12 Best North Face Backpacks (Review) in 2021

Brad Robinson
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No matter if your day of hiking is a day hike in the mountains or a multi-week trip through the backcountry, you’re going to need a backpack.

Or rather, one or more of the best backpacks for your needs. So where do you begin if you’re in the market for a new pack? What are the best North Face backpacks on the market?

With so many packs available, choosing just one is a challenge. And if you’re reading this guide, you’re most likely still undecided about what to get. That’s okay! Our comprehensive guide has narrowed it down to the top 12 best North Face backpacks for you to choose from.

Take a look at our list below for the best travel backpacks that are perfect for day trips, vacations, and weekend getaways.

NameCategoryProduct
The North Face Recon TNF Black One SizeBest OverallThe North Face Recon TNF Black One Size
The North Face Vault BackpackBudget PickThe North Face Vault Backpack
The North Face Surge BackpackUpgrade PickThe North Face Surge Backpack

1. The North Face Recon TNF Black One Size

Our rating: 9 / 10

The North Face Recon TNF Black One Size

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Pros:

  • Versatile with a laptop pocket
  • Rain hood with removable brim and drawcord
  • Padding is one of the most ergonomic and comfortable
  • Great for climbing and hiking
  • Very cheap and affordable hiking backpack

Cons:

  • Adjustable straps are not very adjustable.
  • This backpack from The North Face is very easy to wear like a backpack by attaching the strings to the loops located on either side of the waistbelt.
  • On the inside, the Backpack has a fabric lining with an internal pocket for smaller accessories like pens, phones and MP3 device while larger items like a 17" laptop can have their own zipped pocket.

The backpack has a heavy duty plastic frame which increases the load-bearing capacity of the backpack. It can hold up to 50 litres.

What we did like about the North Face Recon TNF Black One Size is that the design of the backpack is simple with a large zipped pocket taking up most of the space with a smaller zip pocket at the front for lighter objects.

It also features a main compartment which is secured wi0th a clip closure, a padded adjustable shoulder harness, an internal tablet pocket, a sternum strap and has reflective detailing on the sides for increased visibility at night.

2. The North Face Women's Borealis Backpack

Our rating: 9 / 10

The North Face Women's Borealis Backpack

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Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Just the right size (it's under 3 lbs!)
  • Good adjustability
  • Lots of capacity
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Lots of features, including a waterproof liner
  • Decent durability
  • Compartments keep small things handy
  • Handy loops keep your gear organized

Cons:

  • Doesn't stand up straight on it's end
  • The lid gets in the way when you're packing the main compartment
  • The fabric isn't very durable

The North Face Women's Borealis Backpack is well-fitted and comfortable to wear. The decently durable fabric stands up to use for a long time. It has a good amount of pockets and compartments for your gear, and lots of room inside.

The padding is on the thin side, and the back panel is stiff. The hip pad doesn't seem to add much when it comes to comfort. While the straps are fine, it's the frame that doesn't give enough support, and makes the pack feel unbalanced.

Although the Borealis may have some ergonomic issues, it's not worth staying away from. It's got some really nice features, great organizational compartments, and excellent pockets. Overall, it's a good backpack.

3. The North Face Recon Backpack

Our rating: 8 / 10

The North Face Recon Backpack

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Pros:

  • Lots of pockets
  • Lightweight
  • Can fit a lot

This North Face backpack comes with a large main compartment along with two side storage compartments and a fleece-lined pocket for sunglasses or a camera. The Toplid has an insulated pocket for a water bottle.

Its main area is roomy to allow you to pack a lot of things. The back panel is also padded to make for a comfortable ride.

The Recon backpack is lightweight, which is pretty important for backpackers. It has water bottle slots on both sides, and there’s also a small zippered pocket on the front that is big enough for a few small things like a wallet or a phone.

4. The North Face Pivoter Backpack Moab Khaki/Asphalt Grey One Size

Our rating: 8 / 10

The North Face Pivoter Backpack Moab Khaki/Asphalt Grey One Size

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Pros:

  • Lightweight option
  • Mesh back panel allows good air flow
  • Padded, contoured waist belt is easy to adjust and provides good support

Cons:

  • Not the most waterproof bag
  • No pockets on the hip belt pockets
  • Straps can dig into shoulders

The North Face Pivoter Backpack boasts some of the best extra features you’d want from an outdoor backpack. That includes a dedicated 3-liter hydration reservoir compartment, ice axe/trekking pole attachments, a sleeping bag compartment, and mesh back panel.

