Looking for the best travel backpack among an overwhelming amount of choice? We’ve done the hard work for you and we’ve narrowed the search down to two of the most reliable backpacks.
In short, both backpacks are a phenomenal choice for both outdoor use and traveling.
Here. we will analyze the ins and outs of each of these two amazing backpacks, so you can learn which design best suits your personal needs.
Meet the Contender: Kelty Redwing 44
The Kelty Redwing 44 is strategically designed to carry your gear on day hikes, overnight excursions, and for day-to-day use. Not only does it have the capacity to carry your gear, but it’s also engineered to adequately cater to your comfort and convenience needs. Check our complete review here.
Meet the Contender: Osprey Farpoint 40
- Large, lockable U-zip duffel-style access to main compartment - 40L total volume
- Meets carry-on size restrictions for most airlines (Size Medium/Large: 21H X 14W X 9D inches)
- Lockable zipper access to padded laptop & tablet sleeve (fits up to most 15" laptops)
- Stowaway backpanel, shoulder straps and hipbelt with zippered rear flap for protection
- Two front mesh waterbottle pocket
Osprey is highly praised for the durability and impeccable quality of its items. The Osprey Farpoint 40 backpack is perfect for travel both in the air and on hiking trails. Its sleek design has been masterminded to hold your belongings safely, securely, and comfortably on your back. Check our complete review here.
Osprey Farpoint 40 vs. Kelty Redwing 44: In-Depth Review
The Kelty Redwing 44’s dimensions are 25L x 15W x 12D inches. It has a 44-liter capacity and weighs 2 lbs 10 oz. The Osprey Farpoint 40’s dimensions are 21L x 14W x 9D inches. It has a 40-liter capacity and weighs in at 3 lbs 2.7 oz.
The Kelty Redwing 44 is the larger of the two and has more pockets, but still weighs less than the Osprey Farpoint 40. The Kelty Redwing 44 reigns supreme in terms of design.
The Kelty Redwing 44 is primarily made from poly 420D Small Back Stafford and reinforced with poly 75x150D Tasser Coal. This is a technical way of saying that its material is smooth and thin in appearance, but highly durable in construction.
The Kelty Redwing 44’s frame is made of aluminum and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is an extremely strong and impact-resistant plastic material. The combination of these two materials makes the frame structure light and sturdy.
The Osprey Farpoint 40 is made from 210D nylon mini hex which you may recognize as the material with small hexagons sewn into it. In addition, the backpack is constructed with diamond ripstop technology. This combination ensures that the material is strong and tear-resistant, which means that if tears do occur, they will not continue to grow in length.
The accent material and bottom material of the Osprey Farpoint 40 is made from 600D packcloth, which is a strong polyester used in the construction of most backpacks.
The Osprey Farpoint 40’s frame is made up of a 3.5mm Lightwire peripheral frame and an Atilon framesheet to spread the load evenly across your body.
If a structural or material flaw does occur in the backpack you choose, Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee makes it clear that they will repair “any damage or defect for any reason, free of charge.”
Kelty’s warranty on the product lifetime, however, is a bit vague and far less welcoming to customers.
Both backpacks are impressively constructed, but the Osprey Farpoint 40’s meticulously masterminded material and frame structure, along with their steadfast warranty, takes the W in this category.
Looking at the Kelty Redwing 44, it looks like a hiking backpack. It is designed with several external pockets for easy access to smaller items. The pockets are functional and easy to use.
The Redwing 44 has a U-shaped zipper which gives you total access to the main pocket, similar to a suitcase. However, when the external suspension straps are in use, the backpack can be opened and closed like a traditional top-loader.
The appearance of the Osprey Farpoint 40 is much sleeker than the Kelty Redwing 44. It has no protruding external pockets, other than the two low-profile water bottle pockets on the front of the backpack.
As with the Kelty, the Osprey Farpoint 40 opens using a U-shaped zipper, also known as a clamshell zipper, which gives you complete accessibility to the main pocket.
