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Is the Osprey Farpoint a bad choice if I don't need a dedicated laptop compartment?

I know the Osprey Farpoint bags come highly recommended and I was just about convinced in getting one except I now have a slight dilemma regarding the laptop compartment since I don't carry my laptop or tablet when I travel. All the regular non-travel backpacks I've had in the past that I've used for work all have a dedicated laptop sleeve at the back of the bag, which I use to carry my work laptop around. That's convenient for the use case but I've always felt that having that dedicated padded compartment sacrifices the available overall packing space. That's not much of a problem when I'm just going to the office and it's just my laptop and a few random knickknacks that I put in my bag. But I'm wondering if it makes a noticeable difference when you're using a bag for a long trip where you want all the space you can get.

I know you can pack a lot of stuff with careful planning, but for any Farpoint users in the forum, do you feel that having the dedicated laptop/tablet compartment sacrifices some space that's available for the main packing compartment? No doubt it's a useful feature and a good use of space if you travel with a laptop/tablet, but how much potential space am I losing out on if I don't utilize that feature? I'm wondering if the Aeronaut (which lacks a built in laptop compartment) may be a better pick? Thanks everyone.

More and more bags have computer compartments. The bag can certainly be used without adding a computer. If anything - it just means the bag has a little more padding. The loss of packing space is miniscule. I would compare other features when purchasing a bag like weight, durability, reviews, cost, organization, size, etc..

Posted by
986 posts

There are a few ounces of weight and approximately an extra centimetre of thickness because of the laptop compartment padding. However, imo, this should not make any noticeable real-life difference. You can easily cinch down the straps to reduce the volume. However, I read one review that warned that the screen on a tablet can crack because the compartment is located on the outer curve of the pack.

Posted by
703 posts

as a farpoint 40 user, I find it excellent as it weights very little ( maximising carry your on weight- and yes sometimes they do weigh your carry on. they did it to us a few weeks ago) we are travelling in europe.
good build quality, mine as had many months of travel use, and still looks like new. plus the ability to be easily converted from backpack style to 'carry bag' style. I do use mine to carry a laptop but I am sure you could carry other items in the laptop area, if you wanted.
the design of the bag is different, in that part of the bag opens up ( more like a suitcase) so packing clothes etc is very easy.
the other day I watched people having they carry on's measured to see if they we oversize. i was comfortable in knowing mine would fit within the allowance.
hope this helps

Posted by
32 posts

You could go to a store like REI or another sporting goods store and check it out. It really depends on how you want to use the bag and whether the bag functions well for you. I'd bet they wouldn't have a problem with testing out the laptop compartment and seeing how it affects carrying other things.

Posted by
4418 posts

I have only one bag with a laptop compartment - it is a wheeled backpack with added back pack - not very big. I did feel I had to think about how to maximize that space and as I like to use a packing folder for my creasable shirts and pants (like from Eagle Creek), it fit in that compartment well and i didn't feel I was wasting valuable space. In fact, you could most likely use that compartment for folded clothing as a built in 'packing folder'. If you like the bag, then I wouldn't let that be the deal breaker.

Posted by
103 posts

I almost never use my Farpoint to carry my laptop, because for me personally, any trip where I will need my laptop means I'm going to need other things that will necessitate wheeled luggage (ie., paperwork, books, fancy clothes).

But I do use the laptop and tablet sleeves for organizing other things. My packable down jacket fits in the laptop area pretty well and getting it in there provides more effortless compression than wrapping it up into its little pouch - and it's easier to access from there as well. I usually use the zippered tablet compartment for my ziplock of paper items (confirmations, tickets, etc), notepad if I've got one, and currency I'm not using at the moment.

At the times I haven't used the front pocket for anything, I haven't found that it really takes any space away from the main compartment. One thing I really did notice though is that the very bottom of the front compartment expands out and downward in such a way that it seems like you get some extra space without making the bag look any bulkier, I guess because when it's empty, the bag tapers in there. It's a great spot for a rolled up rain jacket or small pair of shoes, or your "deep storage".

Edited to add: I think that the Aeronaut and Farpoint are really different bags - if you are at all concerned about carrying the weight around, you need a frame & hipbelt. If you have a very short torso, the s/m Farpoint will be a better fit (at least it was for me). OTOH, the Aeronaut has much better organization and looks less backpackery.