Great Budget Pack

Not wanting to shell out a lot of cash for a good hiking backpack? Want to try out the backpacking lifestyle without breaking your bank? The TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack might interest you.

This 55-liter large backpack from TETON is a minimalist rucksack that provides all the basics of a travel/hiking bag: lots of storage, some organization, good enough comfort, and durability.

The TETON Sports Scout 3400 might appeal to you if you’re on a smaller budget but need a backpack. It may also be a good companion for your once-a-year hiking trip or a comfortable bag for a weekend escapade.

But is it even worth it, or maybe it would be wiser to invest in a backpack with a better brand?

We’ve put the TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack to the test, comparing it to better known brands too, and here’s our honest appraisal of what this hiking backpack does and what it can’t do.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    It comes with a built-in hydration sleeve for ease of access
  • check-mark
    The internal frame and harness system offers enough comfort
  • check-mark
    Massive zipped side pockets for extras
  • check-mark
    You can keep items in the bungee straps at the front
  • check-mark
    The integrated rain cover is a time-saver
  • check-mark
    It provides robust construction considering its relatively cheap
  • check-mark
    You can fine-tune torso and shoulder strap length, as well as hip belt size
  • check-mark
    The removable divider between the main compartment and sleeping bag pocket, plus expandable top storage for maximum space
  • check-mark
    Secret pocket under the flap
  • check-mark
    It's got a lifetime warranty

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe hip belts got no pockets
  • check-markIt can't fit in tall water bottles
  • check-markZippers feel cheap
  • check-markThe sleeping bag compartment is small
  • check-markMesh front pocket isn’t stretchable
  • check-markYou’ll need to dig through the bag since there’s no front access
  • check-markA front pocket would be nice
  • check-markIt can't carry its total capacity

Where to buy:

Teton Sports Scout 3400 Product Image

TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack

An Honest, Functional Backpack

This backpack from TETON Sports gives you a durable build that caters to a smaller budget. It’s a minimalist hiking back that punches above its weight. For camping and hiking or a random trip around Georgia, the value delivered by this pack is surprisingly good.

As a budget pack it’s not as feature filled as an Osprey Aether 65L. There are details of premium bags with which the Scout can’t compete. But it has all the functional components for camping and hiking. That includes the sleeping bag compartment, lash points, trekking pole loops, hydration pack sleeve, rain cover, and more.

It’s surprisingly comfortable consideration lowered expectations. It does not have as a good a harness system as a Gregory or Deuter, but, again, it does the job. With a laden pack you’ll sweat more with the Scout than one of those premium packs, but you’ll not suffer for it.

In fact, there’s a bit of honesty in this bag that we like. No bells or whistles, but you get a bag that can be adjusted or optimized for better comfort and you’ll get to your destination just as well as other options. The journey won’t be that bad either.

The outer mesh pocket could be elastic, as well the mesh water bottle pockets too could use some stretch. But pound for pound, this is a decent bag with shortcomings you can live with if you don’t want to shell out $80-$100 more for the premium brands’ bags.

We like this budget bag for everything it does and how it’s made.

Specs & Features

  • Materials: 600D Diamond Ripstop Nylon, 600D Polyester Oxford Canvas
  • Volume: 55 Liters + Expandable 5 Liters
  • Dimensions: 30” x 17” x 12”
  • Weight: 4.5 lbs.
  • Colors: Black, Burnt Orange, Huckleberry, Mecca Orange, Olive, Tan
  • Ideal for: Hiking, Traveling
See the complete list of the best Hiking Backpacks here!
Teton Scout 3400 Hiking Backpack Front Features

Construction

With 600D Diamond Ripstop and 600D Polyester Oxford Canvas as a shell, you can expect to have this bag for many years.

The 600D ripstop nylon diamond pattern offers tear- and water resistance. This pattern consists of thick thread interwoven to thin fibers as reinforcement. If your TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack gets a rip from a sharp branch or a hole from an exploding flint stone launched from a campfire, no worries. It won’t run or get more extensive since the thick threads keep it within its grid.

Between the ripstop and 00D working together in this large backpack, you’ll get good quality for a very affordable price.

