Whether you’re taking a trip to one of the USA’s awe-inspiring national parks or traveling further afield to dream destinations such as the Philippines, if you’re planning on camping or hiking, you’ll need a backpack such as the Teton Sports Scout 3400.
Available on Amazon, the Teton Sports Scout 3400 is a unisex backpack that works exceptionally well if you’re looking to travel light or are new to hiking. It isn’t, however, the only backpack out there, which is why we’ve looked at it in more detail here, to see if it lives up to its 4.5-star Amazon rating and if it could be the right fit for you and your lifestyle.
First, though, we’ll take a look at what you should look out for if you’re in the market to buy your first (or latest) backpack.
What to look for in a backpack
When it comes to backpacks, they come in shapes and sizes to fit all body types, fitness levels, and lifestyles, be that skilled hikers or people backpacking across the continents. Which means, when it comes to buying a backpack, your choice will be driven by your personal preferences to a large degree. However, there are certain things you should consider such as:
How much it costs
While the Teton Sports Scout 3400 isn’t that expensive, there are much pricier backpacks out there, some of which are several hundred dollars or more. If you’re looking for a backpack for serious hikers, or have been hiking for years, these more expensive backpacks are for you.
For most people, however, they can get by with ones that are a lot less costly. It’s a good idea, therefore, to decide on how much you want to pay before beginning your backpack search.
How much it weighs
Because you’re going to be carrying your backpack a lot, it’s essential to get one that doesn’t weigh too much. Remember, you’re going to be adding supplies and equipment, which will add to the weight so the lighter the backpack itself, the better. Look for frames that are lightweight but can still carry loads of at least 35lbs.
How much you can fit in it
As you’ll be carrying equipment and supplies in your backpack (or, if you’re backpacking, a fair amount of clothing), you need to make sure the one you choose can hold everything you need.
For those hiking, the National Park Service has a handy list of hiking essentials on their website. If you’re camping out, you’ll need a lightweight tent too, along with a backpack stove to make sure you are well-fed.
How practical it is
Not only does your backpack need to carry everything you need, but it also needs to carry it in a way that makes it easy for you to get to whatever you need quickly and easily. This might mean zippered pockets, internal compartments, and external hooks to hang equipment off.
How well it’s made
Because you’ll be putting a lot into your backpack and asking a lot of it, you need to make sure the materials it’s made of are lightweight, strong and durable. Most likely this will mean choosing a backpack made of nylon or other materials that are hard to tear and are waterproof.
How well it fits
Backpacks need to feel good when you put them on. Otherwise, you won’t enjoy your trip no matter how beautiful the scenery. How tall you are and your size, as well as your gender, could play into this.
If you can find a shop that sells the backpacks you’re interested in, it’s worth trying them on so you get a feel for how they fit (or at least have a good idea – remember, it will change once it’s fully loaded). Once you know the one(s) you want, you can always order it online if you find it cheaper.
In Depth Review of Teton Sports Scout 3400
The Teton Sports Scout 3400 backpack has an internal frame that weighs 4.5lbs, holds 55L and has a water-bladder pocket. It’s gender neutral with an adjustable harness that works for torsos between 15 and 19.5 inches and comes in three colors – Hunter Green, Mecca Orange, and Coyote along with a bright yellow rain cover (which might not be to everyone’s taste).
Looks wise, there isn’t much to say about the Teton Sports Scout 3400 beyond the colors because it has the same style and design as many other backpacks out there. Looks, however, aren’t everything and – thankfully – the backpack has plenty of great features for the price.
Storage and Compartments
It has excellent storage, and is comfortable to wear. You access the backpack’s main compartment from the top (which is adjustable), and there are additional storage thanks to a sleeping bag compartment, and seven pockets in total (four of which have zips). The rain cover comes stored in a small pocket at the bottom of the backpack.
