The Minimalist has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best weekend packs for 2021.
Reviewers Paid: $65.00-$120.00
Okay, this is partly to reiterate the comments another mentioned about someone giving a false impression about JanSport packs. The Minimalist was positively reviewed on this column but someone attacked it in the two columns below just because it was "Jansport".
I for one have several Jansports. I did rip a minor seam on the Traditionalist multi pocketed rucksack and it does have the worst Hip belt of all the newer packs I have BUT it's still a great pack. The Most Organized Pack I've owned.
The Tahoma which may have been mislabled a Tahoma Two (the new ones are different with a mesh pocket in front) is the most comfortable pack I've ever owned... and that includes that overweight monster, the Dana Terraplain.
The only caveat some should have is due to that rip on one of 'em. I did it by overloading it and then picking the pack up by grabbing it, and besides the seam didn't really effect the performance. However the AT thru hikers make a big deal about durability and swear by their Big Packs. So that length of your trip may effect what pack you buy.
So far I've looked at dozens of packs and the Jansports are the best for the money ... although with minor flaws here and there... the traditionalist doesn't have a good hip belt....but just adequate.
The Minimalist is reviewed positively elsewhere by Prem P. and his word I'd trust.
I am saving up for another Osprey (I have a daypack that's great). The Impala is my next purchase but I doubt I'll ever be as comfortable as with the smaller Tahoma. But I need just a bit more room and want a little better hip belt... but probably it'll cost me a hundred dollars extra and an extra pound.
I am a pack junkie.
But if you're not a 'collector' Jansport is the best value for the money.
Design: Rucksack types
Number of Pockets: one
Max. Load Carried: 35+
Height of Owner: 5'10+"
Price Paid: $100, 65 dollars...depending on discounts
I have been looking for the maximum volume to weight ratio internal frame backpack for many years. Durability of construction had to be a prime factor as well. I could never find anything over 2800 ci that was under 4 pounds. Many under 3 pounds were made out of light, easy-to-fray nylon and not rip-stop. They give out at the zipper hem where sewn.
I found the Jansport Tehoma 2 was almost perfect: made of light, rip-stop HEX-STOP nylon with a ballistics cloth bottom, and only 2 and a half pounds. The volume is only 2800 ci, not enough for bear cannister and sleeping bag. When the new Campmor catalog arrived last week I saw that Jansport now has the big brother to that model and style called the Minimalist. I got it yesterday. A perfect fit for the bear cannister! Like it was taylor made for it! 3900 ci and 3 lb 5 oz. Take out the ditty bag and cut away a few superfluous straps and buckles and it's 3 lbs. Remove the two aluminum stays and it's well under 3.
This is a 3 or 4 night trip pack with good body moulding to allow for some trail running. At 18-25 pounds load, it's just what I have been looking for. Campmor has it at seventy bucks off list.
It's a top loader with lid pocket.
Design: Internal Frame
Number of Pockets: 1
Max. Load Carried: 30 lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 9"
Price Paid: $79.95
I looked at this pack at a local retailer because of its weight/size/price combo, BUT, I would not recommend this pack from inspecting it closely. Minimalist is an apt name for this pack. It looks, and feels, like it is totally lacking in padding and any hope for durability. There is also only minimal adjustability for any of the components in the suspension. Anyway you look at it, this is a case where you pay for what you get. It is no bargain because it's not worth buying in the first place.
On the bright side, with a new suspension this could be a competent pack.
Design: internal frame
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: N/A
Height of Owner: 6"00"
Price Paid: US $120