out of a hydration backpack instilled into a smaller size and we rate it at 4.8 out of five stars owing to the fact that it has very beneficial features and little to no demerits.

3. CamelBak 2018 Kid's Scout Hydration Pack, 50oz

Salient Features

CamelBak 2018 Kid's Scout Hydration Pack, 50oz

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If keeping your kid hydrated is your main concern then this is your best bet. Its bladder delivers 20% more water per sip as compared to the average hydration pack.

This Lightweight pack from CamelBak is a comfortable fit which measures 15 by 10.2 by 2.6 inches and weighs 1.05 pounds (16.8 ounces). You can choose from its appealing colors such as crimson red & blue, maui blue print and purple sapphire & azalea.

With such a short torso length, it is perfect for kids of five to twelve years.

Storage space

This pack has enough room for your kid to store a rain jacket as well as other essentials.

Comfort

The pack is endowed with a mesh back panel which prevents sweating by keeping your kid’s back ventilated. It also has a sternum strap to keep the load in place.

Reservoir features

This pack is equipped with the latest hydration technology that CamelBak has invested in. For starters, the 1.5 liter (50 Oz) Crux Reservoir it comes with is constructed in such a way that it delivers 20% more water per sip. Its bite valve also has an on/off mechanism that ensures that after flicking it off, there will certainly be no leakages.

User-Friendliness

The bladder’s cap closes easily with only a few twists so your kid will not strain to do so. Not only does it close easily but also tightly so you will not have to worry about sloshing. Furthermore, its wide cap ensures that it is easy to clean, fill and refill.

This pack is a great investment as the bladder is removable making the pack double entirely as a backpack.

Extra Features

Its drinking tube has anti-microbial hydroguard coating which means that the growth of bacteria within the tube is inhibited. If you need to know just how this pack is tailored for your kid, check the transparent front pocket it boasts of, where your kid can shove and display all the cool items found along the trail!

The pack has reflective material on the front strip and back of both arms which accentuates their visibility at nighttime. As if that is not enough, it has a safety whistle located on the sternum strap which enhances your kid’s security. The extra features further include a name patch which your kid can use for personalization of the pack.

Cons

In as much as the bladder’s cap is wide enough to instill ice cubes, its tube is non-insulated. This means that water temperate may be affected and not be as cool as you would need after and during that outdoor escapade.

Bottom Line

The purpose of a hydration backpack is to ensure that a person remains rejuvenated as they partake in an outdoor activity. This pack precisely meets this need by delivering twenty percent more water per sip. It also has a plethora of additional features showcasing just how deliberate the making of this pack was. As such, it is one of the best kid’s hydration packs for hiking and we rate it at 4.7 stars.

4. CamelBak Kids Mini M.U.L.E

Salient Features

CamelBak Kid’s Mini MULE Hydration Pack, Camelflage

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If a hydration pack that meets the eye is what you are looking for then look no further. This pack from CamelBak, measuring 14 by 7.5 by 7.7 inches and weighing 7.2 ounces is the pack for you. You can choose from the Atomic Blue & Navy Blazer, Azaela & Aruba Blue, Baton Rouge with flames, and Black with Flames colors that it comes in. The pack is made for the teen boys and fits torso between 12 and 16 inches.

Storage space

The CamelBak Kids Mini Mule has an overall gear capacity of 50 ounces. Although it has less storage space as compared to the CamelBak Scout hydration pack, it is still big enough for carriage of essentials and addition of a rain shell and snacks. Its zippered compartments are handy for that extra storage of essentials and layers.

It is very effective for a biking experience as it has a tool organizer pocket where bike essentials can be stored.

Comfort

Ventilation is guaranteed as the pack has padded mesh. The pack’s straps also steady the load on your kid’s back.

Reservoir features

Its features are similar to the CamelBak 2018 Kids Scout Hydration Pack in that it features the 1.5 liter Crux reservoir that proffers 20% more water per sip, an on/off bite valve, leak-proof cap and drinking tube with anti-microbial hydroguard coating that is free of BPA, BPS and BPF.

User-Friendliness

This pack’s reflective strips not only add to the visibility in low-light environments but also make it easier for you to spot your kid in general lights. Its bladder also has an ergonomic handle for ease of refilling and cleaning. The convenience goes into the bladder’s hose which can also be disconnected from the bladder giving you an eased cleaning experience.

