Osprey's Farpoint 55 is the perfect companion for a long weekend. Feel free to add an extra sweater and a pair of waterproof boots; this pack is designed to handle loads up to 50 pounds.
The LightWire frame suspension transfers the load from harness to hipbelt. A mesh backpanel improves ventilation and the mesh on the harness and hipbelt reduces chafing under load. The entire suspension stows away under a zippered panel creating a sleek silhouette for transport.
Unzip the lockable sliders to access the main compartment. Inside there's a mesh pocket for small items. Dual compression straps keep cargo from shifting during transit.
Outside you'll find a zippered front panel slash pocket to keep you organized and sewn attachment points to lash on extra gear. No matter how much you choose to carry StraightJacket compression straps stabilize the load.
The main Farpoint 55 pack comes with a detachable Farpoint daypack to carry the essential for a hike in the hills or an excursion downtown.
This is an awesome pack, I absolutely love it. I've used it to backpack Asia and Cuba where the majority of the time was spent in the city, and I've also used it on a 53 km hike in the New Zealand wilderness. The pack has fared great on every occasion. It is a true "all purpose" backpack.
However, if I had to pick one "best-use", this pack is better for travel backpacking as opposed to long distance hiking trips. It should be noted that this is not a high-tech hiking pack, so this should be expected. It is definitely manageable for extended difficult hikes, but I can see how a more expensive backpacking trail pack would be more comfortable.
Finally, the best feature of this pack is that it is able to be taken as a carry-on!! Just detach the daypack and where it as your personal backpack, then hand-carry the main pack onto the plane. I have never been told it was too large.
PS - My zipper broke after a few years of use and Osprey sent me a brand new pack. Great company.
Most of the reviews have been positive and I agree that this is a great bag for travel.
The greatest selling point of this bag is the detachable daypack. Once you arrive at your destination, the main pack can be left somewhere and the daypack can be used when exploring a city. Separating the main pack and the daypack is also great when flying in Asia where passengers are allowed to carry two carry on items - a bag and a personal item. By splitting the two bags, you may be able to bypass the carry on size restrictions.
A few things that I think that could be better with this bag. While the large pack's straps are thick, I find that walking around for a few hours with just 10kg of weight quickly becomes uncomfortable. While I also use compression bags, the main pack and day pack could use a few more built-in compartments. Lastly, something that annoys me (it may just be my bag), but the zipper to re-attach the day pack to the main pack often gets stuck when trying to attach the two bags, and I often need to spend a few minutes trying to get the zipper to work.
Something that would be great is if the main pack had an additional zipper to compress the size of the bag. Even when I pack the bag to half capacity and use the straps to tie down the daypack and the main pack, the bag looks really bulk. Another thing that would be useful is to be able to attach a shoulder strap to the main pack to carry it as a duffel. From my experience, this would be useful at airports.
I don't usually write comments/reviews, but I couldn't not tell the world how I LOVE my Fairpoint 55. I bought it more than 2 years ago when I've decided to embrace uncertainty and see where the wind would take me - and for how long. Over the past 2.5 years, I have backpacked through SE Asia, traveled to work conferences in Europe, weddings in Germany and South Africa (meaning: fancy clothes packed), conducted field work in Africa, and lived in urban centers like Sao Paulo. And this backpack has been the best packing companion in all of these situations.
It's light, it's the size of a carry on, it's resistant. It's just perfect! The only challenge is to keep the weight down so to have it as a carry on, because if you organize your things well, it can fit quite a lot (17 kilos was my personal record - not that someone that likes to travel light would be proud of it, but still impressive).
To be fair, and not all loving about it, I do think that the daily pack could use some improvement. I had an issue with the connecting zipper and had the daily pack exchanged by Osprey; they gave me an earlier version of it and I really missed the cushioned computer pocket (I guess they wanted to make it lighter... but it doesn't really help if instead you need a thicker computer case) and the key chain link in the front pocket. Also, the inside pocket is kind of useless as it "blocks" you from getting the things at the bottom.
Anyway, if in doubt, go for it! It is indeed one of, if not THE, best backpacks out there.