If you're looking for the best carry-on backpack you can't go past the Osprey Farpoint 40L. This carry-on sized backpack is perfect for travel of all kinds from weekend getaways to full-time travel. We currently use them to fit everything we own in and travel with carry-on only full-time! This Osprey Farpoint 40 review is completely independent, we just really love our backpacks.
Once I settled down in Europe it fast became apparent that I needed a carry-on backpack. Most airlines, not just the budget ones, now charge extra for checked-in bags and we know how much I love to save money. My new travel backpack 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 for best carry-on backpack) I found the Osprey Farpoint 40 . I can tell you now, I would buy this backpack a million times over! And I'm not being paid to say that. It is comfortable, durable, stylish and compact. We've been travelling with them for seven months straight without any issues. It really is the best carry-on backpack for travelling!
I love it so much I convinced Max to buy a matching one- so cute! We've now downsized our entire lives to just 40L and travel the world with our carry-on backpacks. Stay tuned for updates and packing lists as we experiment with fitting our lives into a 40L carry-on backpack.
I bought my carry-on backpack four years ago and Osprey have since released the Fairview 40 which is effectively the same but made more specifically for women. Click here to see the specifics and current prices.
Here are the reasons we think the Osprey Farpoint 40 is the best travel backpack:
1. It's a carry-on backpack that folds out!
A carry-on backpack with all the functionality of a suitcase! The Osprey Farpoint 40 folds out when unzipped. 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 super 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. It's much more padded than other carry-on backpacks I've seen and we've even tested them on a hiking trip through the Albanian Alps where they definitely proved their versatility and comfort!
3. It's a carry-on sized backpack but 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. We use packing cells to compress clothes and make them easy to find. We use our Farpoint 40s to fit everything we own while we backpack the world so they need to fit a lot! It comfortably fits enough clothing and toiletries for over a week and for longer trips we just wash our clothes.
4. It has a variety of straps for different carrying methods
It's not just a carry-on backpack! The backpack straps fold away for when you do want to check it in at the airport. There is also an over the shoulder strap which is great for when you're carrying a smaller backpack as well. The handle at the side is padded and easy for carting the backpack around short distances.
5. It has a padded computer pocket
This is more important to me now that I've started blogging. We need somewhere safe to store our laptop while we're on the move! This pocket gives good protection without adding lots of bulk to the backpack.There are also other zippable front pockets and a mesh pocket on the inside which I use as my underwear compartment.
If you're looking for a decent, light-weight laptop have a read of the best ones for digital nomads and minimalist packers.
6. It has compacting clips/straps
These are on both the inside of the main compartment and on the outside of the entire bag. They keep everything tightly packed and help to squeeze stuff down to make the bag appear smaller and keep everything safe.
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!
*Upadate* I have just noticed they have started making it in rain forest green! This is my dream carry-on backpack! Unfortunately I don't see mine breaking anytime soon so I can't justify a new one. But you can! Get the green!
8. It has lockable zips
Security is always a good idea. I usually lock any valuables in the laptop pocket with a combination padlock if I'm leaving my bag somewhere or putting in the luggage hold of a bus or plane.
9. It's incredibly durable making it an awesome backpack for long term travel
I've had mine for four years now and it's been hitchhiking in Kazakhstan, on buses in Cuba and rickshaws in India without any kind of damage. I definitely think it has a few good years and countries left!
Convinced yet? Check out the colour and price options!
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. It truly is the best carry-on backpack for travel of any kind. 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.