Teton Scout 3400: A high comfort backpack for long treks

One of the many perks of working at Indiahikes is that I rarely have to buy trekking gear. I beg, borrow and steal (ok, not really steal) trekking accessories from my colleagues. I take Arjun’s backpack, Sandhya’s jacket, Komal’s headlamp and so on. This setup has been on ever since I joined Indiahikes and has been so convenient that for a long long time, I did not have to buy any gear.

So a couple of months ago when I finally decided to buy a backpack it was after having tried and tested several backpacks. I had tried a Teton Scout 3400, a Quechua Forclaz 50, a High Sierra Titan 55 and a few others. I was lucky enough to try these backpacks not just for a few hours, but on long Himalayan treks!

teton-backpack-specifications-indiahikesAfter using them all, when I had to pick a backpack for myself, I knew I had to go for the Teton Scout 3400 backpack. I’ll tell you why.

First impression

When I first saw the Teton Scout 3400 backpack, I immediately liked its long and narrow structure. It looked comfortable even for a skinny trekker like me. When I put it on, it sat snugly on my back. After adjusting the straps, it felt like an extension of my body. I loved it!

 

Highlights of Teton Scout 3400

The next thing that struck me about the Teton Scout 3400 is that it is a very well-balanced backpack. Despite the long and narrow structure, the backpack is engineered so well that it never topples over. It distributes the weight evenly on your back. On my Rupin Pass trek I carried the backpack for 10 hours straight and never felt a single pang of pain in my shoulders.

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Loops on the side hold the trekking pole in place

Another big highlight is the blackhole-like space in the backpack. It really is like Hermione’s bottomless bag. I could fit everything I need for an 8 day trek and still have space remaining. It is so spacious. I usually end up putting my big camera bag with a DSLR into it.

I’ve seen that most backpacks are either well-balanced or roomy – just one of the two. Usually, when you fill them up, they get bulky and tip over to the side. But this one has the best of both worlds. It never loses its shape no matter how much you put in it. And that’s a blessing on long treks!

There’s another addition that is a boon to trekkers – the Ice Axe loops on the sides! How convenient they are for trek poles! I usually see trek poles hanging very awkwardly from inside backpacks. These tiny loops solve that problem completely!

In fact, I remember Arjun using the word “thoughtful” to describe this backpack. And indeed it is. The high comfort level using this backpack is its biggest highlight.

Look and feel

The design of the backpack is very practical. There are no added frills, no unrequired straps. Just the basic, necessary straps and cords to adjust the backpack.

The colours are classy – I especially like the military-style olive green. It blends into the surroundings while you’re trekking – and it makes you look like a seasoned trekker in pictures! The other two colours (orange and peach) show wear and tear too easily.

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Teton Scout 3400 shot on the Roopkund trek
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Lightweight ripstop construction minimizes wear and tear

The above picture you see was shot on my trek to Bedni Bugyal last month. I put the backpack through some rough use on the trek. What with checking it in at the airport, shoving it under the seat in trains, tying it on top of a jeep on muddy mountain roads and of course, trekking with it in the wilderness – the backpack went through a lot. But it shows no signs of it. It’s a resilient backpack put together for rough use. 

The fabric is tough – the outer ripstop construction doesn’t let the backpack get damaged easily. It performed very well, and still looks new as it did when it came from USA two months ago.

Compartments

If you want to get a good look at the compartments in this backpack, you can take a look at this video – How To Pack Your Backpack. While I’m not reviewing the backpack in the video, I’m actually packing it, so you can see the compartments.

My favourite compartments are the Top Flap and the two side zippered pockets. Oh how useful they are! I always keep the most important things there – my medical kit, torch, cap, sunglasses, etc. I’ve seen several backpacks with the Top Flaps but they’re usually very flimsily attached to the main body, with delicate-looking straps. This flap is solid and you can keep things in it without risking damage.

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A picture from the Warwan Valley exploration where Sandhya used a Teton Scout 3400

There is a sleeping bag compartment at the bottom, which is spacious. I have tried fitting in a thick High Altitude Hillman Sleeping Bag in it and it fits to the T. If not a sleeping bag, it is also a great compartment for your padded jacket and other warm layers.

Cons

The only thing that makes me go hmpf is the Hip Pocket on the sides – I usually keep my water bottles there, but they’re far too low and not easily accessible. I end up asking someone else to pick my water bottle out for me. Another hiccup is that the backpack is on the heavier side, weighing 2 kg. But I think it’s worth the weight.

