Is there a reason why a backpack with no comfort pads, and which is made entirely of Cordura 1100 should even exist? Apparently, Janysport PP25 GROT gives quite a few!
The backpack was made of impregnated Cordura 1100, making it incredibly durable and resistant, almost indestructible. After more than four years of use, the material shows only minor signs of wear at the bottom of the backpack – but this has no effect on pack’s performance. Impregnation worked for a year or two after purchase, now it leaks, but it’s a normal effect of prolonged use. All zippers were made by YKK, and feature additional pullers made of paracord. The zipper used to open the backpack was additionally covered with a Cordura flap. As expected from the YKK, everything works smoothly and you can always close the backpack, even if it’s filled to the limit.
PP 25 has only one, large, compartment with a capacity of 25 liters. With wise packing it should be suitable for a two / three day trips (but this may require some sacrifices). The zipper opening the chamber ends almost at the pack’s bottom, giving great access to the content. The Grot backpack can be literally opened like a suitcase, and the necessary items can be accessed without moving other contents. Inside, there are also two smaller compartments – one in the lid, fastened with a zipper and the other, on the back, fastened with Velcro. They are the absolute minimum that should be in the backpack, and allow storage of things which you want to keep easily findable (for example a flashlight), those that you do not want to bend or carrying hydration bladders. However, if you want to arrange your equipment in a more ordered manner you’ll need to buy an organizer. Inside, there is also a zipper that allows you to remove the foam stiffening the back.
One of the strengths of the PP25 GROT design is the possibility to attach large amount of additional equipment. This is due to the large number of JPS (“Janysport Pak System”) webbing sewn on the front and sides of the backpack (in the newer versions also on the bottom). This is not exactly the MOLLE/PALS webbing, but the gear in this system can be also attached without major problems. In addition, at the bottom and on the sides of the Janysport’s backpack, there are straps which make it possible to compress the backpack or to attach such items as jackets or sleeping mats.
The Janysport PP25 Grot has literally no back ventilation. There’s no mesh, no recesses, nor any other structure designed to increase the user’s comfort. There is only Cordura 1100. Of course, this also results in the durability and low weight of the backpack, but even on short trips it sticks uncomfortably to the back leaving skin without any possibility to “breathe”. In addition, during summer hikes, the material tends to damage t-shirts. The back stiffening is made of thick foam and provides certain comfort. However, something hard (such as a gas canister) packed under wrong angle can be unpleasantly sticking out through the padding. Isolation can be removed using the beforementioned zipper located in the main compartment.
The shoulder straps were made of soft foam and Cordura; despite use of this material they are comfortable. They can be joined with a sternum strap, on each of them there is also a D-ring and a quick release buckle (which, when fastened, prevents you from adjusting the straps). The hip belt consists of a wide piece of webbing with a large buckle, this is absolutely the minimum.
Janysport GROT PP25 is quite lightweight and surprisingly comfortable for its simplicity. The obvious disadvantage is the lack of any load-bearing system that would increase the comfort of use. This is a significant problem during warmer days when the backpack’s surface is uncomfortably sticking to the sweaty back. On the other hand, on cooler days, when there are several layers of clothing between the backpack and the body, the problem isn’t noticeable.
The most serious flaw of GROT is also associated with one of its main advantages. Janysport PP25 is definitely rugged, both inside and outside the backpack there is nothing that could easily be damaged. This impression is, however, spoiled by a fact that the clamps used in the compression straps simply break in the cold (although this is the only damage that occurred during over four years of intensive use of the backpack).
PP 25 is a simple backpack, which has only what’s necessary (however, it still lacks some important elements, such as a back ventilation system). It is also lightweight (despite the large amount of webbing and Cordura 1100), very durable and provides many possibilities for attaching additional pouches thanks to an extensive modular system. Janysport GROT PP25 is a good backpack, although it has its limitations resulting from prioritising duability over comfort – however, at a price of PLN 250 (75$), this is definitely acceptable.