View Full Version : Travel bags for children

07-18-2016, 12:33 PM
I'm planning a trip to Thailand with my 4 year old and 10 year old. Originally I was going to bring my usual travel luggage I use for business trips, but then I thought best to have my hands free and be able to sprint if necessary! I ordered the Aeronaut 30 and some additional accessories, but now looking for gear for the kids.

The Sprout looks adorable, and it appears to be sized appropriately for my daughter. This will be her first flight and to be honest....more than likely it will only hold snacks and stuffed animals. My son is a road warrior and at 10 has already traveled with me to Japan, Thailand and most of the continental U.S. I'm looking at the Synapse 19. He's a little over 4 feet and can haul a bag like a pack mule. Would the Aeronaut be too cumbersome for him to wear? Does it make more sense for him to use the Synapse instead?

Thoughts are eagerly welcomed!


07-18-2016, 01:12 PM
I think that, in term of travel bag the size goes as follows, Sprout, Synapse 19, Synapse 25, Brain Bag, Tristar and S45.

I don't know about the Western Flyer nor the A30.

I believe the Synapse 19 would be ideal for him. It is my Every Day Carry and Travel Personal Item.

I would get it in Halcyon because Halcyon is much lighter than Cordura.

07-18-2016, 01:48 PM
Has the A30 you ordered arrived yet? I'd stuff it with clothes or a heavy blanket and see if he can carry it OK.
But the S19 is probably more reasonable for him, the shape makes it a bit easier to carry no matter how it's packed.
Although if he can carry the Aeronaut, maybe you could get all your stuff in just those bags?

The Sprout makes me wish I had kids so I could get it for them :) it is so cute.

07-18-2016, 02:40 PM
In my opinion, the A30 could make for a grumpy travel companion given that it is more than 1/3 his size. There tends to be a lot more walking with international travel in the airports and you'll want him to be comfortable. I'm 5'1" and even I can get a little tired walking through Heathrow or even O'Hare. The S19 will likely still fit all of his clothes and things since he's small. You might be able to throw in a little messenger bag (Side Effect or Small Cafe Bag) that he can wear crossbody so he can access small things he will want to get to easily. I don't think the latter is critical, but it can give a little extra space and works well with a backpack.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07-18-2016, 04:03 PM
Another vote for the S19. My youngest is now 12 and it's a great size, can hold almost anything. If you want something he can grow into, I would suggest the Smart Alec. It's a bit shorter than the S25 and A30 and holds a ton, it's size doesn't overwhelm the kids. Also, my 6'4" husband can pack for a weekend with it, and he is not the lightest packer.

07-18-2016, 06:25 PM
Oh oh oh hello!!! How about putting the Daylight Backpack on your list of possibles. :)

I'm with others than the Synapse 19 would be awesome for your son. If it's not quite enough, you might be able to get him to carry a Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, cross-body like. Actually, maybe you can pack that in his Synapse and have it available should he need a little extra? Just fold up the PCSB shoulder strap and stash it in the diagonal zipper compartment on the front of the PCSB so it's out of the way.

07-18-2016, 08:00 PM
I vote for the S19 too. Mine are a few years older than your son and use they S25 and SA but the best fit for them I find is still the S19. A side bag is also a great idea. Mine use a MCB for things they need to get quickly and it prevents them from dumping everything out to get to what they were looking for, which somehow ends up at the bottom of the backpack.

07-19-2016, 01:14 AM
For a child I would not recomend the DLBP because it has no sternum strap. My 9 year old daughter (tall due to being my daughter) carries the Synapse 19 with ease. It fits well and due to the sternum strap the backpack stays on even when we are in a hurry and a bit of running is involved. The S25 is possible for her but it looks very big on her.
The A30 would be possible too but I crinch putting so much weight on a back that is still growing and bones that are still so bendable.

When we will travel this summer it is the Sprout for my 7 year old and the S19 for my 9 year old.


PS:: Welcome to the forum!

07-19-2016, 03:18 PM
Lots of good thoughts here already. I'll throw in our experiences as well, just for some additional data points. When we took a three-week European trip with our then six-year-old, I gave him my S19 to use on the plane, and initially loaded it up with the type of stuff I put in my carry-on: snacks, entertainment, a minimal change of clothes. It was too much for him at that age (he tends to be on the small size for his age) and so I just pulled out everything except his toys for the rest of that trip.

Fast-forward two years: we just got back from a 2.5 week trip (Iceland/France) and now he is eight. I again gave him the S19 for his sole carry-on - this time with an iPad a few snacks, and an extra shirt. He managed just fine and never asked us to carry his pack. (we had to sprint for a flight and everyone shouldered their own carry-ons for that)

In addition, he also has started using a Smart Alec for his baseball practice - it easily swallows a batting helmet, bat, gloves, lunch, water bottle, and shoes if needed. It's a bit long on his torso but with the curved straps and sternum strap it stays put. (Note that dad/DH used the same Smart Alec on this most recent trip as his backpack, so it's quite versatile for a variety of body types.) I wouldn't send it to school regularly with him just yet, but sounds like your 10yo might be just fine with a full SA.

(My 12-year-old, who is very active and strong enough to pick up her father, normally carries a very heavy non-TB pack for school - about SA-size - but refused a backpack for this trip. She carried an LL Bean tote instead.)

Re: A30 - I love mine, but as my carry-on for this past trip - with S19 as my personal item - it was too heavy for my liking. That is, I could manage it, but it slowed me down a lot and I wouldn't have been able to run for our flight. I made DH carry it most of the time, it was fine for him. :) I'm a smidge under five feet, so no, I wouldn't suggest it for a 10yo, even a strong one.)

So for a pack that is definitely small and nimble enough for a ten-year-old, and appropriate for an EDC after your trip, I'd say the S19. If you want ultimate flexibility and loads of capacity, then I'd go for the Smart Alec.

Here's a post (https://forums.tombihn.com/general-bag-discussion/9691-help-choosing-bag-middle-schooler-2.html#post100872)with pictures of my kids wearing those two bags (the whole thread is about finding a bag for a middle-schooler, so you might find it helpful to look thru the pictures of different kids wearing different bags).

And here's a pic from earlier this year - DH (5'10") wearing the red SA, and DS (age 8, 48") wearing the S19:

https://c7.staticflickr.com/2/1563/26074260030_92cb312cd8.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/FJ6p6q)