Open main menu

JanSport D2

photo: JanSport D2 external frame backpack


Price Historic Range: $150.01-$247.49
Reviewers Paid: $65.00-$245.00


4 reviews
5-star:   3
4-star:   0
3-star:   0
2-star:   1
1-star:   0

Overall feel of pack was cheap, the hip supports weren't bent at the same angles as each other and the the pack bag sewing and construction resembled more of a supermarket-special.

Would be a fine pack if priced lower as it does carry the weight quite well, but no better than any of the current Keltys.

Price Paid: $230

What a great pack! Purchased one as soon as I found out that JanSport was making them again.  I collect old JS packs and this bag is outstanding.  Why bother with used packs when you can get the cream of the crop right now?  

It is extremely close to the design of D2 from 1972.  They even have the old style tubular hip arms which are hard to beat for transferring weight to the hips and can be used as a kick stand for the bag. Compared to the original, the zippers are larger on the main compartments which makes it easer to open and can handle more stress.  

The shoulder straps are s-curved and superior as well.  The seams on the inside are lined to prevent the nylon from fraying.  

This bag is truly old school and can haul a ton. Most owners of the original D2s will never part with theirs.  You can get a new D2 for less than old ones are selling on eBay.  To me, a new D2 is a dream come true and JanSport did it right!  Again!

Price Paid: $245

Excellent pack for heavy or high volume loads. Very comfortable. Good for the long haul.
I have used mine for canoe/hunt/fishing trips, hike/camping, hiking in to my deer stand with cold weather gear for sub zero days waiting for deer.

Highly recommended


  • Pack flexes as you walk.
  • Hip carry system helps when carrying heavy or long, or both.
  • The numerous lashing points are very versatile.
  • It can carry HUGE volumes of gear, sometimes too much.
  • The main bag has 2 compartments with a zippered divider that you can open to make one huge compartment for extra bulky items. I carried a chainsaw in a plastic case that way.


  • It is relatively heavy empty compared to other packs.

I bought my D2 in 1976. It has been on many canoe/camping/fishing trips. The largest load was about 110-115 lbs. The pack was 60-65 lbs and then the 18.5' Wabash Valley kevlar canoe went on top of the upper frame rail. The longest portage was under a mile. Anything over that and it was a double carry.

I carried this pack for over 20 yrs. on hunting trips in Michigan for deer and bear. I would load all of my gear in the pack with my rifle in the right side ski slot. I would walk in to my stand in my long underwear so as not to work up a sweat then put on the insulating gear at my stand. 

It is by far the best pack I have ever seen. I would not trade it for anything, including one of the new quasi-clone D2s. They need to duplicate the construction of the original D2s. The 'reintroduced D2' does not compare well with the original D2.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $65

Great pack for carrying heavy loads comfortably.

I bought a D3 in 1981 and it was my first large pack. Hiked a bunch with it on the AT. In 1984, I traded a D3 for a D2 that I still have today. The D2 is a great pack. 

The D2 and D3 are identical in most respects — same size frame, same size main compartments, same hip belt.  The difference is that the D2 was more of a mountaineering pack — instead of 2 side pockets on each side (4 total), it had 1 pocket on each side (2 total) that were sewn on a sleeve that ran the full length of each - skis or wands could fit down the sleeves. 

The D2 also had a crampon pouch on the outside of the lower main compartment while the D3 just had a leather pad to strap crampons on and an extra pocket outside the upper main compartment. (Note: the D5 was the version of the D3 for shorter hikers.) 

The D2 can carry heavy loads — there were a few times where I had around 70-75 pounds of backpacking and climbing gear in it.  Very comfortable pack. 

As noted, the only downside is that it is not as good as an internal pack when bushwacking.    

Source: bought it used

You May Like

Recently on Trailspace

Patagonia Fitz Roy 30° Review

Darn Tough Light Hiker No Show Lightweight Hiking Sock Review

The North Face VE 24 Review

Notes from Norway