JanSport Boasts Lifetime Warranty, Actually Means It

The new backpack.

The new backpack.

Did you have a Jansport backpack back when you were in school? Jason has had his for about 14 years, and it was looking pretty beat up. He decided to put the bags’ lifetime warranty to the test, so he packed it up in a pizza box (no, really) and sent it to Jansportland. What he got back was better than an exact replacement. It was even better than his faithful companion coated with pizza grease.

This is a tale of holiday cheer, although that’s only because of the timing. I’ve had JanSport backpacks practically my whole life. They’re simple, reliable, and come with that lifetime guarantee. I’ve never actually put a lifetime guarantee to the test, but my JanSport of roughly 14 years has gotten so degraded that I could no longer pretend it was functional. So I sent it back. In a pizza box. (Fun side note: you can send things via USPS in almost any vessel you choose — I had a pizza box handy and it did the trick).

A week or so later, I got a call from Thurman in the warranty department. He received my bag and unfortunately, they no longer make that model (no surprise there), but he wanted to replace it with their largest standard model. I was even able to choose a specific color while I was on the phone. He was extremely helpful and promised to get my bag back within a few days. Awesome. At that point, we hung up and I started cruising around the JanSport website.

Whilst cruising, I found a backpack that looked incredible. I mean, look at this thing. It’s got everything I need, including ice pick loops (which I don’t actually need). I checked the price and it was a lot more expensive than the replacement bag I was offered, but I firmly believe that you don’t know if you don’t try, so I gave them a call back.

Surprisingly, I was able to get Thurman back on the phone. I explained that I found another bag that I liked EVEN better than the first one and would he be willing to make that my replacement bag? He checked his computer and within a minute came back on the line. Yep. No problem. He just had to make sure the warehouse hadn’t processed the other replacement.

Flash forward to today. A box arrives with my new JanSport. It’s the nice one. I can’t believe how awesome their customer service was for an old bag like mine. Thanks JanSport and thanks Thurman. I can’t wait to go camping/hiking/an activity where I don’t have to move whatsoever.

So there’s my story. I never expected them to come through, but when they say “Lifetime Warranty,” they mean it.

It’s true that you can’t hear “yes” if you don’t ask! Just remember to stay humble. There’s a difference between asking for something that’s plausible but a stretch, and demanding something unreasonable.

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