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Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier Review

Why it’s the best
Pros and Cons
Frequently Asked Questions
Our Experience
Review Summary
Table of Contents

We were excited to write a review of the Osprey Poco Plus child carrier because we have had one for so long and it’s so comfortable and versatile. The Osprey Child Carriers are among the best available and it was a great investment for us. Everyone who has seen us use it wishes they had one for their kids. It has so many features, we literally only found out about some of them while writing this review. You will get compliments on your awesome parenting choices when using this backpack.

Why the Osprey Poco Plus is the BEST child carrier:

If you are going on a hike with your little one or young toddler, you’re eventually going to have to carry them. The Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier is the best way to do that. It’s comfortable for you both, has a removable drool pad, adjustable torso length and has tons of pockets (including zippered hip belt pockets) for everything you need for the baby and yourself.

Child in an Osprey Poco Plus child carrier
Geared up for adventure in the Osprey Poco!

If you’re already into hiking and have gone backpacking, this will be like second nature. Instead of carrying your gear, you get to carry the kiddo. If you plan to do a lot of day hikes the Poco Plus is a fabulous investment for you and your family. The level of child comfort and parent comfort of this pack made it a perfect fit for our family adventures.

We’ve even gone well beyond the initial plan of hikes and camping and used our Poco Plus at fairs, farmers markets, or just chores around the house. Making breakfast or shoveling the sidewalk becomes fun when you have a buddy with you. Once you have an Osprey Poco, you’ll find many uses for it!

Dad cooking breakfast with a child in an Osprey backpack child carrier
Baby Daddy breakfast crew!

Osprey Poco Plus Review:

Features of the Osprey Poco Plus Child carrier. A carrier with a stuffed green dinosaur buckled in where the child would sit. "pockets for snacks" "Adjustable hip belt" "Pop-up sun shade" "Comfy spot for Critterz"
Awesome Features!

Pros:

  • Supports weights up to ~49 lbs (22 kg) which is the kiddo, gear, and pack (the pack weighs about 8 lbs/3.6 kg empty). Technically our 4.5 year old would still be able to be carried in an empty pack and be 1 pound under the weight limit.
  • Comfort:
    • Adjustable design keeps it comfortable, even after many miles or hours. The fit on the fly hip belt is amazing as is the torso adjustment capabilities.
    • The child cockpit is adjustable with great safety straps.
    • There are adjustable stirrups for when your child’s legs get longer.
    • For Tiny Critter, he would fall asleep for hours in this pack while we’ve hiked, walked around the neighborhood, enjoyed a fair, or even did chores around the house. Yes, doing things with a pack on is a bit more difficult, but you get to feel efficient!
  • Wide base. Other child carriers have a narrower base when set on the ground. The Osprey Poco Plus base is wide and stable. I witnessed my fried set her son in a parking lot while he was in their carrier and he wiggled and tipped over almost immediately. (Don’t worry, I caught him) Being able to take the child carrier off and take a break without taking the kid out of the carrier is amazing.
  • So many pockets! Great storage capacity with easy access to zippered hipbelt pockets for snacks on the go! The lower zippered compartment can hold big items like diapers, wipes and a small picnic blanket while the other zippered pockets can hold small snacks.
  • It has a day pack that zips on/off! We didn’t utilize this much, but it is a handy feature if the kiddo wants to walk instead of ride, you have a mini backpack to take with still. I honestly forgot about it until I was writing the review and I wish we’d used it more.
  • Integrated sunshade that easily pops out. It comes in handy on sunny days and even blocks a light rain as you double time it back to camp. 
  • Hydration sleeve pocket! We literally didn’t know ours had one until we wrote this review. We would have used this option a TON. Hydration reservoirs are essential for backpacks and child carriers are no exception.
  • Osprey has a fantastic fix policy for Osprey child carriers. Essentially, if it breaks, they fix or replace it.
Osprey Poco Plus child carrier with detachable daypack removed
Super cool day pack for short hikes!

Cons:

  • Expensive – this isn’t cheap. However, it is a similar price to other sturdy hiking carriers like the Deuter Comfort Pro. If you’re going to use it for multiple trips or multiple kids, you can easily justify the cost because this pack has it all.
Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier Review
  • Getting it on/off: Truth be told, doing this solo can be a little tricky. Instead of just your pack and gear, now you’re trying to pick up a moving child. That being said, both Daddy and Momma Critter got it on and off solo many times. (Hint: put the pack on a table or chair if possible so you aren’t starting from the ground. This works very well for loading and unloading.)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can my baby sleep safely in the Osprey Poco Plus?

If your child is old enough to hold their head up and be safely buckled into this carrier, it is safe for them to sleep while in the Poco Plus carrier. They can move to adjust their head if needed.

Our son slept in the Osprey child carrier more times than I can count. When camping, we’d hike during one of his nap times and he’d sleep for a good portion of it. The gentle motion of walking helps put most babies to sleep.

Toddler sleeping in Osprey Poco child carrier backpack
Walk time = Nap time in the Osprey

What is the age limit/weight limit of the Osprey Poco Plus?

The weight limit is 49 lbs (22 kg) and the pack weighs about 8 lbs/3.6 kg empty. The minimum weight is 16 pounds (7.3kg). Our son was comfortably riding in it around 6 months, but we probably could have put him in it sooner.

6 month old baby in Osprey Poco backpack child carrier with sunshade up
Little guy!

Is the Osprey Poco Plus easy to adjust?

Yes! As you can see from the pictures, both of us wore the carrier with our son when he was at all different ages. We didn’t have much of an issue adjusting it between the two of us. The torso is adjustable, as are the shoulder straps, the sternum strap and the fit on the fly hip belt. It’s easy to adjust the Poco Plus to you get a personalized fit.

