The North Face Router Backpack Review
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For most of us gear snobs, we’ll get one backpack and use and abuse it for 5-10 years. Having tested dozens of backpacks over the years, I have become pretty picky in my selections and unless a backpack really knocks my socks off, I’m going to through it to the back of my gear closet. The North Face Router Backpack has stayed at the front of my gear closet since the day it landed on my doorstep and I don’t see it moving for a long time. This pack is hands down my favorite backpack for everyday work and short trips where I don’t have to pack half my closet.
Perfect for traveling, business people, and students
The North Face Router Backpack is perfect for the student and business professional who likes to lug all their books, laptops, workout clothes, lunches, and more. As someone who takes a backpack with me nearly everywhere I go, I like to be able to have enough room to throw in my 14.3″ laptop, snacks, computer accessories, tablet, running clothes( you never know when you’ll need them!) and whatever else I need for the day. The Router is deceiving because it looks like it’s the size of a regular backpack and can carry the normal load, but it’s nearly impossible to fill this pack to it’s limits unless you’re taking it for a 3 day trip or longer. The total capacity for this backpack is 41 liters, or 2502 cubic inches.
On a recent 4 day trip from Denver to Raleigh, I didn’t feel like taking a big suit case with me so I decided to put The North Face Router Backpack to the test and I was amazed! I was able to fit in 4 days of summer clothing, my laptop, tablet, computer accessories, snacks, and I still had a little room for a few more pairs of socks if needed. While I admit this would probably drop down to 2 days of clothing if it were the winter, I am still extremely impressed in what I can fit in this pack.
Compartments Galore in The North Face Router Backpack
The first compartment which is closest to your back is the laptop sleeve. While I have a 14.3″ laptop, it can hold up to a 17″ laptop. There is a separate neoprene sleeve in this compartment, so if you wanted to store a pad of paper or other flat items, they fit in nicely. The next compartment we’ll be talking about is the main compartment. This compartment opens up half way and is easy to get things in and out of. For capacity, I was able to place 5 pairs of size 12.5 running shoes in this compartment, so depending on what you’re packing, please plan accordingly. The next compartment is where all the organization starts to come into play. This pocket is located on the outer of The North Face Router Backpack and opens up 3/4 of the way making it super easy to get things in and out of. This pocket also has a pocket for pens, cell phones, etc. There are 9 non zippered pockets total and there are two zippered pockets for when you want to keep things a little more secure and organized. Next, there are two vertical compartments that are good for storing things you want easy access to. They’re even big enough to store an i-Pad with a Otterbox case on it to give you a sense of what you can fit. For smaller items such as keys and sunglasses, there is a fleece lined pocket near the top of the backpack, right before The North Face logo. Last, there are two elastic side pockets, one that is zippered and one that is not. Great for water bottles and alike.
Backpack fit and comfort
To keep The North Face Router Backpack comfortable on your back, TNF uses channeled mesh padding on the back of the pack. While this isn’t noticed as much with light loads, this padding definitely plays its part with heavier and bulky loads. For shoulder straps, TNF uses similar padded mesh combinations and also includes an adjustable sternum strap and loaded lifters which allows you to get a customized fit with the straps against your back. To balance the weight and keep The North Face Router Backpack secure on your back, the pack also includes a small hip belt. This is not as big of a hip belt you would see on a backpacking pack, but it does the job for this pack.
The North Face Router Backpack has become my favorite backpack for everyday use. This pack is truly a one pack that does everything and I can promise you that this pack will not disappoint.
For more information on Router backpack and other North Face gear, please visit www.thenorthface.com or www.amazon.com/thenorthface.