1. Pockets for Everything

Whoever was on the team designing the Recon Squash Youth backpack definitely has kids. The pocket layout features options for safely stowing precious stuffed animal BFFs within the main compartment. Then there are outer pockets for “afterthoughts” like that carefully curated collection of really pretty rocks gathered while waiting for your airport shuttle to arrive. There is a built in keychain clip which would great for keeping track of house keys or a zipper pouch with plane tickets and other important things that have a tendency to get buried at the bottom of a backpack. Each side features mesh bottle holders and there’s a roomy zippered pocket on top for easy access snack storage.

2. Crazy Comfortable

Before writing this post I never really thought about functional design for kids’ backpacks. In the past, it’s usually been the flashy features that catch my attention – think glow in the dark or super glittery designs. However, when shopping for myself, comfort is a top priority so it only makes sense for kids to get comfy backpacks too. The Recon Squash Backpack delivers ultimate comfort. There is an adjustable sternum strap so weight is evenly distributed. It’s generously padded along the back and shoulder straps with a nice squishy foam material so it won’t dig in. This definitely passes the comfort test with flying colors.

3. Kid Sized

This backpack is literally a mini version of The North Face Recon Backpack. It’s about half the size which makes it ideal for tucking under airplane or car seats. The kid-minded design also encourages packing light. Since it has a smaller capacity than a “normal” adult-sized backpack  this prevents youngsters from overpacking. They can fill it to the brim and won’t overwhelm themselves with a backpack that’s too heavy to carry. It’s still roomy enough to accommodate your standard 9.5 x 12 inch binders if homework needs to come along, but the 18 liter capacity keeps it manageable.

4. Eye Catching Colors

The North Face had some fun deviating away from the “grown up” color schemes when making the Recon Squash Youth Backpack. While they do offer a classic black, they also feature a great variety of bright happy colors – my favorite is their lively patterned “Surf Green Pinwheel Print”. These festive fabrics make it easy to spot your kiddo in crowded places like airport baggage claims. It’s worth noting too that there are 360 degree reflective bike light patches on both the main body of the backpack and on the shoulder straps which is a nice safety detail for those evening or early morning expeditions.

5. Built to last

YETI likes to brag about how their products are grizzly proof – which is super impressive, but I think another noteworthy claim is when something is kid proof. This backpack is made of extremely high quality materials intended to withstand the outdoors so it’s up for whatever challenges Junior puts it through. The outer shell is made with 1200D polyester meaning it’s a really tough, strong yarn capable of keeping possessions safe from the elements. The heavy duty polyester material is thick and easy to clean too so you won’t be replacing this backpack any time soon – and if it gets lost, The North Face included a sewn in internal name label so there won’t be any mix ups with whose backpack it is.

These are the top reasons why I love The North Face Recon Squash Youth Backpack, but if there are any other details I overlooked – I’d love to hear from y’all!

Devyn Stewart, Traveler and Ultimate Kid at Heart