Top positive review
Why I chose this pack over the Deuter, Kelty and Phil and Ted packs...
Reviewed in the United States on June 11, 2017
I will start by saying that I initially purchased the Phil and Ted Escape based on Baby Gear Lab (BGL) naming it their Editor's Choice... and it was the first time BGL lead me astray. I don't think their editor has hiked a day in their life, because that pack was miserable, and if you would like to know why, check out my review on that pack.
Onto this pack...
WHY THIS PACK OVER THE POCO AG PREMIUM OR PLUS (other than price tag)?
I needed a backpack for long day hikes, but while I love hiking I have no intention of backpacking. Accordingly, my storage needs were limited to a maximum eight hour span, and the level of storage on these other packs seemed a bit overkill for my purposes. While the larger hip pockets on those models would be nice (the mesh ones on the Poco AG barely fit my iPhone 7+, but it stays put), it did not seem worth the money to me as there are still ample pockets and storage space on this pack. It holds several diapers, wipes case, bottles, snacks, changing pad, sunscreen, extra clothes, blanket, etc. with room to spare.
WHY THIS PACK OVER THE KELTY JUNCTION 2.0?
The Kelty Junction 2.0 is the price equivalent of the Poco AG. I chose the Poco over the Kelty because of the foot stirrups, included attached sunshade, and hydration reservoir. These are all absolute essentials in my opinion. Hiking with a baby requires remembering enough things without having to remember to pack the sunshade. The foot stirrups are important for bigger kids to ensure proper circulation in their legs, and the hydration reservoir speaks for itself!
WHY THIS PACK OVER THE DEUTER KID COMFORT 2?
The Deuter came much closer than the Kelty, which honestly wasn't even a real contender. The deciding factor on this one was again the lack of included and attached sunshade. I didn't want to have to pay $30 extra for a sunshade and have to remember to pack it also.
COMFORT OF THE PACK (ADULT)
This pack is exceedingly comfortable and easily and highly adjustable. This pack is comfortable for both my husband (6'4" 200lbs) and myself (5'8" 135lbs). If the pack is not comfortable, I highly recommend watching the videos on YouTube for guidance on how to fit an Osprey pack. I thought because of my height I would be medium size, but I actually have a very short torso and needed the small adjustment. So keep in mind that a comfortable fit is dependent on torso length, not height. The padded portions of the pack (hips and shoulders) are a bit stiff out of the box but soften up very nicely with use, while still being very cushiony.
COMFORT OF THE PACK (BABY)
My nine month old daughter LOVES this pack. She gets excited when she sees it, goes in happy, and takes great naps. Plus it's very soft and secure. The fabrics in the child "cockpit" are all very soft and durable. There are toy hooks on both sides of the child cockpit which is a great feature, and the drool pad is removable and machine washable, not to mention plush. My daughter preferred this child cockpit to all the other packs, and for me that speaks volumes.
Love this pack!