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You've sprung for high-powered laptop. Now protect that splurge with the Surge.

Give your precious computer a cushy, safe ride in The North Face Surge Backpack. The pack’s padded laptop sleeve holds up to a 17-inch computer and protects it from the daily commute to work or school. There’s still plenty of space for books, binders, and other essentials in the ginormous main compartment, and an impressive array of external pockets ensure that there’s a place for everything in the Surge.
  • Backsaver technology features an angled bottom panel to carry your load closer to your body for reduced back strain
  • Secondary organizer compartment and dual front vertical pockets keep your electronics and other essentials in their places
  • Bottom stash pocket gives you somewhere to stow the all-important laptop power cord
  • Breathable, padded airmesh back panel increases carrying comfort
  • Side stretch pockets carry your water bottles or other beverages, and a mesh pocket on the strap keeps your cell phone in easy reach
  • Stowable waist-belt keeps pack from bouncing around when you’re running to the light rail
  • Sternum strap includes safety whistle, just in case

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The North Face Surge Backpack - 2015cu in

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

Great in every way!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Use it everyday, travelling, running, biking! Great piece that is going to last for a long time!

5 5

Great Travel Pack

Great for airline travel, goes through airport security very well. Great pack for a 3 day trip if you want to avoid the high baggage fees and the opportunity for lost luggage. The bag keeps a laptop safe and the quick access pouch on the front is great for small electronics so you do not have to dig through your bag to find a phone or charger. The pack has an organizer which is great for pens and notebooks too. The pack is great for travel, although I would not consider it a great hiking pack.

5 5

The only decent backpack for 17'' laptop

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I was looking for backpack that would allow carrying my office stuff (including large(!) 17'' laptop) for reasonable distance (say 3-4 miles). And this backpack is the only one that fits the bill.
This backpack could be improved and there are some other laptop backpacks worth checking out if you have smaller (15'') laptop. However, in either case this one is a real backpack and not one of the typical laptop cases that starts hurting your back while walking from one airport terminal to another.

1 5


  • Gender: Female
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm in dental school, and I bought this because so many others recommended it.
The Jake Blue Emboss color was darker than the picture online. Still pretty though. The oblique zippers are really awkward, not sure what their purpose is. The internal pocket for sunglasses is in the middle section, where they could get crushed if the backpack falls forward. And, there's no microfiber lining. Fail. Also, the laptop pocket has no microfiber or fleece lining.
The other internal pockets are nice. I can fit all the little things I need.
However, I can't fit more than 1-2 medium size (i.e. 1.5 inch thick) textbooks in the backpack overall. Luckily, most of my reading materials are on my laptop so I don't need much. Still, it's disappointing that I can't fit anything moderately boxy (like a typodont) in there.
Considering the lack of size, it's definitely not worth $125. I've tried it for a month, and I'm not impressed, so I might return it.

5 5

Most simply put... the best.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm really picky when it comes to backpacks... but I love this one! While I was in college I used this backpack over and over again, and it's still going strong. It's perfect for the student looking to carry their laptop, school supplies, and everything else.
I also have to point out that this backpack is great when you aren't using it for school. Mine has been to Europe, Australia, and all around the U.S.. The Surge fits under airline seats (so it makes a great carry on piece) and it's a neat day pack for those adventures we all love to go on. I have a much older Surge (it's all white) I have to honestly admit I'm impressed with how the color has held up. I took this backpack to the Outback... while is entirely red dirt (perhaps not the wisest move on my part), but I loved using it as a day pack and I found new uses for some of the pockets. I would totally recommend it to anyone.

Most simply put... the best.
Unanswered Question

I'm looking for a backpack for my granddaughter...

Posted on

I'm looking for a backpack for my granddaughter for college. She has a 17in. laptop, but she is petite. Is this going to be too big for her?

What are the dimentions of the pack when...

Posted on

What are the dimentions of the pack when it is stuffed full. I want to buy something I can use for spirit airlines and it must be less than 16x14x12 when full

Responded on

20" x 13.5" x 9.5" sorry. Most backpacks are to tall for your needs, But the Kelty Wren Backpack looks to be a good fit in size.

waterproof or resistant?

Posted on

waterproof or resistant?

Responded on

Definitely not waterproof, but will leave your things reasonably dry in a light rain.

4 5

Nice bag

I've used this a couple times for travel and it's been great for packing quite a lot of stuff. It doesn't feel unbearably heavy or unbalanced the way it might with my old backpack. Love the padded straps and back.

