Best North Face Backpacks

10 Best North Face Backpacks in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

(Last Updated On: June 28, 2021)

North Face backpacks are based on the love of outdoor excursions! The company takes pride in creating some of the industry’s best backpacks by balancing the sustainability specifications with the user’s desires to create equipment that is designed for the all-rounder athlete, the hiker or the outdoor lover!

The North Face presents outdoor enthusiasts with their pack lines from a wide array of bag lines. They dominate the outdoor gear market, from the hiking packs to snow sports. These have also become very popular with daily backpack users, both business commuters and students, because of their intrinsic durability and price. The bags are well suited for regular use and The North Face has begun incorporating features and bags intended for this market.

In a Hurry? The test winners after 10 hrs of research

The North Face Borealis Men's Backpack

The North Face Borealis Men’s Backpack – Best for Men

Why is it better?

  • Comfortable to wear during normal activities
  • Sternum strap has a whistle for emergencies
  • Bag has a hip-strap to take off the weight from your shoulders/back
  • Thick padding on shoulder straps makes it so it doesn’t wear you out physically

The North Face Women's Jester Backpack

The North Face Women’s Jester Backpack – Best for Women

Why is it better?

  • It has light foam padding on the shoulders
  • Nice padded pocket for a laptop
  • Extremely roomy for school supplies
  • Practical backpack that also has a great aesthetic

Best North Face Backpacks – Overview

Who separates North Face from other backpack manufacturers? Superb attention to detail, reliability, and insulation. If you have never bought a line from North Face, you are in for a pleasant surprise. There’s a North Face backpack for everyone out there, from the material right on down to how great they feel on your back. The only thing is, which one you’ll choose? Find out the best North Face backpacks from our list as well as a buying guide on things to consider.

North Face Backpacks Reviews

1. The North Face Borealis Men’s Backpack – Best for Men

The North Face Borealis Men's Backpack

The North Face Borealis Men’s Backpack is a timeless pack with a modern touch merging comfort and function. This bag, using the FlexVentTM suspension system, keeps you relaxed with padded straps and breathable lumbar panels. It also comes with an external, fleece-lined pocket for sunglasses or electronics.

Wide compartments and a dedicated laptop storage mean you’re ready from the office to the outside. Two extended mesh water bottle pockets can easily double as multi-use pockets with quick-draw cell-phone access on one side. An external bungee cord that allows you lash on additional gear. Full with reflective features, The North Face Borealis Backpack is your option pack for the seasons to come. Be sure to also check out our list of edc bags for more great items like this.

Key Features:

  • FlexVent injection-molded shoulder straps with additional PE foam for added comfort
  • Comfortable, padded air-mesh back panel with spine channel and PE sheet for extra back support
  • Large main compartment with organization, a hydration port and a sleeve for various-sized laptops
  • Mesh side water bottle pockets

Specifications:

  • Brand: The North Face
  • Capacity: 28L
  • Dimensions: 19.75″ H x 13.25″ W x 9.75″ D
  • Weight: 2.69 lbs
Pros
  • Comfortable to wear during normal activities
  • Sternum strap has a whistle for emergencies
  • Bag has a hip-strap to take off the weight from your shoulders/back
  • Thick padding on shoulder straps makes it so it doesn’t wear you out physically
Cons
  • Hip-strap has no padding – just nylon webbing. Can get pretty uncomfortable with heavier packs

2. The North Face Recon Backpack

The North Face Recon Backpack

People are naturally drawn to The North Face Recon Backpack’s organization and versatility. With plenty of space to accommodate textbooks, notebooks, a laptop, tablet and more, you’re still ready to have a good successful day on campus. Equipped with a FlexVent suspension system and injection-molded shoulder straps, you get comfortable support when your backpack is fully loaded at the end of the week while the mesh panel helps your t-shirt to stay dry as you step in front of the testing hall.

Soft fleece lines the inside of the pocket of the laptop, tablet, and sunglasses to protect your valuables; the internal organizer stores your pens, calculator, and snacks neatly in the front pocket and the newly added front stash pocket gives you easy access to your cell phone.