In terms of storage, it’s important to note the laptop sleeve placement in each backpack. The Kelty is equipped with a laptop sleeve towards the rear of the pack, closest to your back, whereas the Osprey’s laptop sleeve is located closer to the front of the bag. This design does cause the pack to be more front-heavy than the Kelty.
With these design features in mind, the Kelty Redwing 44 upstages the Osprey Farpoint 40 as it adds versatility to the Osprey’s accessibility.
More: Osprey Talon 22 Review
Straps and Harnesses
The straps on the Kelty Redwing 44 are extremely well-padded and ventilated. The hip strap is built with an efficient tightening system which properly supports the load of the pack.
The sternum strap is adjustable and removable, and load lifters are built into the top of each shoulder strap.
The Kelty Redwing 44 is equipped with five external suspension straps, two horizontal straps on either side and one vertical strap in the middle. This suspension system allows you to secure your load when hiking. It also comes in handy when compressing the pack to meet carry-on standards when taking it on a plane.
The Osprey Farpoint 40’s straps are more low profile than the Kelty Redwing 44, but they are padded, nonetheless.
Load lifters and an adjustable and removable sternum strap are also included in the Osprey Farpoint 40’s design.
There are two internal suspension straps in the main pocket of the Osprey Farpoint 40, in addition to two horizontal suspension straps on the outside of the pack. These maximize your packing capacity and enable you to pack tightly and securely.
In terms of a travel backpack, the low profile padding of the Osprey Farpoint 40 gets the nod over the thick padding of the Kelty Redwing 44.
The prices of both two backpacks are fairly similar.
The Kelty Redwing 44 costs between $89 and $125, depending on the retailer.
The Osprey Farpoint 40 costs between $119 and $160.
Stand-Out Features of the Kelty Redwing 44
The Kelty Redwing 44 is one of the most versatile travel backpacks you will find.
One excellent feature of this bag is its ability to be used as a top-loader or panel loader. The U-shaped zipper allows total access to the contents of your bag. However, when the external suspension straps are in use, the bag can be opened as a top-loader.
It is designed with a removable hip belt which makes using this pack as a daypack or carry-on incredibly efficient.
The external side pockets are designed with pass-through access which allows you to use them for anything from water bottles to tripods or tentpoles.
In addition, the laptop sleeve can be used for hydration bladder storage when you’re hiking on the trails.
There is a stash pocket located towards the front of the Kelty Redwing 44 which is perfect for stowing a jacket or sweater when it’s time to layer down. This pocket has a bottom and the suspension straps will securely hold your extra layer in place.
This bag includes two tool loops on the front of the backpack. The option to carry tools on the outside of the backpack frees up internal storage space for other items.
In addition, there are two rows of webbing on the underside of the backpack which supply several attachment loops for items such as tarps and sleeping bags. This feature gives added versatility to this backpack with the option of using it for overnight hikes.
Stand-Out Features of the Osprey Farpoint 40
Hide Away Straps
Osprey designed the Farpoint 40 with a hide-away strap function. When you aren’t using the straps, you can conceal them by unrolling a thin flap of material from the bottom of the bag and zipping it all the way around the back border of the pack.
The Farpoint 40 comes with a shoulder strap included. If you prefer to carry the bag at your side or behind you like a messenger bag, the shoulder strap is definitely a useful bonus.
Which is better, Osprey Farpoint 40 or Kelty Redwing 44?
Use the Kelty Redwing 44 if:
- You want versatility in a backpack
- You will use your backpack for outdoor recreational travel
- You need external pockets for easy access and extra storage
- You’re looking for a lightweight backpack
Use the Osprey Farpoint 40 if:
- You plan to use your backpack mostly for air travel
- You prefer a sleek design rather than external pockets
- You need a tear-free material backed by a warranty
- You want a backpack with an attachable shoulder strap
Whether you’re an avid hiker heading off on your next expedition or just a frequent flyer who values quality and loves to sport their outdoorsy style, these two options for outdoor travel backpacks will not let you down.