Herschel and Jansport are by far two of the most popular brands when it comes to backpacks. There aren’t many other brands out there that can rival them in terms of sheer popularity. But are these two brands really all they’re made out to be? And is one of them better quality than the other, or are they relatively similar?

Both Herschel and Jansport are good choice if you’re looking for a casual backpack to wear travelling. They’re relatively well made, and they’ll certainly get you through the year if you’re just looking for something to throw over your shoulder and go. Neither of these brands will suit if you’re looking for something heavy duty, but if you want something fashionable, then you can consider Herschel and Jansport.

So, Herschel and Jansport are two similar brands competing in the same industry. But what are the differences between the companies, and are their models relatively similar or are there some differences between them that we should be aware of? Lets take a look at the brand history of each company, then look at some of their best selling products.

Brand History

Jansport originated back in the late sixties, which makes their company over 50 years old now. It wasn’t until the mid 80s (1986) that they were sold to the VF Corporation. If you haven’t of VFC, then you’ll be surprised that they dominate the market when it comes to backpacks.

They are the parent company for the North Face, Timberland and Eastpak, which gives them a huge percentage of the backpack market in the United States and globally.

Herschel however, come from much humbler beginnings that Jansport, which were already owned by a big company before their purchase. As crazy as it sounds, Herschel was only created as a company back in 2009.

That means that in less that 10 years, they’ve catapulted to the front of the backpack industry, where they specialise in hipster style backpacks. Although their market share is nowhere near that of Jansport, it is still impressive for such a young company.


If you’re looking for a decent Jansport backpack, then you’re in the right place. Lets take a quick look at some of Jansport’s most popular models.

Jansport Backpacks

The most popular that Jansport have produced as known as the Superbreak – it’s plain and simple, but it does the job.

The reason that the Superbreak has become so popular is likely due to it’s simplicity. Now, it’s one of the most popular backpacks of all time, so it must have some decent qualities to it.

The Superbreaks main selling point is that it’s going to last you for a long time. It’s apparently 3x the industry standard in terms of quality, which does mean that it’s likely to last you an extremely long time. They’ve been selling this product for years, and if you’ve ever owned a superbreak then you’ll know that they’re made to last.

Apart from that, they’re actually remarkably simple in the way that they’re designed and made. There isn;t too much too them, apart from the standard pocket at the front. It’s enough to fit a laptop, but you aren’t going to get an additional sleeve and everything is all in one compartment.

It’s a great option for those that need a simple backpack for their daily activities that isn’t going to break easily.


If you want a more retro style backpack, then it’s worth looking into Herschel as a brand. They produce some high quality backpacks that are available at a pretty decent price, too.

One of the more popular Herschel backpacks is the Little America, which is perfect if you like the retro American style. The backpack also has a separate flask section where you could put some tea, or even some fair trade coffee.

Unlike the simplicity of the Jansport Superbreak, the Little America is a bit more complex – it has a variety of different pockets, a laptop sleeve and some buckles to help keep the backpack closed. Its another of the top backpacks around if you’re looking for something with a few more compartments than your plain backpack.


Overall, it is difficult to decide between these two companies as which one is the ‘best’. This is increasingly difficult, because both brands are extremely similar in the way that they are made and there really isn’t much of a difference in them at all.

The one thing we can clarify is that both of these brands are fashion backpacks. They’re not suitable for the outdoors. If this is what you’re looking for, then you might want to look elsewhere. Other brands more suited for the outdoors that you might want to consider for a backpack are Patagonia and Columbia.

But all in all, if you want a fashionable backpack that you can wear to college or work, then it’s worth looking at both Herschel and Jansport, as they produce some of the best backpacks on the market.