Eastpak vs JanSport Backpacks: Which Brand Is Better?

Eastpak vs JanSport Backpacks

It’s sometimes confusing to choose between two brands owned by the same parent company and that produce the same type of products.

Both Eastpak and JanSport are famous American bag brands, and choosing one over the other can be daunting.

Our Eastpak vs JanSport comparison pits the two brands against each other to see which is better in what ways.

We’ll also offer recommendations for some of our favorite backpacks from each brand to make it easier for you to decide between them.

1. The Eastpak Brand

Eastpak is an American global lifestyle brand founded by Monte Goldman in Boston in 1952. Goldman started a company named Eastern Canvas Products USA, Inc, which supplied safety equipment, duffels, and backpacks to the U.S. Army.

It wasn’t until Mark Goldman, Monte’s son, joined the company in 1976 and transformed its retail line into a consumer brand named Eastpak.

Eastpak official website
Eastpak official website

In 1980, Norman Jacobs joined the company and worked with Mark to popularize Eastpak products to the U.S. college market throughout the 1980s and early 1990s on the East Coast.

Eastpak is famous for its creative advertising campaigns as much as it is for its highly durable products, up to 30 years limited warranty, and bold colors and prints on its bags.

The limited warranty of up to 30 years is Eastpak’s assurance to its customers that its products are highly durable and the company stands behind them. Eastpak became the first maker of bags to give its customers a lifetime warranty.

One of Eastpak’s famous adverts tied to the 30-year warranty depicts the company’s bags having outlived their former owners. The concept is shown using bags on the skeletons of their supposed former owners who left the bags intact.

In 2000, the VF Corporation acquired Eastpak, where it joined other bags and apparel brands like Kipling, Wrangler, The North Face, Lee, and JanSport.

Eastpak has grown from the U.S. to other global markets such as France, Singapore, the Philippines, Korea, and Japan.

Headquartered in Belgium and Switzerland, Eastpak is now a maker of accessories, duffel bags, shoulder bags, travel gear, and backpacks.

Eastpak has grown from a military-style products brand to a fashionable maker of consumer apparel. Eastpak bags are ideal for the urban lifestyle or casual wear.

Eastpak logo on a Padded Pakr backpack
Eastpak logo on a Padded Pak’r backpack

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2. FAQs for Eastpak Backpacks

Below are some common questions people ask about Eastpak backpacks.

What Materials Does Eastpak Use?

Many Eastpak backpacks are made of, in the company’s words, “high-density ballistic-grade nylon,” which is used in one of the brand’s most popular bags, the Padded Pak’r.

It is the military-inspired ballistic-grade nylon that Eastpak so much believes in and acknowledges that it informs its lifetime warranty of 30 years against manufacturer and material defects.

Lately, the brand has also been focused on sustainable and recycled materials to reduce its environmental impact.

Are Eastpak Backpacks Durable?

True to the company’s “Built to Resist” and “Built to Last” slogans, Eastpak backpacks are highly durable and can resist wear and tear over a long time.

Are Eastpak Backpacks Worth the Money?

Eastpak backpacks are affordable (most of them cost $50-$100), which is good for most buyers on a budget who need a reliable, practical, and durable backpack.

Given their water-resistant abilities and high levels of durability, Eastpak backpacks are definitely worth the money.

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3. Our Favorite Eastpak Backpacks

Let’s now go over some Eastpak backpacks we would recommend you to check out.

Eastpak Padded Pak’r

Eastpak Padded Pakr backpack front and back
An Eastpak Padded Pak’r Backpack – front and back

The Padded Pak’r backpack is a low-profile yet practical bag ideal for everyday use at work, school, and light outdoor engagements. It has a zippered front pocket, main compartment, padded back panel, and adjustable shoulder straps. It is made with 100% nylon.

The Padded Pak’r is available in army olive, black, black denim, Sunday grey, triple denim, sailor red, and other colors to suit your preferences.

Eastpak Padded Double

Eastpak Padded Double backpack
Eastpak Padded Double backpack – image eastpak.com

Eastpak’s Padded Double backpack is popular for its squared-off shape that hugs the height of the back in a snug fit. It is the ideal bag for when you want to pack a little more for a travel day.

The 100% polyester backpack comes with a spacious main compartment, padded laptop sleeve for 13-inch laptops, a bottle holder, and two front pockets.

You can choose between various colors such as black, misty blue, Sunday grey, and dark grass.

4. The JanSport Brand

The story of JanSport began with three friends: Murray Pletz, Janis Lewis, and Skip Yowell. Janis was Murray’s girlfriend, while Yowell was his cousin. The three started JanSport in 1967 in Seattle.

