Comparing the Osprey Farpoint 55 and Farpoint 70 Travel Backpacks

shanefeatured, Gear116 Comments

I love my Osprey Sojourn convertible travel luggage. It’s been a faithful companion on many a trip. But lately I’ve decided that I want to travel lighter and go for a bag that’s carry-on-sized. After much searching I decided that the Osprey Farpoints have the feature set I was looking for: lightweight, roomy, potentially capable of being carried on, can be carried as a backpack with tuck away straps, and includes a detachable daypack.

Despite what their stock photos show, the Farpoint 70 (left) and the Farpoint 55 (right) both measure 25" (63cm) in height.

Despite what their stock photos show, the Farpoint 70 (left) and the Farpoint 55 (right) both measure 25″ (63cm) in height. ©Osprey

Initially, it seemed if I wanted to carry on the bag, then the Farpoint 55 would be my only option, but after some digging, I also saw that some folks had successfully carried on the Farpoint 70. I searched blog after blog and review after review and found lots of confusing and conflicting information on exactly how big these bags are and how they compare to each other. Even Osprey’s site had confusing information: it listed the Farpoint 55 with larger dimensions than the Farpoint 70! (They’ve since updated their website and cleared this up).

I decided the only way to really get to the bottom of this was to order both backpacks and check them out myself. If you’ve had any questions regarding these popular travel backpacks, hopefully this post will clear them up.

The Osprey Farpoint 55 (left) and the Farpoint 70 (right) with their daypacks. Empty, it's difficult to spot any difference in size between them.

The Osprey Farpoint 55 (left) and the Farpoint 70 (right) with their daypacks. Empty, it’s difficult to spot any difference in size between them.

When I first unpacked the backpacks and set them next to each other, I couldn’t notice any discernible difference. As mentioned earlier, there was lots of conflicting information about the actual dimensions of the packs. Ospreys updated website clears up the misinformation it had before. Without the daypack attached, the Farpoint 55 measures 25″ x 13″ x 12″ (64cm x 34cm x 30cm) and the Farpoint 70 measures 25″ x 14″ x 13″(64cm x 36cm x 32cm). This makes sense with how they look next to each other. They are the same height, and the extra inch on the width and depth of the Farpoint 70 isn’t noticeable unless it’s stuffed. The Farpoint 55 has a 40L main compartment and the Farpoint 70 has a 55L main compartment (the detachable daypack accounts for the other 15L for each bag).

Either Farpoint is more than capable of hauling enough clothing and gear for a two week+ adventure. The 55 is shown in the picture.

Either Farpoint is more than capable of hauling enough clothing and gear for a two week+ adventure. The 55 is shown in the picture.

The next step was to pack the bags and compare them to each other. I put together a packing list for what I might take on a two week trip, including extra shoes and a jacket to cover various climates. I used two large Eagle Creek packing cubes for shirts and pants/shorts. The Eagle Creek cubes are 14″ (35cm) in width which is perfect for both the Farpoint 55 and Farpoint 70. Other companies’ large cubes are 17″ or 18″ (43-45cm) which would require you to pack them vertically instead of horizontally, taking up more space (the tradeoff being they are able to hold more items in each cube). My socks and underwear went into the mesh pockets on the flap. I used dry sacks for my extra shoes and flip flops as well as my down jacket and rain jacket. My toiletries are packed in the Osprey Ultralight Zip organizer, and I also packed the Osprey Ultralight rain cover, just in case.. In the daypack I can fit my laptop, iPad, Osprey Powerhouse electronics accessory organizer with power cables and adapters, and my Nat Geo camera shoulder bag with Sony a7s camera and accessories.

The Farpoint 55 on the left, and the Farpoint 70 on the right. Both packed with the same stuff with a little room to spare. Hard to tell a difference.

The Farpoint 55 on the left, and the Farpoint 70 on the right. Both packed with the same stuff with a little room to spare. Hard to tell a difference.

