Backcountry Edge Gear Specialist Steven "Leon" Lutz and Osprey Product Line Manager Chris Horton discuss Osprey Poco child carriers.
Steven: I am Steven Leon Lutz, gear specialist at Back Country Edge.
Chris: And I am Chris Horton, product guy at Osprey packs.
Steven: And we are taking a look at the Poco child carriers from Osprey. As a dad who carried his two young girls out into the woods that he loved so much, I would have loved for you guys to have come to market with these a little bit sooner.
Chris: As hopefully a future dad, I am scared about not being able to get outside and hike and go back packing. So that is kind of where these people are. It is like you don’t want to lose this passion of the outdoors. In fact, you want to give it to your children as early as possible. And that is really what the Poco came about was making sure that people didn’t lose that connection and be able to spread it.
Steven: So child carriers have existed for I don’t know how long, but they have obviously been out there. There is a lot more going on here than what I was used to seeing and what we were using. Maybe you can give us a little closer look at what makes the Poco so unique.
Chris: Yeah, I mean, the frame child carriers, they are kind of that new thing, especially when you are going outside, a lot more safety, a lot more comfort for both, but kind of the big trend for this is ventilation and then fit both for the child and for the adult. For a lot of parents one parent might be five foot tall. My mom is five foot one. My dad is six foot four. You know, they can use the same exact carrier. So you have a lot of good adjustability. It is basically a little simple cam and it goes from extra small all the way up to large. And the same thing. We have an adjustable hip belt that you see on many of our adult packs as well. So real big, large adjustment range that you can do while you are on trail. So if you want to take turns carrying the baby and carrying the pack, you can do that right there. And then the child is completely safe inside the cock pit. The seats are adjustable as the kid grows. You can adjust the... make sure it is still safe and around. They have got a nice soft interior, a drool pad that is removable, because, well, the drool pad gets drooled on.
Steven: I remember cleaning or trying to clean... it would have been nice to have one that came out.
Chris: Yeah, so everybody is comfortable there and then you have got a really neat feature set to store gear, a hip belt pocket. And then on the back you have got a large main compartment down here, diaper bag, gear, food for the trail and then extra pocketing here with this is the Poco plus. There is also the Poco premium that has a removable day pack and a removable diaper changing pad. But both of those come with some change. You know, very important, whether is extremely... in sun... so you want to protect the kids from the elements. Basically this pops up and buckles into the front side and the kid is completely protected from the sun.
Steven: I can remember when my kids, especially at their smallest age, as adults we are thinking about bright sun and that is when we grab for sunglasses or what have you. And like a small child with that sensitive skin we use the sun shade almost every time we had it out to protect them, but we had to buy it separately for the child carrier that we had, so that is definitely a stand out.
Chris: Yeah. And definitely included. And then it is part of the adjustment range out here, too, is if you put the kid in the big down onesy, it is still going to fit the child and you just check their cheeks and ears.
Steven: Thinking back to when my daughters were younger, I remember being told to stay away from the frame child carriers until they could hold their head up right. Is there an age range or anything that Osprey suggests there?
Chris: Yeah, typically about six months, I think like 16 pounds. Basically you need them to be able to hold up their head by themselves. And that is one of the many milestones I am sure you guys celebrate as a parent. But once they can hold themselves up, that is usually about six months, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. And then you can start using the frame child carrier. In the owner’s manual, which are included, is kind of a really good step by step guide on how to use this, when is appropriate, how big can they be. There is a standard 48 and a half pounds max. And that includes all the gear. So you can haul around a 40 pound kid if you want to walk around on that. We will try to get you in this later.
Steven: Yeah, stay tuned. That reminds me of another issue that we had, or at least that is something that we would think about as parents was, you know, between just how much weight the stability, especially when we set it down, we are loading our daughters in or out of the child carrier. Ours was collapsible, but it seemed almost a little rickety when it was opened up. Can you kind of speak to that on the Poco?
Chris: Yeah, I mean, that... safety certifications have definitely changed and these meet the latest and greatest in its... and a lot of folks in the industry. So there is a lot of regulations on when, you know, like at what point this can tip. So it has to be a wide enough base. It has to have enough force to click this shut. So you want to put this away, that click. This is very stable. It is not just ... I think it is 10 pounds of force, which is actually quite a bit. So there is a lot of regulations as far as how stable it is, how it can collapse, how big the child is, how big the openings are. It is a lot of really good safety certifications around this and we have beat them all over the world.
Steven: I also love how compact this is, how much it packs down and that is getting back to our old child carrier. On the Poco you can take this anywhere, because of that we can take our kids anywhere.
Chris: Yeah, I mean, this... it is super easy to collapse. The flip bar, pull that in and you just kind of cinch it down. And so throw it in the carrying case, throw it in the trunk. You can travel with it with an airplane. And now you don’t have to worry about either destination travel not being able to go out and hike or to go around town or even you local trails. So there is no reason not to share those places with your children. You might as well bring them along and very comfortable for both of you.