Key Features:

  • Large main compartment with padded laptop sleeve and hydration clip/port
  • FlexVent™ injection-molded shoulder straps with additional PE foam
  • Large front mesh pocket for convenient storage
  • Comfortable, padded air mesh back panel with Spine Channel and PE sheet for extra back support

Specifications:

  • Brand: The North Face
  • Capacity: 30L
  • Dimensions: 19.25″ H x 13″ W x 7″ D
  • Weight: 2.48 lbs
Pros
  • The chest and waist straps keep the pack tight to the body so it doesn’t wiggle around while riding a bicycle or moped
  • It is reasonably water resistant
  • Huge capacity as a day bag
  • Very strong and sturdy with lots of pockets and compartments
Cons
  • The backpack cannot stand on its own

3. The North Face Women’s Recon Backpack

The North Face Women's Recon Backpack

The North Face Women’s Recon Backpack is a 30L bag designed for school, work, or day-hiking, or anything else you’re up to on a regular day. There’s a separate padded pocket behind the main compartment where your laptop (up to 15)” can live safely. For a smaller tablet or smartphone, an organizing pocket on the front has another padded sleeve, and a fleece-lined pocket above provides scratch-free storage for your glasses.

There’s a large mesh water bottle pocket on each leg, and there’s another flexible mesh pocket on the front to hold onto bulky items. The cushy FlexVentTM backpanel with lumbar support will keep your back calm and relaxed throughout the day regardless of how you have it powered. Our handy guide to the best women’s backpacks for everyday use features more great products like this.

Key Features:

  • Women-specific fit
  • Dedicated, highly protective 15″ laptop compartment
  • 360 degree reflective bike-light loop
  • Removable waist belt
  • Sternum strap with whistle buckle

Specifications:

  • Brand: The North Face
  • Capacity: 30L
  • Dimensions: 19.25″ H x 13″ W x 7″ D
  • Weight: 2.38 lbs
Pros
  • There are so many pockets for a slim backpack
  • A little heavy but it just means it is solid and won’t fall apart
  • Hard frame on the back can be useful if you’re traveling or hiking
  • The straps are really thick and has tons of cushion for comfort
Cons
  • You can’t stuff all your textbooks into it because of the slim design

4. The North Face Surge Laptop Backpack

The North Face Surge Laptop Backpack

Efficient organization is said to be the key to success, and that is why The North Face Surge Laptop Backpack was made. The Surge is made for professional and full-time students and is equipped with different pockets to keep you on track for success. A dedicated zippered laptop pocket holds your laptop separate from the main compartment for ultimate protection and is padded and fleece-lined. An internal organizer holds your tablet and various small essential items in the front zipper pocket, while three zippered fleece-lined pockets hold your sunglasses and other valuables that you need to protect against scratches.

When your backpack is fully loaded the FlexVent support system mesh padding and lumbar panel will keep you comfortable on campus for long days. A padded front haul handle makes it easy to carry on-the-go while the flexible waist belt prevents the pack from sliding around and the customizable sternum strap is fitted with an integrated whistle. You may also be interested in some of the best laptop backpacks for travel from our list, so check them out.

Key Features:

  • Two spacious main compartments with dual-zip closure
  • Dedicated, lie-flat 15″ laptop compartment 
  • Fleece-lined tablet sleeve is padded for extra protection
  • Front pocket with organization panel and zip closure
  • Adjustable compression straps for load management

Specifications:

  • Brand: The North Face
  • Capacity: 31L
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 13.25″ W x 10.5″ D
  • Weight: 3.17 lbs
Pros
  • Great overall layout and lots of accessible pockets
  • Handle on the back face is convenient in many travel situations
  • Deep and expandable main compartment can hold a ton of stuff
  • The straps are very comfortable and light
Cons
  • Sternum and waist straps are not removable

5. The North Face Women’s Vault Backpack

The North Face Women's Vault Backpack

When you’re studying or going out on a hike, you’ll need a pack that has everything you need and nothing you don’t, so you can get out there and ace those tests. The North Face Women’s Vault Backpack satisfies these criteria by having plenty of room for both your school work and your hiking gear. The main compartment is fitted with a padded laptop sleeve and ample room for books and hydration gear. There’s space in the front compartment to hide your smaller items like your magnifying glass, sunscreen, and laptop.

