No doubt named for the many red rock formations that pepper the American West, the Alps Mountaineering Youth Red Rock External Frame Pack is a quality piece, especially for the price. Its waterproofing abilities leave a lot to be desired, but it’s still a lightweight option suitable for kids as well as adults.


A top-loading pack with a hold-open bar, the Alps Mountaineering Youth Red Rock External Frame Pack comes with large #8 zippers, daisy chain with carry handle, top lid lash tabs, and  numerous external pockets. These pockets include several zippered pockets, a mesh pocket on the lower side pocket, and a large mesh water bottle pocket.

Other design features include padded shoulder straps, hydration compatibility, padded mesh waist belt, and vented lumbar support. Fabric is ripstop nylon, and weight is 3 pounds, 11 ounces. The pack has a capacity of 2,050 cubic inches.

Kid-Friendly (Boy Scout-Friendly)

It’s hard a to find a pack that works for children if it doesn’t specifically say so, but if looking for a quality option for your little ‘uns, this one is ideal. A smaller backpack, it’s considered fantastic for the young backpacker, and easily adjustable for little waists and shoulders. Try using it to teach your kiddies how to pack a camping backpack correctly and travel light.

This is also a great pack for young boy scouts that plan on doing a lot of outdoors activities with their troop.  When looking for a pack for a young scouts, I look for a backpack that can grow the the boy, a pack that isn’t too big – because there is nothing worse then taking a boy backpacking that brought everything in the house, including the kitchen sink.  At the same time I don’t want the pack to be too small.  Scouts have a tenancy to prefer tying equipment on the backpack rather than packing it correctly.  This is  a good starter pack for your 11-12 year old scouts and should last them several years if they take proper care of it.

Not Exactly Waterproof

While accounting for the weather can be tricky, know that your gear isn’t going to stay dry if you use this pack and get caught in a rainstorm. This is mainly due to the top seal, which doesn’t close all that well, especially for a top-sealing pack. So unless you purchase a rain cover like this Mountainsmith Rain Cover or are 100 percent certain it’s not going to rain while you’re out adventuring, your stuff is going to get wet.

Not Terribly Durable

Sure, you’ll do well with the Alps Mountaineering Youth Red Rock External Frame Pack on short weekend trips and the like, but if you use it a lot for one season, know it will show signs of wear into a second season. The pack is therefore best used if you only camp and hike occasionally. If you’re someone who goes every other weekend, you’ll have a tattered pack by the end of the season.


One of the pros of internal pack is they conform well to the body, which makes them ideal for climbing and similar activities. External packs are obviously a little stiffer, however the Alps Mountaineering Youth Red Rock External Frame Pack is easily customized to fit to your shape. The waistband and shoulder straps are easy to adjust so you may enjoy a comfortable hike without having to stop every five minutes or so.

Small Mouth

The mouth of this pack is a bit small at 7 to 9 inches when open. And while not a dealbreaker, it’s still something you need to be aware of when comparing packs.

Best For Short Treks

The Alps Mountaineering Youth Red Rock External Frame Pack is clearly a better option for shorter trips. This means if you’re planning on taking the Colorado Trail from Durango to Denver, you will want to purchase something else. However, if you’re mainly a car camper who prefers short weekend hikes as opposed to the entire Appalachian Trail, you’re in good shape with this option.


A great pack for beginners, be sure to purchase a rain cover if you plan on using this pack for extended trips. It’s smaller for an external frame pack, but still a good option, especially for the price. Try it and see how you like it before graduating to bigger packs and subsequently longer trips through the wilderness.

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Review of Alps Mountaineering Youth Red Rock External Frame Pack
4.2 Overall
0 Users (0 votes)

Great youth backpack for under $100. Its light weight, well made and easily adjustable. Total internal storage is 2050 cubic inches.


The top opening of the bag is small, so you have to work with a 7-9 inch opening - is something that is easily workable, but beware. You may want glue in the plastic caps on the frame to make sure they don't pop out.


This is a great pack for youth that are looking to get into backpacking and one that I would highly recommend to boy scout parents as a pack to consider.

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