You know that feeling when you’re preparing for an upcoming trek, and your trusty backpack goes on the fritz? Maybe a strap fell apart, the material’s started to fray, or it’s seen one backpacking trip too many.
I found myself in a similar predicament recently, in dire need of a trusty backpack for a fast approaching wilderness adventure.
Enter the Osprey Farpoint 40.
Reported to be a veritable powerhouse of a backpack for travelers, I set out to find out if Osprey’s travel backpack really lived up to all the hype.
Here’s what I discovered.
The Osprey Farpoint 40 review and 3 alternative backpack we recommend for 2021:
Things to Consider Before Buying a Travel Backpack
A travel backpack like the Osprey 40 is optimal for everything from lengthy camping treks to weekend hikes or even for daily use.
However, before I delve into the ins and outs of the Osprey Farpoint 40, here are some key points you need to consider when purchasing a travel backpack.
First, you need to consider the weight of the travel backpack. Besides your backpack, you’ll also likely be carrying gear such as your sleeping pad or bag, and shelters such as a tarp or tent.
As such, your backpack needs to be light enough that you won’t feel weighed down when carrying it with the rest of your gear during a long day on the trail.
You’ll also want to consider the frame of the travel backpack you’re considering. The best backpack frames are light and can support weights up to 35 pounds.
If you need to transport heavier gear, you need a backpack with a strong frame, sporting features like additional padding for optimal comfort.
Cuben fiber and ripstop nylon are common backpack materials. The former is more lightweight but also costs more. Ripstop nylon weighs more but is more cost-effective. Both offer great longevity of use.
Comfort is key when it comes to choosing a backpack for all your outdoor and travel needs. Different packs sport varying load capacities and back lengths, with many products allowing you to adjust the back length as needed.
The pack’s hip belt should be situated comfortably since your hip area will bear the bulk of any weight you’re carrying.
The Osprey Farpoint 40
The Osprey Farpoint 40 is a multipurpose travel backpack, ideal for backpackers who prefer to trek light on the road instead of lugging excess weight. Osprey offers a lifetime warranty, which means that if you don’t like your purchase all you have to do is mail it back and they’ll resolve the issue at no cost to you (other than shipping).
Because the Osprey Farpoint is so versatile, it’s a great option to meet a wide range of backpacker needs, from lengthier treks to shorter weekend getaways in the great outdoors.
With a huge panel zip that makes for easy access to the primary compartment, a back panel, hipbelt with a rear flap, and handy harness, plus a tablet and laptop sleeve so you can stay plugged in on the go, the Osprey Farpoint is definitely a strong contender for the seasoned traveler.
I like the sturdy 210 denier material made from packcloth, ripstop nylon, and atilon foam for comfort and durability. The Osprey Farpoint 40 is a close relative of the Farpoint 55, the latter of which is a 41-liter pack with a 14-liter daypack you can detach. By contrast, the Farpoint 40 is a 40-liter backpack and doesn’t sport a daypack.
The sizing between the two is pretty similar, but the 40 is approximately 4 inches shorter. Because the Farpoint 40’s size is more compact, this makes it both a great carry-on and hiking pack. It is also 1 inch wider than the 55 which helps make up for the space disparity.
That said, if you don’t like to travel light and tend to bring a lot of gear with you on the road, you might be better off looking into other alternatives that offer more packing space.
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- Versatile back for a range of outdoor excursions
- Multiple storage compartments with a sleeve for a laptop or tablet
- Good carry-on size
- Perfect for light travel backpacking
- Smaller storage compartments
- The suspension is a bit small
- Not ideal if you want to bring a lot of gear on the road
Key Features and Benefits
With so many backpacks to choose from, how do you know if the Osprey 40 really is the one for you? Here’s what you need to know about the key features and benefits of the Osprey Farpoint 40.
One thing I really like about the Osprey Farpoint 40 is its size options. You actually have the option to purchase it in 2 different sizes: S/M at 38 liters or M/L at the standard 40 liters. No matter which size you pick, the backpack still only weighs around 3 pounds, which is incredibly lightweight when compared to other products on the market.
The 40L version can hold between 20 and 40 pounds with ease, although you’ll probably be more comfortable if you keep your gear weight a little closer to 20 pounds total. If you tend to bring a lot of gear with you on the road and abhor packing light, this bag is probably not for you.
However, if you like to keep things compact and bring only your essentials on the road, the Osprey Farpoint 40 is one of the best available.
Its size is compact enough that you can even use it as a carry-on, and it is in full compliance with current airline carry-on regulations. That can mean big savings in checked bag fees if you’re flying from one location to the next!
The first element of the Osprey Farpoint 40’s suspension system is it’s comfortable and quality shoulder straps. They are designed to contour to the shape of your shoulders, which is great news for long treks on the rail.
The straps also sport load lifter straps, so you can adjust the backpack nearer to your back and reduce the strain of any gear you’re carrying.
I was satisfied with the padding on the shoulder straps, as it suffices to keep your shoulders comfortable without being so thick that it provides unnecessary bulk. The straps are also nice and wide, to help ensure the weight of your pack isn’t too focused on any one region.
I like the meshed web design in the straps too, for extra ventilation on long, sweaty treks.
The shoulder straps also sport a chest strap that you can adjust as needed. I really like this feature, because if your shoulders get tired or start to ache, you can distribute the weight more evenly throughout your upper body.
The Hip Belt
I would have to say that the hip belt leaves a few points to be desired in that it isn’t quite as sturdy as some other products. That said, it partially comes down to user preference.
If you find that larger hip belts add too much bulk on your backpacking adventures, you’ll probably have no issue with the less substantial hip belt the Osprey Farpoint 40 sports.
The Osprey Farpoint 40 is super lightweight, which does wonders to even out the load between your shoulder and hip areas. The frame is designed to secure the pack to your back, so it doesn’t bunch and pull away. That feature is a huge plus in our book since no one wants their backpack to start sagging and straining their neck halfway through a hike.
I definitely liked the Farpoint 40’s meshed padding throughout that helps ensure wearer comfort while offering additional ventilation. If you’re going to be on the trail for hours, you’ll probably still feel some sweat gathering, but the extra ventilation will certainly keep you a little bit cooler.
Remember how I mentioned that the Osprey 40 is carry-on compliant? If you’re going to be heading to your backpacking destination by flying the friendly skies, the straps feature a stowaway functionality so you can store the hip belt and shoulder strap in the zipped panel.
I like this feature because it makes things way easier if you need to check your bag for any reason. Even walking down the aircraft’s aisles and storing your bag in the overhead bin will be vastly simplified if you can stow away the straps temporarily.
One thing you need to know about the Osprey Farpoint 40 is that it primarily consists of a single, large compartment with several other smaller ones. It’s very similar to a carry-on suitcase in that the shape makes it easy to fold and stash your belongings with ease. There is also a mesh pocket on the front compartment with a zipper to keep smaller, flat items.
Because the frame of the Osprey Farpoint 40 isn’t as strong as some other options and because of the way the straps are designed, there’s no way to store your laptop near your back. So, the 40 offers a special compartment for your laptop or tablet at the front.
If your laptop or tablet is light enough, this won’t really be an issue and makes for easy access. On the other hand, if you have a bulkier device, you’ll probably notice the weight more than you would if it was stored closer to your back.
The tech compartment also features a mesh pocket with a zip and a second compartment with enough space to hold a thin jacket, which is great if you need an extra layer on the road.
Besides these primary compartments, the 40 also features an upper pocket designed from anti-scratch material to store small items like your sunglasses or mobile device.
The only downside here is that the water bottle pockets are situated at the back of the Farpoint 40, so you can’t access them when wearing the pack. One of the compression straps also runs across the water bottle pockets, which makes accessing them a little more difficult.
What Users Have to Say
User reviews are a key component to consider when picking out a travel backpack.
I did the research and scoured the web to find out what consumers really think about the Osprey Farpoint 40. Overall, buyers seem very satisfied with the lightweight design and storage options the Farpoint 40 offers.
