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Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: The Northface Borealis Backpack - Gear Hacker

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The North Face Borealis Review: Best Everyday Carry Backpack for a Student of 2020

Best Everyday Carry Backpack for a Student of 2020

  • Storage and Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Price: $89

Dimensions: 19.75x13.25x9.75”

Weight: 2.9lbs

What We Like: Great organization and fleece-lined laptop sleeve

What We Don’t: Seems to be built only for students—not professionals

The North Face Borealis is our Best Everyday Carry Bag for a Student of 2020, and here is why. The organization is set up for carrying a laptop as well as books and binders. The aesthetic is very “school bag” forward, and even North Face has marketed it towards college students. The material is solid, and the price is excellent, sitting at a comfortable $89. The backpanel is comfortable, and the bungee system on the front is great for stuffing a raincoat while sprinting out of the door. I wish I could go back as a college student, just for this backpack (among other things).

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Pros

Amazing Organization

Cons

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  • Storage and Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
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Pros

Great Organization

Fleece-Lined Laptop Sleeve

Cons

Seems To Be Built Only For Students—Not Professionals.

Dimensions: 19.75x13.25x9.75” 

Weight: 2.9lbs

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Pros

Shoe Pocket

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Cons

Limited Accessory Pockets On Exterior

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Laptop And Tablet Pocket

Cons

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Pros

Extremely Durable

Good Internal Storage Options

Cons

Limited External Organization

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Versatile For Urban Or Backcountry Uses

Cons

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Design Quality

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Cons

Center-Mounted Hydration

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Pros

Simple Pockets And Top Handle

Cons

Thin Shoulder Straps

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The North Face Borealis looks like it belongs on a college campus, and this isn’t a bad thing. As with all North Face products, the quality is already guaranteed, and with 17 color options, there is a Borealis for you! For our list, the North Face Borealis is the Best Everyday Carry Bag for a Student of 2020. Read on to find out why!
Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: The Northface Borealis Backpack - Gear Hacker

Storage and Organization

Set up in a very standard way, the Borealis is no frills and all function. Closest to the back, there is a zippered and fleece lined laptop pocket that is large enough for a 15” laptop. The next pocket is the main compartment, and that is large enough for your lunch and books depending on your daily needs. In front of that pocket, there is a smaller half zip pocket that can hold all the small essentials you need to carry, such as your sunglasses, phone, notebooks, and cords. Finally, there is a small fleece lined pocket for sunglasses or cellphones right on the front of the pack. Every pocket serves an excellent purpose, and I would use each one everyday while using the Borealis.

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: The Northface Borealis Backpack - Gear Hacker
Additionally, there are dual water bottle pockets on the side. One water bottle pocket has quick draw cell phone access for people without pockets on their pants as well. On the front of the bag, there is a bungee system that would be perfect for strapping an extra layer or blanket to for those “out on the lawn” study sessions. It is easy to see the functionality the Borealis would have for a student, and even on their website, some of the descriptions include mention of books and binders.
Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: The Northface Borealis Backpack - Gear Hacker

Comfort

The North Face Borealis is born from a company that specializes in building gear for extreme outdoor environments, so it is no surprise that they can handle creating a comfortable backpack for students. The backpanel uses FlexVent technology to remain comfortable but also help allow for airflow. There is nothing worse than biking to school on a hot day and having a sweat ring on your back from a heavy non-breathable backpack. The shoulder straps are well padded and include a sternum strap with a whistle, which is a nice safety feature for any late night walks home after prepping for exams or even everyday bike commuting. There is also a thin waist belt, and it is easily removable. The Borealis does have a women’s specific version as well.
Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: The Northface Borealis Backpack - Gear Hacker

Material and Durability

The North Face Borealis uses a 600D polyester as the main fabric with a 500D nylon for accessories. Both materials are highly durable and should stand the test of running for buses while being overstuffed with books, binders, and computers. The bag also comes with a lifetime warranty, which is always a nice touch.
Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: The Northface Borealis Backpack - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

We at Gear Hacker all wish we had known about the Borealis while we were in college. The organization is great for all the random things you carry as a student, and the quality that North Face offers is always excellent. At $89, the money saved in buying this backpack versus some of the others on the list could buy you food for a couple months, depending on how much you like microwavable ramen.

As a backpack, it would look slightly out of place in a professional setting, but for a student, this is truly the perfect EDC bag, which is why we named it our Best Everyday Carry Bag for a Student in 2020.

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