In 1967, JanSport came to life when its three cofounders, Skip Yowell, Murray Pletz, and Janis “Jan” Lewis, spent the bulk of their time plotting how to avoid the conformity of nine-to-five jobs. After Murray won a design award from the Alcoa Company for inventing the first adjustable aluminum backpack frame, he asked his girlfriend Jan to create a backpack pattern for his new frame. With this request, he promised Jan if the backpack took off as a success, he’d name the company after her. It was, he did, and JanSport was born.
Throughout 2017, JanSport will honor its rich heritage by reaching out to consumers to share their own JanSport story on social media with the hashtag #JanSportStory and release two collections featuring limited edition 50th Anniversary designs. Additionally, the Brand will continue its grassroots presence supporting local music and art, and pay homage to its beginnings in the outdoors by hosting the annual Mount Rainier climb for the 45thconsecutive year in June 2017. This is the longest consistent group climb held on Mount Rainier.
Since its early days, all JanSport packs and gear have been backed by a lifetime warranty to guarantee that they follow consumers through their life’s adventures.In his book, The Hippie Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder and Other Mountains, co-founder Skip Yowell said: “It was deeply important to us that every JanSport pack we put out there was the best in function, quality, and value for the money. Period. The last thing we wanted to do was a sell a product just to make a buck on it.”
Now, 50 years later, the original outside gear brand continues to innovate, grow, and change with the times and its core values are the same today as they were in 1967: seek adventure, have fun, and love the journey. Learn more about JanSport’s heritage at www.jansport.com/since1967 and follow the 2017 50th Anniversary story on Instagram with the hashtag #JanSport50th.