Deuter Youth Climber Backpack

The #1 gear item on our list for this summer’s Backpacking Project 2013 was kid’s backpacks. Now I don’t expect them to carry much…but I NEED them to carry something!  But in my opinion kid’s packs are tricky. Most are designed for school, for obvious reasons. But we needed and wanted something with a little more support and outdoor usability – including things like rugged fabric, waist belts, sternum straps, and hydration readiness.

So we turned to the brand we’ve all known and trusted since our kids were riding on our backs in Deuter Kid carriers, to see if they had an awesome solution to the next-step in our outdoor family adventures.

This pack will be available Fall of 2013!

Youth Climber Backpack Deuter Climber pack- Youth

Duration of Testing: Four Months
Tested by: 6-yr old girl, 7 and 9 yr old boys
Conditions: Snowshoeing, Hiking, Backpacking
Best Uses: Everything! Ski touring – Backpacking
Suggested Age: 6-13 yrs


Padded waist belt/shoulder straps and sternum strap help with a slightly heavier than usual load.

Comfortable and wicking suspension system, just like on an adult pack.

Fabric sheds water and is super rugged.

Velcro tab/sleeve for hydration bladder.

The pack is still light and simple. The large main compartment is easy to pack.

The top “essentials” pocket is  large enough for a hat, headlamp, snacks, small camera, etc.

Straps and “D-ring” attachments on top for lightweight bulky items. Deuter Climber pack header

Mesh pockets on the side are deep, so water bottles or whatever you want to stow will not easily fall out. Added straps to secure longer items like tent poles, etc that you might want to stow for overnight trips.

Gear loops on waist belts just like on a climbing harness. We haven’t used these yet but I figure they will come in handy when we take it climbing in the future!

Interior security pocket in the hood – always a good thing.

Deuter Climber kids backpacking pack


I wish there was a small pocket on the outside front for added organization.


I am not sure I’ve been this happy with any kid pack! It is perfect for hiking and backpacking for kids ages 6-12. I would highly recommend this pack.

Deuter Climber Pack - snowshoeing

– Alpine Back System
– Ice axe/ trekking pole straps
– Mesh side pockets
– Side compression straps
– Gear loops with plenty of space for anything from carabiners to a magnifying glass
– Zipped pocket on lid
– Valuables pocket under the lid
– D-rings on lid for attaching extra gear
– Soft hip fins with gear loops
– Chest strap with emergency whistle
– Shoulder straps with Soft-Edge edges
– Hydration system compatible
– Carry capacity – 30lb
– Torso length – 10-17″ / 25-43cm
– Volume – 1343 cu in / 22 L
– Weight – 1lb 7 oz / .77kg
– Dimensions – 20 x 11x 8in  / 52 x 27 x 20 cm (H x W x D)
– Ripstop 210 / Microrip-Nylon
Availability: late August/early September 2013 (for fall season)
Price: MSRP $69
*We’d like to thank Deuter, who gave us this pack at no cost for the purpose of review. As always, these are our honest opinions. 

17 comments on “Deuter Youth Climber Backpack
  1. Have you looked at the Vaude backpacks for kids? We love them! (Vaude Ayla 6, for our 5 yr old). For our youngest son of 3 we use a LittleLife backpack with a good handle on top to grab him when he falls on rocks etc.

  2. I have just bought it (60 euros, 80 USD) after a long search and I am fully convinced that, for these ages (8-12) this is probably the best product in the market. Much better than Vaude (Vaudes are ok for a one day light trekking, but this backpack is two or three steps further in terms of quality and ergonomy for kids from 8 to 12).

    • Yes I have, until now I’ve thought it much to big but I think my oldest daughter, age 9 (but petite) and my son age 7 are close to fitting in it nicely. You can adjust the torso length, which is really nice, and you cannot on the Climber pack. My only worry is that it would be easy to overload it. Sure the pack will fit, but my kids at this age could not carry it fully loaded. So just be careful how heavy you load that pack. Osprey has a great kids pack with easily adjusting torso length as well. I was very impressed, check them out as well!

  3. I live where there are no stores which carry good kids hiking backpacks. I was wondering if you had a link to the exact backpack your daughter used. We are planning a hike this coming summer and our daughter will just about be 6. Thanks in advance!

