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Backpack Size Recommendation: Youth Osprey Ace backpack (and my redwing 50)

My son is 11 and is tall for his age and is around 100 pounds. I bought the Osprey Ace 75 & Osprey Ace 50 for his first backpacking trip in April with the Scouts. I initially thought the 75 would be good so he does not have to get all his gear packed tightly. A coworker talked me into getting him the 50 and said he should never need more than that. After receiving both packs, the 75 is less than 2 inches taller and has all the straps to cinch any loose area tight so it can get packed with minimal stuff or a lot. He will be limited to 20 lbs of gear, but figured the bigger bag may save some trouble when he cannot get everything tightly packed by himself.

What are you thoughts? I will hopefully get to the store after you guys open back up but I wanted to get an opinion.

Another question, I also bought a Kelty Redwing 50 for me, but I noticed it does not have the hip pockets or straps for sleeping bag. I think I am going to return the 50 because Kelty has a sale for the last year Coyote 65 model which still has the side pockets (love them) and hip belt pockets plus room for sleep bag inside the bag. Any reason to not return the redwing 50 in lieu of the coyote 65? 

1 Reply

@tardog Thanks for reaching out!

One phrase you'll hear a lot around backpacking is, 'you pack your fears.' If you have room in your pack for it, you are much more likely to bring it along. So in terms of deciding between the Osprey 75 and 50 liter packs, really the only concern there is whether you think your son will be able to take only what is needed for the trip and nothing else, even though he may have the space for it. That weight adds up quickly! One trick to help mitigate this is to set your pack aside and lay out all the gear you need for an upcoming trip, paring it down to what you think is really essential. Once that is done you put everything else away (no making a 'maybe I'll take this if I have room' pile!) and then load your pack. It is an advantage to having a bigger pack because if gives you the option of doing much longer trips if you want.

In terms of the Kelty Redwing 50 versus the Coyote 65 model: you really can't go wrong with either one. Both of those are going to be solid packs, if the Coyote 65 have the features you want in it, go for that one!

Hope this helps!

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