Gas station without pumps

2014 August 11

Testing JanSport warranty

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 22:42
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I’ve had a JanSport backpack for a number of years, and it is beginning to fail rather badly (hole in the leather bottom, main zipper fails frequently, shoulder straps fraying where they join the body of the pack), but rather than throw it out and buy a new back pack as I first intended, I decided to try out the JanSport warranty:

JanSport engineers quality, durable, and reliable products. So, if your pack ever breaks down, simply return it to our warranty center. We’ll fix it or if we can’t we’ll replace it or refund it. We stand by our packs for a lifetime and since we’ve been making packs since 1967, that’s a guarantee you can stand by.  []

I filled out the form, vacuumed out the pack (“State law requires that items be clean before being returned for repair or replacement.”), stuck it in a small box, and mailed it to them today.

In the process of sending it, I found that the USPS now provides a discount for packages if you buy the postage on-line rather than in person.  Shipping the pack to San Leandro, CA only cost me $5.32, which includes $50 insurance and free tracking (it should be there by tomorrow afternoon). The web site does cleverly push you towards their more expensive products (like flat-rate Priority Mail Express), but it is not hard to get the full range of options and find the cheap one.  For most packages the post office seems to have lower rates than the competitors. Though big companies can negotiate lower rates for exclusive contracts with UPS, FedEx, or DHL, people like me who ship one or two packages a year do much better sticking with the post office.

Since a comparable JanSport pack to the one I sent in costs about $55, I think that $5.32 to get the pack repaired or replaced is a good deal.  I suspect that they’ll replace it rather than repair it, since replacing the main zipper, patching or replacing the leather, and repairing the shoulder strap will probably come to far more labor cost than just replacing the whole pack, but I’d be happy to have a functional pack again whether it is new or a repair of the old one.  They don’t make the same color any more, but I let them know which of their current colors would be acceptable replacements, if the pack isn’t worth repairing.

I’ll see in a few weeks, whether the JanSport warranty really means anything.


  1. My son’s JanSport backpack zipper failed after a couple of years, having repeatedly gotten jammed on a flap located right next to the zipper, which seems to be intended to protect the zipper during rain, thereby making the bag somewhat waterproof (though I think in a heavy downpour it would become wet and have some leakage just through the canvas). At any rate, I used the warranty and rather than attempting to repair, which is one of their options, they sent another new backpack, just as stated in the warranty. It was the same design, but had a different pattern on the fabric. I sent in a dark colored backpack (black or charcoal) and got back a grey one, which was fine by my son. It took several weeks.

    Comment by aisscience2011 — 2014 August 12 @ 03:56 | Reply

    • The JanSport bags are not waterproof (at least mine never was), but the cover for the zipper is a standard feature of most zipper installations. The stiff fabric of the heavy-weight JanSport “RightPack” is less likely to get caught in the zipper than lighter-weight fabrics used on their other bags. Loose threads from the unfinished seams near the zipper are a problem on all cheap and mid-priced backpacks.

      The zippers on the JanSport bags are probably their biggest point of failure, as they use a middle-of-the-road zipper in terms of quality and durability. Finishing the seams near the zippers and using less jammable zippers would raise the price of the packs a fair amount—more than warranty service does, probably.

      Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2014 August 12 @ 07:12 | Reply

  2. […] I reported in Testing JanSport warranty, I sent my worn-out JanSport backpack in to their warranty service a month ago, as it was no longer […]

    Pingback by JanSport warranty works | Gas station without pumps — 2014 September 11 @ 18:35 | Reply

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