While it isn't the most durable hiking backpack on the market, the Teton Sports Explorer 4000 is one of the most affordable. This pack is great for beginning backpackers or for those on a budget who don't want to sacrifice too much of the quality found in many high-end bags.
Highly adjustable. Owners say the Teton Sports Explorer 4000 is a very comfortable backpack, thanks to its fully adjustable torso, shoulder and hip straps. Taller reviewers say they packed the Explorer to its absolute max -- about 40 pounds -- and it did a great job of holding the gear while still remaining a comfortable carry. Others say the versatile packing options make it a great backpack for weekend trips through the countryside or long hikes across Europe.
There are a few complaints from users about improper weight distribution, with some saying they felt the weight rested too much on their shoulders, making it uncomfortable. Others say this is because the waist belt requires some fiddling to get the weight distribution correct, while others feel this is a better pack, fit-wise, for a taller person.
Some reviewers find that the sleeping bag compartment is too small, but a bag will fit in the main compartment. In other words, use the compartments as they best fit your gear, rather than as Teton Sports may recommend. The Explorer 4000 is equipped with rain flaps covering the zippers and includes a rain fly, but some users complain the fly is a bit too small when the bag is fully packed.
Limited space. Although 65 liters is not a small amount of space, many seem to find the arrangement of the bag's compartments a bit inconvenient on the Teton Sports Explorer 4000. "The side pocket space was limited," writes one reviewer on Amazon.com. It also can take some fiddling to adjust the waist belt to fit properly and evenly distribute the load, reviewers say.
Things fall apart. There are many reviews on Amazon.com claiming the Teton Sports Explorer 4000 is a durable bag. However, reading deeper shows even some of the more positive reviews complain of zippers, seams and buckles malfunctioning or simply falling off. The 600D diamond ripstop material from which the Explorer 4000 is made is very resistant to wear and tear, but there are complaints of broken zippers and plastic parts.
Good reports for warranty replacements. The Teton Sports Explorer 4000 comes with a lifetime warranty. Reviewers say customer service was quick to send replacements, and there were no quibbles about what was covered under the warranty.
Review Credibility: Very Good Amazon.com customers rated the Teton Sports Explorer 4000 an overall average of 4.4 out of 5 stars. This rating was based on more than 270 customer opinions and experiences with the pack. User reviews provide useful insight into extended use and longevity of the pack.
Review: Teton Sports Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2013
2. Best Camping Supplies
Review Credibility: Fair Editors give a very optimistic review of the Teton Sports Explorer 4000. They have nothing negative to say of the pack. There is also a space for customers to tell their own experiences with the bag in the comments section.
Review: Teton Sports Explorer 4000 Backpack Review, Editors of Best Camping Supplies, Not dated
Review Credibility: Fair Robert Cooper reviews the Teton Sports Explorer 4000 on SouthernPass.com, based on his own field tests.
Review: Teton Sports Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack, Robert Cooper, Aug. 13, 2012