Teton Sports Scout 3400 Review
Cons: Uncomfortable, bulky straps and buckles, difficult to use pockets
Manufacturer: Teton Sports
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Teton Sports Scout 3400
|Price||$79.99 at Amazon||Check Price at Backcountry|
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|$199.00 at REI||$150.45 at Amazon||$184.47 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Very affordable, durable fabric||Handles heavy loads well, adjustable, two large side zipper pockets, affordable||Light-weight, comfortable, easily personalized, inexpensive||Durable, simple, zipper access to main compartment, inexpensive, water resistant, lightweight||Great value, adjustable hip cushioning and torso height, useful features|
|Cons||Uncomfortable, bulky straps and buckles, difficult to use pockets||Lid pocket is hard to access, side pockets can interfere with tall bottles, heavier than most||lacks durabillity, not made for heavy loads||No lid, only available in one non-adjustable size||Suspension can bulge out against the back, front stretch pocket doesn't expand that much|
|Bottom Line||This is an inexpensive pack that can get the job done if you look past its shortcomings||Our favorite budget pack that features unique pockets and a high carry capacity, all at a great price||It may not be a heavy load hauler, but for moderate loads, this pack is comfortable and has an amazing set of features, all at a great price||A great option for the hiker that wants a simple, lightweight pack capable of carrying moderate loads||A pack with a lot of the same features as more popular packs, but at half the price|
|Rating Categories||Teton Sports Scout...||Kelty Coyote 65||REI Co-op Flash 55||Mountainsmith Screa...||Gregory Stout 60L|
|Suspension And Comfort (45%)|
|Features And Ease Of Use (20%)|
|Specs||Teton Sports Scout...||Kelty Coyote 65||REI Co-op Flash 55||Mountainsmith Screa...||Gregory Stout 60L|
|Measured Weight (pounds)||4.5 lbs||4.3 lbs||2.6 lbs||3.0 lbs||3.8 lbs|
|Volume (liters)||55 L||65 L||55 L||55 L||60 L|
|Access||Top||Top||Top||Top and zipper||Top|
|Materials||600D Diamond Ripstop / 600D PU||Poly 420D Small Back Stafford||Main body: 100D ripstop nylon
Bottom: 420D nylon
|210D Robic HT nylon with Alkex, 210D nylon embossed liner||90% nylon, 10% polyester, 210D nylon, 420D high density nylon|
|Sleeping bag Compartment||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
During our research, we saw the excellent price of the Teton Sports Scout 3400 and decided it would be a good option to include in our budget backpacks review. We were unfamiliar with packs from Teton Sports, unlike the manufacturers of the other packs we reviewed. During our testing, we found this pack to be much less comfortable and more difficult to use than our other packs. Between rough materials, a lackluster suspension, difficult-to-open pockets, and some poorly executed features, this was our least favorite pack to use. But, it still worked well enough to support us on our shorter overnight trips, so we recognize it for its outstanding affordability.
Suspension and Comfort
The suspension on this pack is basic, with foam against the upper and lower back as well as around the hips and shoulders. We felt that the foam on the lower back was less comfortable than the rest of the packs we reviewed, and the waist belt was stiff and straight. This meant that the pack and straps did not contour to our hips and the weight didn't feel evenly distributed. We noticed this discomfort during our longer days with the pack, especially with heavier loads.
The shoulder straps weren't too comfortable, but the biggest problem was the abrasive fabric. When putting on and taking off the pack, the fabric would scrape against our skin, which we felt significantly decreased the comfort of this pack. The more expensive packs use nicer fabric that is much less rough on the skin. We certainly couldn't wear this pack without at least a t-shirt.
This pack is among the heaviest packs in our budget backpack review. It weighs 4.5 pounds, which is quite heavy for such a small pack. The Scout 3400 does include a rain cover, but it doesn't weigh very much at all. Since the price of the pack is so low, it's understandable that the weight to size ratio is higher, but this probably isn't the pack for you if you're looking for the lightest budget backpack you can find.
Features and Ease of Use
The Scout 3400 has the features that we find necessary in a pack, but that's about it. We found some features to be difficult to use, and others unnecessary in the first place. The pack volume is 3400 cubic inches or 55 liters.
The pack features a familiar design with a retro look. The main compartment has standard access from the top, but we felt that the bottom zipper was poorly executed. The elastic flap covering the zipper got in the way and made it hard to open, plus the opening was too narrow to easily access gear. Similarly, the top lid of the pack was hard to use. It is sewn onto the top of the pack, so it is not removable or adjustable for storing extra gear underneath it. That, in combination with the narrow zippered opening, made it quite frustrating to pack and access gear in the lid.
Each side of the pack has two pockets; one elastic pocket on the bottom and one zippered pocket on the top. Both of these are just barely large enough for a 1-liter Nalgene bottle, but it was no easy task to fit the bottle in, and we noticed that the rough fabric scraped our fingers. The upper pockets are nice for other items that you want access to, especially since the waist belt does not have any pockets on it.
We were able to attach gear on the outside of the pack fairly easily. The lower straps are great for attaching a sleeping pad or tent, and the pack has ice axe loops as well. There is a mesh pocket on the back of the pack, but it is far too small to fit most items that we wanted to, like a rain jacket. It was good for storing things like your compass or maps, but we prefer a larger mesh pocket to stuff bulkier items.
There are elastic drawstrings on both the rear of the pack and the top of the lid. We actually liked the one on the back, where we could store a fleece or jacket. The elastic on the top of the pack was less useful because it made the lid even more difficult to access, plus the cord was too long in the first place. While it didn't hurt the pack performance, we felt that this top attachment didn't add anything to it either.
Other aspects that we didn't like about the pack were the straps and the buckles. The straps were thick and stiff, while the buckles were bulky and the plastic felt cheap. We didn't have any issues with the durability, but it was a bit difficult to tighten down the straps and the buckles were tougher to open when it was cold.
This pack is adjustable to a degree but much less so than other packs. The shoulder straps are adjustable via a Velcro release system that is fairly easy to use, so it fits a range of torso sizes. Beyond that, there was not much adjustability. The waist belt was difficult to cinch down because, unlike all of our other packs, it does not feature a reverse pull tightening system. Many of the other straps also feel stiff and are harder to tighten than we would like.
This is a high-value, but lower-quality pack. Within the budget backpacks category, there are better packs available from brands like Osprey and Gregory. But, none of those packs can be found for a comparable price. If your priority is simply the lowest price tag for a functional pack, then this pack has great value.
This pack has some frustrating features and a weak design, but also an unbeatable price tag. This is why your needs are important. If you'll be using your pack often and for longer trips, these shortcomings of the Teton Sports Scout 3400 might outweigh the cash that you can save. If you want a beginner pack, or simply won't use it often enough to justify a more expensive pack, then this extra cheap pack offers a good compromise.
— Ben Skach