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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Size: One Size|Colour Name: TNF Black/TNF Black/TNF Black/TNF Black|Change
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on 14 February 2013
After years using alpine packs in the mountains and the military, I never succumbed to the recent trend of buying a panel pack, such as a Camelbak, that everyone and anyone seemed to be using in the Forces recently.

I was dubious then about buying one to use for work after I recently completed my Service.

I have to say that I'm glad I went for the Surge 2. I did a little research by reading reviews and comparing products, but I wasn't really sure what I would be getting until it arrived. I have several items of TNF equipment already and would recommend their gear to anyone, but this was the first of their packs I would try.

Initially I was disappointed by the looks of the pack. I'm not overly style conscious, but I don't like carrying something in civvies that looks like it's more at home in the mountains than in the office. The Surge just about gets away with it although I may contact TNF and suggest they launch a city range to complement their urban range.

Looks aside, the pack really impressed with its load carrying. I like the touch of having a dedicated tablet pouch, though I would've preferred this to have a velcro flap. The three main compartments are large enough to carry everything I need which includes a large A4 portfolio organiser with room to spare for a laptop as well as the iPad if necessary. I also like the organisation panel, though again I would've preferred a velcro tab over the phone pouch for added security.

I was hoping for 2 water bottle pouches, but the charger pocket is quite handy. My only complaint is that the sternum strap doesn't seem to be removable which I would prefer. Maybe I'm doing it wrong...!!

Overall, I'm happy with the pack and would definitely recommend it for urban use, but for the outdoors I'll stick to alpine style packs. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is for the looks.
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on 14 February 2015
I got this elsewhere £30 cheaper than advertised on Amazon so that was a good start!

I've just field tested bag when I was away for a week.

It's extremly comfortable to wear on the back over the 2 mile journeys I walked with it between train and venue. This gives me the clear impression it's going to be very comfortable on my back with day to day work stuff when I start cycling into work.

For my week away I packed into it:

2 x A4 notebooks
1 x hardback A4 folder
4 x pens
1 x pencil
1 x flashdrive
Battery charger
1 x 10 inch netbook
5 x underpants
5 x pairs of socks
2 x trousers
2 x shirts
4 x tshirts
2 x thin jumpers
1 x thick woolen cardigan
1 x medium packed out toiletry bag
1 x mobile phone
3 x issues of Private Eye

... and I STILL could have got a few more bits into it!

The zips are incredibly strong and the compression straps work a treat.

On the way back I was caught in a heavy downpour. When I got indoors and unpacked absolutely everything was bone dry.
Very very happy with this purchase but I advice to search on the net as it is available cheaper elsewhere!
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on 14 October 2015
I have been using North Face packs for +10 years. Have always been very happy. After spending +20 months travelling as a Digital Nomad I decided it was time to replace my previous well worn pack. Did a bit of researching comparing packs, especially vs Minaal and also Surge I.

Was very excited to receive the bag, little surprised it didn't quite zip all the way open/flat as I somehow expected for going through security. Also can't say I'm a big fan of the vertical zips as I find that stuff can easily fall out as you unzip those pockets to look around for stuff.
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on 12 June 2014
I've been using a TNF rucksack for a good many years now... specifically I was using a TNF 'recon' backpack.

The Recon is an excellent pack, and has stood the test of time brilliantly - in fact, there's still nothing wrong with it 5 years down the line despite a heavy daily commute of 4 hours on the train, Boris Biking, coming with me on short and long haul flights and vacations...

The only downside, is the Recon is quite 'small'.

Enter the Surge II. I felt I needed a bit more space in my backpack since, despite the extensibility of the Recon, it didn't comfortably fit my laptop, tablet, wires AND my cycling helmet.

The Surge II most definitely does fit all this, with oodles of space for more.

My laptop, Bluetooth keyboard and tablet fit in the rear back compartment as designed, my cycling helmet fits in the 'middle' (most spacious) compartment - and the front compartment is incredibly well designed, organised and useful for wires, chargers, pens, mobile phones, Kindle, mouse etc...

