Do All North Face Backpacks Have a Whistle?

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There’s a reason that it seems like everyone, including grandmas, has a North Face backpack these days. They’re unparalleled in quality and have features for whatever activity you’ll use the backpack for, such as rain covers or emergency whistles. But do all North Face backpacks have a whistle?

Not all North Face Backpacks have a whistle. So that’s something to look out for if you need the whistle feature specifically for outdoor activities. Consider the activities the backpack is for. An emergency whistle will come in handy for certain activities, like wilderness camping.

With so many North Face backpacks to choose from, how can you determine if you need one with a whistle? Keep reading as I discuss the reasons you may want to pick a backpack with a whistle. I’ll also share a list of cool North Face backpacks that have a whistle.

Not All North Face Backpacks Have a Whistle

There’s a North Face backpack for any activity, whether skiing in the mountains or walking to class. Across the many backpacks that North Face offers, only some of them have a whistle attached. 

If you’re looking to purchase a backpack that includes a whistle, the descriptions of each backpack will indicate whether or not that particular model has one. Unless the description says that the bag has a built-in whistle to the sternum buckle, the backpack won’t include a whistle. 

Reasons To Include an Emergency Whistle

The reasons for including an emergency whistle on your North Face backpack differ depending on the activity and areas you’ll frequent. 

However, all of these different reasons boil down to one thing in particular: safety. 

Protect Yourself in Urban Areas

If you’re primarily going to be backpacking through densely populated areas, it might seem as though having a lot of people around negates the need for an emergency whistle. 

In the city, there are people around to intervene if they see an assault or robbery occurring. However, that doesn’t always mean that help will come. 

Unfortunately, you may find yourself in need of help in an area of crowded people and still not receive it due to something called the bystander effect

It can be easier not to get involved and assume that someone else will intervene when many people are around. But if everyone has this same thought, no one ends up intervening in a time of need.

A whistle will help negate the bystander effect by making the danger more clear and present to those around, increasing the likelihood that someone will step in to help. 

So, if you’ll be doing mostly urban activities with your North Face Backpack, still consider choosing one with an emergency whistle. If a predator tries to mug, assault, or threaten your safety, a whistle will help scare them off and bring help to your side. 

Help Others Find You in the Wilderness

An emergency whistle should be on the packing list for anyone planning any wilderness camping and hiking. 

A whistle can be your best way to receive aid if you lose the trail and get lost in the wilderness. 

This situation has happened to me personally, and I was so grateful that my hiking partner and I had whistles. We had just set up camp, the sun was setting, and I had hiked off to sling up our bear bag for the night. 

A bear bag needs to be hung far enough away from camp. That way, you can ensure any bears attracted to the smell of food will go to the tree you’ve chosen instead of your tent.

So, I hiked about a quarter-mile (0.40 km) away before choosing a tree. 

Unfortunately, the bear bag fell and rolled down the mountain, and I had to trek down to get it. In my hurry, I got very turned around and lost the trail. It was dark. 

After a few minutes of searching in vain, I remembered my whistle. I blew one sharp blast, waited a few moments, and repeated the blast. My partner heard and started responding with her whistle. 

I was able to make it back to camp relatively fast, following the sound of the whistle. The story ended up being fairly uneventful, which is a good thing when the subject is getting lost in a dark mountain forest!

If you’re hiking alone, a whistle is still crucial. If you find yourself lost or injured, there are whistle calls that signal to anyone in earshot that you’re there and in need of help. Whether you’re in the mountains, on the water, or in a forest, these will be the same. 

Here's a quick guide on whistle signals from one search and rescue associate.
One blast = Where are you?. Also used to respond to other whistle signals.
Two blasts = Used to signal a halt during a sound and light search
Three blasts = I need help! (distress, emergency)
Four blasts = Come to me (recall).

Before leaving, ensure someone at home knows where you’ll be and the relevant search and rescue group for that area. This international search and rescue database should have all of the information needed!

Favorite North Face Backpacks With an Emergency Whistle

All of the following backpacks will have an emergency whistle in the sternum buckle. There’s no need to remember to attach it or pack it in the emergency kit. It’s built into the backpack! Here are the backpacks available on

The North Face Terra Backpack

BACKCOUNTRY EXCURSIONS. With features you'll use every time you hit the trail and our ultra-durable OPTIFIT system, the user-friendly Terra 65 is made for easy adjustments and off-the-grid comfort.

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Best for Backpacking: The North Face Terra 55 Backpack

This backpack is for you if you plan on spending more than a day out on the trail. It has space for 65 liters (17.17 gal) of equipment, so enough room for your sleeping gear, food, extra dry clothes, and water. 

The pack is lightweight with an internal frame. You can find the whistle built into the sternum strap, so it has easy access in case of an emergency! 

The North Face Women’s Terra 55 Backpack is the women’s version. 

The North Face Borealis

Our much-loved Borealis pack has been reimagined and upgraded. It now features easy-access organization, a super-comfy FlexVent suspension and a proud endorsement from the American Chiropractic Association.

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Best Backpack Day Use: The North Face Borealis Pack

The Borealis backpack is super versatile and has tons of space for anything you’ll need for your day, regardless of what you’ve planned. 

If you’re spending it out on the trail, there’s room for two water bottles, snacks, a change of clothes, a first-aid kit, etc. 

Suppose you need a backpack for work or school. There’s a separate sleeve for a laptop, allowing you to get to and from without worrying about damage!

As with the larger packs, the sternum buckle has a built-in emergency whistle, so it’s easily accessible, and there’s no risk of forgetting it!

The North Face Women’s Borealis Pack is for women’s fit. 

Final Thoughts

Regardless of what you’re using your new North Face backpack for, it’s always a good idea to keep your safety in mind when picking the right one for you. 

If you already have a North Face backpack that doesn’t include a whistle, it might be a good investment to attach one. Of course, hopefully, you never need to use an emergency whistle, but you can never be too careful!

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