User Review: JanSport Big Bear 5000
Design: top-loading "big bag" internal
Size: 5000 cu
Height of Owner: 5' 11"
Price Paid: $47.93 + tax
I want to get a preliminary review out there while this pack is available at year-end closeout prices. I found little information on the Web and bought this based on my experience with other Jansport bags, the price, and the volume-per-weight ratio (80.65 cubic inches per ounce; light compared with other packs in this volume range).
First impressions: a well-built pack, with all the standard adjustments and some details that aren't mentioned even on the Jansport site.
Not mentioned elsewhere: There is a pocket for a hydration bag (that will hold a Platypus 2-liter) and one tube hole at the top-center, but no tube-keepers on the shoulder straps. There is a nice storm collar under the top flap. There are stabilizer straps on the belt to pull the load to your hips. The essential haul loop and load-lifter straps are there. And there are little strap-keepers on all the compression straps and the belt straps.
There are _two_ stays. Shoulder straps are sewn to a sliding panel whose height is adjusted with a strap under the lumbar pad. Too soon to tell, but the rated max torso length of 20" might be optimistic. The "wet-dry pocket" is rather small; just the size of the netting shown in the photo. The "front panel sleeve" is a pocket that covers almost the entire front of the pack. (It's the grey-colored area on the blue and green packs.) It's about 2 inches deep, with a zipper that runs in an arc around the top half of the pocket.
The lid is non-detachable with a pocket that is about 3 inches deep. Inside, there is only the hydration pocket -- no dividers, key clips, cell phone pockets, ... -- an old-school "bloody great sack".
The padding does not look luxurious, but a loaded test-drive is necessary to evaluate it. There is a lumbar pad and a full-length back pad that's divided along your spine. S-curved shoulder straps (with sternum strap) and hip belt are padded of course.
All-in-all, it looks like a good deal for what I paid. I'm looking forward to getting out there with it.