Growing up spending most of my school breaks in the woods exploring, fishing,
and building secret forts, the one major piece of gear I really wished I had was a
good pack. There were a few options on the market for the younger generation
that came in a typical two compartment fashioned backpack, lacked internal
organization, and would last a short while before coming apart. Fast forward a
couple decades later the options for a good quality kid’s pack has expanded, but
not by much. Being a Father of two very active boys now old enough to carry their
own gear, I wanted to find a pack that would meet their carry needs for both
urban and outdoor adventures. Having tried a couple big named brands we found
these packs either did not fit my boys well and did not have key features that
would make easy access to desired items possible.
Cub Cubs, established in 2014, is a brand founded by Polly Taylor creating soft
goods and other packable type gear mainly for the young adventurer. In early
2016 photos started to pop up on Cub Cubs social media pages of a pack made
just for kids, then shortly after the “Cub Ruck” was available for purchase. The
Cub Ruck is designed for both urban and outdoor style adventures with attention
to certain details not typically found in a kids pack. Made of a high quality Cordura
fabric, using heavy duty hardware, this pack is built to last generations. The Main
Compartment is lined with a High-Viz Orange for ease of visibility when trying to locate a specific item in low light.
This compartment also features a small laptop type sleeve sewn onto the back
panel to hold either a smaller touch pad type device or a favorite book, and a small ball swiveled snap hook located on the top internal roof. The Front compartment features an admin style panel made with the same Hi-Viz Orange liner material. The Admin/Organizer panel features 3 pencil/pen holders, a small mesh zippered pocket, key chain holder, and a large stash pocket located behind the admin panel. Located on both sides of the Cub Ruck are mesh type water
bottle holding pockets to hold a small Nalgene bottle, some cool sticks, and even
work great to stash interesting rocks found during your hike.
There’s three Loop Material panels found on the top and sides to attach your kiddo’s favorite Cub Cubs badges, which are a fun reward to earn while teaching them about proper trail manners. On the front of the Cub Ruck you’ll find a Daisy Chain style strip that is sewn onto the outer panel of the front pocket to connect a carabiner or strap a fishing pole to. The adjustable padded shoulder straps feature an adjustable sternum strap as well have reflective strips (found
also on the Daisy Chain strip) sewn into them for safety during night hikes. A
heavy duty carry handle located on top of the Cub Ruck comes in handy while
storing the pack or to help your little hiker when trying to overcome an unknown
obstacle. The back panel features a sweat channel and is made up of a dense
mesh type material, also used to line the shoulder straps, to keep body contact
areas cooler during warmer weather conditions.
I picked up a couple Cub Rucks during the initial launch for my boys and once I
opened the box they could not wait to put them to use. Their Cub Rucks have
seen miles of trails on all types of terrain from dirt roads, thru creeks, and even
some light rock climbing, and in different weather conditions from a warm
Summer day, a Fall hike in some light rain, and even a hike in the Winter snow.
For urban adventures the Cub Rucks have worked great for an overnighter with
Grandma and Grandpa and when heading to our local Farmer’s Market.
Overall, I am quite impressed with the Cub Ruck, and so are my sons. If there was
any feature I would add, or change, would be adding a couple tube access ports
for a hydration bladder. Other than this one small change the Cub Ruck is a great
pack choice for your little hiker!
Speaking of young adventurers, here’s what my boys had to say about their Cub
Thomas (Age 5): I really really like my green backpack from Miss Polly. It is very
cool and it holds all my hiking stuff like cookies and my whistle and my binoculars.
When my Daddy grabs my backpack, I know it is adventure time and I can go look
for dinosaurs! Also, I like my cool patches they are so cool!
Brayden (Age 7): One of my favorite times with my Daddy is when we go hiking. I
like it when we both bring our cameras and we get to take pictures of nature.
Sometimes my Daddy and me go on adventures and my bother stays home with
Mommy. One time we went hiking I even got to see a real rattle snake! My
adventure backpack from Miss Polly is just for me and it holds a lot of stuff. I can
pack my camera, a flashlight, a multi-tool, whistle, my sunglasses, a jacket, a
warm cap for my head, and some snacks, I even have room for one of my Lego
sets but not all of them. When we are hiking my backpack is very comfortable and
it does not get heavy at all. You should feel my Daddy’s backpack it’s super heavy,
but sometimes my brother used to say his backpack was heavy and Daddy said
here carry mine and Thomas said no thanks. Sometimes we take a break but that is only to have a snack and drink some water and in my backpack, I make sure to
have a cold-water bottle and some snacks like fruit or gummy bears. My Cub Cubs
backpack can hold some of my small Nerf guns but I wish I could carry a big Nerf
gun so we can have Nerf gun wars outside and in case we see a bear. I like my
pack a lot and I like the patches my Daddy puts on when I listen and pay
attention. My brother does not pay attention that much but he is getting better.
Check out Brian’s Q&A with Cub Cubs’ designer Polly here!