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Cannot decide between functionality between Farpoint 40 and Motherlode Jr

Cannot decide between functionality between Farpoint 40 and Motherlode Jr

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Old Jul 27, 16, 12:17 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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Question Cannot decide between functionality between Farpoint 40 and Motherlode Jr

I have owned a Mei Voyageur for a few years, but the canvas is starting to get sticky, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to upgrade. Currently, the Voyageur is a smidge too tall and the hip strap a bit too loose (though just nice if I'm wearing a coat), but it is still a fantastic bag.

I have asked Mei Packs if they are able to customise me one but it may be a few too many changes.

My requirements:
1) laptop compartment does not eat into main compartment; located nearer to back than front
2) good backpack straps and hip strap support
3) slightly structured single big compartment with only a few small ones

Two bags that *almost* works for me:
a) The eBags TLS Motherlode Jr (slightly shorter) is almost perfect except for the hip strap support [and the tag, but let's not be fussy].
b) The Osprey Farpoint 40 is almost perfect except the laptop compartment is located in the front [and it looks too round aesthetically, but again, no need to be overly fussy].

I'm tempted to spring for the eBags because of the price point, but I don't really want to regret the lack of a good hip support even though I've been going for far fewer exploration-of-city-with-backpack trips.

Am I missing something?
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Old Jul 27, 16, 6:04 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Hey Ryvyan,

I own the Farpoint 40 but am not familiar with the Motherlode Jr. (Though I have several other eBags items so I'm a fan :P)

I recently took the FP 40 with me on a 4 week trip through South Africa and the Middle East.

It held up well through airports (checked and carry on), thrown into buses and cars and through treks in the city.

Depending on how much you pack in it, I think the "heavier duty" straps it has vs. the eBags (just from viewing the pictures on the product page) may be "worth it" depending on the weight you plan to carry. The heavier duty hip straps helped to keep weight distributed, and there are also shoulder tightening straps which I found useful.

I've not used the the Motherlode Jr. so can't speak to it, but have the TLS professonal bags and have found that the straps are slightly lacking (though I recognize they are designed for a different type of travel)

Not sure if this helps just my 2c.
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Old Jul 27, 16, 9:41 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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I have the motherlode Jr and I do find the shoulder straps uncomfortable. For a jaunt through the airport, they may be fine.

My is a few years old but I only used it for a couple trips.
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Old Jul 27, 16, 10:52 pm
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emustyle: Thanks for your thoughts on the Farpoint. I am leaning towards it now since I still do some hopping on buses and trains. It does make sense that the laptop compartment will not pose a big problem due to the backpack and hip strap, and devices are getting smaller by the day!

hachkc: Thanks for your thoughts on the strap. I thought that the backpack strap on the eBags looked a bit lacking, but was puzzled by the thousands of reviews on their website. I don't think I'll be able to tolerate an uncomfortable strap since I'm so comfortable with the one on my Voyageur (that said, I carry a very heavy Kanken around with a laptop and water bottle, so maybe my tolerance is higher than I thought)
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Old Jul 28, 16, 7:33 am
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I'm a big fan of the full sized Motherlode ( which is closer in size to the Farpoint)and use it several time a month for business travel (I'm on my second one). While I have used it in backpack mode quite successfully, the shoulder straps are functional for up to an hour, longer than that would be difficult. They make walks between concourses or between hotels in town much more comfortable. I have walked about three miles from a broken down bus with it on my back but I wasn't happy about it. In all honesty, the bag was fully packed.

The lack of a functional hip support mechanism is the primary culprit. I replaced the puny strap with a three inch wide belt from REI but since it is not anchored on the bag and there is no frame to speak of, there isn't any real transfer of weight to the hips, it only allows the bag to hug your back more closely. It is a great bag for air, train or automobile travel in the one bag environment but it is not a great choice for ambulatory trips.
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Old Jul 28, 16, 11:32 am
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Airport Runner: Thanks for the review, I'm pretty sure I'm not getting the eBags anymore. I'm constantly losing my way whenever I have a backpack on my back, so Motherlode =/= happy!back is something I need to consider. I'm female so the weight I can take on happily has to be around 10kg on the Voyageur which has awesome backpack and hip straps!
Thanks also for note on the sizing of the normal Motherlode and Farpoint 40. That said, Farpoint 40 has a shorter version, which is what I may be choosing after I measure the length of my back for sure (I'm around 167cm but a shorter torso). The compromise on the Motherlode was to take the Jr (shorter) size, but I guess it's moot now!

