The Tahoma II has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best overnight packs for 2021.
Reviewers Paid: $65.00
Got the pack cheap on gear.com--like it for what it was designed for--but the hip belt has come loose on both sides--where the strap that buckles is fastened to the padding. Took to local shoe shop to sew it --hassle!! Cheap sewing-hope all jansport is not like this now!
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 20
Height of Owner: 6'1
Original Review: March 28, 1999
Just spent a delightful day on the Long Trail in VT. with this pack. It carries everything needed for a day trip and has room to spare. I barely even used a half of its capacity. I intend to use it for an overnighter too with the Granite Gear compression sacks (extra small) and still I can fit more into it.
Most heavyduty backpackers may turn up their nose at such a lightweight pack (Only 2 lbs, 2 ounces which I confirmed with my scale -- Jansport is accurate) and stick to their Danas and Ospreys and Gregorys and Mountainsmiths -- but I tried all of them and believe it or not this one seems the most comfortable -- and it doesn't even have internal stays or a frame.
The lightweight hip belt seemed sketchy to me but now I prefer it as I can't get the heavily padded Dana Terraplane's belt to cinch up tight enough to keep from slipping over my hips. This one works even if with much padding.
I carried skis and snowshoes with cook stove, a day's food, large camera, down coat, guide book, ultralight Thermorest pad, stove fuel, 32 ounce water bottle (on belt), snow pants, and small items and still had another 50% of room left and that was without the compression bags.....which I can easily add bivy and sleeping bag into mix for overnights even in winter. A tent can easily strap on with the compression straps supplied with this bag.... and the bungee cord system on front ( or extreme rear when wearing it) held my 9 by 30 snowshoes fine.
I would be leery of carrying more than 30 lbs with this bag. But why should you? Again 2600 cu. in. at 2 lbs. 2 ounces.
My Dana Terraplane feels heavier empty than this pack feels loaded. And although the suspension seems sketchy on the Jansport....after 8 hours straight of mountaineering in the snow I never noticed it was there.
Only I might order the next size up which is a Jansport Nisqually which has hydration pocket which this pack lacks. and a bigger hip belt...although apparently a light pack like this doesn't need it. The Nisqually weighs almost 3 lbs and carries 3000 cu. in. It seems other brands are a full 2 lbs heavier including the mountainsmith which lies about their weights (the Bugaboo was listed as 2 lbs, 10 ounces and instead weighed over 4 lbs...)
Jansport has some great packs but market themselves as low cost and cheap. I spent 2 and a half hours trying out Ospreys, Gregories, and Danas in this middle range and rejected them for this cheap thing --- and cost wasn't the reason.... this one feels light and delivers.
Update: September 24, 1999
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: soft padded and compressed... rucksack
Number of Pockets: one lid and main bag
Max. Load Carried: 22 lbs.
Height of Owner: 5'11"
Price Paid: 100, 65 dollars...depending on discounts