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TNF Surge Review (Picture Heavy)

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Freddo4J, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. jeepsrjason
    • In Omnia Paratus

    jeepsrjason Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, you are correct! It's still a bit of tight fit going in but the taper makes it easier than the nalgene.
     
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  2. professorjay

    professorjay Empty Pockets

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    I loved my Surge, which was an older version of the models posted here (admin was in the very front, there was no organization at all in the compartment where it is now). Unfortunately that was stolen.


    I know you've already made your purchase, but in case other people are still considering this pack with the same concerns, I bought the North Face Router. It's basically a larger version of the Surge II. The Surge II differs from the Surge's posted here; the front section is split up into 3 individual pockets. Plus one side pocket is converted into a zippered pocket for cables and the bottom pocket intended for that purpose is gone.

    I really like the updated version, except I wish they kept the pocket on the bottom for power cables. As far as the water bottle pocket, I find my slim Thermos Intak bottle sometimes slips out when taking the bag on and off. I think the pocket could be deeper to prevent that. I sometimes clip my S-biner to the bottle and compression strap just in case to prevent that. But then again the newer model bags may just have shallower pockets, I don't remember.
     
  3. professorjay

    professorjay Empty Pockets

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    I wish they made that pocket where your magazine is actually deep enough for magazines or other papers! Despite my 'complaints', the Router (or Surge II) is still the best bag I've found that most closely matched my wish list of features.
     
  4. Fukurai
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    Fukurai EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I bought my pack like one year ago now. There wasn't the Router available I think :D
     
  5. jeepsrjason
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    jeepsrjason Loaded Pockets

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    I feel your pain however the magazine will fit in that zippered part of the bag, just not in that sleeve... if that makes sense. I actually just put my magazines in the laptop part of the bag. I find its easier to get at when the bag is under the seat in front of me on the plane.
     
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  6. professorjay

    professorjay Empty Pockets

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    Oh yes, there's definitely plenty of room for magazines, or even a book or two, in that section. But in the case of carrying some documents or something like that, that pouch could help to keep them sorted. But that's just me being picky and OCD. Great bag nonetheless.

    BTW, what's hanging off the internal zipper in the picture I quoted?
     
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  7. jeepsrjason
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    jeepsrjason Loaded Pockets

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    That would be my nifty Skunklights Skylight, solar powered flashlight. http://www.skunklights.com/products-SLS.php
     
  8. mops

    mops Loaded Pockets

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    I got a Surge to use for work based on glowing reviews on this site. I wanted to replace the Dell messenger bag that screams steal me. I also find a backpack works better on the motorcycle than a messenger bag.

    I love the Surge. I can't really find any fault with it. Lots of organization, and I really like the bottom pocket for the power adapter. When I first bought the pack, my laptop (a big 17" Precision) was a really tight squeeze getting the zipper around the corners. Since then it's really loosened up, and now it fits like a glove.

    No regrets at all on the Surge!
     
  9. Freddo4J

    Freddo4J Loaded Pockets

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    Maybe I should stuff my 17" Dell Vostro in there and see if I too can get the pack to accept it over time. Heading to FL in Feb. and that will be the first big trip I take with this pack and would enjoy not bringing the laptop bag too. Working from home now so the laptop doesn't travel much anymore...
     
  10. mops

    mops Loaded Pockets

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    Go for it. It probably took a month or two of daily use to notice a difference, but it will break in.
     
  11. mops

    mops Loaded Pockets

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    Go for it. It probably took a month or two of daily use to notice a difference, but it will break in.
     
  12. Freddo4J

    Freddo4J Loaded Pockets

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    Wowee - too tight I think. I forced it in and down and tried all I could to get the zipper over the left side corner of the laptop but it ain't happening. I may get some padding for the compartment in front of the designated laptop compartment and carry it there. My next laptop may be a 15" wide screen with keypad built-in. For now I'll make it work. My Surge is mainly for my EDC when I hit the road or hike so not a main laptop carry item for now.
     
  13. GatorMedic

    GatorMedic Loaded Pockets

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    Love this review. It's making me want a TNF Surge bad now... I've carried a North Face backpack for 5-6 years now as a school/travel/do-everything backpack, and it is still going like a champ. However, I hate having to jam my laptop powercord in with everything else in the main compartment and would also prefer to have my laptop in a separate compartment. The Surge seems to take care of both of these. If anyone knows a good place/price to buy one of the original Surges (prefer the look over the Surge II) let me know!
     
  14. Freddo4J

    Freddo4J Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks Gator25... I prefer this old one over the Surge II because of the admin areas. You get extra organization with the older one vs. the II. They're still available in places online I imagine. I bought mine in a store we have up here in NJ called Ramsey Outdoor (http://www.ramseyoutdoor.com). They had a bunch in stock last fall in the Succasunna location. Call them and see. I lost my step-dad late this past May and that forced me too take six flights in a week and a half (four in one day). The bottom line is that it was the first time I traveled heavily with this pack since buying it last fall and I REALLY enjoy the capability it gives me - awesome. I came from having very simple packs with a few outer pockets and one main cavern. If I had to to again - I'd buy another Surge in a heartbeat. I keep a Maxpedition EDC organizer and a couple of Eagle Creek Quarter Cubes in it for even more organization. Looking forward to more usage and of course under better circumstances. Have fun!
     
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  15. GatorMedic

    GatorMedic Loaded Pockets

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    I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I've logged quite a few airline miles with my current TNF (not sure which model it is), 5 years of college duty, and any/every other backpack duty I've had over the last 5 years with it and it has been great. So I know the Surge would work great for me as the only reason I'd switch to another TNF is for the two extra things the Surge offers--power cord pocket and separate lap top compartment. Wish I had heard about this bag years ago when it came out. I've found a few online, but the prices are either steep or possibly not authentic.
     
  16. Freddo4J

    Freddo4J Loaded Pockets

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    Hi All,

    Here's a follow up with a new image showing more gear in the pack (calling this the admin compartment). I'm sure things will change but for now this is working great for me.The pocket to the left of the red Microstream Stylus Pro is my LM Wave in it's case / fits perfect there. I don't typically carry both Syderco's but the Salt is a new addition so why not!?! The light at the extreme right is my Nitecore MT2A and there's more room in that pocket for a bigger light if you have one slightly larger. This seems to be the compartment I access most (in my limited use so far) and can hold a large amount of gear. Lastly, the whistle and Uncle Bill's Sliver Tweezers hanging on the para-zipper pull does not live there. It's on the lanyard that stays in the wide zippered pocket behind the admin pockets (I hung it there for some load-out value (FWIW)).

    [​IMG]

    Enjoy and regards - Freddo
     
    Last edited by Freddo4J, May 6, 2016
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  17. Captdave13

    Captdave13 Loaded Pockets

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    Has anyone had the chance to use the newest incarnation of the surge? It looks like it is quite a change from the original which I have.
     
  18. Freddo4J

    Freddo4J Loaded Pockets

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    Hi CaptDave13,

    I've seen the Surge II and it's built well too. MY personal preference was for the one you see here that I reviewed. Both were available when I purchased mine but the old stock was diminishing. What sold me on this one was the extra organization in the front compartment that opens with the two zippers. In that area there are three zippered mesh pockets and room down in front of the lower pockets (fast access). If there's a Surge newer than the Surge II, I have not seen it but will take a look next time I'm at the outfitters store.

    Regards - Freddo
     
  19. Freddo4J

    Freddo4J Loaded Pockets

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    Hey All - been a while and found my images broken and just fixed them for anyone interested in a Surge.

    Regards - Freddo