I'm 42 and going to start taking my 9-12 year olds backpacking. my kids and I are an avid hikers, and own 4 backpacking packs but they are all 18+ years old. I know as the dad, I'm gong to have to carry a ton of extra weight and gear for kids, so I'm looking at backpacks and am trying to decide between the Gregory Baltoro Pro or the Osprey Xenith. They each can store a massive amount of gear, place for a water bladder, rain cover, day pack built-in, good cushion for my hips and lots of pouches.
I would be interested in opinions from anyone that has experience with both of these packs or why choose one brand over the other. I've read reviews, but there are always conflicting data in them.
Thanks for reaching out and welcome to the community!
Both of these packs are great choices! Personally, I have used the Gregory Baltoro and found it to be up to the task when carrying more weight than you would normally prefer to. However, the best determining factor in which will work better for you will be having the packs fitted to you. We recommend going in to your local REI store and being measured and fit by one of our pack experts. Even if they don't have the same volume packs, they may be able to fit you to a smaller version that can give you a good idea of how each brand fits.
If you don't live close to an REI store, we do offer free Virtual Outfitting program that can connect you with a pack expert who can talk you through pack fitting digitally.
Lastly, I want to commend you on getting your kids outside backpacking and also let you know yours is one of my favorite user names here in the community!
Hopefully this helps, thanks!