Looking for the perfect backpack, especially as a new traveler, is one of the hardest parts of first-time travel planning, and even follow on travel planning. In this Osprey Farpoint 40 review, we’ll aim to help you solve that problem quickly.
Finding a pack that is comfortable, has just enough space and organization, is durable enough to last for years, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg can feel like chasing a unicorn. Or at least as difficult as finding a beach in Thailand not overrun by tourists…buut all three are out there, somewhere!
Yes, the “perfect pack” will differ by traveler and traveler style, but the Osprey Farpoint 40 is one of the closest things you’ll find for the price that suits the needs of most any traveler, whether new to the game or at their 100th country.
Read on for an Osprey Farpoint 40 review and 11 reasons why thousands of travelers have made this their first and last pack, and have loved it every step of the way.
Contents of this Osprey Farpoint 40 Review
- 11 Reasons the Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack is Perfect for Travel
- Quick Review
- What makes the Osprey Farpoint 40 a great travel backpack
- What to look for in a carry on travel backpack
- Quick Verdict on the Farpoint 40 Travel Pack
- Full Osprey Farpoint 40 Review
- Why is the Farpoint 40 awesome?
- Experiences with the Farpoint 40
- Travel with the Farpoint 40
- Hiking & Outdoors with the Farpoint 40
- Pros | Cons
- Osprey Farpoint 40 Dimensions and Weight
- Materials, Construction, and Durability
- Design, Layout, and Function
- Size, weight, and dimensions of the Osprey Farpoint 40
- Best Places to Buy the Farpoint 40
11 Reasons the Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack is the Perfect Starter Travel Backpack
- At $137, this bag is cheap and delivers great function and durability for a price that’s hard to beat.
- Durable and reliable build – more than a few of my friends have traveled hard with this pack for years
- Perfectly sized at 40L – the dimensions leave enough room for weeks of travel yet are small enough to use as an airline carryon
- Easy to pack thanks to a front panel with wraparound zipper and simple open space. Pair with Packing Cubes for the perfect travel setup
- Solid reviews and reputation from comfort, to durability and lifespan, to the warranty
- Osprey’s “All Mighty Guarantee” means you can travel hard with no worries
- Plenty of small details you don’t realize you need which makes this bag perfect for first-time buyers
- Available on nearly any continent without shipping issues and insane prices
- Osprey is a trusted company known for solid gear, and standing by their gear and warranty
- Cheap Osprey attachments and accessories make travel easier andmesh perfectly with this bag for the perfect travel kit, like lightweight daypacks, and packing cubes
- New travelers and buyers can purchase this bag with confidence because the Farpoint 40 is stacked with all of the major features you’ll need to travel easier, thanks to Osprey’s years of testing and refinement
The “BLUF” (Bottom Line Up Front)
The Osprey Farpoint 40 is a near perfect backpack for beginner travelers and first-time bag buyers. The perfect size for travel anywhere from a weekend to longer than a few weeks still fits as an airline carryon. The nuanced features, like handles, compression straps, and pockets are in the right places, and storage for electronics fits your needs without realizing you had them. Last, the build materials and quality are good enough for this bag to last far beyond when you outgrow it.
Note that the Farpoint 40 is a travel bag, very intentionally. Though the bag will suffice for hikes with light loads, it excels at moving you and your things by planes, trains, and automobiles conveniently. If you’re traveling by foot or camping for extended periods and looking for a starter backpack, consider the REI Trail 40 instead. For everyone else trying to find that perfect first bag for weeks and months of travel, the Osprey Farpoint 40 is likely the best bag for you
Quick Review of the Osprey Farpoint 40
What makes the Osprey Farpoint 40 an awesome travel backpack?
