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Jansport Access 40

Reviewing: Jansport Access 40  |  Rating:
By chucksbaby on
Badge: Author | Level: 1 | Outdoors & Recreation Expertise:
Access 40

The Jansport Access 40 was my pack for a 3 month backpacking/hitchhiking trip cross-country. It was a great backpack but it just wasn’t right for me and my needs. I failed to realize I needed a pack made specifically for a woman. It just didn’t fit me right. This is not to say it’s a bad choice!

What I loved about the Access 40 were the many pockets and compartments. It has two front loading pockets that I carried all the soap, toothpaste, brushes, etc in and a front stash pocket I actually managed to stuff our entire tent into. (The actual tent, not the poles or ground cloth) If that doesn’t sell it I don’t know what will! It has great side pockets, one of which carried our cooking pan, cup, and utensils. It’s got a little pocket up top that’s great for change, carrying numbers, id’s, or anything else that you don’t want to dig through your pack for. The waist straps could have been a little bigger in my opinion but what really sold me on the Access 40 were the Aircore shoulder straps. They were very comfortable and never dug into my shoulders. This pack also has a hydration sleeve. I never used it so I can’t comment on it.

Now for the cons: this pack compresses very well on the sides, but what I hated most about it is how wide it gets when it’s full. It was extremely difficult to take on buses or hold in a car. The Access was thick and bulky and would constantly cause me to bump into things. I compare it to driving a truck versus a car; when driving a truck you have to be constantly aware of the back end. Also, the two front loading pockets tore in my pack. However, I’m not 100% sure if this was the pack’s or my fault. I did constantly over stuff it and I also carried razors in those pockets. (Note: You can get a lifetime warranty on Jansport products, so make sure to check into that when purchasing.)

Speaking of over stuffing, 40 liters may sound like a lot, but it really isn't when backpacking. Packing my bag in the morning was a thirty minute ordeal for me because everything had to be “just-so” for it all to fit. This would make a great weekend pack (which is what it’s advertised for anyway) and it has a ton of versatility. However, if you need to stuff this thing until it bursts, I suggest you keep looking, it’s just too awkward when full.