Osprey Fairview 40 Backpack Review

The Osprey Fairview 40 Backpack, the women’s equivalent to the men’s Farpoint 40, is the smallest of the Fairview bunch, made up of the 40L, 55L, 70L and the largest 80L backpacks available in the range – but it’s the 40L that packs the biggest punch in the lineup.

Osprey Fairview 40 Backpack
Fairview 40 Featured Image
  • Perfect size for carry-on backpacking
  • Competitively priced
  • Harness, straps and hip belt can be zipped away
  • Multiple colourways
  • Water bottle access somewhat restricted
  • Laptop sleeve a little confusing
  • Volume: 40 litre capacity
  • Weight: 1.4kg
  • Dimensions: (H) 54cm, (W) 35cm, (D) 23cm
  • Suitable for: Travel, Trekking, Backpacking

Osprey Fairview 40 Backpack Review

For female backpackers looking for a carry-on sized solution, it’s the Osprey Fairview 40 that stands top stop on the backpack podium.

Although it might seem small to start, the 40L pack is the size to go for in the Fairview lineup with countless travellers swearing by the less is more approach.

As with everything shipped out of the Osprey factory, quality is top-notch and with months of testing on the road with the Fairview/Farpoint series, we’re not just relying on anecdotes and marketing snaps.

It may be a popular option, but let’s see what it’s really made of as we dig through the details in our Osprey Fairview 40 review.

Starting at the outside of the backpack and there’s a great harness solution, highlighted as on the main features of the Fairview 40.

Not only is the support top-drawer with a strong pair of shoulder straps, but a sternum strap and hip belt can be used for the most effective weight-bearing. That’s all well and good, but it’s also a recipe for a lost bag when it disappears along the conveyor and into the black hole that is the hold luggage.

Thankfully, Osprey has thought of that and has a nifty solution across the whole Fairview range with a simple zipper used as the game-changer. This zip allows the whole harness section to be contained, hidden from the edges and the conveyors of the airport underworld, ultimately preventing bags from getting lost, taking up room or snagging in transit. It also doubles as a cool party trick to show your mates – if they’re into that sort of thing.

The party-piece zipper, just like the rest of those that you’ll find on the pack are the tried and tested YKK numbers – the gold standard in the packing world. With countless tugs, pulls and heaves on the heavy-duty items, it’s hard to fault them – there’s even the option to add a padlock to the pack for extra security.

The manoeuvrability of the Osprey Fairview 40 is easy, in no small part thanks to the grab handle duo, one located on the top and another on the side of the pack. This makes chucking the carry-on into an overhead locker, carrying it like a rugged suitcase or throwing it into a luggage hold a doddle.

Inside the backpack

There’s no use in a good looking, adventurous exterior if the usefulness of the interior is compromised and luckily, the Fairview 40 is more than adequately equipped.

The clamshell design is exactly what you should be looking for in a long-term backpack where everything can be easily located without having to unpack and repack your underwear just to find a laptop charger. We would still recommend packing cubes to keep the organisation side of things up to scratch, but if you just can’t stand them – you’ll get away without them.

A pair of compression straps are located inside the main compartment, meaning that you can force way more stuff into the bags securely – great for both avoiding damaging your belongings and stuffing more of them in. Opposite these, a handy mesh pocket great for outerwear, laundry or whatever else you may fancy.

The next compartment of the pack is the smaller of the two, made smaller by enthusiastically packing the main section (something to be mindful of). Light outerwear or flexible items can be stored here, but space will quickly disappear if you’re not careful. Somewhat controversially, it’s this smaller compartment, located further from the spine, that stores the padded laptop sleeve.

Typically, this would be a real headscratcher, but with the ability to hide the harness, it’s a necessary decision and one that we think Osprey has made correctly. It’s a little strange to get used to at first and if you’ve got a heavy laptop you’ll definitely feel the detriment, but with best of both worlds in the pack’s features, there’s little we would ultimately change.

A final top-pocket completes the pack interior, great for storing those high-value, quickly required items. Passports, mobile phones and wallets are all great to keep here to keep safe without compromising accessibility.

Material and durability

When it comes to the materials used and the durability of a backpack, there’s no beating Osprey and the 210d Nylon Mini Hex Diamond Ripstop construction is some of the toughest of the lot. 

Available colours are Black, Misty Grey and the personal favourite Rainforest Green. The trio look great with the latter the most identifiable in a pile of other packs, but personalisation is key to avoid losing your luggage.

The silhouette of the pack itself gets the standard rustic treatment from Osprey and is your typical backpacking backpack. There’s no bells and whistles (okay there’s one of the sternum strap), it’s a clean and simple pack that’ll look after you.

Testing the backpack

We’ve not yet managed to get our hands on the 40L pack from the Fairview lineup, however, we’ve spent months on the road with the 70L and have a handful of comments to share.

First of all, the 40L size is the size to have and with travel with the 70L, there was around 30L too much space, funny how that works. The pack is otherwise incredibly comfortable, durable and proves to be a component travel companion.

We can’t wait to get some real backpack time with the 40L – Osprey, we’re looking at you!

Overall verdict

Overall, there are very few backpacks that live up to the reputation of the Osprey Fairview and the 40L is the ideal backpack size for all occasions. 

Depending on your airlines of choice, the pack is classed as a carry-on, making flights much cheaper, so you can spend way more on breakfast food, or small trinkets.

If you’re looking for your first or your final travel backpack, the Fairview 40 should be near the very top of those considered – it won’t let you down!

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