DownUnder2Borneo

A mum, dad and their three kids from Tasmania, go on an epic adventure in Borneo for 3 weeks in December

Kids Gear Success!

I’ve finally bitten the bullet and ordered the boys packs today so I’m very excited. I decided to order now, because I’m planning on doing an overnight trek with my eight year old son next month.

Kids gear is really hard to find down under. Even in the US, there seem to be only a few places that really cater for serious young adventurers. I ended up doing a fair bit of homework and reading to select the boys packs. I had it narrowed down the the Osprey Ace (48L) and the Deuter Fox (40L). I’m not trying to get travel packs for the boys because I want to them to be able to use their packs for serious hiking and when serious hiking, it really matters that the pack fits properly so the weight is well transferred to the hips and is comfortable on the shoulders.

There was also an Osprey 35L version but I just felt that might be a bit on the small side for hiking because once a sleeping pad and sleeping bag is in, there’s not much room for anything else with a 35L pack. On the other hand, the 48L will probably run slightly large for backpacking through Borneo because they won’t be carrying sleeping or cooking gear, but hopefully the pack will cinch right down and not be too cumbersome for throwing on top of buses, or cramming under the odd hawker stall table or chair.

The Osprey Ace and the Deuter Fox run back lengths from 12-20″ and 14-20″ respectively. This is measured from the iliac crest (the top of your hipbones) to your C7 (the knobby bone at the base of your neck). They are pretty good quality (the Osprey probably just beats the Deuter) so they will probably last until they’re teenagers. I decided to get one of each so depending on what we’re doing, they can select which one to take, as I normally take them on adventures one on one.

I ended up purchasing one pack from a pretty cool site called Tiny Trekker which catered well for kids, had good quality gear and very good prices and free ground shipping. The other I purchased from Back Country Gear which also offered free ground shipping. I’ve had them both shipped to a freight forwarder (an Aussie girl living in the USA), who will consolidate the orders for me and ship to Australia for a small fee.

On Friday, I’ll purchase waterproof pack covers for them, which we’ll also use when putting them in transit to cover up the harness so it doesn’t snag on every conveyor belt between here and Kuching.

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