My son loves his Camelback Scout – a hydration pack designed for preschoolers and young school-aged children. We bought it for him when he was 2.5 or 3 and it was still a little too big, but it didn’t stop him from using it. Now, at 4 years old, the pack is just the right size, and he uses it both for biking and as his “school backpack.”
The Scout is a well-made hydration pack, with the same sort of high-quality construction you would expect from an adult-sized Camelback. It has a 1.5 liter water bladder, and several storage compartments. If your little one wants a hydration pack that holds both water AND gear, the Camelback Scout is an excellent pick.
To compare it to other kids hydration packs, read The Best Kids Hydration Packs.
Review in a Nutshell
- Has a wide-range of uses—hiking, biking, and school bag
- Plenty of storage space
- High-quality construction
- Heavy when fully-loaded
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Camelback Scout Detailed Review
As a self-proclaimed minimalist, I like that the Camelback Scout can be used for multiple things. Unlike the smaller Skeeter or Mini MULE, the Scout works as a regular backpack as well. My son uses his as a school bag during the week, and a sport pack on the weekends.
The amount of storage in the Camelback Scout makes is both its highlight and its downfall. You can fit a surprising amount of stuff in this small pack, but unfortunately, that also makes it heavy. The pack on its own isn’t particularly heavy, but once you fill it with water, a jacket, and some snacks—it’s a bit much for a littler person to carry.
There are two zippered pockets, a clear front pocket, and two side pockets on the pack. For his school days, my son manages to fit his Aden & Anais blanket and stuffed animal in the front zippered pocket, his lunch bag in the bigger zippered pocket, and a small Camelback water bottle in the side pocket.
When he’s going to use it for hiking or biking, I make sure to keep it less full. We will feel up the water bladder, and limit the rest of his load to a small snack and treasures he finds on the trail.
If you are looking for a hydration pack solely for use on the trail, then I would go with the smaller Skeeter.
As a consumer of many Camelback-branded products over the years, I can attest to the quality of their products. The only issue I’ve had is with mold growing in the tube (a problem on ALL hydration packs), and the valve leaking. Luckily, they sell replacement valves (and tubing) so neither of these are reasons to replace a pack.
After near-daily use, my son’s Scout still looks new. The fabric is repels water and dirt, and still looks clean and bright. We’ve had no issues with zipper braking, or wear to the straps. The fabric on the back of the pack is breathable to keep little backs from getting to sweaty.
There’s also a built-in whistle on the front buckle, which could be handy in an emergency–but is more likely to entertain and thrill a little one.
The Camelback Scout is a great all-around kids backpack that also has a (removable) hydration bladder. The quality construction means it will last several years. The only con on this pack is that the ample storage compartments mean that it can be heavy when fully-loaded.