Ever wonder what the difference is between a Herschel and JanSport backpack? We pit these popular brands against each other for the ultimate Herschel vs JanSport comparison.
In this guide we will also take a closer look at the Herschel Pop Quiz and the JanSport Right Pack to see what the real differences are between these classic backpacks. Which is better? Let’s find out.
|Dimensions||17.5" H x 11.75" W x 6" D||18" H x 13" W x 8.5" D|
|Volume||22 Liters||31 Liters|
Fake Leather Bottom
|915D Cordura Nylon
Suede Leather Bottom
|Laptop Sleeve||Up to 15" laptop||Up to 15" laptop|
|Lining||Pinstripe lining||No lining|
|Special Pockets||Fleece lined sunglasses pocket,
|Price||Check the latest price on Amazon||Check the latest price on Amazon|
Herschel vs JanSport: Brand Differences
Both Jansport and Herschel are best selling brands thanks to their reliable designs and attractive styles. When researching both brands we came across two big differences:
1. JanSport backpacks are more affordable
One of the most obvious differences between Herschel and JanSport is price.
Herschel backpacks on average are more expensive than JanSport backpacks with the Herschel Pop Quiz having an MSRP of $74.99 while the JanSport Right Pack offers a more affordable option at $60 MSRP.
Although we have found that it’s easy to find these bags for a cheaper price online through sales and clearances, on average Herschel is more expensive than similar JanSport backpacks.
2. Herschel backpacks Are smaller in size
Another clear cut difference between the two brands is their bag sizes.
JanSport backpacks on average are larger than most Herschel backpacks across the board. And unlike Herschel who offer smaller “mid-volume” versions of their popular backpacks, most Jansport backpacks only come in one size.
So keep this in mind if you are backpack shopping for a child or if you would prefer a smaller backpack.
Herschel Pop Quiz vs JanSport Right Pack
For the rest of this Herschel vs JanSport comparison we will take a closer look at their heavy hitters - the Herschel Pop Quiz and the JanSport Right Pack - to see what some of the key differences are between these two popular backpacks.
Carrying capacity and size
The JanSport Right Pack is the larger of the two, coming in at 31 liters while the Herschel Pop Quiz offers a 22 liter carrying capacity.
Although there seems to be a large difference between the two carrying capacities, we found that most of the extra volume on the JanSport Right Pack can be found in the height and width of the bag and inside the front pocket.
This means that isn’t that much of a difference when it comes to carrying things like books and notebooks because both backpacks have a main compartment that are similar in depth. What we found is that you can fit 1 or 2 more books inside the JanSport Right Pack when compared to the Pop Quiz.
Below is what fits inside each respective main compartment. This does not count the front pockets or any special pockets.
What fits inside the Herschel Pop Quiz
2 one-inch binders
6 one-subject notebooks
2 small textbooks
What fits inside the JanSport Right Pack
2 one-inch binders
6 one-subject notebooks
3 small textbooks
Since the Right Pack has more height, there is more room vertically inside the Right Pack to stack things like a jacket or lunch bag.
Design and Carry Features
Now let’s explore the design and carry features starting with the front of each bag.
Both the Herschel Pop Quiz and JanSport Right Pack feature a front slip pocket and larger front organizer pocket.
Herschel does a great job with their front organizer pocket by providing a large organizer for small items such as pens, calculators, keys and a cell phone. It’s a great area if you are prone to losing small items inside of your backpack and need a place to safely store them.
JanSport also has a similar organizer pocket but the organizer itself is much smaller.
The biggest difference between these two front pockets is their size. JanSport provides a much larger pocket that can fit things like a small notebook or water bottle. Herschel’s front pocket is limited to storing smaller items.
Extra Pockets for Tech
One major difference between the Herschel Pop Quiz and Jansport Right Pack is that the Pop Quiz has more pockets and features that really make it feel like a modern backpack.
Herschel has plenty of extra pockets and compartments for tech. A good example is the media pocket inside the Herschel main compartment that is positioned right above a cable port. This allows you to carry something like a phone or power bank and feed a cable to the outside of the bag for headphone listening or phone charging.
The top of the Herschel Pop Quiz also features a fleece lined pocket. It’s cleverly positioned for easy access to things like sunglasses or a cell phone.
It’s little details like these that really set the Herschel Pop Quiz apart from the Jansport Right Pack.
To be fair, the Jansport Right Pack has been around in one form or another since the late 1960’s and Jansport has kept the design essentially the same in all of that time.
It’s safe to say that laptop and cell phone carry weren’t a concern in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s when the Jansport Right Pack rose in popularity. So if you want accommodation for these things then the Herschel Pop Quiz is going to be the better choice.
Next up is the laptop sleeve comparison. Both backpacks have them but they couldn’t be any more different.
The Jansport Right Pack has an internal laptop sleeve that can fit a laptop up to 15-inches but unfortunately it doesn’t offer much in terms of protection since the sleeve is not padded.
