Hiking Backpack Technology for Travel Luggage
The Farpoint 40 is my first backpack travel luggage. I chose it for the combination of proper backpack features and satisfactory interior space. I used it on a 7-day vacation in Japan (a place with stunning fall season color, BTW). My loaded 20-lb. pack was balanced and comfortable on my 5'11" body. There are features of a quality hiking backpack: a stable but lightweight frame, contoured shoulder harnesses featuring load lifter straps that prevent sagging away from your back, sternum strap and hip belt that perfectly transfers weight away from the shoulders. I had a comfortable, hands-free trek through an airport terminal, onto a monorail, up and down subway stairs and along a half mile of sidewalk to my hotel. I'll never drag along rolling carry-on luggage again.
Inside the main compartment, I fit four days worth of clothing: a pair of shoes, shirts/pants in one large and one medium Osprey packing cubes, sweater, rain jacket, and small items like underwear, eyeglass cases and belts. The TSA-approved one-quart bag of toiletries fit in the external front zip pocket. With the main compartment filled, the middle pockets for a laptop computer and other items get compressed, but I fit slim items like travel documents and the detachable shoulder strap. That strap is actually convenient to quickly carry the pack at your side in the airport gate, and when boarding aircraft and trains.
I love how the harness can be folded under a secure, zippered panel to streamline the pack in an aircraft cabin overhead compartment or when checking luggage on a small regional jet. To stow the harness behind the panel, loosen the load lifter straps so the shoulder harnesses fold flat -- otherwise they stick out and don't compress.
I am happy with this pack. I rated it four instead of five stars because the zippers are not high-quality YKK, so their long-term durability is unknown. Also, the Volcanic Grey color is actually a greenish-gray, NOT the true charcoal gray pictured online.