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Reviews > Packs > Infant and Child Carriers > Osprey POCO Premium > Owner Review by Doug White

OSPREY POCO PREMIUM
BY DOUG WHITE
OWNER REVIEW
May 27, 2015

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Doug White
EMAIL: bakpack215atyahoodotcom
AGE: 33
LOCATION: Boulder, Colorado, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
WEIGHT: 170 lb (77.10 kg)

Backpacking Background: I've been backpacking for several years. I have tested a lot of different systems to find what works the best for me. I pack as light as possible without sacrificing comfort and functionality. I enjoy backpacking in all kinds of weather including winter. I also do snowshoeing and year-round mountaineering. I backpack in the Rocky Mountains just below treeline most of the time. My trips are normally at least a few miles (5 km) or more. Anytime I can get out and enjoy the mountains, even for a day hike, I do.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Osprey Packs
Manufacturer's Website: Osprey Packs
MSRP: Not Listed
Measured Weight: 7.8 lb (3.5 kg)
Pack Volume: 2075 ci (34 L)
Colors Offered: Gray, Blue, Red
Max Capacity (Includes pack, child, and gear): 48.5 lb (22 kg)
Other details: The Osprey Poco Premium is a child carrier with a ton of features. It can be collapsed for storage or expanded and is free-standing. The free-standing feature uses a hinge that actually clicks to ensure it is fully expanded and stands up securely. Per the manufacturer's website, the pack comes with a lifetime guarantee. The pack frame and child area have tons of padding, a "Fit on the fly" extendible padded hip belt that extends from 26 in (66 cm) to 52 in (132 cm), and the pack even comes with load lifter straps. The pack also has two sturdy handles for picking the pack up easily with a child in the pack. Some other great features included with the pack are a removable drool pad for easy washing, a foam changing pad, a pouch for dirty diapers, many exterior storage pockets, numerous lashing points, and a whistle on the sternum strap. The pack also includes a detachable daypack for an older child to wear for dayhikes, a sunshade, a hydration bladder sleeve, a large lower zippered compartment for more gear storage, and mesh ventilation for the adult's back. Extra offered accessories (not included) are a carrying case for transport at the airport and a full rain cover for the pack.
IMAGE 1
My Oldest In Pack

HOW IT WORKS

Per the manufacturer, the best height for the child to sit at is with their chin just above the frame in front of them. The manufacturer also recommends that the child be at a stage in life where they can sit on their own while unassisted by an adult. To start with, I adjust the adult's torso height on the pack. This is as easy as pulling upward on a large buckle and sliding the torso adjustment to the desired height. Next, to secure the child, I place him/her in the saddle and adjust the seat to the child's correct height. This also is an easy buckle pull-and-slide adjustment of the saddle assembly to lower or raise the seat. Then I adjust the shoulder straps over the child's shoulders so they are pretty tight and then I buckle the straps to secure the child in the saddle. The shoulder straps are quite adjustable. The next step is to secure the child snugly in the child area by adjusting the side compression straps. This is done by pulling the nylon straps similar to adjusting a sternum strap on a normal backpack; there is one on each side and ensures that the child doesn't flop around while an adult is hiking. The pack also comes with foot stirrups for longer hikes or if the child is older to keep the child's legs from getting tired. The final step is to put the pack on myself and adjust the adult hipbelt, sternum strap, shoulder straps, and load lifters as I would a regular hiking backpack.
IMAGE 2
Shoulder Straps

IMAGE 4
Mesh Adjustable Torso

IMAGE 3
Sunshade Clips

FIELD USE

I have used this pack with three children at different stages of life for each child during both easy hikes and strenuous hikes with major inclines and declines. I have used it to carry a child as young as 4 months and as old as 4 years old. I have used this pack approximately 50 times combined with my three children and on numerous overnight summer trips. The pack has been used to carry children during all four seasons including deep powder snow with snowshoes, and on packed snow and ice. It has also been used in higher altitude environments just shy of treeline.

MY REVIEW

Where do I start? This pack has a lot of features that are very functional and very well designed in my opinion. This is great for younger children as I can keep them in the pack and do all my camp chores hands-free! For me, I have found this pack very easy to put a child in and take them out of, compared to other child carriers I have used. I love the amount of padding on this pack. It is very comfortable in every way for both the adult and the child. All three of my children love this pack. The older two use to fight over who would ride in it when they were younger. Only once did my oldest complain that her legs hurt after many miles of hiking. At that point, I put her feet in the stirrups and she said it was much better. The pack not only is comfortable, but feels very sturdy. When I use the load lifter straps, it feels as if the pack and child are part of my body. The aluminum frame gives a lot of support as well. Another thing I love is the amount of gear capacity. I can take any one of my children overnight anywhere in the backcountry with plenty of room for food, sleeping bags, tent, and extra clothes. I do have to pack very creatively, but the pack still has never let me down as far as gear capacity. The numerous pack adjustments for the adult are very functional and comfortable and can be adjusted easily and quickly during a hike.
IMAGE 8
Detachable Day Pack
IMAGE 7
Lower Gear Storage


I also love the ease of the sunshade. Compared to other child carriers I have used, this one is the easiest. The sunshade pulls out of its own compartment and attaches to the front of the pack via two plastic buckles. I use the sunshade almost every time I use the pack, not only for sun protection but also for blocking the wind; it's also nice if I accidentally hit any tree branches, as the sunshade diverts them away from the child. That is one tricky part with the child carrier: making sure tree branches don't hit the little ones. I have used the hydration sleeve as well for holding a large water bladder and it functions great. I love the number of exterior pockets, though I will say the bottom mesh pockets should be deeper. Any water bottle doesn't fit securely in there and I have had many water bottles fall out. The upper mesh pockets are tight and great for sunscreen, bug spray, or small toys. I feel the manufacturer could have included more interior organization pockets for diapers, etc. There is only one small interior pocket other than the main gear compartments themselves. The hip belt also has two exterior pockets and the shoulder strap has one. These exterior pockets are great for a GPS, camera, snacks, etc. I use them a lot. The pack even has a pocket for a dirty diaper. I have also used the foam changing pad many times. I feel the changing pad could be a little bigger in surface area, but the thickness is great and none of my kids have complained about laying on it while in the backcountry. The zipper pulls on all the pockets are great, they have large corded loops with rubber padding on the cords and I find them very easy to use. The zippers themselves feel sturdy and are still working to this day. The nylon material of the pack has also proved to be very durable for me. Overall, I feel that Osprey, being very experienced in manufacturing backpacks, really thought this child carrier through and designed it well. It is very functional for both the adult and the child.
IMAGE 5
Exterior Pockets
IMAGE 6
Lower Side Pockets And Stirrups

SUMMARY

This is a great child carrier overall. I have tried several child carriers and I really like how this one allows for a ton of gear capacity and is still comfortable enough for both the adult and the child. I keep thinking to myself that the manufacturer could have made the pack lighter, but for how rigid and durable it is, maybe it was built just right. I love it and my kids love it.

THINGS I LIKE

Freestanding
Comfortable
Lots of gear capacity
Water bladder sleeve
Lots of exterior pockets
Easy-to-use sunshade
Easy to take child in and out
Load lift straps included

THINGS I DON'T LIKE

Heavy pack
Some side pockets too shallow
Would like to see more small interior organization pockets

SIGNATURE

Product reviewed by Doug White.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

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