If you’re on the hunt for a full-featured backpack child carrier, you may be considering either the Osprey Poco Premium or the Kelty Pathfinder 3.0. Both backpack child carriers have quite a few similarities, however, there are a few key differences that set them apart.
- Maximum load weight of around 50 pounds
- Padded cockpit and seats with removable, washable chin pads, aka drool pads
- Height-adjustable child seats
- Detachable daypacks with removable changing pads
- Waist belt storage
- Padded, and contoured shoulder straps and waist belt
- Both weigh about 7 pounds 10 ounces
Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 Advantages:
- Auto-deploy kickstand – This kickstand deploys automatically when you loosen the shoulder straps, and collapses automatically when you tighten them.
- V-Bar Structured Cockpit – The V-Bar structured cockpit, also known as the roll cage, will protect your child from being squished. In other words, let’s say you fall down, the roll cage will keep the cockpit from collapsing.
- Torso-adjuster – Once again, both backpack child carriers offer torso height-adjusters, however the Kelty Pathfinder’s is quicker and easier to use. Simply unlock the pin, slide it up or down, and re-lock it.
- Sunshade – The sunshade is detachable and it offers more coverage than the Poco’s.
- Convenient Storage – I personally like the easy-access water bottle holder on the waist belt better than the cell phone pocket on the Poco Premiums shoulder strap. The cell phone pocket is a bit small, and doesn’t hold the newer, bigger phones very well. I suppose you could use it for other things, but I think that’s it’s main purpose. Also, the Pathfinder’s waist belt pockets seems bigger, and it’s a tad bit easier to access.
- Price – The Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 lists for about $20 dollars less than the Osprey Poco Premium.
Osprey Poco Premium Advantages:
- Dual Adjustable Foot Stirrups – These foot stirrups are pretty awesome. They are designed to offer you child more support in the seated position, keeping them comfortable for longer periods of time.
- Easy-to-use child safety harness – The harness is extremely easy to adjust and use. the only buckles or adjustments you need to worry about are over the shoulders, no digging necessary.
- Adjustable cockpit – You can adjust the size of the cockpit based on the size of your child.
- Fit-on-the-Fly Hip Belt – The padding on this hip belt is retractable. In other words, you can extend the padding up to 3 inches on each side!
- Integrated Sunshade – While the sunshade may not be as big as the Kelty Pathfinder’s, it’s more convenient. It stores in its own zippered pocket and deploys instantly when needed.
- 3D Tensioned Mesh Back Panel – The back panel offers a separate overlay of mesh, designed to provide better air-flow and a contoured fit.
- Lots of storage – The Osprey Poco Premium offers more storage, with 2075 cubic inches verses the Pathfinder’s 1300 cubic inches. The only problem is that the Poco Premium’s large under-seat storage compartment compresses when you close the kickstand, leaving you with less room. I’m not sure exactly how much storage you loose, but I don’t think it’s enough to give the Kelty Pathfinder the upper hand. It definitely has more little pockets here and there, like the one on the shoulder strap.
The Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 is probably the most convenient, with it’s auto-deploy kickstand, and torso-adjuster. The “Roll Cage” is also a huge benefit, especially if you’re planning on hiking places where there may be a fall risk. You can get the Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 at Backcountry.com for $223.96. Or, if you’re still undecided, check out the FULL Review for more information, including the pros and cons, and a video demonstration.
The Osprey Poco Premium is probably the most comfortable for longer hikes, especially for your child. The dual foot stirrups give them a place to rest their legs, or reposition themselves if necessary. Also, if there are a number of wearers of all different sizes, the Fit-on-the-Fly hip belt is a huge benefit. You can get the Osprey Poco Premium on Sale at Amazon for $243.96 in Blue, or read my FULL Review for more information.
Osprey Poco Child Carriers – There are three child carriers in this series, the Poco, the Poco Plus, and the Poco Premium. Let’s take a look at each design, and decide which one suits you best.
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