As most of you know, as a big fanboy and devoted first-hand customer...
...I've been publishing in-depth guides to all kinds of Osprey backpacks (full post list at the bottom of this post) for the last 2-3 years.
Recently I'm getting asked a lot about my best Osprey travel backpack picks, so here you go.
Hope this guide helps you.
Before we get to it: I'd recommend you to check out Osprey's own PackFinder tool as well.
It returns the best picks for your own specific needs and desires.
Now... Here's a question you must ask yourself before anything:
I always recommend choosing this according to which one of these following two typical buyer profiles describes your situation the best:
- "I'll mostly be carrying my backpack between transportation-hotel-airport. Most of the time my pack will be waiting for me back in my hotel room when I'm traveling around the city."
You're a traveler. Get a travel backpack.
Traveler organizers and front openings will provide easy access to your entire inventory when you lay it onto your hotel room bed (or something similar). Additional carry handles save a lot of time and frustration at the airport and transportation vehicles.
I do recommend reading this entire short post since Osprey backpacks are far from cheap, but if you don't have time to do so...
...then find my quick recommendations below.
Farpoint's less comfortable but better organized cousin Porter 46 would be a good alternative - or even a better choice if you think you'll never walk more than, say, half an hour with your pack.
I don't recommend Ozone Duplex Series (more on this later).
If you think 40 - 50 liters is too small for you, don't get a larger Porter (comfort will literally start sucking), get a larger Farpoint (55, 55 trek, 70, 75 trek, or 80).
I'm not fond of 70 & plus liters because they're too big for a travel pack IMO. I'd just get a luggage instead.
If you'd like your pack to have wheels, then I'd recommend you the beast Sojourn 80L/28".
- "My backpack will often be with me when I'm traveling and I'll most likely need access to my items inside when I'm out in the streets."
You're a traveling backpacker. Get a travel backpacking (or a backpacking) backpack.
In most cases you won't have access to a bed (or something similar) to lay your backpack onto, so a suitcase-like front opening won't be useful. Instead, you'll want and appreciate a pack that sits upright when put down and offers top access to the main compartment.
This alone makes things much easier in the streets.
If this is you, then I'd recommend you the Archeon 70 (women's counterpart is Archeon 65 Women's). It's specifically designed for people with your unique purpose - it's a travel backpacking backpack (released in summer 2019).
Compared to Osprey's all travel backpacks, Atmos/Aura are MUCH more comfortable & ventilated. They also offer an additional compartment at the bottom and more external gear attachment capability.
You can navigate to related heading accordingly now:
Now let's get to the bolts and nuts.
Best Osprey Travel Backpacks
What is the optimal travel backpack volume?
The obvious ideal method to figure this out is deciding what to pack first & size it.
Now you know the optimal pack volume for your own unique needs and desires.
For most of us (including me), the max limit of our backpack decides what and how much of them we're packing. Not us.
What's more... it's not all that easy to be able to try and size the end volume of your belongings anyway. And I'm not even getting to the fact that most of us don't even want to bother.
Luckily, this isn't the only option we have in hand. We can simply go after what's generally recommended.
General recommendation: 40-45 liters
I personally know many people traveled to SE Asia, Europe or South America with their 40 liters packs for as long as 2 months and were perfectly fine.
After seeing so many inexperienced beginner traveler folks doing this, I don't even look at it as an extreme example anymore.
It's more of a rule of thumb for me: 40 liters is all you really need!
You can easily pack 3 changes of summer clothes (only 1 pair of shoes, though) as well as other traveling essentials.
A bit larger: 55-60 liters
This becomes more acceptable during winter due to thicker garments and some necessary extra gear taking up more space.
During the summer I'm pretty sure you can get away with 40 liters perfectly fine. But if you desire to go larger, that's OK, but I really don't recommend going any larger than 55-60.
The first thing you should pay attention here: Make sure the pack is equipped with a detachable zip-off daypack.
A daypack does not only increase versatility but it also makes the remaining backpack more carry-on friendly when detached.
Overall top picks
Most of you probably saw this coming even when I just mentioned 40 liters and nothing else.
