The bottom line:The most versatile pack I’ve tried. The Poco easily adjusts to accommodate a variety of body types, holds children securely and comfortably throughout infancy, and can be used in any climate. This is the ONE piece of baby gear that I recommend to all of my adventure friends to splurge on.
The day I take out my new Poco for its winter test drive is a hot one. Well . . . 40° F degrees feels warm when you are skinning to the top of a mountain. My friend Caroline Gleich and I are in tank tops, but Huck isn’t working as hard, so we’re constantly adjusting his layers to account for changing sun and wind. Already, I am loving the butterfly harness in the cockpit. There’s no wrestling Huck in like I’ve had to with other packs: he’s strapped down comfortably and securely before he knows what’s happened.
Huck is getting to the age where he has an opinion. Right now one of his strongest is that hats are the worst. He refuses to wear them. This makes the retractable sun canopy one of my favorite aspects of the Poco. It’s sleek, easy, and most important, effective.
The storage system of the Poco is one of my favorite features. When I’m backpacking, it’s possible to cram in A LOT of gear, and the hydration systems is easy to use and accessible.
We eat lunch, take photos, and take turns tossing Huck in the air. Wednesday afternoons can be really great!
After I buckle Huck back into the pack, Caroline helps me hoist it onto my back. Even though the pack itself weighs less than 9 lbs, it helps to have a friend put it on when you have slippery skis on your feet. Huck giggles when I bend over to buckle my boots—I like not having to worry about him moving around with the harness holding him in place.
I’d be lying if I said it didn’t take real effort to haul a child up a mountain. I sweat more. My legs burn more. And my lungs work harder. That being said, my shoulders and back to do not suffer significantly more. The AG Poco Premium pack volleys between me (5’9), my broad shouldered boyfriend (6’4), and my petite best friend (5’2). It takes a moment to adjust the pack, and none of us have suffered from discomfort. The AG system keeps the form of the pack against my back to stabilize and balance the weight, and the mesh webbing keeps the pack dry even when you’re sweating—a great feature when you’re passing it back and forth during a climb. Yes, carrying Huck is work, but it’s not a sufferfest.
Since that first skiing adventure, my Osprey AG Poco Premium has come on backcountry trips across the Wasatch, backpacking adventures in the desert and across Alaska, casual walks outside around the neighborhood, on a weekend-long winter hut trip along the PCT, and on sunny/snowy/rainy hikes all over Utah. Safe to say, it’s a staple. True to Osprey standards, the quality of the material has proves durable. It’s been through extreme weather (and bodily explosions), to the tops of mountains, in the bottom of heavy gear piles, and even through baggage claim at the airport. I can think of no condition more extreme than that.