Still not sure whether the Osprey Farpoint 40 is right for you? Check out these 3 alternative products instead!
Osprey Packs Porter 46 Travel Backpack
Another travel pack by Osprey, the 46 model features dual straitjacket compression straps with a lower compartment to store your gear and apparel. The feature that jumped out at us right away that sets the 46 apart from the 40 is the fact that the dual compression straps aren’t placed awkwardly over water bottle pockets. Instead, the straps sit taut in place over a thin zip compartment for ease of use.
Another point that sets the Osprey Porter 46 apart from the Osprey Farpoint 40 is its laptop sleeve—situated in a rear compartment close to rather than away from your back. While this won’t afford you the easy access to your devices like the 40’s tech pocket, it will distribute the weight better in your pack and be less bulky. As far as price goes, the Osprey 46 and Osprey Farpoint 40 are just about the same.
Take a look for yourself!
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- Same price as the 40
- More accessible compartments
- Dual compression straps are placed for better ease of use
- Rear tech compartment is less easy to access
- Distributes weight more evenly across pack than the 40
NOMATIC Water Resistant 40L Travel Bag
NOMATIC Water Resistant 40L Travel Bag
A small travel bag with a waterproof outer shell
NOMATIC Water Resistant 40L Travel Bags have shoulder and waist straps to distribute the load, and the waterproof design keeps your items dry.
When it comes to price, the Nomatic Water Resistant 40L Travel Bag is significantly higher than the Osprey Farpoint 40. They are similar in the sense that they both have 40-liter capacities, are TSA compliant, and sport a tablet/laptop sleeve. However, the Nomatic 40L differs in a few key ways. For one, the material is designed from water repellant tarpaulin, making it a great choice to protect your belongings in variable weather conditions.
It also comes with designated compartments for your shoes, a cord organizer, a valuables pocket, RFID shielded pocket, laundry compartment, and an individual water bottle pocket. I like the way these compartments are designed for efficiency and easy organization on the road.
The Nomatic 40L even sports detachable waist straps, so you can take those off if you don’t need them or if they start to cause irritation. Check it out!
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- More expensive than the Farpoint 40
- Both have 40L capacities are TSA complaint
- Similar tech compartment
- More designated sleeves for storage than the 40
- Detachable waist straps are a nice bonus feature
Granite Gear Crown VC 60 Backpack
Granite Gear Crown VC 60 Backpack
A large hiking pack with ample support and shoulder padding
Granite Gear Crown VC 60 Backpacks is a top-loading pack with a secure roll-top closure that gives you easy access to your items when you're on the trail.
The Granite Gear Crown VC 60 Backpack actually comes in two different sizes, regular and long, so the price will vary to be less or more expensive than the Farpoint 40 depending on the one you choose. Compared to the Osprey Farpoint 40, the Granite Gear Backpack holds significantly more gear, with a 60-liter design and impressive load capacity up to 35 pounds.
That said, the Granite Gear Backpack is going to be a lot bulkier on the road than the Osprey Farpoint 40, and is definitely not an ideal choice if you prefer lightweight backpacking. There’s a nice amount of padding on the Granite Gear Pack, including interchangeable belts, hydration ports, and stretch pockets.
So, if you like to bring a lot of gear along and have plenty of adjustment options, this could be a good pick. Click on the link to learn more!
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- More expensive than the 40
- Higher liter and load capacity
- Not as lightweight as the Farpoint 40
- A bulkier choice
- Excellent padding and stretch pockets
The Final Verdict
If you’re searching for a lightweight, minimalist, durable travel backpack to store your essentials without overbulking on the trail, the Osprey Farpoint 40 is for you. With its light, mesh padded frame, secure hip belt, carry-on compliant features, and suitcase-like design, the Farpoint 40 is an exceptional choice for short weekend excursions or several months of adventures on the road.
The webbed design also makes for excellent ventilation, so you’ll stay nice, cool, and comfortable in any season you might be trekking in. Don’t just take our word for it. Click here to check the Osprey Farpoint 40 out for yourself!