A travel backpack is akin to a travel companion. To have a successful and exciting journey, your companion should be reliable and fun to travel with, and so should your backpack.
North Face Borealis and Patagonia Refugio are among the best-selling models for these tightly competing brands.
These models are ideal for daily commutes and occasional short travels.
They each offer 28-liter storage capacity and have a secure laptop compartment. This also makes them an excellent choice for students.
Which one is better, the Patagonia Refugio or North Face Borealis?
While these backpacks sport several similar features, they have a number of differences and may not serve the same needs.
This in-depth comparison article aims to help you understand what makes each model unique so that you can choose the best one for your specific needs.
Specs Overview – Patagonia Refugio vs. North Face Borealis
|#1. North Face Borealis|
Our Best Pick
|2 lbs. 12.45 oz.||28 liters / 1,709 cubic inches||210-denier Cordura ripstop nylon|
|#2. Patagonia Refugio|
|1 lb. 6.5 oz.||28 liters / 1,709 cubic inches||Nylon|
First, we’ll explore the similarities the Patagonia Refugio and North Face Borealis backpacks share.
Similarities Between Patagonia Refugio and North Face Borealis
These modes have several features in common, but the most notable among them include:
- Gear capacity – Both backpacks can hold a total of 28 liters of gear.
- Main compartments – Both also feature two main compartments adjacent to each other.
- Laptop compartment – Both backpacks feature padded laptop sleeves in their main compartments, which can hold up to a 15-inch laptop.
- Tablet compartment – They also have tablet sleeves. The inner liners of these sleeves are scratch resistant.
- Frontal organizational pocket–These backpacks have special front pockets that allow you to keep your various electronics in a safe and organized manner.
- Water bottle pockets – Both Refugio and Borealis have large water bottle pockets on the sides. These pockets are made of stretch-mesh and hence can hold various types of items outside of water bottles.
Now let’s look at what sets Refugio and Patagonia apart.
Differences Between the Patagonia Refugio and The North Face Borealis
Here’s a quick glance at the unique features of each backpack:
|Patagonia Unique Features||The North Face Unique Features|
|Daisy chain along the front panel||Bungee cords along the front panel|
|Tapered look for a stylish and modern vibe||Sternum strap for enhanced safety and comfort|
|Higher quality materials||Removable waist belt|
|Large side pockets for extra storage||Reflective bike light loop for improved safety when cycling|
|Top compression straps conveniently placed at the top.|
Patagonia generally has fewer features than North Face, but you shouldn’t write them off just yet. Let’s take a detailed look at their differences so that you can make a more informed decision.
The sternum strap and the removable waist belt on the North Face Borealis ensure that the backpack holds firmly and securely on your back.
These features help you to move swiftly without your backpack swaying left and right—a great feature for jogging, rock climbing, or biking.
The compression straps located on the upper area of the backpack help to reduce the overall size of the pack when you’re carrying less gear.
If you have more gear than can fit inside the backpack, you can attach some extra gear on the bungee cords located along the backpack’s front panel.
Patagonia Refugio, on the other hand, doesn’t have a bungee cord. Instead, it has a daisy chain where you can attach your extra gear.
The good thing about the daisy chain is that it offers more stability to the stuff that you’ve attached to it.
This means the items won’t sway back and forth as much as with bungee cords. Moreover, the tapered design of the Refugio gives it a stylish and modern touch.
The Borealis looks somewhat old-fashioned when placed side-by-side with the Refugio.
As a result, Patagonia Refugio makes a great choice if you’re looking for a more modern looking backpack. This backpack also offers a better build quality. Its fabrics feel thicker and tougher.
So, if you want to carry an abnormally heavy or bulky load without worrying about your backpack tearing apart, you may be better off with the Refugio.
Of Couse, this durability doesn’t mean you should abuse your backpack.
However, if you’re into cycling or trekking, North Face Borealis might make a better choice for you.
You need great stability in such situations, and that what’s offered by the backpack’s sternum strap, waist belt, and compression strap.
>>Check NorthFace Borealis Vs Surge
Summing it up: Patagonia Refugio vs. North Face Borealis
A good backpack is a vital part of successful travel. Your backpack should be reliable and comfortable.
In choosing between the two, however, we recommend the Borealis. It’s better in terms of utility and comfort, thanks to its many useful features.
The waist belt and sternum strap provide better stability. Moreover, the reflective bike light loop comes in handy when cycling.
However, if you are more into looks than functionality, you can go forthe Patagonia Refugio. The Refugio has a more stylish and modern look.
It also has large side pockets, which allow you to put more of your extra items inside.