Because, if you've made any research on Osprey travel backpacks before reading this post, then you probably know that the incredible comfort, durability and pretty looks of Farpoint 40 goes without saying.
Bonus: It's carry on size. Osprey seem to have added this literally onto the name of the pack as of 2020 - and now it's called Farpoint Travel Pack Carry-on 40.
Technically speaking, more often than not, airlines will allow packs up to 22" x 14" x 9". Sometimes you'll see them drawing the line at a total of 45 linear inches (height + width + depth).
You're likely to get away with larger packs though (as long as you don't piss off the staff), because it's mostly down to their personal judgments. They mostly won't size the pack.
I've reviewed best carry on backpacks here.
I've literally traveled everywhere with my Farpoint 40 and the thing I like the most is its unbeatable comfort. You can also read my full Farpoint 40 review.
After 3 years of use, it doesn't display any sign of weakness in terms of durability.
In all honesty, though; when Osprey is the brand at hand, I don't really consider this as a benefit.
All Osprey backpacks are solid in this regard anyway.
I also really like its looks - and I own this Volcanic Grey color.
In reality, it isn't Volcanic Grey though - but Green Grey.
I do have two gripes with Farpoint 40:
- Having the laptop sleeve behind the main compartment would not only have made packing easier, but also have made the pack even more comfortable. For the latter, luckily you don't wish any extra comfort with Farpoint 40.
- I'd like to see an internal traveler organizer.
Protip: If you'll pack a laptop into its sleeve, pack it before anything else.
Otherwise the bloated main compartment will bend the sleeve and make packing the laptop afterwards more difficult.
It fits laptops up to 17" (including huge AlienWare). Once you're past 15.6" the sleeve height doesn't suffice although the pack still gets closed without a hitch.
Despite these two downsides, Farpoint 40 is still my top pick.
If you'll almost never walk with the pack though (which... I'd doubt), then Porter 46 can be a better choice.
It's closer to being a suitcase with straps rather than being a backpack (which is why a women's counterpart isn't even available).
This causes a noticeable decrease in comfort, especially compared to a comfort monster like Farpoint 40.
The advantage you get with getting a Porter 46 over a Farpoint 40, on the other hand, is perfect internal organization.
6 liters of extra volume also allows you to stuff unexpectedly large items inside, like a speaker. If, by the way, you're looking for one, you might want to check out this JBL Flip 5 vs Charge 4 post (soundton.com is also my site, btw).
All your frequently used items and electronics will be arranged better and hence you'll have easier access to them.
- Meets carry-on size restrictions for most airlines...
- Large U-zip luggage-style access to main...
- Shoulder straps and hipbelt are stowable...
- Protected rear panel lockable zip laptop/tablet...
- Front panel organization pocket for easy access to...
If you can't decide, you can read my Osprey Farpoint 40 vs Porter 46 post for more.
If you think 40 liters wouldn't cut it for you (which would most likely be for the winter), and/or you'd really like to have the daypack option...
If you're like most people, you prefer traveling with a small backpack rather than nothing.
Rather than carrying tickets, passports, wallets, maps, cards, DSLR cameras and souvenirs; the daypack allows carrying a laptop as well in its laptop sleeve.
If you're like me and you like stopping by a local coffee shop with WiFi and work on stuff for a few hours & rest a little, then you'll absolutely need a daypack anyway.
13 liter daypack of Farpoint 55 fits all these items without a hitch (laptops up to 15.6").
Technically speaking, the main backpack (daypack detached) is still outside the maximum carry on size limits I've laid out above.
According to most of the reviews I've had chance to read, though; no-one had any problems taking the main backpack as a carry-on and the day-pack as the hand bag.
This is because it's down to individual staff most of the time, as I already mentioned earlier in the post.
70 liter Farpoint would probably be too big for most people, so I'd recommend the 55. The temptation to stuff the pack with items you don't need that much will also be stronger with the 70.
I'm always camp "go a little larger than you think" - but the things is, you're already "going a little larger" with 55 liters.
In my experience, 95% of people don't really need 70.
- Large, lockable U-zip duffel-style access to main...
- Detachable daypack with designated laptop and...
- Stowaway backpanel, shoulder straps and hipbelt...
