Trying to hurriedly stuff a backpack with everything you need before heading out the door is made difficult when you don't have a free hand to hold the thing open. So The North Face has replaced the zipper on the main compartment of its new Access Pack with a rigid pop-open panel that remains wide open as you fill it.
AU Editor's Note: We won't get the North Face Access pack in Australia until March next year, but their $350 Aussie RRP will be quite close to what the US is paying. — Cam
Pushing a button on the top of the pack releases the panel's spring-loaded locking mechanism, leaving it opened wide like a whale ready to swallow Pinocchio — except it's hungry for your random books, electronics, water bottles, and other day-to-day necessities, not puppets.
A thinner zippered panel on the back of the Access Pack is designed to hold your laptop — it's slightly harder to quickly open for security reasons. And throughout the pack you'll find a series of pockets that allow quick access to phones, pens, and other smaller items using ejector straps you simply have to pull.
You might balk at the Access Pack's $US235 price tag, but you probably wouldn't hesitate to spend that much on a sturdy pack designed for hiking and camping trips, which you'll probably only use for about a week every year. Why not splurge on the backpack you have to carry to work the other 51 weeks of the year.
In Australia, the North Face Access will be out by March next year for a $350 RRP.