In the Farpoint 55, I was able to fit everything I would need for an extended trip covering multiple climates and still had a little room to spare. Using the included straps, I compressed it all down and measured the bag: 25″ x 13″ x 10″(63cm x 33cm x 25cm). Next I packed everything into the Farpoint 70 and measured it: 25″ x 13″ x 10″(63cm x 33cm x 25cm). The same size. Since I didn’t have the Farpoint 55 stuffed to the gills, the Farpoint 70 also had plenty of room. The only fixed dimension is the height, due to the internal frame. That means if you don’t have the bags stuffed to the gills, you should be able to compress them both to the same size.

Measuring the Osprey Farpoint 55 (R) and the Farpoint 70 (L). When not stuffed, you can compress both packs to the same size, making it possible to potentially carryon the larger Farpoint 70.

Measuring the Osprey Farpoint 55 (left) and the Farpoint 70 (right). When not stuffed, you can compress both packs to the same size, making it possible to potentially carryon the larger Farpoint 70.

For me that is great, and exactly the kind of information I was hoping to find when I ordered both bags to compare. That means I can opt for the larger Farpoint 70 but still compress it down to a carry-on size while having some extra room just in case. Most people indicate they’ve never had a problem carrying on the Farpoint 55 even on some of the strictest budget airlines like Ryanair, so the same should be true of the Farpoint 70 when not stuffed. If I end up bringing back more souvenirs than expected, the extra capacity will come in handy, and I can check it if need be.

The Osprey Farpoint 55 (L) and the Osprey Farpoint 70 (R) next to each other..

The Osprey Farpoint 55 (left) and the Osprey Farpoint 70 (right) next to each other. You can see the Farpoint 70 isn’t as stretched out, offering you more potential room, but can be compressed to the same size as the Farpoint 55 if it’s not stuffed.

It should be noted, however, that it is very hard to find this extra 15L of space between the two bags. Again, we are talking one more inch in depth and width. That means really having to cram stuff into every nook and cranny of the bag to maximize space. Comparing to the Sojourn series, it’s very easy to spot the 20L difference when the 80L 28″ Sojourn is next to the 60L 25″ Sojourn, due to the reinforced walls of the Sojourns.

In conclusion, I’ve decided to go with the Farpoint 70. I like that the lightweight material means I can compress the bag down in size to something I should be able to carry on in most situations, while still having the ability to fit more stuff should the particular trip demand it, or if I pick some stuff up along the way. However, you might find the Farpoint 55 to be right for you, especially if you live by the maxim “If you have more space, you’ll pack more stuff.” For me, this isn’t necessarily true; I just like having the extra space for flexibility and for my bag to not feel crammed.

I hope this post helped clear up some questions you might have had about these great travel backpacks. If not, please comment below and I’d be glad to help any way I can! Or if you have questions about the Osprey Farpoint 40, check out Iylana’s post on why it’s perfect for petite-sized travelers.

FOLLOW UP: I took my Farpoint 70 on our three week trip to Turkey, Israel and Jordan and had no trouble carrying it onto planes. The only time I had to check it was flying Pegasus Airlines from Istanbul to Tel Aviv, due to it being overweight, not oversized (8kg limit). See the picture below, where the bag is able to fit inside United Airlines bag sizer for carryon luggage.

The Osprey Farpoint 70 was able to fit inside United Airlines bag checker with the daypack removed.

116 Comments on “Comparing the Osprey Farpoint 55 and Farpoint 70 Travel Backpacks”

  1. Thank gosh someone finally did this!!!
    I was struggling with the differences and I spotted a youtube video that kinda explained the differences in size but not NEARLY as exact and beautifully detailed. I just purchased the 70 version from moosejaw ( as they are having a killer fall sale (20% off 1 item) for the 55v ($143) or clearance for the 70l version ($150). At that price point, I couldn’t argue with the little bit (literally inches) of extra space.