- Lockable zipper access to padded laptop & tablet...
- Lockable sliders on main compartment zipper
You can read more about this in my Farpoint 55 vs 70 post.
What about Ozone Duplex?
Not recommended. Well, not for now, at least.
If you're unaware, unlike Farpoint 55 and 70 which consist of 1 daypack + 1 backpack; Ozone Duplex Series consist of 1 daypack + 1 cargo bag.
This sounds useful in theory - but works well just in that, theory. I have 3 serious gripes with this series that leads me to not recommend them:
- When you force the size limits of cargo bag even just by a little bit, it gets bloated and the daypack bulges into your back.
- Rather than Farpoint 55 & 70's tall design, Ozone Duplex 65's box-like shape causes the cargo bag's weight to be placed too far away from your body. It's less comfortable.
- See image: Rear opening daypack (left) allows access to your items even when it's attached to the cargo bag (right). But as you see, the (misplaced) load lifters get in the way of access, so you must unbuckle them each time.
It's more acceptable for brand new series to have major flaws like these. From what I've heard, Osprey is also on it and is actively working on tweaking its inaccurate design.
I hope to see a more complete Duplex Series in the future and will edit this part of the post when it sees a fruitful update that address these major flaws.
Top wheeled picks
Whether chassis (wheels) in a backpack worth the significant increase in both price tag and weight comes down to your own needs and desires.
But, generally speaking, I can tell you this: If you get a wheeled backpack, it's very likely that you won't be using it in backpack mode 90% of the time.
This is why I personally don't find it wise to invest in a backpack with chassis as long as the volume isn't over, say, 60-70 liters.
Because at any less than 60 liters of volume, a fully packed backpack typically ends up weighing somewhere between 8-10 kg.
Most people would be able to carry this load at least for a few hours with ease.
This is why I recommend a rather large one: Sojourn 80.
Wheeled packs are meant to be used in backpack mode for small distances anyway - like staircases and rough surfaces.
- Lightweight, high-rolling clearance HighRoad...
- Deployable backpack harness, hipbelt and backpanel...
- Large panel zip opening with lockable zippers...
- Four zippered pockets in main compartment keep...
- Dual tube extended handle for control of large...
It's closer to a being backpack compared to its other wheeled competitor Ozone 42, which is closer to being a luggage. Unlike Sojourn Series, Ozone Series do offer a laptop compartment and come with an attached daypack.
FYI, Meridian Series got discontinued.
Best Osprey Backpacking Backpacks for Travel
I've recently published a huge guide to Best Osprey Backpacking Backpacks, so check that out and find the huge data set to entire Osprey Backpacking Backpacks.
That said, if you are almost never going to go on overnight camping trips, then you need to check that out.
Because Osprey does offer some backpacking backpacks specifically made for traveling.
Intended use: Just traveling
Because it's still new, the just is still out in terms of durability.
That said, as I already clarified in this post, I don't even take durability into account when comparing Osprey packs to one another.
Not because they offer an incredible customer service (since it still costs the user some time and effort), but because I'm sure 90% of you will never even experience a durability issue and feel the need to contact.
What's more, Archeon is made of a whooping 1880 denier recycled nylon - extra thick skin.
So, on top of proven durability of Osprey's bells and whistles & typical fabrics, rock solid nylon boosts the durability even further - although it inevitably sacrifices weight. Archeon 70 is 5.5 - 6 lbs, depending on M and L sizes.
Archeon Series aren't equipped with a laptop compartment - although you can use the internal reservoir sleeve for the same purpose and be perfectly fine with it.
Now let's get to my favorite thing about Archeon 70: Opening.
In the introduction, I pointed out to the advantages top loading packs possess over the front opening packs when backpacking.
Offering top AND front access, Archeon is even superior to packs with top loading only.
Assuming the internal compression straps are in play, you're also given front access to the main compartment by unzipping dual front zips.
Secondary activity: Overnight camping
As some of you know, I'm a huge fan of Atmos/Aura AG 65 and recommend them all the time here in this site.
Check out my huge guide to Best Osprey Backpacking Backpacks to see their stance in Osprey's entire product line of backpacking backpacks.