Hike in cool bliss thanks to the FlexVent suspension system which provides comfortable breathability when the finish line is at the top of a mountain. You will also be confident with the women-specific straps as they contour a range of body types. The ACA also endorses this pack so you know you’re taking good care of your head and body while you’re training. Love backpacks? Check out our review of the best laptop backpacks for women for our top picks.

Key Features:

  • Comfortable, stitched foam back panel
  • Large main compartment fits books and binders
  • Secondary compartment with organization panel
  • Stretch pockets at sides
  • Exterior key/ accessory clip

Specifications:

  • Brand: The North Face
  • Capacity: 28L
  • Dimensions: 19.25″ H x 13.25″ W x 7.5″ D
  • Weight: 1.96 lbs
Pros
  • The chest strap was really nice in that it has a really wide range of how far up and down you can set it
  • The top handle was extra sturdy and cushioned
  • The straps are fairly comfortable
  • The materials feel high quality and the overall backpack feels well built
Cons
  • The water bottle pockets were awkward, they are larger at the bottom of the pocket and smaller at the top

6. The North Face Women’s Jester Backpack – Best for Women

The North Face Women's Jester Backpack

Carry your laptop and personal items in style inside this ultimate campus backpack from The North Face. The North Face Women’s Jester Backpack is made from durable polyester fabric and features a women’s specific design with a FlexVent™ suspension system, a padded mesh back panel with an ergonomic spine channel, and contoured shoulder straps that make it ultra-comfortable to carry.

Detailed with a padded laptop sleeve in the main compartment, this backpack features two mesh water bottle pockets, a reflective loop for your bike light, and a front compartment with internal organization has a padded tablet sleeve, and bungee cords crisscrossing the front of the pack are perfect for stuffing your jacket and bike helmet under for convenient, hands-free walks from class to class.

Key Features:

  • Padded laptop sleeve in the main compartment protects your goods from bumps and falls
  • Large main compartment for books and binders
  • Two extended mesh water bottle pockets
  • Updated front elastic bungee system for external storage
  • Comfortable padded top handle

Specifications:

  • Brand: The North Face
  • Capacity: 28L
  • Dimensions: 19.25″ H x 12.5″ W x 9″ D
  • Weight: 1.81 lbs
Pros
  • It has light foam padding on the shoulders
  • Nice padded pocket for a laptop
  • Extremely roomy for school supplies
  • Practical backpack that also has a great aesthetic
Cons
  • Not a lot of organization pockets

7. The North Face Pivoter Backpack

The North Face Pivoter Backpack

The North Face Pivoter Backpack is a backpack for the school that doubles as a gym bag. This bag opens up to a large main compartment, complete with a padded sleeve for a 15 “laptop. Pile in the books right after the machine and move on to the next compartment. The second section has a super-wide D-door opening, perfect for gym clothes, hoodie for cold classes, but you really should see just how many granola bars you can fit inside.

A simple, smaller stash zipper pocket at the front holds your phone, sunglasses, and wallet. Bouncing between school and your work out center of choice even remains easy due to FlexVent™ suspension with a padded air-mesh back panel with a venting channel just for your spine.

