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Bluewater Resorts

Friday, February 10, 2012

Gear Review | The North Face Terra 35 Pack

After accompanying me to most of our climbs and travels, my North Face backpack hasn't yet lost its touch. It still gives comfort to my back even when it is stuffed to its full capacity and its tough exterior hasn't been damaged after the torture of more than 20 mountains. 

However, there's still a lingering feeling in my chest that the decision of buying this quite expensive pack was a mistake. With this in mind, I am revisiting and reviewing the ups and downs of my most used pack: The North Face Terra 35.

First and foremost, I bought this pack at the SM Megamall North Face boutique for 8500 Php. Expensive as it was, I knew it would cause a dent on my pocket. But as I tested the bag on my back, I came to a firm decision that buying it would be the right choice. Of course, I knew a Deuter bag was a lot cheaper but as erroneous as I was back then, I kinda liked the thought that I would be using North Face gear. So for a certain amount of time, it was absolutely a catch. I think back then, it was the perfect backpack for my body as it hugged me comfortably even when it was bulging to its limit. It was with me during our major climbs, day hikes and even on our week-long trips. 

Because of the Verticool System, it is quite cool on your back even during humid climbs. Yes, you will still perspire hard but come on, this is inevitable with any backpacks during hard treks. Using the waist strap for added lifting support is a bit special. The pad used on the bag is so soft and nice that tightening the straps would not hurt a bit. I think this is the one component that gives it an advantage compared to my brother's Deuter Futura. His bag's waist strap is quite stiff and it strains a certain part of my hip when carrying it in full capacity. 

Terra 35’s adjustment straps can be used with ease. Unlike other packs I used, this bag's adjustment system is easy to maneuver. The straps lock securely when the lever is not pulled and loosen easily making adjustments a breeze.

For a specific amount of time, the only concern I had was the lack of daisy chain straps for other gear placements. I thought it was perfect and I had no good reasons to buy another pack but it unexpectedly changed when we started to plan our group's first multi-day climb. I started to test if it can fit all of our stuff for the event but it was not enough. Sharing other gear would be a great solution but having Agnes, a petite girl, as my climbing partner, I was forced to bring most of our heavy gear as having her to carry an enormous pack was rude.

I tried to tie our tent at the lower part of my pack so I could stuff more inside. I exceeded the maximum pack-weight which was 20 kilos; with the bag unable to support the heavy load, I had to suffer for 2 days as the pack was sliding down my waist. After that climb, my shoulders became unbearably sore and my whole body ached for days. I ultimately decided to buy a Deuter AirContact pro 60 + 15 for the succeeding multi-day climb and up to now, it remains to be the pack I use for longer and harder treks: I will expound on that later. 

In the end, I found a fault on this "perfect backpack" of mine and it was definitely a turning point in my climbing life. Instead of buying another pack to use for 2-3 day climbs, I forced myself to pack the lightest things and adjusted my organizing habits to what the bag can only support.

This was quite a challenge for the first few climbs but I gradually adjusted and conformed to my bag’s limitation. It was nice to learn the basics of minimalist packing and at last, I'm now accustomed to using my 35-liter bag for our 2 - 3 day climbs or even week-long vacations.

I'm not saying that a Terra 35 is a bad bag. It certainly is great to use specially for backpackers as the bag can store many of your clothes yet can still be hand-carried at airports. It also has a very comfortable back padding and waist support such that carrying it around all the time will not be a burden.

As for climbing, I recommend you buy a bigger type of Terra bag like the Terra 45 - 60 instead of this one. It is just too big for a day hike bag and too small for a multi-day pack. But, if you're the type of hiker that has a minimalistic approach of packing your gear, this bag would suffice.

So in conclusion, the North Face Terra 35 is a great bag for backpacking enthusiasts but a bit too small for climbers. It is one of the most comfortable bags I used and up to now, it still holds the title as my favorite during climbs and backpacking trips. Is it worth the 8500 Php price tag? For some annoying reason, it kinda is. But if you're on a tight budget, a Dueter, Habagat or Conquer bag, among others, can do the trick.


Product Details

Product: The North Face Terra 35 Pack
Place of purchase: The North Face, SM Megamall
Price: 8500 Php
Date of Purchase: June 2010
Times Used: Approx 20 mountains and beaches.


You can see the page of the product here:

20 comments:

  1. Great review! We used the 'sister' of your backpack during our 6 month Asian jaunt- the 45L TERRA pack. It was fantastic- great support, bearable weight, it just felt great on your back. But then, I realized we didn't need all that stuff. a 35L would do. So next trip...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Lois/ChiChi! thanks for dropping by. Yes yes, as I observed. the terra 35 is the bag for backapackers while the 45L is the one for climbers. Nevertheless, both bags still have this amazing feel on your back. Still a great buy even for the steep price.