- Padded carrying handles are conveniently placed on the top and sides, for easy quick transport
- Shoulder straps and hip belt stow away completely, for snag-free overhead and under seat storage
- Special internal wire frame distributes weight between shoulder straps and hip belt for more comfort
- Convenient pocket placement externally and internally keeps your small, quick access items organized
- Perfect airline carryon size accommodates plenty of gear for weeks or months, while still fitting overhead and under seat on planes, trains, and buses
- Durable build with reliable materials from tough fabrics and high-quality stitching
- Comfortable when worn thanks to the internal wire suspension system that distributes and shifts weight between shoulder straps and hip belt–
- The price of this bag is very low considering what you get, making it a perfect entry-level ag
- Osprey’s “All Mighty Guarantee” keeps you covered on the off instance your bag has any issues. Osprey will “repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge.”
Downsides of the Osprey Farpoint 40
- Not the best backpack for hiking – day hikes are ok, but other backpacks are better for trekking
- External mesh water bottle pockets are difficult to use if the bag is fully packed
Tips on what to look for in a carry on travel backpack
As you assess whether the Farpoint 40 is good for you or if there is a more suitable pack out there, consider these tips for what to look for in a good travel backpack
- Carrying Handles
- Airline carry on compliant size
- Durable materials (400+ denier nylon, nylon straps, large durable zippers)
- Laptop pocket
- Electronics Pockets
- Organization pockets or plan on buying packing cubes
- Comfort – fit to your hips and shoulders with comfortable weight distribution
- Vented back panel
- Hidden security pockets
- Convenient access, such as wrap-around zipper or clamshell style design
Quick Verdict on this Osprey Farpoint 40 Review
I highly recommend the Osprey Farpoint 40 is highly recommend as a travel pack, especially for new travelers or travelers with generic travel needs. If you’re looking for a travel pack that hikes well, look at the REI Trail 40. Otherwise, the Osprey Farpoint 40 is a very safe bet for adventurous and lightweight travel.
- REI Trail 40 Review as a 40L bag for trekking and camping adventures
- REI Ruckpack 40 as another great travel option
Full Osprey Farpoint 40 Review
Who is the Osprey Farpoint 40 for?
- Backpackers (travel, not backcountry)
- Best for travel in a single climate or region due to size
What Makes the Osprey Farpoint 40 Better than Other Bags?
- Value: At only $137 on Amazon and on REI, the Farpoint 40 is much cheaper than the options
- Durability: Countless owners have traveled adventurously and hard for years with this bag with no issues
- Carrying and weight distribution system: For those long walks between buses, trains, and hostels, the Farpoint stays comfortable
- Nearly perfect for every traveler: For beginner travelers, this bag is a safe bet, offering everything you need. For other travelers, unless you need a pack you can scale mountains with, the Osprey Farpoint 40 will likely fit all of your travel needs
Experiences with the Osprey Farpoint 40
I’ve had the pleasure of testing the Osprey Farpoint 40 on several occasions, but all of which took place during a period of one day or shorter…and I absolutely wouldn’t recommend a pack solely based on such a short testing period. This pack came onto my radar during a one month stint of travel in Thailand.
My buddy (codename: Doc Strangelove) had the Farpoint 40 while I had the REI Trail 40. We both love our packs and argued about their merits all of the time. Since then, I’ve bumped into no less than 10 travelers with the same backpack, and every time I interrogate them about their thoughts, their experiences, the pack’s shortfalls, and whether or not they would buy it again.
So far, every single traveler I’ve met would buy it again. For half of them, it was their first pack, and most of them have been using the pack for more than 2 years. None had any bag failures (zippers, ripped seams, etc.), and none had any plans of replacing the pack.
The only complaints were that the external mesh water bottle pockets and the front electronics pockets are difficult to use if the bag is overpacked.
Here are the highlights from the travelers I “interviewed” about their Farpoint 40.
The Impromptu Cycling Trip through Albania using the Osprey Farpoint 40
As I was traveling through Albania, after a stint in Croatia, I was making my way south to some fairly pristine and desolate beaches. One morning, as I left my hostel, I noticed a Farpoint 40 strapped to the back of a bicycle. I started taking pictures of the setup when the owner walked up and we started chatting. I took the opportunity to pick his brain about the bag.
