We drink a lot of water. In fact pretty much all that we drink is water with the very occasional glass of juice or seltzer thrown in for celebratory purposes. At home we always have our Kleen Canteens handy and in the car we travel with Sigg bottles that fit perfectly in the cup holders. However, we run into trouble when we are out on the trail, at the beach, or even spending the day visiting a city. Hauling around water bottles for five can be quite cumbersome and constantly stopping to unzip water bottles for thirsty folks gets old real fast.
Luckily a few years back we were given the wonderful gift of a hydration backpack. Ironically this particular hydration pack, the Eberlestock Mini Me, is designed as a hunting backpack and we are a family of vegans. However, the Eberlestock Mini Me has been one of the most useful gifts that we have ever received. It not only holds 3 liters of water with a handy drinking tube but it has room for all of our snacks, first aid gear, and it even holds our 10″ tablet. Our favorite feature is the mesh bird bag which we opt to fill with extra hats or gloves instead of dead birds.
Carrying just one hydration pack worked well for a few years but now that the kids are getting older it was time that they started carrying their own water and snacks. This time we focused our attention towards the more traditional CamelBak hydration pack systems and were excited to see that they had several options designed just for kids. While we weren’t impressed with the shoulder straps on the most highly reviewed CamelBaks on Amazon.com, we were lucky to come across the CamelBak Kicker at Sierra Trading Post.
The packs arrived a few weeks ago and we couldn’t be happier with this fantastic product. The pack holds 1.5 Liters of water and has a zippered pocket in the front for snacks, extra clothing or other miscellaneous objects that the kids want to bring along or pick up along the way.
One of the best features of the CamelBak Kicker is that it was designed for colder weather so that the drinking tube system is insulated, which keeps the water from freezing in the winter and keeps it colder in the summer. We also love the emergency whistle that is conveniently located on the sternum strap. Five Ball particularly loves this feature and even though we remind him that it is only for emergencies, he likes to test out his “emergency warning system” frequently while hiking.
The younger Fives have had nothing but positive feedback about their new Kicker hydration packs. They find them comfortable and they easily wear them the entire hike sometimes forgetting to take them off when we get home. The cap and drinking valve system are super easy for them to use without assistance and the straps adjust to each of their bodies for a perfect fit. Even our youngest hiker has no problems wearing or using the CamelBak Kicker.
Just be forewarned that once your kids start wearing their Kicker packs they will be drinking a lot more, so be ready for those frequent trips off trail to find the perfect tree 🙂