Review: Osprey Fairview 40 Travel Pack

A female-specific travel bag built with hand luggage dimensions and ready to take on adventures

Feature type Review

Read time 4 mins

Published Dec 05, 2023

Author Evie Butler

Evie Butler Evie is a UK-based adventurer, personal trainer and traveller. She can be found out hiking in the hills, skiing or snowboarding on the mountains, swimming in open waters and running around new cities. You name an activity, and she’ll happily get stuck in. An avid outdoorswoman with a passion for veganism, sustainability and exploraration.

A female-specific travel bag built with hand luggage dimensions and ready to take on adventures.

Dimensions 22H X 14W X 9D”
Capacity 40L
Features Stowaway back panel, harness and hipbelt, hand luggage size, 16″ laptop and tablet sleeve

Pros

  • Easily packable straps
  • Several ways to carry
  • Female-specific fit
  • Comfortable straps

Cons

  • Depending on use and handling, side straps might not be durable
  • Slightly tall, certain airlines might have an issue with height

WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR

I want a rucksack I can travel with, take on adventures but that also fits the sometimes overzealous requirements for hand luggage on planes! Having previously used a larger Osprey pack, I recently decided to try and keep my travel packing a little more on the minimalist side, in avoidance of the often astronomical checked bag fees you often get with budget airlines.

Having a bag that can compress down and get into those pesky hand luggage measuring cages is fundamental for travelling, but it needs to be comfortable as well. I think this is particularly important when looking for a female-specific bag.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

It’s a very slick bag. On first impressions, it’s neat, everything folds away and tucks into places without having extra straps hanging off. It’s certainly a durable material, using Bluesign-approved 450D recycled polyester and coated in PFAS-free DWR. My main plan was to use thew pack on flights as hand luggage, but knowing the durability and the water repellency, I think this will be great for when I’m hiking too.

The colour is great. Osprey offers 4 colourways –  Night Jungle Blue, Zircon Red, Winter Night Blue and Black, which personally I think are great for travelling as they’re not too bright, nor are they all just pink! Bonus: the darker options disguise the inevitable muck that happens with an adventurous lifestyle and being thrown around a lot…

The initial fit took a little bit of time to perfect, adjusting the straps to get them right on my body. I have a small but wider torso, so sometimes bags look big on me, but don’t fit well around my hips and chest. However, the Osprey Fairview is designed specifically for the female form, so it was comfortable. With the padded shoulder straps and double front clips – they’re shaped to curve around your body rather than just over it – certainly a design with females in mind!

THE TEST

I firstly tested the pack out on a weekend adventure abroad, to see how it got on as hand luggage. This was a particularly tough test as we flew with an airline that is known for being quite strict on their hand luggage! While we didn’t fill it up completely, we had enough room to carry items for two of us over the weekend, organised using separate packing cubes inside the bag.

The adjustments made for the female body are very considered

Heading into the airport, the backpack was a good fit around my hips, comfortable and still allowed for adjusting. I do find sometimes that Osprey bags fit snugly on the hips, and seem to be designed for narrower frames. However, once you get used to the snug fit and adjust it to the right positioning then it feels fine. The adjustments made for the female body are very considered – it’s a fitted bag, but designed to move and curve around you.

Packing the bag into the overhead bin was a simple procedure: tuck the straps in, zip up, and stow away with no worries about anything getting caught. The Fairview pack also has a very efficient side handle, so it doesn’t just have to be carried as a backpack. My only concern with this is that although they are sturdy straps, if you ever did pull too hard or had to check it in, I’m not sure how durable the material around these straps would be.

After using this bag a few times as hand luggage, I’m impressed with how much this bag can fit in. You just have to balance it right, as when you pack, there’s still a few nooks you can shove more items in, you’ve just got to pack well and ensure you’re looking after those zips!

WHO IS THIS PACK FOR?

This bag is perfect for adventurers looking to travel with just hand luggage, to be able to compress their items down and have an efficient and easily packable rucksack. It’s minimalist and lightweight, but perhaps not for those who want to go hiking for days on end – they would need a different style rucksack with more bells and whistles.

WHAT STANDS OUT?

Size

40L design is perfect for fitting everything you need for hand luggage on a flight.

Colours

Darker colours, not too much on the ‘girly’ side, and less chance for getting dirty!

Hideaway strap system

Perfect way to go from a backpack to a carry holdall – easy to store and easy to hide.

Torso adjustment

Helps you find a good fit on your body, especially as it’s designed for the female form.

VALUE FOR MONEY

I’ve always found Osprey items to be worth the money you pay. I’ve found them durable, well thought out and the most convenient structures for adventurers. At £150, this could be a pricey investment for some – but I know this is my go-to for all my future travels.

In my opinion, the Fairview 40 represents good value for money. This backpack seems like it will be well worth the investment, especially for those changing locations every couple of days, it’s a great one for backpackers. 

BASE BOTTOM LINE

A great bag for those adventurers on a backpacking trip. So far the Fairview 40 has passed even the most nit-picky airlines’ hand luggage tests with flying colours, and keeps everything safe and neat. I’m interested to see the durability of the straps in the long-term, but I think this is a solid option for anyone planning mini-adventures or backpacking trips with just hand luggage.

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