If there’s one thing I have learned about packing in all my travels, it’s that everything should fit in one bag. With the Osprey Farpoint 40, I’ve found that I’m able to pack everything I need without looking like I’m carrying everything I own on my back. Below are seven reasons it’s the perfect travel bag for me—keep reading to find out if it’s the perfect bag for you.

1) The Size is Just Right for Travel-Sized Travelers

At 5′ 2″ and roughly 115lbs, I’m quite a petite person and it’s just not practical for me to have an enormous pack if I can’t even carry it properly. I’ve owned other backpacks that visually looked like they overpowered me and physically made me feel like I was hunched over as I was walking. When you try on a backpack and look in the mirror, it should not only feel comfortable but should look comfortable for your body size as well. This pack is the first one I’ve owned that felt just right for my body type, so the small size is the number one reason I love this pack.

With my bag on a travel day in Istanbul. We walked from the hotel to the ferry to the metro to a bus to the airport!
With my Osprey Farpoint 40 in Istanbul, Turkey. I’m 5’2″ and this is the first backpack I’ve owned that didn’t make me feel like a child trying to carry a giant’s backpack. This one fits me just right and I can walk without feeling hunched over!
2) A Surprising Amount of Space
I took a three-week trip to Israel, Palestine and Jordan with this bag packed full of heavy winter clothes and still had room to bring souvenirs home! The compartments make it easy for me to determine how to pack. I use Eagle Creek packing cubes for my clothes in the main compartment, and use the secondary compartment for electronics, books and miscellaneous stuff.

Everything I took on a three week winter trip (clothes are in the packing cubes).
I mean, look at all the stuff I fit in this bag! This is everything I took on a three week winter trip to Israel, Palestine and Jordan. Plus, I still had room to bring souvenirs home.
3) Suitcase Style Opening and Interior Frame Backpack
It’s the best of both worlds. The suitcase-style opening makes packing and unpacking SO much easier than a top-loading pack. Need something quickly and you can fully-open the main compartment for super easy access. But the suspension is built like a top-loading backpack that makes it super comfortable on your back.

Best of both—suitcase and backpack.
Best of both—suitcase and backpack in one.
4) Laptop Protection
The built-in padded laptop sleeve keeps my Apple Retina Macbook laptop sandwiched right in the middle of all my stuff. Plus, all the zippers on the bag are lockable.

5) Minimal Exterior Clutter
Packs that have straps hanging out everywhere are annoying and an eyesore. I really appreciate Osprey’s thoughtful design that keeps their bags looking clean and minimal with little details like zipper covers. As you saw in the photo above, if I need to check it at the airport instead of carrying on, I can zip up the backpack straps easily.

Zippers can all be tucked away.
Zippers can all be tucked away.
6) Carry-On Size
The measurements are: 20″ x 13″ x 9″  so it fits most airlines carry-on standards. Coming home from Palestine I brought back a bottle of olive oil so I had to check my bag then, but again, not a problem as I was able to zip up the straps for easy check-in.

My bag in the American Airlines carry-on check.
My bag in the United Airlines carry-on standard with room to spare.
7) Padded Handles and Hip Belt
The thick padded hip belt secures it to your body and takes the weight off your shoulders, which makes it very comfortable for walking. When I do zip up the backpack straps, I still have the padded top and side handles to carry it around without tearing into my hand. There’s also a removable shoulder strap, which came in handy at the airport.

Easily converts from hand luggage to backpack.
Easily converts from hand luggage to backpack.
Potential Negatives (and Why They're Not)
Honestly, I haven’t found anything wrong with this bag for myself. Here’s some things to consider that might make this bag the wrong choice for you, though:

No detachable daypack? I’m the type that travels with a tiny purse as my day bag because nothing screams “I’m a tourist” like carrying a daypack around all day. Plus, I’m nervous about theft with a backpack on my back and I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing it on my front. So I only take a packable day pack if we’re planning on hiking. BUT if you’re a day pack person, you can get the Osprey Farpoint 55 which is a 40L bag with a detachable 15L daypack. Just keep in mind that the main bag is a different design from the Farpoint 40 with just one big compartment. So if you were taking a short trip and didn’t want the daypack, you would only have one big compartment with no laptop sleeve or anything. Plus, the laptop sleeve in that daypack is not padded and the zipper can’t be locked.

