The 2020 version of the Osprey Poco is the best baby backpack carrier we’ve ever reviewed – incredibly safe, durable and packed with useful and practical features.
The Osprey Poco line has been around for a lot of years and is probably the most popular child carrier with hiking parents around the world. We tested the Osprey Poco AG Premium with our first child in 2016 and were very impressed, but this latest version definitely is another step up.
Our second son Dougie is 9 months old and just the right age for proper countryside walks around our home. He’s been out in the Osprey Poco five or six times over the past fortnight and enjoys it more than any other form of transport he’s used so far.
Scroll down for our full Osprey Poco review…
What’s good about it?
- Everything is adjustable. From the length of the back system and the baby foot stirrups to the height of your kid’s seat and the shoulder straps and hip belt. You can effectively customise the Osprey Poco child carrier to fit the size of your body and, more importantly, your child’s.
- Well-positioned, accessible buckles. Most baby backpack carriers secure the child into the pack using buckles that are usually placed in awkward places like the chest and waist area. This makes them very time-consuming to close and adjust, often resulting in a tantrum (in my experience). The new Osprey Poco, however, positions the buckles behind your child’s shoulders so they’re incredibly easy to attach once the child is in the seat.
- Excellent sun protection. One of the most instantly impressive features on the Osprey Poco is the pop-out sunshade, which pings straight out of a small zipped pocket behind your child’s head, folds open, and deploys in seconds. You also get a UPF 22 rating to protect your child from harmful sun rays.
- Sturdy and durable. As well as giving your child a fun and comfortable ride, you really get the feeling that they’re well protected in the Osprey Poco child carrier. This a solid piece of kit that’s designed to really get off-road and feels built to last for a long time.
- Stops your back getting sweaty. The Osprey AirSpeed mesh back system lifts the pack clear away from your back to stop you overheating when you’re carrying so much bulk and weight. I’ve used the Osprey Poco on some very hot walks and have always felt cool.
- Loads of storage. As well as the big zipped pocket at the base of the pack, you also get stretchy pockets on both sides, both parts of the hip belt, and on the rear. There’s also a smaller zipped pocket for valuables at the top of the bag. I count seven pockets altogether, which is awesome for this type of carrier.
- Solid kickstand. All baby backpack carriers come with a kickstand, some less secure than others, especially when fully loaded. There are no issues with the one on the Osprey Poco though. It’s easy to deploy while still on your back, and stays upright easily when you place it on the ground. The whole thing feels very secure.
- Detachable Waterproof cover. The Poco’s raincover is located in the bottom of the pack and fits right over the top of the sunshade so your baby gets full weather protection, and retains good visibility when it starts to rain. If you know it’s going to stay dry on your walk, just take the cover out to save weight.
- Loads of features. There’s almost too much good stuff to list with the Osprey Poco baby backpack carrier, but some of the most useful features include a key attachment, integrated and removable mirror, washable drool pad, and a sleeve that will fit a hydration bladder/reservoir so you can drink on the go.
- Packs down well. All baby hiking backpacks are bulky, but some pack down better than others for when you need to stick them in your car or store them at home. The Poco probably sits somewhere in the middle on that score, folding down quite nicely when you detach all of the buckles.
What’s not so good?
- The price is high. But when you consider what you’re getting back for that £280 price tag, it’s hard to call the Osprey Poco child carrier expensive. The old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ most definitely applies in this case.
- It’s not the lightest. At 3.5kg you certainly know you’re carrying this pack, but it does such a great job of distributing weight to your hips and waist rather than your shoulders that it doesn’t feel like too big an issue. Even on long walks.
Outdoor Dad Verdict – Osprey Poco review
The 2020 Osprey Poco is without doubt the best child carrier or baby backpack carrier we’ve ever reviewed. Safe, solid and packed with an almost endless list of useful and practical features. It’s tough to know how it can be topped!The Outdoor Dad, May 2020