Travel Backpack Review: Osprey Farpoint 55

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I have graduated from my trusty old Ruby Red backpack to try out a few different Osprey packs: the Aura 50, Kyte 46, and Farpoint 55. I want to address each one I’ve tried, what I like and don’t like about them, and why the Farpoint gets my vote for long-term travel.

Related: How to Pack for a Year in the Farpoint 55 and Carry it on!

I started with the Aura 50 but almost immediately returned it. Why? Because it had an extremely tight, awkward fit around the waist that didn’t seem like it would ever be forgiving enough to be comfortable, and also because even though I ordered a Small, the height of it worried me for carry-on size restrictions. Of course, I tried it on at REI before I ordered it like I always recommend doing. However, they only had an XS in stock, so I couldn’t truly compare.

Related: How to Choose the Perfect Travel Backpack (VIDEO)

Osprey Kyte 46
Me with my Kyte 46

Back to REI, I went to try on more backpacks, and I decided to switch out my Aura 50 for a Kyte 46. This was sacrificing a bit of space, which also concerned me because I’d be taking it on my longest adventure yet (constant travel indefinitely, packing for a year). I would lie if I said the color had nothing to do with it (teal is one of my faves).

But aesthetics aside, I thought the Kyte 46 was almost exactly what I wanted. It would have been better had it been a 50, but the REI employee and I stuffed it FULL of all sorts of pillows to ensure I was comfortable with what it could hold.

In hindsight, I should never have planned to stuff a bag that full, but as space was limited, that’s exactly what I ended up doing. I started my trip with the Kyte 46 backpack. Here are my thoughts about it:

What I liked (besides the color) about my Kyte 46:

  • Bottom access zipper to main compartment (not just top-loading)
  • Comfortable around my torso
  • Top pocket on outside and inside (easy access)
  • It really did stretch a lot and I’m almost convinced I fit more than 46 L worth of stuff in it
  • I carried it on no problem

What I didn’t love:

  • The pocket on the outside front of the pack doesn’t zip closed, just an elastic mesh pocket (I couldn’t really trust that anything would stay in it)
  • Even with top and bottom access, I still grew frustrated with having to dig around so much, constantly
  • Its capacity of 46 meant I had to carry more in my personal item than I prefer (which ended up being another daypack)
Osprey Farpoint 55
Osprey Farpoint 55 and Kyte 46 side by side

About 4 months into my trip, I switched out the Kyte 46 for an Osprey Farpoint 55.
FIREWORKS. I’m telling you, I used to think this pack looked funny, and now I sing its praises all day long.

The Farpoint is a backpack that opens like a suitcase. GENIUS. There is a detachable daypack on the outside of the flap that unzips like a suitcase, and the main compartment is completely open, with buckle straps if you choose to use them. You almost need to see it in action to understand its brilliance.

Farpoint Day Pack
Farpoint with daypack detached

What I love about the Osprey Farpoint 55:

  • The suitcase-like opening is amazing for finding things quickly, staying organized, and not continuously scraping my hands and arms along the fabric of the pack digging for contents
  • Detachable daypack eliminated my need for a second, smaller daypack that I was using for a personal item, which I switched out for a large purse
  • The daypack has compartments, including a laptop sleeve (#digitalnomad)
  • While the main compartment itself is only 40, which is smaller than the Kyte, between that and the daypack it is 55, which means I can carry more weight on my back and less in my arms (personal item)
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Backpack straps can all tuck in and get zipped up so if you check it there are no hanging straps, just sturdy handles (even the airport employees were amazed by this transformation when I zipped it all up in front of them to check my bag from Europe to South America)
Farpoint strap flap
You can hide all of these straps with this big flap that zips closed – great for checking the pack on flights
Farpoint hidden flap
When you want to wear it as a pack, the big flap can fold up and get tucked in here, closed by Velcro.
  • The daypack not only zips on, it also straps on, so it feels very securely attached
  • I use the daypack almost every day on its own, it’s a brilliant size and I love its compartments
  • Still small enough to carry on (can detach the daypack to fit in some smaller overhead bins)
  • It’s UNISEX (gasp!) that means this is the first pack I’ve recommended that everyone can enjoy
Hiking Switzerland
I use the day pack all the time, and here I am hiking in Switzerland. You can see it’s a great size for daily activities.

