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Osprey Farpoint 40 Review – best carry on backpack

Osprey Farpoint 40 review – find out why this is my favourite backpack for travelling, weekends away and city breaks. My new forever rucksack.

I have a thing about luggage. From carry-on to hold luggage from backpacks and wheeled duffels to hard-shell suitcases and day packs. In my cupboard I have packs within, wheelie bags within duffels within suitcases – the luggage version of Russian dolls. I’ve tried them all. But now that I’ve found the perfect backpack in the Osprey Farpoint I’ll be getting rid of a pile of old rucksacks and sticking to this one. 


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Updated 01 April 2021 

Osprey Farpoint 40 Review

I’m on a constant quest for quality luggage that makes travel easier. When it comes to carry-on luggage, after years of searching and testing, I think I’ve found ‘the one’. Small but not too small, excellent quality and with loads of useful features, this perfectly sized pack has room for all my gear and conforms to EU maximum carry-on luggage size on many airlines. I’ve been using the Osprey Farpoint 40 rucksack for two years now and I absolutely love it. I’m actually feeling rather smug about this backpack. Let me explain in my Osprey Farpoint 40 review why this rucksack ticks all the boxes.


Why travel with carry-on luggage?

I prefer to travel with just carry-on luggage for so many reasons. You’re less likely to lose it, there’s no waiting for baggage to arrive at the carousel and the additional cost of checking in hold luggage on some of the ‘budget airlines’ is ridiculous. The Osprey Farpoint 40 is suitable for many budget airlines but not all of them. 

Airline hold and hand-luggage specifications are changing all the time. You should always check on the airline website baggage requirements before travelling.

Osprey Farpoint 40 Review


Osprey Farpoint 40


Fit, Comfort and Durability

Osprey have been designing and making rucksacks for over 40 years. Fit, durability and comfort are at the foundation of their design along with good quality. You can see this and you can feel it. It’s probably why the Farpoint and Fairview ranges are among some of the best-selling backpacks.

Gender Specific Fit

I’m only 5’2” so I don’t want to lug around a huge pack. I’m not getting any younger either. The Farpoint 40 comes in two sizes; small/medium for people under 5’6” (38 litre) and medium/large for over 5’6” (40 litre). I’ve got the S/M and the choice of fit means this is the most comfortable backpack I’ve used. Unpacked it weighs just 3.11 lbs.

Farpoint 40 Sizes and carry-on compliance

Use the table below to check whether the Osprey Farpoint 40is compliant as a carry on for your airline.

Cubic Inches23192441
Inches21(L) x 14(W) x 9(D) 21(L) x 14(W) x 9(D)
Centimetres54(L) x 35(W) x 23(D) 54(L) x 35(W) x 23(D)
Load Range20-40 lb9-18 kg


Osprey Farpoint 40 reviewOsprey Farpoint 40 review


The Farpoint 40 is carry-on compliant for most low-cost airlines but big enough to pack everything you’ll need. Savvy packers could go for months with this pack. Internal and external compression straps mean everything is neatly secured.

You might want to see how the Osprey compared in my best travel backpacks guide. This guide will help you choose the best backpack for you and your trip.

Comfort and Multiple Carry Options

The internal frame is lightweight and well-padded hip and shoulder straps mean that weight is distributed evenly and comfortably. Much of the weight is taken on the hips which helps prevent back strain. There’s even an emergency whistle incorporated into the sternum strap and elastic strips on the shoulders to attach clip-on items. The devil’s in the detail.

The shoulder straps and hip belt stow away into a zipped back panel when you’re not in backpack mode. This means there are no dangling straps to step on and the bag looks neat and compact. When in back pack mode the back panel tucks neatly away and is held in place with velcro.



There’s a detachable padded shoulder strap which is great for hopping on and off trains, buses and in airports. Padded side and top grab handles mean there are two further carrying options although when full I’d only recommend wearing the pack on your back.




The quality is obvious from the look and feel of the bag. It’s made from 210D Nylon mini Hex Diamond Ripstop. Osprey Rucksacks are built to last and come with Osprey’s ‘All Mighty Guarantee’ as part of their commitment to protect the environment.

Main Compartment

The Farpoint unzips on three sides like a suitcase which means it’s easy to take things out without having to unpack the entire contents. Even easier using packing cubes. The main compartment is roomy and has dual compression straps and a large zipped mesh pocket.


