Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Bought it new in 1981 for $110. Have had it ever since and love it.
I have had a D3 since 1981 and used it all over the Sierras, Mohave Desert, Yukon, Alaska, Grand Canyon, Paria Valley, Sierras, Santa Cruz Mountains, Los Padres Nat. Forest and such. I love the fact that it is a strap-on-and-forget piece of clothing. That is, I don't spend time worrying about if things will fit in it. It's so big that, so long as I can carry it, weight wise, it will fit in that pack. It's not as "cool" looking as the newer packs so the pictures I and my friends take of us now make me look like Fred Flintstone with an oil derrick strapped to my back compared to them. But having lived out of the D3 for three months in Alaska, I see no reason to change. Being cool and up to date is not important when out in country. But functionality is. The issue is, do you want to share photos of you wearing one? I am currently looking for another D3 to buy for my son who is also an avid backpacker. It's like wearing a lightweight RV on your back. It carries everything.
- Lots of room to throw things in if in a hurry - like a surprise rain/snow storm.
- If you have to live out of it for a long period of time (three months in my case) it's no problem since there is space for all essentials.
- When fully loaded is very heavy. Duh, all packs are.
- Some sharp edges (like on the screws that connect the hip plates to the hip straps). It's best not to keep this pack in your tent because of this. Instead wrap it in a 3 mill 40 gallon plastic garbage bag if it rains/snows. It will easily fit inside that.
The D3 fits well for my body — 6" 240lb. People call me a tank (build and stamina). But this pack is well suited for me and those like me. Jansport gives lifetime replacement parts — which I have often used.
Just call: 1.800.426.9227
It's a big ass pack and can carry anything you want, 15 gallons of water (120 lb), bear meat, a hundred days of dehydrated food, or just chocolate for the wife and daughters. So long as you can lift it, it can carry it.
It's nice to know that if I bust it by carrying too much for too long, all parts are replaced free. Just be sure to carry extras of that which you suspect will fail. So far though, it's just been lower frame bars, back and shoulder straps. Shoulder straps go first (100 miles with 55lb over multiple 4000 foot mountains for instance).
I have noticed that they make special re-enforce shoulder straps for me — or someone like me, which they ship me for free once I send them back the ones I have broken from carrying too much weight. Jansport will probably fix this in the future by making extra heavy duty ones.
I am trying to buy a second one for my son as I type — on ebay. $41. We will see if I get it. All of my friends pack with the newer designed packs but so far, I am not impressed. None of them seem to have more volume, or weight carrying capacity as the Jansport D3. It's a classic, old timer, get it done, Buck knife type of pack.
Size: 4500+ (??)
Number of Pockets: 4
Max. Load Carried: 50 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'0"
Price Paid: $160 (outdated)
I have used this pack for several extended trips, all sorts of weekend and overnighters, and my brother has taken the thing on the AT. We both agree that it's a classic.
I've tried a number of external frame packs and think that this is probably the best of the lot. The metal wings provide a suspension not usually to be found in externals. I was able to carry sizable loads with little notice for long distances. It's a little tall, though, and somewhat unwieldy, like most externals.
For trail hiking, though, it's pretty hard to beat a pack like this, especially for its price (relative to internals).
Design: Front Loading
Number of Pockets: 4 storage plus a map pocket behind head
Max. Load Carried: 80-90 lbs. regularly to a base camp!
Height of Owner: 6'2"
Price Paid: 100s?
I bought my (Blue) Jansport D3 in 1976 at Herman's Sporting Goods in Colonie, NY. I still have it hanging in my garage storage room and it is in excellent condition. I carried this pack primarily while hiking and climbing around the Adirondacks in Up-State NY. The pack never failed me.
At that point in history in the Adirondacks anyway, Kelty had a much larger following amongst my fellow trekkers. But every time one of them asked to "try on" the D3 they were amazed at the comfort. The floating nature of the bag on the frame made it a breeze to descend from a peak as the frame actually absorbed the shock of each downward step. The hip-belt and "U" handles let the load of the pack be distributed along and around the hips rather than on the shelf of the lower back. The handles also made for a great place to keep your hands in a resting position while walking.
The external frame was also contoured to fit the curve of the back which made climbing much easier than with other styles of external frame packs. When others had to loosen the shoulder straps for reaching out for a hand-hold, the D3 adjusted with the movement in total comfort.
Jansport...You did GOOD...You did it right! If you want the most comfortable external frame pack ever built look for a well-taken-care-of Jansport D3. Thanks for the many years of service, Jansport. The D3 has stood the test of time and whatever nature and I could throw at it.
Size: I don't remember but smaller than the D2
Number of Pockets: 5 plus one zipper pouch I added between the top & bottom
Max. Load Carried: Guess at 80Lbs. I picked up 30 lbs of water at my last food cashe
Height of Owner: 5'10"
Price Paid: $125
I bought my D3 in 1979. I couldn't begin to guess how many miles it has on it. It's done the many trips in the Sierra's including a 17 day hike on the John Muir trail. At least 15, 2 plus week trips in the Grand Canyon. One for 32 days, below the rim with 2 food cashe pick-ups along the way. Countless others over the past 30 years. Jansport has done Warranty work many times, the last being about 6 months ago.
Jansport is the BEST. I just went out to replace it with a Gregory Baltoro 70. I came home, packed the D3 one more time just to compare. Well...sorry Gregory, but the D3 just felt so good and surprisingly, I could be wrong but it felt lighter. I guess I'll wear my D3 till I'm too old for this stuff.
