The North Face – Borealis Backpack (27-litre women’s)


Review by Patsy Lourens

I started off saying this pack is a hybrid, but actually it is way more than that. The Borealis is a multi-functional pack that fared excellently in the hills, as it does in the gym, on your bike, in the work place, a day in the city, or as your ultimate travel companion. There are so many features and so much stuff to say about this beauty, it would be best to break it down.

Durability and comfort
Manufactured from nylon and durable 420D Cordura, the Borealis is ergonomically designed and comes with a very nicely padded, women-specific FlexVent™ suspension system for top comfort and the padded, articulated and curved shoulder straps enhances that comfort even more. It sits slightly above the hip line, the top comes to below your neck, and the whole pack sits within the width of your back. This gives it a very ‘out of the way’ feel. Although not designed for climbing, I’ve use it scrambling and climbing, and found the pack very friendly in terms of wearing a harness, access to your chalk bag and does not in any way hinder movement. It can also be slimmed down at the bottom, making it more streamlined when necessary.
The pack comes with a waist belt and sternum strap for extra stability, and a broad padded handle on the top for carrying or hauling.

Packability and functionality
Wow, where do I start here! The main storage compartment is spacious and big enough for a day in the hills, whether climbing or hiking, which of course also means it is perfect for a day out just about anywhere, from urban jungles to digital nomad workspaces in rural Guyana.
The top/front ‘organiser’ pocket is also spacious and separated into compartments, making it great for stashing all sorts of things, from guidebooks, to wallets, passports, tablets, keys, snacks, or any office related paraphernalia, and the smaller front pocket is fleece-lined for the storage of more delicate stuff, like phones, watches, sunglasses, etc. so you don’t have to worry about any scratches damaging your gear.
There is a bungee mesh on the front of the pack, to cinch the bag down, but is also handy to stuff a fleece top or hat into for quick and easy access. Each side sports a deep, elasticated pouch for water bottles, or other kit, which can also be cinched tight with bungee cords.
Last, but certainly not least, is the padded laptop compartment at the back of the bag. It can take a sizable laptop, and also has a false bottom for protection if you accidentally drop your bag. Of course, this compartment is also ideal for files and papers, etc. This space can also double as a water bladder storage. It has a Velcro strap for attachment and a H2O hole for the water pipe – another feature that showcases this bag’s multi-function ability.
The Borealis is an excellent, versatile pack, ready for the outdoors and at home in the city. And as I said, although not designed for climbing, it fares pretty well in that department as well.

Volume: 27 ℓ
Weight: 930 g
Dimensions: 28 cm x 14,6 cm x 47,6 cm
Laptop Sleeve: 31,8 cm x 28 cm

RRP: R2599

Available from: Takealot

Previous Petzl Tikka Core 450 Lumens
Next The North Face - Exploration convertible trousers (women's)