Welcome to my review of the Jack Wolfskin J-Pack de Luxe (or J-P@ck as it is written on the backpack itself)!
I have bought this backpack almost 7 years ago, so i did not find it on any websites any more, but as it is my one and only backpack i own and i use every single day, I want to talk about how its built, how i use it, and what i do and dont like about this pack.
The Backpack is an office day pack i suppose. It is big enough for a 17 inch laptop, has got two main compartments and a front side bag.
On one side it has got a mesh pocket and on the other a small pocket with a flap that closes through velcro.
As you can see there are two compression straps on each side, of which the upper one can be separated and the lower one is one part only. This allows me to cinch down the bulk of the pack, as we are used from almost every backpack today.
Each of the 3 compartments has got a double zipper with zipper pulls made of fabric with rubber ends. these are super grippy even with gloves on, and the zippers did not fail me once (apart from maybe some fibers of a shemagh peaking out through the zipper and clogging it – but thats easily fixed by re-opening and re-closing the zipper). The zippers are made from YKK, so no doubt about the source of the quality (allthough YKK also makes cheap zippers of course) there.
On the underside of the pack there is a built-in pocket for a raincover which is connected to tha pack through a snap closure, so you can detach it if you want it to dry on a rack or you simply do not need the raincover on a particularly sunny day.
I still have a 17” padded laptop sleeve and a small padded pouch for accessories which came with the bag and still functions very well.
The carrying system consists of heavy duty mesh with an air canal inbetween the two parts of foam. It is well padded, but as the bottom of the pack tends to close up onto your hips you will still sweat on the back in summertime. On the front there is a breast adjuster to prevent the shoulder straps from getting too far apart from each other. The closure of this strap also has an orange whistle which is pretty loud and could get handy in an urban emergency situation to provoke some attention from people passing by.
Since it is very old and beaten up the materials information label is almost not readable anymore. The only specifications i can find about the composition about this bag is that the inner lining is made out of polyamide, so it is probably nylon. I suppose the outer layer is some kind of nylon (maybe even cordura or rebranded cordura) either, since it is very abrasion resistant but the colour faded a little bit over the years.
The bag cost me about 70 € back then. Comparable models of Jack Wolfskin still cost about that amount of money.
I bought this backpack back in 2010 to use it as my primarily used pack for university. It had to be big enough for my old 17 inch laptop which i still use every now and then for picture editing. I travelled with this pack, many miles, still drive with the pack per train every weekend, and use it for school and work. It is just the one backpack i have and it somehow fullfills almost all my needs. It is not big enough if i pack really much stuff, but for additional storage i can pack some lighter items into my messenger pack (as seen in my last post).
In this example i have carried some a pair of shoes I was taking some photos for review purposes. I had a scarf for wind protection, a book, and the camera with its bag.
This is how the pack looks with the items i described above in it:
I do not remove the raincover, since i have it at hand if it rains (which it does often here in Aachen), and if i do not need it as a raincover it serves as additional padding for my laptop against the ground. admittedly, my cheap everyday laptop is pretty beaten up, but its at least something, i would say – without the paddind i would have already destroyed some technical equipment i was carrying in the backpack.
On the bottom the pack is also equipped with a hip-level strap, but the closure broke from me stepping down on it. The hip strap is not padded, so it does not give you any support for carrying items, it is only to prevent the bag from flapping around if you move hard through rough terrain.
What do i not like about this bag ? Well, it is not as modular or flexible as i like to carry my stuff now. I would like a more military style bag with PALS/MOLLE webbing on it. I want another pack that has not neccesarily much more volume, but with the possibility of adding other pouches and items onto the pack for flexibility and accessibility. Apart from that, the pack has a great size, hold up against the tooth of time well and did not really fail me in all these years. So all in all i really like the pack, especially as an urban daypack.
Thanks for reading. Expect some more reviews of the items i use in my daily life in the next weeks! As always, feedback is appreciated, and if there are things you particularly want me to cover, please shoot me a message!