How do I adjust the Poco Plus to fit me?

Osprey has a great video on how to do it. You’ll want to adjust the torso length first and then the hip belts. You can adjust the hip belts after it’s on with the “fit on the fly” feature. After your child is in the pack and adjusted, put the pack on and tighten the “load lifter” straps at the top of your shoulders to secure their weight closer to your core.

How do I adjust the Poco Plus to fit my child?

Once your child is in the pack, you’ll want them to be sitting with their chin even with the top of the pack. There is a strap to raise or lower the seat if needed. Only raise/lower the seat with the baby OUT of the pack. Make sure that the chest strap is snug and buckled correctly. Use the foot stirrups for older kids, so their knees are bent at a comfortable angle. Check out the Osprey Video for more info.

How do I put the Osprey Poco Plus on by myself?

The Osprey Video suggests that once your child is secure in the carrier, you loosen one shoulder strap, lift the carrier by the grab handle to sit on your knee and slide your arm into the non-loosened strap. Then once you have that arm in, slide your other arm into the loosened strap and tighten it. Clip the hip belt and the chest strap. Lastly, tighten the load lifter straps at your shoulders to pull your child’s weight closer to your core for a more secure fit.

We also had good luck with setting the child in the carrier on a sturdy table and putting the shoulder straps on that way.

If you do have a second person with you, there are lifting points on the sides of the carrier for them to help you get the pack into position.

Is this carrier just for hiking?

This amazing carrier is for any time you want to have the kid with you but have your hands free. We’ve literally walked multiple miles, shoveled driveways, mowed lawns and cooked meals with him in the pack and had no issues being comfortable in all situations.

Can you use the Osprey Poco Plus as carry-on luggage when flying?

The best answer I can find for this is probably not, but maybe. It is larger than the dimensions specified by most airlines. But as with most things it’s really going to depend on which airline, how booked the plane is and how the staff is feeling that day. We just travelled and Daddy Critter was asked out of the blue to see if his carry-on rolling bag (that has gone on at least 50 flights) fit in the metal box with the size restrictions. The back wheels were 1/2″ too long to perfectly fit in the box, but all other dimensions were good to go. He was asked to check that bag instead of carry it on.

Once on the plane we saw a lady struggling to fit a collapsible stroller in the overhead bin, and other luggage was rearranged so it could fit in sideways. The Osprey Poco is smaller than that stroller was.

Osprey Poco Travel bag for storage or flying/airplane use
Osprey Poco Travel Bag

What you should be able to do when flying with an Osprey Poco is gate check it. It has a fantastic travel bag that it can be placed in, and most airlines will mark it so that it’s brought up to the gate when you arrive, so you can use it in the airport immediately after you deplane. This is most likely the best option if you’re flying with an Osprey Poco Plus.

It’s probably best to call the airline directly and ask what their regulations are.

Critter Experience:

Our is an older model but it appears not too much has changed on these carriers. Although, we do wish we knew we had the hydration sleeve in our model! Now that you know about it, please use it and report back how awesome it is.

Daddy Critter absolutely loved taking this thing camping and hiking because it made it easy for Tiny Critter to have a place to rest so the rest of us could keep going on long hikes. Daddy Critter is the type that wants to fit as much into a trip as possible and this was the right tool for the job. You and your child will love how comfortable the Osprey Poco Plus is.

Man wearing a baby in Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier. Both smiling and happy.
All smiles!

Daddy Critter also loved using the Poco Plus child carrier for chores around the yard. He was doing some fall leaf clean-up, a bit of trimming, sweeping the garage. While doing this, a neighborhood kid rode by and exclaimed “That’s amazing! Dad success!” It’s pretty much exactly what he was feeling. When you’re taking care of the kiddo and tackling other tasks, you’ll be feeling productive!

Momma Critter used it for walks to the local coffee shop where she amazed the other patrons with her ability to get it on and off with a 25 pound Tiny Critter in it.  She even used it to shovel the driveway one sunny winter day! Our toddler loved riding in the Poco Plus backpack on any occasion.

Woman carrying a toddler in an osprey poco plus child carrier backpack while shoveling snow
Nice to be outside!

Pro Tip: Sometimes the critterz get quiet back there and you might get a bit concerned about what kind of mischief they’re up to. If you’re flying solo, taking the pack off to get a look just isn’t ideal. Use the reflection of your phone to see how your Tiny Critter is doing! Better yet, turn the camera on and just take a picture! Pro mode: offer a snack and watch the tiny hand reach out to grab it. 

Bonus Buying Tip: If you want a new one, by all means, pick it up. We’re certain you’ll love it and it’ll survive all that you put it through! After you’ve gone on all your adventures with it you’ll be able to resell it for a decent price because other people will want to use it too!

That said, if you’re open to used equipment, keep your eyes open! These hold up well and someone has to be willing to sell their used one.

Extra Note: After we purchased our Osprey Poco Plus we checked into Safety Notices. When buying used items for the kids, be aware there may be Safety Notices or Recalls. In this case ours wasn’t affected but you should check out this link in case you happen across one that is.

Family hiking with child in Osprey Poco Plus child carrier
Family Fun!

Review Summary:

We think the Osprey Child Carriers are the best available and it will be a great investment for you and your family. Tiny Critter spent many hours in ours and we walked many miles with this pack! We used this from 6 months to 3 years old and it was amazing at every age. You and your family will love the Poco Plus as much as we did because this pack has all the best features. Click HERE to buy yours now!

Happy Camping!

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