Osprey Poco AG Plus

 

backpack

What it is: When your back and hips hurt, hiking isn’t fun – especially when you’ve got a squirmy little one on your back. So Osprey incorporated their award winning AG (Anti-Gravity) backpack suspension system into the Poco AG Plus child carrier. Weighing in at 3.48kg, it’s lightweight and comfortable to wear. The torso adjusts up to 15cm, so it’ll fit mum or dad even if their figures are vastly different. And the waistband sits snugly on your hips, so your shoulders aren’t taking the weight – it’s evenly distributed to make carrying your little one less of an actual burden.

Use it: To carry your baby or toddler up to 22kg on a tramp or bushwalk – also great for travelling when you’re going to be walking a lot. Its lightweight aluminium stays provide load stability and the mesh shoulder harness and back panel combination keeps you comfortable for the long haul.

What we love: Osprey has clearly thought of everything here, as this child carrier has just about every feature we could possibly want. A built-in sunshade which gives quick and easy protection for the child, and drool pad at the front of the “child cockpit”, toy attachment loops to keep your little one’s dummy or small toys within reach, adjustable stirrups for your child’s feet so their legs aren’t dangling uncomfortably (or kicking you), a zippered stash pocket for small items and a secure key clip so you can grab your car keys quickly, and a lightweight aluminium frame which fully supports the load and provides a stable platform for you to put the child carrier down with your child inside of it. Dual grab handles make picking up and setting down the pack more stable and safe. The mesh back is breathable and the padded straps are comfortable, and the anti-gravity suspension is just amazing – a definite must-have for carrying a toddler for a long time!

Our editor says: A few years ago my husband was given a child carrier which he used once on a tramp and then abandoned to the closet in our garage, saying it just wasn’t comfortable. The main issue was that he’s got a runner’s physique, and the backpack hung uncomfortably from his shoulders like a lead weight, with no back or hip support. So when I brought this backpack home, he was sceptical – until he tried it out. It’s the first child carrier we’ve both had which adjusts for each of our figures – my wide hips and his narrow ones are both accommodated by the supportive frame and padded hip belt. The adjustable torso of the carrier does away with one-size-fits-all, so we can each adjust it to suit our heights and shoulders. And the “child cockpit” (I love that phrase!) is just too cool, with all of the neat features mentioned above. I particularly love that the frame is super-stable when you open it out. You can put your child in it and not worry that the pack will fall over. I could definitely see using this as an alternative to a pram when travelling – it would be so useful for airports (and take up far less room than a pram). The big zippered pocket under the seat holds all of your childcare supplies – nappies, spare clothes, snacks, water, etc – so no need for extra bags if it’s just you and your child going on a day trip.

Things to remember: Before you use it, make sure you fit it to the adult who will be wearing it first. The hip belt is sized from 66cm to 122cm, and the torso adjusts from 39.5cm to 54.5cm, so it will accommodate a range of adult body sizes. Follow the instructions in the manual for what to do before the first use, and then keep reading for info about how to adjust the hip belt and fit the back panel and harness. It’s pretty simple. Next you’ll need to prepare the “child cockpit” to fit your little one – it has its own harness (so no escapes!) and the seat height is adjustable depending on your little one’s height. After you’ve made the necessary adjustments and secured your child in the carrier, follow the instructions for how to safely put on the carrier. It’s not hard, but checking out the directions the first time will save you a lot of awkward and unsafe wrestling with the carrier while you try to hoist it up. There are special handles to use to put the carrier on – if you try to do your own thing, you might not thank yourself. Just follow the instructions! Also, remember that just like any other piece of equipment, you need to pay attention to maintaining your pack. Clean it out after use, hang it to dry before storing, and follow the instructions in the manual if you need to wash it at all. It’s super high-quality and should last you through all of your children – and maybe even your grandkids too!

At-a-glance:

  • Dual grab handles allow a secure and stable way to pick up and set down the child carrier.
  • Removable drool pad at the front of the cockpit is soft to the touch and comfortably padded for the child.
  • Deluxe child cockpit: The adjustable Double Halo harness and child seat is surround by a fully framed and padded cockpit for safety.
  • Lightweight folding aluminium frame fully supports the load and provides a stable platform to set the child carrier down.
  • Zipper stash pocket is convenient for small items and features a secure key clip.
  • Stretch mesh harness pocket offers quick and easy access to trail snacks or the child’s favourite toy.
  • Built-in sunshade deploys quickly and easily from a dedicated zippered pocket.
  • Adjustable and removable stirrups offer deluxe padding and leg support prevent circulation deprivation.
  • With 15cm of torso adjustment, it can be quickly and easily custom fitted to a variety of adult users while on the trail’.
  • Contoured suspension combined with seamless mesh from the shoulder blades to the lumbar region balance and stabilize the pack so you won’t even notice you’re carrying a precious cargo.
  • Find out more at ospreypacks.com/nz/en/product/poco-ag-plus-POCOPLUS_609.html
  • IMPORTANT SAFETY INFO: Read the instructions before using and follow directions for adjustment and use. Child safety is paramount, so take care.

RRP$449.99. Click here for stockists.

Katherine Granich
Katherine Granich
Katherine is an experienced journalist with a passion for parenting media. A parent of two children, she believes in empowering parents with relevant, interesting, factual information and knowledge, so that you can make the best decisions for your family. She’s particularly interested in women’s issues, and intends to do a PhD on the topic of identity and images of motherhood – once her to-do list gets a bit more under control. Katherine loves to bake and read, believes one can never have too many pens, and is a recent convert to using bookmarks instead of turning down the corners of book pages.