Best North Face Backpacks Reviewed & Rated for Quality

As every good outdoorsman or outdoorswoman knows, having the right pack or backpack to haul your gear can be crucial.  Whether you are out on a two-day trek, a week-long hunting expedition, or even just a short outing, choosing the right backpack can the be difference between a successful, enjoyable trip and a bust.  

Featured Recommendations

North Face Borealis
  • North Face Borealis
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 15" shoulder drop
  • Price: See Here
North Face Router
  • North Face Router
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • FlexVent suspension
  • Price: See Here
North Face Recon
  • North Face Recon
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • nylon mini-ripstop
  • Price: See Here

Backpacks are an essential piece of gear that can used for hauling equipment and supplies such as guns, knives, ammunition, food and water, cooking utensils, sleeping bags and in some cases, transporting your trophy home after the hunt.  Backpacks used during a hunt or any other outdoor expedition are relied upon to hold everything vital to the hunter and outdoorsman, while remaining sturdy and comfortable to carry.

The most important aspects to take a look at when choosing a backpack for hunting and outdoor purposes include size (including external dimensions and internal volume), weight, material (waterproof or not), storage compartments, and the construction and structure of the pack, including shoulder straps, back support, hip belts, and sternum straps.

Although known for their backpack models that are ideal for hiking, climbing, and mountaineering, there are several North Face backpacks that are also ideal for hunting and other outdoor expeditions. Let’s take a look at the top 10 North Face Backpacks for the hunter and outdoorsman.

 

10 Best North Face Backpacks

 

1. North Face Borealis

1. North Face Borealis
The North Face Borealis is one of the most popular and positively reviewed North Face backpacks ever produced. Its smaller, more streamlined design makes it ideal for shorter hunting trips and outdoor excursions. This backpack is water-resistant and has several interior and exterior storage compartments which are perfect for keeping gear organized and easy to reach.
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FlexVent™ Suspension System
The FlexVent™ suspension system is found on several models of North Face backpacks. This system is designed to provide the ultimate level of support to the back and shoulders, as well as provide proper ventilation.

Front Elastic Bungee/External Storage
Being able to reach for and grab tools, gear, and equipment in a hurry is essential to the hunt. The Borealis sports a front elastic bungee for storage, along with a front-zip pocket, for easy storage and easy access.

Cost and Value
The North Face Borealis is one of the best values in this group of backpacks. It runs on the lower end of the price spectrum for North Face. Considering its size, the lifetime warranty, and the amount of pockets and storage, the Borealis is an exceptional value.
Pros

Lifetime Warranty;

Mesh side pockets for extra, flexible storage;

Water Resistant;

Several Interior pockets and compartments for smaller items

Cons

Smaller end of the size scale at 28 Liters of total storage space;

2. North Face Recon

2. North Face Recon
The Recon is also one of North Face’s most popular and classic designs. Topping out at 31 Liters of capacity, this is a more compact model, ideal for shorter hunting or outdoor treks. Along with the Flex Vent™ Suspension System (described below), this pack also has two water bottle pockets and sternum straps.
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Stretch Front Pocket for Extra Storage Space
With storage capacity and easy access being critical criteria for hunting and outdoor backpacks, the Recon fits the bill with its stretch front pocket. This stretch front pocket expands enough to fit an item as large as a helmet.

FlexVent™ Suspension System
As with many other North Face backpack models, the Recon is built with the FlexVent™ Suspension System, ensuring maximum carrying comfort due to the molded shoulder straps and padded back support.

Cost and Value
The North Face Recon comes in on the lower end of the price range for North Face backpacks. The FlexVent™ Suspension System, extra stretch front storage space and slightly larger capacity than models like the Borealis, give the Recon a high value for a lower cost.
Pros

Lifetime Warranty; 

31 Liter Capacity - slightly larger than the Borealis; 

Two water bottle pocket; 

Sternum straps for extra support

Cons

Does not stand upright when placed on flat surface

3. North Face Terra 65

3. North Face Terra 65
The North Face Terra 65 is one of the larger models on this list. Its larger size and increased number of storage pockets make it a fitting choice for longer hunting expeditions. The Terra 65 is also built with padded shoulder straps and a hip belt for extra comfort and support.
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65 Liter Capacity
The Terra 65 is one of North Face’s larger capacity backpacks. The size of this pack makes it perfect for longer expeditions as it can carry an extra large amount of gear, ammunition, food and water and even a sleeping bag. The size of this backpack also gives it the capability to pack-out any hunting trophy acquired on the trip.

OPTIFIT Harness System
Unique to the Terra 65, along with a select few other North Face models, is the OPTIFIT harness system. This is a system used on larger backpacks to give the user greater control over the load and creates a better and more snug fit for increased comfort.