There are two compression straps at the bottom of the backpack, six loops (two each on the straps, sides, and bottom) and padded straps and lumbar support that molds to your body. The hip belt is designed for waists between 26 and 60 inches and is easy to adjust. The top right of the harness has space for a hydration tube. Inside, there is space for a 3L water bladder; however, this doesn’t come with the backpack so it will be an added expense.
One of the nice things about the backpack is that the sleeping bag compartment has a zippered divider which, when opened, increases the size of the main compartment. A downside is that the sleeping bag compartment isn’t as big as it probably needs to be. A small, light, sleeping bag will fit perfectly, but a standard sleeping bag may be a tight fit. The pockets are also somewhat small, though the two on the sides will fit a water bottle.
- Internal frame
- Unisex – works for anyone between approximately five and six foot
- Designed for shorter trips of up to four days
- Adjustable harness and waistband
- Padded straps and lumbar pad
- Removable divider that in effect can increase the size of the main compartment once removed.
- Seven pockets (four zippered)
- Comes with the option to use a water bladder/hydration tube
- Ideal for shorter trips (up to four days)
- Works well for adults as well as teenagers
- Adjustable, making it easy to make it a comfortable fit
- Padded straps and lumbar support, which (again) adds to the comfort level
- Reasonably priced
- Made of durable materials.
- Not as light as the weight might make it seem
- Not enough zippered pockets on the outside, meaning it’s harder to get to the things you might need quickly.
- A smaller than expected sleeping bag compartment
How other backpacks compare to the Teton Sports Scout 3400
If the Teton Sports Scout 3400 doesn’t sound quite right for you, other internal frame backpacks may be a better option.
Royal Mountain Hiking Daypack
The Royal Mountain Hiking Daypack is a good option for those who want a little more space in their backpack. This one comes with a 65L capacity which offers plenty of storage for your clothes and equipment. It has padded shoulder straps and lumbar support that helps provide ventilation and adjustable waist and chest straps that mean you should be able to find a comfortable fit.
Like the Teton Sports Scout 3400, the Royal Mountain backpack is unisex, made of durable materials and comes with a rain cover to keep your belongings dry. The extra capacity does come with extra weight however; this backpack is almost 5lbs, meaning it might be a bit too heavy for some.
- 65L capacity
- Multiple storage compartments
- Adjustable straps
- Adjustable straps including chest and waist
- Works just as well for men and women
- Large capacity
- Reviews suggest that the adjustable waist isn’t suitable for people under 30″
- Heavy to carry on more extended trips
DAVIDNILE Hiking Backpack
Those looking for a genuinely light backpack could try this one by David Nile which weighs 2.16lbs, meaning most people should find it easy to carry. Like the Teton Sports Scout 3400, this is ideal for shorter trips of three to four days. It’s also unisex.
It has a 45L capacity and plenty of storage including two compartments (one of which is for shoes) and four pockets. There’s a hydration system inside while outside there are padded straps and a padded back. The backpack is made of a mesh that’s durable and allows for plenty of ventilation.
- Two storage compartments and four pockets
- Made with durable mesh
- Includes a hydration system
- Ideal for shorter hikes
- Works well for smaller statures
- Comfortable to wear
- Plenty of storage
- Not large enough for longer trips
BOLANG Hiking Daypack (8928)
For those looking for flexibility, this Bolang backpack is a good option as it has a removable suspension support system that means it can be used for non-hiking trips too. Plus, the removable straps make it easier to keep clean.
A 45L capacity backpack, it’s made of durable, breathable material that comes in a range of colors including blue, orange and green. Like all the backpacks we’ve looked at here, it’s unisex and comes with adjustable straps meaning you can get it ‘just right’ for your body.
It has zippered pockets on the outside and an additional pocket in the inside compartment as well as a handy hook to store your keys. There’s also a shoe compartment that is separate, meaning your other belongings won’t get dirty, even if your shoes do (a distinct possibility when you’re hiking).