Not enough room? Okay, so you’re a small girl like myself but you like to pack a lot of stuff and you don’t think this bag has enough room. Here’s my advice for you: learn how to pack lighter. There is nothing worse than struggling with your luggage in a difficult airport. I have even seen girls have someone else carry their bag for them because they can’t even carry it themselves. If you can’t carry your own bag, you’re doing it wrong. Pack lighter—you will love the way you feel.

Not enough exterior pockets? I read that some people feel there aren’t enough exterior pockets, but in my mind it’s more secure this way and means you need fewer locks! I will say that the water bottle mesh on the exterior doesn’t have a lot of give, so when my bag was full it was difficult to get a water bottle in there.

No wheels? Before this bag, I had the Osprey Sojourn (which has wheels) which I loved, so I was super apprehensive about getting a bag without wheels. However, not having the wheels and handle saves a ton of weight! So carrying my bag through airports with the shoulder or hand strap was no longer an issue since the weight is so much lighter.

Not a petite person? This bag comes in two sizes: S/M and M/L! So if you like the size and features of the bag but need a little more shoulder space, the M/L should be a good fit.

Overall from my personal experience, I’ve found the Osprey Farpoint 40 to be a great travel backpack. Would I recommend it for hiking and camping? Probably not since I’m a big believer in the ONE bag policy and this wouldn’t fit a sleeping bag. Would I take it on a year-long round-the-world trip? That remains yet to be seen because I might not have room for all the souvenirs I would want to bring home. However, for basic traveling, whether a summery weekend or multi-week winter trip, I would highly recommend the Osprey Farpoint 40.

Thinking about an Osprey Farpoint 55 or 70 liter? Read this first:
Comparing the Osprey Farpoint 55 and 70 Liter Travel Backpacks


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Osprey Farpoint 40 Review | Penny Caravan

About The Author

Traveling as often as possible while also running a vintage shop from our home in Texas. Obsessed with ancient sites, Turkish carpets, and tacos.


  1. Super helpful post! How many packing cubes and what kind are you able to fit?

  2. Thank you so much for this info. I’ve been searching a long time for this kind of review because I’m a small guy and not able to test fit the bag in a store. Thank you and all the best.

  3. Hi iylana,

    Sorry if you mentioned this already but did you get the S/M size or the M/L? I am the same height as you so thinking I will need the same size one..thank you so much for the helpful review 🙂

  4. Thanks for such a comprehensive post! I’m currently looking at buying it for a 3 month trip around SE Asia, and after looking at it in the store, worried it was going to be too small. But it seems you (and other people) seem to mange quite well!

    • Wow 3 months might be hard! But as long as you’re not packing anything too bulky, it should be doable. If you think you’re going to want a little more room for stuff you might pick up along the way, I might suggest the Farpoint 55. Have a great trip!!

  5. Hey! Thanks for the great review . . im about to do 12 months from Argentina to Cuba overland and its so hard to choose a bag! Do you think i’d struggle? I will have a day bag too . . i just really don’t want to bring heaps of things that i won’t use yet im conscious of 38L being a really small amount of space when you consider trek shoes, winter jackets etc. Thank you so much for any advice.. #WorriedPacker 🙂 X

    • Hi Leoni! That sounds like it will be an amazing trip! The Osprey packs are definitely a great recommendation. Whether or not it will work for you depends just on how much stuff you’ll be packing. Iylana was able to make it work well for our three week trip to Turkey, Israel, and Jordan, which involved packing a lot of warmer, bulkier clothes. However if you intend on tacking a day pack you may look at the Osprey Farpoint 55L or 70L which includes the detachable daypack. I use the 70L and it has plenty of room for all the clothes I’d need to pack for just about any trip as well as room for the camera gear I carry. The 55 offers you 40L of space in the main pack and an additional 15L in the detachable daypack. Hope that helps! Let us know which one you choose and where we can follow your awesome adventure!

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