Mountain Tested Mondays: The North Face Shadow 30+10L Review

Want a streamlined and durable pack for winter hiking and any-season climbing? Look no further than The North Face Shadow 30+10L.

We decided to try out The North Face Shadow 30+10L pack on Mount Jackson in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, AKA my second home.

Mount Jackson is technically part of both the Appalachian Trail and the Presidential Range – a quick 5.2 mile mountain trek and part of the 48 High Peaks of the White Mountains.

It was a beautiful snowy trail with a few river crossings and gorgeous sunlight streaming through the trees. We were set up for a pretty great day in the woods – the only problem was the snowsquall we walked into on the summit.

A few hikers coming down the mountain warned us about the ice on the top, so before headed up the last .10 miles to the summit, we threw on our heavy gloves, our crampons and mentally prepared ourselves.

It was a perfect atmosphere to test out the water resistant Shadow 30+10L and see what it was really made of in a tough mountain situation.


My Take On The North Face Shadow 30+10L

Its no secret that I love The North Face, but this pack was one of the most comfortable, streamlined packs I’ve ever used.

Here are some of the things I noticed about the pack:


This pack would be perfect for a variety of activities. I would highly recommend it for winter hiking, especially because its water resistant and has a small waterproof pouch inside.

I would also recommend it for climbing in almost all seasons (besides ice climbing because I don’t believe in putting yourself in a situation where you will have the screaming barfies). For any day on the trail or rock, there is enough room for all your essentials.

Additionally, because of its synch-top opening, you don’t have to repack it every time you open it. You can continue to push more and more gear into the pack and synch it up on the top when you’re done. Great for quick transitions on the trail or at the crag.


During the entire hike, snow was dumping on us from the trees above and wind was heaving snow and ice at us from all directions. The outside of the pack withheld the moisture and kept my extra layers nice and dry inside.

Not once did I have any issues with snags or tears on the outside of the pack because of its durable material.


The pack has a hip belt with two pockets that sit nicely on my hips, and distributes the weight of the pack so that the shoulder straps are not weighing me down. Additionally, the hip belt has nice cushy padding to make sure its not cutting into your waist while pushing up the trail.

Even though the bag is relatively tall, it doesn’t wobble back and forth on your back. It stays aligned to your spine, making you feel like you don’t really have a pack on at all. The lightweight nature of the material of the pack is also a nice added bonus!

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Overall Rating

This is the perfect pack for anyone who is an overall mountain athlete, regardless of the season. It has enough space for any day-long expeditions and keeps everything tight and streamlined on your back.

On a scale of 1 being a chihuahua and 5 being a Bernese Mountain Dog, I would give this pack a 4, or a Swiss Mountain Dog. It’s the size you need for any day out in the mountains, with a versatile nature to it and is very comfortable and light weight. Similar to a Swiss Mountain Dog, it is streamlined, light and ready to take on any day on the trail or at the crag.

Keep following Explore Inspired’s #MountainTestedMondays series for more as I test this season’s best trail running packs and dig into the top outdoor gear for 2018!

Get The North Face Shadow 30+10L Here
Emily Holland
Emily Holland

Writer / Account Manager

Lover of all things outside. My life is mountains, rocks, running, dogs, fitness, & music. Base camp = Boston

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