Osprey advertise the Farpoint Trek 75 as the perfect backpack for wanderers and travel-backpackers, combining the best features of their travel range, adapted for backpacking. It is designed not only to get your kit safely to your destination, but then be perfect to carry all your kit throughout your explorations and adventures.
Firstly I was struck by the size of the backpack, and the sturdy and durable feel of the fabric. The U-Zip suitcase opening on the front panel gives easy access via a nicely chunky zip to the cavernous interior, meaning no more rummaging about for those important items that inevitably migrate to the bottom of the bag. It also makes for easier packing as items can simply be loaded in without messing about trying to stack things from bottom to top in order of likely need. For those that like to be slightly more organised, the Farpoint contains many useful zipped pouches and pockets for keeping things separated, culminating in two “wings” that can be folded over to protect the contents, with straps to keep everything secure. An internal pocket, with a neoprene access-flap enables a hydration system to be added for those long hot treks in the sun!
The double-layered base of the backpack can be divided, using an internal flap and toggles, to provide a separate sleeping-bag compartment (or storage for those travel-stained clothes you’ve not been able to wash yet!) which can be accessed through a separate external zip.
The “top” of the Farpoint Trek 75 mimics the lid of a conventional rucksack, with two usefully-large zipped compartments that contain a key clip, and an ingenious solution to those flapping straps that can be so inconvenient when your luggage is being loaded onto your transportation, and which provide convenient handholds for those baggage-handlers who can be a little too enthusiastic when loading your luggage onto the plane! The AirCover travel case is a water-resistant cover, complete with carry-handle and lockable zips, that totally encloses the Farpoint, meaning no more damaged straps at your destination. It cleverly doubles as an effective rain-cover when attached securely via toggles to the base of the pack and secured over the top.
As travel luggage the Farpoint Trek ticks any box you’d care to imagine, but as a backpack it scores very highly too. As a hybrid, the backpack system might be expected to be slightly below the standard of a traditional rucksack, but Osprey have got that area covered nicely! The AirSpeed suspended mesh back panel really does hold the pack away from your back, allowing cooling air to circulate while remaining secure. The waistbelt, with its zipped compartments, and shoulder-straps fit closely and snugly in typical Osprey fashion, and are adjustable using a simple sliding bar and lug system. Likewise the chest harness is adjustable using a simple toggle system. All together the harness makes the pack extremely secure and comfortable for carrying around anything you’re likely to need for an extended trip (except maybe that stuffed toy donkey or that rigid sombrero!) And that’s what I like most about the Farpoint Trek 75. It contains loads of genuinely useful features, yet remains comfortable, simple and rugged. It works exactly as advertised with no showy but useless frills.
Being a highly-organised person I pack my things into separate organiser-bags before loading them into my main luggage. The duffle-bag I normally use and the Farpoint Trek score pretty much the same on this front: both having a suitcase-style opening that lets me pack effectively. However the zipped pouches in the Farpoint let me organise the smaller things such as paperwork and, as this is a travel-bag as well, device charging cables and accessories more effectively. Likewise once all is safely inside, I can secure my things with the straps inside the Farpoint. There also seems to be more space where I can stuff those last-minute or purchased-en-route items than compared to my duffle-bag. Finally the external compression straps hold the whole package tight and secure. Good to go!
Carrying a heavy duffle-bag through an airport by the carry-handles, especially when the departure gate seems to be on the other side of the planet, is very tiring. My duffle has detachable shoulder straps that make this less of a chore, but it’s still a duffle and the straps are a temporary measure. Having a proper harness that is as effective as any rucksack I’ve ever used means that not only is lugging luggage around so much easier, but I don’t have to worry about having a separate rucksack if I’m aiming to do some serious exploring at my destination.
This does however mean that your carefully organised packing when the pack is horizontal could then become a little more chaotic when the pack is vertical on your back. Top tip! Be aware this could happen and pack accordingly!
In the British mountains the Farpoint performs as well as any standard rucksack, carrying all the kit needed for a wild-camping expedition with ease. The two mesh-pockets on the outside are perfect for carrying water-bottles, tent-poles or just about anything you choose to fit in them, and the waist-belt pockets are convenient for those small but important things such as your favourite sweets! With all the compression-straps done up the load is held securely and the harness keeps everything stable for those times on dodgy ground when balance and confidence are needed. The raincover is effective in all but the heaviest and most persistent rain, though in strong winds it can blow off the top of the pack. Fortunately it is securely fastened at the base!
So in summary, does the Farpoint Trek 75 perform as advertised? I would say a definite yes. A true fusion of trek and travel where the outcome is a backpack that performs equally and impressively well in either role.
Reviewed by Stu
Posted by Cal