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Californian company Osprey started out designing functional and high performance backpacks for all kinds of outdoor pursuits. While this is still very much what they do, the brand has also branched out into designing high quality child carriers. A member of Osprey’s Poco child carrier series, the Poco LT is the lightest offering from the backpack specialist. At 2.3kg, it’s more than 1kg lighter than its other models – and cheaper, too. Perfect for taking children to places where a buggy isn’t suitable; or ideal for those who want to take their little ones on longer walks and hikes; the Poco LT offers many features that make it the perfect hiking companion. Available in 4 colourways – blue sky, starry black, tungsten grey and deep teal – the Poco LT is a great accessory to help you and your child enjoy the great outdoors together. At £300 it’s certainly an investment – almost 3 times the price of the LittleLife Range S2 child carrier, at £120.
A mum of 3, Victoria McDermott tested the Osprey Poco LT with both her baby and toddler on walks around her village, up and down hills, across farms and on longer strolls in woodlands.
What were your first impressions of the Osprey Poco LT child carrier?
I was amazed at just how much Osprey has managed to pack into its newest Poco model. Despite being both roomy and spacious for your child, the frame enables it to fold to an almost flat position, which is great for freeing up boot space. The brand has also not skimped on features, and I was pleased to note a large zipped storage compartment at the bottom, meaning you’re not left rummaging around for wet wipes.
What do you think of the style and design of the Osprey Poco LT child carrier?
Babywearing expert Katy Blundell says: “This feels like a really sturdy, well-made carrier, with good quality buckles and zips.” I personally liked the smaller zipped compartment higher up on the carrier, as well as the fact it has pockets in the hip belts and space for a hydration reservoir. I was also impressed with the Poco LT’s integrated sunshade with UPF 50+ rating.
How easy was the Osprey Poco LT child carrier to set up?
On taking the Poco LT out of the box it was pretty much ready to go, aside from pulling open the cockpit and securing some buckles in place. However, this isn’t as simple as it sounds. Fellow MFM Parent Tester Chantal, who also trialled the Osprey with her 19-month old, found the clips hard to conquer, saying “it took a lot of trial and error to get all of the different parts to the correct placements, and I found it time consuming to have to stick and unstick all the Velcro when trying to make any adjustments.”
How exactly do you set up the Osprey Poco LT child carrier prior to using?
Before attempting to put the carrier on with your child in you must adjust the hip belt, back panel, harness and torso length to suit your body shape and height. Once ready you can use both handles at the front and rear of the child cockpit to lift the child carrier and place the frame onto your slightly bent knee. Next, slip your free arm through the tightened and fitted harness strap, grab the handle in front of the cockpit with your other hand, and lift the carrier up onto your shoulder. Then, while still holding the shoulder strap, lean forward to stabilise your child and child carrier on your back. Let go of the handle in front of the cockpit, slip your free arm through the shoulder harness and slide the carrier onto both shoulders.
How easy is it to put the Osprey Poco LT child carrier on with your baby inside?
I struggled to get to grips with putting this on with either my baby or my toddler in it. I found it difficult to manoeuvre and swing onto my back without swinging my children around too much. The first handful of times I had to ask my husband to help me lift the carrier onto my back and then help me to tighten the straps, as I found it tricky to know just how tight I would need everything until my child was in it. However, I eventually discovered that if I put either of my children into the carrier while it was on a raised platform (such as my car boot or the kitchen table) then I could then thread my arms into it, lift it onto my back smoothly and buckle myself in.
What is it like wearing the Osprey Poco LT child carrier on your back?
It took a little getting used to, as the only carriers I have used in the past have been sling-type contraptions such as the BabyBjorn brand. With the Osprey, your turning circle when wearing is much wider than a sling-style, and I felt very alarmed that I was going to bang my little one’s head when I was moving through doorways on my way out of the house. However, once on the road the fact I had a wider load on my back than usual wasn’t a problem, and after an initial 10 minutes of acclimatising I felt confident to tackle hills, grassy areas and longer walks.
How comfortable did your child appear in the Osprey Poco LT child carrier?
My husband and I used the Poco LT with both our 10-month-old baby (9kg) and 3-year-old daughter (14kg) and each spent some time entirely comfortably in the spacious cockpit that was sufficiently padded. They both loved being up high and enjoyed peering around at their surroundings, although I fear that long journeys would be uncomfortable as there is no footrest, leaving their feet dangling. I’m not alone in this trail of thought; reviews on Amazon also agree it would be awkward for their child to have their legs dangling for a period of time.
Is the Osprey Poco LT child carrier comfortable for you to wear?
One thing to note is that it is extremely important to make sure that you fit this product correctly. In my haste to get out and use it for the first time I didn’t take long enough fitting the carrier to my body. This meant that it tugged a little on my shoulders, pulling my centre of gravity backwards and making it feel uncomfortable after only a short walk. I also found that the straps began to dig into my shoulders, while the carrier was quite heavy for my 5’2” height. MFM Parent Tester Katy, meanwhile, agreed with my opinion that “it was heavy and uncomfortable for [her] body frame”, however, reviews on Amazon are varied, from it being extremely lightweight to “too heavy to carry for more than 5 minutes.” Personally, I found the waist strap not very long, so it could cause issues for someone with a larger frame than myself, even though the brand states that the hip belt provides a 24-48” range.