The solid internal frame and thick back padding won’t let you down either- they’re comfortable and breathable.

On the downer- TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack’s zips feel a little flimsy. Yes, they get the work done- but don’t expect them to glide smoothly. The materials used were durable indeed. We stressed the stitching too, as it seemed like it could be a weak spot. While the threadwork reveals another inferior point of comparison with, say, Gregory’s packs, no sewing lines parted or gave way when pulled or tugged with vigor.

Overall, this large backpack makes for a good option for summer backpacking across the States and for camping as well as for multi-day hiking excursions. You won’t have to part with that much cash by comparison as well.

teton-sports-scout-3400-front-view-with-bradley

Related Reviews

Customizable Snug

This large backpack has some fine-tuning adjustments you can avail yourself of. The shoulder straps, torso length, and hip belts are adjustable and held via Velcro. You’ll find the adjustment tab at the back, and it’s pretty easy to adjust.

The hip belt is also removable. It makes TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack work great as a larger everyday backpack. Just take them out of the lumbar pad, and that’s it. If you’re someone who likes hip belt pockets for your extras, this minimalist bag doesn’t have them.

Although, there are still noticeable comfort differences between TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack and popular brands like Osprey Aether 65 Hiking Backpack and Salkan Backpacker (and the tag as well, of course!). The shoulder and hip belt pads aren’t as thick. Standard nylon webbings and buckles lock all the straps in place (sternum, shoulder, hip).

But then again, this large backpack is on the low-end of the price range, so you can’t complain.

teton-sports-scout-3400-lumbar-pad

Strings, Loops, and Clips

One key factor for proper weight distribution lies in the compression straps and load lifters. TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack got enough of them to do the job. You’ll also find elastic loops on both sides near the zipped pockets for your trekking pole and ice ax.

This large backpack has a criss-cross bungee string in the front with an adjustable toggle and a mesh pocket. It’s an excellent spot for your wet gear so it can drain out. Just note that the mesh pocket isn’t that stretchy, so clothes, flip-flops, and other flat items best go here.

At the bottom, there are loops so you can clip other add-ons. If you want to put other valuables in the sleeping bag compartment, you can attach your sleeping bag/mat here as an alternative. TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack also has two clips on the shoulder straps. Plus! You can load other stuff in the in-line straps as well.

But if you want a large backpack overflowing with straps, loops, and clips, Mystery Ranch Glacier Hiking Backpack is for you.

Storage

With a 55-liter capacity, you can pack up for at least a 5-day trip. Especially if you’re a light packer, you can fill it up with everything you need for long-term travels. Let’s unrig each compartment and see what this large backpack from TETON Sports has for you.

Main compartment

The main compartment is accessible through the top with a two-level drawstring: one at the opening and another near the tip of the bag’s body itself.

Want to overload your large backpack for another five liters (not recommended since construction isn’t that solid)? You can close it by the topmost drawstring and the lower one when not fully packed.

Remember that the top access is the only access- no front or side loading. You’ll have to sift your way through the entire hiking bag if you need something. There are no internal pockets, so organizing your stuff in packing cubes will be helpful.

It could’ve been excellent as well if there’s a zipped front pocket for ease of access to things you need within reach. If you need the convenience of a secured front pocket, see Mountain Warehouse Traveler Backpack and AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack.

The TETON Sports Scout 3400 Hiking Backpack can accommodate your weeks’ worth of clothing (with the help of washing your laundry, of course!), a couple of pairs of shoes, and extra gear. And since you can remove the divider between the main compartment and sleeping bag pocket of this large backpack, you can expand the room.

Technically, you can max out this large backpack’s capacity on top and bottom. But keep in mind, the construction is not the best, so don’t.

Hydration

Thirst is no problem with TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack. It’s got a 3-liter built-in bladder sleeve inside with a tube port at the back. Not only that but there are also mesh water bottle pockets on both sides outside so you can stay hydrated even in the middle of roasting Sedona.

