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If you’re a travel enthusiast like me, you understand the importance of having a reliable and versatile travel pack. That’s where the North Face Base Camp Voyager 32 comes in. This upgraded version of the classic Base Camp pack offers improved comfort, organization, and even a dedicated laptop compartment. Let’s dive into the details and see why the Base Camp Voyager should be your go-to travel companion.
A Step-Up from the Base Camp
The Base Camp Voyager takes everything you love about the original Base Camp and elevates it to the next level. With enhanced carry comfort, interior organization, and a laptop compartment, it’s designed with the modern traveler in mind.
Compared to the regular Base Camp, the Voyager sits comfortably in the middle with its 32-liter capacity. The XS size of the Base Camp is 31 liters, while the Voyager offers that extra liter of space. The next size up, the small Base Camp, is a whopping 50 liters, which is too bulky for carry-on travel. The Voyager strikes the perfect balance.
Meticulously Designed Dimensions
The Voyager comes in three sizes, and the smallest 32-liter version is my personal favorite. However, it’s worth noting that the listed dimensions may not be entirely accurate. While it’s advertised as 22.7″ x 13.8″ x 8.7″ (57.6 x 35 x 22 cm), my fully packed bag is slightly smaller. The length measures closer to 21.5-22″, the width is accurate, and the depth is around 8″ instead of 8.7″.
Built to Endure
The Voyager is crafted with durability in mind. While it may be advertised as an “expedition” style duffel, the materials used are more mid-grade, such as 300D polyester with a waterproof coating. While this pack will withstand plenty of abuse, it may not match the premium quality of bags like the Patagonia Black Hole or the Thule Chasm.
Zippers and Buckles
The Voyager features reliable YKK zippers, but the buckles may not measure up to those found on other brands. North Face buckles are smaller and less expensive than higher-quality options like the Duraflex buckles used by Patagonia. While the difference may be subtle, it’s worth considering for those seeking the utmost quality.
Thoughtful Exterior Design
The Voyager boasts several upgraded features compared to the regular Base Camp. It includes two exterior pockets, offering additional storage options, along with various carry handles and even a water bottle pocket.
Top Slash Pocket
On one end of the bag, you’ll find a small but spacious slash pocket. It takes up the full volume of the top and is perfect for storing items like a passport or small necessities. On the opposite side, there’s a larger pocket that the bag can fold into. This pocket provides extra space for shoes or even dirty laundry. While the middle panel is waterproof, it’s essential to note that the fabric around the sides may not be, so be cautious when storing wet items.
Water Bottle Pocket
Staying hydrated on your travels is crucial, and the Voyager has you covered. The expandable water bottle pocket can secure a slim bottle and easily accommodate a 1L Nalgene when expanded. No need to worry about staying hydrated while on the go.
Laptop Protection on the Move
One of the key improvements of the Voyager is its dedicated laptop compartment. Located on the exterior side of the pack, behind the backpack straps, this compartment provides easy access to your laptop. However, it’s important to note that the padding is relatively thin. While the seams keep your laptop away from the sides of the pack, the lack of substantial padding may leave you feeling the weight against your back. While the advertised 15″ laptop size should fit, larger models may not be as accommodating.
Comfortable Carry System
The Voyager offers a versatile carry system that ensures your comfort throughout your journey. It features stowable backpack straps, four side carry handles, and daisy chain webbing for additional customization options. While the shoulder straps are slightly thinner than some other packs on the market, they still provide decent support. It’s worth noting that the Voyager doesn’t come with an over-the-shoulder strap, but the daisy chain loops make attaching an aftermarket strap a breeze.
When you don’t need the backpack straps, the Voyager allows you to remove and stow them away. A hidden buckle on the bottom and an aluminum toggle on the top make this process seamless. Although there isn’t a dedicated pocket for the straps, you can easily store them inside the main compartment.
The Voyager comes equipped with four carry handles and a thick double strap of webbing encircling the pack. This design adds durability and makes carrying the bag a breeze. While there isn’t an included over-the-shoulder strap, the daisy chain loops provide endless possibilities for attaching an aftermarket strap in any orientation you desire. To ensure optimal comfort while carrying the bag, attaching the straps on the side rather than the top is recommended.
One common characteristic among packable duffels is the lack of substantial back padding, and the Voyager is no exception. While compared to bags like the Patagonia Black Hole, Thule Chasm, or the Osprey Daylite, the Voyager may lack extensive padding, it still provides a comfortable carrying experience.
Efficient Interior Design and Organization
One of the highlights of the Voyager is its simplistic yet practical interior design. The main compartment offers ample space when the two end pockets are empty. Additionally, a large mesh pocket in the lid provides extra storage options. However, it’s important to note that space may be limited due to the presence of the laptop compartment directly behind it.
Pack with Ease
If there’s one standout feature of the Voyager, it’s the spacious main compartment. With an adjustable divider, simple design, and padded fabric panel, this pack offers plenty of room for your essentials. You can attach the divider in the middle or off to the side, or even remove it entirely. This flexibility allows for optimal organization without adding unnecessary weight. Packing the Voyager is a breeze, and you’ll find that it easily accommodates standard packing cubes, a shoe pocket, and other smaller gear.
The Final Verdict on the North Face Voyager 32L Duffel
To sum it up, the Base Camp Voyager offers a compelling design and style. Its lightweight construction combined with its generous storage capacity make it an excellent choice for avid travelers. However, at a price point of $125, some may argue that the quality doesn’t quite match the cost. Comparable options like the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel or the Jack Wolfskin Expedition 30 may offer better materials and hardware at a lower price. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference and budget.
At DHPL Travels, we understand the importance of finding the perfect travel gear. That’s why we recommend the Base Camp Voyager for those seeking a reliable and versatile travel pack. Visit DHPL Travels to learn more about this incredible piece of equipment and discover other exciting travel essentials.
Disclaimer: DHPL Travels is an independent website. We are not directly associated with any of the brands mentioned in this article. Our opinions are based on personal experience and extensive research as travel enthusiasts. We strive to provide unbiased and comprehensive information to help you make informed decisions about your travel gear purchases. When you make a purchase through our affiliate links, you support us at no additional cost to you. Your support allows us to continue delivering high-quality content and valuable recommendations. Thank you for choosing DHPL Travels!