    Awesome clarification done here.
    I can now stop researching the hell outta this!!

  2. very helpful info as my hubby & i couldnt decide
    Was yours the S/M or the larger? The website shows the 50L & 70L break down into two others sizes

    1. Hi Sandra, I got the M/L, as I am 6’1″. The S/M size is for around 5’7″ or so and under. Iylana is 5’2″ and the S/M fit her well.

      1. The sizing is based on torso length. Your height has very little to do with it. When your torso length is around 18, you can pretty much fit either one. When it’s longer, you have to start looking into M/L for the correct back support and waist strap location.
        This generalization may not help(there are always exceptions in body types), but a caucasian women would probably need to be over 6’3″ to have a torso that long while caucasian male might just need 6’1 or 6’2″. Asian men, on the other hand might need a M/L at 5’10”?
        The only sure thing is to measure torso length. Get it done right will save you some back pain:)
        Of course, if you are 5’2″ my money is on not having 18+” torso even if you have super short legs!

  3. Thank you! This is exactly the kind of detail I was looking for when deciding between the 55 and the 70 🙂 Decided to go for the 70 even though it’s only a tiny increase in space because we’re going traveling for so long, and it can be packed down if we aren’t utilizing every Litre of space.

  4. Thanks for the review! Amazon has the occasional sale for the Farpoint 70 at $120. Is this a good deal?

  5. Were you able to carry it on Ryan Air as a carry-on? Even the Osprey Farpoint 50’s dimensions are too big. Have you traveled on Ryan Air with your Farpoint 70. It’s my first backpacking trip and I still choosing which backpack to buy.

    1. I personally haven’t used it on Ryan Air, but I have read stories where people have been able to. Probably just depends on who is working the counter that day and if they overlook it.

  6. Thaks for the review! Your review was exactly what I was looking for; looks like a lot of people had the same question, but only you gave the answer :D. Cheers from Uruguay.

  7. Hi Shane,

    Thank you very much from France for your review.
    I was looking for a RTW trip rucksack and my choice went to Osprey.
    Your review is the one I’ve been looking for a long time to get a final choice.
    Like Johnny, and for the same reasons, I ordered the 70; which seems to be a little bit more convenient.

    Thanks again.

  8. The Farpoint s companion pack is the best little pack of any in the review with a small hip belt and sternum strap. This pack is decked out with all the little features you d need in a small daypack.

  9. Thanks for the blog. It got me thinking and I realized Farpoint 70 is actually easier to get on board a plane than a farpoint 55 with the same amount of clothing inside. Since budget airlines have smaller and different dimension requirements, with a little room to manipulate the backpack helps you squeeze it into the guide box!
    I will also have the option of paying the blood sucking airline if I decide to buy more stuff abroad. At least I have that choice without getting a 3rd bag….which may complicate things.

  10. AH Mazing report! This is super helpful , I have been searching for the right bag after I quickly purchased my first one without any research and realized i probably shouldn’t have bought the one I did, AND the store went out of business and now i’m stuck with it! (its a great bag, however not ideal for trips longer than 10 days even if you are the lightest packer in the world…..its the Osprey Sirus 35 which the people at the store ((that is now out of business…i wonder why?)) did not inform me was not exactly a travel bag but was a hiking bag) Note to self….do more research! However, when I come across a post like this it really is all the research I need. I’ve been looking at this bag and wondering if the 70L was too big to carry on and this, as I said earlier was SUPER helpful! Gracias! 🙂

    1. 35 wow yeah, I wish I could pack that light! You could try to sell it on eBay? Glad we could be of help!

  11. Ah, I might…thats not a bad idea, although it is good for actual trekking or for short trips…i used it for india for 10 days and it was great. until i bought more souvenirs than anticipated…..the guy convinced me that the bigger one might not fit in the carry on situation if i packed it too full….it was bad advice all around! live and learn 🙂

  12. Thank you so much for your review!!
    I was condused to choose between 55L and 70L, but only you give the answer that I’m looking for.

