User Review: JanSport Big Bear 5000
Price Paid: I no longer remember, but it was cheap.
I've been carrying this pack for a few years now on 5-day trips. I bought it because it was so light for the volume. On that score, it is definitely a hit. This is a very basic pack, with not a lot of bell and whistles (the reason it is so light).
The suspension has been fine even under heavy, packed-to-the-gills-and-then-some loads (probably over 50lbs--I do not weigh my pack on the principle that knowing a number is usually a bad thing). The hipbelt looked too thin to me when I got it, but the padding has been just fine on the trail.
I'm 6'1" and the pack is tall enough for my torso. The water bottle pockets on the side are sized for half-litter bottles. There is an internal bladder pocket, which I do not use. The top pocket is big enough for rain gear. No problems with durability
Slight drawbacks: This pack feels a little smaller than its stated 5000 inch volume, but that could be because I carry a huge bear canister on the inside. In any event, I often end up with gear packed beyond the top into the area with the weather collar.
Resulting in slight problem #2. The straps holding down the top attach diagonally to the side of the pack, not straight down. That may save a bit of weight or may be for structural reasons, but occasionally (once or twice on a 5-day trip) the pack top will fall forward onto my neck.
Overall, a great pack for the money, and one of the lightest available for the size. My type of pack.