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North Face Borealis Backpack Review | HileHighValley

North Face Borealis Backpack Review | HileHighValley

North Face Borealis Backpack Review

Everyone is familiar with North Face’s quarter-circle logo, evoking the granite monolith Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, and this familiarity is proof of the popularity of North Face’s outdoor recreation apparel. Their 28-liter Unisex Borealis backpack is made for popularity, as the design allows it to be useful for nearly any activity. There is a great variety in available styles, which makes it visually appealing to many. Throughout out our north face Borealis backpack review, we found this backpack is meant to be aesthetic, functional and long-lasting, for users who want a grab and go bag that they can utilize for years.


Price Level: Mid Range – Check Current Price Here



Borealis backpacks now feature a new suspension system to increase the user’s comfort. With heavy loads in mind, the thick and padded shoulder straps are designed with flex vent injection-molding to increase the strap flexibility and alleviate pressure on the bones in the neck and upper chest. There are sternum straps and a removable waist belt to help distribute weight according to whatever gear is being loaded into the pack. The top haul handle is also padded, a nice feature when quickly lifting and toting the pack.


Organizational Storage

This pack is outfitted to store a wide range of electronics that may be used by the modern consumer. There is a much-demanded padded fleece-lined laptop sleeve in the main compartment, as well as a tablet sleeve in the front compartment and a secondary compartment with both a media and zippered pocket for additional electronics and cords. The pack is able to stash additional small items and gear in several accessible stretch-mesh side pockets and an external bungee cord on the front of the bag. With two stretch mesh water bottle pockets, the user can be both hydrated and plugged in.

north face borealis



This backpack comes in a wide range of color combinations and prints catering to any style. The long list can be observed here and is as follows: asphalt grey/picante red, urban navy/Banff blue, shady blue heather/shady blue, zinc grey heather/TNF black, TNF black heather/estate blue, vintage white trickonometry print/radiant yellow, moonmist grey/duck green, TNF red/asphalt grey, cosmic blue/asphalt grey, high rise grey heather/lantern green, zinc grey/asphalt grey, TNF black, zinc grey heather/marker blue, asphalt grey/citrine yellow, and doe tan/shocking orange. There are also reflective pieces on the front for visibility when walking or biking at night.

Public Opinion


So what do the users of the North Face Borealis backpack have to say about this product? In this section of the review we turn to the consumers for a thorough and honest analysis of what’s good—and not so good—about this bag. After reading hundreds of online reviews for you, we bring you a concise and summarized version of what the public is saying about this product. In the end, the consumer knows best.


The Good



Users of this product often commented that the bag held up well over time. The heavy-duty zippers and seams hold up under the pressure of weighty loads and the back panel is hard and sturdy, maintaining the pack’s form and preventing items from poking into the user’s back. Some users went as far as to say North Face’s bags are indestructible.



Many purchased this bag because it had been recommended to them as a water-resistant backpack. This proved true for them, as the reviews commonly described how the contents of their bag remained dry even after a long walk through heavy rain.  


Organized Design

Users appreciated the lack of bulk compared to other backpacks. The two main compartments are efficient, spacious and sturdy, the smaller one built with a nice zippered pouch to contain smaller office items. Coupled with the zippered external pocket, this bag has the right amount of pockets in the right sizes for various needs. The removable nature of the hip straps was liked as well, as it could be there for those who want it, but could also be easily hidden away within the pack. Also, reviewers simply couldn’t compliment the laptop sleeve enough: it held their laptops snugly, and is an essential feature for a multipurpose daypack.



Most of the consumers purchased this backpack to fulfill a wide range of needs and happily described how the bag was functional no matter the task. From carting around school supplies at college, to day hiking trips and typical purse use, this pack had the right design to serve any of these purposes. The bag is also the perfect size to be used as a carry-on, which is quite convenient.

The Bad

Narrow Design

Some reviewers commented that the design of this pack is a bit narrower than other packs of its kind. Books can all fit in easily, but items with a little more girth such as towels and clothing can fill the bag up quickly. This just means less of these items will fit in the main compartment than in bulkier bags, so pack wisely! Also, the taller and thinner look is useful for fitting it into a locker. However, because of the taller and deeper design, many users stated it was too easy to lose things inside the main compartment. Proper utilization of the additional internal and external pockets could perhaps avoid this issue.


Hard Back

Not all of the users appreciated the hard, sturdy back panel. While the panel is useful in keeping the bag structured and upright no matter how much is crammed inside, certain reviewers thought this decreased the level of comfort.


Overall, consumer reviews of this backpack are very positive. Many users claimed this had been their bag for years and lasted the test of time. Many reviewers were also returning North Face customers who had been satisfied with their products in the past, having had them last up to a decade. The general vibe after reading over a hundred reviews is that this a durable and functional backpack that serves many uses.

the north face borealis backpack

Bang for Your Buck

Overall, findings show that this multipurpose pack is a worthwhile purchase for someone seeking a sturdy and long-lasting product. Many college students attested this bag lasted all four years of schooling while still easily holding all of their books and binders, a great option for a college freshman looking to make a purchase and get a lot of mileage out of their investment. At a mid range price, the phenomenal quality of the product makes it worth the price.

Borealis Backpack FAQ’s

What are the dimensions of the laptop sleeve?


The padded laptop sleeve dimensions are dimensions are 12″ by 13″, and can hold up to a 15″ laptop. Laptops bigger than that can fit in the main compartment.

Does this product have a warranty?

Yes, North Face offers a lifetime warranty on all of their backpacks sold by authorized retailers, including authorized online retailers such as Amazon.


The Verdict

We believe this backpack is capable of serving a number of needs for the active traveller, on-the-go athlete or busy student. The ergonomically designed Borealis is a flexible and aesthetically pleasing pack that serves such a high number of different uses that the convenience offered by this product is almost unbelievable. There’s a spot for absolutely everything in the well-organized internal and external pockets, making this quite the versatile multipurpose bag. You can switch between filling it with camping gear or textbooks and receive the same support. And then there’s the longevity. Do you want to purchase a backpack and not have to even think about searching for a new bag for years to come? Then certainly this is the backpack you are looking for.



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