    Cheers from Malaysia (^-^)

  13. great review and comparison!

    I am debating between the two bags myself with the idea of using one as a carry-on. This review has been highly informative.

    I just wanted to point out that both the 55L and the 70L options come in two sizes (S/M or M/L).

    Comparing a 55 L M/L to a 70L S/M sized bag shows that they are very similar in their dimensions with the 70L being a lot deeper (at least by my eye when I checked yesterday at a local store).

    Comparing the 55L M/L and a 70L M/L bags there is an obvious difference in size. The M/L 70L bag is an extra inch in all three dimensions (26H X 14W X 13D IN) vs the M/L 55L bag (25H X 13W X 12D IN).

    For reference from Osprey website as of 7/26/2016:

    55L S/M 24H X 13W X 12D IN
    55L M/L 25H X 13W X 12D IN
    70L S/M 24H X 13W X 13D IN
    70L M/L 26H X 14W X 13D IN

    The 70L M/L seemed a bit too large for carry-on in the store but I suppose if it isn’t stuffed fully it can be stuffed down?

    1. Thanks for your comment!

      Again, your mileage may vary on being able to check the 70L Farpoint, or even the 55L for that matter. The vertical dimension can’t be compressed any because of the internal frame. Its 25″ or 26″ which is longer than legal carryon size. However most airlines aren’t going to pull out their tape measure to verify. Perhaps some of the stricter budget airlines will. The only time I’ve had to check it was because it was overweight, not oversized. Hope that helps!

      1. Shane,

        Thank you SO MUCH for all of this!

        I am still debating between the 55L & 70L. I want a pack that I will (most likely) be able to take as a carry on to Europe next year (May 2018). I was told that due to things getting stricter with airlines to opt for the 55L. I was just curious what your thoughts were on this.

        I know I can fit all of my stuff in a 55L, but I would like the option of having some extra space to bring back souvenirs.

        Thank you for your help!!

        1. Hi Grant! Like the story says you can compress the 70L down to the same size as the 55L if it’s not overpacked. No matter what, the vertical dimension will still be 25″, which exceeds the carryon limit for most airlines. However, in practice they don’t really pull out a tape measure and measure it, and most likely you’d be able to squeeze it into a size checker if needed. But the reality is that most budget airlines are strict on weight more so than size, so it will mostly depend on how you pack. I haven’t flown European budget airlines recently, but in my recent trip to Asia I had to check my bag because of weight, not size. Check the airlines you are flying on to see their weight limits. Little tip: put your heavy stuff like laptop and camera in the detachable day bag and have that on your back when checking in. Although they say the weight limit is for all combined bags they typically don’t bother to weigh your personal item. That might help the main bag sneak in under their weight limits.

    2. Also the S/M and M/L are for different torso sizes, so be sure whichever one you’re getting fits your frame! Don’t get the smaller one to save an inch and then it doesn’t properly fit your body.

      1. thanks i believe my torso is in range for both but i plan on going to my local REI to have them fit me properly before making a final purchase. Just booked my 3 week trip to SIngapore, Malaysia and Thailand so will be purchasing a bag in the next couple months!

  14. How well did the farpoint 70 m/l fit into the overhead bins on your flight? I plan to go to thailand in Nov and already have purchased an 2016 farpoint 70 m/l which will be 26″ long. I am worried about that extra inch not being able to shut the overhead bin. Was there extra room for your guys bags?

    1. Hi Julien. I’ve never had a problem fitting it in the overhead bins, especially on larger transcontinental flights. Recently just took it aboard a smaller Embraer aircraft and it still fit with no problem!

  15. Pingback: My All-Seasons Travel Checklist | MakeNewTracks

  16. I’m confused as to how either of these bags fit the required luggage allowance — even the fp55. I’m flying Cathay Pacific in a few weeks and their website says that the bags must be 56cm x 36cm x 23cm (22in x 14in x 9in)— which is bigger than the international guidelines. Am I misunderstanding something? Thank you!

