User Review: The North Face Yavapai
Design: Zipper Loading Daypack, Frameless
Size: ~2000 cu.in.
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: ~20 lbs.
Height of Owner: 5'7"
Price Paid: ~$60
The North Face has quickly become the new trend at least around here. Everywhere you look, it's TNF backpacks, jackets, fleece, and even shoes! I've seen the quality of its products go down as they become more and more commericalized and they seem to be targeting wanna-bes and school kids as their main customer now. It is really destroying their once great reputation as they become the next Jansport.
This pack is the Yavapi daypack by Northface. It is a medium sized design with no frame but a thick padded back. It has a main compartment that opens almost to the bottom with a large #10 YKK zipper. A front additional pocket with organizer opens with a smaller zipper. A front flat pocket opens horizontally. Two mesh waterbottle holders, one on each side.
The pack is built decently, I guess. Double stitching, taped seams, and bartacks on stress points. The materials used are substandard import polyesters. 600d-ish on the main body, 1200d-ish on the bottom. I went the the website and it said the names of the fabrics are Sabre6 and Sabre12. Crappy in my opinion. Those fabrics will not hold up well under rough outdoor use. Maybe for school (since that's what this pack is designed for!!!). The hardware, zippers, and webbing however are all top quality. The zippers are double stitched but the zipper flaps suck. They don't cover the zippers. The handle seem quite sturdily attached, but the shoulder straps will budge slightly when I pull on them as hard as I can. The edges where they attach are starting to fray slightly.
The shoulder straps are pretty comfortable, but the foam used is a bit denser than necessary. They will dig into your shoulders after a while with loads greater than 20 lbs. They do have a nice wicking type material over it though, so it will be more comfortable in the hot sun. The waist belt is really pointless and should be removable. It will just pose as a snagging hazard. The back panel is nice. It has raised pads for airflow, and a channel to relieve pressure from teh spine. Its not molded either, it has a stretchy nylon wicking type mesh over it. Unfortunately this material is about as durable as Kleenex and will get shredded after maybe one term of school use or a few weeks of hard outdoor use.
For short wear carrying loads under 10 lbs, this pack is pretty stable and comfortable. However, I have reason to believe this pack was designed (at least the current generation models) for school use. It is constructed pretty well, but the only problem I can see compromising durability the poor choice of materials. I would give this a 8/10 for school use and "hip" factor, but only a 6 if you are thinking about using it for day trips. The price is not terribly expensive, but you get what you pay for.
+++: "Cool" to have; Nice back panel; Organizer; Well-built; Great for light loads, or school
---: Foam in shoulder straps too dense, not comfortable for long periods of wear; Materials used in pack are substandard;