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JanSport Big Bear 82

photo: JanSport Big Bear 82 expedition pack (70l+)
Version reviewed: 2008 model

This is the first internal frame pack I have owned, and was purchased based on brand familiarity and price (around $60) 7 months ago. Since purchase this pack has seen rolling, wooded hills, flat open prairie, bright sunny trails and a 6 hr steady rain and has done, in my opinion, a stellar job.

I would recommend this pack to anyone; in fact after its first trip (a 20 mile round trip weekend) I purchased the Big Bear 63 for my wife. I believe this pack exceeded the manufactures claims

Specs: (from manufactures description)

82 L (5000 cu in)

33h x 15w x 12d

6000 denier polyester  

3.14 lbs

Fit’s 18” to 20” torso’s

Ergonomic S-curve shoulder straps

Wide hip belt

Dual side water bottle pockets

Top loading with compression hood

Large front panel sleeve

Mesh wet / dry pocket

5 daisy chain clip points

Ice axe loop

Side compression straps


Comfort, price, large capacity.


Top load only, the shoulder strap adjusters slipped when wet.

As a scout leader and moderate backpacker I have always used an external frame pack (the most recent a 4500 cu in pack made by Coleman) due to the ease of packing and the ability to lash on whatever I have needed or felt like carrying, but recently had decided to give an internal frame pack a try.

I like the stability and fit (I am 6' medium build with a 19" torso) of the pack the most (even with loads around 30-35 pounds) compared to the way an external shifts when climbing over logs or ducking a low hanging branch, and feel it is a good trade off for the loss of lashing points (I just started carrying a folding saw instead of a hatchet…lol).

I am not sure if I like the top being the only access to your gear and feel a little more care in how you organize your pack is needed to accommodate this.

If I had to knock this pack for something I would have to say it was the way the shoulder straps would loosen up after they got wet.

Price Paid: $60

I just recently got a Jansport Carson External Pack for a Father's Day gift. I actually exchanged it for the Jansport Big Bear 82. Both packs are certainly great choices for 1-7 days or more.

The only reason I went to the Big Bear is because I do a lot hiking throughout the Anza Borrego Mountains in Southern California, and the particular trails I go on have a lot of trees and brush to navigate around or through, so basically the Carson External frame kind of made me believe I will be hanging myself up on branches or even maybe losing my balance.

Overall I wish I could have both styles, but I have been influenced to go with the Internal Framed Pack. The only difference in cu-in. space is the Big Bear has about 190 cu-in. more space to pack stuff. I pack a sleeping bag, food, water, clothes, and all the other standard things for a 2-3 day trip, and this Big Bear 82 certainly has plenty of storage space.

This pack weighs 4lbs 2 oz empty. Torso length is 16"-19" adjustable. Ergonomic S-Curve shoulder straps which I like very much. They are very comfortable fitting for my body. The pack does have 1 zipper that allows access from the left side of the pack. I would definitely recommend this Jansport Big Bear.

Design: Top-Loading
Size: 5000
Number of Pockets: 4
Max. Load Carried: 25lbs
Height of Owner: 6'-1''
Price Paid: $95.90

I've been using this pack for about a year now and have been extremely happy with it. Very light, very durable, and quite comfortable. For the money it is a steal.

Could use more rings to hang gear from, but it is easy to work past.

Size: 5000 ci
Max. Load Carried: 45 lbs
Height of Owner: 5'9"
Price Paid: $99

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Price Historic Range: $59.94-$144.95
Reviewers Paid: $60.00-$99.00
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