This is a review for a Osprey backpack fit for family adventure
I did a ton of research on what type of luggage we be best for us. Backpack or suitcase? Carry on or checked? The immensely popular Osprey Farpoint 40 topped the list. It’s ease of use, it’s carry on size, the amount of pockets and ergonomic straps made for comfort were all reasons I wanted this bag. But I ultimately decided that carry on was not the way to go for us. Traveling with a toddler, we needed more stuff.We were intrigued by the rave reviews for Osprey backpacks and knew that’s the brand we wanted. Osprey makes several different backpack models so there was bound to be one to fit a traveling family’s needs. We found it in the Osprey Porter 65.
My favorite features of the Porter series Osprey backpacks include side loading (no more shoving everything into the top of the bag), double seam zippers with lockable fasteners, comfortable padded straps that can be stuffed away when not in use, dual internal pockets, and a padded laptop pocket. The Osprey backpack is roomy enough for all of my and J’s clothes and gear. Ben was able to fit all of his clothes plus other necessary items like a first aid kit, mosquito net, and flashlights into his. I love how sleek and cool they look. Much better than the monstrosity I toted around Europe in my 20’s.
We travel on a budget so there isn’t a lot of spare cash sitting around to purchase loads of travel gear, but luggage is essential. Knowing we’d be hopping around quite a bit, we felt that Osprey backpacks were the way to go over bulky, awkward suitcases. The ease and mobility of throwing a pack on our backs was attractive to us because we knew our attention would be split between getting luggage from point A to point B and running after our toddler. That’s hard to do when pulling a suitcase behind you.
An added bonus to Osprey backpacks is that the streets in Southeast Asia are not good for suitcase rolling. Many of the sidewalks are parking lots for motorbikes so there isn’t a lot of extra room. We found ourselves skirting between bikes and buildings more times than I can count.
The biggest drawback, at least for me, is that the Porter 65 has to be checked. With most airlines charging baggage fees these days, the money adds up. Smaller versions of the Osprey backpack that can be used as a carry on do exist in 30 and 46 liters, but they would have been too small for us.
If you decide to buy a used Osprey backpack, be aware that older versions do not have as many fancy features, such as the padded laptop compartment. This can be a drawback for some who can’t imagine traveling without their laptop.
The Osprey Farpoint (Fairview for women) is a good alternative if you want an Osprey backpack specifically built for trekking. They’re designed to carry your life on your back for months at a time. We found the Porter to do the job we needed though.
We also seriously considered the Kelty Redwing series but didn’t like the top loading feature. We also prefer the look of the Ospreys over the Kelty, but that’s just us. Another brand we really like for anything outdoor, really, is REI. They make solid backpacks too. But in the end, the Osprey Porter won out.
We’re really happy with our choice. We had no issues traveling for over two months with these Osprey backpacks. They were comfortable to carry and spacious enough for our needs. Not to mention, we felt like seasoned travelers with one of the top bags on the market.
Some other economical practical, but high quality alternatives to Osprey backpacks can be found here.
For some tips on fitting all of your clothes and gear into your backpack check out our post: Packing for a Toddler.