Not too long ago, I won myself some great gear from The North Face, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on these very versatile backpacks. While I got these backpacks at no cost to me, this review wasn’t required for me to get these items, so don’t let that fool you. As a photographer and outdoor enthusiast, I’ve always been a fan of The North Face products, so I was happy to see that these backpacks had lived up to the standards that I remember them by.
Whether it’s a daypack for hiking, a knapsack for school, or just a pack to carry your goods around town, you can’t go wrong with a backpack from The North Face. Even though these aren’t geared towards photographers, they still proved to be handy to carry my photo accessories for the day.
The North Face Recon Backpack for Men
The Recon line of backpacks from The North Face comes in a variety of designs and colours to suit anybody’s desires. The ones that I got were the yellow and black for the men, and the light purple and turquoise for the women. These 31L backpacks may look small at first, but these can carry a lot more than you think they can. They’re comfortable and water resistant, making it an ideal bag for the outdoors.
I took these out for a spin on one of my sunrise shoots and a short hike. They carried anything and everything that I thought I would need, which included blankets, water bottles, my camera cables, and even my 15″ laptop. With all those items inside, it still looks quite small on me, don’t you think?
The laptop stores in its own compartment that is lined by a layer of fleece that does a great job in protecting the content and warming it as well. The two side pockets stretch and are perfect for water bottles.
The outer pocket folds over to reveal even more pockets to carry all of your smaller items. It has its own dedicated tablet compartment, again lined with fleece, extra pockets for cables, my iPhone, and camera accessories like my battery charger.
The double zippers make it really easy to zip open and close each compartment. The outer shell is water repellant, but I wouldn’t say is waterproof.
You can see the two different compartments in their empty states in the photos below. You can see the fleece-lined compartments that protect your electronic gear, in addition to all the other pockets inside.
The North Face Recon Backpack for Women
What distinguishes the women backpacks from the men’s? The colour and design is one obvious answer, but the real difference is in the straps. The Flexvent straps are contoured in a way that is specifically suited to match the shorter spinal curve for women, allowing the bottom of the backpack to rest right above the hip. This essentially makes wearing the backpack a lot more comfortable, especially over an extended period of time. The Flexvent (also on the men’s version) is comfortable, flexible, and keeps the air circulating throughout, which is great for long treks.
The backpack is still large enough to fit everything you would want to fit in there, like a laptop and tablet. The exterior mesh pocket on the back is large enough to fit a pair of shoes if need be.
The inside is pretty much the same design as the men’s version with plenty of space for extras. The fleece-lined pockets are also included.
The zipper on the outer flap opens up to another fleece-lined pocket which is perfect for smaller fragile items like your sunglasses. I love details like this that The North Face put into these backpacks. The zipper pulls are large, and also come with an extended pull to make it easier for you to grasp and zip the bag.
Overall both these backpacks carry so much more than you can throw at it. The Flexvent straps are contoured specifically for men and women, and are very comfortable even in heavy loads. The pack is quite versatile allowing you to use it for as a daypack on a hiking trip, or just a pack on a day out in the city.
The little details like the fleece-lined pockets, and the extra large zipper pulls are a great touch that adds to the benefits of these packs. These packs come in a number of different style options so if these particular ones aren’t to your liking, you should be able to find another one that is more to your liking.
The North Face Recon backpack retails for US$99, or approximately CAD$109.99.
For more information on The North Face Recon backpacks, head on over to their website at https://www.thenorthface.com/shop/recon where you can see all of their design and colour options.