11 Backpacks Like North Face You Should Check Out


North Face backpacks are popular with students and travelers alike thanks to their outdoor inspired design and versatile functionality. But for those who love the look of North Face but want to opt-in for something different, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of other backpack brands that offer similar designs.

These backpacks offer a nice mix of everyday urban carry as well the outdoor design elements that we have come to love about North Face’s popular Recon, Jester and Borealis backpack designs. Whether you are looking for a cheaper alternative to North Face backpacks or a better quality bag, we have you covered.


Eagle Creek Afar Backpack

The Eagle Creek Afar is a great alternative for anyone looking for backpacks like the North Face Recon or Transit. This is due to the Afar’s robust versatility for on-the-go lifestyles from school, work commutes and air travel. When compared to the standard 15” Laptop compartment included in most North Face backpacks, the Afar offers a larger compartment that can fit a laptop up to 17”. We also like the quality craftsmanship that Eagle Creek brings to the table with their robust anti-theft zippers, quick grab top handle, and rugged 450D Geo Ripstop material.

  • Capacity: 31L

  • Anti-Theft lockable zippers

  • Padded 17” Laptop Compartment and electronics pockets

  • Reflective accents and light attachment loops

  • Padded top grab handle

  • Available in multiple colors.


Osprey Quasar Daypack

Osprey is known for their high quality travel backpacks and intuitive designs. The Quasar Daypack is one of Osprey’s smaller bags and is perfect for everyday carry and light traveling. The bag features designated padded laptop and tablet sleeves as well as a full front organization pocket for pens, keys and other daily-use small items. We like the Osprey Quasar as a robust alternative to the North Face Borealis for it’s durable construction and similar look. 

  • Capacity: 28L

  • Unisex design

  • Side stretch mesh pockets for water bottles or umbrellas.

  • Front panel organization pocket

  • Top grab handle

  • Available in multiple colors


Thule EnRoute Triumph

Thule offers an ideal everyday carry backpack with their Thule EnRoute Triumph 2. This 21 liter backpack has everything you need to safely all of your tech and daily essentials. One of the key features of the Thule EnRoute Triumph is it’s emphasis on comfort and stability under a heavy load. The backpack’s back features special airflow channels to provide ventilation when worn. It also includes padded shoulder straps and a sternum strap for extra stability. The Thule EnRoute Triumph is a great option for those looking for a backpack like the North Face Recon.

  • Capacity: 21L

  • Protected laptop 14” laptop sleeve and tablet pocket

  • Front flap quick-access pocket

  • Airflow back ventilation system

  • Available in multiple colors


Patagonia Refugio Pack

Many people mention Patagonia when suggesting backpack brands like North Face and for good reason! The Refugio Pack is a great North Face backpack alternative thanks to it’s useful carry features and outdoor inspired design. The backpack features two roomy main compartments as well as a dedicated 15 inch laptop sleeve. Smaller pockets can be found in the outside of the backpack for water bottles, accessories and for quick access to small items such as travel tickets or passports. The Patagonia Refugio can found in both a midsize 28 liter version and a women’s 26 liter size. 

  • Available in 28L and 26L sizes

  • Padded 15” laptop sleeve and lined tablet pocket

  • Front organization compartment

  • Front stash pocket is just right for tickets or other small items

  • Adjustable and removable sternum strap

  • Available in multiple colors


Marmot Eldorado Pack

The Marmot Eldorado is perfect for anyone looking for a cheaper alternative to North Face backpacks that won’t sacrifice on quality. Marmot is known for their innovative outdoor gear and their backpack designs are no exception. Each Marmot Eldorado features a padded 15 inch laptop sleeve, zippered front organizer for small items and external water bottle pockets. At 29 liters, the main compartment is large enough for busy school days or overnight trips while the front bungee allows you to stash away gear on the go.