What I don’t love:

  • It is short in height and packs deep instead of tall, which isn’t a problem in itself, except I stick out a lot in the back when I have it on and sometimes run into people or things (no swinging around, you might take someone out!)

Seriously I can’t think of anything else. I have been on the road for 5 months, unpacking and repacking constantly, and the Farpoint is the best pack I’ve ever experienced for this type of travel.

The Kyte and other top/bottom loading packs might be ideal for backcountry backpacking trips with camping gear, etc. However, in my opinion, the Farpoint backpack is the clear winner when traveling the world.

Check out these Osprey Packs on Amazon or at REI.

Thanks to Osprey Packs for providing these packs to me. All opinions are my own.

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37 replies on “Travel Backpack Review: Osprey Farpoint 55”

Wait does the 55L pass as a carry on? Everywhere i asked around I heard it didnt? Im looking at buying the 40L, but honestly concerned with the amount i’m packing. it probably won’t fit

I wouldn’t judge the pack by whether it stands on its own, I don’t think that’s an important feature. The point is that it opens conveniently for those who are constantly in and out of their packs! If you don’t find the weight comfortable, don’t get it! Go with what your personal preference is.

I completely understand where you’re coming from. It’s such a tough and yet SUPER important decision. If you don’t mind the double turtle, I think your idea is a good one. Personally, I just don’t think I could ever go back from have a zip-open top like a suitcase. With how much I’m in and out of my bags, it honestly just starts to hurt my arms and it’s super frustrating to always have to dig. I had a pack that had a side zip once, and it didn’t cut it for me, it wasn’t really all that helpful. If you think you could swing it, give it a try (get it from REI so you can return it if you hate the set up). Otherwise if you’re a believer in the full zip, consider other brands that offer it as well that might be a better fit with the Tempest 20. Even the Farpoint 40 maybe?

Did you find that the 40L or 55L were better for international traveling in regards to carry on size. I will be going to Europe and wanted a backpack that will be considered carry on everywhere so I’m struggling to determine what size I need. Any advice would be helpful.

Hi Jackie! Quick question. I purchased the Farpoint 55 and it’s been great for my travels. I noticed you have some straps/covering hood on the outside of the pack on the first picture you have here. Is this a separate item that you purchased or is it a feature of the backpack? Thanks for your help.

so funny…I just bought the kyte because it fit me well…and I liked the color also. Now, I want to try the one you are using…but when I return…heading to tdp to do the W trek

Hey Vanessa! A backpack is really a personal preference. If you like the fit and it’s comfortable to carry when it’s full (even at REI they can stuff it full with weight and pillows for you to test), that’s what matters. Have you watched my video for finding the perfect travel backpack? This should help – Don’t go too big. A 50L or similar is plenty for a 25-day trip. You just need to decide if you want top-loading or zip-open like the Farpoint. Personally, I prefer zip open.

Hi Jackie,
thanks for your recommendations. I watched your video too. I had no idea what pack to get on my trip to London, Antwerp and Amsterdam. I thought about dragging my luggage around looking silly and people staring at me! I think you mentioned that. I purchased a different pack at Mountain Warehouse, but kept your suggestions in mind.

Hey Jackie! A few months ago, I purchased an Osprey Porter. It appears to be pretty similar to your Farpoint, the main difference being that the Porter doesn’t have a detachable day pack (which really isn’t an issue for me at this point). Anyway, I just wanted to thank you again because even though I ended up getting a different pack from what you’ve used and recommended, I learned a lot and I think I’ll be happy with this one 🙂 I will soon find out, as I leave for Europe in just 5 days!! Wohoo!

