Jansport vs Eastpak – What’s the difference?

If you’re playing water polo, you’re going to need a good backpack for all your stuff. Jansport and Eastpak are two of the most popular brands of backpack to arrive on the scene in the last few decades. Whilst they’re both similar in the way that they made, many people tend to prefer one brand over the other. But are there are lot of differences between Jansport and Eastpak, or are they more similar than they are different?

Overall, these two brands are actually strikingly similar in their production. Why? Well, they’re both owned by the same corporation – the VF Corporation (the same company that also make the brand the North Face). So for this reason, we can be sure that both of these brands are similar in their products.

Of course, if you’ve ever owned or even seen either of these brands, then you can also attest to their similar build. But, there are subtle differences between the two that you should be aware of if you’re going to choose one of the other. Let’s have a look at the differences between Jansport and Eastpak.

Brand History

As I’ve already said, both of these brands are owned by the same company. But, it definitely hasn’t always been this way and they were both acquired much later than when they were introduced.

The older brand of the two is Eastpak, which was started back in the 50’s and actually started producing the majority of their equipment for the army. This is why many people say that Eastpak backpacks are of awesome quality – because of their military roots. It wasn’t until the 2000s that Eastpak was bought out by the VF corporation.

Jansport was started over a decade later, but that doesn’t mean that their products less prestigious. They were acquired by VF much earlier in the 70s, and they’ve become one of the most popular backpack brands as well along with Eastpak.

Overall, both of these brands are similar in the way that they are made now, but they come from very different beginnings. Let’s take a look at the best products from each brand so that you can compare them to each other. As well as a backpack, it’s probably a good idea to get some footwear for water polo like the Nike Uptempo Shoes) – these are great.


Jansport are known as one of the biggest backpack producers worldwide – it’s undooubtedly their speciality. So, it only makes sense that they make some of the best backpacks around.

Jansport Backpacks

If you’re considering getting a Jansport, then you’re going to want to take a look at their flagship backpack – the Superbreak.

The Superbreak isn’t just Jansport’s most popular model. It’s one of the most popular models of any backpack – ever. So, it must have some features which make it so ridiculously popular.

Why is the Superbreak so popular? Well, the likelihood is that it’s down to the simplicity of the backpack itself. It only has one compartment, but this is more than enough for most people and you don’t need to worry about finding your stuff – it’s all in one place.

Another of the reasons that the Superbreak is so ridiculously popular is due to it’s longevity. It;s been on the market so long and the product itself lasts for such a long time, that the likelihood is that even if you bought this backpack a decade ago, it’s still going to be in your closet.

Overall, this is one of the best backpacks to have – bar none.


The Eastpak Pak’r is also another extremely popular backpack, but it’s seemingly more popular in Europe than it is in the United States.

It’s available in a ton of different colors, and in terms of style, it’s very similar to the Jansport Superbreak. The key is in the simplicity, which most people seem to want in recent years. It’s another of the most popular backpacks around, and you won’t go wrong with the Pak’r.


Jansport and Eastpak are extremely similar in the way that they are made, and they have between them created a whole fashion for hipster and retro backpacks.

If you’re trying to decide between the two brands, it’s a difficult choice to make because they are both so ridiculously similar! One of the best things that you can do for this is to just find which ever brand is on sale – this way, you can be sure that you’re getting good value for your money.

There are other brands out there that you may want to consider too. If you like surfer brands, then it’s possible you’ll want to consider the Herschel Company as they make some awesome backpacks too. If you want an outdoor brand, then it’s worth considering brands like Columbia and even Patagonia, who also make some awesome outdoors gear.

Overall, these are two of the top brands within the backpack industry right now, and they’re more similar than they are different. Either of these brands should get your through the college year with water polo comfortably, so take your pick..



Equipment for your first water polo meet

If you’re going to your first water polo meet, then things can get a bit daunting! Fortunately, you shouldn’t bee too worried as everyone at your water polo meet will be friendly. If you haven’t played water polo before, then don’t worry too much either. People there will be understanding that you don’t know the ins and outs of water polo.

If you do feel like things are going a little fast, then you can always ask one of the instructors to slow down a little and let you catch up. They will fill you in on everything that you need to know about water polo, so don’t worry if you’ve never played before.

Here are some of the things that you’ll need to take with you for your first water polo meet.

Equipment needed

  • Goggles – Goggles for playing water polo are undoubtedly one of the main things that you’ll need when you’re going to play for the first time. Why? Well, although the majority of water polo your head is out of the water, players still used goggles anyway incase their head dips under sometimes.
  • Food – Get your backpack ready and fill it with a ton of food! Try to get yourself some complex carbohydrates in there because water polo is an extremely intensive sport and it can be very tiring. Ensuring that you’ve got enough snacks for the entire day is an essential part of playing water polo as playing on an empty stomach can leave you lightheaded.
  • Swimming Costume – As well as these things, you’ll of course need your swimming costume! You will need to find one that isn’t to tight as with water polo you will be moving into a variety of different positions, so you need to be sure that you have full flexibility of your limbs when playing water polo for the first time.
  • Cap – Not all players opt to use a water olo cap when they are training, but it is a good idea if you want to keep your hair protected and help back out of your face.
  • Shower gel – When you’re playing water polo, one of the drawbacks is that the time you’re in the water may lead to having oily skin. For this reason, a good face wash that is designed specifically for this is also a good idea.

Overall, water polo is a fun sport and you shouldn’t overthink things as you are there to have fun. If you pay attention to the teachers then you will learn a lot about water polo in your first sessions. It’s imperative that you take your time to learn properly and this will benefit you further down the line.