How durable does the Osprey Poco LT child carrier feel?
This is a well-built item that I believe would last a long time, as the material is thick and the Velcro has a high teeth density. Made from Bluesign approved durable 210-denier nylon diamond, the fabric of this carrier has been produced with minimum impact on the environment. The back panel is also constructed using Airscape, a mesh-covered extra deep foam, which provides maximum ventilation where contact with your back might get a bit sweaty.
What weight and size is the Osprey Poco LT child carrier?
The Poco LT weighs in at 2.3kg, more than a kilogram lighter than the original Poco at 3.5kg and the 3.6kg Poco Plus. Catering for families on the go, this carrier can collapse down compactly, with a zip-away compartment for the harness and hipbelt meaning they won’t get tangled or caught on anything in transit. When folded the Poco LT’s dimensions are 77cmx34cmx10.5cm, considerably smaller than both the Poco and Poco Plus. This makes it much nimbler and easier to take with you on planes, trains and cars.
What age range is the Osprey Poco LT child carrier suitable for?
The Osprey Poco LT is not suitable for children under 6 months, and it is advised that it shouldn’t be used if a child cannot sit upright unassisted or weighs less than 7.25kg. However, it should last a while, taking up to 18kg of weight, and I’m pleased to report that both my 10-month-old baby and three-year-old daughter were comfortable and secure, with definite room to grow.
How easy is it to keep this baby carrier clean?
The Poco LT is easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth, and due to the breathable and lightweight material I found it dried very quickly too. The pack itself is not machine washable, and Osprey instead suggest cleaning it in a large sink or bath with mild detergent and warm water. The drool pad at the front also isn’t removable for washing, so is not great for dribbly teething babies – or hungry toddlers in constant need of snacks, as it could get messy very quickly.
How does this compare to previous models of the carrier?
The Poco LT is the third model in the series and has been designed to be more accessible for everyday use. It’s also easier to pack and travel with than Osprey’s other 2 Pocos, which are geared more towards hiking and backpacking.
Does the Osprey Poco LT child carrier feel safe?
Despite going on some rocky walks and muddy trails I didn’t once fear that either my toddler or baby were going to fall out of the carrier, as they were safe and secure at all times. This was helped by the double halo harness that Osprey uses for the Poco LT, with front facing arm loops which are buckled and tightened. The carrier also felt snug and sturdy on me, held tightly in place by the harness and hip belt.
Are there any other features you like about the Osprey Poco LT?
Possibly my favourite feature of the Poco LT is the built in sunshade with UPF 50 rating. Keeping the younger members of your family safe from the sun is of huge importance, even more so when they are high up on your back and in full glare of UV rays. We also felt entirely comfortable taking our baby off our back and resting them on the floor in the carrier during an impromptu lunch date, with the secure kickstand that locks firmly into place. Our baby slept happily while we ate, with no concern for her safety.
How well does the Osprey Poco LT child carrier work on public transport?
The Poco LT has been designed specifically with a smaller footprint, aimed at making it easier to use in tight spaces like shops and busy streets. I did however feel that it was still a large bulk on my back, and was very wary of turning and knocking into anything while wearing it. Furthermore, due to my lack of expertise taking the carrier on and off by myself, I wasn’t confident enough to take it on public transport. However, those who are a little more used to wearing large-framed back carriers should find the Poco LT’s profile the perfect option for use out and about in cities and towns.
What’s in the box?
- Osprey Poco LT
- 27 page instruction manual
Are there any additional accessories you can buy for the Osprey Poco LT child carrier?
- Poco raincover (£30)
Now that you’ve tested it, what would you have wanted to know before buying the Osprey Poco LT child carrier?
The only thing I did find very difficult was bending down while wearing the Poco LT. This would make it very hard for me to use alone when walking with my other children.
Who would the Osprey Poco LT child carrier be most useful for?
This carrier is best for parents wanting to take their children where buggies find it difficult to go, and is a brilliant option for those who want to move on from a front-facing sling.
Is the Osprey Poco LT child carrier good value for money?
At £300 this is Osprey’s cheapest Poco model, however, it’s still quite an investment to make, with cheaper options available on the market. Having said that, you do get a lot, from the hidden compartments for storing all your essentials; a supportive seat and strap for your baby; an integrated sunshade; a kickstand; and external hydration access. It all depends on where you plan to use it. If, like our additional MFM Parent Tester Chantal, “you intended to wear it while travelling around the city, to do your shopping and use public transport, then it is too bulky, complicated, and therefore expensive in my opinion.”
How does this compare to similar carriers?
|Osprey Poco LT Child Carrier||Approximately 6 months to 18kg||2.3kg||£275|
|Little Life Voyager S5 Child Carrier||6 months to 3years||3.2kg||£249.99|
|Phil & Teds Escape Baby Carrier||6 months to 5 years||3kg||£199|
|Thule Sapling Baby Backpack||Approximately 6 months to 18kg||3.2kg||£300|
Where can I buy the Osprey Poco LT Child Carrier?
The Poco LT is a high quality baby back carrier packed with features. Osprey has managed to provide parents with a slimline and packable design complete with all the functionality you could wish for. With your child up on your back you can explore the world together and it is really lovely to share a perspective together for a change, although it doesn’t come cheap.
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|Child age (approx)||From 6 months|
|Child weight||7.25kg to 18kg|
|Carrying positions||Back – 1|