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Hands-on Gear Review
Osprey Poco AG Plus ReviewPrice: $290.00 List | $290.00 at Amazon
Pros: Best child comfort, custom fit possibilities, loads of storage
Cons: Doesn't fit all users
Bottom line: Super comfortable carrier for parents and children with lots of useful storage
The Osprey Poco AG Plus is a quality backpack carrier with superior comfort features for little passengers. This pack has a stretchy soft harness with a padded structured seat that doesn't fold under baby's weight. It has an angled face rest, removable drool pad, and an adjustable cockpit for secure seating. This pack is also comfortable for the wearer with increased adjustability for parents to create a more custom fit. It has the longest torso range in the group and a more structure waistband to help support the weight. While this option is more expensive, we think it is a good choice for parents who plan to take regular outdoor adventures for years to come.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Osprey started in 1974 in Cortez, Colorado at the corner of the San Juan Mountains. Osprey's goal is to create high-performing gear great for adventure. Osprey believes in its products and quality so much they started the All Mighty Guarantee. This guarantee says the company will repair any damage or defect in its product for free no matter what it is or when it was purchased. If they can't fix it, they will replace it.
This comparison chart includes the overall scores for the Osprey (blue) and the other products tested in this review.
The sections below provide details on the Osprey's performance during testing. The individual metric performance scores are used to calculate the overall scores for each backpack.
The Osprey earned an 8 of 10 for parent comfort.
Parent comfort is paramount for this kind of gear and can influence how often you use the pack and the duration of your trips.
The Osprey has a back pad with breathable mesh fabric and some padded sections for comfort (above left). The waistband is padded (above right) with a stiff structure that provides great support and distribution of the weight of the pack. Some testers feel the waistband is the best in the group offering increased comfort, while others think the band digs in no matter how it is adjusted. It has a forward pull movement and an extra section that extends the rigid piece of the belt.
The shoulder straps (above left) are comfortable, stable, and easy to adjust on the go. They are soft but stiff conforming to the user with a chest clip (above right) that pulls the straps toward one another for comfort and customization of the fit.
The Osprey has an adjustable torso with a 6-inch range. When combined with the other adjustable components, this helps create a custom fit for most users.
The Osprey earned a 10 of 10 for child comfort. It is the only option with the high score.
Child comfort is important because it can be the difference between a long enjoyable adventure and a short uncomfortable one.
The cockpit on the Osprey is snug and secure without feeling wide open and floppy. The sides open and close with a simple buckle (above left) and can be tightened or loosened for comfort and the pack also has height adjustable stirrups.
The headrest on the Osprey is perfect for napping with a slight angle that helps little ones get cozy when they fall asleep. The frame under the pad curves out for additional support and the pad is soft and removable for washing off the inevitable drool.
The seat pad (above left) on the Osprey is height adjustable and moves up and down with the baby in the seat. The padding is very firm but comfortable and is fleece-covered for a soft feel. The pad has more structure than some and supports the baby without folding. The 5-point harness (above right) has soft fabric that runs under the armpit and stretches to adjust for size. The Osprey has stirrups that are adaptable for height.
The Osprey has a canopy with mesh sides (above left), it stores in a pocket on top, and connects on the front (above right) with legs that slide into color-coded pockets.
Ease of Use
The Osprey earned a 7 of 10 for ease of use. This is the high for the metric making it one of the easiest options to use.
The Osprey has color-coded adjustment points and well-placed features that make it easy to use. The adjustments for comfort and fit work well and many of them can be used while wearing the pack or with a baby in the cockpit.
The kickstand on this pack works well and creates a sturdy base for taking the pack off though little ones should not be left unattended in any pack to avoid them pushing up and tipping the pack over.
Given the number of straps and buckles, it can take some time to sort out what each feature does and how to use them. However, once you familiarize yourself with the Osprey it is easier to use than most of the competition.
This pack has dual carry handles on the front and back that are nicely placed and feel rugged. The pack can be carried or hung from the handles.
The Osprey earned a 7 of 10 for storage.
The Osprey has more storage than much of the competition with only three carriers offering more.
The main storage pocket opens wide and is attached to the kickstand, so if you fold the stand in you lose some of the available space. It is a little harder to access because the zipper is hidden under a flap but it is big enough to stow jackets, snacks, diapers, wipes and water bottles.
The top pocket (above left) is smaller than the bottom but the zipper runs across the top and sides for easy access. It has a pocket within the pocket (above left) for better organizing and keeping important items within quick reach.
The canopy stores in the top pocket where it requires a hard tug to pull it out, but it slides back in without difficulty. The canopy provides good protection from the elements and is one of the best in the review.
The Osprey has two waistband pockets and both have zipper closures. The pocket on the left zips straight across and contains a pouch with a mirror in it and a secure key clip; this pocket also fits some small snacks. The right-side pocket zips across the top and down the side making it large enough for a medium sized smartphone or two granola bars.
The Osprey also offers several flat open pockets for smaller quick access items that don't need to be secured. The pocket on the back (above left) is deep and big enough for a few diapers, wipes and maps. The open side pockets (above right) can store granola bars and other small snacks or a child-sized water bottle. They aren't tall enough for a tall water bottle, and the open top means you shouldn't use them for valuables. There is also a small mesh pocket on the shoulder strap. This pocket may be useful for a bar or small phone, but nothing more substantial will fit.
Osprey offers a rain cover for those unexpected shifts in the weather.
Osprey offers a basic Poco and a Premier option. The basic model is missing some key features we think are useful like an adjustable hip belt, water bottle holder, and a zippered waistband pocket.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz
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