Little Life Runabout (in pink) which can be had for about $30 from MEC
Note that this day sack is really meant for just single day use (read: it ain't a 3-day backpack for use in the Yosemite backcountry). It is also intended for use by 1-3 year olds, hence the size will be smaller than what you would expect to find in the toddler market.
Now you may ask why we did not go for the Disney-licensed backpack products that are available en-masse at Walmart, Zellers, Loblaws... well, we did have them, 3 in fact - all of which broke after very minimal use. Either the shoulder strap unstitched itself, or the zipper just broke, features I would expect not to fail through normal toddler life-use.
- Top grab handle.
- Detachable parent's safety strap.
- Zipped entry to main compartment.
- Side mesh pocket for drinks or snacks.
- Adjustable shoulder straps, with sternum strap
- Reflective piping for increased visibility.
- Complies with British and European safety standards EN 13210-2004.
Size. At first you may think that it is small. It is. By no means is it meant to carry school books or hamsters or Bad Ass Dad's gun collection. It's a frickin day pack meant for, yeah, one day's worth of outing needs. It is big enough for "one man, one kit" and that's it. You may have seen the boxy type backpacks, but have you tried loading it up and then putting it on a 3-year old? They just fall backwards, even though its funny as hell, it's useless. So, this day pack was designed with little people in mind, less depth and more tear shape to conform to toddler shoulders. The sternum strap should be used, unless you want your Bad Ass Kid to look like a Korean exchange student walking down Robson St.
Washability. Ok, this is key. Shit that don't wash, don't get bought. Simple as that. Other backpacks can't be thrown into the wash...this one might not even be recommended to, but f*ck it. It's durable to go through the gentle cycle to wash out all the day old chocolate-covered granola bar that melted in the sun.
Ergonomics. So obviously Bad Ass Kidlets have different body structures than even 5 or 6 year-olds, so why shouldn't they have an age-appropriate day-pack. I alluded to the tear-shaping of the pack, which better conforms to their little shoulders. I also like the padded shoulder straps, and the fact that these packs don't knock against their knees. Alot of other kiddie backpacks are marketed towards the hipster douchebag parents or the hippie faux-hemian parents with features like ventilated mesh backings, and stability frames, and mesh this and mesh that. Really? A 3 year old needs ventilated mesh backing? Where is this kid hiking up? The Grouse Grind?