3 Best North Face Backpack for High School Students


My oldest daughter started 9th grade this year and so we were in the market for a good backpack for her. I did some extensive research and asked friends what they were giving their kids. I was able to come to a consensus on the best three options for North Face backpacks and decided to share what I learned with you.

The North Face Surge Backpack is the best all-around for high school students because it is durable, has plenty of pockets, and will last through the years with proper care. The next two best bags are the budget-friendly North Face Jester (also great for middle schoolers) and the North Face Borealis.

Here are the details of my top 3 picks:

1. The North Face Surge

Let’s face it. Kids are more concerned with what their bag looks like over functionality. The good news is that this bag has well over 10 different looks for your high schooler to choose from. My favorite is the camo, of course.

Overall, the Surge is, in my opinion, the best mix of size, functionality, and style. It also will make life easier for any high school student. This bag features plenty of pockets and compartments to store items and comfort technology such as padded straps and breathable mesh in the back panel. 

The North Face Surge Backpack features:

  • Durable, high-quality materials for long-lasting life.
  • Padded straps with a breathable, lightweight mesh back panel that’s comfortable to wear and provides ventilation while you’re on the move. 
  • Spacious main storage area with an ergonomic zipper design to provide quick access when needed. 
  • External pockets offer plenty of organization options so you can stay organized on the go. 
  • Fleece Lined to protect a laptop or chromebook.

In addition, there is also a laptop sleeve in this backpack that will fit most sizes up to 17″ laptops, so students won’t struggle to carry their electronics wherever they need to go. As if all of those features weren’t enough, it comes in high school-appropriate colors such as black or green.

As a bonus, this bag comes with a sternum strap for extra support with a whistle buckle in case of an emergency. The only real con is that it has trouble standing up on its own and will usually need to be laid on its back or against a wall or locker.


2. The North Face Jester (Budget Model)

If you are looking to save a few bucks but not sacrifice quality, the Jester is a very good option. My middle schooler actually prefers the look of this one. And, the fact that it is a bit more compact makes it easier for her to carry.

North Face Jesters are great backpacks for high school or middle school students and are more reasonably priced than many other models. Students can use these bags to carry books, notebooks, a laptop, and other items without having their bag bulge out at every turn. 

The North Face Jester features:

  • The perfect pack for a day on campus has a laptop sleeve, comfortable shoulder straps, and plenty of room. 
  • The main compartment accommodates books and binders, while the elastic bungee system provides additional storage space.
  • The FlexVent suspension system features a flexible yoke built from custom injection-molded and flexible shoulder straps, with a padded mesh back panel and a breathable lumbar panel.

This bag is both comfortable and practical for high school students. This is the perfect backpack for students heading off to middle school or high school this year! This bag is comfortable and functional for middle school students with built-in padding and straps and practical features for storing books and laptops. 

Here are but three of the over 30 style options to choose from:


3. The North Face Borealis

I basically included this third option in case your child doesn’t like the look of the other two options. This model really pops and arguably has the best “style” of any of the three. Why wasn’t this particular bag design available when I was a kid?

But I digress.

Other than that, the Borealis has all of the same great features as the other two bags. Oh, and if your student has to carry a laptop around this bag is specially designed for it. It also can be used as an everyday daypack and is durable enough for trips abroad.

The North Face Borealis is an excellent backpack for high school students. It is designed with a padded shoulder strap, which is essential when carrying heavier books. It also comes with two outer pockets on either side, perfect for water bottles or other items you need close at hand.

The North Face Borealis features:

  • Nearly forty different color variations for a unique style.
  • Rugged laptop sleeve and tablet pocket with padding.
  • Padded mesh back panel for extra comfort.
  • The two external water bottle pockets have two purposes, as they can be used to store drinks and devices. An extra tablet sleeve with a fleece-lined goods pocket to store small items or electronics on the front compartment.

This backpack features a top handle for easy grabbing and unlimited adjustability for a custom fit. A sternum strap with whistle buckle provides extra safety and support, while 360-degree reflective details help keep you seen so you can be safe.


Are North Face Backpacks Big Enough for School? 

North face backpacks have everything, including comfort technology like adjustable airy mesh lumbar pads. These help relieve stress on your lower back while carrying heavy loads so you can focus on enjoying yourself out there rather than how much weight you’re carrying. 

North Face backpacks are big enough for laptops and books, so they can be used for school regardless of what grade level you’re in. North face backpack’s high-density foam keeps your laptop secure along with many other valuable items.

What is the Most Popular North Face Backpack?

North Face backpacks are ideal options for those in school or on outdoor adventures.  North Face backpacks come in many styles and have different high-tech features like adjustable airy mesh lumbar pads for added comfort. 

The North Face Surge backpack is the most popular. Its high-tech features and many other high-quality and high-functioning components make it ideal for school or outdoor adventures. 

Do Any High Schools Require Clear Bags?

Clear backpacks are a popular choice among high schools as it is an easy way to promote safety and prevent students from bringing contraband into class. 

Some high schools have implemented requiring backpacks to be clear, such as Oak Park and River Forest High School in Illinois and Parkland High. They made the change after several students were arrested with loaded guns inside their backpacks for bringing them into class

The number of schools around the country isn’t known, but you should check with your school administrator to understand the exact requirements for clear backpacks in your school district.

What is the Best North Face Backpack for Middle School?

The best backpack for a middle school student is definitely the North Face Jester. It is compact yet has plenty of volume for everything your child needs.

Final Thoughts

North Face Backpacks are high-quality bags perfect for high school students. These packs offer the perfect fit for those who want to carry multiple objects without having them bulge out of their bag at every turn. 

The three best North Face backpacks are Jester, Borealis, and Surge Backpack; each one is designed with different needs in mind, so there’s a backpack available that will suit your style and meet all of your requirements.

Thanks for reading!

For more, check out The 3 Best Backpacks for an Emergency Kit | Fit Any Budget.

Jim James

Hey, I'm Jim and the author of this website. I have always been interested in survival, fishing, camping, and anything in nature. In fact, while growing up I spent more time on the water than on land! I am also a best-selling author and have a degree in History, Anthropology, and Music. I hope you find value in the articles on this website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or input!

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