After more than one year traveling with my backpack, I think it’s time to make a review about the Osprey Farpoint 70 and, certainly, pay some respect to one of the greatest travel backpacks (if not THE best one) out there.
I bought this one in Australia, after lots of research. I previously had the normal top loader backpack which after 2 years of travel life, became an inconvenient solution for packing and repacking stuff, plus I lost one of those buckles of the chest straps after a journey on a plane and you know, with the time you learn that everything on a backpack it’s there for a reason.
When I first got my backpack, I was shocked about the size of it and made me doubt about my choice. The folded Fairpoint is unbelievable small, thin and light and when you unfold it and you start putting stuff in it, you kind of marvel about it’s capacity of storage. Plus this was one of the first models which introduced the “detachable daypack”. But let’s go by part.
The main pack:
Well, there’s different frame sizes according to our body. I have the frame S/M and since I’m small (1.56 mts. height) it fits perfectly to my body which is super important for me as I have some back problems. There’s a lot of technical reviews out there you can search for, so I want to make more like an “appreciation” review.
It has 2 internal pockets on the front panel which acts like a thin lid over the rest of the backpack, so what you store in there should help to protect the things within the main compartment (don’t put any fragile stuff there). Remember, you’re gonna use this backpack more like a suitcase, so think about it like a “soft, flexible, one”.
Because it’s made of a light material, the best thing is to organize your things with packing cubes and other kind of cases. Those will help to keep the shape of the backpack and the balance of the weight on your back and the internal compression straps will help you on this task. You may gonna miss those external pockets of the top loader backpacks at the beginning, for keeping things handy, but you’ll get use to it (you’ll have the daypack instead) and you’ll learn with the time how to manage your stuff at its best.
The backpack holds till 52 lts., but the thin harness on your shoulders -although comfortable enough- isn’t designed to hold big amount of weight for long periods (this is not a backpack for those long trekkings -although, you may end up using it for that purpose like me-, so be mindful about what you’re using it for. I would say no more than 14 kilos and 7-8 kilos ideally, for maximum comfort. I usually carry something like 11 kilos.
Could I used it as a carry on luggage?
I read a lot contradictory information, so I decided to try it myself and yes, you can.
I traveled to Nepal with the main pack as a carry on luggage, but JUST THE MAIN PACK. It fits perfectly in those measuring structures at the checkin counter if you don’t load it too much, that’s the trick. I carried 7 kilos (Air Asia) and with the enough amount of stuff to squeeze it into the structure. No problems on the overhead compartments on the plain either, but you need to fold the harness and band waist into the back panel zip compartment, in order to do so.
I’m carrying a 3,5 kilos laptop, therefore I’ve pretty much never used this backpack attached to the main one. It gets just TOO heavy to wear it, even for the main pack. That will be my only complaint; it’s designed to carry a light weight laptop or a tablet instead of a “proper machine” for those who need to work with a powerful computer. Nonetheless, the fact that you can still attach the daypack becomes pretty useful in cases when you “have a lot of stuff to checking in” on a plane trip and no so much money to invest. You can easily make it “one piece of luggage” and carry your tech-delicate gear with you on the plane. Thumbs up.
For daytrips it’s a great tool. 15 lts. can storage just what you need and if it gets a bit heavy after a while, you still have some waist band and chest stripes to make your load more comfortable.
So, what about durability?
I’ve been traveling in Asia-SE Asia thru all kinds of climates, terrain and transport and I’m really satisfied how the backpack has performed. After more than one year of constant use the fabric it’s pretty much flawless, colors are kept vibrant and it just have some expected minor scratches. The back panel zip compartment on the main pack it’s great for keeping your straps clean and safe and sound, specially after planes, long hours of travel by bus and when you’re backpack it’s not gonna be handled with care. They placed the more sturdy fabric on the places where you’re definitely gonna hit the packs more, so you don’t really need to worry about it.
Here some pictures of my trips with the Osprey Farpoint 70:
Osprey released a new version of this travel pack a year ago or so and I’m sure it’s even better but for those people who don’t have the money to update gear often -like me-, you’ll be happy to know that you still have a fully functional, durable and versatile backpack that you’ll be able to use for as long as your travels last… and may your travels last long.