The nuclear option

I was hoping things wouldn’t have to go this far, but as I discussed here sorting out carry options for baby and multiday gear has not been simple.  Putting this pack on the back of the Poco AG has worked well, but it’s short on space, and relies on the Poco belt, which is good, but not Seek Outside good.  Those thing being the case, there was only one option left.


That is the Divide, with a UL frame and extensions cut to 25.25″, which gives me just enough shoulder lift when I run the belt in the lower position, and is also right about as tall as the Poco frame.

Thankfully the rigging is both solid and simple to arrange.  Two straps tied to the bottom of the Poco frame cinch around the Divide frame, then the whole thing is compressed with straps running between the Poco load lifter buckles and the top strap buckles on the Divide.  These four straps get lots of tension.  Secondary stability and anchoring is had via hooking the upper compression straps into a webbing strap I looped through the buckles which secure the Poco’s drool pad.

Meredith will carry all the day-access stuff in her pack, and we should be all set.  Load geometry is, to put it mildly, less than ideal, but the Divide suspension is good enough, and I’m trained enough, that I can manage, though I have to hunchback it a fair bit.  My core is not yet strong enough to stand upright with a load cantilevered out so far.  With me carrying this rig, and M with a heavier than usual load her in normal pack, we’ll both be plenty tired well short of 20 miles a day, and more than ready to give Little Bear plenty of squirm breaks along the way.

5 responses to “The nuclear option”

  1. Had an MRI last week and just about swinging 25 extra lbs that far off my back hurt! Extra credit for ingenuity though.

    1. …just *thinking* about… Silly tiny phone keyboards.

  2. Look at that little tyke already scheming trips into the Bob! It’s s pretty good setup to keep use of the nice seek outside suspension. Would load lifters to the red buckles help/cause too much squish on the little one?

    1. It wouldn’t add much stability. After more testing yesterday I will go to the Revolution frame at 28 inches, for more lift and avoiding back poke when you compress the hell out it.

  3. Reader comment which came via BPL PM* due to login** issues:

    “I can’t log in to reply to your blog posts. I wanted to comment on the nuclear option. Could you send the poco or a cheaper version to your friends at seek outside and have them remove the frame and excess and mount to their frame? Then see if they could make side bags to hold the gear you need. They could mount beside little bear.”

    It’d be tough to reverse engineer the Poco. The construction, and the way the suspension and kid-supporting elements interact (both harder alu bits and all the tensioned mesh and foam) is really complex and impressively done. In theory you can take the frame out, but I resisted the temptation given how hard it would have been to get the thing back in. Last night I strapped the Poco straight to my Seek Outside Revolution frame (at 28″ height), which worked really well. The system I have currently needs a little bit of work to be totally secure without cargo, but it does point out the superiority of the Seek Outside suspension. But the Poco suspension isn’t so bad that I’m ready to cut the belt and harness off.

    Adding side pockets was my original plan, but is problematic for two reasons. First it gets super, super wide, and second it’s hard to have decent cargo room without getting in the way of the babies feet, and making the (excellent) Osprey rain cover hard to use. Said rain cover hooks to the hipbelt and actually covers their feet, which is awesome.

    * Back in the day I disabled my BPL PMs as (I assume) the ease of use led me to be flooded with very casually put together trip planning and gear questions. It’s not like I’m inundated with emails as is, but I try to give folks good responses, and lazy questions drive me nuts.

    ** A few years ago I upped the comment requirements so fight spam and unconstructive commentors, which has worked quite well. Sorry if this gives a few honest folks fits now and again.

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