Best North Face Backpacks

If you’re in a hurry and are here to find out what the best North Face backpack is then we recommend the North Face Vault Adventure Daypack as the best one.

North Face is perhaps one of the most well-known brands when it comes to sportswear, travel accessories, and the general outdoors. They’re popular among the outdoor industry because of their high-quality products as well as their consideration for comfort, versatility, and overall customer satisfaction. Given that, it’s not surprising to find that countless people prefer North Face backpacks over other brands. 

Their high-quality backpacks alone make North Face stand out but what makes them even more special is how they cater to both genders. They design many backpacks for both the male and female body types as the fit can be quite different. This is a complete guide that contains information about how to choose the best backpack for you as well as five of the best North Face Backpacks on the market. 

Here are the best North Face backpacks we will be reviewing:

Different Types of Backpacks

First, we’ll have a look at and get familiar with the different types of backpacks out there.

Basic Daypacks

Basic daypacks offer the most basic design for a backpack. Typically they feature a large main compartment and a large front pocket that’s able to store smaller items and keep them organized. The shoulder straps on a basic daypack may or may not have additional padding or built-in comfort as these packs are intended for lighter adventures and shorter time carrying it. 

Some basic daypacks have side pockets that can store water bottles or umbrellas, items that are good to have in graspable range while you’re wearing the daypack. These bags typically offer a standard capacity, usually somewhere between 20 to 40 liters. These packs are great for commuting to work or school, venturing out locally with friends, going to festivals, and exploring new cities. 

Hiking Backpacks

Hiking backpacks are often similar in size to a basic daypack but offer more organization options, compartments for specific items, and places to hang gear from on the outside. Many also come with bottle holder pockets on the sides and other quick-access pockets that you can keep essential items in that you may need to get to quickly. Hiking packs are not to be confused with camping packs and are not recommended for extended adventures as they can’t hold as much.

As you may be wearing a hiking backpack all day, many models come with additional padding and comfort in the shoulder straps so that they don’t dig into you after a long time of carrying it. Other comfort features in a good hiking backpack include a breathable mesh back panel that helps to prevent sweat from building up and allow air to pass through to keep your cooler. And lastly a sternum or waist strap can help to redistribute the weight of the pack to your chest, hips, and legs, this is especially helpful when carrying a heavier load.

Most packs from North Face will fall into this category.

Laptop Backpacks

These backpacks can fall into any other category but are also designed to securely carry laptops and come with a sleeve that’s designed to fit and protect a laptop up to a stated size. These sleeves offer extra protection since they usually come with additional padding built-in and a strap to keep the pocket closed. In some models, these sleeves can even be removed from the backpack itself, so you can conveniently carry the laptop separately or you can use the space in the pack for a water reservoir. 

Definitely a good option to look out for if you are looking for a pack to commute to work or school, or head to a coffee shop to get some work done. Although a lot of North Face backpacks fall into the hiking category, many will come with a built-in pocket to store a laptop too.

Check out these other backpack articles covering different designs and functionality:
Best Anti-Theft Backpack
Best Sling Backpack

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing

Adjustability

Many North Face backpacks come with adjustable straps that can accommodate the specific size of your body, but you should consider whether they come with chest straps or hip belts. These body harnesses are able to adjust in order to fit your body specifically, offering you maximized comfort and can help to redistribute the weight of the backpack to your chest, legs, and hips, alleviating your back and shoulders. 

What You’re Using it For

Consider what type of activity you need a backpack for and what you will need to carry in it. For instance, a standard backpack that has a place for pens, office or school supplies, and a laptop could be the best option if you’re looking for a commuter backpack. And if you’re looking for a pack to not only commute with but to take out hiking on the weekends too, then you’ll want additional pockets and straps to hold your hiking gear. 

Size

It’s important that you consider what size backpack you need since you’ll have to find a bag that’s able to comfortably fit all of your belongings. If you’re using the bag to go camping, then you’ll likely need to carry a large amount of gear, so your bag should be larger in capacity. Likewise, if you’re planning on using your bag for school, you may not as much space, but you’ll need one that’s capable of carrying larger weights like textbooks.

Features

You should also consider additional features in a backpack. Some bags offer features that you didn’t even know existed, so it’s important that you find out which bags offer the best features to fit your needs. For instance, some bags offer water-resistant features that are beneficial if you’re using the bag for sports-related purposes, or hiking, or living in Seattle, since it can withstand getting stuck in the rain.