    1. Hello! Thank you for your question. Yes, the bag is technically larger than maximum “legal” carryon size, but in practice this generally shouldn’t be a problem, unless the attendants are very strict and pull out a tape measure. In several trips I have never had to check the bag due to its size, only once due to it being overweight. And I’ve read plenty of reports of others carrying it on as well, even on strict budget airlines. Hope this helps!

  17. Amazing reveiw. Exactly what I needed to know. Huge help. Went with the 70L, can’t wait to use it for my next trip!

  18. This was a huge help! Thanks so much for writing this article. I spent a whole day watching videos, searching for articles about the Farpoint… this was by far one of the very few that helped! It especially helped when it came down to my severe indecisiveness regarding whether to go with the 55 or 70! It was driving me nuts! I ended up going with the 70 🙂

    1. Ha, glad to hear we weren’t the only ones being indecisive! Thanks for reading and happy travels!

  19. Greatly informative review, thanks. Can you tell me the dimensions of the daypack? Other than in terms of litres I can’t find any online details.I’m off to India and at one point will be travelling away from base using the daypack only – for about a week. I wonder how the daypack measures up to the small bag I’ve used for such circumstances before. Unfortunately I don’t know its quoted litreage so wanted to compare on stated dimensions. Thanks.

    1. Hi Dan, glad the review helped. I plan on doing an in depth review of the backpack itself besides the comparison between the two sizes and hopefully answer any other questions people have. Regarding the size of the daypack I measure it as 16″ x 10″ x 4″ (40cm x 25cm x 10cm). I’d say a week’s worth of clothes in the daypack would be very hard to manage, but you might be able to squeeze 2-3 days worth in if you pack light and wash.

  20. I bought my Farpoint 70 back in 2013 and I am very happy with it. Back then I tried to gather this kind of info before buying it but I couldn’t find anything about it so I decided to go with the 70L because I thought about leaving the extra space between the 55 and 70 for souvenirs.

    Thanks for your review, I will be sharing this info to my friends.

    1. I bought mine in 2013 as well, I remember only finding like two YouTube reviews and now it’s a pretty popular backpack for travelers and backpackers. I really didn’t know what I was doing/looking for when I bought it, so I am glad I somehow chose a great bag!

  21. thanks for the thorough review! bought the 70litre version and worried it mightbe too big! your review gave me the peace of mind!

  22. You are awesome for doing this! I own a 70 and really prefer to just take it as a carry on vs. checking it in for my next trip. I won’t be filling it to full capacity and based on bringing other luggage as a carry on I had a feeling I could probably get away with it with a Fairpoint 70.

    1. Thanks! It really seems a lot of people had the same questions I did! It’s a versatile bag for lots of different styles of traveling!

  23. Excellent article. Just for reference, we ordered a 55 S/M and a 70 S/M and they were exactly the same height. However, we also ordered a 70 M/L and it was 2″ taller than the S/M versions. We’ll be keeping the 70 S/M and 70 M/L and returning the 55.

    If it ever comes up, we’ll make sure to have the S/M checked out for size first and hope that they just accept the M/L since they are the same color and look identical at a glance.

  24. thank you so much for doing this its exactly what I needed! i tend to over-pack a little so like the extra space but was afraid of my bag being way bigger than everyone else’s in the group if i got the 70 over the 55. You’re review has made it much easier to decide as the sizes seem almost the same from the outside but i can still be comfortable with the extra internal space. THANK YOU

  25. Dear Shane,

    Thank you for sharing this valuable piece of information. You article helped me decide on getting the 70 unit. All the best to you and Iylana on all your future travels.

    Best regards,

  26. Thank you! Made the decision so much easier. Going for the 70l for sure. Appreciate the comparison. Going to make all the difference for my trip in August.

