Menu
Updated July 2022
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

35
Models
Considered
65
Consumers
Consulted
8
Hours
Researched
Category cover

Buying guide for Best JanSport backpacks

Backpacks come in handy every day of the year, whether you’re a student lugging around schoolbooks or a traveler embarking on another overseas adventure. And there’s no better choice for your day-to-day needs than a classic JanSport backpack.

JanSport is a longtime leader in backpacks, bags, and handheld accessories. Their products are popular because of their simple style, durability, and affordable prices. The backpacks are available in a variety of colors and styles designed to cater to all types of people and any occasion.

As you look to invest in your first JanSport backpack, consider some important factors that will affect your decision, such as price, style, and the features you’d like, from size to straps to pockets.

backpacks
Look for a JanSport backpack with an elastic water bottle holder. This can accommodate bottles of various sizes, unlike a bottle holder made of canvas.

How to buy the best JanSport backpack

How do you plan to use your backpack?

Your individual needs affect the style and size you buy, so take into account your regular activities. If you plan to use your backpack for the gym, work, or school, you might be most interested in a small or medium design that’s simple and lightweight. However, if you want to use your backpack for travel or hiking, a larger option with plenty of pockets might be a better fit.

Materials

JanSport backpacks are made of 600 denier fabrics that can include recycled polyester, nylon, and Cordura, plus PEVA foam, metal, and mesh. Some models feature suede leather accents along the bottom and sides for added resilience and a chic design. JanSport backpacks are known for their longevity and durability, and their materials certainly reflect this.

JanSport also makes some backpacks out of 100% recycled polyester, 100% recycled nylon, and repurposed surplus scrap fabrics. They boost their efforts at sustainability and reduce their carbon footprint by minimizing waste.

Styles

JanSport backpacks are available in a range of styles to suit multiple activities. They make backpacks for hiking and school, as well as lifestyle and rucksack-style backpacks. Their size and design vary based on function. Hiking and rucksack backpacks open at the top and secure with buckles, while casual school or work backpacks have a zippered main compartment.

Sizes

JanSport makes four sizes of backpacks: mini, small, medium, and large. Mini JanSport backpacks include fanny packs and very small backpacks that can hold just a few items. Their small and medium backpacks are ideal for everyday use at school or work or while traveling. JanSport large backpacks include hiking packs and rucksacks, which are best for carrying larger items or for longer trips.

JanSport makes a Color It Yourself collection of backpacks. These feature graphics in black-and-white that are designed for you to color!

STAFF
BestReviews

Features to look for in JanSport backpacks

Organization

Main compartment: The main compartment of a JanSport backpack consists of one or two large pouches designed with enough space to hold large items. These are often used for things like notebooks or books or clothing like hoodies or sweatshirts. Large JanSport backpacks have two main compartments separated by fabric so you can keep your belongings organized.

Pockets: Many JanSport backpacks include interior and exterior pockets for storing smaller items like keys, pens, snacks, or a phone. Some of these pockets include pen holders and small zippered compartments to keep valuables secure.

Laptop sleeve: If you plan to use your JanSport backpack for school or work, you likely want one that includes a padded sleeve for a laptop or tablet. This is especially convenient because it keeps the device separate and protected from other items in the main compartment that could scratch or otherwise damage it.

Bottle holder: Many JanSport backpacks include a fabric or elastic sleeve on the side for a water bottle. This is a handy, on-the-go convenience for water, soda, or another similarly shaped object.

Straps and handles

Each JanSport backpack is equipped with two straps to comfortably secure the pack over the shoulders. The shoulder straps are adjustable using simple buckles at the bottom. Many models also include a convenient loop at the top for carrying the pack by hand. The straps are made of Cordura or canvas with foam padding for comfort.

The straps or handles on your JanSport backpack make an excellent place to attach a luggage tag so you can easily spot your bag and ensure that your contact information is available in the event that you misplace or lose it.

Zippers and buckles

The main compartments and pockets of JanSport backpacks close with either metal zippers or lightweight plastic buckles to make sure your belongings stay securely inside.

Padded back

For added comfort, support, and protection, the JanSport backpack panel that rests against the user’s back is lightly padded.

backpack
DID YOU KNOW?
Spray your JanSport backpack with a protective sealant to prevent stains or water damage. This helps the material last longer and minimizes the need for frequent cleaning.
STAFF
BestReviews

How much do JanSport backpacks cost?

Inexpensive

The most affordable JanSport backpacks are mini, small, and medium sizes and simple in design. They typically have one large compartment and one or two pockets. Some include a basic laptop sleeve and a water bottle holder. These cost $25 to $50.

Mid-range

These JanSport backpacks are mostly medium and large higher-quality backpacks. They have a larger capacity, colorful designs, and more pockets or compartments. Many of these models also feature suede accents or additional buckles and straps. They cost $50 to $80.

Expensive

The most expensive JanSport backpacks are the largest models designed for hiking or traveling. They have more features like additional compartments and pockets, a telescopic handle, or even wheels. They cost $80 to $140.

If your shoulder straps begin to tear at the seams, don’t fret! You can use a simple sewing kit to repair them. Just match the thread to your backpack color.

STAFF
BestReviews

Tips

  • Don’t leave wet or dirty items in your backpack. Remove soggy or smelly items as soon as possible. Leaving them in your backpack is a sure way to encourage bacteria and odors. If you want to extend the life of your backpack, remove wet or dirty items and wipe down the backpack immediately. Spray it with a deodorizing spray and hang up your backpack to air-dry.
  • Personalize your backpack. Adding patches, tags, or hot-glued jewels is an inventive way to spruce up your backpack. You can also draw designs on the fabric with permanent markers. These add a personal touch, and the crafting project gives you something fun and creative to do!
  • Hang up your backpack on a hanger or coat rack. Keeping your backpack off the ground prevents it from getting dirty or stepped on and further protects any items inside. This also helps keep pets and small children out of the backpack.
backpacks
The safest way to clean a JanSport backpack is to wash it by hand. Remove any items and scrub it with warm water and natural soap. Hang up the backpack to dry in a protected area with ample ventilation. You can also machine wash it in cold water, but don’t put the backpack in the dryer.

FAQ

Q. How much weight can a JanSport backpack hold?

A. Most small or medium JanSport backpacks can support 20 to 30 pounds. Backpacks that are regularly used to carry this much weight are likely to wear out more quickly and susceptible to torn straps or ripped seams. Large JanSport backpacks have thicker straps and can hold roughly 30 to 45 pounds.

Q. Can I use a JanSport backpack as a carry-on?

A. TSA regulations state that carry-on bags must not exceed 22 inches long. Most small and medium JanSport backpacks are ideally sized to serve as carry-ons. Many of the large JanSport backpacks can also be used as carry-ons, but the hiking and ski backpacks are too big.

Q. Do JanSport backpacks have a lifetime warranty?

A. JanSport offers a limited lifetime warranty on its backpacks against manufacturing defects. This warranty excludes any damage caused by personal accidents or improper care.

Our Top Picks