Designed to be a kid’s first backpack. Or at least the first pack they’ll actually want to carry.
We've found that if you talk with kids, rather than down to them, you might learn a thing or two. Like that not all of them want teddy bears, princesses and super heroes on their backpacks — some kids want the same cool organization and features that the grown-ups get. When we designed The Sprout, we applied all the same consideration and thought we put into our adult backpacks, scaled down to kid size. For children 4 years to 8 years old, The Sprout just might be the #1 backpack out there for day hikes, museum/library/field trips, even an overnight at the grandparents.
The top zippered pocket on The Sprout is just deep enough for small stuff: a toy, a snack, a hat or gloves. In this top pocket is one O-ring — add a Mini Organizer Pouch to secure school ID, library card, bus pass, etc. Directly above this top zippered pocket is a grab handle — also useful for hanging The Sprout on a coat hook. The two vertical seams on the front exterior of The Sprout effectively act as pleats, and serve to keep the bag's streamlined shape no matter how much is stuffed into the main compartment.
The main compartment of The Sprout zips open over a wide arc, allowing easy access to the pockets and organization inside. Inside the main compartment are four further organizational pockets. One — against the back of the bag — has an elastic-banded top and is ideal for storing a folded jacket or sweater. The second organizational pocket is directly across and on the inside of the front of the bag; it’s sized to fit a deck of cards (we like UNO!) or similar. The remaining two interior pockets are on the left and right sides of The Sprout and can fit snack bars, other small-ish items, or our Mini Organizer Pouches. Also in the main compartment are four O-rings to tether more Organizer Pouches, toys, and what-have-you.
The remainder of the main compartment is ready for larger items: a stuffed animal, a 3D Organizer Cube of Legos, a lunch box, a water bottle, a small book or two. The bottom of the bag is made of black 1050d ballistic nylon (no matter the main exterior color) to help hide dirt and scuffs; the bottom seam has piping, which helps The Sprout stand up while it’s being packed.
The Sprout features simple and surprisingly comfy webbing backpack straps and a removable sternum strap. The original Sprout didn’t have a sternum strap until our very first beta-tester (Sloane, age 4; read more about her experience testing The Sprout here) gave us some excellent feedback in that regard.
A word on backpacks, comfort, and packing: we believe that part of wearing a backpack is being responsible for how much heavy stuff you load in it and being aware of how comfortable (or not) it feels on your back. A new backpack offers a great opportunity to lead by example and share this advice with your kids: grab your backpack, have your kid grab their Sprout, and pack your bags, teaching them that heavier stuff goes on the bottom and lighter stuff on the top. Put the packs on, adjust the sternum straps, and ask: does it feel good? Too heavy? Lop-sided? Pokey?
The plastic zipper pulls on The Sprout are less noisy than their metal counterparts; you can make them even more friendly to kid-sized-hands by adding Cord Zipper Pulls. A pack of Cord Zipper Pulls w/ Plastic Ends is included with The Sprout for this very purpose; they’re small parts, so make sure to either assemble them yourself (watch this handy video we made!) or supervise the process. Did you notice the super cool dragonfly knot shown in some of our photos? Check out this tutorial. And if you’d like to try the dragonfly knot, order some of our Cord Zipper Pull, Cord Only (5 Yards) or pick up some paracord at your local outdoor store.