Farpoint Osprey Packs: The Best Travel Backpacks

Farpoint Osprey Packs: The Best Travel Backpacks

As you may have read on my top three travel essentials post, I absolutely love Osprey packs and will be soon purchasing my third one. Osprey really makes the best travel backpacks!


The Best Travel Backpacks: Osprey Farpoint 55 Review


The first one I used was the Osprey Aura 65 which I took on a 9 month Round-the-World trip and also to travel for 6 months in Central America. Roomy yet not too big for my 5’2” frame, it had plenty of space for all my belonging and all the souvenirs I picked up along the way. Despite the fact that I hardly ever used a backpack rain cover and put the bag through hell, it’s still in great condition and never failed me.

After experiencing the quality and durability of this bag, I decided that when purchasing my next travel bag I had to stick with Osprey packs.

This time, I upgraded to a carryon size 40L backpack: the Farpoint Osprey 55 which I am currently using. I searched high and low for the best travel backpacks, obsessing over the tiniest details. When this bag arrived in the mail, I couldn’t have been happier and after using it the past 11 months, I can confidently say it is the perfect bag and this is why:




5 Reasons Why Farpoint Osprey Packs are the Best Travel Backpacks



This main compartment is a 40L backpack and it attaches to a 15L detachable day pack for a total space of 55L. When using the two items separately, the two pieces work perfectly for carryon air travel. I’ve used it on several international airlines with no problems.

While I do check my bag in when I don’t feel like carrying it, having a bag that’s carryon size helps streamline the packing process and encourages me to take only the travel necessities.

The bag comes in two sizes which makes a huge difference when it comes to comfort! At just over 5 feet tall, I use the small/medium which fits very well with my stature. Remember, just because you’re taller doesn’t mean you need a bigger bag. This is just the right size for your belongings – choose the medium/large size for a good fit.



As with the Osprey Aura 65, the nylon fabric is easy to clean and doesn’t look dirty. It fabric feels rugged and doesn’t tear easily. The zippers are sturdy even when I stuff the bag beyond its abilities. Osprey packs are built to last which is exactly what you need when you depend on a travel bag to act as a home for your all your belongings on a long backpacking trip.

Farpoint Osprey packs only weighs 2 lb. which makes them very lightweight bags despite its quality materials.



It’s great to be able to have a daypack you can attach to your backpack and avoid walking around like a “pregnant turtle”. When you want to use it during the day, zip it off and go!

It’s very spacious and opens like a suitcase allowing you to organize efficiently and not struggle to find your belongings like you would with a top loader. As a long term traveler, it fits my Maximista Packing List amount of clothing perfectly when using my 3 piece set of eBags packing cubes which I use as my preferred travel organizers.

It also has compression straps on the exterior of the bag which helps make sure your Osprey pack will fit into any airplane overhead compartment and it also minimizes the bulkiness of the bag on your back.


Safety Features

One of the best features of the Farpoint Osprey is that it has lockable zippers which actually did prevent a theft last year in a Borneo hostel. Most theft is due to convenience and ultimately, if someone’s going to take your bag or break into it; it’s gonna happen no matter what.

The majority of people traveling with a backpack are most likely staying in smaller guesthouses and hostels. Usually, you can leave your backpack in your hostel dorm without much concern. While some hostels do have lockers for your bag, many don’t but they do offer services to store your valuables in either individual safes or with reception.

Don’t be alarmed, though. Out of the 5 years I’ve been on the road, I’ve only had something taken out of my bag once while traveling at a hostel in Cape Town so it’s not a common occurrence, plus it was really my fault for leaving cash in my unlocked Osprey Aura 65 bag. I feel very secure with the Farpoint Osprey 55. I do wish the daypack also had lockable zippers in addition to the main compartment, though.



Osprey makes some good looking bags. It’s not easy to find stylish backpacks but theirs are sleek and chic and don’t look like your typical rucksack backpacks. They offer nice colors (or neutrals if you’re like me) and they won’t cramp your style. Whether you’re a backpacker, flashpacker, traveler, or tourist, you’ll look good in a Farpoint Osprey pack.


