The 5 Best Kids Hiking Backpacks of 2023

We opened each backpack and asked our children to put them on, observing how easy (or difficult) it was for a kid to work the buckles, zippers, and straps. Then we took the packs out for at least 2 miles of hiking, loading them up with snacks, sunscreen, a light jacket, and a water bladder or water bottle. During the hike, we observed how well our kids handled the packs, which indicated how comfortable the straps and belts were against their small bodies. We also noticed how much water they did—or didn’t—drink, and how easy it was for them to use the hydration bladders, if one was included.