Buying a travel backpack can be a challenge but it is even more difficult for us ladies. We need something that doesn’t squish our bosoms, won’t swamp our frames and will allow us to root around for the thing that we foolishly put at the very bottom!
Introducing the Osprey Fairview 40, everybody’s favourite backpack! Our Facebook community can’t get enough of the Fairview and it is my personal travel bag of choice, having been a faithful companion on several long backpacking trips.
So, grab a cuppa while we dive into all the specs and features that ladies love about the Osprey Fairview in this comprehensive review.
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In 2022, Osprey released an updated version of the Fairview. This new bag has all the upside of the old Fairview, with fewer negatives!
The overall carry experience has been improved by moving the laptop sleeve, upgrading the back panel and adding extra padding to the hip belt. The two useless water bottle pockets have been replaced by one quick access pocket. And the external compression wings are more effective than on the previous version. Finally, the new model is fully adjustable and comes in only one size — no more measuring your torso to get the right fit!
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Note: This review was written after purchasing the Fairview 40 with my own money. To test the bag, I spent over a year travelling through South America and Europe with the Farview 40. The review was not sent to Osprey prior to being published. None of our reviews are ever edited to keep a brand happy!
Even though I could drone on about how much I love my Fairview for hours, don’t just take my word for it. Here is what some of the lovely ladies in the South East Asia Facebook Community had to say about theirs…
“The Osprey Fairview 40 is perfect… It opens up fully, which is super important as you will need to repack constantly when travelling.” – Lisa
“Both the Osprey Farpoint and Fairview 40 are fantastic. They come in multiple sizes – try them on and make sure you get the right one for you.” – Gemma
Osprey Fairview vs. Osprey Farpoint
Let’s address the elephant in the room: how are the Fairview and Farpoint backpacks different? Essentially, the Osprey Fairview and Farpoint are the same model of bag. The Fairview has been specifically designed based on a typical female frame whereas the Farpoint has been created with men in mind.
Although this splits off the backpacks into two genders, this is not a hard and fast rule. For example, if you are a guy with a petite frame, the Fairview may provide a better fit for you. Likewise, if you’re a gal with broad shoulders, the Farpoint may be better suited. And if you don’t fit into either binary, take your pick!
Osprey Fairview 40: At a Glance!
- Dimensions (cm): 54 x 35 x 23 – Perfect for carry on.
- Weight: 1.44kg – Super lightweight!
- Straps: Padded shoulder straps and hip belt. The chest strap is webbing.
- Guarantee: All Mighty Guarantee included.
- Pockets: Three main pockets with some small mesh compartments inside.
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An In-Depth Review Of The Osprey Fairview 40
The Good Bits of the Osprey Fairview 40
This is hands-down, my absolute favourite feature of the Osprey Fairview 40. Despite being a digital nomad, I HATE packing. It literally takes me days to summon up the motivation to begin. However, with the suitcase-style opening of the Fairview 40, it is certainly a lot easier (I still can’t claim to enjoy it).
Simply zip the bag open and flip open the front panel. You’ll be able to see everything you’ve packed and direct your attention to a specific part of the main compartment, without needing to empty everything from your bag, only to repack it. Trust me when I say, this is an absolute game changer!
The Fairview is another example of a backpack living up to Osprey’s good name. I have dragged this pack through the Amazon jungle, high into the Andes mountains and through the Scottish Highlands. It hasn’t failed me yet and all the zips and straps are in working order. The main difference is, it looks a little more well-loved – probably because I’ve never attempted to clean it.
Without getting too technical, let’s just say this bag does what you need it to. It is a good size for most backpackers and will fit as carry on luggage for most airlines (topping out at the limit). Just be careful not to pack it full to the brim as this can push it over your allocated dimensions.
The padded straps are comfortable and the supportive internal frame makes the bag pleasant to wear. There is a sternum strap that can be adjusted to sit higher or lower. This is a huge plus for people with larger chests.
The straps can be easily zipped away which means they last for longer. This means they remain safe and don’t get snagged while the bag is being stowed on planes or buses.
