Gear Review: JanSport Forsyth 50 Pack

A backpack for organized backpackers.


For weekenders who like to stay ultraorganized, the Forsyth is a gem. The big main compartment held my bulky gear on a Mt. Hood climb, while two vertical front pockets kept small items like a first-aid kit, headlamp, and water filter in order. The giant side pockets swallow a jacket and lunch, or can be split into two smaller pockets with the included bungee clip. Daisy chains, lashing patches, and bottom straps let me tack on extras. The adjustable (16 to 19 inches) suspension handles up to 45 pounds, and the aluminum perimeter frame transfers weight directly to the plush hipbelt. Drag: It’s heavy.

Best For

Long, gear-intensive dayhikes or weekends; organizers and families who want a pack that can grow with their teens

Tester Data

> Nancy Bouchard (other testers: Lynn Dettinger, Dan Larson, Mark Smiley, Eileen Woodward)

> Duration Sept. to May

> Locales/conditions CA, CO, OR, WA; 0°F to 85°F,

snow, rain, heat

> “Padding is perforated, so I stayed relatively cool even on hot climbs.”