I've always loved Deuter products and most of our hiking backpacks are Deuter. They are comfy, lightweight and also very ergonomic. So, of course, I would pick Deuter for my son's first hiking backpack as well, and that led me to pick out the Deuter Schmusebar Backpack for Kids. As like other boys, my son likes blue so I got him one in turquoise. It also comes in green, pink and orange.
So, my first impression was that the shoulder strap and the back looked very comfortable. The straps are nicely padded with a mesh lining that allows good airflow. I was pretty particular about that because children have the tendency to be sweatier than us adults. And I needed one bag that won’t make him feel too hot and uncomfortable.
The straps are S-shaped and I know that to be a good fit, it has long straps making it highly adjustable and perfect for kids, my son’s age. It also comes with a chest strap, making it really secure on Wyatt and it also allows him to move better since his bag does sling from one side to the other when he runs. Wyatt's Deuter Schmusebar backpack became his buddy whenever we travel. He likes carrying it around with his own stuff - err, food. And oh! This bag comes with a little stuffed toy bear.
One feature I loved that I didn't know until evening was the reflector on the front pocket. I was pleasantly surprised because at least, I'd know where he'd run off to at night so long as he wears that bag around. The bag compartment is also pretty wide. And the fact that the outer layer of the backpack is waterproof made the bag even more lovable. The weather pattern in the mountains is unpredictable and we’re that we'd get wet at some point. It was raining during our hike in Mt. Kinabalu and the outside of Deuter Schmusebar got wet but the rest of his stuff inside was completely dry.
The only problem I have with the bag is that the buckle clips are too tough for him to open on his own. The chest strap also made it difficult for him to remove it without an adult's help. The bag doesn't have a separate inner lining, so the stitches on the back padding are visible from the inside. Sand got into his bag when we went to Gaya island and a lot of it got caught on the inside stitching.
Overall, Wyatt loves his hiking bag and so do I. It's comfy, it's light and it's very handy. Even if it is a bit complicated for him, it adds on to a better security, in my opinion. So, this is definitely a good choice for a backpack for kids his age.
Watch Wyatt Maktrav's Adventures in Mt. Kinabalu!