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Goats On The Road By
Posted 20 Aug, 2014 | Posted in: Newsletter 2, Packing, Reviews, Travel Blogs | 31 Comments

Today I’ll be reviewing my current backpack, the Osprey Farpoint 55L. I’ve taken this pack on enough treks now that I feel it’s time to grade its performance to help others who may want to purchase this bag. Anyone looking for a backpack should strongly consider the Farpoint Series as they are strong, durable and comfortable. I trekked for over 200 km in 8 days with this pack loaded to the max on my back and I was very impressed.

Let’s go over this bag from zippers to hip straps, to see how it stacks up against other bags on the market.

review osprey farpoint 55
Trekking in Kyrgyzstan with my Osprey Farpoint 55 backpack

Comfort:

It’s hard to beat an Osprey bag for form-fitting comfort and weight distribution. The bent shoulder straps curve perfectly to the body, while the hip straps do a good job of holding the bag in the right spot. The compression straps don’t actually wrap from the frame of the bag, they only really compress the load a small amount if the daypack is zipped on. I don’t see why Osprey chose this design style, but the frame still holds the load nice and close to the body.

I would like to see a little bit more padding in the shoulder straps for extra comfort, but even when the bag was loaded to the max, it was comfortable because of well manufactured hip straps.

The bag comes in two sizes (small/medium and medium/large) to ensure a good fit for pretty much any body type.

osprey farpoint 55 review
The comfortable Osprey Farpoint 55

Design:

I do love the design of this bag. The reason I chose it is because it’s a good size with lots of straps, making it easy to add extra gear to the exterior of the bag. The day-pack is a great size for everyday use and it zips on and off easily. The main pack is actually 45 L, while the zip-off daypack is 10 L.

The bag comes in 3 colors: Mud Red, Charcoal and Lagoon Blue. It also comes in 3 sizes 40 L, 55 L and 70 L, all with varying features. This is a unisex backpack.

The bag is full-panel access which is a must for us. We hate top-loader backpacks so a fully opening bag is essential so that we have easy access to all of our gear with one simple zip. We’ve seen too many people rooting around in their top-loaders, cursing at the items lost at the bottom.

There are plenty of places to clip things on the outside of the bag and the main bag has lockable zippers which is very important. The biggest flaw of this bag is that the zippers on the day bag don’t lock. This seems to be a big mistake by the manufacturers because we all know that backpackers tend to keep their valuables close by in the day bag and it’s essential to be able to lock it.

The bag weighs about 1.7 kilos by itself, which is very light compared to my previous backpack. It was still surprisingly comfortable when it was stuffed with nearly 20 kg of gear.

This size is perfect for any trip. If you’re running out of space with 55 litres, then you’re packing too much useless stuff! The bag has enough room for a tent, sleeping mat, shoes, clothes, electronics, cooking gear and more. We were packing for fully sustainable trekking trip in Mongolia, so on a normal trip this bag would have more than enough room.

review osprey farpoint 55
The bag with the daypack separate

With dimensions around 64 x 34 x 30 cm (without daypack), the bag is just a little bit too large for most airplane carry-on restrictions, but it’s amazingly manageable when loading onto buses, trains and taxis, especially when the daypack is zipped off and separate.

When you put this bag on, there is no doubt that it is well made. Osprey is so confident that this bag will never break down that they offer an “All-Mighty Guarantee” that is literally a full coverage, lifetime warranty. If ANYTHING goes wrong with this pack, they will replace it for you! Now that’s an amazing warranty.

Features:

This bag is loaded with great features and it’s far more advanced than other bags I’ve seen in the past. The entire backpack is made using a combination of 210D Shadow Box Rip Stop Nylon and 600D Nylon Pack Cloth (canvas).

Main Pack

The clip rings on the outside of the bag are very handy and the outer compression straps are great for strapping things to the exterior of the bag. There are also a couple of straps to hold a sleeping matt at the bottom of the bag, and they are big enough to hold a two-man tent!

The lockable zippers on the main bag are a plus as well and the zippers all have large, looping rings on them which make them easier to open and close with a full load.