Osprey Farpoint 40 backpack


The zippers are lockable (lock not supplied) and the whole of the zip tucks away so it’s invisible and more secure.



A smaller hidden pocket at the top is good for storing valuables. On the outside are two mesh pockets suitable for water bottle if the bag isn’t too full. These are also good for hooking things to. Two outside compression straps keep the bag neat.


Passport in backpack pocketOsprey Farpoint 40 review


Second Compartment

Narrower than the main compartment there’s a padded section for storing a laptop, another padded section for a tablet and a third zipped mesh section which I use for cables, chargers and tech gear. Perfect for blog trips.



The Osprey Farpoint 40 comes in two colours, jasper red and volcanic grey. If you’re after a bigger pack there’s a 55 litre and 70 litre versions although these aren’t carry on compliant.


Protecting the Future

Osprey are dedicated to protecting the environment and design quality products built to last a long time. Their All Mighty Guarantee says they’ll fix or replace any of their products however old they are. They must be pretty sure of the quality to make this promise.

Osprey don’t over-produce only to sell at discount prices. Quality materials are used and wastage is kept to a minimum. The product is not fashion driven so customers are not encouraged to replace bags before they’re worn out. Packaging is kept to a minimum and is recyclable.


The Osprey Farpoint 40 Review – verdict

I’d love to say this is the perfect pack but there are a couple of points. When the back is totally full there’s no way I could get my water bottle in the mesh pocket at the back. Maybe I could get a clip and hang it but it’s a good bottle and part of my effort to reduce plastic usage so I don’t want to replace it. Also it would be handy to have small zipped pockets on the hip straps for money, credit card, keys etc.

We’ve been on a few trips now and we get on really well. In fact it’s a winner and I can’t wait for our next trip together! I love the design, quality, durability and practical features. It’s light but tough, really comfortable to wear, has plenty of space and is cabin compliant. I love this backpack and am pretty sure it’s going to be my travelling companion for life. We’re getting one for Mr Jones too.


woman with backpack walking through trees


I hope you’ve found my Osprey Farpoint 40 review helpful. If you have any questions please drop me a comment below and I’ll be happy to help.

The Farpoint 40 was gifted to me for the purpose of this review by Simply Hike. All thoughts, views and opinions are entirely my own.

Some of the posts on this site contain affiliate links and As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you buy an item via this site I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you choose to buy anything it’s very much appreciated, thank you.




Saturday 24th of November 2018

Hallo, Suzanne. Ryanair now has new rools about free carry-on bag: 40x20x25cm. How to make my Osprey Farpoint 40 to this size?

Suzanne Jones

Saturday 24th of November 2018

Ryan Air have changed the rules since I wrote this review. They now state "All passengers are entitled to bring 1 small personal bag on board which must fit under the seat in front of you (40cm x 20cm x 25cm). Examples include, handbag, laptop bag and small backpack." However you can get around this buy purchasing "Priority & 2 Cabin Bags". This way you can bring 1 additional 10kg bag on board which must fit into the baggage sizer (not exceeding 10kg and dimensions 55cm x 40cm x 20cm). The cost is (Nov 18) £6 at time of booking or £8 post booking. However, the Farpoint 40 is the following dimensions 54(L) x 35(W) x 23(D) so the depth is 3cm too big for the Priority & 2 Cabin Bags.

Ryan Biddulph

Sunday 23rd of September 2018

I absolutely love how small this backpack is Suzanne. Brilliant.

Suzanne Jones

Monday 24th of September 2018

It's the perfect size for me!

Christina Conte

Tuesday 18th of September 2018

I've never owned a backpack, but if I was to get one, it looks like this would be the one! I read that about Ryanair; so upsetting! Soon we'll just be able to board with a wallet or passport holder; it's getting so ridiculous.

I love that the Farpoint 40 is complaint for carry on, even on Ryanair. One of my issues is getting something that works in the UK, size wise as your numbers are even smaller than ours. Thanks for this review; good information!


Friday 5th of April 2019

Hello Suzanne, So with the "priority and 2 bags cabin" the farpoint 40 fits on 55x40x20? Or not? About Ryanair restrictions Thanks in advance and for your post.

Suzanne Jones

Wednesday 19th of September 2018

I love this backpack Christina, it has so many great features and is very comfortable. Made me realise how bad my last backpack was! Can’t bear Ryan Air...

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