I’m not traditionally a backpacker. Everywhere I’ve gone in the past, I had done so with a trusty suitcase. But as I went backpacking through Asia for two months, I figured I should listen to the advice of those around me and buy a good backpack. I knew I couldn’t just go out and get one. I needed one that specifically fit my (digital nomad) lifestyle, my body, and that could zip open at the front. So I did my research and after some testing I bought the Osprey Fairview 70L. I’ve decided to write a lengthy and honest review about the pros and cons and comfort of the Osprey Fairview backpack range. If you’re wondering if the Osprey Fairview backpack is perfect for you, check out my Osprey Fairview review.
The Fairview backpack line comes from Osprey. Osprey is a popular brand for outdoor gear from the United States. The brand primarily sells backpacks for all kinds of outdoor purposes. From backpacking-backpacks to wintersports backpacks and accessoires that comes with these backpacks. For example, they also produce rain covers, packing cubes and even wallets. Osprey backpacks are available online on the website, but they are also sold in camping and outdoor stores.
For a long time the Osprey Farpoint has been one of the most popular backpacks out there. This is because of the high quality backpacks, the convenient features and the wearing comfort. But: they are made for men, and women have a different body and with that different proportions and weight distribution. That is why in 2017 Osprey also launched a women’s version of the popular backpack: the Fairview, a real womens travel backpack. Yay for equality!
The Fairview comes in two different color options: rainforest green and misty gray. I bought the gray version, which I think actually is more moss green/brown, instead of gray. There is an aqua blue strap through the backpack, which gives it a cheerful touch. In terms of appearance, I find the backpack reasonably xstylish. It is not black, like almost every backpack ever, but not super striking either.
The Fairview comes in three different versions:
Weight: 1.44 kg
Dimensions: 54 x 35 x 23
This backpack is small and compact and meets the hand luggage regulations in Europe, which means that you can easily go on a weekend getaway without having to check in your luggage.
Dimensions: 63 x 33 x 30 cm
This is the ideal backpack for the average female backpacker. My sister also took a backpack of this size with her when she went backpacking through Southeast Asia for 10 weeks, and the size was exactly right, she said. This backpack is light and comfortable, and is therefore perfect for longer trips. Because this version is less than the 70L, you are also obliged to take less stuff with you, which is perfect if you don’t carry a huge amount of electronics with you.
Weight: 1.76 kg
Dimensions: 65 x 35 x 31 cm
Contents: 57 L in the main backpack and 13L in the detachable backpack
This is the backpack that I have. This is especially suitable for longer backpacking trips to different climates and digital nomads. I bring a fair amount of equipment with me: a laptop, chargers, cameras and batteries. Etcetera. The extra space will come in handy. I’m really surprised at how light this backpack is, but that’s important because 1) you have to carry it all on your back and 2) the lighter your backpack, the less weight you take up when checking in your backpack for flights.
The backpack has a frame to keep the shape, but it doesn’t stick out. All the important parts have stuffing, which makes carrying the backpack very comfortable. You can easily adjust the backpack through a number of straps so that you carry the weight in just the right places. Because of the adjustments, the backpack isn’t extremely tightly packed against your back, so your back doesn’t turn into a pool of sweat, and the backpack can breathe properly. I carried the backpack with about 12 kilos of weight, which was fine. I never had straps are cutting into my skin, or something like that. I could easily distribute the weight to my hips and adjust straps more tightly and loosely where necessary.
The backpack is made of 210D Nylon Mini Hex Diamond Ripstop, a strong fabric that is made to prevent against ‘wear and tear’. After having taken the backpack in and out of cars and planes, and dragging it along the floor many times, there is still no damage. With a weight of just 1.76kg for the 70L version, it is a super light backpack. Which is not only nice because you have to carry that weight, but also because it all counts as extra weight for when you check in, of course.
The Fairview backpack is packed with useful features, I’ve probably not even discovered all of them. These are my favorite features:
- I do not always feel like carrying the backpack on my back, especially for short walks. Since there is a handle both on the top and on the side, I can also carry the backpack as some sort of weekend bag. Very handy for short walks from the hotel reception to the room, and all.
- The best feature of the backpack is of course the zipper, with which you can zip open the entire front of the backpack. It turns your backpack into a suitcase when it comes to packing, instead of having to fill your backpack from the top and having to take everything out again when you need that one thing that is all the way at the bottom. Packing cubes are also a lifesaver. Then you know exactly where to look, and which compartment to open.
- I find the zippers of this backpack so convenient. At the end of the zippers there is a hole through which you can put a padlock, to make the zippers stick together. You can also hide the zippers, making them harder to find for wandering hands. Because there are only two zippers on the entire backpack (and you can easily lock them with a padlock) this is a very safe backpack.
- At the back of the backpack is a flap you can roll up (which you can hide in a groove with some Velcro) which you can use to protect the shoulder straps. You zip up the flap, and your shoulder straps are gone. Really handy, because you obviously can not have parts sticking out when you check your backpack as hold luggage at the airport. This way it is streamlined like a regular weekend bag.
- Inside the bag is a mesh compartment where you can easily store some sandals, or something else you do not want to have in the main compartment. I put my sandals there because I did not want my clothes to get dirty.
The other useful (and striking) feature is that the Osprey Fairview has a zip-off daypack. A smaller backpack of 13L that you can easily take with you when you go into town, or go on a hike or something. I didn’t really use it myself, because I had other bags with me, but the feature is really convenient, and Joris used his daypack almost every day. For me it was just some extra storage space. If you are afraid that your backpack can be easily zipped off the bigger backpack: no, there is a hidden strap with which you can make it lock onto your backpack. On the front are two mesh compartments where you can store water bottles.
Osprey Fairview price
If we compare the price range of the Fairview line of Osprey to other brands (Deuter, Lowe Apline) and with other lines of backpacks from Osprey you will see that the price falls in the middle. They aren’t cheap, but they aren’t super expensive either. They are a decently priced line positioned in the middle of the market.
Whichever backpack you end up choosing from the Fairview line should not necessarily depend on price, because it will be an investment anyway. It’s more about which backpack fits your needs, and as I described above, they are made for different kinds of travelers. The 40L is for weekend travelers, the 55L for holiday backpackers, and the 70L for the multi-climate backpackers/digital nomads with laptops etc. The warranty of Osprey is also good: if something breaks because of a construction fault, then the backpack gets repaired without any problems.
Buy the Fairview 40L & Fairview 55L & Fairview 70L.
My opinion on Osprey Fairview
All in all I am glad that this was my first real backpack, and that my endless research paid off in that I found it so comfortable to carry. Backpacking always looked so uncomfortable to me, but with this backpack that is not the case at all. I hope that if you had any doubts about a new backpack, this review has helped you.
Me trying on the backpack and falling in love!
Have you ever traveled with the Osprey Fairview?
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