Finding the perfect backpack can be a tricky task! There are endless options for child carriers all equipped with different features, pros and cons. With the help of @adriannaadventures, we’ve put together the ultimate Gear Review for the Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier. Here is Kids Who Explore’s very first Gear Review Blog Post, a Osprey Poco Plus Review written by @adriannaadventures:
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Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier Gear Review
I have been exploring the Canadian Rockies and beyond for over two years (and forever ago before that) with my baby and now toddler riding in the Poco plus. I am a huge Osprey fan to begin with because of the quality of their hiking gear. Well before kids, I would hike with my Osprey packs to the summit of many mountains. I am excited to share my take on the Poco plus.
I opted for the black colour as I love how classic it looks and it matches our brand at Kids Who Explore. This carrier will grow with your baby from six months up until they’re around 3 years old and even a little older in some cases.
My "testing" period on the Osprey Poco Plus has been well over 100 hikes with my baby.
The poco plus has helped me create lifelong memories with my baby and is now going to be used for my second baby. It has been there with us since our first hike. I actually have both the Poco plus and the regular Poco as well. I take the plus on longer adventures because it has more storage.
We’ve climbed mountains, walked around lakes, shopped in the city, travelled through airports, and explored new places with our Poco plus.
The Poco plus will help you carry all the necessary baby items, ten essentials, and more!
Pros & Cons
Let’s start with the Cons! With love as you will see my 5 stars below.
Three things that frustrate me about the Osprey Poco Plus are first, the spot for the hydration pack. I can never fill my hydration 3L pack full and fit in behind the back. The space is very small and tricky.
Second, the foot holes for my toddler are so small and every time I have to load him in or out of the carrier, I have to take off his hiking or winter boots. It does really annoy me now that I have two on the trail as it’s just one more thing that I always have to juggle. My toddler also wants out of his pack many times on our hikes.
Third, I do wish there were bigger front pockets on the hip belt to hold my cell phone. I love to capture trail memories with my kids and it’s hard to always have the cell in my coat or pant pockets.
To add. Pricey, yes, as most quality gear often is. You can find this pack listed on fb marketplace, just set your search so when one comes up then you can snag it right away. My hiking friends rave about the Thule and the Deuter child carrier, so it is worth comparing and looking those ones up as well.
Okay, now the pros!
So the pros absolutely win my heart for this pack contrary to my blunt honesty in the cons above.
Three things that I love about my Poco Plus are to start, the storage space! I can pack all the things we need to hike. Click here to see my baby hiking pack list. I really have to pack a lot being in the Rockies, weather can change in an instant and I feel so much better being able to bring extra layers etc. The additional pockets and even those hip belt pockets are actually great for keys and snack space.
Next, the built-in sunshade! This shade is used all year round for us and the rain cover (you need to buy separately) fits perfectly. I use it on the blizzard days and in the rain too. The sunshade keeps my baby tucked in and away from the bright Alberta skies and it does help to reduce the wind.
Lastly, I love how easy it is to adjust the carrier between my husband and I. Whether you need to adjust the height, hip belt, or should straps, it’s super quick on the trail.
Okay, a few other great things! Other positives are that, my baby is super comfortable in the saddle part that can adjust as he grows. I love that the bar can pull in at the back and extend for more space. The side of the pack has netted storage for my sons snacks. It has padding around the waist belt.
I am an avid hiker and take my baby out on all kinds of trails in the Canadian Rockies. Overall, the Osprey pack is a great pack choice and although I have some frustration, I do have to give my Osprey hiking carrier a 5 star rating. Without it, I would never have been able to get my baby up mountains and to the many epic places that we made it to. It has been a staple in my maternity wardrobe and my babies main accessory.
