Osprey Farpoint 40 Review
The Osprey Farpoint 40 is one of the most well known carry on bags but it’s also ideal for short backpacking trips due to its quality back system and versatile storage compartments.
Osprey Farpoint 40 Verdict
The great thing about the Farpoint 40 is that it can be used for so much more than just carry on. It has enough capacity and durability to make it through a short backpacking trip and you could easily get away with using it as a large commuter pack. At this price point you get a lot of bag for your money and the continued competition on pricing makes this pack difficult to beat at the £90 price point. For females make sure you also check out the Fairview 40.
- Designed to fit within Eu carry on dimensions and a lightweight 1.4kg to boot
- Padded laptop and tablet sleeve that can hold up to a 15″ laptop & dual front mesh pockets for carrying water bottles etc
- Comes in two back sizes and includes both chest and waist straps for stability
- Zip away cover for back system and option for shoulder strap or grab handle carrying
- lockable zips on both the main and laptop section
- Osprey’s straightjacket system covers zips to protect them and adds additional water resistance
Dimensions: 54 x 35 x 23cm
Construction: 210D Nylon Mini Hex Diamond Ripstop
Capacity: 2 Back Sizes – S/M = 38L & M/L = 40L
- Time tested pack with a solid build
- Competitive pricing means you can get for around £80
- Lots of compartments, laptop sleeve & fully featured back system for the price of a regular daypack
- multiple carrying options with included shoulder strap & grab handles
- Aesthetics can be seen as bland and only two colourways to choose from
- Older style mesh outer pockets rather than stretch
- No option to attached daypack like siblings & new wheeled model
- For airlines with tight weight restrictions lighter bags are available
If you’ve done any amount of travelling you will have come across someone with a Farpoint backpack. Originally from the USA, Osprey and their travel range of packs are now one of the most popular options here in the UK and Europe. The original lineup featured 4 different size unisex packs; the Osprey Farpoint 40, 55 and 70 and 80. Over the last few years Osprey have looked to capitalise on the success of the range by introducing a female specific version, aka the Fairview, and now a wheeled and trekking contender.
However this review focuses on their original offering into the carry on market which has not changed much in its design or feature list for the last couple of years. A sign that it’s perfect or now needs an overhaul? Well lets find out…
Osprey have chosen a traditional 210D ripstop nylon which is the same material used across the whole range. Its relatively lightweight, very durable and has been used on their range for many years. As a result you know you are getting a bag that’s going to last and has been road tested and refined by the travel market.
The main section of the pack has a clam shell opening style which is standard across most travel backpacks and makes it much easier to access your belongings quickly and easily. Apart from internal compression straps and a large mesh pocket in the lid it’s a large void for your gear. Because of this it would benefit from the use of packing cubes which would help stop the contents from sinking to the bottom especially when not used at full capacity. The large zipped mesh pocket on the back of the internal section is perfect for storing dirty items or those bulky things you may only need occasional access to like a jacket.
Laptop & Accessory Storage
The large front pocket has zipped top only entry and is aimed at storing your accessories and your laptop or tablet. The addition of a padded laptop sleeve has become common place for smaller bags however we do think they can add bulk if you aren’t planning on taking one with you. It would be great to see an option to remove these sections if desired. However compared to rival bags the laptop compartment in this bag has very minimalist padding (whilst still offering enough protection) so you don’t lose much in terms of capacity. The addition of a zipped pocket on the front is great for storing chargers and power banks.
The laptop compartment is situated at the front of the pack which can cause problems if you have a big or heavy model as it may mis-weight the pack, especially if you are generally packing light. Also by being situated at the front rather than the back it misses out on the natural protection of your clothes and kit covering it. We really like the way Eagle Creek hides the electronics compartment behind your back in their Wayfarer 40 which also adds some protection against pickpockets whilst wearing.
Fully Featured Back System
One of the things we love about this pack is the attention to detail that has been applied to the back system. When you don’t need it it’s protected behind a zipped cover which simply rolls away and is velcro closed into the base. It isn’t adjustable in terms of back length but you can buy two different sizes which is rare in the carry on segment! The exposed back section features foam padded exomesh with cutaways to assist with breathablity. The shoulder straps feature the same padded exomesh and are contoured to fit comfortably around your torso (this is where the Fairview 40 differs to mould to the female form) .