Key Features:

  • Internal organization panel with hook-loop and zippered pockets
  • Daisy chains at sides for attaching extra gear
  • FlexVent™ suspension system
  • Adjustable, compression-molded shoulder straps
  • Padded back panel with air-mesh lining 

Specifications:

  • Brand: The North Face
  • Capacity: 27L
  • Dimensions: 19.5″ H x 12.75″ W x 9.5″ D
  • Weight: 1.83 lbs
Pros
  • The shoulder straps are comfortable
  • The organizer sleeves inside the 2 front compartments are super helpful for many smaller items
  • The zippers are smooth
  • The bottom is sloped so that it doesn’t look like it is sagging when fully loaded
Cons
  • There is only one large pocket

8. The North Face Flyweight Pack

The North Face Flyweight Pack

Pack your day or overnight gear comfortably in the rugged and lightweight The North Face Flyweight Pack. This spacious backpack features a large main compartment to hold your books, binders, folders, files, laptops or clothes, plus a front mesh drop pocket for quick access and extra storage space.

Side water bottle pockets help you stay cool and hydrated all day long and Airmesh contoured shoulder straps provide a comfortable fit. The North Face Flyweight Pack has a compressible feature for packing the pack into an internal pocket. For the light traveler, this is the perfectly simple pack.

Key Features:

  • Easily packs into its own secure-zip pocket, which doubles as additional storage when the pack is in use
  • Zippered main compartment holds all your day-trip essentials
  • External stretch-mesh pocket with top compression for additional storage
  • Two external stretch-mesh water bottle pockets

Specifications:

  • Brand: The North Face
  • Capacity: 17L
  • Dimensions: 17″ H x 10.5″ W x 7.5″ D
  • Weight: 0.37 lbs
Pros
  • Packs down small but carries enough to get you by on a day hike
  • This is a great bag for travel due to its lightweight design
  • Compact
  • Very light
Cons
  • The back being just thin nylon things can feel uncomfortable pressed against your back

9. The North Face Women’s Borealis Backpack

The North Face Women's Borealis Backpack

The North Face Women’s Borealis Backpack is an outdoor pack made for daily commutes as well as day-hikes. The women’s specific suspension and backpanel combine with cushioned lumbar support and adjustable waistbelt to optimize comfort, especially when carrying a heavy load.

A dedicated laptop compartment in the back accommodates up to 15″ laptops and keeps them padded and protected. An organization panel for supplies and a padded tablet sleeve is housed in the front pocket. The handy front bungee system is great for securing an extra layer or rain jacket. Other features of this pack include a fleece-lined sunglass pocket, stretch-mesh water bottle pockets, and a reflective bike-light loop for increased visibility.

Key Features:

  • FlexVent suspension system features a flexible yoke built from custom injection-molded shoulder straps
  • Women-specific shoulder straps are flexible so they contour to a wide range of body types
  • Dedicated, highly protective laptop compartment
  • Large main compartment for books and binders
  • Front compartment with internal organization has a padded tablet sleeve and additional secure-zip pockets

Specifications:

  • Brand: The North Face
  • Capacity: 27L
  • Dimensions: 19.75″ H x 13.25″ W x 9.75″ D
  • Weight: 2.56 lbs
Pros
  • The hip straps really help evenly distribute the weight
  • Fits underneath the seats on the plane
  • Their is a laptop sleeve in the main compartment that is easy to access when having to pull out a laptop or iPad when going through security
  • Functional enough for non-bulky items
Cons
  • The design makes it to where you must lean it against something, or else it will consistently fall over

10. The North Face Men’s Jester Backpack

The North Face Men's Jester Backpack

The North Face Men’s Jester Backpack is the perfect school backpack to mess around on campus. Walk into the library with your 15 “laptop in the padded sleeve in the main section and a couple of books tucked in on the other side. This bag is just the right size for study sessions and a few classes as the second compartment houses all of your pens and smaller odds and ends.

Stuff your long sleeve under the front bungee and clip a light onto the bike loop. Oh yeah, there’s a whole area for your water bottle, and The North Face cushioned the backpanel for warmth as you hustle around. Our guide to the best college backpacks for guys offers more great products like this.

