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With the Carson, you get the best of both worlds—external adjustability with internal top and panel loading.

The Carson Backpack is an external frame pack loaded with some of Jansport's most popular internal frame features. In many ways the Carson looks and works like an internal, but it's also easy to pack, easy to adjust, and transfers weight to the hips like an external-frame pack. As serious backpackers know, nothing carries heavy loads better than an external. The Carson is both top and panel loading, so it extends for overloading and can be opened for easy access. Some of Carson's other features include a hydration-ready sleeve, and a padded hip-belt with a slick buckle system.

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JanSport Carson Backpack - 4900-5500 cu in

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5


This pack is a great pack. You have a lot of room to put other gear. It rattles a little bit but it is hard to notice. Overall it is a great pack.

5 5

Couldn't be a better pack!

I am handicapped, and still like to hike, this is the first backpack that I have owned that has both the capacity and comfort that I have been looking for.

5 5

Jansport Carson 90

This is the best backpack I have ever carried. It’s panel loading with 2 compartments. Put your clothing in the bottom and stack your crew gear (tent, stove, pots, etc.) in the top half. Used it at Philmont Scout Ranch in NM, 85+ miles, above 6500' altitude over 11 days and I can assure you it did fantastic. It rides very comfortably with 60 pounds, although I pack heavier than most in our crew. 5 out of 12 used this pack and it was a smash hit. Be sure to look for the retrofit shoulder straps with the grommet style attachments. Sew a small bungee to the water bottle pocket or use a mini-biner to clip them to a strap.

5 5

Great Pack!!!!!

I purchased the 5500cu in Carson Backpack about a month ago. I recently took a trip into a very rugged area of Wyoming and the pack was marvelous. I have been packing on and off into many different areas and have used countless packs varying from a composite frame to an internal frame. This pack is by far superior to all of them. I highly recommend this pack to any hiker. It is full of great extras that many packs do not have. One of my favorite things is that you can access the entire inside of the pack by zipping down the entire front. No more do you have to dig to the bottom for your goods. Great pack. GREAT PRICE!!!!

5 5

Jansport Carson 90 Tall

I purchased two Jansport Carson 90 tall backpacks. The pack is extremely roomy for all your gear. The panel access made it easy to get to specific item as well as initial packing. The outside pockets were great for quick access. The pack seamed to be well balanced. It was easy to adjust to fit my shoulders and torso. I carried the pack approx 28 miles and it was comfortable.

5 5

Internal pack on an External frame

I love this pack. It works as an internal on an external frame. I carried food, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, a primus stove, MSR full pot set, six-cell Mag Lite, three-cell Mag Lite, and more on a three day trip all internal. Nalgenes fit well in the water bottle spot, but you should carabiner them to a strap. I like the hydration system - it fits a 2-liter Camelbak perfectly.

4 5

Ehhh... Good

It's light with lots of room for stuff. The pack is very comfortible and carries easily.

4 5

Good value for the money

This is a good pack for most backpackers with lots of room, plenty of storage options. The hydration capability is very good, access to compartments is great. Improvements would be in making the side pockets removeable and doing something about all the noise the pack makes when hiking!

5 5

Great Backpack!

When I bought this backpack I wasn't sure about it, but it turned out great! It has loads of room and is very comfortable!

4 5


I was slightly worried about buying a backpack over the net, especially when considering size of my gear and the bag. Anyhow this pack worked out great, it is very durable and has excellent padding. I guess my only complaint is that it did not include the nylon web belts to attach my sleeping bag or tent, but I found some for only 2.50 so it wasn't a big general great deal for the price. =)

4 5

Jansport Carson Backpack

I like this pack. Admittedly, I am a novice backpacker with limited exposure to backpacks, but I'll tell you what I like and let you make the call. It is a large capacity pack, lots of pockets, highly adjustable, comfortable to wear, seems well constructed. I have heard that early models had some issues with shoulder strap separation. It looks like the plastic attachemnts mentioned in some earlier reviews have been replaced with grommeted nylon webbing. It seems sturdy enough. Needless to say one doesn't hoist a fully loaded pack by the shoulder straps! The external frame seems sturdy and I like the platypus-ready pouch (fits a Hoser-3 perfectly). The only downsides I have found is that it creaks while under load on trail, and for aesthetic reasons I wish the adjustment straps were black or green, anything but the lt. grey (however it probably makes the straps easier to work with in low light conditions, so for some this might be a plus). A good pack at a very good price.

5 5

Exceptional Value

I used to use a small pack from my early Boy Scout days and was ready for something bigger and better. After carefully reviewing all options that I considered important - durability, size, adjustability, the Carson rose to the top of the list. To get a pack of this size and quality at this price is amazing!! I only wish the rain cover over the top opening was a bit more adjustable when overstuffed.