North Face backpacks don’t usually come with water-resistant features, sorry Seattle.

gray clouds over Seattle highway

Additionally, some backpacks may also offer breathability in the back and shoulder sections, these bags are great if you’re planning on running, hiking, cycling, or walking long distances with the bag. These breathable fabrics can help to reduce the amount of sweat build-up under your pack and keep you cooler as they allow air to pass through.

The Top 5 North Face Backpacks

Three words come to mind when we think of the best North Face backpacks, Vault, Borealis, and Jester. As mentioned North Face is special in that they cater their backpacks to both genders and two of these three models have both male and female versions on this list.

The Vault Adventure Daypack – The Take-Anywhere

The North Face Vault Daypack is available in up to 20 different colors and is made with a comfortable foam back panel and seriously comfortable shoulder straps. The pack is durable too as it is made with a combination of 600D and 1,200D polyester in various parts of the bag. The bag offers varying storage compartments, including one large main pocket that can secure a laptop, a smaller front pocket to keep smaller items organized, two stretchy mesh side pockets, and very non-descript straps for attaching additional gear to.

This is a compact and comfortable backpack that can adjust to fit your shape and style. There is a sternum strap in the front to add extra comfort and make the pack slightly easier to carry. And lastly, a panel to attach a light to in low-visibility situations. It looks professional enough to be used for work or school but is rugged enough to take out for a day hike on the weekends. 

>>Find The North Face Vault Adventure Daypack on Amazon<<

Pros:

  • Features a stitched foam back that is super comfortable.
  • Shoulder straps are extra comfy with mesh padding and sternum strap.
  • Offered in up to 20 different colors and designs to match your style.
  • Two stretchy side pockets that can hold more than just a water bottle and umbrella.
  • A compact looking backpack without non-descript external straps could work well for professional use.
  • Keep a 15″ laptop secure in the designated pocket and keep smaller items organized in the front.

Cons:

  • With a total capacity of 27L this backpack is not recommended for longer excursions. 

>>Find The North Face Vault Adventure Daypack on Amazon<<

The Men’s Borealis Backpack – The All-Rounder for Men

The Men’s Borealis Backpack is designed to better fit men but more importantly, has manly color names like “Rage Red Ripstone” and “Urban Navy Bandana”. It offers optimal organization as it comes with various different pockets for storing your belongings. For instance, a large main compartment and a separate hydration pocket that doubles as a sleeve for your laptop. There are also side water bottle pockets for convenient access. 

As mentioned, this backpack comes in a variety of different colors, and it’s produced with durable polyester material. The FlexVent injection-molded shoulder straps, as well as the sternum and hip straps also help ensure that your shoulders are comfortable, regardless of how much weight you’re carrying in your bag. This pack can hold a good amount of items no matter what you need it for.

>>Find the Men’s Borealis Backpack on Amazon<< 

Pros:

  • Great quality backpack made with durable polyester materials.
  • Lots of great organizational options, for smaller items and side pockets for a water bottle.
  • Breathable and durable fabric used in the molded shoulder straps for additional comfort.
  • Built-in sternum and waist straps to help redistribute the weight of the pack to your legs.
  • A compression strap to keep the backpack compact while carrying it.
  • External straps to keep to pack tight but also to attach extra gear to.
  • A small patch on the exterior to attach a light for low visibility situations or cycling.

Cons:

  • Not made from waterproof materials to add extra protection to your items.
  • Can look a little messy with the external straps, which may be an issue for some.
  • Does not feature any anti-theft functions.

>>Find the Men’s Borealis Backpack on Amazon<< 

 

The Women’s Borealis Backpack – The All-Rounder for Women

This is the Women’s Borealis backpack, it is very similar in design and functionality to the men’s version above but they are such great backpacks that we featured both of them. The main differences to the write-up above are the fact that this backpack comes with a built-in safety whistle, on the female designed shoulder straps, for your protection, and this model features different color options such as “Crystal Teal” and “Rumba Red”. 

This pack offers tons of space and storage options to hold whatever you might need to carry with you. A laptop pocket inside, storage compartments for smaller items, water bottle pockets, and external straps for even more gear.

