Traveling with just a carry-on bag is the freest you'll feel when seeing the world. For a long time I resisted switching over to traveling carry-on only, reasoning that I liked to have more home comforts while I'm exploring. The truth? Half of the things I was carrying I rarely used. Once I limited what I travelled with to a 40 litre bag, I realised how little I needed to survive.
The Benefits of Carry-On Travel
Traveling with just a carry-on bag is easier on your back and shoulders, and makes travel days smoother -- both of which are huge benefits! Your bag will be lighter and better fitted to your body, so you won't have to worry about back pain or whether you'll be able to walk from the train station to your hostel.
With a carry-on bag, you'll be limited in what you can travel with, so your bag will be far smaller and lightweight than most alternatives. This really helps you learn what you need to survive and allows you to transition into the minimalist lifestyle. I believe that minimalism is fantastic for helping you grow into a better person -- it teaches you the value of items, the importance of appreciating what you have, and why it's freeing to be tied to so few material possessions.
But the biggest benefit of all comes from passing through airports. With no checked baggage, you can check in online, arrive at the airport and head straight to security.
Once you land in your destination, there's no worrying about lost luggage, because you've had your backpack by your side for the entire journey. You can head out before everyone else to get on the public transport before it gets crowded, and won't need to waste time waiting for your luggage to arrive in the baggage reclaim hall.
Why I Chose the Osprey Farpoint 40L Backpack
I'm a huge fan of Osprey backpacks and recommend all travelers check them out as their first choice of bag. The main reason is due to their fantastic guarantee for travelers. Osprey promises to replace or repair any of their backpacks for any reason at any time. Yes, that means that if a tuk-tuk driver puts a hole in the side or you accidentally rip one of the straps or you do anything that's totally your fault, Osprey will either repair or replace your pack.
They'll do so even if you bought your backpack thirty years ago! I don't know of any other outdoor company that offers such a solid guarantee, and that's precisely why I always choose Osprey.
I also opted for the Farpoint 40l because it's a front-loading backpack, which is my favorite style of pack. Top-loading backpacks are great if you're small-sized, because they're usually thinner than front-loading backpacks, so they're not as bulky, but packing does become an issue with these bags. With a front-loading backpack, packing your bag is as simple as packing a suitcase, and that means that trying to find something in your bag is much easier when you're in a hurry, and when you need to check-out in a hurry, you can dump everything in without needing to fit it through a small hole.
The Farpoint 40l has a front pouch for all of your valuables, which was a big plus for me. As it will be acting as my main carry-on bag on flights, I won't be traveling with a daypack, so my technology will be with the rest of my belongings. The Farpoint has a front pocket with a padded mesh slot to keep my laptop in, as well as smaller pockets for my phone, tablet, and Kindle. In addition, there's a smaller pouch at the very front of the backpack where I keep all of my toiletries in a transparent bag for quickly passing through security.
I love that you can hide away your straps on the backpack to keep them safe and protected when in transit. My old backpacks would often have their straps get caught on things during travel days, so getting to zip them away into the bag and treat it as a holdall gives me peace of mind that my bag will last longer.
Speaking of treating the backpack like a holdall, the Farpoint also comes with an extra strap to turn your backpack into a holdall you can sling over your shoulder. While I doubt you'll use it often, it's nice to have the option if you do find you need it.
Who Should Buy the Osprey Farpoint 40L Backpack?
If you're about to set out on your first round-the-world trip and want to ensure you travel well, the Osprey Farpoint 40l is an excellent option for you. It'll make sure you pack only what you need, allow you to be active on your trip by not weighing you down, and will give you peace of mind when you're taking flights.
If you want a sturdy backpack that'll survive adventurous travel, I highly recommend this pack. I've taken it backpacking in places from Mozambique to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and it's yet to let me down. It's tough, reliable, and easy to carry.