Osprey Farpoint TrekFarpoint Trek is Osprey's version of the ultimate versatile backpack. Durable, versatile, comfortable and more. View Latest Deal
The Farpoint has been one of Osprey’s all-time best-selling backpacks. It’s a favorite among frequent travelers, because of its great design, large capacity and excellent materials. And now there’s a new and improved version of it – the Farpoint Trek – designed specifically for outdoor adventurers.
I wondered if the Farpoint Trek was actually an improvement over the old Farpoint. Both packs are still available for purchase worldwide, and I wanted to know which backpack you’re better off buying in 2020 – the old one that’s been around for a decade, or the Trek.
If you’re wondering the same thing, you will find all the answers you’re looking for in this detailed review of the Osprey Farpoint Trek backpack!
The Farpoint Trek is basically just a trail-ready version of the classic Farpoint. It has some of the features that we all loved in the older Osprey backpack, but also quite a lot of improved features. Like the new backpanel that I’ll tell you all about later.
Unlike the classic Farpoint series, the Frpaoint Trek is only available in two sizes, neither of which is small enough to be considered a carry-on when you’re flying.
But, when it comes to the quality of materials and their durability, it’s still quite similar to the veteran Farpoint. The exterior of the pack is made from 420HD Nylon Packcloth, durable material with great tear and abrasion resistance. It is very tough, and able to survive pretty much anything you put it through – from getting caught on tree branches, to being thrown around savagely by baggage handlers.
The material itself is not waterproof, but the backpack does have a DWR coat that will repel any water. On top of that, a versatile rain cover is included in the purchase of the backpack, and I will tell you more about it later.
You wouldn’t buy a bulky backpack that is uncomfortable to wear. This is why it’s important to see exactly how comfortable the Farpoint Trek is.
In this section, we’ll look at the padding, ventilation, and adjustability of the backpanel, harness, and all the different straps and belts.
One of the only downsides of the classic Farpoint is its backpanel. Because it is stowable, it doesn’t really have good ventilation, meaning it’s not the most comfortable option on hot summer days. And this is where the Farpoint Trek received its biggest improvement – gone are the stowable straps and that heavy nylon panel.
Instead, the backpack is equipped with Osprey’s AirSpeed ventilated trampoline suspended mesh backpanel. The thick padding inside the backpanel will keep you comfortable throughout your adventures, while the breathable mesh ensures your back is able to breathe. This helps sweat evaporate, allowing you to stay cool and dry during really hot weather.
Which is crucial in a good outdoor backpack. If you set out on a backpacking adventure in the middle of the summer, you really need a backpack that’s going to keep you from going insane because of the heat. And the Farpoint Trek actually does that – Osprey took everything we loved about the classic Farpoint, and added a really good backpanel to it.
The Farpoint Trek features a heavily padded hipbelt, which is crucial for keeping you comfortable while you’re taking on unknown trails with this on your back. The hipbelt transfers the load of the pack away from your shoulders and onto your hips, which are the largest muscles in your body. That’s how you are able to stay comfortable, even when you have 30lbs+ of gear in your backpack.
A really good backpack will allow you to adjust everything about it. From the width of the hipbelt to the height of the harness – it needs to have adjustable everything because it’s important that it fits your body perfectly. All the straps need to hug the contours of your body – that’s the only way you can be sure that you won’t wind up with a sore back or a pulled muscle.
Farpoint Trek gets full marks from me here. Everything about it is adjustable, from the height of the harness to the width of the sternum strap. As long as you properly adjust the backpack, it will feel like the most comfortable bag you ever put on your shoulders.
Obviously, this backpack features an adjustable sternum strap. It will keep the shoulder straps in place, and stop them from moving while you are wearing the backpack.
The buckle of the sternum strap actually doubles as an emergency whistle, which is the case with most, if not all, Osprey backpacks. It’s a useful feature to have, but one I always hope I will never have to use. Other than to mess with my friends, that is.
How many compartments does the Farpoint Trek have? Will your items be easily accessible? What about pockets, organization panels, and hidden compartments?
You will get the answers to all those questions in this section.
The Farpoint Trek features the same type of the main compartment found on the classic Farpoint – front loading with U-Zip opening. This is great for travel; it lets you pack just like you would in a suitcase, and it keeps all of your items inside the main compartment visible and easily accessible.
