User Review: JanSport Big Bear 5000
Design: top loading internal
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 50
Height of Owner: 5'10"
Price Paid: $49.99
I'm actually writing a review for my friend. He bought this off of Campmor after seeing it for only $50 and 5,000 cubes and figured it was worth a shot. I've also included my observations while on the trail with him.
Too bad it missed.
Would have been nice to even come close to the target.
First off, Jansport has cheapened a lot of their products with different fabrics and materials. The packs are nothing like they used to build in the 80s and 90s. The pack did not hold up well to scrambling around trees that fell on the trail and just didn't seem like a solid 5,000 cubes.
The shoulder harness was a bit shakey and wasn't very firm, the straps are a little thinner and shorter than other Jansport internal frames, and they use a new hip belt that wasn't very effective, even with 4 or 5 different refits on the trail.
Regarding the storage areas, there are no zippers for a "lower compartment", its one solid area for your sleeping bag and stuff sacks. To make things even more interesting, there are no lashing straps on the BOTTOM of the backpack or TOP to hang items... just an ice axe loop, 4 small lashing loops on the outer pocket, and then a few lashing points in the middle.
Also, if you do pack your sleeping bag in the VERY bottom, don't plan on using the water bottle pockets -- they will keep falling out. The elastic doesn't stretch very far.
I'm not sure if Jansport was designing this backpack for a hiker or a European backpacker, but the name Big Bear is definitely fitting - it's a very clumsy design.