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Osprey Farpoint 55 Review

   
Editors' Choice Award

Travel Backpacks

  • Currently 5.0/5
Overall avg rating 5.0 of 5 based on 2 reviews. Most recent review: July 23, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $162 - $180 | Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros:  Structured for increased comfort, tall, slim design, detachable day pack
Cons:  Frame makes it too big for a carry-on
Best Uses:  Adventure travel, light backcountry trips
User Rating:     
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 (5.0 of 5) based on 1 reviews
Manufacturer:   Osprey
Review by: Amanda Fenn ⋅ Senior Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ April 20, 2013  
Overview
A 55-liter travel pack with a detachable daypack, the Osprey Farpoint has our testers excited to book a flight to somewhere far, far away. The Editor's Choice winner, the Farpoint has a taller, slimmer design that is easier to carry than the shorter, wider packs we tested. While you should always consider personal fit first and foremost, our testers agreed that the taller pack provided greater balance and mobility than packs like Eagle Creek Rincon 65, making it our favorite travel-pack-that-can-also-be-used-for-backcountry-adventures. Unlike the frameless Osprey Porter, the Farpoint's peripheral frame successfully transfers the weight to the padded hip belt, making it comfortable to carry, even when packed to the gills. However, if you are considering purchasing this pack because it transfers well into outdoor activities, remember that you can always use a backpacking pack and one of our compressible daypack as your travel pack set-up. For more information on these types of packs, be sure to check out our Backpacking backpack Review. On the other hand, this pack has numerous convenient features that can help streamline packing and just make traveling a little simpler.

Although this pack doesn't have any external pockets, it does feature a detachable daypack, which conveniently zips onto the back or clips to the front shoulder straps. We loved that we could ditch the main pack and head out to explore with the daypack, or leave the daypack at home and head out on an overnight backpacking trip with the main pack. We tested the medium/large size and found it to be a little too big for our 5'6'' female testers, but fine for our male testers over 6'. After a quick trip to the gear store, we determined that the S/M size was a perfect fit for our main 5'6'' tester. On the down side, this pack does not meet the legal carry-on requirements and would have to be checked when flying, but when considering its comfort, versatility, and ease of packing, our testers agreed that the Osprey Farpoint should take home the Editor's Choice Award for this review. If having a travel backpack that you can carry on is a priority for you, be sure to read our review of the Eagle Creek Rincon. Or if you already have a backpack you love, but need a travel daypack, check out our Top Pick, the REI Stuff Travel Daypack 22.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Comfort
One of the most comfortable packs in this review, the Osprey Farpoint features a Lightwire alloy frame that provides structure around the edge of the pack. With its wide, padded hip belt (which is ˝ wider but not as padded as the Rincon's hip belt), its load stabilizing straps, and semi-breathable back mesh panel, this pack carries better than any other travel pack we reviewed. More of a tall, slim pack, the Osprey Farpoint mimics the shape of the back rather than creating the uncomfortable and unbalanced turtle shell effect we experienced when testing the Eagle Creek Rincon. The Farpoint is even more comfortable with its daypack zipped off and we would happily carry it on three-day backpacking trips. If getting into the backcountry is important to you, also consider a Backpacking backpack, since these packs are often designed to carry increased weight while providing maximum comfort.

Unlike the Rincon and the Kelty Redwing 50, the Farpoint's slim design allows for full range of motion of the arms; we even took the Farpoint backcountry skiing and didn't experience any limitation in arm movement. On the other hand, the pack's taller frame did occasionally affect head mobility (mostly when trying to look up and especially when wearing a helmet). While the pack was even more comfortable with the daypack zipped off, it still carried ergonomically with the daypack attached, thanks in part to Osprey's strait jacket compression straps. We also found the daypack to be quite comfortable and liked its sternum and hip straps (which don't come on the Rincon's detachable daypack).