- Uses Bolang’s ‘Bear Breathable System’ that disperses heat and reduces any discomfort
- Padded back support and straps
- Removable suspension system
- Two compartments (one for shoes)
- Pockets including an external zippered pocket
- Room for a hydration system
- Compression straps for a sleeping bag, tent, and other equipment
- Breathable material designed to keep you cool
- Adjustable straps
- Multiple compartments and pockets
- Hydration system
- Multi-use thanks to a removable suspension system
- Made with durable material
- Comes with a one year warranty
- Rain cover doesn’t provide enough protection from the rain
- Hip belt pockets are too small
Which is the better option?
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Having looked at the Teton Sports Scout 3400 backpack in detail and at some of its competitors (internal frame backpacks that are less than $100), it’s hard to find any that can beat Teton when it comes to features and affordability.
Across all the models, there are some similarities. They’re all designed to be unisex, for example, and are all made of durable material that’s waterproof (and rainproof if you use the rain cover they all come with). They also all have padded straps and adjustable harnesses and waistbands, meaning that they can fit a range of body types.
Some also have unique features, especially the Bolang, which includes a removable suspension system that means you can use it when you’re hiking and when you’re not. We liked this feature because it added flexibility. However, given the size of the backpack, we did wonder when we might use it – possibly on weekend trips away but not for everyday use because it would be too big.
What the Teton Sports Scout 3400 offers, and what we really liked about it, is additional storage, despite it having roughly the same capacity as the Bolang and the DAVIDNILE. This is, in part down to the extra pockets – seven in total which, while some are small, are more than either of the other backpacks have.
And the Winner is..
We’ve also taken account of the reviews. The Teton comes out on top here too, which is probably why it’s Amazon’s No. 1 bestseller; with over 1,000 reviews. The Bolang isn’t far behind, but a few comments on the quality of the materials (which is the same for DAVIDNILE) did make us wonder just how we’d feel if we were on a four-day hike and something went wrong.
Which is why in the end, we decided the Teton was the one that won for us (with Bolang running a close second). It’s got great reviews, is strong, sturdy and holds everything you (or I) need for a four-day hike. We don’t think you could ask for more than that for the price.
How tall do you need to be to use the backpack?
The backpack was designed for people between 5 foot and 6 foot 4 inches. This makes ideal for women and younger hikers. You will need to adjust the straps for the torso length (15 – 19 inches)
Can the Teton Sports Scout be used as carry on?
The backpack meets size requirements for airport carry on. However, if you over-fill the backpack, it won’t be suitable because it won’t fit in the overhead bin.
Does it come with a water bladder?
No, you will need to buy one of these separately. The water bladder capacity is 3L.
How big is the backpack?
The backpack, when filled, is 30 x 17 x 12 inches. It has a 55L capacity.
How big a sleeping bag can I use?
The sleeping bag compartment is 14 x 8 x 8 inches. Larger sleeping bags (versus lightweight ones) won’t fit. However, these can be attached on the outside using compression straps.
Is the top removable?
No, there are no removable parts.
For serious hikers or those planning trips longer than three or four days, none of the backpacks we’ve looked at today would work that well. They are all lightweight and designed for shorter trips. This doesn’t mean, however, that they don’t offer great quality – they all do – and all at under $100.
Because we were looking at the Teton Sports Scout 3400 in detail, the backpacks we compared it to were similar in design, price and user ratings. We wanted to know how the Teton stacked up. The answer is very well. In fact, for us, it came out on top.
It’s an affordable backpack that offers plenty of great features including multiple storage compartments and pockets, adjustable straps (meaning it works for plenty of body types and heights), and a frame that is light enough for most people to manage, including younger people.
A lot of these are things that can be said about the other brands we looked at. Side-by-side, however, none could give us everything the Teton Sports Scout 3400 did for the price we were being asked to pay, which makes it a winner in our books.
We hope this Teton Sports Scout 3400 review has told you enough to decide if it’s the backpack for you. If you want more information, send us your questions in the comments below, and we’ll get back to you.