Hands-Free Hydration With Camelbak

With 3 kids and 2 adults in my family, heading out for the day equals a lot of water bottles. Bottles that I usually end up lugging in my purse or stroller. But no more. With Camelbak’s kid-friendly water packs, my kids can carry their own water (plus snacks and sweatshirts!) in a cool, functional backpack.

Camelbak offers three pint-sized water carriers – the Scout, Mini M.U.L.E and Skeeter.

Scout – The biggest of the group, Scout not only boasts a 50 oz. water reservoir with Camelbak’s patented Big Bite Valve, but a 670 cu. in. backpack for carrying everything you’d need for day out exploring. We had room for a sweatshirt, snacks and hat with room to spare. There’s also a “discovery pocket” with a plastic viewfinder window to display found treasures, a sternum strap for added support and side pockets for easy access to granola bars, maps or walkie talkies. Scout is available in pink, frost grey and green for $55.

Mini M.U.L.E – This mid-sized hydration pack provides your explorer with a 50 oz. water reservoir but less storage space than the Scout. Still the Mini M.U.L.E has two zippered storage compartments and an overflow storage space perfect for holding a long-sleeve or sweatshirt. My 4-year-old was a fan of this one. He was thrilled to have the independence to carry his own snacks and water, and I was thrilled to have a little less weight to carry around. Mini M.U.L.E. is available in blue, pink and red flames for $50.

Skeeter – The smallest of the bunch, Skeeter is a hydration-only pack with no additional storage. Lighter, smaller, cheaper, but in my mind, less effective since kids always seem to have extra stuff to carry. Available in green, raspberry and blue for $35.

The one problem I’ve found with these packs? Pacing. There’s something about the Camelbak that makes it fun for kids to drink. This is great for hydration. Not so great for bathroom stops and making your water last for the whole outing. We instituted “drink stops” for our hikes so that my boys wouldn’t just keep the values in their mouths the whole time, sipping away.

Overall, a fantastic piece of gear for kids. They feel important to be in charge of their water and snack and it makes my load lighter. A win-win.

Visit www.camelbak.com to see all their hydration packs for kids and adults.

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Kate Bayless is a writer, editor and reviewer with byline in numerous print and online publications. She loves big red wines, cherry Chapstick and not carrying her kids’ water bottles any more. Visit her at www.katebayless.com or @katebayless.com. Camelbak provided samples to facilitate the review.

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