This bicyclist loved the Farpoint 40, mainly due to its size (perfect travel carryon), how easy it is to pack, and how all of the straps zip away. You see, this fella started his 3 week Albania tour backpacking. One day, he was waiting on a bus at a bus station and noticed cyclists cruising by in their spandex ninja wear…and he got kind of jealous. He also noticed that across the street, a bike was for sale for around $100. So, like any rational traveler, he got off the bus and bought the bike and some bungee cords strapped the Farpoint 40 to the back of his bike and started riding towards his destination. It was a week later, after a week of riding, that I met him.
He was having an amazing time cycling and reiterated that with his last pack (a large summit bag, likely bigger than 55 liters) the bag would have been too big and likely had straps hanging everywhere. This wasn’t the case with the Farpoint 40.
This case showed off the practical and functional design of the Farpoint. The travel focused design, with all of the straps stowing easily, made it perfectly easy to strap to a bike, without any dangling straps getting caught in the wheel. The size of the bag was small enough to fit well on the bike and still made riding natural while having enough space for everything one would need for a 3-week backpacking/cycling trip. Last, this fella took a spill riding around the corner and ended up crashing his bike. The bag was fine, with a small scratch, but no abraded holes due to the high-quality materials.
In the end, the Farpoint 40 was not only perfect for backpacking but also for this guy’s impromptu cycling adventure too.
Backpackers in Croatia using the Osprey Farpoint 40
This was a simple group of great friends that I traveled with briefly. Admittedly, they were more touristy travelers than backpackers and probably would have more often used roller carry-ons in their travels. However, during their stint through Europe (and Croatia where I met them), the Farpoint 40 was a perfect balance. Internal storage and organization were just as good or better than any roller carry-on luggage, but the ability to wear the bag as a backpack was much more convenient for walking through towns from bus stations to hostels upstairs and hills – which happens quite often if you’re traveling the right way in the Balkans fyi.
For these “tourist travelers,” the Farpoint 40 provided the benefits of any other carry on luggage but made transit on buses, trains, and planes much easier.
Dr. Strangelove introducing me to the Farpoint 40 in Thailand
Doc is a good buddy so I had plenty of opportunities to pick his brain about his bag. When we first met, Doc had the bag for 2 years, and that was actually 2 years ago from now. He’s traveled for stints of one week (like our one week blitz through the Balkans) to several months surfing and riding through Southeast Asia. Through it all he’s loved that the load carries well when you’re walking, the wraparound zip panel makes it easy to pack, and it’s so durable he doesn’t have to think about replacing it. Another testament to the simple yet near perfect design that Osprey has refined with decades of bag experience.
Review of the Osprey Farpoint 40 for Travel
A nearly perfect travel backpack. The only things that need to be upgraded are moving the laptop compartment to the back, adding a few pockets (side and hip belt), and making the water bottle pockets usable when the bag is fully packed.
Outside of these common complaints, the bag is durable, comfortable to wear, fits as carry-on luggage on most airlines and also fits under the seat in most airlines. Countless travelers report owning this bag for 3+ years and still being completely satisfied with no intention of upgrading.
The main compartment is easily accessible, with the wrap around panel zip. Pairing this bag with 2 to 3 packing cubes makes packing and unpacking a breeze while staying organized the entire way.
Review of the Osprey Farpoint 40 for Hiking & Outdoors
- Travel-focused features add to much weight
- Missing features that make the backpack easy to access while wearing (hip belt pockets, external pockets on the side)
- Would need improved quick access and external storage, such as improved water bottle pockets, pockets for snacks, and external pockets for wet and dirty gear
The Farpoint 40 is an excellent travel pack that would survive in the outdoors in a pinch or for a quick trek of a couple of days, like the Inle Lake Trek in Myanmar. However, if your travels revolve around multi-day treks (like the Everest Base Camp Trek then get a pack that ditches the airplane travel-centric options to be a bit lighter and adds features that make the backpack easier to use while wearing. If you’re looking for ideas for a cheap, reliable, comfortable backpack for hiking and camping, I can’t recommend the REI Trail 40 enough.
