One of my most read reviews here at RMK Outdoors is the North Face Surge 2015. Along with the many comments on the written as well as the video review I have received countless emails asking what backpack I would recommend that is smaller than the Surge with the same features. My answer.... The North Face Iron Peak.
The North Face Iron Peak is built to the same standards as the Surge. The pack body is built from 600D Polyester which is not my favorite material, that being 1000D or 500D Cordura. However, the 600D Poly is very light weight and a great choice for a smaller day pack like the Iron Peak. The Peak comes in at 28L including the side bottle pockets which hits the sweet spot for an EDC or day pack. All zippers on the Iron Peak are top of the line YKK to ensure no lost items. I purchased the Peak from Moosejaw's website for a sale price of $60 which is a steal. The Iron Peak comes in at $89 MSRP.
"Flex Vent Back Panel and Shoulder Straps"
The Peak is built with the same "Flex Vent" back panel and shoulder straps as the Surge as well. This is great as the two combined make an amazing backpack that can be carried all day long. The back panel has great padding and allows are to move through your back to prevent from sweating. The shoulder strap also comes with an included sternum strap to help keep the back high and tight on your back and chest.
"Front Fleece-Lined Stash Pocket"
On the very front of the Peak, there is the same front stash pocket that is lined with an extremely soft fleece. This pocket is a great place for your "grab on the go" items like wallet, keys, headphones, phone, and whatever other small items.
On either side of the fleece lined pocket, there are small attachment points that can be used to clip a carabiner or a light. This is one feature different on the Peak compared to the Surge.
"Fully featured Laptop and Tablet Sleeves"
Upon opening the Peak you are greeted with an ample main compartment which has a padded laptop sleeve and a great admin organization sleeve on the front. This padded laptop sleeve is the same as all of the "transit" line of North Face packs including the Surge. This is one of the bet features of the Iron Peak. The laptop sleeve is extremely soft and ends about two inches from the bottom of the pack. This ensures that no matter how you set the pack down your laptop will never come in contact with the ground. In front of the laptop pocket, there is another padded fleece lined sleeve that is perfect for your full-size tablet.
The main compartment of the Peak is large enough to fit my GR1 Field pouch with my DSLR, a book, external hard drive, and charger, along with a light outer layer. This compartment gives plenty of room for you day to day carry needs.
The very bottom of the backpack is full 1680D Ballistic Nylon which is much thicker and much more abrasion resistant than the 600D Polyester body. This gives the bottom of the pack much-needed padding and extra peace of mind for the items stored inside the pack.
"Stretch Water Bottle Pockets"
On either side of the Iron Peak, there are stretch water bottle pockets that can accommodate a full-size Nalgene or 40oz Hydroflask easily. This is a must have feature for any of my EDC packs as I am always taking my Hydroflask around all day to stay hydrated.
The North Face Iron Peak is a full-featured smaller daypack or EDC bag with the top of the line features. For anyone looking into the Router or Surge daypacks by North Face who doesn't need a ton of storage the Iron Peak is the way to go.
- Side Water Bottle pockets
- Padded, Suspended Laptop and Tablet Sleeves
- Front Fleece lined stash pocket
- Great shoulder straps and Back panel
- Very reasponable price for quality
- Only one outer pocket
- Does not stand on its own