At the end of last year, searching for a new travel backpack I had 4 main criteria in my mind:
- a backpack should be the size of a carry on luggage or less,
- suitable for long distance walking and hiking,
- with a compartment for my laptop,
- and it should look good.
After some research it lead me to Osprey Farpoint 40. And so far I’m fully satisfied with my choice. It really is as good as I imagined it, when getting in touch with Osprey Europe to ask if I could get one backpack for a review. As I’m writing these lines it’s been already more than 2 months since I’m using Osprey Farpoint 40 backpack. For the last 2 months I used this backpack almost daily. When hitchhiking in Thailand, traveling overland from Bangkok to Singapore, and then back to Kuala Lumpur, and also during my 2 week Annapurna Circuit hiking adventure in Nepal.
We all need much less than we think we need. That’s one of the things that I have understood during the last 4 + years of traveling and living abroad. It’s not just possible to live with less possessions and to travel (for most of the time) with one bag only, it can also be enjoyable. What else it means for me is that nowadays I pay more attention to the quality of all the products I have.
I feel much better now, having one quality backpack, which I can use for all of my trips, than several “OK” ones.
Osprey Farpoint 40 Technical Details:
Size: 40 liter (S/M and M/L)
Dimensions: 14 x 21 x 15” (35 x 54 x 37 cm)
Weight: 3 lbs (1.44 kg)
Material: 210D Nylon
Laptop compartment: Yes
Front loading backpack: Yes
Available colors: Jasper Red, Carribean Blue, Volcanic Grey
What I Like About Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack?
In short – as I already mentioned, this backpack turned out to be as good as I was thinking it will be, when still only reading other people’s reviews online. In fact I had read about it so much, that, when the backpack was delivered to me, I immediately felt about it like – yeah, this backpack is for me. Well, and its size turned out to be a really good for me as well. Even perfect, I would say.
I really don’t like bulky looking backpacks. So I was a bit worried, if this one will not be too big by my standards. My previous backpack was 1/3 smaller. But now I wanted something that’s big enough also for not too serious hiking trips.
As you can see from a picture above Osprey Farpoint 40 doesn’t look bulky.
Yes, there are some drawbacks as well, but they are minor. And I’ll talk about them, too.
1. It Looks Good
This backpack’s design is simple, even minimalistic, I would say. There aren’t too many straps and attachment points. And even zippers of main compartments aren’t visible once you close the backpack. Osprey Farpoint 40 is a backpack suitable for hiking, but it doesn’t look like a hiking backpack. Far from that. And I like it.
Because with an ordinary hiking backpack you clearly stand out in the city. Oh, here is a tourist coming! But with a bag like this one you could easily be on your way to university, office or maybe… you are tourist on the way to the train station. There are many possibilities.
2. It’s a Very Comfortable Backpack for Carrying Around
I’m used to travel light. Since 2012 I have been traveling with a maximum of 10-12 kilos / 22 – 26 pounds of luggage. But even then, when your backpack weights less than 10 kilos / 22 pounds, after few hours of walking you can start to feel it, your shoulders start to feel it.
Wide and padded shoulder straps, wide hip belt and lightwood frame of this backpack seem to be doing a really good job – because the load feels lighter than it actually is. During my latest hiking trip in Nepal my backpack weighted around 10 kilos / 22 pounds, but I felt just so comfortable with it. I know for some of you 10 kilos will sound like nothing. Actually, the number doesn’t really matter. What matters is that having the same load now I felt much better than with my previous backpack.
For most of the time, while hiking, I would tighten the hip belt (and adjust shoulder straps accordingly) to transfer the weight from harness to hip belt. While walking in cities I rarely use hip belt at all. Unless I’m walking a lot.
3. It’s Spacious
Which is good and not so good at the same time. Let me explain why!
There are 2 compartments + 1 pocket. And one of the compartments is much bigger than the another. It’s really big. Second one, in the front of the backpack, is there for your laptop and maybe a tablet or a Kindle. So, unless you are traveling without your gadgets, all of your stuff most probably will be in the main compartment.
If I wouldn’t have a big packing cube for all of my clothing and electronics organizer for the cables and stuff, then it might be not so easy to look through all of my belongings. Even though this backpack has a panel load access, which means you can open it the same way like a suitcase. But, yeah, I have my compression packing cube for all the clothing, and electronics organizer, there is not too much stuff in my bag, and so I’m good with that.
Here I must also admit, that I’m not sure if having, for example, 2 similar size compartments would make things much better. If it would make it better at all.
Anyway, buying this kind of backpack, better think about getting some packing cubes as well. They will make your life so much easier. Or you can do like I was doing for years – put all of your clothes in one or few plastic bags. This way organization of your stuff will not be such a big hassle.
Speaking about how roomy is this backpack – in this article you see 3 photos of me in Nepal; and in all of these situations my bulky sleeping bag was inside the backpack as well.
4. It Can Be Used in Different Ways
You can use it like a backpack. Or like a duffel bag (there is a removable shoulder strap). But when you are traveling on a bus or when you want to check it in for the flight, you can hide its hip belt and shoulder straps using special, “built in” cover. After this transformation, which takes just a minute or so, it doesn’t look like backpack anymore.
What I Don’t Like About Osprey Farpoint 40?
Maybe (but just maybe) having 2 similar size compartments would make organization of ones belongings easier. Otherwise there is basically only one compartment for everything.
But, as I said, it isn’t a problem, when you have packing cubes. And with packing cubes not only you can organize everything better. You can also pack more in the same space and/or pack it more easily. Because, really, packing cubes are very useful.
There are 2 mesh pockets in the front of the backpack. I have 2 water bottles, which I had been putting in these pockets. However, if your backpack is full, then because of the way these pockets are made it’s not that easy to put the bottles in. Having these on the side of the backpack would make things easier.
Is Osprey Farpoint 40 the Best Travel Backpack Available?
Not for everyone. Because we all travel for different reasons and our needs differ.
But for me it definitively is one of the best travel backpacks available right now. I’m traveling frequently and with carry on luggage only, but otherwise my travel style differs quite a lot. One day I might be walking around in Paris, but on the other day I could be already hiking in Himalayas. Having one backpack, which could serve me in all these different conditions, was the ultimate goal for me, when looking for a new backpack.
And right now I’m fully satisfied owner of Osprey Farpoint 40. It’s not for nothing that I have been saying, that Osprey Farpoint 40 is one backpack for everything.
Looking for a new travel backpack check out our guide – The Best Carry On Backpacks of 2017: Choosing the Best Travel Backpack
Disclosure: Although Osprey Farpoint 40 bag was sponsored by Osprey Europe, my opinions shared are my own. At the moment of writing this article I had used this backpack daily for a little bit more than 2 months.
Author: Kaspars Misins
Kaspars is a long term traveler and a travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On We Are From Latvia they share their experience and things learned along the way.