  • Capacity: 29L

  • Unisex design

  • Padded 15” Laptop sleeve

  • Padded shoulder harness with sternum strap

  • Mesh water bottle pockets


Mountain Hardwear Enterprise Backpack

Mountain Hardwear is a brand known for their innovative outdoor clothing and gear. Luckily for those looking for a high quality North Face backpack alternative, the brand has put their best foot forward with their Enterprise backpack. This backpack loaded with organizers and pockets to keep everything in place when you need it most. The backpack is also built like tank thanks to it’s 600D Granite Polyester construction, double reinforced bottom and fleece lined pockets for laptops and tablets.

  • Capacity: 29L

  • Unisex design (available in multiple colors)

  • Padded laptop sleeve

  • Haul handle in front of backpack

  • Tough double-reinforced bottom

  • Loaded with organizers and pockets


Jack Wolfskin Daytona 30 Backpack

Jack Wolfskin offers a great North Face alternative with their Daytona 30 backpack. The backpack features two large main compartments for stashing clothes, books and other essentials. We also love the front zip pocket that features plenty of organizers for pens, keys and smaller items. One of the great features of the Jack Wolfskin Daytona is it’s emphasis on all day comfort. The backpack features suspension system that balances the bag’s load distribution evenly across the shoulders no matter how full. All in all, the Daytona 30 is a great option for those looking for a high quality backpack like the North Face Jester but with a roomier main compartment for your daily carry.

  • Capacity: 30L

  • Comfort suspension system for balanced load distribution

  • Unisex design (available in multiple color options)

  • 14” Padded laptop compartment and 10” tablet sleeve

  • Easy access front pocket organizer


Dakine Wonder Pack

At a 15 liter capacity, the Dakine Wonder Pack is the perfect low-volume backpack for everyday use. What we love the most about the Dakine Wonder Pack is it’s extra carrying capacity thanks to it’s front bungee storage, mesh side pockets and fleece lined sunglasses pocket. The backpack even features straps for skateboard carry. The Dakine Wonder Pack is perfect for those looking for a backpack like the North Face Jester in a slightly smaller package.

  • Capacity: 15L

  • Unisex design

  • Fleece-lined top pocket for sunglasses

  • Available in dozens of colors and patterns

  • Limited Lifetime Warranty


Mountainsmith Approach 25 Daypack

The Mountainsmith Approach is a high quality backpack that be used for long days on the trail or on a busy day on campus. This versatility is due to it’s ample 25 liter volume that can carry everything from hiking gear to books. The front zipper compartment is packed with organizer pockets for pens, notebooks or a tablet. What we like most about the Mountainsmith Approach backpack is it’s robust construction. The backpack is made of tough cordura fabric that is sure to survive daily abuse. Overall, the Mountainsmith Approach definitly deserves a closer look if you are on the hunt for backpacks like the North Face Recon.

  • Capacity: 25L

  • Side compression straps

  • Elastic sternum strap and removable waist belt

  • Available in multiple colors


Columbia Tamolitch Day Pack

Columbia is a time-tested outdoor brand that offers a great North Face backpack alternative with their Tamolitch Day Pack. The Tamolitch has all of the features you have come to expect from a modern backpack: padded laptop and tablet sleeves, stretch water bottle pockets and a front zip compartment with organizers for pens, keys and phones. The front of the backpack also features two vertical zip pockets for quick access to accessories. The Columbia Tamolitch Day Pack is a great option for those looking for backpacks like North Face at a more affordable price.

  • Capacity: 23.7L

  • Padded 15” Laptop Sleeve and lined tablet pocket

  • Front organizer and water bottle pockets

  • Omni Shield water and stain repellency

  • Available in multiple colors


Swiss Gear ScanSmart Laptop Backpack

For frequent travelers this Swiss Gear laptop backpack may be just the ticket. It’s biggest feature is it’s TSA friendly laptop and tablet compartment that opens flat for an easy time at checkpoints. But the Swiss Gear ScanSmart laptop backpack is more than just a travel bag. A generous main compartment that can holds books and binders and plenty of functional pockets and organizers makes this the perfect back for school or work commutes.

  • Separate clamshell TSA friendly laptop compartment

  • Airflow ventilation back panel

  • Adjustable side compression straps

  • Padded media pocket with headphone cord port