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Once you’ve zipped away the straps, you can use the attached handle to carry the bag. This works very well for when the bag is in transit. The handles are comfortable to hold because of the padding and also feel very strong and durable.
Detachable shoulder strap
When you buy the Fairview 40 from Osprey, it comes with an extra strap which can be attached to the bag to convert it into a duffel bag. In my opinion, this whole function is a bit unnecessary. If I wanted a duffel bag over a backpack, I probably would’ve just bought one of them. Despite having travelled to multiple countries with this bag and having seen people use it all over the world, I personally have never seen this feature used.
I love the internal compression straps on the Fairview 40. As somebody who hates packing (I might have mentioned it already… ) I love that I can keep this bag in a state of being ‘mostly packed’ all the time.
As for the external compression straps, they are most useful when the bag isn’t entirely full. If it’s jam-packed there won’t be much space left to compress! The external straps are also good for attaching things that you want close to hand, for example, a clip-on hand sanitiser.
The zips on the Fairview can be locked using a basic padlock. For peace of mind, I’d definitely recommend grabbing one of these in advance of your travels. The zips are also completely hidden by the compression straps too, helping deter potential thieves while you’re on the move.
All Mighty Guarantee
If you already know anything about Osprey as a backpack brand, you’ll probably have heard that they have one of the best guarantees known to humankind. Essentially, the All Mighty Guarantee will replace any defect relating to the way the pack has been manufactured within its ‘reasonable lifetime’ and without charge.
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The Bad Bits of the Osprey Fairview 40
No hip belt pocket
While it is great knowing that your belongings are safely packed away in your backpack, you may want quick access to some of the essentials. After all, keeping your camera close to hand is a must if you are going to catch those spontaneous pics for the ‘gram!
Hip belt pockets are a great place to store a couple of travel cards, your phone and cash but unfortunately, the Fairview does not have any. This is something I consider to be a vital flaw, especially on a female-specific backpack. Sadly for us, women’s clothes rarely come with pockets, making hip belt storage even more of an important feature.
The fact that the bottle pockets are located on the front of the bag help it to fit the specific dimensions for carry-on, however, they just don’t function well when placed here.
The bottle is ridiculously far from reach, meaning you’ll have to take your bag off or get somebody else to pull out your bottle whenever you want a drink. Bottles are also hard to get in the pockets when the bag is very full.
I love that the Fairview comes with a padded laptop sleeve, however, I just don’t love where it is. Instead of sitting against your back as laptop pockets usually do, it instead sits at the front, weighing down your bag.
Usually, Osprey will only include a backpack rain cover for bags that they deem hiking packs. While this makes sense to a degree, I can only assume that they have never travelled during the rainy season!
Even though you can buy a rain cover separately, when you’re already dropping this kind of money on a backpack, any extra expense is a wrench on your wallet that you probably want to avoid.
Osprey Fairview 40 FAQs
Is the Osprey Fairview waterproof?
Sadly, the Osprey Fairview is not waterproof, however, the bag will comfortably withstand drizzle and the odd downpour. If you’re likely to be caught up in bad weather, you will need to buy a rain cover for this bag separately. Although it is an annoying extra purchase, it really is something you don’t want to skimp on, especially if you’re carrying expensive electronics.
What other sizes of the Osprey Fairview are available?
As well as coming in the 40-litre range, the Fairview is available with a detachable daypack in the following sizes:
Is there a men’s version of the Osprey Fairview?
Yes! If you are interested in the men’s version of the Osprey Fairview, check out our detailed review on the Osprey Farpoint.
Can you use the Osprey Fairview for hiking?
I have used the Osprey Fairview for hiking but I wouldn’t really recommend it for this purpose. As it is not designed for hikes, it can feel a bit bulky to carry for long distances. There are much better packs for hiking, including the Osprey Fairview Trek which has been made to tick both the travel and hiking boxes.
Have you used the Osprey Fairview? Let us know your opinions in the comments below!