Herschel vs. North Face Backpack

Herschel vs. North Face Backpack: Everything You Need to Know

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Statistics show that almost 174 million backpacks are sold every year. Although most of these backpacks are sold during the back-to-school season, non-school goers also buy backpacks for outdoor adventures and short trips.

In the backpacks market, a few names stand out, including Herschel and North Face. This is why we decided to offer this detailed Herschel vs. North Face backpack comparison to help you pick the right one for you.

Since both brands offer several models, we decided to focus on the Herschel Little America and the North Face Borealis as both are quite popular and are considered to be among the best sellers.

Herschel vs. North Face Backpack Overview

Herschel’s Little America comes in more colors and offers a stylish vintage design. Borealis has more pockets and organization compartments, and the back and shoulders are fully ventilated and padded. Both backpacks are waterproof, with the Borealis designed to withstand accidental immersion in water for a short period.

ImageProductDetails  Price
Herschel Little America Backpack Herschel Little AmericaBetter Design & Offers More Color OptionsCheck Price
The North Face Borealis North Face BorealisBetter Organization & Water ResistanceCheck Price

Full Comparison

Whether you’re a student, professional, or an outdoor enthusiast, a versatile and reliable backpack that fits all your belongings and keeps them accessible will be an excellent investment. Luckily, the market is full of trustworthy brands and unique models, but this can actually be a little confusing for some buyers, especially the ones who get overwhelmed by too many options.

It’s no doubt that both Herschel and North Face have managed to secure their spots as some of the top-rated brands in the world of backpacks. This is why we decided to review two of their best-sellers today.

Materials and Aesthetics

Herschel Little America Laptop Backpack, Black/Tan Synthetic Leather, Classic 25.0L

Little America is made of 100% polyester, which offers the needed durability for everyday use. In addition, it doesn’t show signs of scratches or scuffs which means that the backpack can handle some abuse.

The Borealis is made of 210 denier Cordura ripstop nylon, the industry standard for an urban hiker backpack. Nylon is more durable than polyester and can handle more abuse. This is why we recommend choosing the North Face Borealis if you’re looking for a backpack that you can use after school or office hours.

The Herschel Little America has little straps made of a rubber-like material, offering a vintage look and adding to the elegance of the backpack. The top loader zipper works smoothly, and the magnetic snaps keep everything in place.

Little America is also available in an Eco option. These backpacks are made using different types of recycled materials and will work for you if you’re trying to reduce your carbon footprint.

The North Face Borealis has a more modern design, with side and bottom bungee cords to allow for more compression. This gives the bag a more modern look, and the bottom compression allows for a stand-up design to keep everything in place.

Herschel’s Little America offers more versatile options when it comes to color, as the backpack comes in 18 color options. On the other hand, North Face’s Borealis comes in only 14 color options. However, Borealis offers 360-degree reflectivity, which makes it a safer choice for hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities.

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Little America is a top-loader with a simple design and reflective interior liner that improves visibility of the main compartment. It features a cinch top with an easy to use drawcord closure. However, the simple one-compartment design means that some of your smaller items might be more challenging to find or might even fall out of the backpack if you don’t pull the cord tightly.

It features two internal pockets and a front pocket for your valuables. Moreover, it has a fleece-lined pocket that can fit a 15-inch laptop. While this might be convenient for some users, most users would appreciate more organization options.

Borealis has a zipper that exposes almost half of the main compartment. This allows you to fit your gear easily. It also features three internal openings that reveal more pockets for smaller items and two external pockets that can be used for water bottles or your smartphone and other belongings.

The interior pockets are fleece-lined to eliminate scratches, and the backpack can fit a 15-inch laptop easily. It also has a port for a hydration bladder, which makes it more suitable for outdoor adventures.


The North Face Borealis Backpack, TNF Black, One Size

North Face Borealis offers a 28-liter capacity, and the bungee cord system can be used to attach more gear. This backpack weighs 2. 75 pounds can safely carry between 10 and 15 pounds of load without showing signs of wear or tear.

Herschel Little America offers a 25-liter capacity but weighs a little lighter at 2.2 pounds. While the difference in weight isn’t significant, having more room for your essentials is definitely worth it.

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Unlike the other models from Herschel, Little America features a back mesh for longer trips. The ventilation system and the densely padded straps make it a perfect choice for extended use as the backpack doesn’t make you feel hot or isn’t uncomfortable to carry.

But in this aspect, the North Face Borealis definitely hits the jackpot because it has a hip belt and a sternum belt. Both make the backpack more comfortable and more stable. The sternum strap also has a whistle for outdoor enthusiasts, so you can use it in case of an emergency.

Unlike Little America, the Borealis’ entire backside is fully ventilated, and the mesh also covers the shoulder straps, so carrying this backpack won’t bother you even on a hot day. In addition, the Flex Vent padding is a big plus, given the large load this backpack is designed to carry.


1.   Are both Herschel and North Face backpacks waterproof?

Herschel backpacks are rated as 1500 mm waterproof, which makes them suitable for outdoor activities. North Face backpacks are even more waterproof and water-resistant, with an IP rating of 7, which means that they can handle more rain and even short-term immersion in water.

2.   Which backpack is more affordable, Herschel or North Face?

If we’re comparing Little America and Borealis, the North Face will be slightly more affordable.


Herschel’s Little America is a retro-style backpack for everyday use and short outdoor activities. North Face Borealis is more suitable for hiking and camping as it offers more capacity and better gear organization options.