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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
Photo: Osprey
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $180 List | Check Price at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Removable day pack, durable, excellent weight per volume
Cons:  Bulky, shallow water bottle pockets, too many dangly bits
Manufacturer:   Osprey
By Hayley Thomas ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 25, 2021
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 13
  • Comfort - 25% 6
  • Features - 25% 7
  • Packing & Accessibility - 25% 6
  • Volume to Weight Ratio - 15% 10
  • Durability - 10% 8

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 for the user to leave the bulk of their belongings behind and head out on daylong expeditions without having to pack a smaller bag or haul their luggage around. Its light weight and large size give this bag an impressive volume to weight ratio, great 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.

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Osprey Fairview 55
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Osprey Fairview 55
Awards Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$149.00 at REICheck Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
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Pros Removable day pack, durable, excellent weight per volumeTapered for easy loading, comfortable harness system, adventure friendly, very lightVersatile, sleek, camera box, vented wet shoe compartmentVersatile, duffel-like ease of use, simplistic features, max volume carryGood suspension, lightweight, affordable, gobbles gear
Cons Bulky, shallow water bottle pockets, too many dangly bitsDoes not sit upright, laptop sleeve unpaddedNo waist belt or sternum strap, no water bottle holder, back panel not very breathable, tallSoft body sags when not stuffed, harness system not fit for long adventuresSquare design protrudes from back, too big for some airlines checked baggage
Bottom Line This two-in-one pack is the perfect lightweight option for the adventurer looking to be ready for anythingWith 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 travel bag was made for the outdoor photographer on the goA well thought out, user-friendly, and versatile pack fortified by an Ironclad guarantee and cutting edge company ethicsThis is a durable and easy to pack travel backpack, but may be bulky for some airlines or uses
Rating Categories Osprey Fairview 55 REI Co-op Ruckpack 40 Mammut Seon Cargo 35L Patagonia Black Hol... Osprey Porter 46
Comfort (25%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
7.0
Features (25%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Packing & Accessibility (25%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Volume To Weight Ratio (15%)
10.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Durability (10%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
Specs Osprey Fairview 55 REI Co-op Ruckpack 40 Mammut Seon Cargo 35L Patagonia Black Hol... Osprey Porter 46
Volume of Main Compartment 55L 40L 35L 45L 46L
Measured Weight 3.10 lbs 2.10 lbs 2.10 lbs 3.35 lbs 3.23 lbs
Volume to Weight Ratio (bigger is better) 17.74 19.05 16.67 13.43 14.24
Detachable Daypack? Yes No No No No
Dimensions (inches) 24.6 x 13 x 11.8 24 x 13 x 10 24 x 14 x 9 22.8 x 8.6 x 14.5 21 x 14 x 12
Carry-on Size? (22 x 14 x 9 in) No No Yes Yes, if squished Must be cinched down
Dimensions When Stuffed (inches) 25 x 8 x 14 22 x 9 x 14 24 x 14 x 9 22 x 14 x 10 22 x 14 x 12
Fabrics 210D nylon mini hex diamond ripstop recycled nylon ripstop and recycled polyester lining (bluesign approved) 600D waterproof polyester, 840D ballistic nylon Polyester ripstop with TPU laminate 420D nylon hex diamond ripstop, 420HD nylon packcloth
Frame Type Padded, venilated mesh Ventilated mesh Foam padding Foam backpanel Stiff foam
Access Type Large U-zip Top loading Panel loading Clamshell design Panel loading, zips all the way open
Number of Pockets 5 zip, 2 water bottle 6 zip, 7 no zip, 2 water bottle 3 small zippered, 1 ventilated, 1 camera comparment, 1 main 9 zip, 8 no zip 7 zip, 8 no zip
Laptop Sleeve Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Waist Belt Type Padded Padded None None Padded
Sternum Strap Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, whistle
Different sizes? Yes Yes No Yes No
Volume Options 40L, 55L, 70L 18L, 28L, 40L, 65L 35L 26L, 45L 30L, 46L, 65L

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


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!
Photo: Hayley Thomas

Comfort


The Fairview 55 did not win best for comfort, but after a bit of fiddling, adjusting, and readjusting, we did find the pack to be quite comfortable. 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 found that the pack often sat 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.

Our testers with longer torsos found the Fairview to sit a little...
Our testers with longer torsos found the Fairview to sit a little too high on their hips.
Photo: Hayley Thomas

We aren't a huge fan of the way the bag naturally distributes weight, but again, after adjusting and readjusting, we were 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. Overall the comfort of this bag highly depends on how willing the user is to commit to trial and error.

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.
Photo: 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.

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.
Photo: 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, but unfortunately, we found them to be a little shallow for larger bottles, so it may be beneficial to have two smaller bottles if this bag tickles your fancy. 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 didn't feel like we wanted to add to that, so they went unused. However, the detail is nice in the event that they are needed.

The water bottle pockets are a little shallow which caused our 40oz...
The water bottle pockets are a little shallow which caused our 40oz bottle to sag a bit and eventually fall out when the pack was not sitting upright.
Photo: Hayley Thomas

Packing & 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. We suggest that you 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.

The front-loading loading pack makes visibility easy when open.
The front-loading loading pack makes visibility easy when open.
Photo: 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 larger day pack 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.

We chose to keep our valuables in the smaller zipper pocket, within...
We chose to keep our valuables in the smaller zipper pocket, within the day pack section of our bag, in hopes that putting multiple zippers between our goods and someone looking to steal them would be enough of a deterrent.
Photo: 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 pushed 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.

The compression straps on the outside of the bag helps us cinch...
The compression straps on the outside of the bag helps us cinch everything down but they don't tuck away neatly.
Photo: 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.

The Osprey Fairview's excellent day pack.
The Osprey Fairview's excellent day pack.
Photo: 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.

The pack held its own durability wise and we were impressed at how...
The pack held its own durability wise and we were impressed at how easily the daypack zipped on and off.
Photo: Hayley Thomas

Value


The dual function of the Fairview makes it a very intriguing one, 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.

Conclusion


While the Osprey Fairview 55 definitely has room for improvement in its weight distribution, properly functioning features, and organization, we are still very pleased with the pack as a whole. Despite some quirks, this bag is light for its capacity. We love the idea of the detachable daypack for long road or backpacking trips, and once we adjusted the straps properly, we found it to be quite comfortable. It is unfortunately too large to use as a carry-on, but if you are allowed a carry-on and a personal item you may be able to get away with using the day pack as your personal item and stowing away the main pack in the overhead bin — although this tactic is far from foolproof. Once we became more familiar with this travel pack and its nuances, we found ourselves enjoying it and can see the backpacking enthusiast or minimalistic adventure traveler really falling in love with it too.

After fiddling with all the straps we found the pack to be quite...
After fiddling with all the straps we found the pack to be quite comfortable.
Photo: Hayley Thomas

Hayley Thomas