A couple in the mountains - Best North Face Backpack

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Every traveler and adventurer knows The North Face.

Today we’ll help you to choose the best North Face backpack for your needs.

Founded in 1966 this American company has become synonyms of everything outdoors. If you’re currently looking for a quality backpack and would like to see what The North Face has to offer, then you’ve found yourself in the right place.

Because here we have compared few of the best The North Face backpacks.

Quick Answer

– Best Overall – The North Face Borealis;

– Runner up – The North Face Recon;

– Backpacking – The North Face Terra 65.

Hiking boots

Best North Face Backpack

Now let’s take a look at the list of the best North Face backpacks.

To read more about every one of them scroll down. Some of these backpacks are available in different colors. For more photos, latest price and user reviews check them out on Amazon – just click on the name or image of the backpack.

NAMEIMAGESIZECATEGORYPRICE ON AMAZON
*** - our favorites
The North Face Wise Guy27 literBest BudgetCheck the price!
The North Face Borealis28 literBest OverallCheck the price!
The North Face Recon30 literBest Runner UpCheck the price!
The North Face Berkeley25 literBest ClassicCheck the price!
The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag31 - 150 literBest for AdventureCheck the price!
The North Face Terra 6565 literBest for Hiking and BackpackingCheck the price!

How to Cho0se the Best North Face Backpack for Yourself

As daunting as it may seem at first, mostly it’s very easy to choose the right backpack for yourself.

You just need to know what are you going to use it for and what type of backpack do you want. The rest are just details. Sometimes these are very important details, though. But for most people they don’t really matter.

Before buying a new The North Face backpack, consider these things:

1. What Will You Be Mainly Using It For

– As a Carry On Luggage

If you’re planning to travel with a carry on backpack and a checked bag, buy a durable backpack that complies with carry-on regulations. Please note, that there is no one standard carry on luggage size. Each airlines has its own restrictions on luggage size and weight, even the number of bags allowed on the plane.

Here you can find information about luggage allowance for 100+ airlines.

The best bet would be to choose The North Face Borealis or The North Face Recon backpack.

Don’t forget to check what are the carry on restrictions before going on a trip. If the Recon or the Borealis is still a tight fit, try not to overpack them.

Don’t forget to check what are the carry on restrictions before going on a trip.

– For a Commute / College

If you’re buying a new backpack for work or college, choose a sturdy bag that will help keep your belongings organized.

If you carry a laptop, get a backpack with a built-in laptop sleeve.

The North Face Borealis is the perfect backpack for almost any situation, including commute and college.

Plus it has a padded laptop sleeve and a padded tablet sleeve, as well as an organizational panel.

– For Weekend City Breaks

Well, it depends on your packing skills and what you’ll do during the weekend.

If it’s just sightseeing and taking a short break from work, almost any The North Face backpack will do. You don’t need much for 2 days, right?

If you are attending an event and you are required to wear a suit or a gown then travel with backpack and a garment bag. A garment bag is a travel bag that is designed for transporting formal garments. These kind of bags keep garments neat and wrinkle free.

If you carry a laptop, get a backpack with a built-in laptop sleeve.

– Holidays Overseas / Travelling

Many people choose a suitcase for their next vacation. But duffel bags are also a great option.

Versatile duffel bags such as The North Face Basecamp can be used also as a backpack, for easier carrying around.

– Adventure Holidays

Sturdy duffel bags are great for adventure holidays.

They are durable and can hold heavy adventure equipment easily.

Some of the best travel duffel bags are weather-resistant, also The North Face Base Camp duffel bag. Meaning that they will withstand rain and other natural elements (to a point, of course).

– Hiking and Long or Short Term Backpacking

Going on a backpacking trip? Check out The North Face Terra 65.

This kind of bags offer good load control and ensure comfort. The cushioned back panel and hip belt balances out the weight of the bag perfectly and there is no strain on your back. Which is very important when you are hiking or walking with a heavy bag for hours.

Hiking with snow covered mountains in the distance

2. Comfort Level

All of the best The North Face backpacks have well-cushioned back panels and shoulder straps.

Trekking and backpacking packs also feature an adjustable harness system that offers better load control and ensures comfort. This kind of bags also have a spine channel that provides ventilation. It creates a small space between the backpack and the back, and as the result you sweat less.

When in doubts, go to a shop and try out at least a few different backpacks.

When in doubts, go to a shop and try out at least a few different backpacks.

3. Price of the Backpack

If you travel a lot, invest in a better quality bag.

If you are a frequent traveler or you are just a person who uses backpack very often we will always recommend you to invest in a higher quality bag. Because, let’s agree, it’s so much better to have one or two quality products that you really like and enjoy using, than several average ones.

All The North Face products, including backpacks, are good quality and hold up well.

But of course they aren’t all the same quality.

You can get a new The North Face backpack for less than 40 USD. It will suit you well if all you need is just a regular backpack.

Decent commuter / colleague backpacks with cushioned laptop sleeve start at around 80 USD.

But if you need something more than just a bag for daily commute, it will cost you more. Large travel bags and backpacking packs cost around 150 USD. And that, if you ask us, is a really good price for such a quality product. If we look at the competition, for example, the Osprey Aura AG 65 backpack costs about twice as much.

Mountains near Nha Trang, Vietnam
Mountains near Nha Trang, Vietnam

The Best North Face Backpack: Reviews

Here are the 6 best The North Face backpacks sorted by categories.

1. Best Budget

The North Face Wise Guy Backpack Review

The North Face Wise Guy is an inexpensive yet durable quality bag for the fraction of the cost.

This backpack is perfect for college students and budget travelers. It doesn’t cost much, yet it holds up well.

