The 2017 edition of the North Face Surge backpack is upon us, built for the modern day traveller and combining comfort with ample storage (plus protection) for all of our tech which has now become central to the way we access information on the road.

As ever, I am never far from a new backpack, but had new owned a North Face backpack before.  Obviously I know the brand and their reputation, but when offered the chance to test out the latest edition of the Surge 33L backpack while travelling around Menorca it was an easy decision.

Lets have a look at how I go on, and dig a little deeper into what the Surge offers.

north face Surge 33L backpack

Surge 33L Backpack – My experience

Now Menorca and backpacking aren’t necessarily a match.  Menorca is a family friendly Balearic island, where each each thousand of brits pitch up on via a package holiday.  It’s beautiful no doubt,  but it’s hardly exploration off the beaten trail.

That said, there is plenty of opportunities for adventure, and with that comes the necessity of a robust bag, or backpack in my case.  Across my 7 days on the island I loaded up my new Surge 33L backpack each morning with all my camera gear, litres of water, litres of suncream (pale as a ghost over here), and swimwear, towel etc.  I may not have used all 33L each day, but it was a heavy enough load.

In terms of storage space there was plenty, and I appreciated the dedicated laptop pocket (more on that below).  In terms of comfort the backpack was super easy on my shoulders, no rubbing marks here.  There’s plenty of padding to go around, but admittedly while comfy, it also led to a rather warm back (read: sweaty).  Menorca in the summer months while wearing a dark coloured backpack is kind of asking for it though.

So in terms of a verdict I would say yes.  Yes to the Surge being a great backpack, or daysack depending upon how you intend to use it.  I stand by my ‘perfect for hand luggage only weekend breaks’, and I can see that this is exactly the backpack I would use for such trips in my own future travels.  Obviously the brand is super trendy right now, but I love the look of the backpack, and while it could be argud that all the different compartments limitd space (i.e. it could be 35+ litre if just one compartment), I really like how well thought out the design is.

I can certainly see the North Face Surge 33L backpack being my my backpack of choice for the immediate future. A genuine thumbs up from me.

north face Surge 33L backpack

Surge 33L Backpack – Comfort

While storage is seriously important with any backpack, if a backpack isn’t an easy wear and comfortable when you’re on the move, it’ll soon be listed on eBay or handed to a friend/colleague.

Comfort is of the upmost importance when travelling, and that extend past airplane seating.  A good bag/backpack which spreads weight evenly and doesn’t cause you any discomfort is just one part of a great travel experience.

The Surge 33L backpack delivers comfort via its FlexVent suspension system which ‘features injection-moulded shoulder straps, a padded mesh back panel with a spine channel, and a wicking lumbar panel for impressive support and ventilation’.

Add to that its padded handles and you really do have a comfy and protective backpack. In case of need there is also a sternum strap!

north face Surge 33L backpack

Surge 33L Backpack – Storage

As the title of this review would suggest, the North Face Surge allows you a generous 33 litres of space to play with.  From the outset my mind was thinking ‘perfect for hand luggage only weekend breaks’.

Unzip the various compartments of the backpack and you’ll find a Dedicated, lay-flat, fleece lined laptop compartment.  A sizeable ‘main’ comportment for clothes and/or document folders.  A slightly smaller front compartment with another fleece lined pocket, zipped pocket and additional elastic webbing to secure any unusually shaped items.  There really is plenty of space in each of the compartments, but just in case you’ve already filled each of those the Surge also have two exterior water bottle holders, an easily accessible sunglasses compartment, and what I call a ‘passport pocket’ at the very front.

That’s seven different storage compartments to cover your various packing needs. I like.

Surge 33L Backpack – Specs

north face Surge 33L backpack

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north face Surge 33L backpack

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  • Fabric: 500D Cordura nylon matter ripstop, 600D polyester heather ripstop, 420D nylon
  • Dimensions: 50x35x22cm
  • Laptop sleeve dimensions: 26.6×33.6cm
  • Weight (approx.): 1460g

Surge 33L Backpack – Pricing

At the time of writing, the price of the Surge 33L backpack is current £88.00, which is down form the original RRP of £110.00.

north face Surge 33L backpack

Discounts and Offers