2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2009

Gear Review: JanSport Tahoma Backpack

The Tahoma wins out as a high country favorite.

by: Testers Kelly Bastone, Berne Broudy, Shannon Davis, Michael Lanza, Becca Roseberry

JanSport Tahoma (Courtesy Photo)
JanSport Tahoma (Courtesy Photo)

From a winter thru-hike of the Arizona Trail to a summer climb of Mt. Rainier to a fall weekend of backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park, the streamlined Tahoma always impressed. "The load transfer to the hipbelt and shoulder straps is remarkably comfortable–and stable–for a four-pound pack," said our Arizona tester. "It easily handled a 15-pound base weight, plus as much as 32 pounds of water." The Tahoma comes in short, regular, and tall and each features a "GridFit" plate between the shoulder straps that allows you to fine-tune torso length and shoulder width for a custom fit. A hipbelt pocket holds gels or a bar, and two side pockets capture bottles, the tail end of a tent, or trekking poles.

Two oversized Hypalon ice axe holders kept our tools from flopping, and the ultradurable sailcloth showed no signs of wear even after strapping crampons to the back of the pack. After summiting Mt. Rainier, another tester praised the clean design: "The pack's narrow profile allowed for unencumbered ice axe use and rope management. I never felt restricted or bumped my elblows." Gripe: The lid pocket is oversized and tended to flop if the main pack bag wasn't loaded to capacity. Unclip it and shove it inside your pack–or leave it behind on summit day or for fast-and-light weekend trips. $280; 4 lbs. 4 oz.; 3 sizes;

gear finder

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -


John Drollinger
Jan 12, 2010

This is a sweet pack. Been up Whitney, Ski'd Shasta, and climbed Rainier twice with it. The backpanel and lashing options are very clean and very versatile. Reviewer is right about the lid....most of the people I see using this pack stow the lid inside anyway, but it's convenient having the large lid for the approach day since the pack isn't loaded down with a bunch of other needless pockets.


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Ruined jacket in dryer
Posted On: Sep 01, 2014
Submitted By: SWest
Trailhead Register
Stick is fine
Posted On: Sep 01, 2014
Submitted By: eyebp

View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions