The North Face Borealis backpack review which you are reading now is about a versatile one-size 28 liters backpack suitable for daily life and for day hiking. This is a panel-type loading hydration compatible pack which offers a lot for the organization of your stuff.
On the front of the pack, you have a bungee mesh cord suitable for helmet or come extra pieces of clothes.
Above the cord, you have a small zippered top pocket. This all is visible in the picture.
On the bottom of the front face, there is a loop for the light attachment if you are riding a bike.
Behind the bungee mesh, you have a large front pocket. To access it, you have to undo the side straps first.
This front pocket is large and full of features, with several organizers inside, and 2 additional large pockets on the back side of it. One of them is zippered and the other can be used as a tablet sleeve. There is a key clip as well inside the front pocket. I would say this space is ideal if you are using the pack in an urban environment, for your daily commuting and activities related to your work.
The main compartment is just a simple large space, with a back padded sleeve for a 15 inches laptop or for a water bladder. There is a bladder hanger above it. The hole for the water hose is on the top of the back side of the compartment.
Completely on the top, you have a very comfortable handle.
On each side of the pack, you have one stretchy mesh pocket for water bottles or anything else. Higher up on both sides you have compression straps (visible in the picture on the right), so the pockets can also be used in combination with the straps to carry walking poles.
The suspension system is relatively simple. Shoulder straps are padded just enough, contoured and flexible. This is the North Face’s FlexVent suspension. The sternum strap is height adjustable.
Back panel is with air flow channels and a main spine channel, and padding and ventilation are just good enough. You can see it in the picture. There is no peripheral frame here. The hip belt is very tiny, the old model used to have some minimal side padding which is not there in the new model.
Please see this 26 seconds video about the North Face Borealis backpack:
Technical specifications & summary of features
- Weight: 2 lbs 12.45 oz (1260 g).
- Volume: 1709 cu in (28 liters).
- Size: 19.75 x 13.5 x 8.5 in (50 cm x 34.5 cm x 22 cm).
- Sleeve (laptop and water bladder): 12 x 13 in.
- Sternum strap – height adjustable and with emergency whistle.
- No rain cover.
- Warranty: lifetime.
- Materials: 210 D Cordura nylon mini-ripstop, 420 D nylon, 600D polyester print, 1680 D ballistic nylon.
- External fleece-lined pocket for sunglasses or electronics.
- Side stretch mesh water bottle pockets.
- Side compression straps.
- Padded and comfortable top haul handle.
- Sternum strap with emergency whistle.
- There are 18 different color combinations for this pack:
Pros and cons, users experience
This is a good pack for everyday life, but far less good for hiking. I do not think I would use it for this purpose.
When the hip belt is not used, it is fixed on the back. The buckle and the belt in this position make damages on the clothes on the back. I have seen some users complaining about this.
Some more pros and cons I have summarized in this table:
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