I’m a strong Momma who Sherpas her toddler all over Utah’s beautiful trails.
Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 - Women's
Comfortable Trail Shoe
While this is a trail runner I also use it for backpacking and child carrying . It has that thick sole that gives enough cushioned support where as other trail runners do not. I’m carrying 40 pounds or more every hike and I need a sole that I can’t feel every rock under the weight of my pack. They are really light and have a tread that suction cups to slick rock. The only issue with them I have is that with how much weight I carry and how often I hike I can easily destroy 3 pairs a year. The tread is good and grippy up to 300 miles. After that I have to replace them or just use them on well groomed terrain. I also do not use these if I am hiking through snow or need something waterproof. I feel they are a 3 season shoe.
Platypus GravityWorks 4.0L Filter System
Large Volume Filter
I didn’t think that such a high volume filter was necessary At first, but quickly changed my tune after our week long trip with it. It filters fast. In 15 minutes or less you’ll have 4L off clean water. Which is great especially if you are a quarter mile away from a water source. It has a dirty bag with a top that allows you to easily scoop water up quickly. The system is easy to use and you don’t have to go back and forth for water. Once all the water is filtered you can detach the clean bag and fill your pots, bladders, bottles etc. It has a clamp that easily allows you to start and stop water flow. It cleans easy and doesn’t take up too much space. Just a convenient way to get water while backpacking. Especially for a large group.
Kelty Woobie 30 Sleeping Bag
Great for camping, decent for backpacking
I had a Coleman for my toddler, but I couldn’t backpack with it due to how much room it took up in my bag. This is not as small as I’d want it, but I can backpack with it. Kids run hot so the 30 degree keeps my child warm even on chilly nights. If the temps dip into the 30’s I will also put a puffer on him for bed and he keeps warm. I like the little hood that covers his head. I also like that when I zip the bag all the way up he has a large area where his face is exposed. He hates being too confined. He will be able to use this bag for a few more years. The only complaint is I wish it packed down a little smaller.
Kelty Camp Chair
My Favorite Backpacking Chair
This doesn’t even weigh two pounds and can fold up like an accordion to easily allow you to carry it on the outside of your backpack. It is adjustable and you can rock back and forth like a rocking chair. This is what sold me. It is very comfortable as well. I highly recommend this chair.
Moon Lence Portable Ultralight Folding Chair With Carrying Bag
Lightweight and Comfy
I originally bought this chair for backpacking. I use it for all camping now. It takes up so little space and is very comfortable. It weighs a little over two pounds making it reasonable to haul into the wilderness. My friends have the same style chair that is from the name brands. I can’t see any difference in weight or quality. Mine just cost 1/4 the price. It’s easy to set up and pack down. It also can be carried on the outside of your pack.
Weanas Waterproof Double Layer 2 Person 3 Season Backpacking Tent
Low Price, High Quality
I needed a light 2 person tent that was inexpensive for a last minute trip. This is my new favorite tent. It has two vestibule doors and on one side you can extend the flaps to create a shelter or roll the flap up to allow easy access to tent. The tent is big enough to fit my klymit double inside and leave a few inches for clothes at my feet. It is a great backpacking tent. Gear can easily fit underneath the rainfly. If you are car camping it will seem crowded. We love it for backpacking. It can fit two adults and a toddler.
Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad
Comfortable, Light, Moderately Priced
This was my favorite pad I’ve owned to date. It breaks down small and is durable. It doesn’t take very many breathes to blow up and I can comfortably side sleep all night on this. The r value is lacking and doesn’t hold in heat. They do have an insulated version of this which I suggest if you want a cold weather pad.
Sawyer MINI Water Filter
Light and compact
This is perfect for day hiking when you don’t want to carry a ton of water, but you’ll be around water sources. It works for backpacking too. I prefer the huge gravity filters for backpacking. It’s easier to filter large amounts of water for camp than with this. It can be time consuming. It is also difficult to fill the bag with stationary water sources. You can always fill your pot and pour into the bag. I did have a bag break on me while filtering. The filter can fit the lid of a water bottle or collapsible canteen. I carry a backup. Also if you go for a long stretch make sure you backflush clean water into the filter every day to prevent it from getting clogged. It’s really easy to do this and even comes with a syringe to backflush with. All in all this is a great purchase for a minimal cost. It has saved me from carrying extra water weight on several long day trips.