Ooooh I’m so curious about how you are going to like the Porter, will you let me know? I’ve eyed that one, too. Have THE BEST time on your trip! Come back and let us know how it goes!! 🙂

Any updates Gina? I am on the fence as to get the Porter 46 or the Farpoint 55… I am going on a 2 week trip to Ireland, and Scotland and want to make sure I have enough room for stuff and can still take it as a carry-on on RyanAir or FlyBe… I have a Lowe Alpine Diran 75 and it is huge, so I am trying to find a better travel bag. Thanks!

Guy, I was very happy with my Porter 46. I used it for two weeks in Europe this summer, and had plenty of space. From what I’ve learned, the two packs seem to be very similar. Obviously the Farpoint is a bit bigger, and it has the detachable day pack. I didn’t have a use for that on my trip, but you might. But as far as the Porter goes, it had the space I needed, wasn’t an issue on any airlines, and it was comfortable. I’d recommend it 🙂

You can add the daylight or daylight plus to the porter. I am between the osprey porter or osprey fairpoint.

Im trying to narrow down my choices for functionality/technical use during Torres del Paine/Fitz Roy hiking but also easy travel for city excursions without adding too much bulk. (Solo traveling Chile and Argentina for 22 days). Would you still used the Kyte for Torres del Paine or recommend using the Farpoint for that adventure now that you switched packs?

Good question. The Farpoint was a bit big for Torres del Paine, but I loved the removable daypack option for the days when we didn’t have to carry our entire packs. So while it was good for that, a 30L size pack would probably be a better fit for that trek specifically. I think the Kyte 46 would be a great option for the 3-week trip, if you do that, bring a stuffable daypack, like the REI brand ones, which will be your option for day hiking.

Hey Jackie!
I am seriously leaning towards the Farpoint, it looks amazing! I know you said the daypack is small enough to place in an over head bin, but are you able to carry on the main compartment as well? I was thinking you could detach the day pack and use that as a personal item, and then carry on the main compartment in an overhead bin?

Ah I didn’t scour the comments as closely as I should have! I see that you say it’s small enough to be checked you just may need to take off the day pack to fit in small overhead bins. You’re able to answer my question before I even asked it, awesome!

Hi Jackie,
I’m considering getting the Osprey Farpoint 55. I’m wondering what size you have. It says it comes in S/M or M/L…. I’m 5’9 and will be using it for 2 weeks in Italy this summer. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you!

I bought an Osprey pack recently for a two week trip to Poland this summer. I think I managed to buy one of the only packs you didn’t review at all! Any feedback/tips on the Tempest 40L?

I’m looking at the Kyte 46, and am a smidge concerned about carry-on requirements. Do you wear the XS/S or S/M? The frame of the S/M is just a smidge over the carry-on measurements for most airlines (thinking particularly of the stubborn RyanAir).
How did you get the Farpoint 55 to be carry-on size? The specs for the S/M say 24 inches.

Most airlines don’t take a second look at backpacks, that being said, carrying a full one along with another personal item is always a gamble because it often depends on the gate attendant’s mood that day. If it makes you feel better, check out the photo at the bottom of this linked article (How to Pack for a Year in a Carry On) – because they actually made me stuff my Kyte into the sizing bin to make sure it was small enough to carry on – and then they all laughed when I asked to take a picture of it in there. It did fit!

You are asking how the Farpoint compares fit-wise to the Kyte, right? It’s actually super comfortable, and has all the same adjustable straps above and below the shoulders and around the waist as well. I just carried it on a 5-day trek and it was great, I’d say comfort-wise they are about the same. I have narrow shoulders as well. Does that help answer your question?

You will be able to carry it on, it’s not very big. You might need to detach the daypack to make it fit in narrow overhead bins. The only reason I checked it on my first overseas flight with it was due to weight restrictions with Aerlineas Argentinas, which were pretty strict, not because of size.

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