- “We bought the Poco Plus along with the Kelty Kids when we had our twins, so were able to really compare and see what we loved. The Poco Plus has a ton of storage room compared to other brands/models, and I was able to use it to carry my LO and most of our backpacking gear when we’d go out into the backcountry (my husband was able to take what of ours didn’t fit). Another perk was the zip-off diaper bag/small backpack which was super helpful for traveling. And the ease of the sun shade was really awesome (much more user friendly than the Kelty). We also liked that it came with the rain cover and the rain cover/sun shade fit together really nicely to keep sun/rain/wind/snow off our LO. It’s also built like a tank… We’ve taken a couple slips on our adventures while carrying it and many of those times, my snoozing kiddo didn’t even stir It’s lasted us through 7 years of adventuring with two different kiddos–kids always seemed comfortable and happy riding high back there. Lots of naps were had.
The only issue we encountered was by 2.5, it became really difficult to get our toddler in and out because of her size. Specifically, her boots would get stuck in the leg holes–may have just be due to her giant feet and we were pretty close to exceeding the weight limit by that point anyway.
(I will also say if they need a data point, we actually did well exceed the weight limit on many occasions. I carried up to 75 pounds on the Tour du Mont Blanc last summer, and I’m happy to report everything held up just fine (even my back and knees )). 5 out of 5, love this thing…. recommend it all the time.” – Explorer Family
- “I don’t have much to compare it to but i’d give it a 5… we love ours sooo much. we have gotten soooo much freaking use out of it, it’s crazy! haha. maybe the only thing i wished is that it was a tinnnyyy bit bigger (the area where the kid sits)! ” – Explorer Family
- “I love ours! We initially got one of these plus another brand that was recommended, and I much prefer the osprey. The sunshade is by far the most nifty part in my opinion! I also think it’s super easy to adjust as the kid ages.” – Explorer Family
- “I love it so much that I still have it even though my son is too big for it now 5/5 for sure!!” – Explorer Family
- “Haven’t tried any others, and I don’t have the plus. I would absolutely have got the Plus, if I could go back. I love my Poco though! It’s been backpacking, Backcountry skiing/snowboarding, hiking, biking and probably more. It’s comfy for me and comfy for my daughter as she used to nap in it. I love the pull out shade. Easy to get them in and out. Only thing I’d want is a bigger pocket on the waist band or shoulder for my phone (maybe the Poco plus has this though). I’d recommend buying a pocket sized mirror on a lanyard to be able to see babe when wearing it!” – Explorer Family
- “I give it a 5 for storage and the sun/rain over option. I also appreciate the drool pad that is removable and washable. I’ve used the Osprey Poco Plus with both of my kiddos and highly recommend it!” – Explorer Family
- “I really enjoy the storage and thoughtful design. My only and biggest complaint is that the metal structure is too long and doesn’t adjust enough resulting in extreme discomfort after wearing it for long durations. I’m a petite mama (5’)” – Explorer Family
- “5/5 star rating! The Poco Plus is definitely an investment but totally worth it if you’re an avid hiker. I am 5’4” and my husband is 6’1” and we can both comfortably carry our daughter because of the adjustment options. The storage is amazing and allows us to pack everything we need to take her on longer hikes. Lastly, the sun shade is an added bonus—especially when your kiddo refuses to wear a hat! Love this pack!”
- “4/5. The poco plus was great for us from 6 months to 20 months with our daughter. I love that we could easily re-fit it on the trail so me and my husband could switch who carried her, and the storage plus water bladder holder was amazing. The stirrups are a great feature for her legs, and the inbuilt sun cover which also doubles in use for the rain cover.
The harness felt secure and was easy to tighten and loosen in any weather. Naps happened frequently so I think it was a great ride for our daughter too!
Where it loses 1 star for us, is that she grew out of it for height before aged 2, getting her in and out with her boots on became impossible so we did switch to another brand that allowed her to step in and out via a side clip. If Osprey could add that feature onto the poco and poco plus then they would be perfect for us!” – Explorer Family
- “We love ours it’s been perfect for all our adventures. We’ve really put it to the test this year with over 50 days on the trail and trips up to 20km. That being said the clip on the hip belt snapped after one season of heavy use and stores are no longer able to warrenty in Canada you have to self submit, we submitted a claim two weeks ago and haven’t heard back yet. Luckily we have a back up but have not been impressed with that. Bought think Osprey had a solid warranty. 3.5/5 for that reason” – Explorer Family