This post reviews the characteristics of the Osprey Farpoint 40-liter backpack for carry-on travel. The opinions are my own.
I never get tired of recommending the Osprey Farpoint 40L, and after over 4 years of heavy use, I thought an update on this little monster was a must. People still ask me why I like it so much, why is this the best backpack. Here is my personal review of this value-for-money backpack, the Osprey Farpoint 40 (M/L). After long years of heavy use in planes as a carry-on, on ferries for island-hopping, in car rides on the island, and more, I’ve not even once regretted this purchase. This is an update of my Osprey Farpoint 40 liters backpack review, my favorite travel bag, and travel mate!
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Are Osprey backpacks the best backpacks?
Osprey: My favorite travel backpack
Osprey 60 litres, why is this the best backpack? First of all, let’s take a look at the general specifications for the Osprey Farpoint 40:
Osprey Farpoint 40 (M/L) (mine is in Blue Lagoon color, I’ve seen it in coal-black as well as in red)
- EU carry-on dimensions
- Size: 21″ x 13″ x 8″ / 55 x 35 x 20 cm
- Weight: 2 lbs, 12 oz / 1.32 kg
- Material: 210 x 330 D Shadow Box Nylon
- Warranty: All Mighty Guarantee
- Linear Inches: 42″ (106 cm)
- Liters: 40 (but if you manage to load is wisely, it will definitely fit a lot more)
Every one of the specifications above can more or less answer that question. It’s the best backpack because it’s small, light, and it comes with an amazing guarantee that I personally tested once.
All in all, I’m a carry-on-only kind of traveler, as a matter of fact, the more I travel with just a backpack, the more I love this travel philosophy. No hustle, no worries. I even traveled carry-on-only for over 20 days in Southeast Asia. All the family did, and it was a breeze to trains, boats and even for storage in stations.
However, when it comes to business-related trips or fairs and exhibitions around Europe, I also like to carry my tiny 18″ Aerolite trolley which barely weighs two pounds (900 grams).
A little bag I adore, also perfect for a weekend away or two weeks holidays when used together with packing cubes. I got two of them!
However… why backpacks?
For our trip to Thailand with the kids, we had figured that backpacks would have been far more comfortable, it was going to be easier to grab the kids’ hands and still have the ability to move easily.
They proved to be the best idea in Southeast Asia, they gave the option of flexibility, of changing our minds as far as public transport is concerned, without putting much thought into it.
After reading tons of reviews, watching videos of people packing and unpacking, after even connecting with other travelers, we made up our minds.
The Farpoint seemed to be the best option for me, my partner chose the Osprey Porter 46. Being rather tall, I bought the bigger version (M/L) of the smallest (40 L) of the Farpoint series: The Osprey Farpoint 40 Litres.
I first tested it on the road back in 2015, during a 4-day trip to Prague. The trip proved educational since I learned a few things: The most important one is that this pack is wonderful.
I did find some downsides but believe me, they were mostly my fault. Read on!
What I love about the Osprey Farpoint 40
Many things were important for comfort on the road, here is what I’ve found:
- Being able to zip the back panel and stow away the shoulder straps (super padded, by the way), the waist belt and sternum strap to also use it as a holdall with the extra shoulder strap If I got tired.
- On a trip to London a few years after, I lost the shoulder strap (the only time I put this bag on hold! It was so full that it got too heavy for carrying on. I was so tired that I didn’t realize I had left the extra strap on the Airline counter! Here’s where the magic guarantee came in handy, I got a new strap in less than a week).
- For my personal travel style (messy despite cubes for organization), front-loading backpacks are better than top-loading ones. They are similar to packing a traditional suitcase. If you need something in a rush, you find it in no time (again, despite being rather disorganized, this never fails).
- The top little pocket is ideal either to have passports at hand during controls or the bag for liquids, you choose (I choose to carry liquids and home keys attached to the key holder. Sometimes I add my phone too).
- My favorite: The top front pocket, in my case I carry a notebook, and iPad, passports, and travel documents. The fact that the quantity of pockets is limited helps me find things. I hate to go from one pocket to the other never finding what I need.
More things that I like about the Osprey Farpoint
Back in 2015, one of the things that made me decide on this backpack was something my earlier backpack did not have: External compression straps, an extremely useful feature.
However, since external compression straps alone are not enough, I also love that the Farpoint combines them with an insanely good internal compression system.
- If you pack using cubes (I use a few Eagle Creek Specter, check at the end of the post to see which ones), it works wonders, if they are compression cubes, better!
- The material feels light though sturdy.
- Capacity is adequate for long-term travel.
- Zippers are lockable and their quality is very good. They are really smooth but strong.
- Both top and side handles are padded and very comfortable.
As of 2019, Osprey has changed the line a bit. They have transformed the Farpoint into a men’s backpack while the female version is now called Osprey Fairview.
I haven’t had the chance to see it in a shop yet, but they look rather similar to me as far as capacity and design are concerned.