The inside of the bag is perfect, with load compression straps and enough zipper pockets to be useful, without sacrificing too much space.

The bag doesn’t have any stretchy exterior pockets like the Osprey Kestrel 32L, and although I would’ve liked to see at least side pockets, the bag does have plenty of extra carrying room with the outside straps.

Zipper pockets on the hip straps like the Kestrel 32L has would have been nice, but perhaps they sacrificed the pockets for extra strap strength.

The harness unit on the bag can be zipped away to avoid damage when being thrown around by airline staff. There is also a side handle which offers easy handling when the straps are zipped away.

Daypack

Osprey went an extra step on this bag. Noticing that a lot of backpackers carry their daypack on the front of their body, they added clips so that you can attach the day bag to the shoulder straps of the big bag.

farpoint 55 backpack
Daypack clips on to the main pack

At first I thought this was a great idea, but for me the clips are in the wrong spot and the weight forces my shoulders uncomfortably forward. It’s also a hassle to clip the bag on and off, so I just go the old school way of slinging the day pack straps over my shoulder in the reverse direction.

The inside of the daypack has a space for a hydro-pouch. This open pocket also dubs as a good divider when the water pouch is not in use.

There are a couple of zipper mesh pockets on the inside of the bag, as well as a handy zipper pocket at the top of the bag, which can be added too even when the bag seems completely full.

Cons:

As good as this bag is, there are a few cons and design flaws.

No zipper locks on the day pack

The clip-on-the-front day pack feature is uncomfortable

No pockets on the hip straps

No exterior side pockets

The bag does not include a rain cover, which can cost upwards of $50 when purchased from Osprey separately!

backpack review osprey farpoint 55
Daypack clips on at the shoulder straps as well as the waist

In Conclusion:

The Osprey Farpoint 55L backpack has a few points that seemed to be overlooked by Osprey, but aside from the daypack not having zipper locks, they are pretty minor. This bag performed beautifully throughout our entire 5 month trip through Mongolia, Central Asia and Iran. I carried it on long treks, over mountains, on planes and buses and it is incredibly manageable, comfortable and durable. With coverage like the Osprey “All-Mighty Guarantee” you really can’t go wrong with this bag.

It’s loaded with features and you won’t find a backpack that holds a load closer to your body. I put this bag through the ringer on our last trip and it passed with flying colours.

This bag retails for between $150 – $180 and you can pick one up on Amazon.

Check out Dariece’s review of her backpack, the Osprey Kestrel 32 – another great bag!

Do you travel with a backpack? Which brand do you use…would you recommend it?

 

Backpack Review- Osprey Farpoint 55L

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31 thoughts on “Backpack Review: Osprey Farpoint 55L

  1. Hi. I’m heading off for a 12 month trip soon and bought the Farpoint 70 today. (Just before reading your post.). Great to hear that you’ve found it survives trips well. I’m wondering whether to downsize now though!

    Whilst I’m typing I wanted to say that I’ve been getting loads of tips for my travels from your blog. It’s a great resource. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks a lot Claire! Glad to hear you’re finding our tips useful. Ospreys are great packs, but depending on where you are travelling to, a 70L might be a bit big! Check it out though, fill it with what you want to bring and see how it goes.

      Happy travels 🙂

  2. Great review Nick! I purchased one of these a few months back for my travels later this year.
    I certainly think I made the right decision and am now looking forward to road testing it!

  3. Great review Nick! I have been using exactly the same backpack since June 2012, travelled everywhere with it and still have and currently using it and it’s in perfect conditions too. I’m very happy with the choice I made indeed.

  4. I just got the Farpoint 55 too and agree it was better than getting the Farpoint 70 for example. With the same items/weight in both bag the 55 is closer to your body so one feels more balanced carrying it than the 70. Imagine with the 70 if you pack more things in it will just feel much heavier and less balanced, like I’m about to fall backwards.

