Teton Sports Scout 3400
Teton Sports Explorer 4000
If you are just getting into hiking, then you are probably looking at all the equipment that you will need to buy. And a good sturdy backpack is probably the most important part of that. However, no one said that it needed to be expensive, and the Teton Sports Scout 3400 and Explorer 4000 aren’t. In fact, the whole Teton Backpack range is not.
Both of these backpacks have huge capacities and a price tag that is under $100. So, they are very affordable, and as such, they are perfect for beginners and newbies to hiking or camping.
There is no need to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars if you are just starting to get into these outdoor activities. Maybe later when you become more advanced, and when you can really appreciate the added features on those luxury Osprey backpacks.
But for now, you are going to love these Teton Sports backpacks. Join me in this detailed comparison of the Scout 3400 and Explorer 4000 and find out everything there is to know about them!
As you can see, both packs are made from the same durable materials, and they weigh almost the same. The Explorer is the larger of the two, so naturally, it weighs a little more than the Scout – but not a lot, and that is very important.
Both packs also have a hydration sleeve that can fit a reservoir with a capacity of up to 3 liters, which isn’t included in the purchase.
And both packs have an incredibly affordable price tag. Seriously, you won’t believe it when you see it, and all I will tell you about it is that it is in the double digits. If you don’t believe me, you can see for yourself on Amazon. ;>
These two backpacks are very similar, but there are a few differences in their designs. So, let’s check out what those are first, and then we’ll move on to their shared features.
One advantage of the smaller Teton Sports backpack is that it is equipped with elastic bungee cords on both the top and the front of the backpack. So, even though the pack has a smaller capacity, it has some additional features that will help you attach more things to its exterior.
The elastic cords are perfect for putting away a spare layer of clothing. You can stash your hoodie or jacket in them, and then you can access it very easily. Or you could even use them to store a blanket, which will be very helpful if you like to go camping.
Obviously, the Explorer is the larger pack of the two, so you could fit more gear in it. To be precise, its capacity is about 10 liters larger than the capacity of the Scout, which is a significant difference. So if you are looking for a pack that you can take on a 4-5 day trip (or longer if you pack light), a larger Teton Sports pack is the perfect choice for you.
The interesting thing is that you would expect a pack with the larger capacity to be much heavier, but it’s not. The difference in their weights is only 0.5 lbs, which you will barely notice.
The Explorer 4000 also has the upper hand in terms of gear organization. That is because it has more pockets than the Scout 3400; there is an additional zippered pocket on its side. And there is something unique about these pockets on the Explorer 4000.
They are not sewn fully onto the backpack. Instead, only their sides are sewn on it, so that you can actually store a trekking pole or a fishing pole behind them, and then secure it inside the side mesh pocket. Does that make any sense? If not, check out this photo:
Now you get what I’m talking about. Anyway, it’s a useful feature, since it allows you to utilize every single aspect of this backpack. So if you really need the larger capacity of this pack, then definitely get it over the 3400.
These two Teton Sports backpacks actually share a lot of features. We saw that there are only a couple of differences between them, so now it’s time to check out what features you can expect to get on either backpack.
And if I may add, I think you will be surprised as I was, because I was definitely not expecting some of these for such a low price tag.
So, we saw that the Explorer 4000 has a couple of additional pockets that the Scout doesn’t. But other than that, these two are very much alike. Both have 4 more pockets on their sides, which include a zippered pocket on each side, as well as 2 stretch mesh ones. These are perfect for your water bottles, or anything that is of a similar size.
In addition to that, both the Explorer and the Scout have an exterior sleeping bag compartment. It is at the bottom of the backpack and you can access it very easily. The best thing about it is that it’s completely separate from your main compartment so that you don’t have to go through all of your other gear just to get to your sleeping bag.
Both packs also have a pocket on the very top of the pack, as well as a mesh front pocket, so that you can quickly access some essentials that you want to keep separate from the gear in the main compartment. And there are also plenty of different pockets inside the main compartment. So, whichever backpack you get, you shouldn’t have any issues staying organized.