Deuter Kid Comfort Child Carrier Backpack
Extreme Comfort, Little Space
I owned the Deuter KC3. It is an extremely comfortable fit with the variflex suspension. I would dare say it’s the most comfortable bag on the market. There is only one catch. It lacks storage space compared to the Kelty and Osprey. If you are only doing a medium length hike then this is a great purchase. If you are going all day I found other people had to help carry items. We do a lot of all day hikes so this didn’t work out great for me. The child also rides high in this. Which I didn’t love. It lacks a roll cage that the Osprey and Kelty both provide. I feel that it’s lighter than the Kelty and Osprey though. I have a Kelty and prefer to use that for what I do with my child. But if you are just looking for something for short day hikes where you don’t need a whole days worth of stuff I’d say the Deuter is the perfect for that. I also loved the stirrups and luxurious drool bar.
Kelty Cosmic Down Sleeping Bag
Good Starter Backpacking Bag
I had to buy 5 sleeping bags for backpacking this summer. I chose this for the price, size and quality. The bag is nicely constructed and has some great bells and whistles. It packs down small enough and comes in around two pounds. It says 20 degrees, but that is the survival rating. I am warm enough in it until the temp dips into the high thirties. Then I just need a bag liner. The bag itself is so comfy and I love the drawstring hood. I am very happy with the purchase. If you need a good quality backpacking bag, but are on a budget I recommend this.
Kelty Salida 4 Person Tent
We have 5 person family and needed a large tent that could accommodate all of us. This says it fits 4 people. That is true. It fits 4 people very comfortably. I have used it in an all night downpour and it has never failed me. It is easy to set up. I can set it up in 5 minutes. It is a very reasonable price and good quality. I have only two complaints. The first one is the stuff sack it comes in. It is awkward and can’t be easily secured to the bottom or side of my backpacking pack. I have to pack it inside. The second is that it only has one vestibule door. I have learned I prefer two. This is by far the roomiest tent I’ve come across though. It has a high ceiling as well. Which is nice when getting changed. If it’s a roomy tent you’re looking for then this is your tent.
Kelty Journey Perfect fit Elite Kid Carrier
I hike regularly with my toddler. We have put over 2k miles on my carrier and have maxed out at 22 miles in one day. My main reasons for purchasing the Kelty would be the flexible suspension. The hip belt flexes and pivots as I walk. This helps with stability and provides max comfort for myself. I also love the amount of storage space I get with this pack which is necessary for all day adventures. I love the roll cage as well. While I’ve never fallen on my back, I know if I did the roll bar will prevent my toddler from being squished under my body weight. It also has the roll bars for protection on the sides as well. I have taken a couple nasty spills over rough terrain and my child has never come out with so much as a scratch. I would highly recommend Kelty. But I find with the Kelty, Deuter and Osprey you need to try them all on with your kid. They all fit different and different bodies fit each brand different. Choose the brand that’s most comfortable for you. You will be carrying a lot of weight and comfort should be your number one priority or you’re not going to want to child carry.
Klymit Double V Sleeping Pad
Side Sleepers Dream
I am a side sleeper so I need something that has enough cushion to prevent my hips from touching the ground. The double is more comfortable than the single. I use it for almost every backpacking and camping trip. The toddler and I share the pad, but it can also fit one more person snugly. It has a bag that you blow up the pad with. I don’t have to use any of my own breath. The only downside to this is the r value is terrible. I’d suggest buying the insulated version if you are consistently camping in temps below 40/35 degrees.
Gregory Deva 70 Backpack
Cadillac of Backpacks
The main reason I chose to buy the Deva for backpacking was the flexing hip belt and shoulder strap suspension. This eliminates hot spots on your hips over long mile days. Gregory also includes a rain cover with their larger packs vs having to buy them separately. I also love the detachable day pack. I was hesitant about getting the 70 L, but I do backpack with my children and have been able to carry 3 people’s stuff for a two night trip easily inside my pack. I am usually carrying more than just my supplies so the extra space has been necessary. Even at 50 pounds the pack feels extremely comfortable. I don’t think I’d ever own a different backpacking pack. I highly recommend.
Stratos 36 Backpack
My Husband bought this bag for himself, but you can adjust the torso length so both of us can utilize it. Which most packs you cannot get away with this. The Stratos has great storage space and backpacking straps on bottom and sides. I use this for day hikes when I do long summits. My kids carry this when backpacking. It has a rain cover and a place to fasten poles to on the side of the bag. I put this bag through a lot of abuse and it has held up like a dream. The shoulder straps with the Osprey packs are thick and comfortable. The only complaint I have is the hip belt is stiff and sewn into the pack. It does not flex like a couple of my other packs. This isn’t a problem until about 11 consecutive miles. After I hit this point the hip belt feels like it digs in and creates a hot spot. I’ve heard this complaint with several Osprey owners. All in all this is our most multi functional bag.