Sadly, this backpack is not yet easily available in India. You will find it in Indian online marketplaces, but it is more than twice the original price – $74.99. It’s better to have someone from the USA bring it over for you. 

The verdict

For the comfort level this backpack provides I’d easily give it a 4.5 on 5. I doubt you’ll get such a robust and dependable backpack at such a low price anywhere else. 

If you have any good backpacks that you’ve used and would recommend, do let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Swathi

Swathi

Swathi Chatrapathy is a journalist from Bangalore. She heads the content team at Indiahikes and runs a video show called Trek With Swathi. Writing, reading and trekking are up there on her list of favourite things!

18 thoughts on “Teton Scout 3400: A high comfort backpack for long treks

    1. Hi Sachin I don’t think these brands have physical outlets in India. You can order them online. If you’re looking for regular high altitude trekking shoes, you can check out shoes at Decathlon. If you’re looking for very high end mountaineering shoes you can try Salomon shoes. They are available online as well.

      1. Hi Swathi I am planning to go kedarkanth trek this December may I know which backpack is better (i seen Quechua 70 l easy fit in decathlon store )can u suggest me for long period for more treks thanking you …

        1. Hi Ashok, unless you’re going on expeditions, avoid picking up a 70L backpack. For our 7-8 day Himalayan treks, a 55 litre backpack will suffice. You can go for the Quechua 50. It’s a fairly decent backpack. But if you have someone coming from abroad, you can get the Teton backpack I’ve written about. It’s a very good backpack. Or you can go for a High Sierra 55L backpack.

          1. Thanks for reply
            I want go more treks in this summer
            Like (surpass trek ) that’s why I am planing to take 70l backpack .
            In that capacity could you suggest me which one is best one for long term
            Usage (suggest me available in India only)

  1. Thanks for reply Swathi
    I want go more treks in this summer
    Like (surpass trek ) that’s why I am planing to take 70l backpack .
    In that capacity could you suggest me which one is best one for long term
    Usage (suggest me available in India only).

  2. Hi Swathi, I am 5.2ft (159Cms) Tall. can you please suggest me that -Teton Scout 3400 fit me perfectly for my height. Thanks in Advance.

    1. Hi Aravinda the Teton backpack will surely suit your height. My colleague who is around your height uses it and she is the one who recommended it to me in the first place. You can go for it. 🙂

  3. Hi! Swati,
    I was wondering, if there is any compartment for a hydration pack in the Teton 3400. I like to use my hydration pack more and was looking for a rucksack that was compatible,

    Dipankar

    1. Hi Dipankar, there is a compartment for the hydration bladder. It holds up to three litre bladder in an internal padded pouch. 🙂

  4. Hey Swathi!
    i would be going to sar pass this year , i wanted to know which backpack would be good? A 60L?
    let me know! i am very very confused which one would be good!

  5. Hi Swathi,

    I ll be heading Roopkund next month.. I m confused on which one to choose as my backpack. I have visited the Decathlon showroom and saw FORCLAZ 60L but was not convinced with the product. Anyways I ll have to pay 4k for that and cover extra, I checked in wildcraft as well later. It costs between 6-7k for 60L. But shape and quality of the back/side straps are wide and fits nicely as compare to FORCLAZ.. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Adarsh I would suggest going for a Wildcraft rucksack over Quechua. It is much more well-balanced and sturdy. It’s worth the investment because it will last you a long time.

  6. Hey Swati,
    I am planning to treat myself to a new backpack for my upcoming Rupin Pass trek. I will definitely consider buying Teton 3400. I was also looking at a German brand, Deuter, specifically their Aircontact 45+10 model – have you or anyone else from IH used or heard of this brand? Please let me know.

    The issue with the Teton 3400 is that it’ll a long time to deliver (maybe not on time for the trek) , since it ships from the US.

    1. Hi Ram, Deuter is one of the best backpack companies. So you can go for this backpack. WE haven’t used this one, but we have used the Deuter Futura Vario 50+10. This is a more ideal size. The review of this backpack will be out on our website over the next few days. You can go for either of the backpacks by Deuter.

      1. Awesome, thanks Swati, I have found a local dealer who has the Deuter Futura Vario 50+10 in stock, will probably but it!

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