Design: front loading
Size: 4059 cu in
Number of Pockets: 4 outside pockets
Max. Load Carried: 75 lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 11"
Price Paid: $79
i purchased the D3 at a cullum & borem sporting goods store back in 1978. i paid $79.00 for it, to go from dallas texas to northern montana hitchhiking. never failed. still have it and the paper work that came with it.
it was my first experience with a large pack but i have no complaints with this one. for years i could not remember if it was a D3 or D4 until i found the paper work. the D4 i think was a bit smaller than the D3. my friend had some other kind of external frame pack and it busted sometime during the trip.
but the pack came through fine.
we packed through the bob marshal wilderness in montana and was gone for 9 weeks, a chipmunk did a little nibbling on one of the shoulder straps but its not bad just frayed a little, grand times back then.
i've taken up horses now. but i still have the memories and pictures even though my friend has passed away, i still have the memories of that time in my life. and this is still a great pack, i didn't know how good it was until i got back and thought about the job it had done with no problems at all.....good job jansport.
Price Paid: $119
This was my first externally framed pack and it was primarily used through out the Presidential mountain range of New Hampshire. gift at 17 years old, I had no idea that the durabilty of materials used, quality of construction employed would prove integral in the years to follow.
This is truly the best backpack on the market my opinion. Ample storage with strategically designed pockets. Any honest review will have the negatives or areas of improvements--here there are. The design of the lift straps could have been designed a bit better. The same/like model (D3) following in the years I received my pack, were lacking in the craftmanship and materials of this pack that is nearing its 25th birthday to my puchase year.
Number of Pockets: 4
Max. Load Carried: 60 Lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 10"
Price Paid: $50
i think from the other reviews that my pack is a D3. I got it about 10 years ago used from a guy in college for $50. I love the pack. the metal hip wings can't be beat. the canvas was showing bad signs of wear two years ago so i bought a new Jansport pack, not sure of model but it was similar design with the vector hip belt. it was a good pack, but it wasn't as good. i ended up ripping the canvas off the new packs frame and putting it on the D3. now i can use it for another 10 years. a little clumsy but it cant be beat on the trail. a great buy if you find one.
Design: front loading
Size: expedition size (large capacity)
Number of Pockets: 6
Max. Load Carried: 60 lbs
Height of Owner: 5'9"
Price Paid: $180
Although I don't always need the large amount of space for a weekend trip, the D3 is still my favorite pack. I have a couple internal frame packs of various sizes and use them quite a bit, but the versatlity and sheer dependability of my D3 still calls me back, even for some short trips. As a youth, I attended a Scouting trek at Philmont in New Mexico, where my Ranger carried a D3. I was so impressed that I bought one as soon as I could afford it upon returning home. It was, by far, the best backpack investment I have ever made.
I purchased a D3 back in 1976 and it's the best backpack I have ever owned. Unfortunately I had it in my garage and left a Mountain High meal inside. Some mice found it and chewed their way through the top of the back.
I'm so bummed out!!! If the mice hadn't of done this I think this pack would have been good for another 30 years. Does anyone know where to purchase another one?
Design: Front Loader
Size: 3900cu. inch
Number of Pockets: 2 main, 4 side
Max. Load Carried: 80lbs!!!
Height of Owner: 6 foot
Price Paid: $85
Used a JanSport D3 on my 1977 thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. Pack worked great. The small nylon bushings would wear out about every 1,000 miles that are under the U-bars along hip belt. Some hikers called the U-bars " Beater Bars" as they didn't fit everyones hips. The front loader zipper failed in 1981 after about 3,500 miles of use.
Overall, I still have this pack and frame. (Bag was replaced in 1981.) Still I take it out on winter trips for old time sake.
Height of Owner: 6'1"
Price Paid: ?
Trying to think of how long I've had my D3. Close to 30 years. I've been thinking of getting a new pack but why bother it's still in great shape. The new Jansports seem to be crap. What happened?
Design: External frame pack
Number of Pockets: 6
Max. Load Carried: 80 lbs.
Height of Owner: 6'1
Price Paid: $200 Cdn. 1982
I purchased the JanSport D3 and Trail Wedge tent in 1982 for hitchhiking across Canada. Both performed beautifully. I've used the pack on every camping trip since, as well as on intercity flights (very handy). The pack is still in immaculate condition, with the tent wearing well. 22 years and still going strong, there's nothing more to say.
Design: Front loading(?) external frame
Size: D3 = Large
Number of Pockets: 4 ?
Max. Load Carried: 70 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'1"
Price Paid: $200
In the late '70s and early '80s the JanSport D3 was the ultimate backpack, I still think it is. I still have my original red one that I paid $200 for in 1980. Glad to see there are others that can still appreciate the D3 today as much as I do.
Number of Pockets: 6
Max. Load Carried: 55 LBS
Height of Owner: 5' 8"
Price Paid: $150
I LOVE JANSPORT, AND I LOVE THIS PACK! I'VE CARRIED IT FOR MORE THEN 5 YEARS.......... THE ONLY GRIPE I HAVE WITH IT IS A LACK OF LOAD-LIFTER STRAPS, BUT THE ONE OF A KIND HIPBELT MAKES UP FOR IT. GO FOR THIS PACK!
Size: 5500 cu. in.
Number of Pockets: 5
Height of Owner: 5'10"
Price Paid: $129 in the early '80s
For someone unknown reason (and it's their loss) Jansport stopped making the D3. I used mine till I wore it out. Does anyone know where you can get a good used one? Most useful backpack there was.
Number of Pockets: 4 side one flat map onyop cover
Max. Load Carried: 70 lbs winter
Height of Owner: 5 ' 7 "
Price Paid: $185
The best pack! Mine was run over by tracter trailer after flying out of my boat on the interstate. Would love to buy another, but where?
Thanks so much Russ.
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