User Review: JanSport D3
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.