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  2. Really helpful review Dane. I'm on the market for a new backpack but I'm still having a hard time choosing.

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    Replies
    1. Ei Marcos. If you have enough budget naman I would really recommend this over others. Pero deuter bags are great din naman mas comfy lang tlga etong northface na to.

      and sa steep price naman there is something din kasi ang tibay tlaga nya.

      Nothing against Salomon pero I bought one for a much cheaper price pero ambilis natatanggal ng mga tas tas at napupunit na ung tahi. 2 gamit ko palang. kaya tingin ko worth it tlaga tong northface kasi bugbog na bugbog na to pero wala parin akong nakikitang sira.

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    2. Hi, Dane, what Salomon pack are you referring to? Is it the Salomon Sky 38 or 45 pack? http://www.salomon.com/us/product/sky-45.html

      What can you say about the Sky? It's so light. I'm really planning to buy a 35-L pack and I'm choosing between TNF's Alteo and the Salomon Sky. Any thoughts?

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    3. Hi. The salomon he was referring to is a day pack 20L bag, not sure what model exactly though medyo madali nga magtastas un mga tahi nun. Yun pa lang yung nattry namin na salomon so I can't vouch for the 35L of Salomon but the Terra 35 of TNF is tried and tested na talaga kay Dane!

      Thanks.

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  3. kelangan ko na mag-invest sa mga kagamitan. at backpack ang aking top priority. this review is helpful :)

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    Replies
    1. Tama Ivan, Invest first on a multi-day bag. kasi ang mountaineering naman ay sharing of stuff kaya oks lang na wala ka pa muna nung mga cookset and tents. meron ka namang sandals which would suffice lalo na kung sanay ka.

      basta imaginine mo nalang makakaakyat ka with a group without other things aside sa Bag kasi pag wala kang bag. wala kang madadala. hahaha.

      Buti helpful tong review sau. hehe.

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  4. astig talaga mga climbers. bag is the best pillow when trekking.

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    Replies
    1. Thats right sir Dong. the best pillow is the bag with the fresh clothes. haha. tapos ung bag na puro pagkain laman iwan sa vestibule. hahah

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  5. 3Q Trail Pantsサイは強い対比感のある深い色調を使用して、製品の展示の効果にもっと明らかにならせます。ノースフェイスは1種視覚の上で更に便利的直観的、また高級なショッピングの体験を提供しました。the north faceはいつもお客様のためにベストを尽くします。the north faceリュックはやくノースフェイス レディースウェブサイを体験しましょう。

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  6. haha Dane, I have a 60L TNF backpack which I used before. I realized it was too big even for my current backpacking adventure. I think a 35L or a 45L pack would suit just fine. Though I bought mine at a huge discount (7000Php), the thought that it's stuck at home makes it a little useless. I'll utilize it when I go hardcore mountain climbing. But maybe I'll sell it to whoever wants it.

    Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha. oo nga mejo malaki ang 60 liters. ako kasi meron akong deuter na 60L na bilini ko for Mt. Apo namin. Ang problema lang nasanay na ako mag pack light kaya lagi lang shang reserve bag. Pero props to TNF masarap talaga sha likod compared sa iba. hehe. Thanks Ed

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  7. i think tama ka dane d 42 liter deuter futura you recommended amongst my given options is best since d side pockets are an additional 8 liters so its a 50 liter in disguise plus the back is screen type ventilation prevents sweat buildup on your back. tnx

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  8. Dane with your terra35 fullyloaded for a climb would it still be allowed onboard the plane when it's more than 7 kilos already (assuming there's a tent inside your terra35, cookset, stove, etc.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. More than 7kl baggage is not allowed as a carry-on, besides stuff like tent, stove etc. are needed to be check-in, they also don't allow these stuff in hand-carry baggage.

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  9. I know a friend who uses thule bag for his travel,hiking, backpacking and others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. actually thule bags are known worldwide, ngayon lang sila nagka store sa Philippines, and their bags are good in terms of design and durability. Personally if i would be doing backpacking or hiking thule bag is my option

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  10. Next month I'll be using my Terra 35 backpack for a 35 day pilgrimage walk along the Camino Frances (Camino de Santiago de Compostela) in Spain. My husband and daughter will be using Deuter Act Lite backpacks (40+10 and 35+10). Deuter is one of the most popular backpack brands used by pilgrims on the Camino while Northface packs are not used as often. I thought this meant that Deuter (My first backpack was an Act-Lite 25 daypack) is better. Your post has really helped me to love my backpack (The Terra doesn't seem as rugged/hardy as the Deuter pack). I think the more positive attitude toward it will help to make the pack feel easier on my back, shoulder, and hips. Thank you so much.

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  11. Been reading a lot of blogs and reviews regarding backpacks. You really explained why TNF bags are good. Since Im starting to love mountains , I think I'll try TNF terra though its really expensive. Thank you for the info sir :)

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