Gear Guide 2012: Osprey Poco Plus Kid Carrier

Haul your little one in this lightweight and customizable backpack kid carrier.

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This pack is lighter and more customizable than most child haulers, and both parents and tots were fans. “The higher seat placement gives my 1-year-old an unobstructed view,” says one tester. “And resizing the torso length* (15 to 22.5 inches) and hipbelt is superfast, so it’s easy for my husband and I to trade Sherpa duty.”

The Poco borrows the same light yet supportive suspension used in Osprey’s Atmos backpacks (see page 42). It’s rated for loads (kid and gear) up to 48.5 pounds, and testers shouldered that comfortably. The child compartment adjusts in height and girth, and stirrups reduce kids’ tendency to kick dad in the kidney. Bonus: Ventilation is excellent; a climb in intense Colorado sun didn’t steam our tester’s back. $259; 5 lbs. 13 oz.;

*Torso Length: The key measurement to determine the best pack size for your body type.