But is this really suitable for hikes and backpacking adventures? It means that, whenever you want to get something from the pack, you need to lie it flat on the ground and expose everything inside the main compartment. This is not convenient, and it doesn’t let you just slide off one shoulder straps and grab something quickly.
The upside is that the main compartment is very spacious, and can easily fit enough clothes for a week’s worth of travel. And it has internal compression straps that will ensure everything stays put, and that stuff doesn’t just randomly fall out whenever you open the backpack.
It’s up to you to decide whether or not the opening of the main compartment is a good or a bad thing. If you want to get this backpack mainly for travel and the occasional hike, then I think you will find this feature useful and convenient. But if you’re looking for something for hiking, trekking, backpacking, and the occasional flight, the U-Zip opening could be a deal-breaker.
The Farpoint Trek is equipped with dual hipbelt pockets – as any backpack should be! These two smaller pockets are perfect for items you want to have handy at all times, like your phone, a GPS, or a protein bar.
They help you stay organized in your adventures and allow you to have certain items accessible without taking off the backpack – a very useful feature in packs that have a capacity of 50+ liters.
There’s a pretty big zippered pocket on the front panel of this backpack. It’s large enough to fit several books and magazines, so you can actually use it for anything you want. I think it’s a great pocket to store any wet items that you don’t want anywhere near your dry clothes. Or just items you want to have handy if you’re using this backpack for traveling.
One thing to keep in mind is that this pocket is behind the compression straps, so it is pretty secure. There’s no way someone could access it without you noticing, especially if they were to do so while you are wearing the backpack.
The Farpoint Trek features a zippered pocket in the top lid, which is great for any smaller items you want to keep more easily accessible. It’s a fairly spacious pocket that could easily fit a wallet, smartphone, and any items you want to have handy while you’re traveling or trekking. And it is different from the dedicated AirCover compartment.
The Trek has two classic stretch pockets on the sides, which are large enough to fit water bottles. You could use them for other stuff too; with the upper side compression straps, these pockets could easily hold trekking poles or bulky tripods.
The side pockets are dual access, meaning that they have openings both on the top and on the side. The latter is actually extremely useful for putting away a water bottle while you’re wearing the backpack – it lets you do it in a quick and simple movement, as opposed to dislocating your shoulder trying to reach the top opening of the pocket.
The mesh material of the pockets is very stretchy and durable, while the bottom of the pockets is made from the same Nylon Packcloth as the rest of the backpack. It’s going to hold up to wear and tear really good, and you won’t wear through it just by storing a large water bottle in it.
The larger of the two Farpoint Trek backpack features a zippered sleeping bag compartment at the bottom of the bag. This is virtually the only feature that’s unique to the larger bag – all the other features are found on both of these Osprey packs.
But there’s a catch – this compartment actually doubles as another access point to the main compartment of the pack. There’s an internal divider that lets you separate it from the actual interior if you want to keep the sleeping bag away from all your other items. But if you don’t, you can use this to quickly grab something from this part of the bag, which makes the Farpoint Trek even more versatile.
The Farpoint Trek is a versatile backpack, there’s no doubt about it. It’s a bag that’s suitable for both air travel and camping in the forest, and it is great for people that need a backpack that does both.
But is it versatile enough that you’ll spend hundreds of dollars on it, as opposed to getting two separate backpacks? Let’s find out.
Just like the classic Farpoint packs, the Farpoint Trek series is compatible with Daylite backpacks. If you don’t know what means, basically you can attach an Osprey Daylite backpack to the front of the Farpoint Trek. This lets you add extra space to your bag, which is great for traveling. And it means that you always have a smaller backpack to take on the exploration of new cities, which will fit just the necessities.
I like this feature, but it mostly appeals to hardcore Osprey fans. It’s not worth it to actually buy both this and a Daylite, just to be able to switch between the two. But, if you’re already a proud owner of a Daylite or a Daylite Plus, you’ll be happy to know that the Farpoint Trek is compatible with both.
The Farpoint Trek features an external hydration sleeve, which is compatible with Osprey Hydraulics LT reservoirs. This is great for those really long hiking trips when you rely a lot on the hydration capacity of your backpack.
But that’s about the only good thing about it. You don’t get a reservoir with this backpack, so you can use this feature only if you already own Osprey’s hydration bladder. Or if you go out and buy a brand new one, which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend – when you really think about it, CamelBak hydration bladders are a much better investment than Osprey ones.
