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Osprey Poco Plus Review

Osprey updated their line of child carriers for 2020. They omitted the Poco AG line and now just have two packs, the Osprey Poco and the Osprey Poco Plus.

What changed in 2020 for the Osprey Poco line

One of the major changes was the child cockpit harness with some minor changes to the hipbelt.

The new Poco and Poco Plus packs are identical in most areas including the child cockpit, AirSpeed back panel, and adjustable torso.

The Poco is a little lighter (3oz less), has less storage, and is a little cheaper.

The Poco Plus has the Fit-on-the-fly Hipbelt and zippered hipbelt pockets instead of mesh as well as a few more pockets. Keep on reading for our full review of the Osprey Poco Plus.

Looking for a review on the older Osprey Poco AG Plus? Check it out here!

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Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier

Trying to find the best pack for your family? Check out our top picks for Baby Hiking Packs for 2020 here.

Osprey Poco Plus Specs

  • Volume: 26L (17L lower compartment)
  • Weight: 7lbs 14oz
  • Torso Fit Range: 15″-21″
  • Hipbelt Fit Range: 26″-48″
  • Dimensions: 28.74”H x 15.75”W x 19.9”D
  • Maximum Weight Load (Child + gear + pack): 48.5lbs
  • Child Weight: Minimum 16lbs to Maximum 40lbs
  • Hydration Compatible: Yes (External sleeve, fits up to 1.5L reservoir)
  • Sunshade Included: Yes
  • Exterior Pockets: 11
  • Colors: Blue Sky and Starry Black

Osprey Poco Plus Key Features

  • Adjustable stirrups
  • 6 inches of torso adjustability
  • Osprey AirSpeed Suspension
  • Fit-on-the-fly adjustable hipbelt
  • Removable and Washable Drool Pad
  • Zippered hipbelt pockets (2)
  • All major adjustment points for child cockpit are colored red
  • Rotating side arms allow the frame to fold down for travel and storage
  • 7 Year All Mighty Guarantee

What the Osprey Poco Plus is Best For

Best for all season adventuring

The Osprey Poco Plus has some great features that will keep you using this pack for your adventures all year round. It features the AirSpeed tensioned mesh back panel that provides ventilation on warm days to help keep you cool. I really enjoyed this feature on hot summer days.

It also has easily adjustable straps that make adjusting the pack for larger jackets in winter a breeze.

Nora enjoys her view from the top.

The quantity of pockets will also make sure you have space to store your bug spray in summer and your extra layers in the winter. There are dual hip-belt pockets which are good for keys, phone, or a snack. I do wish the pockets were just a tad bigger, my iPhone X fit, but it was snug.

The built in sun-shade has 270 degrees of protection and deploys and stores super easy. The sunshade can also add a little protection against the wind on those cold winter days. Add the Poco Rain Cover to really protect your kiddo from the elements year round.

Best for longer hikes or backpacking trips with heavier loads

With 26L of total storage and a roomy 17L lower compartment, you’ve got room for your diapering essentials, snacks, toys, and then some.

Add a bib, and you have got an on-the-go lunch spot for those trailside lunches.

The Osprey Poco Plus is one of the largest capacity child carriers out there and still comes in under 8 pounds.

**Note: With the kickstand IN, the storage space is less. So to have maximum storage, you have to have the kickstand out.**

There are also plenty of other pockets and toy/pacifier loop attachment points. The Poco has two zippered hip belt pockets, one even comes with a little mirror to check on your passengers.

It also has an external hydration sleeve so you can stay hydrated on your trips.

A roomy 17L lower compartment gives you lots of room for storage. The white panel in the panel in the back is where the sunshade slides into from above.

Best for average height people and smaller kids

This pack is best for average height people. People on the smaller side (like myself at 5’2″/17″ torso) and taller side (like my husband at 6’2″/21.5″ torso) could have some issues with fit. There is 6″ of adjustability on the torso, but there are a few small issues when you get to the end ranges.

The pack can easily adjust between two people on the trail.

This pack is best for younger kids. 6 months to about 2-3 years, depending on size. I can get my 16lb 9 month old in and out without issues. My 37lb 39″ tall 4 year old is a challenge to get in and out even though she is under the maximum size.

It is also a little tight on her legs when she is sitting in the pack which is why I recommended the smaller age range.

The stirrups are adjustable, but she could use some more length, or another attachment point.

Kylie had no complaints in the pack, but it wasn’t a great fit for her. Our Deuter KidComfort II fits her much better.

What We Love About the Poco Plus

The child cockpit harness

One of my favorite features about the Osprey Poco Plus is the “backwards” harness. The Poco Plus uses a Double Halo Harness with forward facing arm loops. This makes getting a wiggly kid in a breeze and they are safe and secure with two quick clips.

They even added clips to keep the arm loops securely out of the way when loading or unloading your little.

The red clips behind her shoulder are where you secure the harness, one behind each shoulder. The red tab with arrows is what allows the seat to be raised and lowered. The grey female clips in front are where you can clip the harness clips for easy loading and unloading.

The child’s seat is also larger than the one on our Deuter Kid Comfort II. The seat height is also very easy to adjust and you can manage to make small adjustments while the child is sitting.

The seat heights in the two packs are about the same size at the highest setting, but as you lower the Deuter, the seat gets smaller. As the Osprey Poco Plus lowers, it actually gets a little bigger. The Poco Plus adjusts much easier than the Deuter.

