Back then, Osprey didn’t offer any child carriers. If they had, I probably would have had a much more difficult time deciding.
Osprey Packs, like Deuter, are well known for offering some of the best backpacking gear money can buy, and now that they offer three different child carriers, Deuter now has some serious competition.
Because there are three models in each series, I decided to compare the middle two. The Deuter Kid Comfort II and the Osprey Poco Plus. This is what I found.
UPDATE (2018): Updated version called the Osprey Poco Plus AG. Additional features include, the new AG (Anti-Gravity) suspension, extra storage, and the new double halo harness. For more information, read Osprey Poco AG Series – What’s New.
Deuter Kid Comfort II Vs. Osprey Poco Plus – Similarities:
- Both offer a maximum weight capacity of 48.5 pounds. This includes the pack, extra gear, and your child.
- Both weigh about 6 lbs 10 oz, give or take a few ounces.
- Both offer kickstands for stability.
- Padded grab handles for a balanced lift.
- Fully padded cockpit with adjustable seats and adjustable child safety harnesses.
- Removable, and washable chin pads, aka drool pads.
- Compression straps – These allow you to expand or compress the size of the cockpit based on the size of your child.
- Torso-length adjusters.
- Convenient storage pockets on the waist belt.
- Molded foam shoulder straps and adjustable sternum straps.
Deuter Kid Comfort II Advantages:
Vari-Flex Waist Belt – This is an ingenious design. The waist belt actually pivots in the center, and the hip fins on each side move with your body. So instead of walking around with a stiff pack attached to you, the Deuter Kid Comfort II moves with your body. This is extremely comfortable, especially on the long haul.
Air-Contact Back Panel – So basically, the back panel is padded, lined with 3D mesh material, and it has a bunch of channels that allow air to flow in and out. It’s pretty neat. It also keeps you cool and comfortable.
Seat Depth – Although both seats are height adjustable, I find that the Deuter Kid Comfort II offers a tad bit more seat depth, which can be good and bad. A few a reviewers complained about it being too deep for their 6 month old. Personally, I liked the fact that it was deep. There seems to be more back support, and more room for growth. Overall, the cockpit and seat on the Deuter is more roomy than the Osprey Poco Plus.
Osprey Poco Plus Advantages:
Fit-On-The-Fly Hip Belt – Although this hip belt doesn’t pivot like Deuter’s Vari-Flex waist belt, it’s still pretty neat. On each side you’ll find retractable padding that extends up to 3 inches. This allows for a perfect fit, as well as excellent load transfer.
Built-In Sunshade – You have to purchase the Deuter Sunshade separately, whereas you get a built-in sunshade that deploys instantly with the Osprey Poco Plus.
Foot Stirrups – This is probably my favorite feature. On each side of the cockpit you will find adjustable foot stirrups. They are designed to offer your child more support in the seated position. More support of course means more comfort for longer periods of time.
3D Tensioned Mesh Back Panel – This feature is kind of hard to explain. Basically, you have this separate overlay of mesh that contours to your back. Then you have empty space between the mesh material and the back panel. This space allows for better airflow and ventilation.
Easy-To-Use Child Safety Harness – With the Deuter Kid Comfort II, you have to dig down and buckle everything in at the naval. With the Osprey Poco Plus the only buckles you have to worry about are at the top of the shoulders. Huge convenience!
More Storage – The Deuter Kid Comfort II only offers 1100 cubic inches of storage, whereas the Osprey Poco Plus offer 1404 cubic inches. That’s quite a bit more space. Plus, you also have the option of adding on a Daylight Daypack for additional storage if needed.
I personally love my Deuter Kid Comfort II, and I have no regrets about purchasing it. However, if the Osprey Poco Plus had been available, I may have gone that route instead. The reason being that I absolutely love the foot stirrups! The additional support for my daughters legs would be nice, especially when we’re going a long distance. I also like the fact that the sunshade comes with it, and stores in its own zippered pocket. I purchased my sunshade for the Deuter Kid Comfort II separately, and it works great, but it would be nice if I could store it on the pack while not in use. I also love how simple the child safety harness is on the Osprey Poco Plus. Not having to dig down is a huge plus.
Now, there are also a few things about the Deuter Kid Comfort II that I just don’t think I could have lived without. For instance, the side-entry feature. I LOVE THIS! My daughter truly can load herself. I also would have missed the Vari-Flex hip belt. It is extremely comfortable, and it’s amazing how well it transfers the weight to your hips. Every time someone watches me load my daughter onto my back they always ask, “Isn’t that a little heavy for you?” No, it’s not! Yes it’s a little cumbersome getting the pack on, especially when there isn’t a table in sight, but once it’s on, I’m good to go! My daughter weighs about 29 pounds, so I’m actually hauling around about 40 pounds, and believe it or not, it’s comfortable.
In the end, if I were in your shoes trying to make a decision between the two, I’d probably go to an outlet first and try each one on. You may find that one feels more comfortable than the other. Make sure you bring the little one and get their opinion too. If both feel equally comfortable, then see which one’s cheaper and go from there.
At the time of writing this, Amazon had the best deal on both.
Deuter Kid Comfort II at Amazon for $245.26.
Osprey Poco Plus at Amazon for $275.00.
If you want more buying options, check out the full reviews listed below.
Best Child Carriers for Hiking – This list includes some of the best backpack child carriers designed specifically for going the distance.
Types of Backpack Child Carriers – Not sure what you’re looking for? Let me explain the difference between basic, full-featured, and deluxe.