The Best Carry-on Travel Bag For Backpackers in 2020 | Review

If you’re a backpacker and want to save hundreds of dollars by not paying check-in luggage fees — I’ve got the perfect carry-on backpack for you.

The Best Carry-on Travel Bag For Backpackers in 2020 | Review

If you’re a backpacker in the making and want to save hundreds of dollars by not paying check-in luggage fees — I’ve got good news for you with this one.

I’ve been backpacking with the Osprey Farpoint 40 backpack for 10 months and there’s so many things that make me recommend this to people.

  • Perfect dimensions for carry-on and light travel (56cm x 36cm x 23cm)
  • 40L of storage that can fit everything for long term lightweight travel
  • Clam shell open so you can get anything out really quickly
  • Back support of a full backpack with a waist clip
  • A padded laptop pocket/sleeve
  • Adjustable straps for both back and side
  • Quality materials from the fabric to the zips
Osprey Farpoint 40 - Volcanic Grey

Get it on Amazon with this affiliate link here:

After 10 months of travel with the Farpoint 40 and over a year of continual use, the bag has been slammed inside buses, dropped, squished and been overflowing full of clothes when I’ve decided to carry other peoples things too…

Yet it has no tears, no decreased functionality, everything is intact and it just has a nice coat of dust and grime over it. It’s held its own and is in fantastic condition. I’m so happy with it that I’ve been recommending it throughout my travels to backpackers I see lugging around their massive monstrosities that have 3 pairs of shoes and a hairdryer in them.

Not only do you not need all of that, but this thing can fit quite a bit…

All the items I fit into the Farpoint 40 — Also my cheesy grin struggling for this photo.

Hot tip #1: You can use the straps on the front to tie down things that won’t fit in, like in my case, my heavy winter jacket.

Other small things I really enjoy about this backpack: The zips are heavy duty and they're lockable. And the inside, which looks pretty great, has a mesh zip pocket to hold any documents you might have. The clam shell open lets you get to them quickly as well.

The little things I like about the Osprey

I’ve tried more than my fair share of travel backpacks and the Osprey Farpoint 40 just wins in so many ways for me, but here’s the con list if you have other goals for your travels.

  • It isn’t waterproof — good for slightly wet things drying faster in the bag, but bad for making dry things in the bag slightly wet — you can make it more water proof with a backpack rain cover.
    Amazon link:
  • The laptop sleeve is in the front — if you have a heavier laptop you may feel off balance, this hasn’t been my experience with a 14inch zenbook.
  • It’s not a hardcore hikers backpack — the 40L means you won’t be able to fit a sleeping bag, hiking boots and the rest for your travels, I managed by using the straps to tie things but I only went on serious/camping hikes maybe 3 times

I’d say the con-list is worth having when the pro’s are too good. Again, here's an Amazon link if you want to pick one up:

When it comes to flights

If you’re worried about getting charged for going over your carry-on allowance in terms of size or weight, don’t worry. I took over a dozen flights during my journey and never once got pulled up over my bag.

I kept it light but also had my laptop and camera with me, and even then I was able to fit everything just fine. Most airlines have a 7kg allowance, and allow for laptop and cameras to be carried separately. Some let you take up to 10kg as well.

A lot of the time I was over the weight limit (because I kept on picking up things here and there), but because the bag was much smaller than a regular travel backpack, I ran into no problems. It’s all about appearances ladies and gents 😎

Hot Tip #2: Get a fold-able nylon day pack like the one in the picture above (the red rectangle), put your heavier items in there and carry it like a hand-bag that you’ll be able to put under your seat. It’ll reduce the weight of your Osprey and they’ll accept it.

Final Notes

The Farpoint 40 is fantastic, it looks good and is quite functional. For someone who's looking to travel long term and light, it's the perfect backpack to get for 2020.

Note: Osprey has a similar one that has certain changes in sizing for the ladies, its called the Osprey Fairview 40. It looks and works exactly the same, it's also the same price.

Amazon affiliate link here if you want to get that one:

With my Farpoint 40, I got the Volcanic Grey but it comes in a few colors like green and red, the full range can be found almost everywhere. Good luck with it all, and safe travels!