Did you know that kids create more heat during exercise than adults do? This also means that they are at greater risk of becoming dehydrated.
Whether you’re little one is biking, hiking, or doing some other sort of outdoor activity, a hydration pack is a great way to make sure that they are getting enough water. In this article, we share a round-up of the best kids hydration packs on the market.
We’ll also share some tips on what to look for in a kids hydration pack, as well as advice on how to make sure your child is getting enough water to drink during exercise.
Camelbak Mini M.U.L.E
Camelbak is the brand synonymous with hydration packs, and the M.U.L.E is an iconic mountain biking staple. Enter the Camelback Mini M.U.L.E, a smaller but just as efficient pack for young riders.
The pack features a 1.5L water bladder, a bike tool organizer pocket, multiple zippered compartments, and reflective strips. Kids also love the whistle on the chest strap.
The nozzle works well and provides a steady flow of water without too much effort. If your child is a chewer, we also recommend the Camelback Mini M.U.L.E (and the Camelback Scout listed below) because they work even once your child has gnawed the bite valve to oblivion. (Read more on this topic further down).
Price: $159.99 (Last updated: 2020-07-06 at 18:26 – More Info)
This is the pack my little boy loves, and he picked it out himself—which tells you it has kid appeal. It also happens to look very cool.
The Camelback Scout has enough capacity that it can even double as a backpack for school. It has plenty of room for stashing treasures discovered on the trail which can also be its downfall—fill it up and it’s heavy.
The pack has multiple pockets to help organize gear. My son takes it to his mountain bike program and is able to fit a jacket in the big pocket, a tube and tool in another, and some snacks in the clear pocket up front.
When you’re not using it as a hydration pack, you can remove the bladder and use it as a regular backpack.
Read Our Review: Camelback Scout
Price: $99.99 (Last updated: 2020-07-06 at 18:26 – More Info)
Osprey Youth Moki
An Osprey is what I wear when I go ride, and I totally stand behind this brand. The Osprey Moki comes in bright, fun colors and has a “front shove it” pocket that makes it easy for kids to get to essentials.
In terms of the bite valve, it won’t work without the rubber peice (like the Camelback), but it’s easy and cheap to replace when/if it does get damaged. I also prefer the bladder which is easier to fill and clean.
For families riding around at night, it also has an awesome blinker light attachment for added safety.
Price: Price not available (Last updated: 2020-07-06 at 18:26 – More Info)
Osprey Hydrajet Hydration Pack
This Osprey Hydrajet is the biggest pack on the list which makes it perfect for long day excursions (or even an overnighter). To help keep things comfortable when carrying a heavy load, the Hydrajet has fleece lined shoulder straps and a hipbelt to help distribute the load.
This is the pack we grab for bikepacking trips. Just make sure you buy it for older kids (6+) as the torso length is longer than the other packs on this list.
Price: $69.95 (Last updated: 2020-07-06 at 18:26 – More Info)
Kuyou Hyrdation Pack
If you’re looking for a budget pack, and have an older kid (age 9+), then you really can’t beat the Kuyou. The quality isn’t quite as high as the Camelback or Osprey packs, but it’s also half the price.
We like the water bladder, it’s easy to fill and clean, and the pack has plenty of pockets for organization.
The one thing to be aware of is that the bite valve is harder to operate than the Camelback or Osprey. Another reason to only give this pack to older kids.
Price: $29.98 (Last updated: 2020-07-06 at 12:56 – More Info)
Things to consider when picking a kids hydration pack
Not sure how to choose the best pack? Here a couple things to think about when you’re deciding.
Let’s be honest, most kids want a hydration pack not for the water but for the cool factor. All the packs we’ve listed here are pretty stylin’, but you might want to give your kiddo final say. Choosing a hydration pack is fun.
This refers to how much water the pack can carry. All the packs we’ve listed hold 1.5 liters which is just about right for most kids.
Preschoolers can probably survive on a half-filled pack. Older kids going for longer rides (over 2 hours) might consider graduating to a small adult pack.
The larger the capacity, the more stuff it can fit. This is a double-edged sword.
Kids love “stuff” and it is nice for them to be able to carry their own jacket and a snack (or three). That said, the more stuff you can fit in the pack, the heavier and more cumbersome it becomes.
The Great Bite Valve Debate
Everybody we know has a strong preference on whether they prefer the Camelback bite valves or the Osprey bite valves. You might just have to try both to decide which team you’re on.
You’ll also have to consider whether or not your child is a chewer. A lot of kids we know have a tendency to gnaw on a bit valve, which totally destroys it.
Our son used to do this one he was younger also, but we’ve managed to teach him not to. So this could be an age issue as well.
If you know your child is a chewer, than choose a Camelback. The Camelback still works even without the bite valve, while the Osprey does not.
That said, if you prefer the Osprey pack, and your child chews on the bite valve (before they learn better), it’s relatively easy and cheap to replace it.
Kids Hydration Pack Comparison Chart
Still not sure which of these packs is best for your child? Here’s a simple comparison chart to help you choose.
|Brand||Reservoir Size||Total Capacity||Torso Length|
|Camelbak Mini Mule||1.5 L||91 cu in||12 in|
|Camelbak Scout||1.5 L||670 cu in||14 in|
|Osprey Moki||1.5 L||92 cu in||13 in|
|Osprey Hydrajet||1.5 L||915 cu in||15 in|
Getting Kids To Drink
Just because your child is wearing a hydration pack doesn’t mean that they will hydrate properly.
When riding with your kiddos, make sure to make frequent stops to re-hydrate and monitor how much they are drinking. They’ll rarely do this on their own.
For kids that resist drinking water, we like to add ice and/or fruit to their water. Flavor and cold can help encourage kiddos to drink more than they might otherwise.