Herschel vs JanSport - Review and comparison of Pop Quiz and Right Pack

Herschel vs JanSport – Review and comparison of Pop Quiz and Right Pack

Today I am back again with another backpack review and comparison. This time I am comparing the Pop Quiz backpack by Herschel with Right Pack by JanSport.

Here is quick summary: JanSport Right Pack is cheaper than Herschel Pop Quiz. Plus, it is bigger in size. But Herschel Pop Quiz is more modern, has better pockets and more comfortable. Oh, and zippers on JanSport Right Pack handle better than Herschel Pop Quiz.

Both of these backpacks are really popular with students so hopefully in this article I can answer some common questions that people have when trying to choose between the two brands.

This review and comparison are divided into following four sections.

  • Sizing & Carry Capacity
  • Design and Features
  • Materials & Construction
  • Comfort Features

And at the very end I’ll sum up the findings so you can decide which brand is better for you.

Sizing & Carry Capacity

The JanSport Right Pack is the larger of the two coming in at 31 liters while the Herschel Pop Quiz sports a 22 liters carrying capacity. While researching about Herschel vs. JanSport comparison I did notice that JanSport makes larger backpacks across the board. And unlike Herschel who offers smaller mid volume versions of their popular backpacks, most JanSport backpacks only come in one size.

Okay so we have established that the JanSport right pack is larger but what does that actually mean? I found that the Herschel Pop Quiz could fit one laptop, two one-inch binders, six one subject notebooks and two smaller textbooks inside its main compartment.

The Herschel Pop Quiz boasts a retail price of $74.99, while the JanSport Right Pack is priced at $60.

— Herschel vs JanSport

The JanSport Right Pack backpack can also fit the same except it has a bit more room for three small textbooks inside its main compartment instead of just two. Although the volume of the right pack seems to be a lot more, most of that extra space can be found in the height and the width of the main compartment and in the larger front pocket.

So, as far as the main compartment is concerned there isn’t much difference in depths with either backpack. It’s not like the Right Pack can fit that many more books or notebooks when compared to the Pop Quiz. Instead, what you have is the ability to stack more items vertically, so you’ll have more room for things like hoodies and pencil cases.

The front pocket on the JanSport Right Pack is larger which makes it easier to fit things like small notebooks while the storage ability of the front pocket on the Herschel’s Pop Quiz is definitely more limited.

This leads us to the design and carry features.

Design and Features

Starting with the front of each bag the Herschel Pop Quiz has a front slip pocket and a larger front pocket that features an organizer panel. This organizer has room for a variety of small items such as pens, a cell phone and headphones. It even includes an extra slip pocket and a key clip for your keys. These little pockets of compartments are perfect if you’re prone to losing smaller items in your backpack and I think Herschel does a great job with this front pocket.

The JanSport Right Pack also has a similar stash pocket, but its front pocket is much larger. Like the front pocket and the Pop Quiz the Right Pack also has an organizer and a key clip. It is worth noting that the organizer on the right pack is smaller and has less pockets but since the front pocket is larger than the one found in the Pop Quiz it’s easier to store extra items you might have like a smaller notebook or a pencil case.

I was also able to fit a few standard size water bottles in there just to give you an idea of how much space you really have in this front pocket. One major difference between the Herschel Pop Quiz and the JanSport Right Pack is that the Pop Quiz has more pockets and features that really make it feel like a modern backpack.

The first example is this fleece lined zip pocket on the top of the pop quiz. Although it’s meant to hold your glasses it could also fit a cell phone. And the fleece lining means whatever you put in there is protected from scratches. Another example of the Herschel Pop Quiz feeling more modern is on the inside of the main compartment. Herschel includes a small internal side pocket that is made to hold a phone or power bank. This internal pocket is directly below a cable port which can be used for headphones or a charging cable.

Its little details like these that really sets 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 1970s and JanSport has kept a design essentially the same and all of that time. One thing that the Herschel Pop Quiz does really well is that it takes a classic backpack design and updates it to feel more modern.

This leads us to 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 I 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 laptop sleeve honestly feels like an afterthought 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.

Now let’s move on to the laptop sleeve in the Herschel Pop Quiz, is 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 a soft slice lining which safeguards against scratches.

Another cool feature about this laptop sleeve is that it has what’s called a false bottom. What this does is that it leaves a gap 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 we were ever to be dropped. This is another reason why I suggest using a padded sleeve.

