Jansport Right Pack Review
Cons: Uncomfortable when weighted down, poor protection, questionable craftsmanship
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Right Pack is best for school or campus use due to its huge capacity. While its craftsmanship is lacking, it can store more than most packs so that you can bring your books, laptop, lunch, and extra layers. Its classic style is great for students that hit the books regularly with a laptop in-tow.
The protection on this backpack is barebones, but improves the more you load it up. The laptop sleeve is quite simple. There is no securing strap, nor does a thinner laptop fit snugly. Smaller tablets and 11-inch MacBook Air's will move around and slide around, especially if the pack isn't filled up.
The only protection for your laptop comes in the form of a foam padding across the back. There's no additional protection around the sides or at the bottom. When we tested this bag, we used a protective sleeve and took care when setting it on the ground. If you're seeking a super protective bag, this is far from it. Unfortunately, it's one of the biggest caveats of this backpack. However, if you already use a protective sleeve and want a backpack that'll accommodate it space-wise, it'll work fine.
This backpack is simple, lacking comfort features. We wore this pack for over three months, usually with one laptop and a few books in the bag while commuting from home to our co-working space.
With this weight, it felt comfortable for our computer software engineer. However, when we loaded this bag up with lots of binders and books, we found the thinner straps to be less comfortable.
The straps themselves are thin (2 inches wide) with almost a ¼-inch of padding. While this feels good without weight, when loaded down, the straps put pressure on the tops of the shoulders. For those with a shorter torso, it can dig into the lower back (18.5 inches long). Our testers with a long torso felt it was just fine and comfortable to wear.
Overall, this backpack has a medium level of comfort. When weighted to over 10 lbs, weight distribution gets tough. For carrying just a couple of binders and textbooks though, it does the trick. It doesn't have a chest strap or waist belt but offers a wide range of length adjustments in the straps.
One of the main reasons this classic is recommended for school and campus is because of its great storage capacity.
The backpack features quite a large voluminous compartment that can easily house a 15-inch laptop, 3-4 textbooks, and 2 binders. Given the large laptop space, you could probably get a 17-inch laptop inside (though we didn't have one to try). Since it has a large amount of vertical space, there's room to stack your gym clothes on top of all that stuff to really pack it all in.
Organizationally, this backpack is quite simple. In addition to the large 31L compartment, it has two smaller pockets in the front. The first is quite large, which can easily house a pencil case, chargers, and other items. It also has three pen holders and a smaller pocket that'll fit business cards or an extra battery pack (to keep things charged up). The front pocket is smaller but wide enough to store pencils, pens, a phone, or other smaller items.
In comparison to the best organizational packs, it lacks when it comes to features. It doesn't have a water bottle holder, so we had to put our water bottle inside the bag, with our laptop - not our favorite solution. None of the pockets are fleece-lined, nor is there a bunch of protection. Our main tester has been a teacher for a long time, and she sees this bag used by many students in her high school.
While this bag isn't the most organizationally focused, it'll do wonders for the person that prefers to simply put all their stuff in one main compartment and go. The huge volume will store many items. That said, for the person that won't be carrying around binders and textbooks, the storage capacity is probably a bit much for your needs.
Ease of Use
This backpack is very easy to use. It doesn't boast any specific access points for a laptop or tablet but simply allows you to access all things with the pull of a zipper.
The pulls are quite large but do eventually fall off after just a couple of months of use. One annoyance we experienced was the zipper getting caught in the zipper awning fabric from time to time.
If you get caught in mild snow or rainstorm, you don't have to worry. However, a torrential downpour and you're going to want to seek shelter quickly. While the exterior fabric is pretty tough, it's not waterproof. The zippers are covered, which slows water from leaking inside the bag.
During our water resistance tests, we put this bag under a showerhead for about 5 minutes. After our test, the laptop compartment stayed quite dry while the front pockets filled up with some water. The interior of the main compartment became damp but didn't pool with water. The takeaway? If you're in wet weather a lot, consider buying a rain fly. Otherwise, keep it out of heavy weather, or put your laptop inside a protective sleeve.
This bag is definitely geared for the younger generation. It can be worn easily to school or your college campus. It comes with many color options but doesn't look sleek or professional for wearing to your next job interview.
We love the contrasting suede material used on the bottom of the backpack (as a durable reinforcement), but it does get dirty after being put down on the floor several times. Overall, a good choice for heading to school, but not a backpack we'd take when a professional and formal look is needed.
Jansport is known for its simple functionality and durability. However, many recent reviews online prove that durability is starting to wane. While we didn't experience any durability issues after three months of testing, some users have reported blow-outs and stitching coming undone. That said, many more users state this bag to be super durable and have lasted them for over five years! When evaluating the materials and craftsmanship, we'd put this backpack on the lower end of the scale. Some of the stitching seems simple and apt to come undone. Plus, some of the materials are quite thin, especially in weight-bearing locations.
Aside from these projections, our experience has been great. So far, for the price, we'd say this backpack is of strong value. It's designed to handle a big load and comes at an affordable price.
The Jansport Right Pack is the backpack for commuting to and from school or campus. Its large 31L capacity is constructed to fit large books, binders, and your laptop. Its simple design doesn't boast the best craftsmanship or comfort, but it gets the job done. Its lower price is an extra bonus that any parent or student will love.
— Amber King