The North Face Borealis Backpack

8.5 score
[Editors rating (8.5)] = ( score (8.5)/10

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Editor rating: 8.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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The North Face Borealis Backpack Review Facts

The North Face Borealis is a rugged durable backpack that can be used for school, work, sports, activities, travel, and any outdoor excursions. Created for outdoor adventures, such as hiking, backpacking, trekking, camping, and mountain climbing, it is built for comfort and flexibility. It is made of nylon and polyester materials, has several internal and external pockets, and two stretch mesh pockets on the outside for water bottles. There is a laced bungee cord for other external storage, as well as a detachable waist belt and shoulder straps. It is a 28-liter pack that the manufacturer improved for enhanced pocket access and an enhanced suspension system. The support for the back when carrying this item on the shoulders or the back include a lumbar panel, a mesh padded back panel, a PE foam sheet, and injection-molded straps for the shoulders. When used by teachers, students, or on the job, the Borealis can hold a laptop in the back and a tablet or cell phone in the front. These compartments are padded and fleece-lined to protect those devices. There is a headphone feed in the pack and cell phone access on the side. Both men and women comfortable use this excellent water-resistant backpack, plus it comes in a nice variety of colors to please all tastes. If you must travel or use a backpack for carrying items for a distance, then this just may be the pack for you. Plenty of satisfied buyers think it is one of the best backpacks being offered on the market currently and would buy it again. We will now take a closer look at the features and capabilities of this backpack.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Has a lumbar panel and a padded back panel
  • Top handles and shoulder straps are padded
  • Includes two mesh pockets for water bottles
  • Has external storage elastic bungee cord
  • Is attractive, durable, comfortable, well-built
  • Offered in many vibrant bold colors
  • Has several pockets, a waist belt, and a headphone feed
  • Is a rugged backpack for outdoors, school, or work
  • Can be used by either men or women
  • Has a back laptop sleeve and a front tablet sleeve
  • Could use more pockets for small items
  • Front pockets are not easy to access when the pack is full
  • Is not self-standing; does not have a solid bottom


Comfort was built right into this incredible backpack. It has a PE foam sheet for the best back support and a back panel that has air-mesh material and is padded. There is also a lumbar panel that is breathable and shoulder straps that are injection-molded. Whether you use this pack for work, school, or activities, you will be able to wear it all day on your back because of the care the manufacturer took in making it so well-padded and breathable. The top handles are padded and comfortable as well, so if you do not want to carry it on your back or shoulder, you can hold it in your hand. Another comfort measure is the ease which you can access the things in this bag. The external storage of the bungee cord allows you to pack some larger things on the outside of the bag, such as a folded jacket or heavy shirt. The water bottle pockets are also comfortable to access since they are on the exterior sides of the pack.


Made of polyester and nylon, this great pack is well-built, durable, and well-designed. Many online consumers state how much they love this pack because of its durability and easy access. Even after daily use for months putting in large books, laptops, binders, and equipment, it has served them well without any sign of tears or rips. This is a high quality bag that is very much worth the money you will spend on it. It keeps the interior dry when it rains lightly but is not waterproof for protection in a downpour. It is only fair to say that some buyers did have some durability issues with the sewing coming loose in spots, but these were isolated incidents, as the majority of customers are quite pleased with the dependability and durability of this terrific pack.


The North Face Borealis is flexible in so many ways beginning with the purpose you need it for and the way you use the pack. It seems that most of the buyers have purchased it for school, rather than for outdoor activities such as backpacking, hiking, or camping. Even a few teachers have purchased this backpack to tote their books, papers, folders, and supplies to class. Students are using them too because they are quite flexible in what they can hold. Another draw for this bag is that it can hold a sizeable laptop in the back and a tablet in the front. These compartments are fleece-lined and padded to keep the devices protected. There is a detachable sternum strap and an external storage with the elastic bungee cord. Also included are two stretch mesh pockets for water bottles on the exterior. The many ways you can use this pack are completely up to you, as it is accommodating to just about any activity, task, or sport you want to do.

