When we started hiking as a family, I had no idea what sort of gear we would need with children. Toddler hiking gear isn’t easy to get reviews on & no one I knew hiked, much less with children in tote. After lots of trial & error, we found the best kid’s hiking gear for our family and want to share what I’ve learned during my search for family hiking gear. All the kid’s hiking gear we’ve used for miles upon miles of trails & has held up wonderfully or brands that we’ve used over and over again.
CamelBak Kid’s Scout Hydration Pack
Initially, we didn’t have kid’s hydration packs, I would just carry the water for the kid’s but stopping when they wanted water got old quick. A quick search for kid’s Camelbak turned up results for 50 oz kid’s hydration pack from Camelbak (a brand we love & trust) that also has plenty of room for any snacks they want to carry on the trail along with sunglasses, hats & all the littles. Hallelujah, I don’t have to carry their things anymore! Emily is 4, so I wasn’t sure if a kid’s hydration pack would be appropriate for her just yet. The 50 oz CamelBak Scout Hydration Pack was perfect for her, not too heavy & had a great fit on her frame. Both of my kids have the same hydration pack, just in different colors. While I personally have the CamelBak Sundowner 100 oz hydration pack.
Kelty Child Carrier
One invest that was a big one but worth EVERY. PENNY. was our Kelty Child Carrier. A toddler hiking carrier that wouldn’t break the back was necessary for us since our daughter was two years old when we started hiking as a family & wouldn’t be able to hike the altitudes & miles we log in. It is easily adjustable for both parent & child, has plenty of store (along with belt pockets for easy access to items), and all around durable.
The Kelty toddler hiking carrier is very easy to get on, we usually set it on the back of our truck’s tailgate or on a picnic table to put in our daughter & strap it on. Also, this is the question I get the most; it can handle weight from 6-40 lbs!
Our newest addition to our gear has been a Piggyback Rider, as our youngest (4 now) has wanted to start hiking we needed something that would make it easier for her to jump on & off. Although we love our toddler back carrier, it is difficult to take her in & out when you are on trails where the closest place to set something down can be the ground but the Piggyback Rider makes it so you can squat down & have your kiddo hop down after the safety harness is unbuckled. Both parents & children are connected so it is completely safe & very easy to use.
Merrell Kid’s Hiking Shoes
One of my favorite brands for hiking shoes for the kids is Merrell, having sturdy hiking shoes for children are very necessary in order for them to get the longest amount of mileage from their day. I’ve found that Merrell hiking shoes to give my kid’s the most amount of comfort when hiking. My son’s Merrell Chameleon are his go-to shoes for any hike we may have, we’ve outgrown each pair before we could outwear these sturdy kids hiking shoes. Speaking on the durability of Merrell, I’ve had my Merrell MQM Flex (you can see both me & Micah wearing our year old Merrell’s in the photo above) for over a year, I use them for hiking, walks & runs and they are in excellent condition still (maybe a little dusty from our last hike though).