What does a gear list look like for kids when you choose to ride over multiple days as a family? How should they carry gear?  Let’s take a look at what will keep them happy and comfortable so they can enjoy the ride.

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Gear List for bike

Overview

The requirements for gear when riding on bike paths and cycle trails is fairly straight forward.  If you are riding as a family over several days what your child or children need won’t change greatly.  They also have the adults in the group to help and assist them, you are their support.  Your aim is to keep them as comfortable and happy as possible.  Try not to over load them and make sure what they do carry is well balanced and appropriate for their age and ability.

Water and snacks should go with them every time you ride.  For more information please read… Kids & Hydration on a Bike.  Any extra things taken for them depends on…

  • season/weather
  • how far you are going
  • how isolated it is
  • facilities along the way (access to water, places to buy food)

The base gear list to follow is targeted at a 1-3 hour day ride which will get repeated over multiple days for holidays or tours.  Suggested additions for riding in different seasons follow the basic list.  We then cover how they should carry the gear you want them to be responsible for.

kids & gear

Choose gear you know they will be comfortable in.  

Basic Gear List for Kids – Multi day riding

A serviced, cleaned and checked bike.

A bike helmet that fits well.

Water bottle x1 or hydration bag/hip pack with small bladder, 1.5L

Snacks &/or lunch (always keep them well fed).

Special toy or small item that comforts them.

Clothing

  • Padded bike pants or /padded underwear and their choice of clothing that is suitable for activity
  • Bike gloves
  • Base layer – a short or three quarter sleeve riding top
  • Socks & closed in shoes

Additional Clothing & Gear to be Carried (by them or you?)

  • Outer layer – Waterproof/Windproof/Thermal jacket for riding – choice depends on season, Waterproof over trousers
  • Mid layer – long sleeve top/thermal, lightweight sweatshirt – layer for warmth
  • Base layer – neck warmer, head band or beanie – layer for warmth both on & off the bike
  • Any personnel medication that may be required

If you don’t have some of this gear, or would like to upgrade what you currently use, see our SHOP page for Multi-Day Bike Path Riding with Kids.  This page will help direct you to the right solutions for the riding your family does.

Bike path rider - getting started

How Kids Should Carry Gear

Your first priority is comfort and enjoyment.  To achieve this young kids should not be loaded up with gear and any gear that they are given should also be able to be carried by you if needed.  They will like the responsibility of carrying some things so start with water & food and then add clothing.  Keep an eye on how they are going, their energy levels and mood.  If you think it’s becoming a bit tough take some things off them for a while.

We recommend a really lightweight load on their bodies rather than their bike.  Kids bike frames are really small so you will struggle to attach things and you don’t want to interfere with how their bike is balanced by adding weight.  Start with a hydration pack or small back pack.  As they get older or stronger on the bike you will be able to add things to their load.  For most kids from about the age of 12 or 13 you can start to give them more to carry.  If your family is doing isolated over night riding a sleeping bag on the handlebars is a great introduction.  Read some of our adult stories for help choosing gear carrying options while transitioning them to carrying all their own gear – see buttons below. 

Back Packs/Hydration Packs/Hip Packs:

Small Back Packs or Hydration Packs are a great choice for kids when riding over distance.  With good space and pocket options they can have everything they need in an easy to access place.  Always keep their loads light.

Why we like Hydration Packs… these packs are a great way to ensure they are consistently drinking water and that they will have enough water (bladders are usually 1.5L).  As they are meant to be used for exercise they are designed well and will fit onto your child’s body really well.  They have good pockets and storage options, having space for extra layers and food.  Really good option for young kids from about 4yrs as they can feel like they are helping by carrying a small lightweight load.

Why we like Back Packs… they give you options and flexibility.  Additional clothing is easily carried even slightly bulky layers.  Most packs have side pockets for water bottles which can be a challenge to mount onto the small frame of a kids bike.

Why we like Hip Packs… forces you to keep the gear simple, it’s all there in a small, easily accessed, well designed bag and it’s positioned really well keeping them very balanced on the bike.  This type of pack is a great choice for slightly older kids, 12yrs+.  There are options – water bottle, hydration bladder or gear only.

Kids & gear

Hydration Pack

Kids & gear

Back Pack

Lightweight loads added to the bikes of youth.

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