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Gear review: Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack

10.24.18

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Gear review: Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack

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  • The Farpoint 40 is a great backpack for casual day hiking.- Gear review: Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack
  • The smaller pocket has a slot for laptops, books, etc.- Gear review: Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack
  • There is a convenient smaller pocket on the outside for small items.- Gear review: Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack
  • The large inner pocket is large enough to fit a lot of stuff - but it's hard to organize it.- Gear review: Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack
  • There are compression straps to help you compress your luggage.- Gear review: Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack
  • There are compression straps on the outside of the pack that help with keeping the pack size smaller.- Gear review: Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack
  • There is a side handle on the pack for transporting when the straps are folded away.- Gear review: Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack
  • Great for day hikes.- Gear review: Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack
  • The Farpoint 40 is pretty comfortable considering its thin shoulder and hip straps.- Gear review: Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack
  • The chest and hip belts are pretty easy to adjust.- Gear review: Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack
  • The straps can be folded away and sealed off with a zippered flap, converting the pack into a messenger-style bag or luggage for a flight.- Gear review: Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack
  • The pack with the shoulder and hip straps folded away.- Gear review: Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack
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Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack specs

  • International carry-on size
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Load range: 20-40 lbs
  • Weight: 3.11 lbs (3.17 lbs for M/L)
  • Fabric: 210D Nylon Mini Hex Diamond Ripstop
  • Stowable shoulder straps

Where to get it

The Bottom Line: The Osprey Farpoint 40 is a good middle ground between a hiking pack and an all-around backpack, but that also means it compromises on both sides. While Osprey's build quality is superb as always, the pack's design is not ideal for everyday use. It is heavier with less versatility than other hiking packs. If you want a highly functional everyday pack or a technical hiking pack, you should buy two separate, more specialized packs. But if you are looking for a pack to take on vacations, weekend trips, short day hikes, and maybe use as an everyday backpack, then this is a versatile option that will work for lots of activities.

The Osprey Farpoint 40. Photo by Ethan Rambacher.

I have used a few different Osprey packs by now, and I love them. The build quality is fantastic, the warranty and service is great, and best of all, the packs just work. Last winter I was looking for a new backpack to use for school, and I wanted to get one that would also work for day trips and hiking. The Farpoint 40 falls into this category. Right away you'll notice it doesn't look like Osprey's other hiking packs. There aren't big pockets and straps and loops coming off the pack; it's much cleaner than that. But it also definitely looks a bit more well-built than a traditional school backpack, and it has hip and chest belts and two water bottle pockets on the back.

Osprey markets this pack as "perfect for a weekend getaway in the city or the wilderness." It to be more marketed more as a vacation pack and a flight carryon item - it's got lockable zippers, and it's supposedly approved as a carry on size, which obviously depends on which airline you take. Another cool feature is that you can pack the straps away with a zippered cover, which is nice if you want to use the bag as a messenger-style bag. Let's go through the different use cases of the bag individually:

First, let me address the Farpoint 40 for hiking. It has a 40-liter capacity, which should be enough for most people to get through a day hike (or maybe even a few nights with small gear). It has a hard frame, which makes it a bit heavier and also much more comfortable in my opinion. There are two main pockets, one which is quite large and takes most of the pack's volume and another, smaller one that is not as thick. The pack has no place to put a hydration bladder, and no there is cable routing. To make this worse, the mesh pockets on the back, which look like water bottle pockets, don't actually hold water bottles when the bag is packed full. This means there's no good place to store water except in the large main pocket, which is a bit inconvenient.

Next, I'll talk about using the Farpoint 40 for everyday use. I have been using this bag as my main school bag for about eight months now, and I've had an good experience with it overall. It's much more comfortable than previous bags I've used, and the hip belt is a nice addition for when I'm carrying lots of heavy books or my laptop. Unfortunately, actually using the bag is a bit weird. I generally end up putting all my books, folders, and laptop in the largest pocket, where it all fits. However, if you don't use the compression straps on the outside of the pack, the contents sometimes shake back and forth because of the pack's construction. If you want, you can also use the internal straps to tighten down the contents, but I rarely do this. In short - the large pocket is a bit weird to use for everyday use because of its size and thickness.

Now, as I mentioned, Osprey probably intends this pack for travel and day or weekend trips. I hoped that this pack would also be good for hiking and everyday use. For everyday use it functions fine and has plenty of space, but the pockets are not ideally sized for this in my opinion. For travel and vacations this bag works well, but again, be mindful of the pack's capacity. You should get this bag if you want only one backpack that works for a short hike, for vacationing, and for city trips. But if you want the best quality and functionality in each activity, go for specialized backpacks for each use and you'll have a much better time.

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