New backpacks offer more
October 3, 1997
JanSport. Eastpak. Outdoor Products. These are some of the popular names
that college students everywhere rely on to keep track of their books, notes,
pens and pencils.
The new trends in student backpacks this year have made the market even
"It is the best year ever for backpacks because of the latest trends
and speciality packs that have become available for students to use,"
said Jerry Parker head of product development for JanSport.
According to Rhonda Lewis, public relations manager for JanSport, the
largest maker of backpacks, "bigger is better" with students this
year. JanSport has increased its size of packs from 1,800 to 2,400 cubic
inches to fulfill student needs.
Two of this company's most popular packs include the "Big Student
Pack," which is about 25 percent larger than the traditional backpacks.
"The Lap Top Transit," features a padded computer compartment
and double padding on the bottom for added protection. For extra strength,
these packs are constructed of Dupont plus nylon.
At 3,280 cubic inches, another backpack company, Eastpak, offers an
oversized capacity in its newest pack called "The Ultimate." This
pack features leather grip handles and bottom with extra compartments.
Eastpak also features a reflective strip on some of its packs which
provides an added sense of security for students who are on campus at nighttime.
Since many of these packs are bigger than those of the past, students
tend to cram their packs with even more things. There is a need for these
packs to be sturdier. That is one reason manufacturers use bound seams,
self-repairing zippers and durable lightweight material.
"We did a survey where we took away students backpacks for a week,
and the results were clear that backpacks are a mandatory item for all students,"said
"I'd be lost without my backpack. It carries everything I need,
especially my books," said junior Cameron Price.
"We get most of our suggestions from students who visit our Website
[http://www.jansport.com]. They let
us know what kinds of features, colors, etc. they are interested in us making
for them," said Parker.
JanSport packs range in price from $30 to $60, with the technical, speciality
packs starting at $250.