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squeezebox
03-10-2015, 10:41
I don't see much kid sized gear out there. I do see in the grocery store etc. kids with decent looking puffy jackets, heavy fleece jackets, etc. I have not seen sleeping bags or pads sized for a 6-10 yr old. What about kid sized shoes and even decent socks?
My son is 20 but I was just wondering about the issue

Mobius
03-10-2015, 11:09
My daughter (now age 9) wears some "trail runners" made by The North Face. Her down puffy is a clearance item from... Lands End? Eddie Baeuer? Something like that. Fleece is really easy to find at Target or EB, or about any thrift shop. Wool and sythetic socks are pretty easy to find locally or online (Campsaver, et). Campsaver and Backcontry often have kids clothes on sale cheap: socks, poly shirts, fleece pants, etc. Her zip-off pants are from REI. This will be the 3rd and probably last season for them. They're getting holes from (just like mine).

For sleep systems, in the summer she uses half of a z-lite. I already had it cut in half so that was easy. A short size inflatable would work fine too but our winter trips are always local/car camping so she uses one of spare inflatables in combination with the z-lite. Her original summer bag was a cheap sythetic from Bass Pro Shop ($20). She has a MYOG climashield 2.5 APEX quilt now (and matching 5.0 Apex underquilt for hammocking). Her cold weather bag is a 20 deg synthetic... that I don't recall the manufacturer of. It's bulky as all get out. It practically fills her whole backpack but it keeps her warm and that's important.

The backpack was the hardest part to solve. We tried a few things and eventually got a kids-size ULA Circuit. It's high adjustable and the hipbelt actually fits her. Previously we found the hipbelts on kids back to be 1) non-existant 2) way too big. Due to it's adjustability it'll be good for many, many years. If she actually manages to wear it out before she out grows it then it means we put a lot of miles on it and I certainly won't be sad about that.

Starchild
03-10-2015, 11:30
There are many 3/4 length sleeping pads.

HooKooDooKu
03-10-2015, 11:58
I've had no problems finding kid size clothing... rain jackets, rain pants, fleece wear, etc. The only thing that has been difficult there is shoes/boots. You can't just buy a size too large and let them grow into them, so it can quickly become expensive to keep kids in correctly sizes foot wear. I find myself either watching for sales or look for lower end shoes/boots since they usually won't be in them for long.

Several well known brands make kid size sleeping bags. I've got a North Face Tigger. It's labeled as a 20 bag for only 2 lbs. If they still made it, I would highly recommend it.

While I like Mobius' suggestion of a reduced size z-lite pad, I decided to simply buy an adult size pad that they will likely be able to use for years to come. In my case, I purchased a Therm-a-rest prolite regular size. It's only 1 lb and will some effort, can be rolled up to fit inside a Therm-a-rest prolite SMALL stuff sack. That means it packs down to the same weight and size as a regular size neo-air.

When it comes to packs, there are kids sizes available... but I've also found situations where a woman's size small will fit some kids. As an example, my 7yo started with a Granite Gear Vapor Day Ki. It's a woman's size day bag, but at a capacity of 32L and a weight of only 2lbs, it worked out great as a starter back pack.

MamaBear
03-10-2015, 12:09
My son has hiked and backpacked with me since he was 10; he did the Long Trail with me the summer he was 12 and hiked the AT Gorham through the Bigelows with me last summer.

Since he's a bit older, he was on the larger end of the kid's size ranges. Columbia has a line of hiking clothes for children. He's worn the synthetic shirts, cold weather tights and zip-off pants from Columbia, but has also worn some really cheap athletic shorts from Wal-mart. He wore one of my puffies when he was a bit smaller and that was sufficient for cool mornings/evenings here in New England. Underarmour makes compression shorts for children, and yes, children can get chaffing, too. Just ask my son! As far as shoes, he had good luck with Salomon XA Pro trail runners in the kid's sizes. At 14, his feet are adult sized now, so we've got more choice in shoes. Socks don't seem to be a problem for him, he's worn Smartwool, DarnTough and Wright Socks without a problem. Lucky him.

For a sleeping bag, he used a regular adult one or my women's sized one, and a regular sized sleeping pad. We've been similar in size until just recently when he hit his growth spurt, so any of our bags worked well. If I recall correctly, I think Kelty is one manufacturer that makes a child-sized sleeping bag? There are several packs to chose from, ULA as mentioned makes a kid-sized one, as does Osprey. My son had the Osprey Ace 48 for the Long Trail and then got an adult small Osprey Exos 34 for Maine last year. The kid size packs usually have an adjustable back to adjust the torso length as the child grows, and can even work well for those of us who are small adults with short torsos.

Alligator
03-10-2015, 15:18
Clearance, clearance, clearance. Buy out of season and larger sizes. There's always stuff for sale online at REI, Campmor, Sietra Trading Post. Walmart, Target, they have clothes very suitable for hiking. Quick drying athletic shorts, tops, long sleeves. Wait for it to hit the clearance rack. And the color availability builds character.

Shoes, put the kids in trail runner type shoes but they don't need to be particularly expensive. I try to buy them at least a week or two before to let them get broken in. Then I just let the shoes get worn after that as part of their regular footwear because the will outgrow the shoes otherwise. The kids hiking shoes I buy are generally the same price I would pay for regular sneakers ($20-40) and it is rare that hiking shoes get outgrown when cycled in like this. I find serviceable hiking shoes at the local stores and often score some bargains for better brands online. Got waterproof TNF boots for $15 just after Christmas, should be good for early spring.