The North Face Terra 65 Exploration pack is an internal frame lightweight tool suitable for multi-day backpacking and hiking tours. The pack is built in two sizes and it comes with an integrated harness adjustment system.
Best price & place to buy
- The best place regarding the price and shipping conditions is usually Amazon.com.
Some outstanding features
Terra 65 has been on the market for several years now. This is a rather popular pack because of very good features and a reasonable price. The version presently available is quite modified and improved.
One of the nice features is the fact that the pack has 3 access points. So this is a top loading pack with the usual top lid, but it also has a front-side entrance through a long vertically positioned zipper on the right side, plus the bottom compartment entrance.
The bottom compartment is separated from the main compartment only through a rather simple divider which can be open, and which is fixed with simple toggles. So small items from the main compartment can easily slide into the bottom compartment. I would prefer to have a proper zipper here. But as you can imagine, a zipper adds to the weight.
The suspension is based on an internal frame and an easily adjustable harness. The adjustment mechanism is visible in the picture below. In addition to this, the pack is made in two different sizes, see specifications below, which implies the difference in volume and in the size of the straps. So adjustability should not be a problem with this pack.
The shoulder straps are well padded and the same structure is on the hip belt and in the lumbar area. The sternum strap is also adjustable and with an emergency whistle.
The pack is a bit elongated so using load lifters properly is of a great importance when you have a lot of stuff in the pack.
The back is nicely padded and with air flow channels, both in the vertical direction and toward the sides of the pack. You can see this from the picture below.
The North Face Terra 65 pack is hydration compatible, so there is a water bladder sleeve inside the main compartment, with a velcro loop to attach the bladder. The hose opening is visible in the picture above.
There are many useful pockets in this pack, 7 in total with a direct external entrance, plus 2 internal pockets (the mentioned sleeve inside the main compartment, and the mesh pocket in the lid).
♦ Two zippered pockets are on the hip belts, and two stretchy mesh pockets for water bottles or anything else are on the sides of the pack.
♦ On the front, you have two long vertical zippers which represent entrances to two good size pockets. This is a rather unique feature, but I would not say that the design of these pockets is perfect.
These are very useful pockets indeed but they are in fact on top of each other, so when one is full it is hard to add anything in the other. On the other hand, when they are full, they do take some space from the main compartment. So I would prefer to have classic side pockets which you have in many other models.
♦ There is a zippered pocket on the lid, and inside this pocket you have yet another mesh zippered pocket with a key clip.
Attachment points and compression straps
♦ On both sides you have two very useful compression straps, to cinch the pack in case of a small load inside, or to attach some items like a sleeping pad for example.
♦ On the bottom, there are two attachment loops, and they are matched with velcro loops higher up on the front of the pack. This can be used for anything, like walking poles, ice axe, etc.
♦ Completely on the bottom there are 4 attachment points, and the same is on the top of the lid. This is always useful to have. But you will notice that there are no the usual compression straps which typically run over the bottom compartment. I guess saving the weight is the reason for not adding them here. I would love to have them.
Here is a short promotion video of The North Face Terra series, have a look:
Comparison with other brands
In the table below I give a few models from the top brands, and a few basic features for comparison.
|The North Face
Deva 60 M
In the moment of writing this text, the price for the models given in the table were $169, 246, 229, respectively. So with respect to the price, North Face Terra 65 backpack is well below the other top brands. The prices change all the time so please follow the links given above.
Terra 65 is a good pack but I rank it below other packs in the table. But this should not be surprising because those are true top models in this size range, with many great features and with more superior suspension systems. To realize this just follow the links in the table.
Pros & cons
Terra 65 has received very good reviews from Amazon customers. The average rate is exceptionally high, 4.8/5.
This is higher than my own rate, but my rating is with respect to some other top models, and my reasons will be clear to you if you follow the links given above.
Summary of technical specifications & features
- Two sizes.
– S/M: 4 lbs 5.8 oz (1980 g).
– L/XL: 4 lbs 9.2 oz (2075 g).
– S/M: 64 l (3906 cu in).
– L/XL: 66 l (4028).
- Size: 11 x 6.3 x 19.3 in (27.5 x 16 x 49 cm).
- Torso fit: 15 – 22 in
- Waist fit: 28 – 42 in
- Suspension: OPTIFIT.
- Adjustable harness.
- Access: top, side, bottom.
- Vertical channel on the back panel for ventilation.
- Anatomical and padded shoulder harness.
- Anatomical load-spreading hip belt.
- Zippered side entry to the main compartment.
- Zippered sleeping bag compartment.
- Material: 600 D polyester, 420 D mini-ripstop nylon, 1200 D polyester.
To conclude this review of The North Face Terra 65 Exploration pack, this is a nice tool and from a renown brand. The quality of the pack and all the features from one side, and the price from the other make this pack a real bargain.