JanSport® Announces Passing of Co-Founder Skip Yowell


The JanSport® brand today announced that JanSport® co-founder Skip Yowell has passed away following an illness.

Yowell was an adventurous man whose hard work and perseverance allowed him to live a life working with people around the world - all in the name of the JanSport® brand. He founded the company in 1967 in Seattle, Washington, along with his cousin Murray Pletz and seamstress Jan Lewis, to make backpacks people could depend on during their adventures in the great outdoors. Today, the JanSport® brand is owned by VF Corporation and is the leading backpack brand globally.

“Skip was an inspiration to all – as an outdoor industry pioneer and leader of the JanSport® brand. He will be missed greatly,” said Steve Munn, President of JanSport®.

Yowell’s commitment to product design and innovation never wavered, nor did his commitment to the greater Outdoor Industry. Yowell was a consummate champion for the lessons taught through the outdoors, serving on several boards, including the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and Big City Mountaineers, among others.

Ann Daw
JanSport Vice President of Marketing Ann_daw@vfc.com


Profile of Skip Yowell, smiling.

Watch our Skip Yowell Tribute

Skip Yowell, co-founder of JanSport, left behind an incredible legacy when he died Oct. 14. A pillar of the outdoor industry, Skip was many things to many people. We reached out to Skip's family and friends for help in creating this tribute in his memory. We miss you, Skip! Skip ...read more

Profile of Skip Yowell, smiling.

Remembering Skip

Dear Outdoor Industry friends, It is with a heavy heart that I make my first post as the new Editor-in-Chief at SNEWS. I never dreamed that my excitement in my new role, which allows me to connect in a new and profound way with this industry that I love so much, would be ...read more