The best JanSport backpack

From bestreviews.com
By
Lauren Corona
BestReviews

Their simplicity, durability and casually cool style make JanSport backpacks popular with a wide range of people, from students to skaters to parents.

Looking for a bag that will stand the test of time? JanSport backpacks are so rugged that the manufacturer will guarantee them for your whole lifetime. They're great for casual wear, school, work, hiking, grocery runs and wherever else you might need to carry items. 

But which JanSport backpack to choose? We have the details you need to help you decide, along with some recommendations. The classic JanSport SuperBreak Backpack is our top pick thanks to its durability and enduring design. 

What to know before you buy a JanSport backpack

JanSport backpack lines

JanSport backpacks come in various lines and styles. If you're looking for a classic silhouette, the SuperBreak is the company's most popular pack and probably what you think of when you imagine a JanSport backpack. Travelers or hikers might appreciate the Hatchet line that features larger backpacks with more pockets and a secure top flap. Looking for a backpack to use as an airline carry-on? The Driver line features wheels for when you don't want to carry it on your back. JanSport also sells several student lines with features such as laptop sleeves and extra compartments. 

Size

Think about what you need to carry in your JanSport backpack to work out what size backpack is right for you. JanSport makes some mini backpacks, which are great for carrying just a handful of items. On the other end of the spectrum, there are large packs suitable for overnight stays, camping or long hikes. On one hand, it's good to have a bit too much space in your backpack than not enough, but you also don't want an extremely big backpack if you're only ever going to throw your wallet, phone or sweater in there. 

Colors and prints

Although you can buy JanSport backpacks in a variety of solid colors from muted tones to bright hues, the company is also known for its inventive range of prints. You can find floral prints, galaxy prints, tie-dye patterns, stripes, polka dots and camo prints, to name just a handful of your options. Prints allow you to show off your personal style and are especially popular with children and teenagers.  

JanSport backpack features

Compartments

The number of compartments in a JanSport backpack varies depending on the model. Some have just a single large compartment, which is fine for many people, but those who tend to store a lot of different items in their backpacks can struggle without two or more compartments for organization. JanSport student backpacks generally have two to three compartments, which are useful when you want to have one compartment for books, one for your lunch and others for pens or miscellaneous items. You'll also find some JanSport backpacks with padded laptop compartments. 

Pockets

In addition to the compartments in the main body of the bag, JanSport backpacks also feature exterior pockets. They have at least one zippered pocket on the front of the bag, which is great for holding your phone, keys, wallet, or other items you need easy access to. Some also have elasticated side pockets that are great for holding water bottles. 

Straps

The straps on a JanSport backpack are easily adjustable to fit individuals of different heights. They're wide and well-padded at the top for more comfortable wear.  

Padding

In addition to the strap padding, JanSport backpacks are usually padded at the back of the main compartment to minimize the degree to which items in your bag dig into your back. 

JanSport backpack cost 

Although JanSport backpacks aren't the cheapest on the market, they're reasonably priced considering their quality, retailing for roughly $20-$50.

JanSport backpack FAQ

Why are JanSport backpacks so popular? 

A. JanSport has been making backpacks since the 1960s and their durability plays a big part in their enduring popularity. Parents and caregivers of schoolchildren love that they don't need to buy a new backpack at the start of every school year, while kids are happy that their backpack doesn't go out of style. They're simple and not too fussy but come in a wide range of prints, alongside basic colors. 

How do I claim my JanSport warranty if my backpack breaks? 

A. One of the great things about JanSport backpacks is that they come with a lifetime warranty. If your bag breaks from general use, you can send it to JanSport which will either repair it or replace it free of charge. This might seem too good to be true, but many people don't take advantage of the warranty, either because they're unaware of it or think it will be too difficult. Luckily, it's fairly simple to claim the warranty. Simply visit JanSport warranty page on the company's website to print a warranty form. Fill this out and send it to the listed address along with your backpack. You'll need to pay the shipping to send it there, but JanSport will pay the return shipping.

Which JanSport backpack should I get?

Best of the best JanSport backpack

JanSport SuperBreak Backpack: available at Amazon

Our take: A versatile option for anyone who wants a simple yet stylish backpack. 

What we like: Classic JanSport design with a front pocket for items you need easy access to and side pocket for water bottle. Comes in a wide range of colors. 

What we dislike: Some users would like more pockets or compartments. 

Best bang for your buck JanSport backpack

JanSport Half Pint Mini Backpack: available at Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond and Kohl's

Our take: This compact backpack is great for kids or anyone who prefers to travel light. 

What we like: Surprisingly roomy despite its compact size. Features zippered front pocket. Lightweight and comfortable to wear. 

What we dislike: Straps are a little too short for some users. 

Honorable mention JanSport backpack

JanSport Hatchet Backpack: available at Amazon

Our take: Large and rugged, this backpack is equally useful for work, school or hikes. 

What we like: Large capacity. Comfortable, well-padded straps with a buckle connecting them to help with heavy loads. Features a padded laptop sleeve and tablet pocket. 

What we dislike: Limited color options. 

Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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