Cost and Value
The North Face Terra 65 is in the mid-to-high price range for North Face backpacks. More costly than both the Borealis and Recon, the Terra 65 also boasts a larger size and more advanced features. The OPTIFIT system, 65 liter capacity, and 7+ storage pockets make the Terra 65 an excellent value for the slightly higher price.
Pros

Lifetime Warranty; 

Large zippered main compartment; 

7+ pockets; 

Separate zippered sleeping bag compartment; 

Padded shoulder straps

Cons

Does not come with waterproof shell

4. North Face Router

4. North Face Router
The North Face Router Daypack is a midsize backpack that could be used for shorter or mid-range hunting and outdoor treks and expeditions. The two outside zippered pockets and two water bottle pockets provide extra storage. Comfort features include a sternum strap and hip belt.
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41 Liter Capacity
At a 41 Liter capacity, the Router falls mid-range between packs like the Borealis (small end) and packs like the Terra 65 (large end). This makes the Router versatile in its uses, from day trips to overnight trips.

Padded Mesh Back Panel/Spine Channel/Lumbar Panel
The Router is built with several features to ensure comfortable load-carrying. These features include the padded mesh back panel, a spine channel and a lumbar panel to support the lower back, as well as, wick away any moisture.

Cost and Value
To match its size, the North Face Router falls in the mid-range of prices amongst other North Face backpacks. This mid-range price delivers on value with such features as the 41 Liter capacity, lifetime warranty, and the extra comfort features highlighted here.
Pros

Lifetime Warranty; 

360 degree reflectivity on the pack for nighttime safety; 

Sternum strap for extra support; 

3 main zippered compartments

Cons

Not waterproof

5. North Face Unisex Big Shot

5. North Face Unisex Big Shot
The North Face Unisex Big Shot is another great selection for short outdoor expeditions. Its 33 Liter capacity provides enough space to pack gear and supplies for a day-long hunt. With several internal and external compartments, this pack is ideal pick to keep gear organized and accessible.
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BackSaver Technology
The North Face Unisex Big Shot is one of the few unique North Face models with BackSaver technology. The construction and design of this pack shifts weight on the consumer’s back for increased comfort while hauling heavier loads.

Internal Organization in Main Compartment
The main compartment of the Big Shot has several internal organization mechanisms including a media pocket (for cellphone or other electronics) and an internal zippered pocket.

Cost and Value
The North Face Unisex Big Shot lies on the lower end of the price spectrum for North Face backpacks. The price of the Big Shot would be comparable to the Borealis or the Recon, both previously mentioned. The BackSaver Technology, lifetime warranty, and FlexVent Suspension System, make this pack a tremendous value at a lower, more affordable price.
Pros

Lifetime Warranty;

FlexVent Suspension System; 

Removable waistbelt; 

2 Front “D-door” zippered pockets.

Cons

33 Liter capacity - smaller size

6. North Face Banchee 50

6. North Face Banchee 50
The North Face Banchee 50 is another of North Face’s larger backpacks, with a 50 Liter capacity and 26” x 12” x 10” dimensions. This pack would come in handy on longer hunting and outdoor trips where large amounts of gear and supplies would need to be packed. A large number of pockets, along with two exterior tool-keepers also make it ideal for this purpose.
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50 Liter Capacity
At 50 Liters, the Banchee 50 is larger than several other backpacks on this list. Its larger capacity enables hunters and outdoorsmen to use it on longer trips, packing necessary supplies such as food, extra clothing, water, ammunition and sleeping bags. Although it has a large capacity, the Banchee 50 remains one of North Face’s more lightweight models.

Aluminium Frame
The aluminum frame on the Banchee 50 allows the user a greater range of motion and easier movement while still providing proper support and structure. This also allows great control over the backpack while maintaining comfort for the user.

Cost and Value
The North Face Banchee 50 is in the higher price range for North Face backpacks; however, along with this higher price comes a more advanced design, larger size, and additional features not found in the less expensive backpacks.
Pros

Lifetime Warranty; 

8+ Pockets for storage; 

Two large tool-keepers on exterior of pack; 

Adjustable hip belt; 

Available in two sizes for proper fit

Cons

Limited color selection

7. North Face Fovero 85

7. North Face Fovero 85
Although originally designed for hiking, the North Face Fovero 85 is a great choice for extended hunting and outdoor excursions. At an 85 Liter volume, the Fovero tops out as North Face’s largest pack. In addition to the large volume, this backpack has two tool keepers and a separate compartment for a sleeping bag.
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85 Liter Capacity
As mentioned, the Fovero 85 is currently the largest backpack available from North Face. This large capacity allows the user to pack enough equipment and supplies for trips of up to 1-2 weeks. Included in the 85 Liters of volume is a separate zippered compartment for a sleeping bag. This is another model by North Face that would be large enough to haul certain sizes of wild game from the hunt.

Removable Top Portion/Daypack
Another great feature of the Fovero is the removable top portion of the pack. This portion can be removed to become a smaller daypack, perhaps for day long treks away from basecamp.