Materials & Construction

Moving on to the materials in construction comparison we can take a closer look at the differences in quality between the two brands. Starting with the JanSport Right Pack, this backpack is made out of a 915 Deni Air Cordura nylon fabric with a suede leather bottom. While the herschel pop-quiz is made out of a 600 denier polyester fabric with a fake leather 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 the Herschel uses on the Pop Quiz is coated to be water resistant but as far as comparing it to the Cordura nylon JanSport does have the edge here. I think JanSport also did well with including a real suede bottom. One benefit of real leather or suede is that it can look better as it patinas with age. Well fake leather doesn’t really have this ability, so this JanSport bottom will definitely look better in the long run as it handles things like scuffs and scratches more gracefully.

Hershel uses a fake leather that does have a tendency of scratching and peeling over time. Another important construction feature is the lining or lack of lining in these backpacks. Hershel is known for their signature pinstripe lining that can be seen here inside the 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 this Cordura nylon fabric that the backpack is made of.

Lining is important because it affects 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 it’s shape. If you can notice the JanSport Right PPack just collapses in on itself when empty. Even when full it can still look sloppy and unstructured.

The Herschel Pop Quiz on the other hand looks structured even when empty. When the polyester and lining are paired together the walls of the pop quiz becomes stiffer and more able to keep its shape. The last point I want to touch upon when it comes to construction is the zipper quality between Herschel and JanSport. Right off the bat I noticed a big difference in how the zippers handled. 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 these 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 this is 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 it’s also the only waterproof zipper. 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 opening and closing the zippers a lot easier. So right out of the gate I like two zippers on the JanSport Right Pack a lot better.

Comfort Features

The last category to discuss are the comfort features. Both of these backpacks are pretty basic so the comfort features come down to the back panel and shoulder straps. When it comes to the back panels on the Herschel Pop Quiz and JanSport RightPpack 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.

When worn I really couldn’t tell the difference in comfort. 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 padded shoulder straps.

The Herschel Pop Quiz feature these beefy air mesh shoulder straps that feel so much better and worn. If you compare both shoulder straps side-by-side you can definitely see the difference in padding and thickness. When the backpacks are fully loaded with books and other heavy items, the Herschel pop-quiz is the more comfortable backpack, this is thanks to their better shoulder strap design.

So that wraps up our comparison, let’s move on to a quick summary of our findings and go over what each backpack does better than the other.

Herschel vs JanSport – Summary

Let’s start with JanSport. Out of the two backpacks the Right Pack is the more affordable option. And this isn’t true just for the JanSport Right Pack but for just about all JanSport backpacks when compared to Herschel’s prices. So, if you need a cheap backpack for school that is still good quality I definitely recommend going with a JanSport backpack.

Just like price, another trend across a JanSport line is that they tend to be bigger in size and carrying capacity than many Herschel backpacks. So, if you’re looking to maximize how much room you have in your backpack then I would definitely stick to a JanSport backpack like the right pack.

What the right pack does well is that it gives you these large open compartments which are perfect for anyone who has to carry things like big textbooks or binders. The last thing JanSport does better than herschel is their choice of materials. I do prefer the Cordura nylon over the polyester fabric. Although the right pack doesn’t have any lining, Cordura is a really tough fabric that is good for preventing common punctures or tears. I also really like JanSport suede bottom. Like I said before suede just tends to age better when compared to Herschel’s fake leather which has a reputation of peeling over time.

Another thing to know is that the zippers on the Right Pack handle a lot better than the stiff zippers on the pop quiz. They’re just really smooth and the suede zipper pulls helped tremendously with that.

Now let’s list what’s better about the Herschel Pop Quiz. The biggest one for me is that the Pop Quiz has way better pockets especially for text storage. Unfortunately the JanSport write pack can feel stuck in time and doesn’t offer much for storage of modern devices like laptops and phones. But Herschel does a great job at offering a modern update to a classic backpack design. So, in a way it feels like an upgraded JanSport right pack.

You can get that classic look with better features like a padded laptop sleeve, media pocket and a fleece line sunglasses pocket. One thing that the Herschel brand does really well is add little details to their bags then make the carry experience better. In the case of the Pop Quiz we’re talking about things like the waterproof aqua guard zipper on the front slip pocket, a laptop sleeve with a false bottom for better protection and the Pinstripe lining that helps make the backpack look more structured. These are examples of thoughtful design details that just enhance the experience.

The last point I’ll make about the Herschel Pop Quiz is actually a pretty big one and that is comfort. The shoulder straps on Herschel Pop Quiz are leaps and bounds more comfortable than the shoulder straps on the JanSport right pack. The air mesh shoulder straps on the Pop Quiz do a great job at distributing weight and taking some of that stress off your shoulders.

This wraps up our Herschel vs. JanSport backpack comparison I hope this article helps you when making your next purchase.


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