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christos nicolaou

Mart-Mari Jansen van Vuren
Writer
Based out of South Africa Mart-Mari enjoys hiking, snorkeling, and surfing.

PRODUCT REVIEW

The North Face Borealis Backpack (Unisex)

The North Face Borealis backpack is a 28L backpack made with durable and high-quality material that won’t let you down. It features a padded laptop compartment, enough space for an extra set of clothing, a notebook, or anything you might need to tag along with you. It’s well-engineered to store more than your average backpack while also being comfortable and easy to use. This classic backpack offers great performance at a low price tag making it ideal for everyday users on a budget.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Reasons to buy

  • Lots of pockets that allow you to keep all your belongings organized.
  • Two mesh side pockets for belongings you need quick access to.
  • The backpack doesn't bulge out when overpacking your backpack.
  • High-quality durable material that can handle a bit of abuse.

Reasons NOT to buy

  • Although the backpack is advertised to hold a 15" laptop it's a very tight fit. It only fits a 13" laptop comfortably.
  • DiveIn Score: 4.7/5
  • Construction: 4.6/5
  • Storage: 4.8/5
  • Water and Impact Protection: 4.6/5
  • Price/Quality: 4.7/5

The North Face Borealis 28L backpack is ideal for outdoor outings or to take to work. Make use of the pockets to organize your mountain gear or your notebooks and laptop for work.

It also has a hydration pocket and water bottle holder to easily transform your day bag into a hiking backpack.

Designed with padded shoulder straps, a mesh back panel, and Spine Channel it not only help distribute weight but, also helps with perspiration.

See the complete list of the best Backpacks here!

The North Face Borealis Backpack Back View

The North Face Borealis Backpack (Unisex): Key Specifications

  • Best Suited For: Day Trips, Worktrips, Work pack
  • Material: Cordura® Nylon Ripstop, Polyester Jacquard
  • Volume: 28L
  • Dimensions: 19.75" X 13.25" X 9.75"
  • Weight: 2 Pounds

Where to Buy:

Construction

The North Face Borealis backpack is a simple backpack that is easy to use. All the compartments close with easy-to-pull zippers. The main compartment opens up halfway making it easier to find small items that get lost at the bottom. The separate computer compartment is great as it keeps your tech equipment separate from your other items. This is a great backpack for the average person since it doesn’t come with too many pockets. The adjustable bungee system and water bottle holders are functional and simple to use.

North Face made sure that this backpack is comfortable. The compression panel bottom can be pulled tight when the interior isn’t full. That prevents the bottom from swinging around unnecessarily. The padded hip-belt gives you a little extra support and takes the weight off your shoulders when you need it.

The North Face Borealis Backpack Construction

Water Resistance

It’s important to note that this backpack is not waterproof, but water-resistant. The zippers are protected by flap covers and offer a fantastic level of water protection in a rain storm but won’t survive a trip into the pool.

Capacity

The laptop compartment

As noted above, the internal notebook sleeve fits laptops and tablets up to 15 inches in size. Some reviewers however have found that 15 inches is a tight squeeze and that this pocket works better for 13 inches laptops or tablets.

We tested it with a 14 incher. It fit snugly without any issues and seemed to be nicely protected. The fleece material of the sleeve does a nice job protecting the top of a computer from getting scratched.

It’s also nice that North Face left out a velcro strap to prevent laptops from sliding out when doing cartwheels. This strap often just gets in the way, just takes up space. So, nice.

The North Face Borealis Backpack Storage

The large volume pocket

This has a good size for a pair of court shoes or books, gym clothes, or hiking gear. A small lunch too for the day will find its way in here without any problem. With no extra pockets in this space, it makes it easy to store a large amount of items. The bottom of the pack can expand or tighten your backpack when needed.

The medium pocket

The North Face Borealis Backpack is designed with a tiered system. This simply means that the smaller compartment sits on top of the large compartment without hindering its space. It’s about half the size and ideal for smaller notebooks, cables and power banks.

There are smaller pockets you’d expect from a bag that is often used to commute to school or work, allowing you to sort your fountain pens from your compact camera. An additional zippered pocket here also provides additional organization and potentially peace of mind for more important documents.

The small pocket

Ideal for smaller, easy to access items that you frequently use. Big enough for a 6.5 inch telephone–though maybe not the most secure location for such a device–it’ll give you an additional pocket for keys or a granola bar.

The water bottle holders

Made up of expandable mesh that fits wide bottles even when your backpack is fully packed. This feature is so practical and easy to use yet we rarely see it in other backpacks. The bungee system also works great to fasten a helmet or jacket to the outside of your backpack.

The North Face Borealis Backpack Water Bottle Holder

Summary

The North Face Borealis Backpack is definitely one of the most versatile backpacks we’ve seen so far. Whether you need it as a work, school travel, or hiking backpack it has got you covered. The high quality and high durability of this pack with a reasonable price tag makes this backpack suitable for most people and explains its popularity.

What We Like

  • Lots of pockets that allow you to keep all your belongings organized.
  • Two mesh side pockets for belongings you need quick access to.
  • The backpack doesn't bulge out when overpacking your backpack.
  • High-quality durable material that can handle a bit of abuse.

What We Don’t Like

  • Although the backpack is advertised to hold a 15" laptop it's a very tight fit. It only fits a 13" laptop comfortably.

Buy This Backpacks If:

When it comes to the North Face Borealis Backpack there are no obvious changes we would like to make. It would be nice if the laptop compartment was a bit bigger but this is not a deal-breaker since a lot of people are going for smaller computers these days. Overall this backpack is great if you are on a budget and looking for a high-quality highly versatile backpack!

See the complete list of the best Backpacks here!

Where to Buy:

Where to Buy:

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