The Farpoint 40 seems to be the happy balance, but I was hoping someone can direct me to similarly sized backpacks out there with similar features.
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Old Aug 2, 16, 12:10 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Not sure if they're "similar" but in my shopping for the 40, I also considered the Osprey Porter 46, Farpoint 55 (is 40L main pack with a 15L detachable day pack - Not sure what sort of travel you'll be doing), and Tortuga air.

There were a few others, but those were the main ones I was humming and hawing over.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 8:57 pm
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Originally Posted by emustyle View Post
Not sure if they're "similar" but in my shopping for the 40, I also considered the Osprey Porter 46, Farpoint 55 (is 40L main pack with a 15L detachable day pack - Not sure what sort of travel you'll be doing), and Tortuga air.

There were a few others, but those were the main ones I was humming and hawing over.
I saw the Porter 46 but at the price point, the lack of an internal frame bothered me. It also has a few too many pockets (I'd like just a main compartment along with a padded one for a laptop; an extra one would be just nice) The Farpoint 55 is a bit too much bag for me, and the Tortuga is rather expensive (and I can't say I'm sold on the design).

Admittedly, I usually go between airport to hotel/hostel/apartment with my luggage. Often when I'm with friends with bigger bags, I'd go for a taxi. However, sometimes I extend my trips for a solo trip and I'd like my bag to be portable enough for the option of taking public transport. I don't hike with it, but I don't have a very good back.

I usually carry an additional Kanken for personal items and for use on airplane (also for my laptop in the past), and which I use as my daily bag. But carrying two backpacks on public transport is never comfortable, so I'd like to pack this daily bag, the laptop and personal items into the main backpack and have a small separate sling bag with important documents close to me instead. Easier to navigate around.

I found an authorised reseller selling the Farpoint 40 locally for US$150 or so, which is still below the recommended retail price. I know it can be bought for cheaper online, but the only place offering free international shipping (Amazon) does not ship it to Singapore. Will pick it up soon and give some reviews if anyone is interested I guess.
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Old Aug 4, 16, 10:49 am
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Have you considered the EMS Boda?
http://www.ems.com/ems-boda-40-conve...0/1305786.html
My father has one and I've used it a number of times and find it to be a great bag. I assumed I would buy an eBags Motherlode if I bought another bag simply because of the lifetime warranty even though I have yet to find any faults with the EMS bag.
But after reading that the shoulder straps on the Motherlode are less than perfect I am not sure I'd buy it.
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Old Aug 5, 16, 10:29 am
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Join Date: May 2015
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What about a Tortuga Backpack? Similar to the eBags, but slightly larger, unless you consider the Tortuga Air. Laptop is stored at the back, and the bag opens like a traditional suitcase.
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Old Aug 6, 16, 12:05 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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I have the Eagle Creek EC Adventure Weekender. It's a fine bag but the challenge I run into is that the weight can become unmanageable in a hurry with all that space. I have a Op Tech strap on there too which I'm a big fan of (don't like backpack straps). My favorite travel-lite bag is the discontinued REI Overnighter because it is nearly impossible to overpack. I got a Motherlode TLS Weekender (full size) for free and that thing is too heavy to reasonably be considered shoulder luggage IMO.

Now that I primarily use Uber/Lyft to get to/from the airport I am much less opposed to using roller luggage these days (as controversial as that may be here.)
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Old Aug 19, 16, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Ryvyan View Post
I have owned a Mei Voyageur for a few years, but the canvas is starting to get sticky
I've recently bought a Voyageur, so I'm interested in what's happened to yours. Is it the inside coating of the cordura that's become sticky? How old is the pack?

Unless you purchased the Voyageur secondhand it is also under warranty still, tho postage may be a hassle since your not in the US (I'm in Australia, so face the same issues).

I previously had a Farpoint 40, and the straps and belt were very good, but as I travel for work with some equipment, I found the shape of the Farpoint meant it lost some potential capacity compared to the Voyageur. But the Farpoint 40 would probably be my pick for leisure travel (unless I could fit everything I need in my REI Overniter)

Also due to weight limits I often have to check my bag, and I'm confident the Voyageur will cope well with this. I wasn't as confident of the Farpoint surviving unscathed if it had to be checked.
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Old Mar 23, 17, 2:11 am
  #13  
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Thanks everyone for your input. I purchased a Farpoint 40 last year (managed to score a discount as well!) and have been very pleased with it.

