The North FaceBorealis 28L Backpack

Class, trail, or travel?the Borealis does it all.

One of the most proven crossover daypacks on the market, The North Face Borealis Backpack suits your needs whether you're heading to class, hiking a trail, or on an overnight adventure. The North Face built this thing with Cordura and ballistic nylon fabrics that take the beatings you'll dish out in your everyday, or not-so-everyday, adventures.

The large main compartment easily carries your whole mess of textbooks or enough gear for a long day hike. A comfortably padded air-mesh back panel and FlexVent injection-molded shoulder straps keep you feeling good even if you're carrying quite the load. It's nice to get away from technology for a while, but a padded laptop and tablet sleeve keeps your computers safe when you do need them.

  • Cordura, nylon, and ballistic nylon fabrics
  • Padded, fleece-lined laptop pocket and tablet pocket
  • FlexVent suspension system and padded mesh back panel
  • Removable waist belt
  • External fleece-lined sunglasses pocket
  • Reflective bike light loop, water bottle tabs, and shoulder strap webbing
  • Sternum strap with whistle
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Well worth your money

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Had this for five years still fully functional. it has been on many road and cross country trips as well as a school bag for 4.5 years perfect size. Laptop sleeve is key on this and it can fit any size water bottle up to a Nalgene in its side pockets.

IMPORTANT: Would not market this as a hiking pack but a everyday uses pack for school and vacations were you would use it for your gear but not actually for a hike or anything.
DURABILITY: 10/10 this thing wont die I cant believe how much it has been through i use it every day year round as a school bag and in the summer its my bag for lifeguarding where it bakes in the sun, gets sandy every day. (THIS IS ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS TO BUY THIS)
Overall: 8.5/10

Great for everyday use

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

This has been a great backpack for everyday use. There's plenty of room and feels nice and comfortable. Great pack!

A good way to start senior year

  • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

I gave this backpack to my little brother to start off his senior year of highschool. He told me that he likes how big it is, there is plenty of room for his books, tablet and his lunch. The thick, stiff frame work keeps the weight from hurting his shoulders, too. Neither of us know if the pack is waterproof yet, but hopefully it will hold up, especially because of how nice and thick the fabric is.

nice book bag

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The space is great for a book bag and there plenty of organization. My only issue is the angled bottom does not allow for the pack to stand up on its own. Setting, it down, it will always fall over.

Unanswered Question

Is the The North Face Borealis 28L Backpack Hydration compatible?


    I wanted something waterproof for school since it pours at my college almost everyday and didn't want to worry about my laptop or books getting soaked. It has more than enough room, and is easy to go from class to the beach or hiking.

    Unanswered Question

    how big is it? Like how tall/wide

    Small issue

      there is cardboard sew inside the laptop pocket, how do I take it out?

      That "cardboard" is the pack's framesheet that keeps it stiff. you want it there.


        Perfect , exactly has described and saved a lot of money purchasing it on this site instead of the actual north face store . Thank You ! Recommend , its very durable.


        Fantastic Backpack

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        This backpack has soft pickets for a phone, tablet and laptop as well as plenty of space in therein compartment. The piece of the backpack that touches your back is not soft fabric but is a structured/firm piece so it holds its shape. It's medium size, not too small and not too large.


          This backpack comes with a cardboard piece attached inside the back stitching/material and therefore it is not removable. Very odd and have never seen a backpack with a cardboard insert...returned

          Great buy

          • Familiarity: I've used it several times

          Loved it.

          Love this backpack

          • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

          Love this backpack, I was really worried it wouldnt fit my HUGE laptop (dell precision m4700) but it doesssss!, its really hard to put it in the internal sleeve but I am ok with it, when I use it I dont feel lot of weight, so I think it does at great work on it, feels so light, I am sure you can hike for hours and this buddy will make your life easier.

          Will a 15" Macbook Pro fit the laptop sleeve?
          Also, would this be ideal for a carry-on for international travel?

          Hi Mathew, This pack should fit a 15" laptop no problem. Also it will definitely work as a carry on bag and I think that it is plenty big to hold everything you'd need on an international flight. If you need anything else, please reach out to me directly. -Matthew Pizza - Expert Gearhead

          Sweet backpack

            I actually bought this to use as my kids diaper bag. Plenty of storage for that and I don't have to carry the purse thing that my wife bought as a diaper bag. My favorite aspects are the weight(extremely light) and the comfort that it provides when you slip it on (straps are super comfortable). My 8 year old cousin tried taking it the other day as it does look pretty good too.

            Durable Bag

            • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

            I've used this backpack for pretty much everything, vacation, work events, overnight trips, tailgates, etc. Great convenient bag!

            10/10 would recommend

              This backpack speaks adventure with a little bit of class and reliability. At first glance, the hard back was a little odd, but after use, it helps quite a bit with support. This puppy is also loaded up with efficiently placed pockets, including wide drink pockets on the sides. This backpack doesn't have the largest computer holding sleeve. Overall, this beaut is a great backpack for its price and can really bring out the adventure in yourself.

              Great Backpack

              • Familiarity: I've used it several times

              I took it on my trip to Europe. Great day backpack companion. Not too large and not too small. Don't have a laptop but i carried my ipad and iphone and there were very well protected. Lightweight. Easy to maneuver for your essentials in the plane, buses and trains. Good accessibility. Good number of compartments and zippers. Bought the cosmic blue asphalt gray. It looks very pretty. I also have TNF Surge Transit backpack which i have used it for overnight and longer hikes.The North Face has always been my backpack of choice and so far, never gone wrong!

              Does this backpack hold a 17" laptop?

              This bag does not accommodate a 17" laptop. I have an HP M7 measuring 11.25"x16.5". It was really close to fitting.

              Useful pack for daily use!

              • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

              I am a master student. In weekdays I use this pack to carry my notebook, books, water bottle and etc. Also I pack my workout stuffs such as clean shoes, towel, T-shirts and etc. inside it at the same time. In weekends I like to spend my time travelling around and going for trekking and hiking so that I use this backpack to carry my gear, food and drinking supply. There are plenty of pockets inside it and these make it very useful backpack for my point of view. Back support and straps are really helping if you have to carry your pack for longer term. I strongly suggest it if you are planning to buy these kind of pack.