User Review: JanSport Rainier
Design: External Frame
Size: about 5200
Number of Pockets: 7
Max. Load Carried: 62 lbs
Height of Owner: 511
Price Paid: about $90-$110
Being that I was in scouting as a youth (Eagle), and have continued hiking as an adult, I went backpacking several times a year for 7 years +. I have had several top loader external frames (Camp trails, Americamp, etc) so I knew what I wanted when I spec'd the Jansport Ranier--basically I did not want another difficult to load top loader. I knew that I did not want a top loader as top loaders are difficult at best to load/unload several times while hiking, plus it is no fun trying to get gear out of the bottom of the top pocket. Therefor, I knew I wanted a panel loader.
When I spec'd the Rainier, i compared it to 4 other packs (2 Camp Trails)and 2 others (unknown). I chose the Rainier because it was a panel loader and very easy to load without disturbing your sleeping bag, sleep pad, and other attachments lashed to the frame(tent poles, camp chair, etc.) I love this feature, as well as the several pockets that are different sizes and thus accomodating to different needs. I will agree that the pack frame is definatley adjustable and this is a plus, but it is very squeeky and sounds like an 18 wheeler with bad shocks when walking down a trail. I am 5'11", 150, and was carrying too much weight for my size on the first trip with this pack when it was new(62 lbs.--I should have only been carrying 1/3 of my body weight--50 lbs) but, the shoulder straps were uncomfortable at best. My hips are somewhat bony, and the hip belt did become uncomfortable and bruised me after 1 day on the trail (8 miles only). I am in excellent physical shape, and I know how to load a pack properly (weight distrubution) but the pack still seemed top heavy and akward.
I would rate the pack as "average," becasue the plusses of the panel loader, convenience of adjustments that many external frames do not have, and strong fabric that the pack is made out of, balance the weaknesses of the meager shoulder straps,the strong but noise frame, and somewhat uncomfortable hipbelt.
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