A good travel bag can take a lot of time to pick out since there are many on the market with different levels of quality and built in functions. Being stuck with a poorly made or non-functional bag on your travels can be frustrating and it’s something I aim to help you avoid. The right bag is crucial to your travel enjoyment, because it’ll be the thing that you’ll be living out of for a while.
This post is an in-depth review of the Osprey Farpoint travel bag series. This series is what I think is the best travel backpack ever made. Having used this backpack myself for almost 3 years now with absolute delight, I feel confident I can recommend it to my fellow travelers of all sorts.
In this post I’ll go through the good and bad points of this bag in hopes that it‘ll help you decide on your travel bag of choice.
A Quick History of Osprey
Osprey started making great backpacks since 1974 and ever since has been the #1 choice for backpackers of all types around the world. The difference is in the quality of the bag and the little design details that help make your travel effortless.
Just look at all the high reviews on Amazon!
To laminate on the brand’s quality products, for it’s 35th anniversary, the company introduced the “All-Mighty Guarantee” which is an enhancement of their already robust lifetime warranty. Free of charge, they will repair any damage or defects regardless if you bought it 30 years ago or even yesterday. If they are unable to repair it, they will happily replace the bag!
Why I decided to buy the Osprey backpack
The number one reason why I picked the Osprey bag to take along with me on my long-term travels is because it functions so well as a travel backpack. The thoughtful features to this bag shows it was designed by a traveler who has gone through it all in their own backpacking journey with all the scenarios you’d deal with a bag on the road. The usefulness of the features wasn’t something obvious to me at first but I had only realized later when I had full use of it on my travels.
Let’s go over some of the features:
Imagine the traditional backpack where you open the top up, load your bag with your heavier things first starting from the bottom and eventually filling it to the top. That’s how a traditional backpack works. Now imagine after you‘ve packed your items and suddenly needed the pair of shoes you packed at the bottom of the bag. You’ll need to unpack everything just to get to it!
With my Osprey Farpoint bag, it’s front loading instead of top loading like many traditional bags, meaning unzipping the front cover gives access to all the things inside. This is a huge time saver and makes it a lot easier to organize things, grab anything quickly, and can double as a personal wardrobe when hung on a hook like in the photo below. This was taken when I was in a hostel in Thailand and it made my life in small spaces so much easier.
Detachable Day Bag
The Farpoint bag comes as two pieces, the large backpack and the detachable day bag. The day bag features buckles that attaches to the large bag by the shoulders when you’re wearing it in front of you. This helps with weight balance and reduces strain on your back and shoulders when you’re carrying a heavy load.
Both the day bag and large pack have two tethers: One for the chest and the other for the waist for when you need them secured firmly to your body.
A neat feature built in the buckle is a whistle that you can use in emergencies to attract attention. It comes useful when you’re hiking somewhere remote or being followed by a stranger on the streets.
What can I fit in the day bag?
It has a pocket for my laptop and tablet, a netted pocket for my loose change and hand sanitizer, a deep front zipped pocket for all my pocket camera, large space inside for my tripod and gear, and the front features two water bottle holders. The downside with the water bottle holders though is that they only work if you don’t have a lot of things in your bag. If packed too full inside the day bag, the holders do not have enough receding space to store a water bottle.
Quality Materials & Build
I used to own many cheaply made travel backpacks that looked amazing, but after only a few uses or rough handling they would have the seams detach or zippers break/jam. They couldn’t stand the extreme conditions of travel. The common failure in my previous bags would be the hanging hook breaking when hung too many times, forcing me to resort to hanging the bag by one of the shoulder straps instead.
With my Osprey bag, the material used for the hook is strong and they even folded the strap to give it more strength. There was a time where I’ve hung my day bag with so much weight that the hook on the door broke off instead of this loop.
During my 3 years of use, there still are no zipper jams, the seams are strong, and no signs of holes or tears from being thrown around! Ah, heaven.
All the materials used to make this bag are durable and not easily scuffed or cut. The buckles can be stepped on without breaking and the tethers can be adjusted for height or snugness however many times without ever slipping.
Other Unique Features
Zipper flap for checked-in baggage: Rolled up on the bottom of the large bag is a zippered flap that you can use to cover the entire shoulder strap area, converting it into a luggage for check-in. It gives added protection from the straps from getting damaged when being handled by airport baggage staff.
Lockable zipper: You can protect from pickpockets by locking the zipper together with a small lock. The one I use is this TSA approved luggage lock which has held up extremely well over the past few years of travel. You can see from the photo below that someone tried to cut my lock but was unsuccessful.
I bought mine here on Amazon for a great deal.
Carry handles: Conveniently placed handles on the side and top of the bag makes handing the bag easier.
Coated steel wire frame: To prevent the bag from flopping and keeping it’s shape, there is a coated steel wire lined around the backside of the bag. It adds for sturdiness when laid down flat and for keeping the shape of the bag when worn as well.
Securing straps: There are two straps inside the bag to keep loose belongings in place, especially great if your bag is not stuffed full. It prevents your stuff from shifting around inside the bag while being worn, reducing potential injuries to your back.
Extra pockets: Two zipped pockets in the large bag allows for convenient socks and underwear storage. Of course you can place other things here that you want access to quickly without thinking about where it is in your bag.
On my travels I’ve seen old travelers with vintage osprey bags that still looked great and a lot of miles left on them. It’s a testament to how well the bags are built. I was curious enough to ask them their own experience with the bag and the feed back was a resounding yes that these Osprey bags are the best.
Oh and before you go on your trip, make sure to protect yourself from the potential accidents that can happen during travel. Travel insurance is a must and it would be foolish to go without it.
World Nomad’s is the #1 insurance provider for backpackers because they allow you to extend, cancel, or even renew your policy wherever you are in the world! Created for travellers, by travellers.
This blog post is not sponsored by Osprey and the writer was not paid by the company to review their product. This post is to share a personal experience with this bag as a long-term backpacker who has happily owned it for the last 3 years while exploring Europe and SE Asia.