Meet Mirje Halla and Her Osprey Farpoint 40

Osprey Farpoint 40 backpack review

This post is part of a series in which ladies on the road offer a review of their backpacks. Today’s review comes from Mirje Halla of Anywhereism.

I’m Mirje, a digital nomad, homeless-by-choice and traveling the world nonstop since the beginning of 2013. Together with my husband I run a web consultancy company online, mainly for clients back in our home country of Finland. We blog about our experiences at Anywhereism. Currently I’m in Lisbon, Portugal for a month before exploring more of Europe and catching a cruise boat to New Orleans for a housesitting gig.

What’s your backpack brand and model? How much does this backpack typically cost?

It’s an Osprey Farpoint 40 S/M. It’s 38 liters and carry-on compatible. I paid €140 for it in an online store in Finland. In Amazon (US) it seems to costs $130-150 at the moment.

>> Check out prices for the Osprey Farpoint 40 on Amazon.

How long have you had your backpack and where have you traveled with it?

I have only had this backpack for about a month now, but I’m been super happy with it. So far I have taken it around my home country Finland, to Paris and Dublin, and now Lisbon.

What factors were most important to you in choosing a backpack? How did you come to choose this one?

I wanted something that is carry-on size, front-loading, durable and professional looking. My previous backpack was also an Osprey (Talon 44) and I was very happy with it. It was very durable and comfortable. The only reasons I wanted a new one, were to get something even smaller and front-loading. My husband actually took over my old Osprey and is now happily using it. As a satisfied customer, another Osprey was on top of my list, but I did look into other options, too.

When looking for my new backpack I read tons of reviews of different backpacks online, including all here at Her Packing List. As a digital nomad, I’m living off my backpack and continuously using it, so getting the right one is important. After settling to a couple of possible models, I tried them out in a store. Farpoint 40 wasn’t actually available in the stores I visited, so I tried on the bigger size of Farpoint. When it seemed that this is the pack I want, I ordered it online. And luckily, when it arrived and I tried it on, it was spot on.

Mirje and her Osprey Farpoint 40 backpack review
Mirje and her Osprey Farpoint 40 backpack

What do you like most about your backpack? Any down sides?

It’s the perfect size. It fits an amazing amount of things and with the fully opening front, it’s easy to get to everything. It looks nice and professional. I can even take it with me to a meeting if needed, without looking like a backpacker on a gap year. The dark grey color is also very convenient, hiding the dirt gathered when on the move.

It has a separate (and padded!) compartment for a laptop, making it easy to reach when going through security. There are also several other small pockets and compartments, making it easier to find the small things that would otherwise be lost.

One thing I really like about my pack is that I can hide away the harness, which is very useful if I ever want to check it in on a flight. For example to bring some excellent port wine back from Portugal? There are also handles to carry the pack as well as an attachable shoulder strap.

The only slight downsides have to do with comfort and fit, more about those in my next answer.

Tell us about the fit and comfort level of your backpack.

The fit is good and it’s very comfortable to carry. I’m using it at the maximum length, since I’m quite tall (174cm, bit over 5’7″). Maybe the M/L version would have been even better for me, but it wasn’t available. This is a unisex model, which can sometimes mean compatibility problems with my big bosom and the chest strap. This one is comfortable enough on that department, although not perfect.

The pack has a partly padded hip belt, but I don’t think it would make a good hiking pack. It’s good for an hour or two, but for a whole day of walking you need something more ergonomic. Since I’m not doing any long hikes with my pack, other things like easy access to my things were more important.

Another thing is that the compartment for laptop is on the outer side of the pack, so when carrying one it affects the balance of the pack a bit. Not a problem on short journeys, but if having to carry it for several hours, I’ll probably pack my laptop inside the main compartment, closest to my back.

Inside the Osprey Farpoint 40

If you want to take your backpack as carry-on luggage, can you?

Yes, it was one of the criteria when buying it. The size is 53 x 33 x 23 cm (21 x 13 x 9 in), which should be ok to nearly all airlines. It is possible to pack it much fuller than 23 cm though, so if an airline is strict with their regulations, you need to be careful not to over pack it. Same goes with the weight; it’s easy to fit more than 10 kg (23 lbs) in it. But it does look very small when I’m carrying it, so far no one has asked to weigh or measure it.

Have you found the size to be too small, just right, or too large?

For me, it’s just perfect. It fits all I need comfortably, and even has space for some nice-to-have items. I can take it with me inside in a bus or as carry-on in an airplane. And I’m not constantly afraid of destroying something nearby when turning around, like I was with a bigger backpack.