The Best Workouts for Water Polo

If you’re just starting water polo or you’re a seasoned veteran, then it’s important to know which workouts will benefit you the most as you progress in your water polo career.

Water polo is a strenuous sport that isn’t easy, so it’s very important you have optimal strength if you want to play water polo to the best of your abilities.

There are a few key areas that you need to work on if you want to be truly great at water polo. They are;


Using your legs is one of the most difficult and exhausing things about playing water polo. Any exercise that you can do for your legs is great.

But, squats are the best full body exercise for pretty much anyone. This is why I think that squats are the number one exercise for anyone that plays water polo. They will help your back a lot and you won’t need to worry about hurting yourself as long as you do the squats properly!

If you want to learn how to do squats really well, check out this vid;


Of course, it’s best if you’re a competent swimmer if you’re looking at playing water polo frequently. You should consider this if you’re just starting to play water polo as you need to make sure you’re comfortable in the water when you’re playing.

This doesn’t mean to say that you need to be a backstroke expert. Just try and get past the doggy paddle and learn how to do a proper breaststroke if you want to be a great water polo player.

Dumbell Press

Aside from your core and legs, the most important muscle that I think that you need to learn how to use is your shoulders. My favorite exercies for doing this is definitely the dumbell press.

By using dumbells as opposed to barbells, you can ensure that you are going to isolate your shoulder and work it out as opposed to just working out your chest. The dumbell press is the best option for an isolation shulder exercise, and you should consider this if you’re looking for a good shoulder workout.


These are my favorite exercises if you’re starting your water polo career, and they can even be used for experienced folks too. You should do these exercises if you really want to excel in water polo.




Why you should choose Water Polo for your kids

I’m often asked why I love water polo so much. I’ve been teaching it for decades now, and I still enjoy it as much as I did when I first started many years ago.


Water Polo is great for staying fit and healthy

Parents of their kids often ask me; how do you stay so lean?! And I say.. Water Polo!

Water polo is one of the best sports for staying fit and healthy. This is because kids spend a lot of time in the water doing the ‘eggbeater’. If you’re curious about the eggbeater, it’s essentially a technique where you learn to tread water super effectively. Here’s an awesome video that helps explain how the eggbeater works well.

The eggbeater is great for your cardiovascular system, as it burns many more calories than you would burn walking or even other exercises, like cycling.

If you’re looking for an exercise that helps to strengthen the thighs and help burn some calories, then water polo would be an awesome option.

Children with a fear of water

In my decades of experiences, I’ve come across many children that have a fear of water. This is a pretty common fear for young children to have, and something that you should undoubtedly be concerned about. What about if your child falls into water unexpectedly? Kids seem to love to push each other into the water, for some reason.

Fortunately, if you get the right water polo instructor, then you can slowly integrate your child into swimming and feeling comfortable in the water. This can take as long as a few months, but often children’s fears are easier to conquer if you nip them in the bud quickly and efficiently.

Playing team sports

It’s no secret that playing a team sport is awesome for your kids and have tons of benefits for them to enjoy. You should try and encourage your child to play team sports at a young age – encourage, not force – to help them learn the difference between winning, losing and taking part. Your childs work ethic starts as a child, and develops throughout their adolescence. So, this is something that you might want to consider.

There’s real opportunity

Unlike other sports like NBA where the qualitifcation processes are one in a million, there are actual opportunities for your child to progress at water polo. Whilst it is a competitive sport, there just isn’t the same amount of players as there are in more popular sports. This gives your child a good opportunity to get a scholarship through playing water polo.


How deep is a water polo pool?

If you’re interested in water polo – or even if you’re not – then this is one of the most common questions that arises. How deep is a water polo pool?

The answer is that it varies, but commonly a water polo foot is a minimum of 6 feet (1.83cm) in depth, though preferably 7 feetĀ (2.13m) in depth.

This is because it’s illegal for water polo players to use the floor to create an opportunity for themselves, so players generally prefer to not even have this opportunity. It is unikely that a foul will be called for touching the floor, as the majority of water polo players are trained to do the ‘eggbeater’.

The eggbeater, a unique way to tread water, helps the water polo players avoid touching the floor. This is a necessity for the players if they truly wish to push their water polo abilities to the next level – we teach very young children this technique as one of our starting points.

Generally, water polo players prefer deeper water in competitive matches. At the last Olympics, the depth of the pool was 2m. This is deep enough for the majority of players to avoid touching the floor.

Shallow Pools

You will find in water polo that sometimes you will end up playing with a shallow/deep pool. This gives one side a significant advantage whilst they are in the shallow end of the pool. This is combatted by switching sides at half time, which helps to prevent any unfairness between the two sides.

Is the shallow end really an advantage?

For playing the game, it isn’t much of an advantage to use the shallow end of the pool. This is because it’s more likely that you will make a foul play, resulting in a turnover. The benefits of having the shallow end of the pool is the longer resting times that you can have by using the shallow end.

Is there a regulation size?

There is no specific one fits all regulation size for water polo, though it is generally accepted that the pool must be an adequate depth for the players to tread water. If you speak to different organisations or clubs, they often will each have their own regulation size. This is often 7 feet for adults, and 6 feet for juniors.

What about the goalies?

Interestingly enough, it’s not actualy against any regulations for goalkeepers to touch the floor whilst they are playing water polo. It is illegal for outfield players, but not for the goalie, though it is unlikely that they will get any significant advantage from this anyway.

So players have to tread water the entire time they’re in the water polo pool?

Yes, it’s generally accepted that players will have to tread water the entire time that they’re in the water polo pool. This is what makes water polo such great exercise and a sport that is increasing in popularity around the world.