Originally Posted by ITCFlyer View Post
I've recently bought a Voyageur, so I'm interested in what's happened to yours. Is it the inside coating of the cordura that's become sticky? How old is the pack?
I purchased it in October/November 2010 directly from Mei. As it consists of just a layer of fabric, it was sticky on both the outside and inside. I emailed them last year when I was thinking of replacing it due to the stickiness/oiliness (which occurred late 2014, but I continued using it then) and their response was:

"This is the first time we heard about the sticky issue. Your assessment may be correct due to warm temperature the fabric is becoming sticky. You can hand wash your pack using cold water and mild soap that may help. After washing please line dry away from direct sunlight."

It didn't work and eventually I threw it out (or maybe my mum took it? I'm not too sure where it is now!). I didn't ask about a replacement, because I realised there were a few things about it I didn't like so much eventually.

I previously had a Farpoint 40, and the straps and belt were very good, but as I travel for work with some equipment, I found the shape of the Farpoint meant it lost some potential capacity compared to the Voyageur. But the Farpoint 40 would probably be my pick for leisure travel (unless I could fit everything I need in my REI Overniter)

Also due to weight limits I often have to check my bag, and I'm confident the Voyageur will cope well with this. I wasn't as confident of the Farpoint surviving unscathed if it had to be checked.
I have been travelling on short and long trips with the Farpoint 40, and it works very well for me. I've been fortunate that nobody bothered to weigh my backpack, although I've checked it once or twice when travelling with family with no problems; the zipped up back was way less cumbersome than that on the Voyageur so checking in at airports was easier.

Osprey also provides quite a good warranty coverage (and a few online raves about them honouring said warranty) so I'm not too afraid. I think I like having a bit more structure than what the Voyageur gave, so the Farpoint 40 was really a huge change.

I do agree that it loses a bit of space for packing (although it wasn't a big deal personally), but the option to use the smaller compartments in the front was really helpful. I have been packing things away in them which mean that my things are much better organised (regardless of whether I used packing cubes).

The Farpoint feels way better balanced and well-fitted on my body, although that is a really personal thing. But that's just another thing that made me love my new backpack and forget about this thread!
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Old Mar 24, 17, 8:04 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Originally Posted by Ryvyan View Post
I saw the Porter 46 but at the price point, the lack of an internal frame bothered me. It also has a few too many pockets (I'd like just a main compartment along with a padded one for a laptop; an extra one would be just nice) The Farpoint 55 is a bit too much bag for me, and the Tortuga is rather expensive (and I can't say I'm sold on the design).

Admittedly, I usually go between airport to hotel/hostel/apartment with my luggage. Often when I'm with friends with bigger bags, I'd go for a taxi. However, sometimes I extend my trips for a solo trip and I'd like my bag to be portable enough for the option of taking public transport. I don't hike with it, but I don't have a very good back.

I usually carry an additional Kanken for personal items and for use on airplane (also for my laptop in the past), and which I use as my daily bag. But carrying two backpacks on public transport is never comfortable, so I'd like to pack this daily bag, the laptop and personal items into the main backpack and have a small separate sling bag with important documents close to me instead. Easier to navigate around.

I found an authorised reseller selling the Farpoint 40 locally for US$150 or so, which is still below the recommended retail price. I know it can be bought for cheaper online, but the only place offering free international shipping (Amazon) does not ship it to Singapore. Will pick it up soon and give some reviews if anyone is interested I guess.

I used ths Osprey 46 when I was on a trip to NRT en route to MNL. Had no problems with it being tooo big or oversized - key is not to over pack it and you'll be able to fit more than you think into this piece. Not to mention, I had another backpack that had all my camera gear and a laptop too as my hand carry! Didn't get hassled for the flights I had flown on Korean Air, United, Asiana and also Singapore Air.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 2:45 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2017
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I own both

I couldn't decided between them so I bought both. I also did not read where you made a decision, forgive me if I missed it. The thing is I loved both bags but in the end I returned them both. The mother lode jr I probably would have been okay with but in the end I liked the farpoint 40 carrying system. The problem with the farpoint 40 was when I packed everything in it, I lost all the room in the front pocket to pack my iPad and such. It also was pretty bulgy and I worried wouldn't fit in overhead bins.

I ended up buying the osprey sojourn 22, convertible roller. I love it if I want to take a roller but will probably have to check it everywhere I go depending on how it is packed because it is bulgy.

I actually ended up moving over to Tom Bihn bags. I landed on their Aeronaut 30 and western flyer for travel. I love these bags and highly recommend them. They are more expensive if you pay out right and not second hand but it is worth it if you travel a lot. They both also have backpack straps right can be carried with a shoulder strap. I like the halycon versions which are lighter.
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