Osprey Jet 18

It can be tough to decide on a pack for a child so we thought we would start with a review of the Osprey Jet 18 a pack that blurs the line between kids day pack and overnight backpack. The 18 liter size, for most adults, would be deep in the heart of the day pack size. But, given a child’s lack of physical size, and smaller clothing and gear, it makes this a good pack for smaller kids to use for an overnight backpack. The very lightweight nature of the Jet 18 (7 oz), means this is a great day pack for kids age 8-12. There is plenty of room in the main compartment for extra layers, food and water bottles. The design is unique in that the hydration bladder is accessed from outside the pack. Just pull back the thin plastic frame sheet, below the top of the shoulder straps, and the pocket opens big and wide, making it very easy to slip a hydration bladder in and out without having to dig through clothing and gear in the main compartment. This also means that you can route the bladder tube to either side of the pack.
Other features of the Osprey Jet 18 kids backpack include a standard top lid zipper pocket accessed from outside the lid, and a second mesh zipper pocket on the bottom inside of the lid. Mesh water bottle pockets on either side of the pack fit smaller size 16 oz. nalgene, or other bottles. A large mesh pocket on the back of the pack is perfect for storing rain gear or light layers so that you don’t need to get into pack frequently to remove or stow them. A smaller zippered pocket directly above the mesh pocket is perfect for trail snacks, headlamp, sunscreen etc. All of these easily organized pockets made it really easy for our testers (the kids) and their parents to get access to trail needs very easily. This also helps to teach young up-and-coming hikers how to organize their gear efficiently for use on the trail.
The shoulder pads are nicely padded and all of our kid testers thought they were pretty comfortable, even with heavier 10-12 lb loads. A nicely designed sternum strap with emergency whistle is easily adjustable to fit growing bodies. The waist belt is made of wide un-padded mesh. This seemed to work well for most kids once you get the shoulder straps to the right height. Getting kids used to using the waist belt to carry much of the weight is new to them because most of them are used to shouldering all the weight of the school backpacks full of books. Once they get used to it though it seems to make them pretty excited about this new better way to carry a backpack. The back panel is a shin flexible plastic frame sheet covered with molded 1/4″ foam. Having a firmly molded framesheet for kids doesn’t make lot of sense since they grow in spurts and it’s hard to tell what will fit. In our experience Osprey went with the best option of this thin framesheet that maintains the packs shape and some rigidity, without adding shape or stiffness in areas that might not work for many kids.
The main body is made of durable nylon. Even though the pack is fairly robust and able to handle some abuse we’ve found that most kids are not used to avoiding sharp rocks and sticks when taking their packs off so some education about taking care of backpacking gear is sometimes needed. All f the straps and buckles are easily manipulated by kids. Nothing seems to be over difficult to open or close. We found the kids to be really excited to have a pack like their parents’ to use when hitting the trail. 8 year old gear tester Maren said her favorite things about the Osprey Jet 18 are “the comfortable straps and pockets that let me carry my own snacks and water.”
This is one of the best packs for kids that we’ve seen, not unexpected from a company like Osprey who only makes backpacks. The Osprey Jet 18 is available in both Red and Teal. Osprey also makes a smaller version, the Jet 12 for kids age 5+.

Features

  • Fixed top lid zippered compartment with under-lid zip pocket
  • Dual stretch-mesh side pockets and large front stretch-mesh pocket
  • Small external zippered pocket
  • Side compression straps
  • External reservoir sleeve (reservoir not included)

Technical features

  • Article-No.: 5-271
  • Material: 600D Polyester
  • Outer material: 210D Double Diamond Ripstop
  • Capacity: 18 l
  • Weight: 550 g
  • Sex: Kids
  • Recommended usage: Hiking
  • Size: 51 x 26 x 22 cm
65,00 €
Nõmme
Jaama 12
Jet 18 O/S real teal available