Update for 2019:
The pack that is included in this review has been updated with the Osprey Poco AG line. Our team member, Ginny, loves it and shares all her thoughts (the good, the bad and the ugly) in her 2019 review here: Osprey Poco Plus AG Review.
Osprey Poco Plus 2012 Review:
As a family, we have had the opportunity to check out a number of different kid carriers. We have had kids only a few months old up to kids over 3 years old in them. Wearers have ranged in size and shape and conditions on the trail have varied from rocky terrain to easy paths to back country ski slopes. While testing continues on our end, we have definitely put a few of them through the rwinger.
Previously, we reviewed both the Deuter Kid Carrier III and the 2012 Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 and then compared them side to side on our blog. Both are excellent packs and come highly recommended by us. Please note that we recommend trying on any kid carrier before purchasing to test for comfort to your own body. It’s a pretty personal decision! However, thanks to Osprey’s new Poco line just released this spring, our family has a new favorite.
The Osprey Poco comes in three different models – the Poco, the Poco Plus and the Poco Premium. Osprey seldom disappoints with their packs and this is no exception. Engineered to work for younger children AND older children and with a variety of different sized wearers, it’s an ideal all-around-pack. Features we thought were missing on the Deuter and Kelty all seem to come together fairly well with the Poco. The market for kid carriers is definitely becoming more competitive and companies are rising to the need of active families.
We tested the Poco Plus so this review is based on that pack. However, I try have pointed out features on the Plus that are different on the other models so you can easily see the differences.
What we love:
It has an integrated Sunshade (which works for rain and sticks to an extent too!) **The Poco does not come with a Sunshade, but can be purchased separately.**
It comes with stirrups for bigger kid comfort (A HUGE plus for taller/older kids).
There’s incredible torso Length Adjustment (15.5” – 21.5”) that is easy to change from wearer to wearer. Grandma is just under 5 feet tall and about 100 pounds and comfortable wearing the Poco AND larger wearers too.
It has a wide range of size for the hip belt (26” – 48”) which is SO crucial because that is where most of the load is supported. Also, the padded part of the hipbelt itself extends in length for greater comfort for bigger hips.
It’s easy to adjust to different heights for children in the pack. The shoulder straps are adjusted at their shoulder (instead of near their crotch or sternum like the Deuter Kid Comfort III) which makes getting kids in much easier (especially when they are bundled up!)
The mesh back panel for the wearer leaves room for air and plenty of comfort.
It has a removable droll pad (our kids dirty this up pretty quick when eating snacks on the trail), a vertical hydration sleeve which means better placement for the wearer and better functionality of the hydration bladder and rail-based adjustments on the wearers’ sternum strap mean easy movement.
What we weren’t so crazy about:
The pockets on the waistband weren’t thought out perfectly and one of the straps covers the zipper making it more difficult to access. They did include an extra strap to try to keep that zipper more available, but we don’t think it works that great. – Cell phone pocket on shoulder strap isn’t big enough to carry our smart phone (not that we think smart phones should be on the trail anyway, but they are certainly becoming the norm!) However, it would carry a smaller smart phone, our Razr + Otterbox is just BIG!
The Poco Plus does not come with a detachable daypack like the Poco Premium. However, both the Poco and the Poco Plus DO have four cord loops that allow for the attachment of an Osprey Daylite AddOns series daypack. It works fairly well, but isn’t perfect and the Daylite hangs low enough that it could take up valuable “packing room” if you wanted to attach a sleeping bag or tent to the carrier.
If you don’t have a pack to attach already, I would just go with the Poco Premium. – The storage space on the bottom of the Poco disappears when you put in the kickstand because the pack is attached to the stand itself. We have improvised and strapped plenty of gear onto the pack, but wish there were just more room integrated in the pack itself (pockets, attached straps, etc.)
- Retails for $259 Poco Plus; $199 Poco; and $299 Poco Premium
- Max load: 48 lbs (child, gear and pack combined)
- Weight of pack: 6 lbs. 15 oz. (the Premium weighs 7 lb. 9 oz. which is just one oz. lighter from the other companies’ top packs and the Poco is slightly lighter.)
- 1404 cu. in. carrying capacity (Poco Plus)
Osprey generously supplied us with the Poco Plus for review. However, as always the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. Additionally, some of these links are affiliates to help us offset the cost of running this blog!
©2012, 2019, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.
Hiking Kid Carrier Comparison: Deuter, Osprey and Thule - Tales of a Mountain Mama
Tuesday 16th of November 2021
[…] with the Osprey Poco Plus and husband Greg with a Deuter Kid Comfort […]
Osprey Poco AG Plus Kid Carrier - Tales of a Mountain Mama
Tuesday 16th of November 2021
[…] said, I personally think the Osprey hip belt and shoulder pads are very comfortable and the padding holds up over time. Com… on my […]
Sunday 10th of September 2017
How do we deal with the poor hip padding on the hip belt? It is digging into my hips like crazy and creating a lot of discomfort and bruising. (Osprey Poco AG Premium).
Tuesday 12th of September 2017
I really don't know :( It's my main gripe for the new AG series (the original Poco did not do that). I've heard of people just basically adding their own padding with towels, etc. So sorry! Such a bummer!
Tuesday 23rd of May 2017
I like this carrier a lot and this review helped me to make this decision. I learned that a good frame pack is useful for fun hikes with kids like the beehive in Acadia National Park and that it is also a great pack for mundane tasks like carrying a child while mowing the lawn.
Tuesday 28th of February 2017
Hi, your review is really helpful thank you so much. We have recently bought one for our 5 month old and she looks great in it and adores being able to see out over the world. So far we have only done short trips where she has been awake as I'm not sure how it would work when asleep. Don't suppose you have any tips or photos of baby sleeping in the carrier?
Thursday 2nd of March 2017
Honestly, the Osprey is not my favorite for kids sleeping in....but you can easily just stuff a piece of clothing or something in to make it better. THe kids never complain though! Here's the one photo I could find for now!