Best Carry-On Backpack for Long or Short Trips


Once I settled down in Europe it fast became apparent that I would need some decent hand luggage. Most airlines now charge extra for checked-in bags and we know how much I love to save money. It needed to be small enough to satisfy budget airlines but also hold enough stuff for a few weeks travel. I loved the convenience of my previous hard-shell suitcase but wanted a carry-on backpack. After extensive research (reading hundreds of blogs and reviews) I found the Osprey Farpoint 40 . I can tell you now, I would buy this bag a million times over! And I'm not being paid to say that. It is comfortable, durable, stylish and compact. My current record is six weeks with more than enough stuff.

I love it so much I convinced Max to buy a matching one- so cute! We both plan to travel with only these bags when we begin travelling permanently later this year. Stay tuned for updates and packing lists as we experiment with fitting our lives in a carry-on backpack.

Here are the reasons I love my backpack:

1. It folds out.

This alone is a selling point. Yip, no digging around in the bottom of a backpack to find the one thing you're looking for. Just everything laid out in front of you and easily accessible.

2. It's comfortable.

It's lightweight but has enough back support to be worn for a long time. It has a waist and chest strap to switch the weight to your hips. I've carried it around many cities and airports without being uncomfortable.

3. It fits so much in it.

You'd be surprised, I know I was, at just how much you can squeeze into a carry-on backpack.

4. It has a variety of straps.

The backpack straps fold away for when you do want to check it on. There is also an over the shoulder strap which is great for when you're carrying a smaller backpack as well.

5. It has a padded computer pocket.

This is more important to me now that I've started blogging. There are also other zippable front pockets and a mesh pocket on the inside which I use for my underwear.

6. It has compacting clips/straps.

Both inside the main compartment and on the outside of the entire bag. These keep everything tightly packed and help to squeeze stuff down to make the bag appear smaller.

7. It comes in a variety of colours.

I bought mine in charcoal a few years ago but Osprey has since released it in blue and red as well. Max chose the blue one so we could tell them apart. Personally, I think the darker is better as dirt doesn't show up!

8. It has lockable zips.

Security is always good. I usually lock my passport pocket if I'm leaving my bag somewhere or putting in the luggage hold of a bus or plane.

I'm feeling pretty good about living only from this backpack for the next couple of years and can thoroughly recommend it for short or long trips. Everything you need in one handy, comfortable, budget-flight friendly, little package.

If you're wondering how we fit everything in, check out our travel accessories for packing light.


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