Osprey Baby Carrier Review: Hiking In Comfort With Your Toddler
I was lucky enough to get the Osprey Poco Child Carrier as a baby shower gift from a few of my coworkers (best co-workers ever).
It was seriously one of the best gifts in the world for me.
Ella is 20 months old and has been using her Osprey Poco Carrier for about 14 months. It was a little bit big for her at first, but we just made sure to stuff a few blankets in and cinch her up tight and she was fine.
However, I highly recommend making sure your baby can easily hold their head up for an extended period of time before using this pack. This isn’t a pack for a newborn.
I’ve lost count of how many hours Ella has done in the pack, but at this point, it is probably 50+ hours. I’ve done a lot of hiking in the last couple of months trying to get back into shape.
I decided that since she helped get me out of shape carting her around is going to help me get back into shape.
Related Post: 9 Tips to Survive Hiking With a Baby
My husband and I were also given a used Kelty carrier and an Ergo 360 baby carrier, so at this point, I’ve tried a few different carriers. The Kelty is an older style with limited suspension and better suited for an older child. The Ergo is more of a newborn product.
After 50+ hours of hiking here are my personal opinions of the Osprey Poco Carrier.
Positive Features of the Osprey Poco Baby Carrier
- Great sizing system that is easily adjustable to a variety of heights and body shapes. I’m 5.2 and Aaron is 6.1. We can literally adjust the pack to each others body in 3-4 minutes. The adjustments are simple and quick.
- A great suspension system that helps distribute weight very evenly. I do a lot of off-trail hiking and was worried that sudden movements from my baby might throw off my balance. I can feel her move, but the suspension is strong enough to distribute the movement evenly so it doesn’t throw off my balance.
- Best baby carrier for back support. I’ve been sore the next day, but never from back pain. I count that as a huge win!
- Super comfortable fit for most everyone out there (see my negative below). Everyone else that has worn it has raved about the way it fits. Even with my short, petite torso, the fit works for me and I can easily do 3-4 hours without getting sore. I personally think it is the best baby carrier for small moms.
- Multiple pockets and space for extra supplies
- You can’t fit enough to do a major expedition, but for 5-6 hour the size is perfect.
- Well built and designed with hiking in mind.
- Expandable shade for sun and rain protection. I use the sun shade feature all the time and it works great. It is easy to pull out and put away. The coverage is pretty substantial and Ella loves playing with the sides which keeps her occupied for hours.
- Editorial note – It works great for rain as well. We did a little hike in the Superstition Mountains recently and got dumped on. I was soaking by the time I got to my car, but Ella was virtually dry except for her left foot that must have been sticking out.
- Pop out bottom for easy propping up of the pack (see picture). This feature is awesome! It is so nice to be able to remove the pack and set it anywhere and not worry about it tipping over.
- Locking system that goes over the babies shoulders to hold them in place.
- I was picking Ella up a few days ago and overbalanced. Next thing I knew the pack was literally parallel to the ground. She most likely would have fallen out if the shoulder straps weren’t in place.
- Mesh back, so in theory, you don’t sweat as much. Trust me you will still sweat. Hiking with a baby is tough work!
- I live in Phoenix though and personally, think this is the best baby carrier for hot weather. The mesh is so much more comfortable than the regular baby carriers.
Negative Features of the Poco Child Carrier
- Although the adjustment is phenomenal, it really isn’t sized for someone of my height (5.1′) and small petite torso length. I’m in the minority so this won’t affect many people, but it is a tiny bit big for me. I can adjust it well enough to work, but would be sore after an 8+ hour hike. Based on my research, it is still the best baby carrier for petite moms.
- The bladder carrier is really hard to get to and probably wouldn’t hold a super large bladder. I dread having to refill my water because I know it is going to take me forever to pull the stupid thing out and get it back in.
- The zipper on the main compartment is hard to zip properly at the top. I think the curve is just a little bit too sharp. I know it sounds like a stupid complaint, but when you have a baby and are often doing things one handed being able to easily zip and unzip to get to a diaper is a big deal.
- Slightly heavy. I don’t know how they can reasonably decrease the weight without drastically increasing the price, but a lighter pack would be awesome. It is just under 8 pounds, so by the time you add food, water, extra clothing, diapers, bottles and all the other baby junk you need (and the baby), my pack is typically around 35 pounds and Ella only weights 21 of that. I’m not looking forward to when she gets heavier.
If you want to hike with your baby I highly, highly recommend the Osprey Baby Carrier. The suspensions it top notch, the pack is well built and most importantly your baby will be comfortable!
As you can see from my pictures – Ella loves it enough to take a nice little nap every single time we use it.
Although most of this post is written from my perspective, my husband said to make sure and stress that he loves it as well. He has used the Kelty for our grandson when I’m carrying our daughter and is always happy to get the Osprey back. I really do believe it is the best baby carrier for dad as well.
If you are a backpacking mom, I highly recommend getting the Osprey Poco Child Carrier.
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