The upper compartment has a vented padded laptop sleeve and the main compartment has two mesh pockets and a key fob for organizing smaller valuables.

5. The North Face Surge Backpack

Our rating: 8 / 10

The North Face Surge Backpack

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This backpack is easily one of our favorites. It fits a laptop, has copious amounts of space, and still looks great even when you’re on the go!

Its three main expandable storage pockets is what really makes the North Face Surge a winner. The detachable tablet sleeve makes your electronic devices especially secure.

This backpack has an easy-access laptop sleeve. It’s suitable for laptops with up to 15.4-inch screens. With careful use, you can get to around 15 inches of storage space!

6. The North Face Vault Backpack

Our rating: 7 / 10

The North Face Vault Backpack

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Pros:

  • Great for travelers
  • Inexpensive
  • Includes a fleece-lined pocket for a laptop

Cons:

  • Relatively small
  • May be uncomfortable for large people

If you’re looking for a more affordable backpack from the North Face, then the Vault is a great choice. It’s compact, but it still manages to hold enough for basic travel needs and more. It comes with a comfortable padded harness and includes a laptop-sized fleece-lined pocket.

It’s made from water-resistant 600D polyester, which is durable enough to handle a few accidental wet splashes, rain and snow. It has an interior zip pocket, two mesh exterior pockets, and interior elastic straps to keep your shoes separate from your clothes.

7. The North Face Jester Backpack Mens

Our rating: 7 / 10

The North Face Jester Backpack Mens

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Pros:

  • Waterproof design
  • Quick-access chest pocket for important documents
  • Top and side handles for grabbing and moving the backpack easily
  • Haul loop can be used as a lock for the zippers
  • Smartly organized pockets and sleeves
  • Top-load main compartment
  • Padded, removable, and sleeve-equipped laptop compartment
  • Lateral side pockets hold water bottles.

Having a versatile bag that you can use on school field trips, during weekend hikes, or for everyday errands is a good investment. This Jester backpack will give you years of use for all of the above.

It’s waterproof and highly resistant to the elements. It’s a great bag for anything from business trips to survival situations.

8. The North Face Big Shot

Our rating: 7 / 10

The North Face Big Shot

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Pros:

  • It is affordable
  • It has enough space for whatever you may need to bring
  • It is lightweight and a perfect bag for outdoor activity
  • You can comfortably carry it on your back, due to the padded shoulder strap
  • It has a built in locker to secure your stuff
  • 2 side pockets for your water bottle
  • The locks are good to provide security for your things
  • The shoulder strap is adjustable

Cons:

  • It is big
  • Not too many colors to choose from
  • The material is not durable, it may tear after a while as it is made of thin material

When you have a plan to do some outdoor activity this should be among the best north face backpacks you can get.

We find this backpack very handy, that is the reason why it is on top of the north face backpacks review.

You can shine this backpack during camping, hiking, hiking, and many other activities.

9. The North Face Recon Backpack

Our rating: 6 / 10

The North Face Recon Backpack

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Pros:

  • Lots of pockets
  • Lightweight
  • Can fit a lot

This North Face backpack comes with a large main compartment along with two side storage compartments and a fleece-lined pocket for sunglasses or a camera. The Toplid has an insulated pocket for a water bottle.

Its main area is roomy to allow you to pack a lot of things. The back panel is also padded to make for a comfortable ride.

The Recon backpack is lightweight, which is pretty important for backpackers. It has water bottle slots on both sides, and there’s also a small zippered pocket on the front that is big enough for a few small things like a wallet or a phone.

10. TNF Surge Transit Pack Zinc Grey Heather/Picante Red One Size

Our rating: 6 / 10

TNF Surge Transit Pack Zinc Grey Heather/Picante Red One Size

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Pros:

  • Best backpack in high quality
  • Best capacity like 35-liter
  • Nylon with polyester for the top sporting brand in the world
  • Multiple pockets for your best organizing desire
  • Top fabric the water resistant material
  • Best storage like your gadgets and water bottles at freely
  • Lightweight and free from worry
  • More durable and comfortable
  • Compatible and the big size
  • Easy to carry and made of 600D

11. The North Face MINI BERKELEY MNTRYBL/TIMBRTN/MONTEREY B

Our rating: 3 / 10

The North Face MINI BERKELEY MNTRYBL/TIMBRTN/MONTEREY B

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Pros:

  • It is durable
  • It is easy to pack due to the adjustable side straps

Cons:

  • Heavy, Inc
  • The straps are too narrow/tight and uncomfortable

This backpack is designed for schoolwork or simple work. Great for Crossbody. It has the perfect size to fit a laptop or a tablet. The straps are padded that is really comfortable.