Extra Features

Much like the aforementioned hydration packs, this pack includes a safety whistle for security purposes.

Cons

Taking the bladder out of the pack might be a bit hectic as you have to unhook it in order to clean and refill. Furthermore, there is no attachment area for the mouthpiece of the bladder and this might be displeasing when running.

Bottom Line

We highly recommend the CamelBak mini M.U.L.E pack for hiking, biking and other outdoor adventures. We rate it at 4.4 out of five stars as it has less features in comparison to the kids hydration packs that we have enlisted.

5. Outdoor Products Tadpole Hydration Pack

Salient Features

Outdoor Products Tadpole Hydration Pack

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Most appropriate for teens and kids close to teen age, Tadpole Hydration Pack is built for durability. Made of high density polyester fabric, this backpack measures 13.5×7.5×2.1 inches and weighs about 0.8 pounds (12.7 ounces).

If your kid is the fidgety type and likes reaching for their snacks every now and then, you will love this backpack for its zippers. Heavy-duty and seamless in operation, Tadpole’s zippers can take a great deal of abuse before giving in.

To top it all off, this pack comes in four different color trims: Acid Lime, Violet Tulip, Bright Blue, and Black - all of which are attractive to the kids of various ages.

Storage Space

With a total storage capacity of 3.5 liters, this backpack is meant for the most essential necessities only. As such, this pack would be a perfect choice for you if your kid has an uncontrollable behaviour of stashing every kind of stuff into the hydration pack.

Still, this backpack is well compartmentalized and features a miniature front compartment that is separate from the main hydration compartment. A handy key clip is appended inside the front compartment.

Comfort

Several comfort-enhancing features have been well incorporated into the Tadpole Hydration Pack.

First, its adjustable shoulder straps are meshed shedding off unnecessary weight and making them incredibly breathable.

The back panel is just about the perfect size and meshed to improve breathability while negating excessive sweating.

Two compression straps, one on each side of the pack, help your kid bring the load closer to the back hence improving load efficiency. And the chest strap helps keep the pack from dangling sideways although we noticed that younger kids could use this feature more conveniently than the older ones.

Still, when your kid is tired of hoisting the pack on the back, this backpack features a top carry handle for suspending it on the side.

Reservoir Features

With a 1.5L reservoir, this pack is pretty much like every other one on this list.

Except for one thing!

This reservoir’s suction tube is way longer, something we didn’t like very much. Stashing a bit of it into the pack causes kinking and curtails water flow. We hope future models will make an improvement here.

User-Friendliness

You will fall in love with the top stash pocket on this backpack. It enables quick access to accessories and is probably suitable when refilling the bladder with a hose.

The utility-style cords attached to the zippers are kid-friendly and incredibly functional. But there’s a caveat; if your kid is the excessively playful and curious one, they might end up loosening the cords and some may end up lost.

Extra Features

No whistle. No side pockets. No reflective strips; no nothing! Yes, this backpack is a basic one and doesn’t feature that many extras. And its bladder is a bland one too. But, for its price, you get your kid a hydration backpack they will use for many hiking trips owing to its excellent durability.

Bottom Line

Perhaps one of the most affordable kids’ hydration packs in the market, Tadpole is well balanced in terms of capacity and functionality. A comfortable pack whose price range doesn’t break bank, this unit packs value and is worthy considering for pre-teen youths. Although lacking in the extra features that make other packs on the list stand out above it, Tadpole is lightweight and temptingly beautiful.

We give it a rating of 4.3 out of 5.

Analysis and Comparison Based on Total Volume of the Pack

kids’ hydration packs capacity comparison chart

From this graph, you can observe that the Osprey Hydrajet emerges top for total storage capacity with approcimately 423 ounces of storage volume. As such, it is more suitable for older kids as compared to the others. Even so, you will want to consider the build of a pack since it might still bar extra carriage despite its volume.

We rank the CamelBak’s Mini MULE and the Outdoor Product’s Tadpole hydration packs as the best for a short trip that requires little cargo but worst for older kids who require extra storage and longer hikes. These hydration packs are our most preferred packs for just enough necessities for kids without uneccessary weight overload.

For water carriage only, we recommend the Osprey’s Moki 1.5 Kids’ Hydration Pack. The pack does not have that much additional storage space apart from that of 1.5 liter (50 ounces) water reservoir and one or two other stuff.