Functionality and Features
The 55-liter Osprey Farpoint that we reviewed only missed a 10 out of 10 in functionality because its taller frame technically makes it larger than the legal carry-on size (however, we suspect that it would probably be possible to carry this bag onto a plane without too much trouble… worst case, you might have to check it at the gate). As outdoor gear reviewers, the thing we most appreciated about this pack was its ability to perform on backcountry adventures. While this pack doesn't compare to the comfort, durability, and weight capacity of backpacks designed specifically for multi-night hiking trips, it does a great job of combining the features of a travel pack with the comfort and performance of a backpacking pack. We talked a lot in the "Comfort" section about why this pack makes for a great backpacking pack; here are some of its awesome travel features.

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The Farpoint has a cover that zips up to protect the straps from damage. This flap can easily be tucked into a small pouch on the underside of the pack.
Credit: Amanda Fenn

This pack has a convenient zip-up flap that encloses the shoulder and hip straps to protect them from damage when checked. It also has lockable zippers (requires a slim lock) and padded side handles for easy grabbing. Additionally, its hip belt is designed with an "Ergo-pull" buckle, which allows you to cinch the belt down by pulling the straps in toward the belly button instead of outwards. Surprisingly, we found that this made a big different in how easy it was to adjust the hip belt, especially in comparison to the Rincon's more difficult traditional pulls. Furthermore, the Farpoint's tall design allowed us to be more "pack-aware," i.e. when wearing this pack on a crowded bus, you wouldn't have to worry about taking out your neighbor when turning around. When fully packed out with the daypacks on, the Eagle Creek Rincon stuck out 16 inches from our back, while the Farpoint measured out at 14 inches at its widest point. Check out the composite photo in our Best in Class review to see what a difference those two inches make. We also measured the Rincon and Farpoint without the daypacks on: The Rincon stuck out 12 inches and the Farpoint 9 inches.

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Here the Farpoint's gear loops and wrap-around compression straps keep the day pack in place and pull the load in as close to the body as possible. When packing the day pack and strapping to the main pack, try to place heavy items close to the body.
Credit: Amanda Fenn

Our testers found the Farpoint's daypack easy to zip on and off, but noted that when the main pack was at capacity and we tried to zip on the daypack, the daypack would try to zip itself off before we strapped it down. Then once we strapped it down, that restricted access to the main pack. We found this same issue with the Rincon. The other way to carry the daypack and main pack simultaneously is to rock the front backpack look. Generally speaking, this is super convenient for accessing important items in your daypack, but has a tendency to look pretty nerdy, plus it can be awkward to keep the smaller backpack in place. However, Osprey has helped make this maneuver much easier to pull off by adding buckles which allow you to clip the daypack to the shoulder straps of the main pack. Thanks to this feature, you can proudly wear your convenient front backpack without it awkwardly and uncomfortably slipping off (no guarantees you'll look cool, though…sorry).

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The Osprey Farpoint's front buckle system will keep your day pack securely in place. This feature makes it super simple to protect valuables and access important items.
Credit: Justin Griffin

Ease of Packing and Unpacking
All our stuff for a five-day ski trip fits. Plus, this pack is easy to...
All our stuff for a five-day ski trip fits. Plus, this pack is easy to pack thanks to its long zipper, which exposes practically the entire inside of the pack. The only thing that would make it easier was if the side walls had a little more structure.
Credit: Amanda Fenn
A front loading pack, the Farpoint features a panel that unzips almost all the way down the length of the pack, making it surprisingly easy to access gear throughout the whole bag. We all have those moments where it starts raining and we realize that we put the rain jacket in the.very.bottom.of.the.pack. With the Farpoint, we could easily get that long-lost raincoat without unpacking the rest of our stuff. Huge bonus. This pack also has internal compression straps to keep your stuff in place and external cinch straps on the bottom for sleeping mats, etc. On the down side, the Farpoint has lightweight walls without any structure, which were the complete opposite of the convenient foam-lined walls of the Osprey Porter. So when we unpacked the Farpoint, the walls collapsed on the floor, and our stuff started sprawling instead of staying kind of contained within the pack. OK, maybe it's partially our own messiness, but we just thought we'd mention it.