And it’s an external sleeve, so you can’t really use it for a lot of other things. It doesn’t work as a laptop or even a tablet sleeve, and there are no pockets that you can use for smaller items.
There are removable sleeping pad straps at the bottom side of the pack’s front panel. They’re great for carrying a sleeping pad, or anything that is similar to it in shape and size. If you don’t want to use them, you can just take them off and get them out of the way.
You can also use these as regular compression straps that let you tighten up the bottom of the backpack, which is pretty useful.
This backpack features StraightJacket compression straps. They’re on the front panel, and they’re great for cinching in the backpack and making sure that it’s as tight as possible.
This feature is extremely useful when you’re going somewhere with a half-full Trek – that extra space would make the backpack unstable on your back, and the adventure wouldn’t be that comfortable. not to mention that everything inside would get jumbled around and the main compartment of the bag would become really messy.
By adjusting the front compression straps, you can actually make the backpack smaller, and ensure that everything inside stays put even if it’s not full.
This backpack has multiple loops on the front panel. They allow you to lace up a bungee cord if you want to have even more storage on the backpack. Or you could use them to carry bulky items – just attach a carabiner to one, and you’re good to go.
The loops might not seem like an important feature, but they’re actually really convenient to have. And they make this backpack even more versatile if that’s even possible. In addition to that, these loops let you attach a Daylite pack to the Farpoint Trek.
The Farpoint Trek comes with a dual-use rain cover. It is a waterproof cover for your backpack that will keep everything inside it dry if you get caught in a rain, but it also doubles as a protective cover for travel.
What sets apart the AirCover from Osprey’s usual rain covers is the carry handle that lets you carry the backpack in one hand. This is great for travel since the Farpoint Trek is a big and bulky bag – you will have to check it if you’re flying with the bag, and the cover will protect it from the tough love of baggage handlers.
This feature is important because of the Trek’s backpanel. It is not stowable, and the mesh could easily get ripped without the cover. On top of that, you don’t want to risk the backpack getting damaged or one of the shoulder straps getting ripped. This is why I love the inclusion of a tough and abrasion-resistant backpack cover.
The Farpoint was always a great travel backpack. It comes in many different sizes, and you can actually choose if you want a carry-on or a bulky checked bag – a choice you don’t get with the Farpoint Trek.
It is available in just two sizes, both of which are too big to be considered a carry-on. And that is one reason why I’m not so impressed with the travel aspect of this bag.
Hardside suitcases are my go-to checked luggage. Their durability is incomparable to anything else, and I always know that my contents inside are perfectly safe and protected. You just don’t get that with a backpack.
Because of that, I don’t think it’s better for travel than the classic Farpoint. There’s also the issue of the backpanel – it’s not stowable, and the mesh could easily get ripped by the baggage handlers. But the AirCover kind of solves that issue; as long as you put it over the bag, you should be fine.
All the features that make this bag awkward to travel with, also make it excellent for outdoor adventures. The only issue in that area is the main compartment – it’s not really easy to quickly get something from your pack, since it’s not a top-loading backpack. But this is a feature that you get used to eventually, and learn how to make the most of it.
Osprey backpacks are not cheap, and the same goes for the Farpoint Trek. With a triple-digit price tag, it’s not a backpack that appeals to everyone. People with tight budgets are likely to skip it in favor of something more affordable, even if it actually is the best versatile backpack out there.
And if you’re not constantly hitting the trails or going on week-long backpacking adventures, you should do the same.
The Farpoint Trek was designed for a very specific customer base. It’s the perfect backpack for people that want a bag they can take on both an overseas trip and a camping trip. It is very versatile, and if you’re always on the move and looking for something you can take everywhere, you will get a lot of use out of this backpack.
After taking a good look at every single feature of the Osprey Farpoint Trek, there’s one question left to answer – is this really the right backpack for you?
And that depends. If you are an avid trekker who is looking for a good bag, you’ll love the Trek. Especially if you want a versatile backpack that you can also use for travel, camping and other outdoor adventures. It really is an amazing backpack that performs well everywhere, and that you will be able to use for a long time, thanks to the durable high-end materials.
But if you don’t spend a lot of time outdoors, then you’re better off with the classic Farpoint. It’s better suited for travel, and it is available in more sizes.
Head over to Amazon to check out the prices and colors of the Farpoint Trek. And if you find the backpack a little out of your price range, be sure to read our related posts, for ideas on other affordable and versatile backpacks!