The Osprey Poco Plus: An Honest Review of Our Favorite Hiking Accessory

As a mother of two young girls, aged two years and six months, my life is a whirlwind of endless chaos and adventure. One of our family’s favorite activities is hiking, and my husband and I are avid nature lovers. We believe in instilling a love of Mother Nature in our babies too. They learn so much during our time outside. They sleep better and eat better when we spend more time outside than in. They use their imaginations to tell us about what they see. They learn to regulate external stimuli better. The benefits of outdoor time for kids are truly endless.

To make our outdoor excursions the most enjoyable for our family, we decided to invest in the Osprey Poco Plus child carrier. And when I say invest, I mean it. Priced at over $330, we didn’t take the decision to purchase this lightly. But it has become an essential part of our family outings, allowing us to explore the wonders of nature while keeping our toddler safe, happy and comfortable.

We talked for months about wanting the beloved Cadillac of child carriers as our toddler was rapidly outgrowing her front carrier. I told my husband over and over how badly I wanted to be able to strap her on and go out exploring just the two of us. He pulled through big time and got me the Osprey Poco Plus for my birthday. And then almost immediately we found out we were expecting baby number two. Since then he has mostly been in charge of wearing our Osprey but it’s super easy to fit me too.

The Osprey Poco Plus is THE child carrier of all carriers designed for active parents who want to share their passion for hiking with their little ones. When Osprey made this model, they had us in mind, friends. Here’s why it has earned a special place in our hearts and on my husband’s back:

1. Comfort and Safety

One of the most critical factors for us when choosing a child carrier was safety and comfort. The Poco Plus has exceeded our expectations in this regard. The adjustable, padded shoulder straps and hip belt distribute the weight evenly, preventing discomfort or strain during long hikes.

It comes equipped with a ventilated back panel to help keep the adult cool. Although, my husband’s back does still sweat quite a bit when he’s wearing it.

The harness system keeps our two-year-old secure and the built-in sunshade has been a lifesaver on hot, sunny days. The stirrups for her little feet are a thoughtful addition, preventing dangling legs and providing added support.

As far as comfort goes, our toddler falls asleep in it almost every single time.

2. Storage Space

With kids in tow, you quickly realize the importance of storage space. The Poco Plus offers ample room for all the family’s essentials.

There are multiple pockets, including a large zippered compartment beneath the child’s seat that you could probably fit another small child in. But for real, it’s large and would make through hiking and/or camping with littles that much easier. We always have plenty of space for sunscreen, bug spray, everyone’s water bottles, snacks, diapers, wipes, changing pad, etc.

They’ve included a zippered stash pocket for access to small items like keys and phone, equipped with a loop inside to attach keys to, as well as zippered hip belt pockets to easily access items you might need quickly. You’ll even find an external sleeve for a hydration reservoir.


3. Adjustability and Fit

The adjustable torso and hip belt accommodate both mine and my husband’s body types comfortably. It’s quick and easy to switch between us when needed.

1. Durability

We hike a lot, so durability is a top priority. The Osprey Poco Plus has proven itself in this aspect. The high-quality materials and construction make it rugged enough to handle various terrains and weather conditions. We’ve used it in rain and shine, and it still looks and functions like new.

The aluminum frame is sturdy, but also surprisingly light weight.

We expect it will last us many years to come and even plan to sell it once we’re through with it. I have no doubt it will hold up through it all!

2. Easy to Use

We also love how user friendly it is. Putting it on and adjusting it to the right fit takes no time at all, which is a blessing when you’re dealing with the patience of toddlers.

We usually put our daughter in it and strap her in on an elevated surface if possible, such as the back of the van or a picnic table. It’s easier for my husband to then put his arms through the straps and stand up. You can however, kneel and get it on from the ground if need be.

The sunshade is simple to deploy if needed and just as easy to put away when not. From there it’s simply a matter of buckling a few straps and hitting the trail.

3. Versatility

While primarily designed for hiking, the Poco Plus is versatile enough to use for other activities like festivals or trips to the zoo.

The adjustable child’s seat height and the ability to remove the daypack make it adaptable to different situations and child sizes. You could start using this as soon as your baby is able to sit comfortably.

4. Thoughtful Extras

Osprey was really thinking on this one. They included a removable and washable, super soft drool pad. And they even added loops to clip toys to. Thank you for that, Osprey. You could even use these loops to hook carabiners on and hang other hiking/camping supplies if needed.

They even added a handle in front and back to easily grab and pick it up.

Although not included with the Poco Plus they did create some thoughtful accessories.

The storage carrying case is really nice for travel and also for storing at home.

And we love the rain cover because we believe there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.

5. Price Point

I know. It’s expensive. There’s no sugar coating it. But this is a serious case of “you get what you pay for.” The peace of mind and comfort it provides for our family outings are well worth the investment.

4. How we use our Osprey

Our family hikes often, so that’s our primary use. For us it usually looks like my husband wearing our toddler in the Osprey and my wearing our baby in the Baby Bjorn Harmony on my front. We typically hike no more than three miles with the girls in tow, as that seems to be their limit. Our toddler loves to get out and walk though. So, we’ll help her out of it when she feels like exploring herself and put her back in when her legs get tired.

Patience is key when it comes to hiking with children. We have to remind ourselves often that fast pace is not the goal. Exploration and adventure are.

Besides hiking, our toddler sometimes asks to get in it if we go for a walk too. Our neighbors I’m sure get a kick out of our family of four humans and two giant Italian Mastiffs exploring our neighborhood.

The Osprey Poco Plus has become an essential part of our family’s hiking adventures and travels. It has allowed us to introduce our two-year-old to the joys of hiking. It also allows us to hike further and see more of Mother Nature’s beauty than we’d be able to if she had to walk the whole time. Its durability, comfort, and thoughtful design have made it the most valuable addition to our family gear.

If you’re a hiking enthusiast with young children, I wholeheartedly recommend the Osprey Poco Plus to make your family adventures even more enjoyable and memorable.

Thanks for wandering with us!


Brandy Gilbreth

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