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.
2) A Surprising Amount of SpaceI 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.
3) Suitcase Style Opening and Interior Frame BackpackIt’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.
4) Laptop ProtectionThe 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 ClutterPacks 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.
6) Carry-On SizeThe 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.
7) Padded Handles and Hip BeltThe 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.
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.
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