Dec 2012: departing Thailand to head back to England


Problems: I only have one tiny gripe with this bag. After only a few months, the back corners of the bag that have regular fabric not nylon, showed general wear and tear after only a few months unlike the Osprey Aura 65 that didn’t even show a scratch after using it for over a year. However, the fabric doesn’t interfere with the functionality so it wouldn’t deter me from recommending Farpoint Osprey Packs and buying one again.

Travel Gear Tip: Treat your Osprey packs well and get a backpack rain cover. While it may not make it 100% waterproof, it will keep it clean and prevent your belongings from getting completely soaked when you put your bag on a wet or dirty floor.


So if I love my Osprey packs so much, why am I getting a new one? Basically, after getting rear ended while driving in 2009 my back has only gotten worse so I’m now in the market for a wheeled backpack and have my eye on the Osprey Meridian 22. Stay tuned for my next review.


Please note: you have to remove the daypack to use it as a carry-on. While most travelers confirm they can use this bag to travel carry-on it may not work for budget airlines with smaller size limitations. Please double check with your airlines. The Farpoint 40 is slightly shorter at 21 inches which is a good alternative (it just doesn’t have the day pack but you can buy one separately if needed).


Please read this article to learn about How to Choose a Travel Backpack.

What’s your favorite travel backpack?

For more travel gear tips, please read:

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  1. Hi Alex! Thank you for all of your tips, they are truly helpful! My concern right now is a carry on luggage. Did you take your osprey aura 65 as a carry on? And did you ever use your osprey meridian 22? I currently bought the meredian because I read great reviews but I want it as carry on for those low budget airlines. One person said all she does is detach the wheels prior to the airport to make it in the Ryanair airports. If you have any further advice I would love to hear it regarding taking the osprey as carry on. Thank you so much for your time!

    • Hi Heather, thanks for your question!

      The Osprey Aura 65 was the first backpack I used prior to traveling carry-on only. This was a good bag but I used it before I began my quest to travel light.

      The Meridian 22 is carry-on for most international airlines but not Europe’s budget airlines like RyanAir and Easy Jet. Europe’s airlines have very strict limitations and the sizing is much smaller than US carry-on. If I’m using a 22″ like the Meridian in Europe (RyanAir or Easy Jet) I usually pre-pay the baggage check fee because I don’t want to risk it and get hit with a high penalty fee at the airport. Sometimes they’re relaxed and sometimes they’re strict but I don’t push my luck with them especially since the flights are pretty cheap I don’t mind as much paying a little extra for peace of mind.

      The 22″ size carry-on luggage works for me because it’s carry-on compliant on at least 85-95% of my annual flights and offers ample space for my long term travels. Let me know how it goes!

    • Hi, did you try taking the wheels off and did it work to get it on budget airlines as carry on? Thinking about getting the meridian also, but that is my main concern!

      • Hi Anisa! I didn’t take my wheels off but I do believe the Meridian would be too bulky for some budget airlines like Ryan Air or Easy Jet. If you book these flights far enough in advance they can be very cheap. I seldom use these airlines so if I find myself with the need to use them I just pre-book the 15 euro bag fee.

  2. Hi Alex,

    Great post by the way! I have spent all arvo searching for the best womens travel backpack and a lot recommend the Osprey series. In your pic are you wearing the Osprey Aura or Fairpoint and what is the capacity?


  3. Alex, which of the backpacks you mentioned above would be allowed as a carry-on? i would like to not have to check in any bags.

    • Hi Melisa, the Farpoint used to be carry-on and it still might be on certain airlines. The Farpoint 55 is made up of two backpacks: one day pack that’s 15L and one main pack that’s 40L. The best thing is to check with your airline and determine the baggage restrictions before shopping as there are many changes going on with carry-on rules at the moment. What will work for one might not work for another airline.

  4. Hi Alex! I was wondering, have you flown Air NewZealand with your Farpoint 55? Were you able to carry on? I have the S/M which is 24x13x12 (49 total linear dimensions). Air New Zealand’s limit is 46.5 total linear inches and 15 lbs. I was thinking the height dimension is the variable I can play with, so I can use the compression straps to keep it under 9.5″ tall. I shouldn’t be cram packing it anyway if I’m trying to stay under 15 lbs. How much does your bag weigh? I think it would be helpful to list the weight of your packing examples (stuff in bags) for our reference.

