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Backpacks are an accessory that has become a staple among people across all demographics. The annual backpack sales for adults are higher than ever in the US, and that number doesn’t even include the target demographic – children. The numbers have continued to rise, and JanSport, the world’s leading backpack manufacturer, sees a large majority of the revenue from backpack sales each year. With so many backpacks being manufactured each year, a very curious question comes to mind: what are JanSport backpacks made of?


The World’s Number One Backpack Manufacturer

JanSport began making backpacks and other products back in 1967. From the beginning of the company’s journey, the founders set out to make high quality products that could match individual expression: freedom, fun, flexibility and adventure. Their product selection is highly versatile with offerings for school, outdoor enthusiasts, adventure-seekers, or someone who just needs a really good bag. The company has always been committed to excellence in quality and customer service, and this is reflected through their company values. They believe in ethical manufacturing and fair labor standards. Styles may have changed over the decades, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the dedication to quality that they have for their products – JanSport’s products are made to last a lifetime.


JanSport’s Backpacks

JanSport manufactures many different types of products, but they are widely known for their extremely durable backpacks. They offer a lot of different types of backpacks for many different occasions. The categories of back packs that they offer are:

  • Laptop Backpacks
  • Rolling Backpacks
  • Urban Backpacks
  • Outdoor Backpacks
  • Study Backpacks
  • Travel Backpacks

Each type of backpack is made with its own unique qualities, features and accessories that are applicable to the named category it is in. They design bags with the customer in mind, making sure that each type will meet the individual needs of each category. Only the best material on the market is used to make their bags – after all, using top quality supplies and material is half the battle when it comes to making quality products that will last a lifetime.


What Are JanSport Backpacks Made Of?

Backpacks are all made with the same basic design aesthetic – a storage area to hold things, straps to wear the backpack, and zippers, velcro, buttons, locks, or a mixture of closers to keep things secure. The types of material that is used depends on what the bag will be used for. For example, if it is an outdoor bag, it may use waterproof material but if it’s for school it may use canvas. JanSport’s back packs are always made from the highest quality material in its particular category. Read on to learn about some of the most common materials used in JanSport’s backpacks.

  • CORDURA® Brand Fabrics – CORDURA® Brand fabrics is the main fabric used in JanSport’s back packs. The very first, original CORDURA® fabric was used JanSport’s original backpacks and is now being used in the new Heritage Series of backpacks which is a modern interpretation of JanSport’s original day packs. CORDURA® Brand is known for their high quality, outstandingly durable fabrics. The award-winning fabric resists tears, scuffs, rips, abrasions and other damage. Their fabric is so durable it’s used in many high-performance athletic products and military gear. JanSport’s relationship with CORDURA® Brand began with the fabric company’s launch of a 1000-denier air-jet textured fabric. The fabric was so impressive that JanSport manufactured its primary back packs with the fabric. CORDURA® Brand has continued to create some of the best quality fabrics in the world and many of JanSport’s products are made with their material.


  • Leather – Leather is a common material in many of JanSport’s back packs. Although they don’t offer a lot of backpacks made completely of leather, this material may be used to reinforce the bottom of many of their backpacks or the straps. Sometimes it can be used for decorative reasons. Leather is a very durable material that can withstand many, many years of use. As it ages, it looks better and better and for this reason you can find leather trimmings on many of JanSport’s products. A great example of a backpack that uses a lot of leather detail is JanSport’s Pleasanton backpack.


  • Synthetic Leather – Synthetic leather is an animal-friendly material that is offered on many of JanSport’s backpacks so customers can get the leather look and feel while making an ethical choice and saving money. Synthetic leather is generally used to line the bottom of the backpacks, as well as for decorative trimmings. Synthetic leather is made from polyurethane which is a very durable material that resists cracking like real leather. It is also easy to clean – just wipe off any mess with a damp cloth. JanSport’s Cortlandt backpack is a great example of JanSport’s use of synthetic leather.


  • Synthetic Suede – In many of JanSport’s backpacks such as the Cool Student backpack, the bottom of the bags are accented with synthetic suede, also known as Ultrasuede. This is a durable, animal-friendly, ultra-microfiber material. This plastic material is made from a combination of mostly polyester and polyurethane. Although the finished material feels like suede, it’s resistant to stains, discoloration and fraying, making it a great fabric to have on the bottom of a backpack.


  • Ripstop – Ripstop is a fabric made of nylon that is very durable and uses a special reinforcement technique during weaving that makes it resistant to rips and tears. The fabric is characterized by a thick reinforcement thread that is woven in at regular intervals in a crosshatch pattern. This thick thread often gives ripstop a 3D feel and appearance, although modern weaving techniques have made it less noticeable. Ripstop is often used in parachutes, sails, and even military uniforms. JanSport’s outdoor backpacks use a ripstop that has been reinforced with polyurethane to make it an extremely durable, waterproof, and even air-proof.


  • Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) – EVA is a popular material made by combining ethylene and vinyl-acetate. EVA can be used for many purposes, but it is very often molded to create padding for different applications such as backpack straps. It is extremely durable, easy to work with, and highly moldable. EVA is used in many of JanSport’s backpacks as the inside material for straps or other parts of the bag that need a molded form.


  • Tricot – Tricot is a thin but durable fabric that is often used in the construction of swimwear, sports wear, or lingerie. This fabric is run-resistant and keeps its shape as it is stretched or pulled over time. Many of JanSport’s backpacks use tricot fabric on the inside as a liner. It can especially be found in the laptop compartments of the backpacks.


  • Zinc – In JanSport’s backpacks, every single part right down to the zippers are made with quality material. A zinc alloy is used to make zippers for their backpacks. This is one of the strongest and most durable metals that can be used in zipper manufacturing.


How Do the Fabrics Affect Lifetime Warranty?

JanSport’s backpacks all come with a full lifetime warranty. If your backpack breaks, they’ll fix it or replace it. You don’t need proof of purchase and they won’t put you through any hassle, as this company stands behind its products with pride.

They are able to offer an amazing lifetime warranty because they use some of the best materials that they can find in their products, so they know that their backpacks are going to last. The company prides itself on manufacturing backpacks to last this long, so they feel a responsibility to their customers if the bag doesn’t.



Asking what are JanSport backpacks made of is not a question that can be answered simply. As indicated from the list above (and this is only the common material, not a complete list), they use quite a few materials to create an outstanding collection of backpacks for any occasion. Another point to note is that it’s evident that most of their back packs are animal-friendly, except for the rare occasion when they offer leather backpacks or backpacks with leather trim. The short answer to the question would be a lot of different things. The long answer is above.

What can be answered simply is that JanSport’s products (and sales) prove that they have earned the title of number one backpack manufacturer in the world. The materials come from quality sources and the company stands behind their products with a lifetime warranty, guaranteeing that you will be investing in a product that will last your entire life.