Teton Sports Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack

Searching for the elusive Sasquatch.

About a year ago, I was looking for a really solid backpack I could use for weekend trips and excursions into the nearby Sipsey Wilderness.  I did endless research online and came away pretty bummed at the prices.  For a quality 65L pack, I was apparently going to have to shell out between $200-$400 dollars.

If I was still a bachelor, dropping a few hundred on a pack wouldn’t even faze me.  But there’d be no way to camouflage a $300 dollar online purchase from my wife without raising some serious red flags.  One of my last online stops was amazon.com where I searched for “Internal Frame Backpack.” The first few packs were all from a brand I’d never heard of, Teton Sports, and they ranged in price from $59 to $89.   After looking over several, I decided on the Explorer 4000, which only costs $65 including shipping.  I figured at that price, even if it wasn’t a great pack, I could probably resell it online and lose only a few bucks on the deal.

After getting it in the mail, inspecting the pack, and taking it on several trips, I don’t see how Teton Sports is making a profit by only charging $65.  The pack is as durable as any other I’ve seen, and at only 5 lbs, it’s LIGHT.  One of my fears with this pack was that I was sacrificing value for extra weight, but at 5 lbs, it’s the same weight as another pack from a well-known brand that retails for $400.

Here’s the specs from the website:

  • Rugged, internal frame backpack with 4,000 cubic inch capacity
  • Dual aluminum stays adjust to the contour of your back
  • Full-length adjustable torso and adjustable shoulder straps for a more comfortable fit
  • Padded shoulder straps, padded waist belts and padded lumbar area for maximum comfort, with airflow system to reduce heat
  • Separate sleeping bag compartment
  • Includes a bright yellow attached rainfly and is hydration system ready
  • Height-adjustment shoulder straps accommodate a wide range of torso lengths

Durable 600D Diamond Ripstop Shell

What do you look for in an Expedition Pack? Let’s go over my checklist:

Lightweight? Check

Durability? Check

Storage Capacity? Check

Quality Material? Check

Price? Check

Plenty o’ Pockets? Check

The bottom line:  Everything you look for in a pack is here and it’s only $65.  Don’t waste your time on a $300 pack when you can pick this one up on the cheap.

(BTW, if you purchase this pack, it will not come with the awesome patches you see in the pictures.  You’ve got to earn those.)


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