Key Features:

  • Buckle closure
  • 360 degree reflective bike-light loop, water bottle tabs and shoulder-strap webbing
  • Two mesh water bottle pockets
  • Sternum strap with whistle buckle
  • Padded laptop sleeve in the main compartment

Specifications:

  • Brand: The North Face
  • Capacity: 28L
  • Dimensions: 19.75″ H x 13.25″ W x 7.5″ D
  • Weight: 1.81 lbs
Pros
  • Zippers are great and durable
  • The back vents help keep your back cool and even when the main compartment is full
  • the bag holds its shape well and doesn’t get too big
  • Even stuffed tight, it fit under the seats on a plane
Cons
  • The front pocket is shallow and only reaches from the top to halfway down the bag

Buying Guide

Capacity

Backpack capacity is mostly measured in liters. This means the backpack on the North Face will indicate how many liters the package can carry. North Face offers a wide variety of liters, which will change the size of your bag and the equipment capacity it can carry. You will find 12 liter North Face backpacks that fit a compact computer or tablet and a few notebooks comfortably. Many backpacks come in a more standard size of 20-25 gallons, so you can use them on the road as a daypack. A bigger sized backpack with a capacity of 35-40 liters will match all the equipment you need for a few nights out on the road. They also have designs that are 65 liters or more for backpackers.

Ergonomics

North Face put great value in ergonomics. Their method of designing and reviewing their backpacks makes sure that the people who use them fit their backpacks. The North Face looks at how customers wear their backpacks and how they receive input to improve future designs. The North Face looks at a variety of environments ranging from city streets to rocky trails to create designs that work and offer high performance. North Face wants to make sure you’re in a comfortable environment and have the right backpack to carry your gear. North Face has reviewed and tested every backpack design in the real world to ensure you get the best ergonomic designs.

Weight

The last thing that anybody needs is to use something heavy for holding their gear. The weight of the gear will add up, so a bulky backpack will cause unnecessary difficulty to carry it all together. North Face designs all their backpacks to be lightweight. A lightweight backpack means you can carry your gear easily without a struggle. While a backpack should preferably weigh zero, for it to hold your stuff, it has to weigh something. North Face used premium materials to ensure that your backpack is sufficiently durable to withstand being taken anywhere but light enough that you will not notice any pounds added.

Compartments

There are plenty of areas in compartments alone that you put tiny stash compartments on your backpack. Someone most likely wants to keep their equipment organized, but some backpacks are all about pockets in their style. Most backpack styles will have an interior as well as exterior pockets. Interior pockets can be used to construct a compartment and can not be reached without the bag being removed. Outer pockets can be placed everywhere. There are pockets that can be in the straps, on the top of the backpack, on the backpack’s front face, on the backpack’s side, and even secret pockets in the construction. Some people like to have a great variety of pockets they can use to arrange their gear. Others just want a simple pocket outside for quick access.

Straps

Most North Face backpacks have tough and durable straps built-in. There are different shapes of the strap, but they are all padded to ensure that you are comfortable. The straps should also be adjustable so that you can change the height of your backpack. There will always be two straps on the shoulder which makes it a backpack, but there may be additional straps as well. Some backpack designs have a strap on the chest or a strap/belt on the hip that can be used to secure the backpack and weight. These straps should also be fully adjustable to ensure a variety of people can use the backpack.

Frequently Ask Questions

Do North Face backpacks come with a lifetime warranty?

If it doesn’t say that a lifetime guarantee applies, then they might be offering their packs through a reseller. Some of these backpacks have a number of cool features and they couldn’t get to the warranty, but every pack on this list came from North Face, which featured their lifetime guarantee. If you want to buy a backpack elsewhere, please be careful about resellers, since in certain situations it would cancel the guarantee.

Why should I purchase a North Face backpack?

It is a really durable brand like Jansport bags and can handle a lot of wear and tear. It also comes in a range of forms, sizes, designs, and price tags. Whatever sort of bag you like, you’re sure to find one that fits your requirements. The stability mechanisms within the bags provide full protection independent of the weight. The bags’ materials and designs are well thought out to allow the bag to perform as per their functionality.

Conclusion

We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best north face backpacks as well as our guide on features to look for in a north face backpack. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.