I am Interested in the Mountainsmith Youth pack for a slim 11 year old boy (70 lbs), who is a beginner backpacker. He needs the pack for 1 and 2 night trips. Do you recommend an internal or external Mountainsmith pack? Thanks.
SunnySports S Great question! Mountainsmith makes great packs and this one is probably fine for 1 to 2 night trips. I prefer internal and so do most people. Internal packs are designed to carry the pack weight on the hips and with their body-hugging design provide the most balance and freedom of movement. This is especially important if he will be on rough trails or off-trail. They work well for nearly everyone and are the most popular option. External packs can help you carry very heavy loads, but generally are best for covering easy terrain. Because they don?t lie against the body they are cooler in hot weather. They are also generally cheaper and can be good introductory backpacks for growing kids and beginners. Although generally external packs are good for beginners, most kids prefer the styling of internal pack (which don't worry, get the job done just as well and are just as good for beginners). But the most important thing is fit. This pack has a Torso Fit Range 13" - 17", so make sure he fits the torso range. If your not sure how to fit a pack (torso range), here is a general guide line: Using a flexible tape measure, measure the length of your torso from the C7 vertebra (at the base of your neck) to the spot on the spine level with the top of the bony hip structure called the iliac crest. Do it two or three times to get an accurate measurement. If he is in-between frame sizes, always go with the smaller size. Stay safe and have fun out there! Neal