It has an adjustable strap that you can adjust to get a perfect fit. The bag can expand more with the front zip pocket. It can hold more things.

12. The North Face Wise Guy Backpack Fire Brick Red/Tnf Red One Size

Our rating: 2 / 10

The North Face Wise Guy Backpack Fire Brick Red/Tnf Red One Size

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Pros:

  • TNF warranty
  • Interior laptop sleeve
  • Large compartments and a variety of pockets and others
  • The top area is spacious
  • Roomy shoulder straps
  • Buttons for the main compartment
  • Roomy front pocket
  • It has magnetic closures
  • Multiple external pockets
  • Shock cord

Cons:

  • The bottom could be more stiff
  • Can feel heavy
  • The shock cord could be tied up better
  • Back pocket is tight and awkward to get into

The North Face Wise Guy Backpack is a great backpack for school, work, and business trips. The dimensions are 17 x 12 x 5 inches and it weighs 3.5 pounds. It's made of Nylon material.

The Wise Guy Backpack is large enough to hold textbooks, laptops, and more. It weighs almost 4 pounds, but it still comfortable to wear. It features durable construction, magnetic top pocket, and a variety of external pockets.

The North Face Wise Guy Backpack is very spacious with lots of room in the front and on the sides. It features magnetic buttons. The main compartment can fit up to 15-inch laptops. It has pockets inside for small items, and there's also an external pocket that the North Face Wise Guy Backpack zips up closed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The North Face Jester Backpack remains a top choice of backpack for carrying heavy textbooks or other important items. It is roomy enough to fit a laptop and many other school items and is available in many colors. The Jester backpack is highly recommended as one of the best North Face backpacks because of its superior quality, comfort and popularity.

Are the North Face backpacks good?

IN A NUTSHELL : North Face backpacks are without a doubt fantastic. They are specifically designed for hiking and other outdoor activities. They are especially popular with people into the military, climbing, and other more extreme sports.

I checked out hundreds of North Face backpacks reviews to finally bring you this selection of the best of them.

The average rating for these backpacks is 4.8/5, which is pretty damn good.

Check out some of the few thousand reviews below:

Which North Face backpack is best for travel?

No matter where you’re traveling, it’s a sure bet you’ll need a backpack. Our favorite ever day backpack is the North Face Recon. It has the comfort, pockets and comfort you need. Plus, it’s extra durable and lightweight, so you can wear it all day long without getting beat up. This backpack boasts North Face’s popular air mesh and foam padding for a plush feel. Its shoulder straps are also contoured and highly breathable, ensuring you can carry heavy loads in comfort.

One bonus is that North Face Recon is also very weather resistant. If you’re checking your bags, or traveling via plane, it’s definitely a backpack you can rely on to keep your gear safe.

Is The North Face Recon Backpack good for school?

The North Face Recon Backpack is an excellent choice for students looking for a sturdy daypack.

The North Face Recon Backpack’s quality is evident right out of the gate. The material is durable and heavy duty and gives the backpack a sturdy feel without making it too heavy. For many students, high school or college, this may be the ideal backpack.

Let’s get into some specifics.

The North Face Recon Backpack will fit up to a 17-inch screen laptop. The straps are padded, which is a nice touch, considering many backpacks in this price range don’t have the padding. The zippers are high quality and will not break on you. The two compartments allow you to separate books, your laptop, and your papers. There are a few pockets on the outside for smaller items as well.

Conclusion

Backpacks are one of the things you always want to look at when you are traveling. If you are buying this product, they should be able to be able to perform better than a standard bag. Therefore, when you are buying this product, you should always look for a high-quality thing. When we were checking out different types of back packs, we always look for the following things: durability, design, and user-friendliness. That’s why we have come up with this product.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
The North Face Recon TNF Black One SizeBest OverallThe North Face Recon TNF Black One Size
The North Face Vault BackpackBudget PickThe North Face Vault Backpack
The North Face Surge BackpackUpgrade PickThe North Face Surge Backpack