The JanSport laptop sleeve feels like an after-thought and doesn’t do much in terms of actually protecting your laptop. So if you do have an expensive laptop and are worried about bumps and scratches then I recommend you use a separate padded laptop sleeve for extra protection.
We have been using a laptop sleeve by the brand Inateck. It’s affordable and gets the job done.
Now let’s move on to the laptop sleeve in the Herschel Pop Quiz. It’s truly night and day.
The Pop Quiz can also hold a laptop up to 15 inches but unlike the Jansport Right Pack it’s fully padded on every single side. It even has this soft fleece lining which safeguards against scratches.
What Herschel does extremely well is that they include false bottoms with all of their laptop sleeves. A false bottom means that the padded laptop compartment is suspended from the bottom of the bag and leaves between the laptop sleeve and the very bottom of the backpack to better protect your laptop from drops. It’s just an added layer of protection.
Unfortunately the laptop sleeve on the Jansport Right Pack doesn’t have this feature and the laptop sleeve reaches all the way down to the bottom of the bag, putting your laptop at risk of damage if you were to drop your backpack. Again, you are going to want to use a separate padded sleeve if you plan on carrying an expensive device.
Material and Construction Features
Moving on to the materials and construction comparison we can start to take a look at the differences in quality between the two brands.
Differences in Materials
While the Herschel Pop Quiz is made out of 600D Polyester and a faux leather bottom, the JanSport Right Pack uses 900D Cordura Nylon with a real suede bottom.
Although you may not see or feel too much of a difference between the cordura nylon and polyester, it’s important to note that nylon is stronger than polyester. And Cordura nylon is known for being highly water repellent and anti-abrasion. So it’s a really tough fabric.
The polyester fabric that Herschel uses on the Pop Quiz is coated to be water resistant but as far as comparing it the the Cordura nylon, Jansport does have the edge here.
Jansport also did well with including a real suede bottom. Herschel uses a fake leather bottom that does have a tendency to scratch and peel over time.
One benefit of real leather or suede is that it can look better as it ages while fake leather doesn’t have this ability. So bottom of the Jansport Right Pack will look better in the long run as it handles things like scuffs and scratches more gracefully.
Another important construction feature is the lining or lack of lining in these backpacks.
Herschel is known for their signature pin stripe lining that can be found inside the Pop Quiz’s main compartment and pockets.
However, the Jansport Right Pack has no lining at all. So the only thing between your stuff and the outside elements is the Cordura nylon fabric and suede that the backpack is made of.
Lining is important because it effects how a backpack can look and feel. The lining on the Herschel Pop Quiz not only looks better but it provides enough structure to help give the backpack its shape.
When compared to the JanSport Right Pack, the Herschel Pop Quiz looks structured even when empty. When the polyester and lining are paired together, the walls of the Pop Quiz become stiffer and more able to keep its shape.
When it comes to zipper quality between the two brands, JanSport takes the win.
The zippers on the Herschel Pop Quiz are stiffer and are harder to open with one hand. This is due to the “stiff” nature of the backpack and the fact that the zippers are covered by lips that are meant to prevent rain and moisture from getting through the zippers. Although it’s a smart design, sometimes these lips can get in the way.
One great feature that Herschel includes is this waterproof Aqua Guard zipper in the front slip pocket. This is the only zipper on the Pop Quiz that isn’t covered by a lip so making it waterproof was a nice touch.
The zippers on the JanSport Right Pack also feature lips to protect their zippers from water but unlike the Pop Quiz, these zippers are buttery smooth.
One thing that helps a lot are these suede zipper pulls that just make moving the zippers a lot easier. So right out of the gate, the zippers on JanSport Right Pack are easier to handle.
The last category to compare are the comfort features.
Both of these backpacks are pretty basic in design so the comfort features can be broken down into the the back panel and shoulder straps.
When it comes to the back panels on the Herschel Pop Quiz and JanSport Right Pack, there really isn’t that much of a difference. Both backpacks use padded foam panels. They aren’t designed to be ergonomic and truth be told they are as basic as they get. It’s hard to tell much of a difference when worn.
The biggest difference in comfort actually came from the shoulder straps. Herschel without a doubt has the more comfortable shoulder straps.
While Jansport has these simple foam padded shoulder straps, the Herschel Pop Quiz feature beefy air mesh shoulder straps that make a big difference when the backpack is fully loaded.
If you compare both shoulder straps side by side you can definitely see the difference in padding and thickness. When the backpacks are filled with books and other heavy items, the Herschel Pop Quiz is the more comfortable backpack thanks to their better shoulder strap design.
Which Backpack is Better?
Choose Herschel if… you want a backpack with pockets and features for the 21st century. The Herschel Pop Quiz offers safe laptop carry, a special media pocket for phones or power banks and a fleece lined top pocket for sunglasses or phone storage. The airmesh shoulder straps also offer a more comfortable carrying experience even when the backpack is fully loaded.
Choose JanSport if… you want a classic backpack with a bit more storage room. The 31 liter carrying capacity is perfect for large textbooks and bulky items. JanSport also does a great job at offering premium materials like Cordura nylon and a suede bottom that will last you for years to come.