In the Northern hemisphere, the North Face of a mountain is considered to be the coldest and most unforgiving side of a mountain. It’s the side of the mountain that is the most revered and feared by any aspiring climber looking for the most challenging and rewarding task. It’s only fitting that this is where the name of one of the most popular outdoor brands finds its inspiration.
North Face is a popular maker of outdoor adventure gear and for good reason, they make quality gear. They’re best known for their outdoor clothing and since their inception in 1966, they have been committed to serving those who live to explore and conserve the natural wild world all around us.
The North Face Borealis and Jester are two of their signature daypacks that are jam-packed with features fitting for an adventure. Both of these daypacks work in the mountains or on the way to the office. They’re both versatile backpacks that are comfortable, durable, and large enough to carry everything you need for a day trip to your favorite spot.
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North Face Borealis vs North Face Jester
North face is a respected player in the outdoor gear game and while they’re best known for outdoor clothing, these two daypacks don’t disappoint. They’re two of their most popular backpacks that are strikingly similar with a few small variations. If you’re considering a daypack, take a look at how these two daypacks stack up against each other.
When you just want to take a relaxing hike on the weekends, finding a day pack that is lightweight is an important consideration. Both of these backpacks are lightweight, however, the Jester weighs nearly a pound less than the Borealis. The last thing you need is your daypack weighing you down and if weight is a major concern of yours, the Jester is the clear winner here.
- North Face Jester weighs in at 1 lb 12.9 ounces
- North Face Borealis weighs 2 lbs 11 ounces
The size or dimensions of a backpack determines the number of goodies that you can fit inside. Always an important aspect of a backpack, the size of the backpack is one of those things that varies on the person and what they plan on taking, it’s very subjective. Both of these backpacks are extremely similar in size, with the Borealis slightly larger than the Jester.
- North Face Borealis is 19.75 x 13.25 x 9.75 inches
- North Face Jester is 19.7 x 13.25 x 7.5 inches
The volume of a backpack is similar to the size, however, it’s a more accurate estimation of the space inside. The volume of the Borealis is slightly larger, however, they are so similar in size that the difference is negligible. The most important part is that you can fit everything you need in size, so a smaller backpack may be just fine.
- North Face Borealis is 28 liters
- North Face Jester is 26 liters.
The material that is used in the build of these two backpacks is similar. They both use a combination of polyester materials, however, the Borealis incorporates 210D Cordura® Nylon Ripstop. In terms of durability, the Borealis is the winner in this department, the ripstop nylon gives it the edge in toughness.
- North Face Borealis is made of 600D Polyester Toile, 500D Nylon Oxford Slub, 420D Nylon, 210D Cordura® Nylon Ripstop, Polyester Jacquard Camo
- North Face Jester is made of 600D Polyester Emboss, 600D Polyester Print, 300D Heather Polyester
The warranty that North Face offers is awesome. They offer a lifetime guarantee against defects in workmanship and materials, as long as you’re the original owner. If anything breaks down or gets damaged from normal wear and tear, you’re completely covered.
- North face offers a lifetime warranty
Which North Face backpack is right for you?
Both of these backpacks make great hiking backpacks and they both have features that make them stand out. Here’s a quick rundown of each one.
North Face Borealis Backpack
The North Face Borealis is a durable, versatile, and comfortable daypack. The design is well thought out and the material is made to last.
The fabric is abrasion resistant and is made to handle everything from a dirt path to a city sidewalk. There are two large compartments for storage, as well as, several smaller pockets to store your electronics and everything else.
The bungee strap on the front of the pack gives you a place to store a lightweight jacket on the go. The 28-liter size gives you enough space for a day hike and the
FlexVent™ suspension system makes it a comfortable carry.
- Comfortable suspension system
- Made with ripstop fabric
- Bulky fit
- The more expensive option
- 2 pounds
- The updated FlexVent suspension system features a flexible yoke built from custom injection-molded shoulder straps, an unbelievably comfortable padded mesh back panel and a highly breathable lumbar panel for maximum breathability all day long
- Dedicated, highly protective laptop compartment. Huge main compartment for books and binders, and front compartment with internal organization has an extra padded tablet sleeve, a pendolier and additional secure-zip pockets. Also features two extended mesh water bottle pockets can easily double as multi-use pockets with quick-draw cell-phone access on one side. External, fleece-lined pocket for sunglasses, phone or keys.
- Updated front elastic bungee system for external storage. Reflective bike-light loop, water bottle tabs and shoulder-strap webbing create 360 degrees of reflectivity
- Comfortable padded top handle. Sternum strap with whistle buckle, and removable waist belt. Women-specific version available.
North Face Jester Backpack
The North Face Jester is a versatile and comfortable budget daypack that is good for nearly every type of trip. It’s great for hikers, campers, backpackers, and as an everyday carry backpack.
It’s a 26-liter backpack that weighs in at just over a pound and with close to 20 different styles to choose from, chances are you can find one that fits your style. The backpack rests comfortably on your shoulders with a FlexVent™ suspension system and an air mesh back panel.
There are water bottle pockets, webbing on the shoulder straps, and a 360° reflective bike light loop. The sternum strap offers extra comfort when the bag is jam packed. Overall, it’s a budget backpack that doesn’t sacrifice any of the features that are offered in a premium hiking daypack.
- A variety of color options
- Ventilated back panel
- No ripstop fabric
- Thin build
- Doesn’t stand up on its own
- Our classic 26-liter Jester was redesigned with a comfortable back panel and shoulder straps
- 360 degree reflective bike-light loop, water bottle tabs and shoulder strap webbing
Common features in both backpacks
Both of these backpacks share a handful of common features that don’t need any explanation, so we’ll just list them below.
- Lifetime warranty
- Padded shoulder straps
- Webbed shoulder straps
- Variety of colors
- Endorsement by the American Chiropractic Association
- Reflective bike light loop
Which backpack do you choose?
The daypack that you choose should be versatile and able to easily handle a day hike on your favorite trail or a trip to work or school. At first glance, these backpacks are strikingly similar backpacks with more common features than not. Both backpacks are lightweight, durable, and come in a variety of color choices.
The Jester is the more inexpensive option, however, you sacrifice durability due to the lack of ripstop nylon. There are fewer color options with the Jester, but you also have a lighter overall weight.
The Borealis is a more durable backpack that comes nearly a pound heavier than the Jester. The price tag is higher than the Jester, however, it is a more durable option with a large variety of color choices.
Overall, the Borealis is a more durable backpack that has a similar storage capacity and a higher price tag. If you’re looking to save a few bucks the Jester is the better option. If durability is important, than the Borealis is the better choice.