North Face Surge Backpack Review | Multi Purpose Backpack For Laptop

Last Updated on May 20, 2021

The North Face Surge, TNF Black, One Size This backpack is endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association. The ACA endorses this north face surge backpack due to its anatomically correct fit which minimizes lower back strain.

The average weight of this bag is 2.5 lbs. It’s a little bit heavier, but that’s mainly due to lot of the padding on this.

This is really meant for hiking. This is more of a school bag for carrying all of your stuff. You can use this backpack if you go to work a lot and you need a backpack that has a bunch of different compartments.

The materials used are Hyper-durable ballistics nylon. Total volume capacity is 2015 cubic inches or 33 liters. A lot of different backpack companies will overstate or understate their volume carrying capacities but about 2000 cubic inches tends to be general size for the most school backpack.

The dimensions are 22 x 16 x 5 inches. This is still okay for legal carry on if you are going to use this for carrying onto a plane.

It has three main compartments.

  1. Laptop compartment
  2. A big carrying compartment in the middle
  3. Admin pouch

Let’s have a quick look at the key features of North Face Surge Backpack

Laptop Protection

Let’s talk about the laptop compartment. It’s really nicely done and one of the main selling points of this backpack. It includes a pouch to hold your laptop. 15-inch MacBook pro fit with no problem. The pouch is both elevated, so it won’t touch the ground. If you put your bag down your laptop won’t touch the ground. It also has padding as well as fleece line.  This is a perfect pouch and a perfect backpack if you are a college student and you regularly send your bag down on places and picking it up. Your laptop won’t get damaged by putting it down.

Want to know the best part?

The laptop compartment opens all the way up. It lays flat on the ground when you open it. This is to allow you to get through checkpoints such as at the airport quicker without taking a laptop out.

This laptop sleeve is made for a thinner laptop such as MacBook. You can go for biking with a laptop inside this backpack. You won’t feel any rustling or shaking as it will be very snug fit. If you have a bigger than the 15-inch laptop you can use the rest of the compartment.

There is a semi-rigid plastic frame in this. The bag won’t compress and then hit your laptop. So your laptop remains safe all the time. You can also put papers or small books in this pouch. You can put anything doesn’t want to get damaged.

Big carrying compartment

Let’s talk about the next pouch. There’s nothing special about it. It’s just a big pouch where you can put anything you want. It does have a fair amount of expandability. You can put anything you want there especially like big jackets or whatever. In the main compartment, you can put your books and all the other items. It’s pretty deep and can hold a lot of stuff. It has plenty of space for whatever you need to carry.

The North Face Surge Laptop Backpack 15"- Sale Colors (Tnf Medium Grey

Admin pouch with lot of organizational features

Next compartment is the admin pouch. The admin pouch is very nicely done by North Face. It’s nice addition that many bags that would be similar to this don’t have. It has got organizational features. One thing to note that it doesn’t open much because the zipper is cut off by the bottle holder. It has got a mesh netting pouch. You can keep pen and pencils here. You can also keep whatever you want easy access.

It has got mesh zipper pocket, a tablet sleeve, three quick access pocket

It’s a nice little admin pouch and can hold a lot of stuff. One thing to note about this pouch is if you overload this pouch and don’t load the rest of the bag your bag is going to sag outwards. You can use compression strap to deal with that but not going to be perfect. One thing to note that these compression straps are designed in such a way that they don’t include the back laptop pouch. So they will only compress towards the back of the bag. That does also mean that your bag is always going to be a certain width outwards. It’s nice because you can open the laptop bag at any point.

In the front this bag has got two vertical pouches that are interlined-one above the other. These are good for small items or items you need quick access. You must note that because it’s on the outside of your pack people may have access to them as well. So don’t put valuables here either.

Bottom compartment

The bottom compartment is separated from all the other compartment on the top. There’s not a huge amount of room. You can keep t-shirt, couple pairs of socks like dirty laundry in there. You might be able to fit a pair of sneakers, but you wouldn’t be able to fit boots in here. So it’s a limited size compartment. If you are going outdoors with this you can stick a rain cover in here and then zip it  up. Then forget about it. That way you always have access to rain cover that you can pull out and use to cover the whole bag. There is an ice ax loop which is weird to have in a school bag. Whatever doesn’t get in the way and it’s just another feature.

Sunglass storage pouch

The North Face Surge, TNF Black, One Size
Let’s not forget the awesome pouch about this bag is the sunglass storage pouch. It’s fleeced line and designed such a way that your sunglasses will not scratch. In addition to that, you can also put cell phones or anything else of you don’t want to get scratched in there.

Water resistance

The north face surge backpack has also got durable, heavy-duty fabric that’s coated in water resistance material. That will help you to keep the bag dry and extend the life of the backpack. This coating may need to reapply. The main leak point of this backpack is compartment zipper, have a well designed flap.


Style can vary from person to person. But this one is a stylish backpack to most of the people. You can choose from more than ten different colors.


On the back of this backpack, it has some excellent construction and features. It has flex vent injection molded shoulder strap. The straps are also comfortable. They are well textured. If you try this bag with weight it will not pinch your neck. It’s thin but contoured just right. There’s just enough padding to make it comfortable. It has got elastic at the top of the shoulder strap. You can clip stuff here. There’s very nicely placed padding which is very rigid. This is a pretty solid material and last well.

This backpack has got flex ventilation system which is supposed to allow airflow.  It has got adjustable sternum strap which uses tubular design. That makes easy to adjust up and down. It also got waist strap should that be something you wish. Some bag put the waist strap on the vertical strap. Honestly, that’s a terrible thing to do. You should be happy as they put it on the regular part of the bag.  You can push this inside when you have lighter loads and don’t need to have a waist belt for added support.



  • North face surge has the 360-degree reflection on the backpack. So you will have reflection from any angle. It will keep you visible at night.
  • It has got two water bottle holders for those who drink a lot of water.
  • The top grab handle is thick which is very comfortable to use.
  • This bag is very well built and it would last a long time.
  • Soft and protective laptop sleeve
  • Lifetime warranty


  • This bag feels heavy with a laptop inside it.
  • The stiff mesh padding in shoulder strap is uncomfortable to some people.
  • Two side pockets are not enough for carrying large water bottle.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I use 40 oz bottle in one side pocket?
This side bottle pocket is not large enough to fit 40 oz bottle. A 20 oz bottle will fit nicely.
Can I use this backpack for weekend travel?
This side bottle pocket is not large enough to fit 40 oz bottle. A 20 oz bottle will fit nicely.
Is it only women backpack?
No, this is a unisex backpack. So both male and female can use this.


What’s the bottom line?

If you are looking for a multipurpose backpack that has plenty of space, can use as school and travel bag then this one is for you. This bag didn’t win any awards but it’s a great pack and highly recommended for a laptop user.

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