Child Cockpit difference between Deuter Kid Comfort II (2016) and Osprey Poco Plus (2020)

The fit-on-the-fly adjustable hip belt

I am also liking the fit-on-the-fly adjustable hip belt. When I am wearing it, I have the fins most of the way in. When we switch to my husband, we extend them out so the hip belt can wrap around his waist better.

We also noticed the hip belt overall is better than previous versions as far as comfort goes. The torso adjuster is also very quick and easy to use making carrier switches a breeze.

The sternum strap can also adjust up or down and has a built in safety whistle.

Other favorite features

Some of the other features I have been enjoying are the TWO zippered hip pockets, the removable and washable drool pad, long strap storage, and the built in sun-shade.

I also really like how easy the straps slide through the buckles when tightening and releasing (not too loose where they slip on their own, though) and how easily the base support collapses in and pushes out. These last two items are a challenge with another pack I own.

The Poco Plus also comes with some rotating side arms and clips to help keep the pack flat for storage and travel. Lastly, lets not forget about ALL THE STORAGE! So many pockets and places to store stuff, just don’t overload yourself!

Cockpit open versus the closed and stored position. It is even more compact with the kickstand in.

What We Don’t Love About the Poco Plus

The fit can be tricky

Something I am not loving about the Poco Plus is how it is fitting me. I am 5’2” and have the torso adjusted to the smallest size. Even when following Ospreys fit guidelines, the back of my head is hitting the grab handle.

This is especially annoying when walking up hill as it limits my ability to look up. Overtime I have gotten used to it, but its not ideal.

I have tried adjusting the load lifters and the torso setting which helps a little, but I feel like the pack isn’t as secure. This pack fits my 6’2” husband better, although he could use another inch on the torso adjustment.

There is a “Large” setting on the torso adjuster, but you can’t actually physically adjust the pack to a Large, just XS-M.

Here you can see where the handle hits the back of my head.

The child leg openings are small

Another item I have been having some difficulty with is the leg loops. The openings are small, and if your kid is wearing any type of bulky shoe or boot, they are a little challenging to get through and even more of a challenge to get out.

You either need a second person to hold the pack down while you pull up, or stand on the frame somehow while you pull your kid up, or remove their footwear.

This a HUGE challenge with my 4 year old. Sometimes I even loose booties when pulling out my 9 month old.

Looking down into the child cockpit, you can see the leg holes are a bit small.

The hip belt straps don’t have a home and the cockpit can be hard to open initially

Osprey did a good job of making sure all your straps have a place to be tucked when there is extra length, except on the waist belt. As a smaller mama, my waist strap is cinched just shy of the max, which means I have a LOT of extra strap, that is just there, dangling between my legs. I normally just end up tying the straps or tucking them in the hip belt somehow.

One last item to note: the side clips to open the cockpit are very hard to clip into their open position. This might loosen up with time, but they are a challenge right now. I have just been leaving the pack in the open position.

Hydration reservoir is tricky and can block torso adjustment

Having an external hydration sleeve is handy for having water on the go, but getting a full bladder in the space on the Poco Plus is a bit difficult. Osprey’s specs say it fits a 1.5L reservoir, but my 3L managed to fit in there (mostly because I didn’t realize it was only supposed to fit a 1.5L).

I didn’t notice any change in pressure on my back with the full bladder, which is a plus. I was definitely glad I had the 3L too, as I drained most of it on some longer days in the mountains.

We have a CamelBak 1.5L and 3L reservoirs and both were a very snug fit through the opening when they were full. The 3L took some good shoving and pulling to get it in there. Maybe the Osprey reservoirs work better in the space since they are a little different design and are the same brand.

My other complaint with the reservoir location is that you can’t access the adjuster if you have a larger reservoir in there (hence why a 1.5L is recommended). We didn’t realize this until we went to switch packs and couldn’t get to the adjuster.

A note about the sunshade

The sunshade stores in its own pocket that runs behind the child cockpit into the lower zippered storage compartment. This leads to two potential issues.

  1. If your lower compartment is very full, you may have difficulty putting the sun shade away without first taking out some items.
  2. If you have the sunshade deployed and it begins to rain, it is quite possible all of your items in the lower zippered compartment can become wet as the rain runs down the back of the sunshade directly into the pack. You can avoid this second issue by using the Poco Rain Cover.
The sunshade provides great coverage, but here you can see where the rain could drain into the pack from the hood.

Bottom Line

The Osprey Poco Plus is a quality pack with ample storage. It seems to be much comfier than previous versions, especially in the hip belt, however there are still some fit issues at the end ranges of size.

If it fits you well, this is a great pack for all day adventures in any season. The adjustability for both wearer and child is very easy to use. It has a “backwards” safe and secure child harness to keep your kiddo comfy all day long.

**Update: After hiking a lot of miles in the mountains with this pack, I was pleased with its performance. Plenty of room to pack our lunch and diapers every day. By the end of the trip, I almost had the fit perfect, but the handle was still hitting my head when looking up (my biggest complaint).

Nora says the Poco Plus is comfy enough to nap in.

Where to Buy

As with all packs, we definitely recommend heading to a local outfitter and trying on a variety as all packs fit everyone a little different and everyone has different preferences.

Purchase the Osprey Poco Plus for $330 from REI or Osprey

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Osprey Poco Plus Review 2020

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