However, I did notice in some reviews that people were complaining that there weren’t enough pockets on the packs. On the other hand, other people were raving about all the compartments you get, so I don’t really know what to tell you there. I guess it depends on how many separate gear compartments you expect and are used to having on a backpack.
This is probably the most important feature of any backpack out there. Imagine carrying a 50+lb pack on your back without a padded back panel – you would be sore for days! And luckily, you won’t experience that with these Teton Sports backpacks since their panels are fully padded with 0.5” of thick foam.
In addition to that, the back panels are also ventilated. This means that your back will be able to breathe and that you will not sweat as much. And that is particularly important since the temperatures are now beginning to be so high that you sweat even when you only have a t-shirt on.
Both of these backpacks are completely adjustable so that they can perfectly fit people who are both very short and very tall. The torso length is the main adjustable feature, as one particular length definitely cannot suit people of various different heights.
The shoulder straps are another adjustable feature, which is expected. But it doesn’t stop with them; you can also adjust the sternum strap and the hipbelt (which is padded by the way) to perfectly fit the size and contours of your body. And there are compression straps on the sides and the top of the backpack, which will help distribute its load evenly across your entire torso.
Overall, these packs seem to be much more comfortable than you would expect them to be, for their prices. And especially when you take into consideration that they are going to be very heavy when you fully pack them.
We saw that the Scout 3400 has elastic bungee cords for quickly stashing some items. But other than that, there are some other loops and straps on both packs that will allow you to keep any larger gear on the exterior of the packs so that you can really utilize that space in the main compartment.
There are loops on both sides of the packs that are perfect for carrying your trekking or fishing poles. And there are also elastic loops that you can use to store your ice axe or shovel when the winter comes.
So basically, you can use the main compartment to store only your essentials – food, clothing, camera equipment, and some blankets. And then you have a compartment or a loop for everything else that you might need but is bulky, and would be awkward to pack alongside your essentials.
Hydration is an important part of hiking, especially in the warmer months. So, I really like that both these packs have a hydration sleeve, in addition to the water bottle pockets. The sleeve is located inside the main compartment, and it is easily accessible.
The packs also have elastic straps on the shoulder straps that will allow you to secure the hose of your reservoir to them. And that basically means that these are perfect for hydration on the go.
But truthfully, not as perfect as the Osprey packs, with their magnetic attachment points. However, since these Teton Sports packs cost only a fraction of what an Osprey costs, I am perfectly fine with that. And just like with most Ospreys, the hydration reservoir is not included in the purchase, and you will need to buy it separately (if you don’t already have one).
This is the feature that surprised me the most because you rarely see it even in backpacks that cost $200+. Sure they will be compatible with a rain cover, but more often than not you are going to have to shell out an additional $30 for it. And that’s half the price of these Teton Sports packs.
The rain cover not only adds to the value of these packs but also to their practicality. It will protect your gear and pack from getting wet if you get caught in the rain, which is priceless. Nobody wants to get wet and then on top of that have all of their spare clothing soakings.
Ughh that is tough to say. Both are incredibly good backpacks, with a ton of features that you don’t expect to see on gear that’s so affordable. They are fully adjustable, with padded shoulder straps, back panel, and hipbelt, so they will both be incredibly comfortable.
And both packs have a ton of compartments and pockets to keep all your gear organized, as well as some loops and straps that really help you carry everything you might possibly need. That being said, I do think that the Explorer 4000 is the better choice, due to its larger capacity. And it’s important to keep in mind that even though you can store 10 more liters of gear inside it, it only weighs half a pound more than the smaller pack.
But by no means does that mean that the Scout 3400 is a bad choice. Just the opposite, it is a great affordable backpack, and it’s even going to be a better choice for someone who doesn’t carry a lot of gear with them. Or for someone who goes on shorter trips and doesn’t really need a 60+l backpack.
So, pick a pack according to your own needs. And then head over to Amazon to have your mind blown by the incredibly attractive prices of these two Teton Sports backpacks!