JanSport official website
JanSport official website

When Murray Pletz was awarded by the Alcoa Company for his innovative backpack frame design with aluminum components, he shared the idea of making a backpack to go with the first-ever adjustable frame.

Janis was an accomplished seamstress. Murray promised he would name the company after her if the backpack succeeded, which it did, giving rise to JanSport.

The three friends would later make JanSport backpacks a popular item for mountain climbers by promoting annual mountain climbing events, such as the one done in 1972 at Mount Rainier.

The trio invited their friends to climb the mountain with them, which was possible since Yowell was an outdoor enthusiast.

The annual mountain climbs became popular as one-of-a-kind group consecutive mountain climbs. JanSport still holds the record for these annual consecutive group mountain climbing events.

In 1986, JanSport became part of the VF Corporation.

From humble beginnings, JanSport has outgrown its initial target market of backpackers or mountain climbing enthusiasts.

The brand’s backpacks are now widely popular among high school and college students who often need a spacious backpack for carrying books, tablets, laptops, and accessories.

Read also: JanSport vs Herschel Backpacks: Which Brand is Better?

Over 50 Years of Outdoor Exploration

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5. FAQs for JanSport Backpacks

Here are some questions often asked about JanSport.

What Are JanSport Backpacks Made Of?

JanSport uses different materials in making its backpacks. Different models may be made with different materials. Some materials the brand uses include suede leather, Cordura® nylon, polyester, TPU coatings, etc.

For example, the famous JanSport Right Pack is made with Cordura nylon and has a suede leather bottom.

JanSport also uses recycled materials to make some bags, such as the JanSport Recycled SuperBreak, which is made with 100% recycled nylon and polyester as part of the company’s efforts to reduce waste.

Are JanSport and Eastpak the Same?

JanSport and Eastpak now belong to the same parent company, the VF Corporation, which acquired them in 1986 and 2000, respectively. The two companies are still famous and reliable bag brands.

Are JanSport Backpacks Worth the Money?

Using Cordura nylon for its water-resistance properties and suede leather bottoms are some of the things that can make JanSport backpacks more expensive than similar products.

JanSport backpacks are durable, water-resistant, and spacious. These properties also make them worth the money.

6. Our Favorite JanSport Backpacks

Here are two JanSport backpacks we recommend for you:

JanSport Suede Campus

JanSport Suede Campus backpack
JanSport Suede Campus backpack – image jansport.com

JanSport markets this bag as ideal for students, but that’s not the only use for it. You can carry the bag to the office, for outdoor activities, or for ordinary travel. Its suitability for school and the office is its laptop carrying ability and ample space for books and other small school items.

Like other JanSport backpacks with suede leather bottoms, the Suede Campus backpack will hold itself together for a long time, even under the weight of books and your laptop.

The Suede Campus features padded shoulder straps, side compression straps, a side water bottle pocket, a fully padded back panel, and a front zippered pocket.

The backpack is available in many colors such as graphite grey, daisy park, hydrangea, navy, black, mahalo vibes, standard camo, and ink blot pastel.

JanSport Field Pack

JanSport Field Pack backpack
JanSport Field Pack backpack – image jansport.com

The JanSport Field Pack is available in black, misty rose, honey, navy, army green, hydrangea, and brown patina. It is an ideal backpack for light outdoor activities that don’t require you to pack a lot of stuff.

The Field Pack comes with two fully enclosed water bottle pockets, a fully padded back panel, padded straps, a laptop compartment for 15-inch laptops, a large main compartment, and a front pocket with a rain flap.

The lightweight, low-profile backpack is suitable for hiking activities, urban use, and school use.

JanSport Pack Review: Field Pack

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7. Conclusion: Which Brand Is Better?

When you pit JanSport against Eastpak, your personal preference must come into play. Both brands produce high-quality backpacks that you can rely on for activities like schooling, office work, and light outdoor engagements.

JanSport is good for school and urban life. You can carry items like laptops, calculators, water bottles, and books, for facilitating everyday college or high school life.

The good thing is that the fashionable JanSport backpacks are not only ideal for students but teachers as well.

Since most come with a robust suede bottom, you can carry a JanSport backpack without the fear of damaging your bag under the weight of books and laptops. Also, the suede bottom is said to last for a long time.

JanSport backpacks are also good for the office, whether you are a teacher working among hundreds of students or a worker in a different setting.

Eastpak backpacks, on the other hand, are good for outdoor activities, hiking, camping, backpacking, city life, and travel purposes. Their high-density ballistic-grade nylon is very resistant and suitable for these activities.

When it comes to price, customers on a budget should go for Eastpak backpacks because they are a bit cheaper than JanSport products.

After these considerations, we hope we made your decision between these two brands a bit easier! Let us know in the comments your experience with these two companies and which of them would you choose.

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