User Review: JanSport Big Bear 5000
Design: top-loading internal
Size: 5000 cubic inches
Number of Pockets: 4
Max. Load Carried: 35 pounds
Height of Owner: 5' 10"
Price Paid: $50
Overall, I'm pleased with the value of this pack. I have taken it out multiple times now with anywhere from 25-35 pounds in it and it handles fine. Make no mistake though, this is a stripped down pack- one main compartment, one thin secondary compartment, and a wet-dry pocket just big enough for a trifold map and compass. For the sake of being complete, I'll mention the two water bottle holders but I don't trust using them without a lanyard or lash tied to whatever I put in them (usually just my packed up rain cover).
Pros include a finished look thanks to small additions like the excess strap retainers, an infinite variety of height options thanks to the simple hanger system under the hook-and-loop closure padding, and an ultralite feel (it weighs just over 3 pounds empty) due mostly to the loss of excess pockets, zippers, etc.
The pack rides very well when secured properly and is surprisingly stable for its size. The pack appears very durable and is made with a good oxford cloth.
The major con I find with this pack is the poor back ventilation. After only an hour or two on the trail I found that my back was much more sweaty than it ever is with other packs.
Buy this pack if you're on a budget and you still want a functional, durable, stable, and good looking product.
Don't buy this pack if you're the type that needs lots of bells and whistles, or if you have serious back sweating issues.