While the main pack does not feature any external pockets, it does have two internal mesh pockets and the daypack has several convenient pouches, including two fully mesh water bottle pockets. Additionally, when used by itself, the daypack can be hydration compatible. While not specifically designed for this feature, the pack has an internal drop-in pocket along the back, a loop that can be used to hang a bladder and a hole designed for head phones that a bladder nozzle will easily fit through. Finally, the daypack unzips to expose about 3/4 of the pack, making it also simple to pack and unpack.

Durability
Made of 210D x 330D Nylon Shadow Box and 420D HD nylon packcloth, the Osprey Farpoint has lighter materials than the other full sized packs we reviewed. However, it gained durability points for its zipper, which is heavier duty than those on other packs. We did not experience any significant wear and tear on this pack even after using it multiple days rock climbing. For a pack with a heavy duty zipper and similar fabrics, but without the extra weight and higher price tag, check out our Best Buy Award-winner, the Kelty Redwing.

Weight
Lighter than the Rincon, but heavier than the Kelty Redwing and Osprey Porter 46, the Osprey Farpoint weighs in at 3 lbs, 14 ounces. In comparison to the Rincon, the Farpoint saves weight by using lighter fabrics and a lighter weight frame system. Yet the Farpoint's full peripheral frame is heavier in comparison to the frameless Porter and the single-beam frame featured on the Redwing. However, our testers agreed that the frame on the Farpoint was more comfortable than the support offered by the Redwing and Porter.

Value
At $180, the Osprey Farpoint isn't a screamin' deal, but it's such a great travel pack that we definitely think it's worth the money. However, compare it to the $260 Eagle Creek Rincon, and you've got a bargain. For another pack that will go in the backcountry, but won't put as big a dent in your budget, consider the Best Buy-winning Kelty Redwing.

Other Versions

The Farpoint comes in a few different sizes:

The Farpoint 40, $150, has a compact size, does not include a separate daypack, and and is available in charcoal grey, mud red and lagoon blue. The 40 is compatible with laptops sized 14.8 x 10.5 x 1.5.

The Farpoint 70, $200, has a main backpack that is 55 liters; the included daypack is 15 liters. The 70 is available in mud red and lagoon blue.

The Wayfarer 70, $280, is the women's version of the Farpoint and is available in garnet red or slate grey.

The UL Raincover, $29, can be used to keep your gear dry from the elements.

Amanda Fenn

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: July 23, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (5.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (2)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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   Jul 23, 2014 - 11:37am
helenslam · Camper · New Jersey
I took my size small/medium pack for a week-long car trip from NJ to SC. It is a wonderful pack in terms of quality, comfort and versatility. I am 5'1" with a 15.5" torso length. This pack fits me very well and is very comfortable with about 20 lb of luggage. I used packing cubes to organize my contents to simplify packing/unpacking/re packing. (eBags and Eagle Creek make excellent packing cubes.) My favorite features of this travel packs are: 1) Zip-off daypack for day trips. We hiked about 3 miles with the pack carrying several bottles of water and some snacks. The daypack fit snugly to my back and it was very comfortable. Bedsides the forehead pocket (great for a collapsible bottle) and the two mesh bottle holders on the outside, there is a divided section inside the main compartment for maps and guidebooks and a well-padded exterior back pocket between the backpack straps for a tablet. 2) Slim pack profile for easy carry with backpack straps. 3) Zip panel to hide the backpack straps for checking-in the pack for flights. 4) Clips on both bags allow you to wear the daypack in the front while carrying the main pack in the back. This configuration allows for easy access to your valuables while reducing the size of your main pack (now without the piggyback daypack). 5) the main/daypack set-up is comfortable enough to use as a hiking pack for a few days.

The only three not so great things are: 1) Mesh water bottle pockets on the daypack are relatively small so you can only fit slim bike bottles and not the fatter 32 oz Nalgene bottles. 2) The newer version no longer has the front pocket for plane tickets and other often used items. The forehead pocket is too deep for such use. 3) the height of the main pack is just a few inches taller than carry-on size. However, if you don't overstuff your pack, strap it down and detach the daypack, you'll likely be able to carry it on.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Osprey Farpoint 55
Credit: Osprey
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