Practical Pros | Cons
- Durable fabric, zippers, and stitching
- Comfort thanks to extra padding in shoulder straps, back panel, and hip belt
- Special internal support structure distributes weight very well between hips, shoulders, and back
- Fits under the seat in most planes (even in Southeast Asia)
- The one determiner of whether the Osprey Farpoint 40 is for you is the laptop & tablet pocket. The Laptop and tablet pocket on front sleeve mean you should be careful not to overpack as the rounded shape will put pressure on your devices potentially breaking them. If you don’t mind underpacking slightly or storing your devices internally without a pocket, then you’ll love this pack.
- The bag could use pockets on hipbelt (similar to the REI Trail 40)
- Water bottles do not fit the mesh pockets if the bag is completely full – you’ll have to secure them using the mesh compression straps
Suggestions for using the Osprey Farpoint 40
- Pair with two packing cubes to keep things organized
- Pair with a lightweight daypack like the one Osprey offers
Materials, Construction, and Durability
- 210 Denier Ripstop Nylon for external, surfaces
- 600 denier nylon packcloth on high abrasion areas (bottom, accent points, etc.)
Design, Layout, and Function
- Laptop and tablet sleeve with lockable zippers
- Hipbelt with a special system to transfer weight from shoulders to hips
- Mesh, breathable backpanel
- Shoulder straps and hip belt stowaway completely for easy, smooth travels
- Lockable zippers on the main compartment
- Front mesh pockets for holding water bottles or wet/dirty items
- 2 compression straps (top and bottom of the bag)
- 2 internal compression straps make it easy to pack and keep your load situated
- Padded top and side handles make carrying easier when shoulder straps are packed away
- Large internal, zippered mesh pocket on the panel
Size and Specs
- S/M – 2319 Cu. In./ 38L, Dimensions – 20”x14”x8”, 3.1lbs
- M/L – 2441 Cu. In./ 40L, Dimensions – 21”x14”x9”, 3.2lbs
Best Places to Buy the Farpoint 40
Hands down, the best place to buy travel gear, in general, is REI. A wide selection, 1-year unlimited warranty & satisfaction guarantee, free shipping, and 10% back each year make shopping at are in general, or for the Osprey Farpoint 40.
Amazon is also a great place to buy the Osprey Farpoint 40, especially if you have Amazon Prime (if not, you can get it with a free trial) or are located outside of North America. I purchase a lot of my gear on Amazon because of the free shipping, free and easy returns, and whatever I’m purchasing is usually cheaper here or fairly close in price (~$5)
Purchasing straight from the manufacturer is always a solid option. Though the return policies will be a bit more liberal and forgiving with REI and Amazon, using Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee, which covers any damages or defects for free, will be easier if done directly through Osprey.
Bottom Line on this Osprey Farpoint 40 Review
The Osprey Farpoint 40 is a great pack for the price that’s nearly perfect for carry-on only travel and travelers looking for their first bag. If you are in the market for a bag for traveling a few weeks to a few months on the road and are unsure what you want and need, save yourself some time and opt for the Osprey Farpoint 40. Like several of my friends and countless other adventurous travelers, you won’t be disappointed.
Other Great Starter and Travel Backpacks to Consider
- The REI Trail 40: If you’ll spend as much time hiking and camping as traveling
- The REI Ruckpack 40: If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, urban-focused pack
Disclaimer: A Brother Abroad might earn some spare change from links in this post, which goes to fund more “research” (aka travel)
For some links, I may receive a small bit of compensation when you book through Hostelworld after clicking, at no additional cost to you. Profits go towards continuing to build this site and financing the stories and “research” that go into it. If you find this useful and want to show some love, book through a link here, leave some comment love or share with someone that may find it useful.
My goal isn’t to get rich, it’s sharing the travel knowledge I wish I had earlier. Every recommended here I would absolutely pay for with my own money or have paid for in the past. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected]