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JanSport Driver 8

*Est. $100
Reviewed
September 2012
by ConsumerSearch
JanSport Driver 8

Pros
  • Spacious
  • Can be pulled or carried
  • Four pockets
Cons
  • No guards to prevent underside abrasion
  • Laptop sleeve not secure
  • Handle may break
Where to Buy
 

Owners say the JanSport Driver 8 wheeled backpack is great for anyone who needs to haul a lot of books or supplies. It can be pulled like a suitcase or carried like a backpack. We found some complaints about the ill-fitting laptop sleeve, and a few owners say they wore a hole in the underside from the bottom dragging when pulled.

Performance

Generous capacity with a sense of order. The JanSport Driver 8 offers 2,175 cubic inches of storage space divided between two large storage compartments, a smaller front storage compartment and a very small front stash pocket. We found several complaints that the Driver 8's zippers are stiff at first, but they seem to soften up with use.

The Driver 8 comes with a padded laptop sleeve that accommodates computers of up to 15 inches, but not everybody loves this feature; one user describes it as "sloppy," and another points out that it let her laptop flop around too much. The problem seems to be that the laptop sleeve is secured to the cloth divider between the two main storage compartments, so there's nothing to hold your computer in place if the rest of the backpack is empty.

On the plus side, most people purchase this bag primarily for its wheels and storage capacity, so the floppy laptop sleeve isn't a deal-breaker. Reviewers also say the two-stage retractable handle goes up and down smoothly, and the bag is roomy without being so wide that you can't navigate it on mass transit.

Comfort

Smooth-rolling wheels. The JanSport Driver 8's tuck-away straps let you transition quickly from wheeled luggage to traditional backpack. Commuters in particular love this feature, rolling the Driver 8 where there's room to maneuver and slipping it onto their back to navigate crowds or stairs. Nobody comments on the absence of a waist belt.

Users on Amazon.com and eBags.com say that, at just under 5 pounds, the Driver 8 feels reasonably light when you choose to carry it as a backpack, and the straps and back are reasonably well-padded. However, a few say it's not the most comfortable backpack they've ever worn, but it is primarily designed to be pulled.

At least one reviewer points out that if the pack's wheels are dirty, there's nothing to keep them from getting you dirty as well when you wear it on your back. Other than that minor quibble, the Driver 8's 80 mm inline skate wheels are a definite high point. Users say they're very smooth and quiet, and they offer excellent maneuverability.

Durability

Backed by a lifetime warranty. For the most part, reviewers say the JanSport Driver 8 can withstand children -- and their books -- for years. 

We did find a few reports of handles that either broke or stopped retracting properly -- but customers also say that JanSport customer service did a good job of making things right. "After 7 months, the bar did break, but Jansport service is tremendous. They received the pack and because they couldn't repair the pack, they sent us a brand new one," writes one Amazon.com reviewer.

Some also complain that the underside of the bag gets worn from abrasion as you roll it around. On the other hand, the wheels themselves draw kudos for their rugged durability. Reviewers don't have much to say about water resistance, although another reviewer posting on Amazon.com says he uses this pack to walk several blocks in all sorts of weather -- including snow and rain -- and it's "holding up very nicely." Another describes it as "sturdy and waterproof."

Bottom line

Reviewers praise the JanSport Driver 8's quiet, smooth-handling inline-skate wheels, spacious capacity, durable fabric and reasonable organization. We found only a few quibbles about zippers that felt too stiff at first  and retractable handles that didn't always behave as expected.

Where To Buy
JanSport Driver 8 Core Series Wheeled Backpack(Black)

 (4 reviews)
Buy new: $120.00 $110.00   4 Used & new from $60.00

In Stock. Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping

 

Our Sources

1. EBags.com

Very good More than 2,600 owners weigh in on the JanSport Driver 8, which gets an average rating of 4.4 stars out of a possible 5. Reviewers range from students who use the pack to tote books to school or across campus, to professionals carrying supplies back and forth to the office. Most reviews of the Driver 8 are positive, although there are a few complaints that the bottom of the pack wears out prematurely due to abrasion from ground contact.

Review: JanSport Driver 8, Contributors to eBags.com

2. Amazon.com

Very good More than 100 owners contribute to an average Amazon.com rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Reviewers say the Driver 8 is easy to handle, and it's ideal for people with back problems or disabilities who have trouble carrying a standard backpack.

Review: JanSport Driver 8 Core Series Wheeled Daypack, Contributors to Amazon.com

3. Luggage Online

Very good The JanSport Driver 8 receives a 4.5 star rating on LuggageOnline.com, in more than 30 owner reviews. There are fewer reviews here than at eBags.com, but feedback is similar, with most owners saying the Driver 8 is convenient for school, work and travel.

Review: JanSport Daypacks Driver 8 Wheeled Backpack, Contributors to LuggageOnline.com

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