I have a secret.

I am excited for the day my kids are old enough that they carry the heaviest gear in their hiking backpacks on our adventures because they are fitter than me. I have heard that is a thing from some of the parents with kids that are grown. I feel like the thought is similar to thinking that unicorns exist, but maybe unicorns really do exist.

But, of course I don’t want these years to zoom by either. I love that the kids enjoy spending every moment with me. So, I am happy to wait.

In the meantime, having my kid’s wear a backpack on our adventures with even just a few items can help ease the load. Even toddlers can wear up a backpack but just make sure it does not exceed 10-15% of their weight.

Toddler Backpack

Best Hiking Backpacks for Kids


Jump Ahead

Best Hiking Backpacks for Toddlers and Kids up to Five Years Old

Fitting a Hiking Backpack

Best Hiking Backpacks for Kids

What if your toddler or kid doesn’t hike well when wearing a backpack?

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post to which I make a few cents if you purchase through my link. Thank you for supporting my small business and my family’s taco night!


Best Hiking Backpacks for Toddlers and Kids up to Five years Old

There are three backpacks that come highly recommended for toddlers. They fit well and have a clip to keep them snug on your child’s back.

The Deuter Pico Kids Pack 5 L

Deuter Pico Kids Pack 5 L
Deuter Pico Kids Pack 5 L

The Deuter Pico Kids Pack is a 5 Liter backpack that is just big enough for a stuffy, some snacks, and maybe a thin jacket. Just enough gear to feel like mom and dad without weighing them down. Best for ages 1-3 years old.

Why we love it?

The clip creates a snug fit and the designs are adorable.

Purchase the Deuter Pico Kids Pack here.

Osprey Moki 1.5 L Hydration Pack

Osprey Moki 1.5 L Hydration Pack
Osprey Moki 1.5 L Hydration Pack

The Osprey Moki 1.5 L is a hydration pack for little kids. The pack can only carry water and maybe a small snack. If the water is not filled up then you may be able to fit in a stuffy. Ok… that is a lie. We managed to stuff in my youngest’s stuffy. This is the one we are currently using for our 5 year old.

Why we love it?

A practical solution for kids wanting to wear a backpack and kids love being able to drink through a straw whenever they like. This keeps them hydrated on those more challenging hikes or hot days!

I also have kids who love to overpack and put every. single. rock. in their backpack making it so it is too heavy for them to carry. My 5 year old cannot do this with the Osprey Moki and so she is able to carry the backpack happily for the whole hike!

Purchase the Osprey Moki 1.5 L here.

Deuter Kikki 8 L

The Deuter Kikki 8 L is super cute backpack with a little bit more room. The extra room can be helpful for packing items for a road trip or a trip to the grandparents house.

Why we love it?

The extra room makes the backpack more versatile for different activities. Kids also love that the backpack is designed like a bear stuffy!

Purchase the Deuter Kikki 8 L

Deuter Climber is a great backpacking backpack for children and will fit most 5 year olds. The backpack is only 20 L and won’t be able to carry a ton of gear. However, for that age you will need to keep it light!

Why we love it?

The backpack is hydration compatible and performs just as well as an adult backpack.

Buy the Deuter Climber 20 L here.

Deuter Fox 30

The Deuter Fox 30 is a great backcountry backpack for kids that can carry a small amount of backcountry gear including a sleeping bag, water, light jacket, and snack. The amount of gear you want to pack will depend on weight, trail difficulty, and your child. The backpack is suitable for most kids age 7-10 years old.

Why we love it?

The Deuter Fox 30 is a little larger and will work for slightly older kids up to age 10. It can hold a little more inside the pack and can hold up to a 3 Litre water bladder. We chose the Deuter Fox 30 for our seven year old based on recommendations and it is so perfect for her!

Purchase the Deuter Fox 30