The North Face Women’s Borealis Backpack Review

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The North Face Women's Borealis Backpack
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Want to know what the cool women carry to school or while traveling? It’s not going to be a unisex backpack that does not take a woman’s frame into account. Nor is it something with a cavernous interior and no organizational features. Chances are you’ll see The North Face Women’s Borealis Backpack more often than not.

This bestselling backpack has been around for a few years but the 2015 updated version is even better for carrying comfort and organization of your things for traveling. Its versatile looks and design means that you can use this for school or college as well as for travel. It works well as a day pack or as a carry on that will fit under an airline seat. Hikers will also love this bag because of the high carriage and women-specific suspension system, the exterior bungee cord and reflective accents.

Note, that although this is a great carry on option, it is just under 19″ high. If this is too small for you, here are some of the best rated women’s carry on travel backpacks on the market or even some good laptop travel backpacks instead.

Amazon carries the Borealis in all colors and you may be able to get it at a reduced price. But first, let’s take a closer look at its features.

Features of the Women’s Borealis Backpack

  • This pack weighs 2 lbs 9 oz and measures 18.75” x 12.5” x 8”. Its capacity is 25 liters.

  • The outer shell is made of 100% nylon that is abrasion and water resistant.
    Padded and fleece lined pocket for a laptop in the main compartment

  • You can carry a 15″ laptop in the padded and fleece lined pocket in the main compartment. A light jacket can also fit into this space or you can use it to pack one or two changes of clothes and your toiletries. If you’re going to use this for college, you can use this space for your books.
    Organizer compartment with a padded and fleece lined tablet pocket

  • You can also carry a tablet as there is a similar smaller protective pocket in the front organizer compartment. This area also has drop pockets for a smart phone and other personal items, like a wallet, travel documents, etc. There is also a zipped pocket, pen loops and elastic webbing to keep your gadget cords neat.

  • A quick access stash pocket right at the front features stretch side walls so you can even store thicker items here. It is fleece lined, so it’s a good place to keep a pair of sunglasses.
    Side compression straps and mesh pockets

  • Two side mesh pockets are good for a water bottle and small umbrella.

  • An external bungee cord on the front can be used for attaching outdoor gear, like a jacket or a pair of shoes.

  • External side compression straps can be tightened once your packing is done to keep the bag compact while being carried.

  • Double zippers are used for the main compartment and the organizer compartment.
    Contoured and padded shoulder straps and back panel with sternum straps and hip belt

  • The adjustable shoulder straps and the back panel are both contoured to fit the female form. In the former’s case the straps are injection molded, while in the case of the latter, there’s a spine channel that’s shaped ergonomically to fit the curvature of the spine. Moisture wicking is provided to both for for ventilation.

  • Sternum straps are attached to the shoulder straps to keep them in place and a whistle is built into the buckle.

  • The winged hip straps are removable but they ensure that the bag’s load is evenly distributed and not just centered on your shoulders.

  • Reflective accents all over make this bag good for safe hiking.

  • A padded top handle is provided for a quick grab and go.


  • Great looking bag.
  • Roomy interior.
  • Lightweight and comfortable to carry. Even petite women find it to be a good fit.
  • The bag rides high instead of lower down like many other backpacks. This is ergonomically good for your posture.


  • A few college students complain that they can’t pack too many books in if they also carry a laptop.
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