The North Face Wise Guy backpack has plenty of pockets and comes in several fun colors. The spacious main compartment has a double zipper closure, a sleeve (unpadded, though) for your laptop, and a small mesh pocket with a Velcro closure.

The large front pocket has several interior slip pockets for organization, and, also, a double zip closure. There’s also another, smaller, zippered pocket at the front of the backpack. The two mesh side pockets are perfect for storing a water bottle and an umbrella.  The bag has a foam back panel and shoulder straps.

The North Face Wise Guy backpack is made of 600D and 1200D polyester.

Size: 27 liter.

Dimensions: 18” x 13” x 12.5” (46 x 33 x 32 cm).

Weight: 1.2 lbs (544 g).

2. Best Overall

The North Face Borealis Backpack Review

The North Face Borealis is the perfect backpack for almost any situation.

A weekend getaway luggage. As a carry on or a personal item when traveling. Or as a backpack for college students and commuters. As long as it’s not too small for you.

The backpack features chunky injection molded shoulder straps, a sternum strap and a hip belt, as well as a padded back panel with a spine channel for ventilation. Bungee cord system at the front of the backpack and two exterior side compression straps are additional features that can come in handy quite often.

There are plenty of pockets and compartments, too. The Borealis has a spacious main compartment and a separate zippered and padded compartment for a laptop (up to 15”). Then there’s an organizational compartment with a built-in tablet sleeve. The two mesh side pockets are perfect for carrying a water bottle and an umbrella. The fleece lined zippered front pocket is designed for sunglasses or a smartphone.

The North Face Borealis is made of durable polyester and ripstop nylon.

Women-specific version of the Borealis is available, too.

Size: 28 liter.

Dimensions: 19.75” x 13.25” x 9.75” (50.2 x 33.7 x 24.8 cm).

Weight: 2 lbs 11 oz (1.2 kg).

3. Best Runner Up

The North Face Recon Backpack Review

The North Face Recon is our second favorite The North Face backpack.

Why second? Because while the backpacks are very similar, we like the design of the Borealis pack more. But that’s, of course, only our preference.

Instead of the bungee cords at the front, the Recon has an extendable stash pocket that can be used to store a jacket or a rain cover. Just like the Borealis backpack, the Recon also has padded shoulder straps and a back panel with a spine channel, as well as a sternum strap, compression straps and a hip belt.

The back panel of the Recon backpack is really sturdy.

The Recon, just like the Borealis, has a main compartment and a separate laptop compartment (for laptops up to 15”), as well as an organizational panel and a fleece-lined front pocket. And of course, two side mesh pockets.

The North Face Recon is made of durable polyester and ripstop nylon.

Women-specific version of the Recon is available, too.

Size: 30 liter.

Dimensions: 19.25” x 13” x 7” (48.9 x 33 x 17.8 cm).

Weight: 2 lbs 7.7 oz (1.1 kg).

4. Best Classic

The North Face Berkeley Backpack

A simple everyday backpack.

The North Face Berkeley is a great, classic backpack. It’s somewhat similar to the Jansport Superbreak pack and the Herschel Heritage backpack.

Pack’s classy look will be appreciated by both men and women who love classic backpacks.

The North Face Berkeley has one large zippered exterior pocket. The spacious main compartment has an interior mesh pocket.

The backpack is made of 600D and 1200D polyester.

The mini version of the Berkeley is available, too.

Size: 25 liter.

Dimensions: approx. 16” x 12” x 6” (40.6 x 30.5 x 15.2 cm).

Weight: 1 lb (454 grams).

5. Best for Adventure

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag Review

The North Face Base Camp duffel bag is a versatile bag that can be used as a duffel bag or as a backpack.

The bag has duffel carry handles and also detachable, adjustable, alpine-cut shoulder straps. The North Face Base Camp duffel bag is weather resistant which means it will withstand rain and other natural elements (to a point).

There are several compartments. The main compartment is very roomy, and has a weather-resistant zipper flap, and a mesh pocket on this flap. In addition to the main compartment, there’s a zippered compartment on one end (the XS and S bags don’t have it, though). It will allow you to separate your wet clothes and dirty shoes from the rest.

The bag is made of 1000D phthalate-free TPE fabric laminate which is a strong and durable material.

It’s a travel bag that is going to last long, and will be perfect for carrying heavy adventure equipment. The duffel is available in several sizes, and will suit the needs of many adventure travelers!

Sizes:

XS – 31 liter;

S – 50 liter;

M – 71 liter;

L – 95 liter;

XL – 132 liter;

XXL – 150 liter.

6. Best for Hiking and Backpacking

The North Face Terra 65 Backpack Review

The North Face Terra 65 is a great backpack for multi-day hiking or long-term backpacking.

The improved adjustable OPTIFIT harness system offers better load control and ensures comfort. The generously padded back has a spine channel that provides ventilation.

The backpack has plenty of compartments and pockets. As the large main compartment has a side entry you can access your gear from the side of the pack. You don’t have to dig through all your stuff through the main pull string top opening.

The North Face Terra 65 also has a compartment at the bottom. And, if necessary, it can be connected to a main compartment just by unzipping the divider.

There’s a separate sleeve for a hydration pack in the main compartment. There are two vertical exterior (front) pockets for storing small items and a spacious top compartment with an interior mesh pocket. Just like the majority of such hiking / backpacking backpacks, The North Face Terra 65 has exterior compression straps and attachments for trekking poles.

The pack features two zippered hip belt pockets for quick access.

The bag is made of durable materials (sturdy polyester and ripstop nylon), so it will hold up well for a long time.

Size: 65 liter.

Dimensions: 28.3” x 12.4” x 12.2” (72 x 31.5 x 31 cm).

Weight: 4 lbs 9.2 oz (2 kg).

Still haven’t decided? Check out the reviews on Amazon and Ebay.