The North Face Women's Jester vs. Borealis Backpack


Shopping for a new backpack for school, work, or travel? We've narrowed it down to two of the most popular The North Face backpacks for you. These women-specific fit bags have a few main differences, and depending on what you will be using it for, the features on these bags will help you decide which backpack is right for you.

Before going over their differences, I want to talk about the similarities these two packs share. Both are great for school, work, or travel because they include a 15" laptop compatible storage area. Both are designed with a women-specific fit in the shoulder and hip straps. The Jester and the Borealis contain many of the same features including two water bottle pockets, laptop sleeve, primary and secondary compartments with organization, reflective hits for nighttime visibility, top haul handle and a sternum strap with a whistle buckle for safety.

Now for some differences. One glaring difference is the price. The Women's Jester costs $64.95, while the Borealis costs $88.95. The reason for this up charge is that the Borealis has more features and is made with more durable material than the Jester. Both packs are very close in size and volume, with the Jester checking in at 18.75 x 14 x 7 inches and 26L, and the Borealis a little bit more narrow at 18.75 x 12.5 x 8 inches, and a touch less volume at 25L. The women's Borealis may be a hair smaller than the Jester, but where the Jester lacks in features and storage options, the Borealis shines. The Borealis also includes a fleece lined laptop sleeve (the Jester's sleeve is not fleece lined), a padded tablet sleeve, a front elastic bungee for external storage (a great spot for a packable jacket, or bike helmet), an external fleece lined pocket to store your sunglasses or phone, and compression straps to adjust load for easier travel.

To summarize, the features found in the Jester are more suited for school and work, and the features found in the Borealis are more useful for travel and day hiking (although it is still a great option for school and work!). If you are a student or a commuter who rarely travels or needs a pack for day hiking, I would recommend the price savings that the Jester offers. If you are a student or a commuter who is looking for more bells and whistles and you are also interested in using a pack for travel and day hikes, the Borealis is a good choice for you!

-Megan, the Sports Unlimited Apparel Buyer