>>Find the Women’s Borealis Backpack on Amazon<<

Pros:

  • Great quality backpack made with durable polyester materials.
  • Feature a built-in safety whistle on the shoulder straps for additional protection.
  • Lots of great organizational options, for smaller items and side pockets for a water bottle.
  • Breathable and durable fabric used in the molded shoulder straps for additional comfort.
  • Built-in sternum and waist straps to help redistribute the weight of the pack to your legs.
  • A compression strap to keep the backpack compact while carrying it.
  • External straps to keep to pack tight but also to attach extra gear to.
  • A small patch on the exterior to attach a light to for low visibility situations or cycling.

Cons:

  • Not made from waterproof materials to add extra protection to your items.
  • Does not feature any anti-theft functions.

>>Find the Women’s Borealis Backpack on Amazon<<

The Jester Backpack – The Durable Commuter for Men

This Jester Backpack is a slimmer pack that holds slightly less than other options on this list but matches, if not surpasses, its competition in durability. The sleek and compact design of the Jester makes it easy to carry on a bike, or on a bus or train as you will be less likely to bump into other commuters. It is a highly comfortable pack, featuring North Face’s Flex Vent technology that helps make the back panel and shoulder straps breathable and comfortable.

The durability comes from its 600D and 1,200D polyester materials which make up the pack and make it tough enough for the daily commute to work or school, a day hike, or exploring a new city. Available in over 30 different colors and designs, there is an option for every style and every purpose. As this is a smaller pack than others on this list, it does not feature a waist strap to help with the weight as it is not designed to carry too much. 

>>Find The North Face Jester Backpack on Amazon<<

Pros:

  • Slimmer and more compact design great for commuting or exploring.
  • Available in over 30 different colors and designs, find something professional or more fun. 
  • Features North Face’s Flex Vent technology making the straps breathable and comfortable.
  • Made from a durable 600D polyester and reinforced in vulnerable areas with 1,200D.
  • A small patch on the exterior to attach a light for low visibility situations or cycling.
  • Keeps your items neat and organized, including up to a laptop, water bottle, and work, school, or small outdoor supplies.

Cons:

  • Not recommended for extended hikes or overnight excursions as it may not carry enough.
  • Does not feature any anti-theft functions.

>>Find The North Face Jester Backpack on Amazon<<

The Jester Women’s Backpack – The Durable Commuter for Women

The women’s version of the Jester backpack is slightly smaller than the men’s model above and offers female-designed shoulder straps to better fit the female body. It also includes a built-in safety whistle. Another safety feature for the Jester is a small panel on the back that you can attach a light to, and with well-placed reflective strips, the pack offers 360-degree reflectivity.

This pack offers a compact and sleek design with North Face’s Flex Vent technology in the shoulder straps and back panel for comfort and breathability. Includes a laptop sleeve, side pockets for a water bottle, and a place to keep all you need for work, school, or a day hike. And lastly, this backpack is offered in over 30 different colors and designs that are more female-minded, like purples and floral patterns.

>>Find The Jester Women’s Backpack on Amazon<<

Pros:

  • Lighter and slightly smaller than the men’s version with a safety whistle and 360-degree reflectivity.
  • Made from durable 600D polyester material, this pack is built to withstand everyday wear and tear.
  • The female-specific design features smaller shoulder straps and comfier handles.
  • Offers good organization for all that you will need for work or school or can work as a day pack.
  • A small patch on the exterior to attach a light for low visibility situations or cycling.
  • Available in over 30 different colors and designs that are more suited for females but some are very neutral too.

Cons:

  • Laptop pocket only has space for smaller laptops or tablets.
  • Does not feature any anti-theft functions.

>>Find The Jester Women’s Backpack on Amazon<<

Conclusion

Overall, each of the North Face backpacks included in this list offer a variety of functionality and benefits. Each bag is produced with a durable material that’s able to withstand a large amount of wear and tear. Not only that, but each of these bags is extra comfortable, offers adequate storage space, and comes in tons of colors and designs to choose from.

All that being said, our favorite is #1 The North Face Vault Adventure Daypack. This bag can be taken anywhere and serve any purpose, looking professional enough for work but is rugged enough for outdoor adventure too — though we must mention that it is not recommended for overnight hikes or camping. It also takes the edge in anti-theft functionality, none of these North Face options feature any real anti-theft devices but the simple design and minimal external straps and pockets may help this pack be less of a target for thieves.

As with all of the packs on this list, the Vault is made with tough polyester material and is offered in a ton of different colors and designs to suit your personal style and the purpose of your backpack

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