  27. THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS! I am packing for a year in Greece and trying to get as much stuff as possible without paying an extra $100 to check a 2nd bag. I have the 70 and wanted to be able to take it over hoping to be able to carry it on.

    PERFECT ARTICLE! Thanks soon much!

    1. Glad it helped! Just be careful if you plan on taking a budget airline between islands. They might stick you with baggage fees, too.

  28. Thanks for this helpful post! I was trying to decided between the two and your post helped me decide to go with the 70L. I like to have that flexibility of extra room and I don’t like the look of overstuffed bags. Your post and photos are super helpful, thanks for taking the time to do this.

  29. HI Shane, thanks for the review. I’m about to buy either the 55 or the 70. I’m guessing the small daypack is the exact same on both models? Do you remember? Aloha!

      1. Thanks Shane, that’s what I figured! Just ordered the Farpoint 55 in black. Will be taking it to India for two weeks in Nov 2017 and Japan for a week and a half in April 2018. Thanks for the info!

  30. Hey Shane,

    Does your daypack have a waist strap on it? I just received my Farpoint 55 today. Apparently Osprey redesigned the pack (possibly for 2017?). The version I received does not have a waist strap on the daypack. The daypack also lacks the sleeve you can tuck the straps into when stowing the pack. Other minor changes include a redesign of the logo on the daypack (single color silkscreen).

    For people who are really concerned about the length of the pack exceeding carryon criteria it seems the S/M size is about an inch shorter, getting you closer to the magic carryon number…

    Thanks again.

  31. This is by far the most useful post I have come across for the Farpoint series. I’ve been trying to find something for two weeks in Japan and was pretty confused with which one to go. Thank you.

  32. This is the most useful post I have come across. I’ve read so many others that just didn’t quite give me the info I wanted but this is golden. Thank you!!

  33. When I flew to Thailand on EVA Air they made me check in the 55L, and we were on a Boeing 777. Flying around Thailand they made us check it every time on the regional airlines.

    1. Thanks for the feedback! That’s a surprise on EVA. Not a surprise on the regional airlines but they’re usually more strict on weight than size.

      1. Did you leave the day pack attached to the front of the bag? Was wondering if I should buy the 55L in s/m or the 40l to use as carry on in SE Asia.

        1. I remove the day bag to use as personal item under the seat. But be advised that carrying on the main pack on budget airlines in SE Asia may be difficult. For long haul international, it shouldn’t be a problem, but for regional flights it may be tricky.

  34. Excellent review!! After scouting various sites for reviews and videos, this was clean, snappy and direct.

    Thanks for taking the time to do this 🙂

    I’m looking to get the Farpoint 70 for my Europe month-long travel!

  35. Rarely do you search on online for something so specific and get a quick answer. Excellent thorough review.

    I see this post is from 2015, hopefully you are still traveling and I owe you a couple beers if I see you. Headed to Patagonia end of November and back up to Buenos Aires in December.

  36. Hi Shane,
    Thanks for your great comparison and detail comments. It is what I need.
    I decided to purchase 70L given that also be able to carry on flight. Cool stuff

  37. Thank you so much for this article, but I have one kinda strange question. What exactly do you personally pack for a two week trip using the 70? I can kinda see in the image, but not exactly. I’m going to be on a similar time-frame very soon to Alaska, and wanted to keep it light and practical. I have access to clean my clothes, and I just recently purchased a few light clothing options, but I always wonder about the perfect balance of having enough options, but not too much. I will have boots, trail runners, camp sandals, and a very light weight jacket to pack as well. Thanks again!!!

    1. Hi Chris, thanks for your comment. See some of our packing list posts for an idea of what we take on trips. The biggest thing is if you limit your available space then you’re forced to limit what you take! But generally speaking it’s 7-8 days worth of clothes with the intention of doing laundry either with a laundry service or in a hotel sink.

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