When I did my trip to Thailand and Malaysia for my birthday, I decided to bring a backpack instead of a luggage. One is because I had a connecting flight from Bangkok to Phuket with different aircrafts. Meaning if I were to have my bag checked, I have to take it from the conveyor belt and re-check it for the next flight. Two, there were a lot of walking with the bag. And having a rolling suitcase wasn’t sound appealing to me.
Before purchasing the Osprey Fairpoint, I initially bought a backpack from Quechua (I don’t remember which exactly). The price was cheaper and it was easier to get for me. However, the size was just too big. I believe I chose the 50L one. I fear of stuffing it to the max and it will exceed the allowed weight for carry on. Also when I compare to the Osprey one, the Osprey one is much more comfortable worn.
The main reason why I go for Fairpoint 40L is because this pack is carry-on accepted. As long as you don’t bring too much so that it exceeds the weight allowance. It’s also front-loading backpack. Meaning, it can open up just like a suitcase. I really hate top loading backpack if I want to use it as my suitcase replacement. Those are the two most important aspects that I look for before purchasing a travel pack.
The hip belt is also a very great feature. I found this helps a lot to distribute the weight so I can carry my pack longer without having shoulder pain. Also it’s very padded which makes it comfortable and doesn’t dig into my hip. Unfortunately, there’s no zipper on the hip belt that I can use to store my phone or passport for easy access.
This pack can also turn into a duffel if you’d like. There’s a special flap to cover the shoulder straps when you don’t want to use it as a backpack. And it’s also came with a separate cross body strap. So when you want to check it in your shoulder straps can be tucked away safely to not get caught in anything.
So to make it easier to read,
- Carry-on acceptable
- Front loading pack
- Adjustable hip belt
- Shoulder straps can be zipped away
When it comes to things that I don’t really like about this pack, I have a few. One is the size. Although it’s supposedly not a large pack, I feel like it’s still big on my back. I look like a teenage mutant ninja turtle when I have it on. Oh I forgot to mention that mine is the S/M version of the two (there’s one that’s M/L). Which means it’s 38L instead of 40L. So it should look better for my 163cm figure than the bigger version. But still, I look like a turtle. Not a very pretty look.
As I mentioned previously, there’s no pocket on the hip belt. Although is not a deal breaker, I wouldn’t mind to have it. A lot of people mentioned that the mesh pockets on the front are too tight to fit water bottles in. To me, I don’t care about that because I hate carrying water bottles outside like that even if they fit. So you decide if it’s a con or you also don’t care.
One last thing, the placement of the laptop compartment is on the front of the pack instead of closer to your back. People say it’s annoying to have it on the front for balance compare to having it on the back. I have no personal experience to add to the discussion. So I should have just shut up and not mention this at all, I know.
Now TL;DR of the cons:
- Too bulky for my body (163cm & 50kg)
- No hip belt pocket
- Mesh pockets don’t fit water bottles
- Laptop compartment placement
This is how I look with the backpack on. Granted it was way too full. I bought two new pairs of shoes, which I shouldn’t have. Also I brought a full face snorkel mask which took up about 30% of the bag width.
So there you have it, I finally found the motivation to type up a review of the Osprey Fairpoint 40L from my experience. Not gonna lie, I sometimes browse to look for replacement. But for now there’s no urgent need to shell out >€100 for a new backpack that I don’t use everyday.
So how about you? Do you prefer suitcase or backpack for travel?