Reviews You Can Rely On

Osprey Fairview 55 Review

This two-in-one pack is the perfect lightweight option for the adventurer looking to be ready for anything
osprey fairview 55 travel backpack review
With its removable daypack, the Fairview is a great travel backpack for the adventure seeker.
Credit: Hayley Thomas
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $220 List
Manufacturer:   Osprey
By Hayley Thomas ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 5, 2022
68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 14
  • Comfort - 25% 6.0
  • Features - 25% 7.0
  • Packing and Accessibility - 25% 6.0
  • Volume to Weight Ratio - 15% 9.0
  • Durability - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Osprey Fairview 55 is a durable, multifunctional, lightweight travel backpack for those looking to be prepared for anything. The removable daypack allows users to leave the bulk of their belongings behind and head out on daylong expeditions without having to pack a separate bag or haul their luggage around. The lightweight and large size give this bag an impressive volume-to-weight ratio, which is ideal for longer trips. Unfortunately, the extra day pack adds some bulk to the overall travel bag, and getting the pack to fit just right takes some finagling. That said, once you get used to it, this two-in-one pack can be a great companion for the adventure traveler.
REASONS TO BUY
Removable day pack
Durable
Excellent weight-to-volume ratio
REASONS TO AVOID
Bulky
Can be difficult to reattach day pack
Lots of dangly bits
Editor's Note: This article was updated on December 5, 2022, after fully retesting the updated version of this bag.

Compare to Similar Products

 
osprey fairview 55 travel backpack review
This Product
Osprey Fairview 55
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $220 List
$220.00 at REI
$239 List
$239.00 at Evo
$149 List
$149.00 at REI
$160 List$229.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
68
84
81
78
76
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Removable day pack, durable, excellent weight-to-volume ratioVersatile, duffel-like ease of use, simplistic features, max volume carry, upgraded harness system for comfortTapered for easy loading, comfortable harness system, adventure friendly, very lightVersatile, sleek, camera box, vented wet shoe compartmentDistributes weight nicely, good structure, attachment clips, daisy chain, sturdy handles, comfortable harness system, plentiful organization
Cons Bulky, can be difficult to reattach day pack, lots of dangly bitsSoft body sags when not stuffed, no exterior easy-access pocketsDoes not sit upright, laptop sleeve unpaddedNo waist belt or sternum strap, no water bottle holder, back panel not very breathable, tallNot great for bulky items, cumbersome security loops
Bottom Line This two-in-one pack is the perfect lightweight option for the adventurer looking to be ready for anythingA well-thought-out, user-friendly, and versatile clamshell pack with high-level stuffability and a newly updated harness system for more comfortWith its tapered shape and backpacking pack structure, this is the perfect bag for the outdoor adventurist that doesn't want to spend an arm and legWith its convertible camera cube, ventilated shoe compartment, and padded device sleeve, this pack was made for the outdoor photographer on the goA stylish and slim 40-liter three-way travel backpack with stellar organization and a comfortable harness system, perfect for a weekend getaway
Rating Categories Osprey Fairview 55 Patagonia Black Hol... REI Co-op Ruckpack 40 Mammut Seon Cargo 35L Topo Designs Global...
Comfort (25%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Features (25%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Packing and Accessibility (25%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Volume to Weight Ratio (15%)
9.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Durability (10%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Osprey Fairview 55 Patagonia Black Hol... REI Co-op Ruckpack 40 Mammut Seon Cargo 35L Topo Designs Global...
Volume of Main Compartment 55L 45L 40L 35L 40L
Measured Weight 3.10 lbs 3.35 lbs 2.10 lbs 2.10 lbs 3.65 lbs
Volume to Weight Ratio (bigger is better) 17.74 13.43 19.05 16.67 10.96
Detachable Daypack? Yes No No No No
Dimensions 22" x 14" x 9" 22.8" x 8.6" x 14.5" 24" x 13" x 10" 24" x 14" x 9" 22.5" x 14" x 7.5"
Carry-on Size Compatible? (22" x 14" x 9") Yes Yes, if squished No Yes Yes
Stuffed Dimensions 25" x 8" x 14" 22" x 14" x 10" 22" x 9" x 14" 24" x 14" x 9" 22.5" x 14" x 7.9"
Fabrics 450D recycled twist dobby polyester Polyester ripstop with TPU laminate Recycled nylon ripstop and recycled polyester lining (bluesign approved) 600D waterproof polyester, 840D ballistic nylon 1000D recycled nylon, 400D recycled nylon, 210D recycled nylon, 1680D recycled ballistic nylon
Frame Type Mesh-covered ridged foam AirScape Foam backpanel Ventilated mesh Foam padding Foam with nylon padded backpanel
Access Type Large U-zip Clamshell design Top loading Panel loading U-Zip
Number of Pockets Daypack: 2 mesh waterbottle, main zipper, laptop sleeve, easy access zipper. Main Pack: main zipper, 2 internal mesh 5 zip, 8 no zip 6 zip, 7 no zip, 2 water bottle 3 small zippered, 1 ventilated, 1 camera comparment, 1 main External: 2 large zippered security, 2 water bottle
Internal: 1 laptop, mesh organization
Laptop Sleeve? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Waist Belt Type Padded Padded Padded None Removable
Sternum Strap Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Different Sizes Available? Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Volume Options 40L, 55L, 70L 26L, 45L 18L, 28L, 40L, 65L 35L 30L, 40L