Cost and Value
The North Face Fovero 85 sits at the top of the price range for North Face Backpacks. The size, along with features such as the OPTIFIT Suspension System, 10+ pockets, removable top portion/daypack, and the waterproof rain cover combine to make the Fovero 85 well worth the cost.
Pros

Two tool-keepers; 

Water-proof rain cover; 

10+ pockets; Separate zippered compartment for sleeping bag; 

OPTIFIT Suspension System for comfortable carrying

Cons

Limited color availability; 

One of the heavier North Face backpacks on the list

8. North Face Angstrom 28

8. North Face Angstrom 28
The North Face Angstrom 28L Daypack is well suited for day trips or even brief overnight hunting trips. Though smaller than many other packs on this list, the Angstrom has several other features that make it fitting for this purpose, including numerous pockets, room for a hydration reservoir or water bottles, adjustable shoulder straps, and a padded hip belt.
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Large Front and Side Pocket
In addition to the spacious main compartment, the sizable front and side pockets on the Angstrom 28 give this smaller volume pack a larger feel. These front and side pockets are made from stretchable material to accommodate bigger items while also allowing easy access.

Integrated Rain Cover
One feature found on the Angstrom 28, not found on many other North Face backpacks, is the integrated rain cover. This cover keeps equipment and gear in the backpack clean and dry in wet and rainy conditions without adding extra weight to the pack.

Cost and Value
The North Face Angstrom 28, costwise, sits mid range amongst the North Face models. Slightly more costly than models such as the Borealis or Recon, the Angstrom provides features such as multiple pockets, space for a hydration reservoir and an integrated rain cover, which give the backpack more than substantial value for the cost.
Pros

Lifetime Warranty

Multiple pockets

Highly adjustable shoulder straps

Lighter weight than most other backpacks on the list

Cons

Limited color selection

28 Liter capacity - on the smaller end of the spectrum

9. North Face Stormbreak 35

9. North Face Stormbreak 35
The North Face Stormbreak 35 is a mid-sized backpack, much like the Router Daypack which appeared previously on this list. This size makes it a good fit for short to mid range hunting and outdoor trips. The front load panel, ventilated back panel, mesh side-pockets, and two tool keepers make this pack optimal for storing all the equipment and gear essential for an outdoor trek.
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Side Compression Straps
The Stormbreak 35 is built with side compression straps on both sides of the pack that allow the user secure the backpack and its contents tightly, giving the user better control. This allows for more comfort while carrying the backpack.

38 Liter Capacity
As mentioned before, the Stormbreak 35 actually has a 38 Liter volume which enables its utilization for a wide-range of hunting and outdoor excursions. This pack can easily fit all the equipment and gear necessary for a successful day trip, as well as shorter overnight trips.

Cost and Value
The North Face Stormbreak 35 is comparable in price to some of the smaller backpacks on this list, including the Borealis and Big Shot. Its substantial size, tool-keepers, comfort features such as cushioned shoulder pads, and the lifetime warranty make it an ample value for the cost.
Pros

Two tool-keepers

Lifetime Warranty

Ventilated back panel

Large front panel opening

Cushioned shoulder straps

Cons

Not many internal compartments

Not waterproof

10. North Face Shadow 40 + 10

10. North Face Shadow 40 + 10
The North Face Shadow 40 + 10 rounds out this list of Top 10 North Face backpacks. The Shadow 40 + 10 is another one of North Face’s larger designs. The maximum volume of this backpack is 50 Liters; however, it can be stripped down by removing the frame sheet and one of the interior pockets. This backpack would be perfect for longer 1-2 week excursions that included daytrips throughout.
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Available in Bright Colors for Safety
One of the prominent features of the Shadow 40 + 10 that makes it well-suited for outdoorsmen and hunters is that it is available in bright colors, such as macaw green, which can come in handy for safety reasons. Most other North Face models are available in more muted tones only.

Internal Water Resistant Pocket
Another unique component to the Shadow 40 + 10 is the internal water resistant pocket. This pocket can be used to store items in need of complete water protection but can also be removed to lighten the backpack.

Cost and Value
The North Face Shadow 40 + 10 is on the higher end of the cost scale for North Face backpacks; however, its added features such as the removable internal water resistant pocket, removable hipbelt, and large storage volume make value of this pack well worth the higher cost.
Pros

Hipbelt pockets

Tool keepers

30 Liter and 40 Liter shells

Roll-top closure

Removable hipbelt

Cons

No side pockets or water bottle pockets

As this list exhibits, not only does The North Face carry a great selection of backpacks for activities such as hiking, mountaineering, and even school-use, but several of their models and designs are also well-suited for hunting expeditions and other types of outdoor excursions.

A solid and sturdy backpack that is large enough to haul all essential equipment and gear can be a vital element in an enjoyable and rewarding hunting trip.   All of the backpacks contained in this list possess qualities that make them a good fit for an avid hunter and outdoorsman, including but not limited to varying volumes from 28 Liters to 85 Liters, structures designed for extra support and comfort such as compression straps and FlexVent™ technology, numerous pockets for extra storage (internal and external), rain covers or water resistant materials to keep items inside dry and clean during inclement conditions and lifetime warranties.

All of The North Face backpacks listed here are tremendous choices, though each product has its pros and cons. Overall the top 3: The North Face Borealis, The North Face Recon, and The North Face Terra 65, are the best representation of the wide variety of quality, useful North Face backpacks available to hunters, outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen alike.