Overall, would you recommend your backpack?

Definitely! For a carry-on size, sturdy, professional and user-friendly backpack, this is a top choice.

Follow along with Mirje’s adventures through Europe on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and her blog, Anywhereism.

>>See all the best travel backpacks for women here.

Written by Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but has also called Charleston, South Carolina and Sydney, Australia home. After college graduation and a series of useless part-time jobs, she went to Australia for a working holiday. In that time, she worked as a bartender, bungee jumped, scuba dived, pet kangaroos, held koalas and drank hundreds of cups of tea. You can find Caroline at Caroline in the City.

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


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Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Tina Sumner says

    Hi Mirje,

    I have that same backpack in the blue M/L version. I really like it also. The information you provided is spot on. I have used my backpack extensively and it has held up really well. One of my favorite things is that I can easily lift it up into overhead storage compartments. One thing I changed was to buy a padded shoulder strap to make carrying it like a suitcase more comfortable. Good travels!

  2. Raffaella says

    Helpful review and a nice looking pack. I generally don’t like backpacks at all, but may find myself needing one in the not-too-distant future. Ospreys seem to be a popular and well-liked choice too.

  3. Bee says

    I’ve been backpacking RTW with this bag for the past 10 months and after many many flights it’s still going strong – a very well made bag! The fabric is durable, the zips are strong, the straps are only lightly padded but still quite comfy, and all the plastic clasps are chunky and well made. Highly recommended. Love my bag 🙂

  4. Mirje - Anywhereism says

    Just an update to my review 🙂
    I’ve now traveled non-stop with my beloved Osprey for close to a year, and I’m still loving it. There’s no visible wear or tear, and it’s very comfortable. Last month I even took it for a 250km walk along the Camino de Santiago in Spain! In my review I said it might not make a good hiking backpack, but I was proven wrong.

    • Henna says

      Thanks a lot for the review! I have been looking for a backpack for my 6 months trip forever and I suddenly found this model and your review. At first it seemed perfect what you wrote but then you mentioned the hiking aspect. I might do some long walks on my trip so I got disappointed. But now there is hope again thanks to this update. 😀 Maybe I’ll order it and try it. And you said that bigger might have been better? I’m about the same size as you so maybe the bigger might be better for me aswell.

      Kiiitooos paljon! Pitääpä muuten käydä katsoon myös tuota blogia. 🙂

    • Elle says

      Hey Mirje, thanks for the informative review. Just curious if you actually use the attachable shoulder strap at all and in what situations? It seems like it’d be much more cumbersome carrying it that way than as a backpack. I have this pack and am going to head off on for several months soon, debating whether it’s worth it to take the strap.

      Cheers!

      • Mirje - Anywhereism says

        Hi Elle!
        I had the attachable shoulder strap with me at first, but I never used it. Maybe it’s useful if you often use the bag as a day pack, with only few things inside. But for me, it’s usually full and heavy enough to make the backpack option much more comfortable,, So I’m not carrying the strap with me anymore.
        Have fun on your travels!

  5. Amelia says

    Hi everyone!

    I just got back from a whirlwind two month honeymoon through 7 countries. My husband and I were on a bare bones budget so we practically had to use hobo bags on sticks because checking luggage wasn’t in the cards. I was unconvinced that the Fairpoint 40 would be big enough to hold everything I would need (But my hairdryer! My feather pillow! My travel size vibrator!), but it was great! (I also had a huge mindset make-over as to what my true needs actually were… do you really need seventy pairs of shoes and Lana Del Ray hair?) I can’t tell you how many times I saw girls humping around with 90 pound bags or, gods and assorted goddesses forbid, three huge but colorful roll-y suitcases and felt such relief and freedom! (Seriously, what is in those suitcases? The bodies of ex-lovers?) As to fit and function, here’s all I have to add, really.

    The lovely Mirje is pretty spot on, but for us less-statuesque (i.e. stumpier) girls, it does fit a little big. It was a must that I wear the hip belt. I cinched everything really close to my body but I never used the chest strap, because, well, boobs. I would love to see this bag in a girl version, but it’s not too bad as-is. One more thing, that I didn’t find a lot of people saying when I was preparing for this epicness. Is it possible to live long term on carry-on only? Resounding yes, and this is the best bag for it. I never had a single problem.

    That’s all, thanks for listenign and don’t forget to be awesome!

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