Remember that there are zipped side pockets on top of the water bottle holders. There’s very little clearance when you snatch your drink, so it’s better to opt for small water bottles. Your LifeStraw Go Water Bottle with Filter will fit but will bump to the pockets on top and will be tricky to snatch. There are also some complaints about this large backpack missing the tube port for the bladder.

If you prefer a travel backpack with a laptop sleeve instead of a reservoir sleeve, take a look at The Stubble and Co. Adventure Bag or Osprey Farpoint Travel Pack Carry-On 40.

Teton Scout 3400 Hiking Backpack Back Features

Secret Pocket

The top flap of the TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack Doesn’t offer much storage, unlike what you’ll find in Osprey Aether 65 Hiking Backpack (it even converts to a daypack!). But! There’s a zipper underneath so you can sneak in your cards and passport.

Zipped Side Pockets

Some of the roomiest side pockets we’ve reviewed! It’s almost as spacious as Patagonia Black Hole Mini Hip Pack, if not more. It can carry bulky items you need at hand. Maybe a portable camera to capture the scenic views in one pocket and a selfie stick for your phone on the other. Maybe pack it with energy bars and other snacks, mints, some change, and your Bluetooth headphones.

Thanks to the flap over the zips, these side pockets are well-protected from the weather. Meaning water won’t penetrate inside if you get caught in a drizzle.

Sleeping Bag Compartment

Too narrow! If you own those typical sleeping bags in the market, you’ll need some force to fit it inside the bag pocket to fit (well, at least it still does). Or, you can opt to attach your sleeping bag outside by the loop, remove the divider on top of the compartment and expand the main compartment’s capacity instead.

There’s an integrated rain cover. It’s already sewn into the bag’s bottom section, so no need to waste time fitting it on all sides.

Summary

Traveling and venturing to the great outdoors doesn’t have to be bank-breaking, and TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack proves that.

For roughly $80, you get so much space and good quality for a large backpack. Although it’s not the best of the bunch for comfort and durability, it performs well enough to keep up with your travels.

But! Remember not to overload it and stray away from abusing your TETON backpack as much as possible.

It’s got all the basics of any $200 and something large backpack, but there are still notable differences in construction, especially the fit.

Buy this backpack if:

  • You’re short on budget but ache to go hiking/traveling
  • A novice backpacker testing the waters on shorter hikes

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    It comes with a built-in hydration sleeve for ease of access
  • check-mark
    The internal frame and harness system offers enough comfort
  • check-mark
    Massive zipped side pockets for extras
  • check-mark
    You can keep items in the bungee straps at the front
  • check-mark
    The integrated rain cover is a time-saver
  • check-mark
    It provides robust construction considering its relatively cheap
  • check-mark
    You can fine-tune torso and shoulder strap length, as well as hip belt size
  • check-mark
    The removable divider between the main compartment and sleeping bag pocket, plus expandable top storage for maximum space
  • check-mark
    Secret pocket under the flap
  • check-mark
    It's got a lifetime warranty

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe hip belts got no pockets
  • check-markIt can't fit in tall water bottles
  • check-markZippers feel cheap
  • check-markThe sleeping bag compartment is small
  • check-markMesh front pocket isn’t stretchable
  • check-markYou’ll need to dig through the bag since there’s no front access
  • check-markA front pocket would be nice
  • check-markIt can't carry its total capacity
FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the TETON Sports Scout 3400 Hiking Backpack

What’s the hydration sleeve’s volume?

TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack has a built-in reservoir sleeve that can accommodate up to 3 liters of bladder.

Although it’s a nice add-on, its design isn’t so practical since there’s no tube port to the back of the bag. Meaning, you’ll still have to poke it through the top opening of the backpack.

What are good big backpacks?

Save yourself some time and energy and check out these big backpacks we’ve tested and reviewed for you:

Alternatively, you can also drop by our complete lowdown on the best hiking and travel backpacks.

How much is a big backpack?

You can find big backpacks ranging from $40 to $400. But of course, keep in mind that price usually translates to quality (although not all the time) and capacity.

If you don’t plan to stay on the road for long-term travel, a budget-friendly 50-liter backpack will do just ok. But, for you all travel vagabonds out there, the wisest option is to invest in travel backpacks from trusted brands.

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