Our Analysis and Test Results

The multifunctional and durable Fairview 55 is a great pack for anyone looking to fit adventure into their travels. It is a backpacking-style bag with a removable daypack, which lends to its multiple functions. From backpacking around Europe to road trips across the US, the comfortable and lightweight nature — plus the ability to carry quite a load — makes this a versatile bag.

Performance Comparison


osprey fairview 55 travel backpack review - with its removable daypack, the fairview is a great travel backpack...
With its removable daypack, the Fairview is a great travel backpack for the adventure seeker.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Comfort


The Fairview 55 does not win best for comfort, but after a bit of fiddling, adjusting, and readjusting, comfort can be improved. The shoulder straps and hip belt are sufficiently padded, and the back panel mesh is quite breathable. While this pack is technically made for women or people with a smaller frame, we were sure to place it on the back of folks of all different shapes, sizes, and genders. For very tall, narrow-hipped people, we find that the pack often sits a little too high, but if you have an average to shorter torso with larger hips or simply prefer to wear your pack high on your hips, you may find the fitting of this bag to be right up your alley.

We aren't a huge fan of the way the bag naturally distributes weight, but again, after adjusting and readjusting, you should be able to find the sweet spot. The bag sits high on the hips, and small details like putting the laptop sleeve in the removable pack force heavier items to sit further away from the body, making the pack feel a little heavier than it should. All that being said, with a few adjustments to the hip belt, shoulder straps, and most importantly, the straps which attach the top of the pack to the shoulder straps, we were able to redistribute the weight in a way that felt more comfortable. The newest iteration now allows you to slight the top of the shoulder straps up and down, adding a little more adjustability to the fit. Overall the comfort of this bag highly depends on how willing the user is to commit to trial and error.

osprey fairview 55 travel backpack review - it is important to tighten the straps from the top of the bag to...
It is important to tighten the straps from the top of the bag to your shoulders in order to keep the pack from feeling top heavy.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Features


As far as features go, the claim to fame of the Fairview is the removable daypack. This pack easily zips on and off of the main body and allows the user to venture out of their home away from home, without having to empty out their belongings and then carry an overly large bag with them just to bring some snacks and a towel to the beach.

The daypack itself features two mesh water bottle pockets and an easy access zipper pocket on the outside. The main large zippered compartment of the daypack features a padded laptop sleeve and a smaller zipper pocket for additional organization. The inside of the large pack has one long mesh zipper compartment which spans the entire opening flap, and the rest is just one large bucket with compression straps. As far as organization goes, we could have used a few more small pockets for travel knick-knacks. The outside of the pack is littered with compression straps and handles, which we greatly appreciated during our travels because the Fairview tends to feel a little bulky.

osprey fairview 55 travel backpack review - the star of the show is the fairview's removable day pack, which...
The star of the show is the Fairview's removable day pack, which zips on and off with ease.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

The easy access pocket, which sits on the face of the small pack furthest from your body, is great for things you'll need on the go like a wallet, but only if you are in a place which you feel secure, as the pocket is an easy spot for thieves to get into without you noticing. We absolutely love mesh water bottle pockets because what is more important than hydration when you're traveling? This pack offers two deep pockets, deeper than the previous version, so they can both accommodate a 36-ounce hydroflask. And, while we love compression straps, we found that they dangled with no place to go when tightened to the max — something that could easily be improved upon. There are also small gear loops scattered around the exterior of the bag, but considering how dangly it is already, we don't feel like we want to add to that, so they tend to go unused. However, the detail is nice in the event that they are needed.

osprey fairview 55 travel backpack review - when the packs are put together, there are less dangly bits.
When the packs are put together, there are less dangly bits.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Packing and Accessibility


Having a designated spot for all your travel essentials is very important. There's nothing worse than digging around after 15 hours of travel looking for your glasses or headphones. Overall, the front-loading Fairview 55 does a good job of creating separate spaces for belongings, but it could use another small pocket or two.

