IDing Vintage JanSport

5:11 p.m. on October 24, 2010 (EDT)
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Hi All- I picked up a great old JanSport pack  and needs some help identifying the model. It looks to be from the late 70's or early 80's based on the switch to black plastic hardware.

It shares a number of similarities with an Alpine Phantom (see photos). I am guessing it might be a later version of the same model.  Anyone recognize?

The vertical tubes of the frame are just over eight inches apart compared to fourteen inches of my other JanSport externals. 

The pack clearly looks set up for climbing, with pockets / straps on the side to hold snow pickets /wands, and loops for an ax and alpine hammer. It's a big capacity pack.

I sent off some photos to JanSport but no response to date.




8:10 p.m. on October 24, 2010 (EDT)
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Here's are photos of the buckles. Very different.Kodak-C663-008.jpgKodak-C663-011.jpg

10:59 p.m. on October 24, 2010 (EDT)
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The short answer is the pack is NOT an Alpine Phantom.  The Alpine Phantom was a very rare pack and very few were made; I think these were only on the market for 2-3 years beginning around 1978 or 1979.  The Phantom's pack frame was the unique aspect, it had a middle section designed to flex with your body's movements.  It's hard to describe, especially without a picture.  Alpine Phantom's were incredibly expensive, 2x the cost of other high-end packs, which is why they didn't sell well.  I believe Jim Wickwire carried an Alpine Phantom to the summit of K2 on the first successful American climb of that mountain.

That said, I do not know the model name of your pack.  These would have been on the market in the mid 1980's.  Nice pack though, I've seen them on ebay and would love to see one in the flesh.

10:11 p.m. on October 25, 2010 (EDT)
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Hi Alan - Thanks for the note. 

The orange pack in the photos labeled Alpine Phantom is what I found on the web when I did a search.  I have a vague recollection of the Alpine Phantom in the JanSport catalogs 'back in the day'  I had wondered if the visible hour glass shaped frame is what provided added flex.

I take it that you have seen an Alpine Phantom first hand and the orange pack is just something different and mislabeled? (To clarify my pack is the gray/black pack.)

Perhaps the Old Gray Bearded One has made a sighting?


11:12 p.m. on October 25, 2010 (EDT)
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The orange pack IS an Alpine Phantom, your gray pack is not; they are not the same packs.  Sorry, should have been more clear.  I had an Alpine Phantom at one time and sold it, not sure it that was a smart move.

10:54 a.m. on October 29, 2010 (EDT)
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Re: IDing JanSport

Alan - Thanks for the reply.  I heard back from JanSport yesterday and I sent them a few photos. Will be interesting to learn a bit more about the pack.

Thanks again.

1:53 a.m. on November 3, 2010 (EDT)
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Re: IDing JanSport

I got an email today from JanSport Customer Service. They hunted through old catalogs and located the name/specs of my pack.

 Its a "hybrid frame pack" model called the Eiger, circa 1989.                     It is a Big pack, just under 94 liters.

THANK YOU, JANSPORT! What customer service -  I love it!



4:15 p.m. on November 3, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks for posting!

3:06 p.m. on December 15, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks for posting the info.  I've been trying to get info on it as well.

I've got a red/black Eiger that I bought new in '84-ish.  Mine has different buckles and also has a sternum strap.  The leather patches on mine are black. 

I seem to remember that there were 4 models that used the hybrid frame design.  There was a model similar to the Eiger, but was a single compartment.  I don't remember much about the other two other than they were smaller in volume and also alpine packs.

Mine is still useable, but the upper tabs on the shoulder straps have disinigrated and are now zip-tied.  I've also got a little bit of fraying on the internal seams.

Any idea what the small loops on the top compartment and the bottom of the pack are for?

It is a HUGE pack.  I'd love to see any other info Jansport may have sent.

3:53 p.m. on December 15, 2010 (EST)
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I got help from Patagonia like that-sent them photos of a pair of Chouinard overboots I found in the trash-like new. They told me they were from the 70's or 80's. Hard to believe anyone was still around who remembered them.

7:06 a.m. on December 16, 2010 (EST)
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Here is some of the info that JanSport sent to me.  The one sheet appears to be an internal form.




11:06 a.m. on December 16, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks for the info TreeGuy.  I can't read the bottom scan that well.

Is that the scan they sent you or a photo of a paper copy?

I can makeout Teton and K??

1:29 a.m. on December 18, 2010 (EST)
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CanjunHiker -JanSport sent some PDF files.  TIn addition to the Eiger there was the KJ1 (a 101 liter pack) and the Teton (a 58 liter pack).

I can send the PDF file to your email address.

12:25 p.m. on December 20, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks for the scans TreeGuy.

I took a few shots of mine.










10:17 a.m. on December 21, 2010 (EST)
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CanjunHiker - Nice pack Like the color. Thanks for posting.

9:23 p.m. on December 22, 2010 (EST)
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I have to stop looking at these, my ebay trigger finger is getting itchy.

10:24 a.m. on December 23, 2010 (EST)
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Alan - You're hooked now.  You better start the hunt!

These really are a nice design.  The narrow width of the frame is just one features I like.

9:13 a.m. on March 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Just came across your post. Bought my first JS pack in 76 ( a D3).  Now have a D2, D3 and an Alpine Phantom. (note: I bought the Phantom from Alan several Years ago). It was pretty beat up but I did a restoration job and it's like new now.  It was a pretty advanced pack for it's time and is still unique, even to-day.

May 27, 2018
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