  4. I am having a similar issue with our kids. We have been hiking before, but now are branching off into backpacking 🙂 We have four kids, aged 14, 12, 11, and almost 6. So far, the only thing we can find to work is the REI Tarn 18. It has a padded waist belt, whistle, sternum strap, padded shoulder straps, load lifting straps, hydration sleeve, and lots of places to hook things too…but with it only being 18L we can’t fit much into it….which is okay because we don’t want to overload our youngest :). With our older kids, I think the Osprey Ace 38 (or 50) would work for our middle kids…still looking for our oldest. I think he will fit into my Osprey Aura so we may find a used Osprey. I love your blog and we are on a budget, but figure we should buy new for the essentials: boots/shoes, bags, and packs. What tent do you use? Any tips on colder weather bags for kids that pack down?

    • I agree, I think the Osprey Ave 38 would be a great pack though I have not been able to test it. For your older kids the Deuter Fox line is good, and many kids also fit in small women’s packs. Mountain Gear has a new line of kids backpacking packs coming out this summer – look for the review later this year! We do a lot of buying used – with multiple kids it just gets too expensive! Packs are fine used usually, but we always go new on shoes unless we come across something that has little to no wear. AS for our tent we use the Kelty Salida 4( : we originally received it for review and after 4 years have seen no reason to get a different one! We love it. Sure I wish it has 2 vestibules and 2 doors, but not enough to pay $500 for another tent. It is a decent price and within a 1-2 lbs of the super expensive 4 man tents…

      Our tent game plan looks like this: Mom, kids and Dog in the Salida 4. Dad prefers to sleep outside in bivy. Otherwise we’d probably go with a 2-man and a 3-man. And here is everything I think about sleeping bags: Good luck!

  5. Hi.

    Thanks for a nice review.
    Could you say a few more words about kids and load.
    My kids are 2 and 4 years, so I don’t have a lot of experience with loading my kids.
    I’ve read a book by a danish journalist, who’ve done a lot of hiking in the northern scandinavia wilderness, he says that a child can carry about their own age in kilograms.
    (1 lbs=0.453 kg)
    (4 Years=8.8 lbs)
    (6 Years=13.2 lbs)
    (8 Years=17.6 lbs)
    (10 Years=22 lbs)
    (12 Years=26.5 lbs)
    (14 Years=30.8 lbs)

    What’s your experience kids and load?

    • Sorry about my delayed response. We’ve had some sickness in the family. I’ve spoken with a few other families that I adventure with and we all agree that the above weights for loading a kids backpack:(1 lbs=0.453 kg)(4 Years=8.8 lbs)(6 Years=13.2 lbs)(8 Years=17.6 lbs)(10 Years=22 lbs), is a bit ambitious. We’d suggest more like 1 lbs per year of age. Though to be honest, we didn’t load our kids up with backpacks for hiking until roughly age 4. And even backpacking, our youngest (age 3-5) barely carries more than a favorite stuffed animal and a jacket. For longer mileage day hikes, we still don’t load our kids up at all just for the sake of covering more ground. Obviously this all depends on each individual child, some are larger/stronger, some are smaller, some are simply more motivated. Best of luck!

      • Don’t worry about it, we all have lives we need to live.

        Thanks, it’s nice with a second opinion.

        Until now the kids loads have only been symbolic.
        But I plan on buying a Deuter Climber for my oldest now, she turns 5 years this summer, and I hope to be able to take her to the Norwegian mountains next year, (we have no mountains in Denmark, it’s an absolute minimum of 8 hours travel to get to some mountains).

        I don’t think mileage is gonna be on anyones mind the first time I bring her on a real mountain hike, so I guess from here on the issue is gonna be finding a load distribution, that we’re both comfortable with.

  6. Guys, appreciate this post is a few year sold now but have to say, it’s been one of the most helpful I’ve found! Just about to take my youngest son away for a few days in the Cairngorms in Scotland so getting him a decent pack, suitable for his size and ability is paramount.The load guide is also really helpful. I need him to carry sleeping bag etc, more for bulk for me that weight.

    All the very best

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