How to Pick the Best Hydration Pack for Kids

Kids are always trying to look cool. What a better way than staying hydrated with a system that does not entail walking around with a water bottle? A hydration backpack not only keeps them from being desiccated but also doubles up as a backpack with enough storage for an array of things they are likely to pick up during their adventure.

Even with this list of the best hydration packs for kids in the market, finding a hydration backpack that suits your kid may still be exhausting. If you have no prior insight on what you should look out for and why, we have done the heavy work so all you have to do is follow these procedures and your kid will be ready to go for that hike, biking or camping experience.

Listed below are the broken-down essentials that you need to look out for if you are by any chance to pick up the best hydration pack for your kid.

Storage Capacity

Kids are always trying to look cool. What better way is there than staying hydrated with a system that does not entail walking around with a water bottle? A hydration backpack not only keeps them from being desiccated but also doubles up as a backpack with enough storage for an array of things they are likely to pick up during their adventure.

It is important to know your child’s weight to determine their carrying capacity. The average child should not carry a load that weighs more than twenty percent of their weight. If your child weighs 70 pounds for instance, his load should not exceed 14 pounds.

The overall carrying capacity of a pack sometimes hugely determines the amount of load as more often than not your kid will be excited to fill the pack with random things. That said, you might want to look for a pack that is lightweight and with just enough storage capacity.

Comfort

You’ve already checked for the storage capacity and known that the more storage space for cool stuff, the better it is for kids. Now, you need to ensure that the pack you want to purchase is going to be comfortable, be it with a light or heavier load.

Ask yourself, are there deliberate efforts to ensure that your kid is comfortable while carrying the pack? For instance, chest straps which stabilize the load or even a magnetic feature on the straps that keeps the drinking tube in place. Will your child be well ventilated or will they have that uncomfortable streak of sweat rolling down their back?

Comfort is enhanced by the correct fit to a pack. Therefore, look at the pack’s measurements to determine whether or not it is appropriate for your kid. Similarly, look into whether the pack’s straps are adjustable or not. It is advisable to get a pack with adjustable straps than fixed straps as your kid will most likely outgrow the latter.

Keep an eye on these additions as your kid will only enjoy that trip if they are comfortable.

User-friendliness

There are a few visible signs that will point out to whether using the pack will be natural or a bit of a struggle. Consider how easy it is to fill and clean the reservoir and even go as far as scrutinizing how easy it is to drink from the bite valve. Remember, while you might not mind drinking from your water bottle, kids are entirely different as they prefer a simpler method of keeping them rejuvenated.

Reservoir features

The most important consideration is how much liquid the reservoir can hold. If you are a frequent hiker, it is easy to determine how much water you need. However, for first time hiking with kids, you need to take into account the fitness level of your kid, difficulty of the hike and even the temperature for that day as they are determinants of how much water should be consumed. Typically, children require 33 fluid ounces for every hour of hiking. You do not want the experience to be contending for them so ensure that they have just the right amount of water for that adventure.

Other features to look into include insulation features of the pack, the anti-bacterial measures and not forgetting the measures taken to avoid sloshing.

Looks

Unlike most adults who will settle for a darker hydration pack, kids always go for the alluring colors. And while you might be concerned with how hydrated they are; their focus is on how the pack looks on them. Bright colors are therefore key in this case. To have the upper hand, choose a pack that essentially serves its hydration purposes but also looks appealing.

With these five essentials, you can then look for extra features that are compelling to you if you are still undecided. Now your kid is ready for that outdoor activity!

Author-bio

ABOUT DANIEL MSANII

When he's not camping or adventuring the outdoors, you'll find him grinding hard on his keyboard to put up some super-awesome content on campingmaniacs.com. Starting off on camping escapades back in 2011, he has grown fond of the activity over the years. His exposure to a myriad of different camping terrains, gear and the outdoor atmosphere has hitherto changed his perception of the entire outdoor life. He enjoys sharing the experiences of his adventures and gear reviews with the awesome camping community on this platform. Read more about us.

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Comments 1

Chris

Hi. Great article. However, you are making some math errors on the water capacities. You state the Scout has 50 oz and the Hydrajet has 50 oz, but then you state the Hydrajet has 50 oz. And the graph at the end you state these pack have a water storage capacity of only 12 to 16 ounces. This is strange and contradictory

Daniel @CampingManiacs

Hey Chris. Thanks for pointing that out. We got a little mixed up with volume and weight. It is fixed now with accurate information.

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