The JanSport Big Student Backpack lacks some of the features found on pricier packs, but reviewers say this simple, roomy backpack is one of the best picks for older students. It also has a great reputation for durability. Its carrying capacity is too much for the younger crowd (experts recommend that they carry no more than 10 to 20 percent of their body weight), but for high school and college needs, this is a great choice.
Very roomy for lots of gear. The JanSport Big Student Backpack's 2,100-cubic-inch capacity is divided between two large main compartments, a smaller front utility pocket, and a zippered front stash pocket. Parents and students say they can store anything they need for high school or college in this pack, with room left over. It doesn't have a built-in laptop sleeve (although you can fit one in there), but it has a single water bottle pocket.
Reviewers say that the various pockets are a big help for keeping all their school supplies organized, including books, clothes, lunch and a laptop.
A balance of strength and comfort. Most reviewers praise the JanSport Big Student Backpack, but we found some comments on both eBags.com and Amazon.com that the ergonomic shoulder straps are stiff and uncomfortable. Other reviewers say that the straps soften up as you break them in.
We also found a few comments that the back padding is a bit thin. However, the Big Student receives thousands of positive user reviews, and most say it strikes a good balance between strength and comfort. There is no waist belt, but that does not seem to affect the wearer's comfort.
Highly durable. The JanSport Big Student Backpack -- which is made of 600-denire polyester, is considered virtually indestructible. Cozi.com's 66,000-strong Facebook fan base picked JanSport as one of the four best backpack brands, praising them for their durability. A number of reviewers say they've had their backpack for years, and use it for a variety of purposes outside of school. Many owners comment how well it holds up to the rigors of travel.
The Jansport Big Student comes in dozens of colors and styles and JanSport packs all carry a lifetime guarantee. Customer service gets good reviews for being helpful and responsive.
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In this roundup of the best backpacks for toddlers to teens, the Jansport Big Student Backpack is chosen for its capacity and modern new styles, in addition to its classic fabric options. It's one of the choices of backpacks for big kids.
Review: The Best Backpacks, Age by Age, Alisa Stoudt and Jennifer Sembler, Not dated
The JanSport Big Student receives more than 5,500 individual reviews at eBags.com, and 97 percent say they'd buy this backpack again. Most reviewers give the Big Student a thumbs-up, but a few say the shoulder straps are uncomfortable.
Review: JanSport Big Student Pack, Contributors to eBags.com, As of July 2013
More than 650 owners give the JanSport Big Student an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars at Amazon.com. Most praise the pack's value and durability, but several owners say the shoulder straps are too stiff. They also say it's not a good fit for smaller children.
Review: JanSport Big Student Classics Series Daypack, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2013
The editors of Cozi.com polled their more than 66,000 fans on Facebook about the best backpacks; they gave ringing endorsements to four brands, including JanSport. Cozi.com ran several quotes from those who replied; they say their JanSport backpacks lasted for years and are still going strong. They do not specifically endorse the Big Student.
Review: The 4 Best Kids' Backpacks for School, Contributors to Cozi.com, Not dated