Backpacks for scouts have one major difference: size.
Nearly all models on the market are designed for adults. Some retailers will direct you towards small ladies packs. While they may be ok, sometimes the colour styling is not to the taste of all our scouts.
In our experience, the best packs for Scouts are:
Between 45-55 litres in capacity
Too small and the pack wont fit all of the equipment inside it. Sleeping pads, garbage bags and trangia stoves should not be tied to the outside of the backpack.
Too large and the pack weighs too much, generally the harness will be too large and the excess size can catch the scrub as the Scout hikes.
Have youth sized harness systems
The harness is critical. The belt transfers weight off the shoulders and onto the hips. The belt needs to be able to cinch tightly on small hips. The shoulder straps need to suit the shorter back length of an 11-14 year old.
Osprey Ace 50L is one to look out for.