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Jansport Right Pack Review

A classic model built for students who carry a lot of books
Jansport Right Pack
Photo: Jansport
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $60 List | $39.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Good price, holds lots of books and binders, easy to use
Cons:  Uncomfortable when weighted down, poor protection, questionable craftsmanship
Manufacturer:   Jansport
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 5, 2020
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57
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 10
  • Laptop Protection - 25% 3
  • Comfort - 20% 5
  • Storage - 15% 8
  • Ease of Use - 15% 9
  • Water Resistance - 15% 6
  • Style - 10% 5

Our Verdict

If you're a student seeking a laptop backpack, the Jansport Right Pack is a classic. It features a large voluminous interior that is apt to hold all your daily goods. We tested this bag for a few months, carrying it with us while commuting to and from work. Sometimes we carried it for hours, other times it simply sat in the car. It can fit 3-4 textbooks, 2 binders, your laptop, lunch, and gym clothes. While it lacks comfort features and its craftsmanship isn't to the highest standard, this is our go-to for anything school-related, from middle school to university. It'll fit all your books and electronics while offering the organization you need for class.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Jansport Right Pack
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $39.95 at Amazon$134.99 at Amazon$159.95 at Amazon$44.50 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$79.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
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Pros Good price, holds lots of books and binders, easy to useGreat organizational capacity, effective use of space, comfortable, adjustable, separate laptop side-accessDurable, waterproof, cool features, stowable rain fly and helmet net, lots of storage, ultra protectiveFunctional, plentiful storage, water-resistant fabric, inexpensive, versatileWater resistant, large and simple internal compartment, low price, durable
Cons Uncomfortable when weighted down, poor protection, questionable craftsmanshipExpensive, lacks cushioning on the bottom of the packExpensive, not super stylishNot super stylishNot the most comfortable, lacks laptop protection
Bottom Line If you carry lots of books and binders, and a laptop, this is the backpack for youA versatile option with great storage for electronicsBuilt as a bike commuting laptop protector, it serves so many more purposesBuilt for a plethora of applications, this pack offers awesome storage and valueThis high value laptop backpack is durable and versatile in its function
Rating Categories Jansport Right Pack Incase Icon Thule Pack 'n Pedal Commuter The North Face Borealis Timbuk2 Rogue
Laptop Protection (25%)
3
9
10
7
4
Comfort (20%)
5
8
8
8
6
Storage (15%)
8
9
7
8
7
Ease Of Use (15%)
9
9
8
9
8
Water Resistance (15%)
6
7
9
7
8
Style (10%)
5
9
6
6
7
Specs Jansport Right Pack Incase Icon Thule Pack 'n... The North Face... Timbuk2 Rogue
Volume (L) 31 L 17 L 24 L 28 L 25 L
Weight 1.3 lbs 2.1 lbs 2.4 lbs 2.7 lbs 1.8 lbs
Number of Compartments 3 4 2 2 1
Dimensions 18 x 13 x 8.5 in. 19 x 13 x 9 in. 15 x 6.7 x 19 in 19.75 x 13.5 x 8.5 in. 18.9 x 12.2 x 6.3 in.
Number of Large Pockets 1 3 1 2 1
Number of Small Pockets 2 14 2 9 7
Key Clip? Yes Yes Yes No No
Reflective Material? No No Yes Yes No
External Side Pocket(s) No Yes Yes Yes Yes
External Water Bottle Holder? No No Yes Yes Yes
Fits Laptop 17" 15" 15" 15" 15"
Hip belt No No No Yes No
Sternum Strap No Yes Yes Yes Yes

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.

Performance Comparison


This Top Pick is perfect for the student or teacher, or anybody who...
This Top Pick is perfect for the student or teacher, or anybody who needs enough volume to carry around a lot of stuff. Take it with you to campus, school, or your office.
Photo: Amber King

Laptop Protection


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.

Here we see that there is no protection along the sides. As a...
Here we see that there is no protection along the sides. As a result, we put our laptop into a protective 15-inch sleeve, which fits easily inside the pocket.
Photo: Amber King

Comfort


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.


The shoulder straps offer a lot of room but don't come with either a...
The shoulder straps offer a lot of room but don't come with either a sternum or hip strap.
Photo: Amber King

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 thin padding is comfortable when there's not a lot of weight...
The thin padding is comfortable when there's not a lot of weight, but when completely weighted down, there are pressure points.
Photo: Amber King

The straps themselves are thin (2 inches wide) with almost a ΒΌ-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.

A look at the thick and simple shoulder strap that, unfortunately...
A look at the thick and simple shoulder strap that, unfortunately, puts pressure points on the shoulders when fully loaded.
Photo: Amber King

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.

The backplate is a simple foam pad throughout.
The backplate is a simple foam pad throughout.
Photo: Amber King

Storage


One of the main reasons this classic is recommended for school and campus is because of its great storage capacity.


We love how many books we can fit inside of this bag! One of the...
We love how many books we can fit inside of this bag! One of the biggest reasons it earns a Top Pick.
Photo: Amber King

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.

Here we stack a computer, tablet, shoes, jacket, three smaller books...
Here we stack a computer, tablet, shoes, jacket, three smaller books and textbooks inside. There's still room to spare!
Photo: Amber King

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.

A look at the organizational features of the front pocket. No hidden...
A look at the organizational features of the front pocket. No hidden pockets with zippers here.
Photo: Amber King

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.

The front pocket is quite deep and can store cords, your phone, or...
The front pocket is quite deep and can store cords, your phone, or anything else you want quick access to.
Photo: Amber King

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.

The suede pull tabs are easy to use, but as you can see, fall off...
The suede pull tabs are easy to use, but as you can see, fall off (the zipper to the right).
Photo: Amber King

Water Resistance


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.


Here we test water resistance. We put each bag under the showerhead...
Here we test water resistance. We put each bag under the showerhead for 5 minutes.
Photo: Amber King

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.

While the image is blurry, we can see that some water pooled in the...
While the image is blurry, we can see that some water pooled in the front compartment...but none was in the main compartment. We'd trust this in a light rainstorm, but it's not waterproof.
Photo: Amber King

Style


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.

Simple and ready for learning. This isn't our top recommendation if...
Simple and ready for learning. This isn't our top recommendation if you're looking for a professional look.
Photo: Amber King

Value


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.

The exterior material is quite durable, but the suede bottom can get...
The exterior material is quite durable, but the suede bottom can get dirty. Some online users note that Jansport quality isn't what it used to be. However, we haven't had any issues in our use for three months.
Photo: Amber King

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.

Conclusion


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.

This bag is built for any student that needs a lot of storage...
This bag is built for any student that needs a lot of storage, decent durability, and a good price.
Photo: Amber King

Amber King