    • Hi Natalie, no I haven’t flown New Zealand. Do they charge to check your bag on an international flight? If your goal is to travel carry-o only to avoid fees, with all these new airline restrictions, it’s tough to say what works now and what doesn’t. Generally, international flights tend to be more lenient towards the dimension of your bag. Domestic travel is way more strict.

      However, if you get a free checked bag, why not check it if it’s a problem at the airport? My bag weighs about 12 kilos on average. Here are some more details on my packing strategy: http://8e5.f98.myftpupload.com/my-packing-secrets/ Thanks!

  5. Hi! I’m a 5’10 female heading to Vietnam for 13 days. Should I get the s/m or m/l?

    • Hi Marni, because of your height M/L seems like it would make the most sense but always double check with the manufacturer sizing information. Have a great trip!

  6. Hello!

    What is the frame length of your Osprey Farpoint 55? Do you think I’d be able to use it as a Carry-on on smaller flights in Europe? I really want this one but all the stores I’ve been to have told me that it’s too big to use as a carry-on :(


    • It has worked as a carry-on on many international airlines but if you are flying on budget airlines within Europe, it won’t fit as they have very tight restrictions. In fact, it seems US airlines are now making their carry-on restrictions smaller as well.

  7. Hi Alex:

    I am stuck between the two backpacks you discuss in this article!

    Like you, I am just over 5 feet tall and bought the S/M Farpoint 55L, and I find the frame hitting the back of my head, making it difficult to tilt my neck back at all. Based on your photo, it doesn’t look like this was a problem for you? I’m wondering if you configured your straps a certain way, and if this issue comes with the territory being petite (and would thus be the same with the Aura, or any other backpack, really). Did you find the frame to be a little high, and if so, how did you solve or live with the problem?

    What stops me from going for the Aura 65L is that it doesn’t open like a suitcase and I’m afraid of having to unpack & repack the whole thing every time I need something. Did you find this was the case?

    Thank you and happy travels! Your site is so thorough :)

    Ala from Canada

    • Hi Ala, at 5’2″ the Farpoint fit me better on the shoulders than the SM Aura but it also is preferable due to the zippered locks. I adjusted the straps and also had the bag fully filled. Alternatively, look for a child or teen backpack size in a different brand.

      Between the two backpacks I recommend the Farpoint because this is the bag I replaced the Aura with :-)

  8. I’m taking the Farpoint 40 with me for a month in Indonesia (including my DSLR!). I’ll also bring the Flapjill mini on the plane with me. Both are carry-on compliant, which is nice since I have 5 different flights and don’t want to take chances of anything getting lost. I love packing light. :)

    • you’ll love it, I do!

  9. Useful review, what sizes of cube-packs that are suitable for osprey Farpoint 55? what brand of cube-packs do you recommend?



  10. Useful review, great, thanks!

    • Great thanks!

  11. Hello!

    After reading your review alongside other bloggers, I have my heart set on the Osprey Farpoint…but….not sure if I should get the 55 or 70. Since I am getting the S/M size, the volume of the main pack is only 38L instead of 40L. I looked at the packing lists on this site, and though I want to go for the minimalist, I still like having the option to go maximista. If so, the recommended bag for this is 40-60L. That means the Osprey farpoint 55 is a bit too small with the main pack at 38L. Should I go for the 70 where the main pack is 52L? I really don’t know what to do. I want to travel light and the 55 seems so nice and compact but I am afraid of reaching a point where I think, “Argh, I should have gotten the 70!”

    Please help!

    Best wishes,

    • Hi Claris, combined with 3 slim packing cubes you should have no problem fitting a maximista or minimalist packing list into your 55 bag with 38-40L of main bag space. I’m a full time traveler and thats what I use. Thanks!

    • hello Claris! I had the same doub and question as you, 55 or 70 option to have more space? But I do not want something to big (1 month trip through South America) but if you have limited space. What choice did?

      • 70 has more space but it’s too much space. I’ve seen female travelers with this size bag and it’s bigger than them.

  12. Hello!

    Does this backpack have straps that go around your waist to keep some of the weight off the shoulders?



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