The front features two separated vertical zipped pouches which are potentially useful for 'quick grab items' (e.g. umbrella, waterproof jacket). The top most compartment is quite small, but I find this ideal for storing in-ear headphones - but it is soft-lined, so I wouldn't be surprised if its' principle designed use was for sunglasses.

Overall, I'm very impressed with this bag - it's not cheap, but I have no concerns that this bag won't last up to a decade of heavy use - it's incredibly well built.

the other thing I didn't mention is that it genuinely feels a lot lighter packed than my Recon sack. I've put it on my back and honestly thought my laptop wasn't in there and had to check! It's that well designed and balanced.

If I had to be constructive about this bag, I would say the rear compartment could zip fully open as the more 'upgraded' "Surge II Charged" does.

Also, the 'main' compartment (that I use to stow my cycle helmet), whilst large - it is very tricky to get my cycle helmet in and out as the laptop section pushes against it and so somewhat restricts the size of the opening - i.e. when a laptop is in there, it's hard to stuff things in that compartment - but, not much TNF can do about that!

Also it's very plain looking... but in the interest of appealing to a wide market, and not polarising opinion on looks, plain is the way forward. For a bag that will last years and years, it's better for it not to have colour or design since both these things can go in and out of favour over time.
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on 4 August 2015
Awesome product. Just in case the existing good ratings aren't enough, THIS BACKPACK IS PERFECT!.

I use it to carry a 17.3 mobile workstation (a really heavy one) from time to time and I have never had any issues whatsoever. Having three main compartments means there is plenty of space but that you can also organize all the stuff you put into this backpack. There are many extra small internal pockets meant to hold all kinds of everyday stuff like mobile chargers, flash drives, cables, or whatever you need to carry around for a day or even more.

About ergonomics, there are more comfortable backpacks around. They are usually smaller. Wide backpacks able to carry 17 inch laptops and/or meant to carry a lot of stuff around will never have the perfect fit, specially for smaller build people, so please try to avoid giving low ratings while complaining about its size, width, potential weight when full, or whatever people tend to come up with. IT IS a big backpack which can carry a lot of things. If you don't like that, then you should probably reconsider your priorities regarding portability and long term comfort.

Having said that, this backpack is quite comfortable for it's size, The spine channel really helps to avoid excessive sweating for extended periods of time, the shoulder straps are great and so are the zippers.

Extremely recommended!
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on 26 April 2016
Great backpack. Comfortable, large, good quality. Had it for a year, looks brand new.
Plenty of pouches, a particularly useful one to store pens and small items. The handle is not padded, so if very heavy, can be a bit uncomfortable to carry on the hand. On your shoulders, it is always great, no matter how heavy
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on 12 March 2016
Amazing backpack. I wanted a "stealthy" backpack that I could use to carry my laptop, papers and everything else to work, and got tired of purchasing laptop backpacks that would only last about one year max, until zippers would start failing. Considering this I decided to try a hiking gear brand, and the North Face Surge II seemed to fit the bill quite nicely.

So far the Surge II has been flawless. Quality of construction is clearly miles ahead of classic laptop bags and zippers seem like they will last forever.
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on 8 November 2013
A good size bag to replace my trusty swissgear pack. Albeit a lot more expensive. It seems well made and has lots of room, has plenty of padding and plenty of dividers, the only fault I could pinpoint is that it should have a bottle pocket on both sides as I normally like to keep a newspaper or magazine in there for easy access when i'm travelling.
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on 10 November 2015
After I think almost 1 year of using this backpack and taking it on countless trips I can say for sure it was an amazing purchase! I am always surprised at the amount of stuff I can fit in it. The zips are all great and not a single thing of it has let me down yet.
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on 15 August 2015
Absolutely love this bag! I bought it a few weeks ago and I've not been without it since. One of the best purchases I've ever made due to its practicality and functional design and it looks great and fits to my back perfectly. I use it for the gym and it fits everything I could possibly need and has loads of space left. I note the other comments about the very thin carry handle and this is a bit odd for such an otherwise very functional bag but it hasn't proved a problem at all so far. Very pleased.
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