  5. Thanks for the review. I am a hiker/backwoods backpacker and have been researching travel backpacks for a few weeks in prep for a trip to Guatemala this spring. Thanks to reviews like yours I have picked up this pack yesterday for my trip. I own a kestrel 28 and an atmos 65 so I am familiar with the osprey brand. Since I bus from Tacoma to Seattle for work, I walked to the Seattle REI to pick it up on their 20% sale. After the purchase I had to pack my day bag for work inside the farpoint to walk to the bus stop about 3/4 of a mile away. It felt natural to wear. I am really looking forward to using this on my trip. One thing I have noticed from your review. You have the clips to click in the daypack at the hip belt. Mine did not come with those.. I will research to see if that was a manufacturing mistake.

    I just found you this week in my research for this bag. Do you have any links to articles you have done for packing?

    1. Hey Barrett,

      That´s great that the Osprey feels natural to wear. It´s really a great bag and can hold a lot of weight. It´s not a manufacturing issue with your pack, Nick actually took the clips from the inside of the pack (i believe) and jimmy-rigged the waist clips for more comfort! After all of that though, he never clips it on like that, but it does give the day pack more support being clipped at the waist.

      Here is a link to our Getting Started section, which has links to packing lists 🙂
      https://www.goatsontheroad.com/getting-started/

      Have a great trip! Cheers.

  6. Great review 🙂 Just wondering have you ever carry this backpack on board? As i seen a few reviews about this backpack and said it’s a carry-on size, but i doubt.

  7. Great review!
    I’m about to purchase a 55L as well.
    I just don’t know which size. I’m 1m77cm tall.
    Maybe you can help me out?

    Thanks!

  8. Hello, great review! I May I know what is the color of your Osprey 55? It looks like Coyote from the your photo and I couldn’t seems to match the 3 available: Mud Red, Charcoal and Lagoon Blue?

  9. Hi! I just purchased the Osprey Farpoint 55 and am contemplating getting the Osprey rain cover. Any experience with the pack in rain and if you got a cover, what size? Thanks!

  10. Hi Goats, great site I have been reading so much for my upcoming trip. Loads of useful info.
    You’ll be happy to know that in the latest version of this backpack they have added zipper locks to the daypack! I looked at a 55 today and the daypack had the same zippers as the main pack. They must have listened to you guys 🙂
    I have pretty much decided on this pack for my 7 month Central/ South America trip.
    Just need to get a rain cover. Pity about no side pockets for my water bottle, will have to make a plan.

    Now just have to see if my girlfriend can fit everything into the 40L version (Actually 38L for the S/M)
    🙂

    cheers
    Marc

  11. Thanks for the helpful review. I am wondering if you had any thoughts on the 40L version of the Farpoint? My wife and I are planning a 3-week train hopping trip through Italy/Spain with our 11-month-old daughter (who will be strapped to my chest) so I was thinking two 40L bags would have to do. Do you have any sense that this would be enough? We aren’t going to be packing tents etc.

    1. Sounds like a great trip! It depends on how much stuff you’ll be bringing with you. 3 weeks isn’t all that long, so you should be ok with not bringing too much stuff. I’ve never had a 40L, just 32 and 55 🙂 Lay out all that you’er bringing, and bring it to the shop to test it out! haha. We did that in Canada one time.

  12. Hey guys, I’ve just bought this backpack without knowing where I was planning to go and what I was planning to do (Long term travel Aha!).

    I’m heading to Nepal next week and there are lots of treks there! I was thinking I should have bought a hiking backpack instead – I fell in love with the Osprey Ariel and hesitated a lot before buying but that one only has a small side opening and you can’t lock it so I chose the Farpoint instead.

    I feel better now that I read this article, finally maybe the Farpoint will do for trekking!

    I wanted to say that since you wrote this article, a few details changed. I bought the Farpoint 55 which is a 40L main pack + 15L day pack (instead of 45 – 10). And there is a possibility to add a locker to the daypack now so your belongings are safe!

    Cheers and see you on the road!

    1. Cheers Charlie! Trekking bags are better for trekking, but, if you want a multipurpose bag that’s not just for trekking, then this should do. We just wish it had more padding on the hips and shoulders! But, we just trekked Torres del Paine with our Farpoint bags, and it was fine

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