Serendip Sanctuary is one of many great family-friendly hikes west of Melbourne

Gear review: Osprey Poco Premium Baby Backpack Carrier

Osprey Poco Premium Backpack Carrier

Osprey Poco Premium Backpack Carrier
8.75

Style

9/10

    Practicality

    9/10

      Durability

      9/10

        Comfort

        8/10

          Pros

          • Easily adjustable
          • Zip off daypack
          • Extra space for nappies and snacks
          • Safety harness
          • Built-in sunshade

          Cons

          • Bulky
          • Too-small pouch

          The Monsta in the Osprey Poco Premium baby backpack carrierOur son (aka ‘The Monsta’) came into this world wired for adventure. He is a curious, adventurous and seemingly fearless little boy who never seems to stop moving until he’s either watching Fireman Sam or unconscious (preferably through sleep). He wriggles and flops and climbs and runs and bounces. So to understand how much we love the Osprey Poco Premium Baby Backpack Carrier, you have to understand how challenging it is to contain our little ball of perpetual motion.

          He hates to be contained. He hates his pram; he refuses to sit in it. If he is obliging and sits in it while we’re at the shops, he can wriggle his way out of the arm straps and climb or jump out of it in a Houdini second. He ditched his high chair soon after his first birthday; he wants to sit at the table on a normal seat without being strapped in. He won’t even sleep with a blanket over him; too constricting. When we decided to buy a baby backpack carrier so we could get back into hiking, a very reluctant part of me thought it would be a waste of money. The Monsta does not like to be restrained.

          How wrong I was!

          He absolutely LOVES being in the backpack. Hooray! It is the one place where he is happy to be restrained. Maybe it’s because he’s up so high he can see everything. Maybe it’s the gentle rocking motion that throws him back into his womb days. I’m not sure, but I’m so happy that he will stay contained for an hour or more in this backpack.

          Deciding which baby backpack carrier to buy

          I already had the Ergo Baby Carrier (and the Ergo Baby Carrier Insert), a front type of baby carrier, which was great for a supermarket outing or a stroll around the block, but Alex and I would both overheat after a while and as his weight increased, so did the strain on my back. As much as I loved it, it wouldn’t be suitable for hiking.

          I looked into a few baby backpack carriers, including one by Deuter Kid Comfort III Child Carrier and the Kanga Kid backpack but I really liked the look, description and price of the Osprey Poco Premium. It’s easily adjustable which is great because TJ and I both use the backpack. You can adjust the backpack to suit your height and also adjust the ‘seat’ in the carrier. As The Monsta has grown, we have continued to get good use out of it, but it won’t be long before he’s ready to start gentle hikes with us.

          The Osprey Poco Premium has a detachable and washable dribble pad – anyone with a toddler or teething baby knows how wet and messy things can get. Mashed banana anyone? It also has a detachable daypack and a roomy area at the bottom of the pack for extra storage.

          Travelling with the Osprey Poco Premium

          The Monsta enjoying the Osprey Poco PremiumWe found the Osprey Poco Premium great for travelling, especially for getting through airports. Apart from having to take The Monsta out of the pack to get through the security checks, he stayed in the pack the whole time. We used the daypack for things like nappies, wet wipes, snacks and changes of clothes and we detached the daypack before boarding the plane. We’ve taken the Poco right to the gate on several flights and put it into a large, somewhat flimsy but lightweight bag to contain and protect the straps and the airline staff took care of it for us. Like a pram, it wasn’t considered part of our baggage allowance.

          Last year when we went to Bali for a holiday, we opted to take a cheap stroller. That was a big mistake. We barely got through the departure doors at Melbourne Airport when The Monsta wanted out and we had to carry him all the way to the boarding lounge. At least the stroller doubled as a kind of bag trolley.

          Using the Osprey Poco Premium

          There’s not a lot of space for storage in the Poco, but it’s enough to carry a few nappies, snacks and drinks. We don’t hike long distances anymore anyway and only in fair weather, so there’s no need to carry excess gear on a hike.

          The sun shade is part of the Poco Premium model and it’s fantastic. In Australia and with our high skin cancer rates, shade from the sun is a marvellous addition to protect our Monsta from harmful UV rays. It’s really easy to put it up and down again.

          The only fault with the Osprey Poco is the small size of the zip pouch on the chest strap. It’s way too small for a mobile phone. Maybe in 2006 when everyone went smaller, but not in 2017. I like my phone to be easily accessible and the chest strap would be an ideal place for it but I can’t get the zipper done up around my LG5 and it dangles perilously if I lean forward.

          It’s not easy to put the pack on from the ground but it’s much easier to stand up from a sitting position. The Monsta experiences a few swings and jolts as I heave the backpack on. He loves the bumps, though! This is not a design flaw of the Osprey Poco. It will happen with any brand of baby backpack carrier.

          You can fold in the bottom section of the pack in so you don’t bang it into everything when you turn around.

          Multiple uses for the Osprey Poco

          Baby in a backpack carrier - hands over his mouthEvery parent with a wriggly child that hates being restrained, regardless of whether or not they are a hiker, should get themselves a Poco. I often use the Poco when we go grocery shopping! It’s a great conversation starter and the bemused expressions of fellow shoppers and the “Aha!” gleams in people’s eyes who ‘get’ why we’re using a baby backpack carrier in an urban environment, make it quite funny.

          See my post on Why all parents should have a baby backpack carrier, not just hikers for a better description.

          Buying the Osprey Poco

          The Osprey Poco Premium is one of the higher priced backpacks for toddlers, but we think it was well worth the investment. There’s a basic version, the Poco Plus and the Poco Premium. You can buy accessories such as a rain cover, the sun shade (for models that don’t have it) and a carrying case for travel. We didn’t buy any of the accessories because we’re fair weather hikers these days and we have our other bag that is a perfect for the backpack for travel.

          We bought our Osprey Poco from Wild Earth. It arrived super fast and they had the cheapest price in Australia (plus free delivery for orders over $99). I can highly recommend this company.

          If you’re outside Australia, you can buy the Osprey Poco AG Premium Child Carrier from Amazon. Click here to find the latest price.

          You can buy the Premium version with all the bells and whistles, but there’s also a basic version, the Poco, and the Poco Plus. These don’t have the sun shade but you can buy these and a rain cover as accessories. You can also buy a specific carry case for travel, but we’ve done OK with our large, foldable lightweight bag when travelling with the Poco.

          We’ve now been using the Poco for about two years and there’s very little sign of wear and tear. I’ll sell it once Alex ditches it for good (that day will be upon us soon, sob!) and I’m sure we’ll get a good price for it.

          Whenever Alex sees the backpack, he begs to go for a walk in it. He’s only recently mastered the word “backpack” and it’s amazing how many times a toddler can repeat it in five minutes.

          This post contains some affiliate links, which means that if you find this post helpful and click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission from the seller at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.

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