If you all follow my YouTube channel, you already know, that back in July, I purchased The Northface Surge laptop backpack. In my unboxing video of The Northface Surge, I promised a full written review of the bag and my personal experience with it. My apologies for just now getting this review posted. The bag will run you around $115.00 from The Northface, but if you search around, you might able to find it at some online discount retailers for cheaper.
I have been using The Northface Surge laptop backpack for a couple of months now and I am very pleased with it. The outside of the bag is very well built, all the seams are of the highest quality, and I have not come across any tears. The front side of the bag is primarily made up of a very sturdy nylon material. The back and shoulder straps of the bag are made out of a breathable netted material that allows air to flow between your back and the bag. This helps to keep sweat marks off your back and shoulders. In mid summer, I took a trip to an island that had no vehicles, so I was walking around and riding a bike around for about 12 hours wearing this bag on my back and I can confirm that the breathable back really does make a difference on the comfort level when wearing the bag for long periods of time.
As I said earlier, I have had the bag for a few months now, and have traveled pretty heavily with it. Even with heavy travel and use, it shows no wear and tear at all. Some of you all might not believe me, but it looks exactly as it did the day I bought it. Non of the straps or clips have come lose or have broken, and I have not had a single zipper jam. The Northface labels the back as water repellant, not water proof. I got stuck in a bad rain storm a few weeks ago while out on a hike, and nothing inside my bag got wet. While I don’t condone you test the bags water repellant-ness, I can tell you that it performed well in my unexpected test. Please DO NOT be stupid and test this. I take no responsibility for your actions regarding my review.
In summary, the outside of the bag performs beautifully. It protects my stuff very well, is super comfortable on my back, and stays put where you place it on your back. The various materials on the outside of the bag show no wear and tear, and look as they did the day I bought it. While you do pay a premium price for this bag, I can say that the outside of the bag defiantly is on par with what you pay for the bag.
The Northface Surge laptop backpack consist of 4 major compartments, a quick access compartment, a organizer compartment, a bulk compartment, and a dedicated laptop compartment. The quick access compartment is designed so you can access its contents with out fully removing the bag from your back. You can swing the bag around to the front on one shoulder and access your stuff from special zippers on the side of the bag. This compartment consist of 2 netted zipper pockets, 1 open netted pocket, and a padded completely enclosed “media” pocket. The media pocket is perfect for an iPod or Zune HD. It will protect your device from the elements but still allow you to access you headphones.
The organizer compartment is designed for organizing all kinds of different items. It consist of 1 large zipper pocket, 3 pen/pencil slots, 2 business card slots, 1 netted open cell phone pocket, and 4 open nylon pockets of various sizes. The different pockets are deep, and designed for organizing all kinds of different items. In a later post, I am going to walk you though my gear, and what I carry around on a day to day basis.
The bulk compartment is pretty simple, is just one large compartment, with no pockets, straps, or slots. This compartment is designed for larger bulk items. It is about 19” tall, 12” wide, and about 6” deep. You can store anything from papers and notebooks, to large electronics like a DSLR camera and its equipment, and even jackets and boots. The back side of the pocket is padded to separate whatever you put in there from your dedicated laptop compartment.
The Northface has designed the dedicated laptop pocket very well. The pocket consist of a 2” deep padded and sturdy compartment that completely protects your laptop from the outside elements and the other items you have else where in the bag. The pocket easily fits a 15” computer and I most likely a 17” but I did not test this. The side of the compartment that is on your back is made of a sturdy plastic that is wrapped in a very fine nylon material. The side opposite your back, is made of same fine nylon material, but it also has the very think bump padding. People have asked me if my laptop shows any slide marks from sliding the computer in and out of the nylon pocket, and I can say no, it does not. They nylon threading inside the laptop compartment is very fine, which results in no sliding marks on the computer itself.
In summary, The Northface really put a lot of thought and time into designing the various compartments with this bag. All the compartments work will for their specific purposes and the pockets they offer are well designed with various sizes, materials, and depths. The laptop pocket provides enough room for a 15” and 17” notebook, and protects it well with a half an inch of bump padding.
While The Northface Surge might be expensive, I can confirm first hand, that it lives up to the high price tag. I am very pleased with this bag in all ways. If you have read the entire review, you already know that I have ZERO complaints about this bag. It fits all of my stuff very securely, protecting it from the elements and other item in the bag. The bag is very well designed inside and out and it is very comfortable on my back. The air flow system on the back of the bag does a great job at keeping my back cool and comfortable in all types of weather. If you can afford it, get it, it is well worth the money. I plan to continue using it for many years to come.