The daypack acts as the laptop sleeve and small trinket organizer, while the main compartment is more of a bucket-style catch-all compartment for your clothing, shoes, toiletries, etc. Place your toiletries in a packing cube or toiletry bag to keep them separate from the bulk of your belongings — just in case that pesky shampoo bottle decides to burst mid-flight.

osprey fairview 55 travel backpack review - the front-loading pack makes visibility easy when open.
The front-loading pack makes visibility easy when open.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

There is no secure place for on-the-go items like passports or wallets. There are, however, two intuitive spots for them. The first of which is the outermost easy-access pocket, but security is low here. The other option is to put them in the smaller zipper pocket within the daypack's main compartment. This puts multiple zippers between a pickpocket and your goods, which helps offer a little more security. The main compartment is quite large, so we were able to pack a significant amount of stuff in there, and it comes complete with compression straps to ensure everything is kept in place. In the larger compartment, there is one mesh zipper pocket that spans the entirety of the opening flap. We used this area for undergarments, swimwear, and socks.

osprey fairview 55 travel backpack review - the mesh pocket is perfect for small soft items that you don't want...
The mesh pocket is perfect for small soft items that you don't want getting lost in the main compartment.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Due to its backpacking pack shape, plus the removable daypack, the Fairview has a tendency to be quite bulky no matter how you fill it. It also has one of the largest volumes of all the bags we tested. There are many compression straps scattered around the outside of the bag, which do a wonderful job of minimizing the overall volume; however, this pack pushes the limits as far as a carry-on goes. If you are hoping to hop on a plane with no grief from TSA agents, this might not be the pack for you.

osprey fairview 55 travel backpack review - you can split the bags up, put the larger one overhead and use the...
You can split the bags up, put the larger one overhead and use the daypack as your personal item.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Volume to Weight Ratio


This is where the Fairview 55 excels. The bag weighs just over 3.1 pounds, which isn't the lightest in our test suite, but it holds 55 liters! That is almost the largest carrying capacity in our test suite and the combo of that and its relatively low weight give it the best volume to weight ratio in our review.

The 55 liters of this pack refers to what can be held in the main compartment and the removable day pack combined. The fact that you can separate the overall bag into two bags gives you tons of versatility in regards to what you can carry and how you can manage your gear once you arrive at your final destination.

osprey fairview 55 travel backpack review - the daypack is surprisingly roomy and offers decent organization.
The daypack is surprisingly roomy and offers decent organization.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Durability


The 210D Nylon Mini Hex Diamond Ripstop fabric of the Fairview is advertised as weather resistant. We did notice beads of water rolling off the pack, but it wasn't long until small puddles began to penetrate it, so we highly recommend a rainfly if you are planning to travel anywhere that is particularly wet. This pack does not come with a rain cover, but Osprey does make one you can purchase separately, which, from our research, seems to fit quite nicely. Overall, the zippers are thick and robust and refrained from snagging during our time with this pack, and we were pleasantly surprised by how easily the daypack zipped on and off.

osprey fairview 55 travel backpack review - this pack holds its own durability wise and we are impressed at how...
This pack holds its own durability wise and we are impressed at how easily it is to take the daypack on and off.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Should You Buy the Osprey Fairview 55


The dual function of the Fairview makes it a very intriguing value case, as you are essentially getting a day pack and a travel pack for the price of one. This bag falls into the middle of the road as far as cost goes, and, in many respects, so do its features. We absolutely adore the idea of the removable daypack, but Osprey's execution could use a little work. The features and organization could be improved upon, but if you are looking for something that will be comfortable to backpack around Europe with that won't totally break the bank, this is a really great option.

What Other Travel Backpacks Should You Consider?


If a backpacking pack is what you're looking for and the Fairview 55 is a smidge out of your price range, the next obvious option is the REI Ruckpack. This bag is best for outdoor gear but works just fine as a normal travel pack too. For ultimate comfort, the Tortuga Outbreaker 45L is about as close to perfect as you can get, however it is bulky and heavy. If a budget-friendly, personal item is more what you're looking for, the Mammut Seon Cargo has some unique features like a convertible electronics pocket and a ventilated compartment.

osprey fairview 55 travel backpack review - after fiddling with all the straps we found this pack to be quite...
After fiddling with all the straps we found this pack to be quite comfortable.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Hayley Thomas
 
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More