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The North Face Jester

Est. $65
Reviewed
July 2013
by ConsumerSearch
The North Face Jester

Best college backpack

Pros
  • Two water bottle pockets
  • Excellent durability
  • Removable waist belt
  • Many organizational pockets
Cons
  • Smaller overall capacity
  • Feels stiff to some

Bottom line

It's not the biggest pack, but the North Face Jester is plenty big enough for hauling a laptop, notebooks and textbooks. It's more stylish than many other backpacks, and we found plenty of happy reviewers who use it for everything from hauling textbooks to day hiking. A few say it's stiff at first, and some complain that it doesn't hold enough gear for them.

Performance

Spacious and well organized. The North Face Jester has a capacity of 1,830 cubic inches and has a lot of organizational options, including one large compartment and one smaller compartment with many extra dividers, two mesh water bottle pockets (one on each side), bungee straps on the outside and a small key clip. It can hold a laptop, textbooks, several notebooks and a jacket without looking "stuffed," according to reviewers.

Some reviewers say they wish it had a small pocket on the straps to hold keys or other small items, like a cell phone or MP3 player.

Comfort

Ergonomically correct. Reviewers say the North Face Jester's injection-molded, ergonomic shoulder straps make it comfortable to carry, even when loaded with heavy books. Reviewers recommend using the Jester's removable waist belt for shifting some of the pack's weight off your back and shoulders. Many reviewers say it's very comfortable, with good back padding, but not so much that it feels bulky. At least one reviewer says it's a bit too stiff for hiking; but fine as a college book bag. It gets good reviews for fitting a variety of body types.

Durability

Back on track for durability. The North Face Jester gets great reviews for construction and durability. We found a few complaints about problems with stitching in various places on the bag, including the juncture between straps and pack body. Most of the complaints about stitching date to 2009 or earlier, so it may have been a quality-control issue. More recent reviews say this is a pack that will last for years.

A number of reviewers also comment favorably on The North Face's reputation for customer service. All North Face packs come with a lifetime warranty.

Where To Buy
The North Face Jester Backpack CE83JK3

 
Buy new: $65.00   

 

Our Sources

1. Backpacks101.com

The North Face Jester gets a thorough review as a backpack for college students. Various student reviewers say it's well built and comfortable, with plenty of pockets for all their needs. Several use it for activities outside of school. The general consensus seems to be that it's small but roomy.

Review: North Face Jester AF9V, Editors of Backpacks.101.com, Not dated

2. EBags.com

The North Face Jester earns an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 I more than 100 reviews. Ninety-five percent would recommend it to a friend. Owners say it's durable and a good size for school, weekend trips or camping. They also like the bright colors.

Review: The North Face Jester, Contributors to eBags.com, As of July 2013

3. Amazon.com

More than 25 Amazon.com customers review the North Face Jester, giving it an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5. They say it's durable and like the variety of colors and styles. A few say it's a bit small for their purposes, but others say it's a versatile bag.

Review: The North Face Jester, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2013

4. Campmor.com

In about 15 reviews, the North Face Jester earns an overall average of 4.6 stars out of 5. Users say they like the two water bottle holders and it seems very durable. A few say they bought it for their elementary school aged children so they would have a pack that lasted them for years.

Review: The North Face Jester Backpack, Contributors to Campmor.com, As of July 2013

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