Maybe there has been a change in straps structure, but I must say that the Farpoint is really comfy too.
Other details about the Farpoint backpack
Having a bag that you have registered online and knowing that no matter what, it has a lifetime warranty is a nice way to add some peace of mind to your trips. As I’ve said, my extra strap got lost and I got one back after just one e-mail.
One extra detail, back when I first tested this backpack, I thought Why don’t we give the kids a break? I’ll divide a load of their stuff with my partner.
Well, on one side that showed that both backpacks rock! They carried our clothes plus the kid’s stuff, electronics, liquids, and the kid’s stuff too. On the other side, it made it too heavy.
During that trip, I had also added a cross-body handbag. This meant that mom’s second bag also carried heavy stuff: games, magazines, Kindle, passports, point&shoot, chocolates, you name it.
Therefore, lesson learned: no more cross-bodies for me; unless it’s rolled inside the backpack and used exclusively at the destination.
After years using the Farpoint…
We’ve walked short and long distances carrying the backpack, we boarded planes, trains, buses and loads of boats in here in Greece. It’s always been comfortable.
When walking longer the hip belt eases a lot the weight (more than the sternum strap, to be honest).
One point to consider, if you have to walk long distances, and have already passed the security controls at the airport, or do not have to go through them, do consider placing the laptop inside the main body of the backpack, instead of using its laptop compartment, it helps me to feel it less heavy.
I sent them a quick e-mail after losing my shoulder strap, which I really missed. To my surprise, their lifetime guarantee is a plus: They mailed me a new strap in less than a week and at no cost whatsoever. In conclusion, do you still need me to say more about why this backpack is awesome?
All in all, I’d give this bag 5 stars out of 5… and yes I still recommend it.
And yes, I’d totally buy it again. Oh yes!
Feature list Osprey Farpoint 40L
- Reverse mesh back-panel with spacer mesh harness/hip belt
- Padded laptop sleeve
- Sternum strap with emergency whistle
- StraightJacket™ compression
- Zip-away harness and hip belt
- An internal compression strap system
- Key attachment clip
- Inner mesh side pocket
- Internal organization pocket
- Panel zip access to the main compartment with lockable zipper
Other stuff we use for traveling
Besides my Osprey Farpoint 40, I sometimes also pack the Lowepro Passport Sling III Bag (with all my photo equipment – Nikon 5200, one 18-300 zoom lens, extra batteries, charger, sim cards, and loads of cables).
I also roll and pack inside the backpack the eBags Piazza crossbody which I also use here in Crete when I tour the city as a guide. Comfy, small, with tons of pockets, and ideal for anything!
The three of them are my staple pieces of luggage.
My partner uses an Osprey Packs Porter 30 Travel Backpack, Black, One Size (formerly called Porter 46) + LowePro Fastpack 350 for his photo equipment and laptop. He fits all his stuff in these two:
The kids are currently using these:
My 13 y/0 has changes the Cabin Max London for the Cabin Max Backpack 44 Litre (55x40x20 cm) since he has grown, he needs more space for bigger clothes and shoes and loads of electronics that he didn’t need when he was younger.
My 9 y/o has inherited the Cabin Max London (33 L). A backpack that – at different times – everyone in the family has used. They used to share it when trips were short as well because it was enough for the clothes of both kids.
For me, that’s one of the best packs Cabin Max has ever produced and it’s a pity that it’s not produced anymore!
When he was 6, instead, he enjoyed the Jack Wolfskin Berkeley a lot! Honestly, it would be great if they made it also for adults, the quality of Jack Wolfskin’s bags and backpacks is amazing!
Extras: Packing cubes and foldable backpacks
Other than those key pieces of luggage, we also take advantage of compression packing cubes whenever possible, as well as regular packing cubes if need be.
We also carry lightweight backpacks, foldable ones. These are the ones we never get tired of using:
- Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter™ set – Each of us packs two small cubes and two big cubes. Small ones are good for beachwear.
- Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter™ quarter – Each of us packs on compression quarter cube. Great for small items and underwear.
- Eagle Creek Pack-It Clinch Organizer™ – I use this in my carry on tote for chargers, cables, and other small stuff.
- Other packing cubes (Amazon ones are good, but a bit bulky) – We bought a set of four, one for each of us.
- Bago 25L Lightweight foldable backpack – We carry two of them for day trips. These are so comfortable and useful that I’ve written a review about them.
This post was originally written back in 2015. A long-time has gone by and the backpack still stands sturdy and comes with me as I travel the Greek islands. This article has been regularly updated since I got the Osprey. If you have questions regarding luggage, please leave them in the comments below.
- I was not paid nor I received any compensation, product, or incentive to write my review, nor I am a sponsor or an Osprey Ambassador.
- I bought the backpack myself (as well as the Piazza bag, the Lowepro bag and backpack, and the packing cubes). All the opinions, photos, and descriptions are my own honest ideas about it.
What’s your favorite piece of luggage?
Let me know in the comments below!
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