If you pride yourself to be a travel or outdoor junkie, having the best gear should be in your best interest. If you are currently in the market for an outdoor backpack, you can consider taking a look at the North Face Terra 50.

Outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and backpacking require a reliable backpack to safeguard your stuff. A good backpack can make a huge difference, so much that it can make or break your trip.

The North Face is a name synonymous with quality outdoor clothing and gear. With that said, is the North Face Terra 50 a worthy addition to your outdoor equipment collection? We’re here to help you answer that question with our review below.

Reviewing the North Face Terra 50 Backpack

Today, we’re reviewing the Terra 50 backpack, which was actually redesigned by The North Face to a slimmer and less bulky profile.

It’s a 50L backpack and can support up to 45 pounds of weight. It’s specifically designed for multi-day backpacking and features a top-loading style.

The North Face Terra 50

The North Face Terra 50 backpack. Image via Amazon


Below are the general specifications of this 50-liter backpack:

  • Weight: 2.50 to 3.49 pounds
  • Pack Capacity: 50-64 Liters
  • Style: Top Loading
  • Pack Materials: 600D Polyester, 420D Mini-Ripstop Nylon, 1200D Polyester
  • Torso Length: 16-21 inches
  • No. of Pockets: 7+
  • Frame Type: Internal

Is the North Face Terra 50 lightweight?

Just because you need a multi-day backpack, it doesn’t mean that you should settle with a bulky and heavy backpack. It’s a good thing that the Terra 50 is a slimmer and more lightweight backpack when compared to the earlier Terra models.

The slimmed down profile really helps in reducing the overall pack weight and allowing you to pack the load better. Just make sure that you know how to pack a bag for backpacking. You can also attribute the lighter profile to materials and overall design.

What about comfort?

Comfort is one of the first factors that I think about when buying. This is especially true when getting a backpack that I’ll be wearing for a multi-day excursion. And the Terra 50 delivers in this department, thanks to several of its comfort features.

The first thing that comes to mind is the Innovative OPTIFIT suspension system. I believe that a good fit is key for unrivaled comfort. With the OPTIFIT system, it’s easy to adjust the pack for a precise torso length fit. This helps in loosening up the load on my shoulders while maintaining the balance around the hip. They’ve also lined the hipbelt with air mesh for added comfort.

The North Face Terra 50 Optifit

Image via Amazon

The anatomical shoulder harness has sufficient padding, which makes carrying the pack a lot more comfortable, even with heavier loads. As far as hiking backpack sizes go, it’s just the right size for me.

Are the materials durable?

My first impression of the materials of the Terra 50 backpack is that they are quite durable. The overall construction just seems to be of high quality.

The fabrics of the Terra 50 are made from 600D polyester, 1200D polyester, and 420D mini-ripstop nylon. At first, I was not too sure if the polyester materials would hold up. However, after a couple of trips, I’m happy to report that the bag can take a beating without any signs of wear and tear.

The polyester material can be a concern, but The North Face did a good job with the backpack’s toughness while keeping it lightweight.

Other Features Worth Mentioning

At the top of my mind, I really enjoyed the inclusion of a sleeping bag compartment. I generally carry a sack to pack my sleeping bag. But with the Terra 50, I can just pack the bag inside the zippered compartment. It’s not really a must-have feature, but the compartment is definitely nice to have.

Not only are there over seven pockets, which is more than enough to meet my storage needs, they are also smartly placed. Two of them are hip belt pockets, which are very easy to access. If you bring a lot of tools and accessories, you’ll also appreciate the extra lash points.

Like most good hiking backpacks, the North Face Terra 50 has a hydration pocket that comes in handy if you plan on bringing a canteen or bladder.

Any Drawbacks

I’ll just come out and say that I really enjoy the Terra 50. However, it’s far from a perfect hiking backpack.

One notable flaw that I’ve noticed is the narrow opening of the bag. If you are trying to access the things deep down the pack, you will end up removing everything from the top.

Also, the front pockets can’t be extended, which means that they are just taking more space in the main compartment than they have to.

This 50L hiking backpack may be tough, but it’s not waterproof. This is not necessarily a big deal, but it doesn’t come with a rain cover. I ended up purchasing a separate cover.

The North Face Terra 50 Against the Competition

The North Face is a well-known brand that seems to be leading the pack when it comes to outdoor gear. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some fierce competitors in the market.

While other brands may prove to have special features, others compete by providing a similar bag at a lower price point. So, let’s take a look at how the North Face 50 measure up against other backpacks.

Osprey Packs Rook 50

Osprey Backpacks like to give The North Face a good run when it comes to competing for the same customers. In this case, Osprey accomplishes this by providing a similarly sized backpack at a slightly lower cost.

The Rook features a ventilated back panel with torso adjustments. Access is through the top of the bag, and an exterior compression strap holds sleeping pads and bags. It also boasts many exterior zippered pockets and a rain cover for extra protection.

And while this backpack only has a handful of Amazon buyer reviews, those reviews average 4.7 out of 5 stars. Many have been left by

  • Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Pack Capacity: 50 Liters
  • Style: Top Loading
  • Pack Materials: 600D polyester, with 1000D nylon packcloth
  • Torso Length: 17-22 inches
  • Frame Type: Internal

High Sierra Pathway 50L

High Sierra banks on their budget-priced gear to entice buyers. At nearly half the price of the North Face backpacks, there’s no denying that it’s tempting. However, the Pathway is much bulkier than the Terra 50.

The Pathway boasts a padded back panel and straps for extra comfort, so that bulkiness could be worth the trouble. Especially considering it weighs only a few ounces more than the Terra 50. Amazon buyers have given this discount backpack a respectable 4.6 out of 5 stars.

  • Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Pack Capacity: 50 Liters
  • Style: Top Loading
  • Pack Materials:600D Polyester Dobby
  • Torso Length: 18-20 inches
  • Frame Type: Internal

Kelty Redwing Reserve Hiking Backpack

Kelty boasts that the Redwing Reserve is their high-end 50L backpack with special features. The stylish design will surely turn heads, but hopefully, it features more than just a unique look. Overall, it’s a heavier pack, but seems to have a wider range for adjusting to fit users of varying heights.

Along with a color scheme that looks equally good in the city as on the trail, it features some unique upgrades. These include an RFID-blocking pocket, dual-use hydration and laptop sleeve, and on-body adjustment. Amazon buyers have awarded it with an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

  • Weight: 3.11 pounds
  • Pack Capacity: 51 Liters
  • Style: Top Loading
  • Pack Materials:420D Poly Small Back Stafford
  • Torso Length: 15.5-21 inches
  • Frame Type: Internal

Is The North Face Terra 50 Good Value for the Money?

For approximately $150 to $190, you get a great backpack that offers good comfort and a considerable number of useful features. Its generous capacity for the size is certainly a selling point.

There are certainly more expensive backpacks that pale in comparison to the North Face Terra 50. But, if you’re looking for a reliable hiking backpack that won’t break the bank, check this one out.

On the other hand, if you need to reign in your costs, you may want to choose a less expensive backpack. The North Face enjoys a stellar reputation for quality. But that doesn’t mean the High Sierra or Osprey brands won’t provide a good backpack for your needs.

Featured Image via Amazon

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