A slide adjustable chest strap, lumbar adjusters and a contoured, padded and adjustable waist belt push this past the level of your average daypack. All these extra means this bag can quite comfortably be used for backpacking trips as well as weekends away. A lightweight metal frame stops the bag from slouching when fully loaded and gives additional protection if placed in the hold of an aircraft.
What No Detachable Daypack?
Unlike its bigger brothers the Farpoint 55 & 70, this pack doesn’t come with a detachable daypack and there isn’t an option to add one like the Farpoint 80. For those wanting a smaller pack for day trips could opt for the Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack. We go into more detail below but you could spend a bit more and get the Farpoint 55.
Farpoint 40 vs Farpoint 55
Many people will have seen the larger brother to this pack the Farpoint 55. On face value they look similar but with a few key differences. Of course the first is the capacity difference. The Farpoint 55 is actually a 42 litre capacity main bag with a detachable 13 litre daypack. So you might then think why not go for this for an extra £30 and get the daypack thrown in. Well the big issue comes down to the different shape of the main pack. So it’s more comfortable for bigger loads the main bag is longer at 63cm which then counts it out of being classed as carry on or hand luggage. It’s also a bit heavier. Of course if this isn’t a key concern then it’s definitely worth checking out.
Frequently Asked Questions
No this bag isn’t classed as waterproof however the nylon material it is made from is inherently water resistant. To be classed as waterproof it needs to have a coating like the TPU one on Osprey’s Transporter range. However even these heavy duty packs aren’t classed as waterproof as they need to have taped seams as well. The pack will be fine if you get caught in the odd light shower but for anything heavier get yourself a rain cover.
Originally the Farpoint 40 was classed as a unisex backpack with the smaller size (S/M) aimed at women due to its shorter back system. The Fairview 40 is specifically for women and so only comes in one size which is the shorter back length. The back system has been ergonomically adjusted to better fit the female form so the shoulder straps are closer together as women do not have as broad shoulders. The straps are also shaped differently to fit more comfortably for women. The Fairview also comes in two different colourways; Rainforest Green and Misty Grey.
As we have investigated below the Farpoint 40 currently meets the carry on requirements on most major airlines including British Airways, Easyjet and Virgin Atlantic. Of course it doesn’t meet the tighter restrictions on budget airlines such as Ryanair but it can be comfortably be put in the hold as the backpack straps can be stored away.
Will it Qualify as Carry On?
Osprey advertise that the bag meets European Carry On dimensions but how does this shape up with the some of the UK’s popular airlines? The dimensions of the larger M/L size are 54 x 35 x 23cm but of course if you don’t fully fill it there’s some room to squeeze down the depth. British Airways have a current size restriction of 56 x 45 x 25cm, Easyjet’s is 56 x 45 x 25cm, Virgin Atlantic’s is 56 x 36 x 23cm and Ryan Air is 40 x 25 x 20cm. So apart from Ryanair who we know are very stingy on sizing the Farpoint 40 will be classed as carry on by the other three airlines! That’s great news as some USA bag brands can class their packs as carry on but they can be too big for UK or European airlines. Of course you still have to factor weight into the equation and with the Farpoint 40 weighing in at 1.4kg that gives you 86% of a 10kg restriction free to use for your travel gear.
As always check with your airline before you fly and make sure your fully loaded bag will be allowed on!
Eagle Creek Global Companion 40
Eagle Creek have a feature filled offering with their Global Companion 40 which also comes in a womens version. We love the twin mesh compartment in the main section and the separate dirty section in the base however the £170 price point means it may be more than you are willing to spend.
Lowe Alpine Lightflite 40
If weight is your key consideration you won’t get much lighter than the Lowe Alpine Lightflite 40. At only 760 grams it comes in 640 grams lighter than the Farpoint. However we do think that affects the durability of the pack. Feature wise it’s also a much simpler pack and has no chest or waist straps.
Pacsafe Vibe 40 Anti Theft
With a slashproof mesh outer as well as a myriad of other security related features, the Vibe 40 is for travellers who have gear they need to keep safe. It’s got less accessory storage but is a bit lighter than the Farpoint 40.