Osprey Poco LT Child Carrier Review
My first backpacking pack purchase was an Osprey Ariel that I bought in high school. I love it, still have it and still use it. I have been a big fan of Osprey ever since. Osprey is sort of like the “Apple” of the pack industry. Their pack designs are always thoughtful, sleek and intuitive.
Many packs have lots of bells and whistles and extra features. While sometimes these are nice/necessary I’ve found that simplicity tends to overrule complexity when it comes to packs.
The Osprey Poco LT wins for a simple child carrier without sacrificing comfort. Both my child and I love this carrier pack for many reasons.
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Osprey Poco LT Specs and Features
Osprey Poco Child Carrier Line
The main difference between the Poco LT and its sibling packs are that the Poco LT was designed to be lighter and more compact than the Poco or Poco Plus.
The Poco LT is designed as a one size ultralight pack for hiking all day. It has a suspended mesh back panel (allowing for great ventilation), an adjustable torso harness (so you can get a nice fit for different torso lengths), as well as an adjustable hip belt.
It is also the least expensive of the Osprey child carriers.
Poco LT Specs and Features
- Price: $300.00
- Weight: 5.01 lbs
- Dimensions: 24H x 13 W X 15D
- Load Range: 23.8-48.5lbs
- Drool pad
- External upper and lower zippered compartments
- 2 top and 2 side carrying handles
- Compatible with Poco rain cover and Poco carry case
Make sure to also check out our full review of the Osprey Poco Plus!
What We Love About the Osprey Poco LT
What I love most about the Poco LT is the way it bridges the best benefits of both a soft structured carrier and an external frame child carrier.
I know many moms that hike and do their outdoor activities with a soft structured carrier because their kids are more comfortable, they feel their kids can be better protected from sun and they find the soft structured carrier less awkward to wear.
Another perk of a soft structured carrier is that they are easy to store. I respect that it’s often hard to give up those perks if/when you switch to an external frame child carrier.
However, there are many situations when parents want the added benefits of extra storage space or the ability to carry a heavier load. In these situations the external frame carrier becomes a necessity.
I don’t know that the product design team was intentionally trying to create a blend of a soft structured carrier and an external frame carrier when they created the Poco LT but the entire time I’ve spent trying out the pack that’s been my gut feeling about why it was designed.
It offers parents a secure, close to the body fit while also providing additional storage space for when you need to carry things besides your baby.
As I mentioned, I love how small this pack can fold down and how compact it is to wear.
Like your favorite soft structured carrier the Poco LT has a small footprint. You don’t feel that you’re going to bump into everything around you and the pack fits nice and close to your frame.
It also almost lays flat when you collapse the frame and has a zippered flap that you can use to protect your harness and shoulder straps when storing. I’m not aware of any other external framed pack that collapses down in this way.
I also love the way the child harness buckles in the back behind the child instead of the front.
My youngest is Houdini-like and even with everything cinched in place she can maneuver out of the buckles of another external frame pack we use that has straps in front.
The Poco LT’s design prevents escape artist children from climbing out while they’re on your back and is a more thoughtful and comfortable way to secure a baby.
The child harness straps have a light cushioned padding and the child cockpit is spacious. Our baby never complains about being put in the carrier and she stays content anytime she’s in it.
Another thing I love is the adjustability of the pack. I’m 5’6″ and my husband is 5’10”. For both of us we found that the pack was easy to get a comfortable fit and the frame works well for our height and torso length.
The airscape back panel attaches to the shoulder straps with a velcro panel. This velcro panel makes it super easy and quick to adjust where the shoulder straps sit.
The airscape panel also provides great ventilation which is great if you tend to be a heavy sweater.
Our TMM friends that are 5’2″ and 6’2″ found another version of the Osprey Poco, the Osprey Poco Plus to be more difficult to get a comfortable fit.
For my husband and I this wasn’t a problem. I do recommend that if you’re on the end of the short/tall spectrum that you try a few carrier packs on to make sure you find the best one for your body type. You can read her review here.
The child seat can also be raised and lowered simply by adjusting another velcro panel located at the back of the child cockpit.
Storage Space Balance
Finally, I think the Poco LT has struck a nice balance of providing ample storage space without going overboard. The lower external pocket is deep and roomy. You can use the space to fit a full lunch along with snacks, diapers/wipes, extra water storage etc.
There is also a front panel exterior pocket. While this pocket is not as deep I’ve found that it’s great for storing sunscreen, bug spray, etc.
Even on our longer hikes I have yet to max out the storage space on this pack.
While other carrier packs may offer a greater amount of storage space I think the Poco LT has the ideal amount for most family adventures and will prevent you from adding too much extra weight.
What We’re Not As Crazy About
Most of the things I’m not as crazy about on the Poco LT are small things but still worth considering as you’re looking at finding the best carrier for you and your baby.
The sunshade is super easy to deploy and has a good coverage. However, securing the sunshade is a slight annoyance. It’s a small thing but I would prefer a small buckle to connect the sunshade to the pack instead of trying to finagle the loop around the toggle piece.
Also, the drool pad on the other Poco models is removable but unfortunately the drool pad on the Poco LT is not. I’m not sure why this was overlooked in the design as this seems like a simple addition.
While you can spot wash the drool pad. Any parent of a toddler knows that the drool pad is bound to get grimy with lots of use.
If a grimy drool pad is a turn off for you then that might be reason enough to consider another pack. Unless you are handy with a sewing machine, maybe you could make your own washable cover to slip on over top!
Storage Pockets and Design
My final minor complaint is that I wish the carrier had an easily accessible place to store a water bottle. While the pack does have a place for a hydration bladder it’s handy to have a separate water bottle for my daughter so I don’t have chew marks on my hydration hose.
I also wish the there was one small zippered pocket on the hip belt instead of 2 cinch pockets. A zippered pocket would be great for packing out our “trail trash” or carrying anything small but important (car keys etc.)
Another difference from the Osprey Poco and its sibling packs is that the Osprey Poco does not have feet stirrups for your child. While I think this feature helps to make the pack a little lighter and simpler there may be kids that would find it more comfortable to wear the stirrup straps. They can also help with circulation and gives your little one the ability to self adjust when needing a slightly different position. Frequent breaks out of the pack can help with this problem!
If you anticipate your kid enjoying the added comfort of stirrup straps then you may want to consider one of the other Poco carrier packs.
Opsrey Poco LT Final Thoughts
I’ve been a fan of Osprey for as long as I can remember. As a result, I am not surprised that I love the Osprey Poco LT child carrier. The fit is comfortable with the flexibility to make adjustments easily for additional comfort.
Everything I love about osprey packs you can find in this carrier. It’s simple, intuitive and comfortable for both parent and child, even when you’re in the outdoors for long periods.
The added benefit of the Osprey Poco LT over any other child carrier is the small footprint and compactness. This is the only external frame carrier that can boast such a close look and feel to a soft structured carrier and that’s why it’s won me over.
- Osprey Poco Plus Review
- Hiking Kid Carrier Comparison: Deuter, Osprey and Thule
- How to Choose the Best Hiking Carrier for Kids
- Kid Carrier Reviews
Osprey Poco LT Child Carrier Review
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