|Introduced||1967 (Seattle, Washington)|
JanSport is an American brand of backpacks, now owned by VF Corporation, one of the world's largest apparel companies. The company was founded in 1967 in Seattle, Washington by Murray Pletz, his wife Janice "Jan" Lewis (for whom the company is named), and his cousin Skip Yowell. JanSport innovated with a panel-loading daypack, unlike traditional top-loading packs. In 1975 it introduced the first convertible travel pack as well as its signature daypack. In 1986, VF purchased JanSport's then parent, Blue Bell.
The company's corporate headquarters is now based in Alameda, California, at VF Outdoor headquarters where it shares offices with divisional siblings Napapijri and The North Face. Its distribution facility in Everett, Washington since 1971, closed March 2012. JanSport also has a warehouse in Appleton, Wisconsin which houses its collegiate apparel division. JanSport is the world's largest backpack maker, and together, JanSport and The North Face sell nearly half of all small backpacks sold in the United States.
JanSport started by developing the external frame backpack, which used a metal frame with a cloth packsack attached to it; the products made include technical day packs and internal frame backpacks. Up until the early 1990s, all JanSport packs were made in the United States.
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