Key Features

-Has a lumbar panel, a padded back panel, and comfy shoulder straps
-Is water-resistant to keep the interior dry when it rains lightly
-Includes two stretch mesh pockets for water bottles
-Has external storage with the elastic bungee cord
-Features plenty of pockets and a detachable waist belt
-Includes cell phone side accessibility and a headphone feed
-Can be used by either men or women for many different uses
-Is ideal for a carryon for air travel as it fits in the overhead compartment
-Best used for school, travel, commuting, office, and outdoors
-Front has a padded tablet sleeve and back has a padded laptop pocket


Since there were a few complaints addressing the build of the Borealis, we will address them here under the section on size. Because of the design of this backpack, it was noted that if the pack is full, then the front pockets are not that easy to access. The pack is also not self-standing, especially if the top front pocket has something in it. when there are items in this pocket, claims a buyer, the bag is front-loaded and will definitely tilt over. The other reason that it will not stand on its own is that it does not have a flat or solid bottom base. It is just rounded with the pack material and will take the shape of whatever is on the inside of the bag. More pockets added in for small items was another suggestion for maybe the next model of the Borealis. This is because the pockets are accommodating to large items and not so much anything small such as keys, change, lip balm, or a watch. Since the customer ratings for this North Face pack are so high, these complaints were not the general consensus of the customers. It is important to take note of these issues, especially if they are important in your decision to purchase this excellent backpack.


The Borealis Backpack is a 28-liter pack that is revised for better pocket access and an improved suspension system. It has a fourteen-inch shoulder drop and is almost twenty-inches tall. There are buckle closure and many zippered pockets. The North Face Borealis is attractive, durable, comfortable, roomy, and has great features. It is offered in many vibrant bold colors to suit many tastes and preferences. It is best defined by its many possible uses as a pack for school (grade school, high school, and college), work, sports, or outdoor activities and interests. It is mostly students, teachers, and professionals that use it judging from the online feedback from buyers. This is because it is so accommodating to laptops, tablets, and cell phones with the padded and fleece-lined compartments for these devices. Almost anyone can find a use for this incredible backpack that is so versatile and roomy.


With many pockets and comfort features, the Borealis is quite supportive of your needs. It has a whilst buckle and sternum strap, plus a waist belt that is removable. There is cell phone side accessibility along with a headphone feed in the pack. This gives you plenty of flexibility in listening to tunes that are inside the pack and allows you to keep your hands free. Not only do you get plenty of internal storage space with the Borealis, but there are some external pockets, including one on each side for water bottles. With these on the outside, they are easier to get to when you need a drink, plus they will not be turning over and spilling inside the pack. A bungee cord laced on the front exterior will hold larger items that you may not want inside the pack. The many features of this terrific product are very supportive of whatever you want to put in the pack and can be used anywhere you want to go.


Although most of the customers who purchased this backpack did so for school or work purposes, it does not mean that it cannot be used for other things as well. If you need to carry items that would fit the dimensions of this pack on a regular basis, then this pack is for you. It is one of the more expensive packs that you will encounter, but when you get one, you will see that it is well worth the cost. many online buyers said those very same words in their feedback about the Borealis. It is a rugged backpack for the wilderness, which was probably the intended purpose of the manufacturer. It is lightweight and multi-purpose, so it is ideal for backpacking, camping, hiking, trekking, and mountain climbing, just to name a few or its intended uses. It can also be used for school or work because books, folders, notebooks, and binders fit in it well. It has special compartments for a laptop, tablet, cell phone, and sunglasses, as they are fleece-lined and padded to prevent damage to these devices. Travelers can also benefit in using this magnificent pack since it is acceptable as a carry-on for airline travel. Both men and women purchase, use, and love the North Face Borealis pack.

Ease of Use

No backpack could be easier to use than the North Face Borealis. It has large compartments for almost anything you would want to carry and zippered pockets for easy access. The external water bottle pockets on each side could not be any easier to use and safe as well. This terrific pack includes a reflective 360-degree loop for a bike light if you are inclined to use that when you are riding. One online customer did comment on the bag being too tall for her to access her belongings inside, but this was not mentioned by anyone else in our research. Overall, the pack is simple to use because of the several zippers, buckles, bungee cord, and straps to secure and hold the bag as you desire.

The Bottom Line

The North Face Borealis Backpack has a high rating among satisfied online customers, and after doing our extended research on this excellent product, we would have to say that we love it too. It is a rugged backpack that can be used for a large number of uses and plenty of places. It is perfect for school, work, travel, sports, activities, and outdoor excursions. It is ideal for both men and women, as the colors are many and varied for taste and preference. Even with its mentioned negative aspects of not having enough pockets, not being able to stand on its own, being front-loaded with the top exterior pocket, and the outer pockets not being easy to access when the pack is full, it is still an exceptional backpack that is well worth buying. The customers that mentioned these issues all recommended the Borealis to others because of its excellence. If these aspects are not important to you, then this might be just the backpack you need. As each model of this product is made, the manufacturer makes revisions on it to please the majority of consumers. As plenty of buyers are pleased with this model, it is one of the most durable, flexible, comfortable, and versatile packs on the market currently.