My 15" Dell laptop (about 1.5" thick, not a Macbook Air! lol) fits in there just fine, but it seems like having a little more zipper length would make it easier to pull out the laptop.

Fits easily under the seat on the plane and the side bottle holders are wonderful. The front two zipper things are kind of awkward, not sure why it's designed that way along with the clip at the top.

Overall, I like it!

4 5

Almost perfect

I think one of the reviewers here noted this, but it would have been a better design if the "pens & pencils" organizing pocket was the one furthest away from your back, rather than the 2nd farthest away. I also think the shoulder straps could stand a little more padding, but I totally fill this up with heavy stuff. 15" macbook Pro, iPad, Digital SLR with heavy glass lens, rain jacket and rain pants, medicines, fleece, iPod, keys, travel documents... It holds a ton, and its well designed. I love the dedicated laptop compartment, which allowed me to drop a padded laptop case (and the pound of weight it added). The back is stiff and well padded, so it’s as close to perfect as I have managed to find. The price is pretty steep for a travel backpack, but I am happy that I bought it.

Silly question, but I can't figure out...

Posted on

Silly question, but I can't figure out which pocket is the laptop sleeve! I assume it's not the one with all of the little organizing sections, but which of the other two is it? Forgive my stupidity!


Responded on

It's the back pocket, the padded one. Check out the guru photos for confirmation.

Responded on

Thomas, are you referring to the single zipper pocket?

Responded on

It is the zippered pocket closest to the back panel. Troy's photos show it pretty clearly. Hope that helps.

Can the bag comfortably hold a 16.4 inch...

Posted on

Can the bag comfortably hold a 16.4 inch laptop? I have a Sony Vaio F series that I often take to university

Responded on

This pack will handle up to a 17 inch laptop.

4 5

a must have laptop bag

This bag is great. I just got it about a week ago but it fits my day to day computer stuff and my gym clothes. When I don't have my gym stuff in there it lays flat on my back.

The only think I would change would be to add some water proofing.

5 5

Good Stuff!

This is a great bag! The quality is excellent and it looks really cool - I got the blue one! It's made from strong materials and the zippers are really tough too. My laptop is quite bulky and it fits in this bag, but just barely - the bag is stretched to the max when I zip it up. However, this is more of a knock against my laptop design than the bag itself. I think most people will not have a problem with theirs.

5 5

Great Backpack

Worth every penny. I have not had any manufacture issue with this bag. It is comfortable and works well with what I put it through. I've used this bag as an everyday bag, as carry-on luggage and as a work bag. Enough pockets for everything you would want to carry. Fully loaded it fits overhead or under the seat in front of you on an airplane. I took it with me as a personal bag or as my only luggage when I needed to travel light last year over 60,000 miles. A 15 inch laptop fits great and I would think that a 17" would just fine.

If this bag ever gets destroyed, lost or stolen, I would not hesitate to buy another one.

2 5

North Face Surge Backpack - 2015 cu in.

I bought this backpack for our college son who has a 17-inch notebook. It's a beautiful bag, and we loved the color (brown) because he goes to Lehigh University. Unfortunately, his notebook does not fit, even though it is a 17-inch. In fact, it doesn't even come close.

Responded on

I agree. See my review below. I still gave it five stars because it is working for me. I tried to find one that would fit my laptop and this was the closest I could find.

I am looking for a bag that can carry my...

Posted on

I am looking for a bag that can carry my 15" Macbook Pro, carry school books, good for travel, and I can also carry hiking. Should I get this one or the North Face Yavapai backpack?

Responded on

This pack would suit you fine. the Yavapai is smaller, so it may not accomodate all of your gear.

5 5


Great backpack for students. Easily holds a 15" laptop and has lots of useful pocket space. Comfortable and easily adjusted straps.

How water resistant is it? If i were walking...

Posted on

How water resistant is it? If i were walking or biking to class in the rain, would my text books get wet at all?

Responded on

It is not completely water or rain proof - I suggest getting a rain cover if you need to keep your books dry

Responded on

No, it might stand a light drizzle, but you should get a rain cover. The Angstrom 30 has an included one and performs well.

5 5

Like it

I bought it for my son. He said he likes it; the bag is top loading and the laptop compartment is separate from the rest of the bag. You can get to it without removing anything. He said it is very comfortable.

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