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JanSport Rehashing Vintage D2 Backpack

Updated on June 18, 2011
An orange tank.
An orange tank.

Old school backpacking aficionados may have got their mitts on a JanSport D2 way back in the late sixties to early seventies. The D2 has since attained legendary status for its gigantic storage capacity and reliability.

Ask any backpacker about his or her D2 and there is a good chance you’ll get an earful, whether it is a tale about the support bars preventing injury from an animal attack, to accidently getting it caught in a tangled mess of shrubbery. Some will rant on for several minutes about battle scars made to their D2 and how they managed to repair the damage by getting free replacement parts from JanSport over the years. Well, that’s when the talk gets a tad snooze worthy.

JanSport has decided to reissue the backpack in 2011. Apparently vintage backpacks are a new trend in the making since Kelty is also planning to release the classic Mockingbird model around the same time. In both cases, the idea is to bring back the retro look and add modern improvements to keep usage convenient for the modern backpacker. It’s a good idea too, since you know the design has a good track record behind it along with “new school innovation baked in.”

The D2 has a striking look to it (especially in burned orange), which was ahead of its time. The aluminum frame provides a rock-solid exterior to the “big olde” storage inside. That’s 5,200 square inches for the specification geeks. Weighing in at six pounds, it’s not the lightest backpack around because of the size. This puppy is built like a tank. Surprisingly, contemporary models with the same capacity aren’t much lighter so don’t go around wearing the thing and complaining about “back problems”.

If you go bankrupt and land up homeless this is the ideal backpack to store all your earthly possessions. Joking aside, it stands upright like a dresser when you take it off. The compartments then slide out like drawers. Put your alarm clock on top and you’re all set.

Nostalgia doesn’t come cheap in this case. The “all new” D2 will set you back around $275 when released. Until then, keep your eyes open wherever used goods are sold. You can bet that the collectability of the originals will shoot sky high once JanSport ships the new version in stores.

About JanSport

When you go to the official JanSport site you are greeted by four panels displaying video footage of students doing random things like defacing public property and riding bicycles. Soon the indie music picks up steam. Now you are at some hipster dance party. What does this blurb have to do with backpacks? Yes, that’s exactly it.

For a company of its stature there isn’t much information about JanSport online. JanSport is the biggest backpack manufacturer in the world, selling nearly half of all small backpacks in the United States. The company was founded in 1967 by Jan Lewis and is now owned by apparel giant VF Corporation.

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