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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Garner

A Father's Review: Hiking with the TETON Sports Ultralight Plus

As a father who frequently goes hiking with my boys, having a reliable and comfortable backpack is a crucial part of our adventures. That's why I decided to test the TETON Sports Ultralight Plus Backpack, particularly the Grand 5500 model. This backpack promised a blend of capacity, durability, and comfort that sounded ideal for our outdoor trips. This hands-on review will dive deep into our experiences.


First Impressions of the TETON Sports Ultralight Plus

The TETON Sports Ultralight Plus immediately caught my attention with its sturdy oxford canvas shell and black color. It struck a balance between aesthetic appeal and rugged functionality. Despite being the 'GrandDaddy' of the TETON's internal frame backpacks, it was surprisingly lightweight and compact, promising a voluminous storage capacity of 90 liters.


Teton backpack

Getting the Perfect Fit

A backpack that doesn't fit right can make any trip a miserable experience. However, the Ultralight Plus offered customizable fit options that included a waistband with independent top and bottom hip and torso adjustments. The backpack comfortably accommodated my frame and still managed to be comfortable for my boys.


A Journey Through the Wilderness: Testing Durability

We put the backpack through rigorous tests during our numerous hiking and camping adventures. The TETON Ultralight Plus' strong shell proved exceptionally durable, withstanding harsh weather conditions and rough handling. The multiple compression straps, strong buckles, and storm-proof zippers all held up to our demanding usage.

Teton backpack in snow track

Capacity and Versatility

The Grand 5500 proved its worth as an extreme hiking backpack, accommodating all our adventure gear, from snowboards to camping essentials. The additional external loops and straps further expanded its carrying capabilities. The backpack was not only a storage unit but an integral part of our outdoor adventures.


Teton backpack front

Comfort: A Crucial Factor

Despite its massive storage capacity, the Ultralight Plus maintained a stable and lightweight frame. The padded lumbar region made a significant difference in comfort levels during long hikes. This backpack demonstrated that professional-grade comfort can be accessible even for casual hikers or beginners.


Is the TETON Ultralight Plus Worth It?

Assessing its value proposition, the Ultralight Plus more than justified its cost. Its superior comfort, spaciousness, and durability combined with the brand's exceptional product support made it a worthy investment for any outdoors enthusiast, especially for families like mine that love to explore the wilderness.



huge backpack

My Two Cents

Reflecting on my experiences with the TETON Sports Ultralight Plus Backpack, I can confidently say it has positively enriched our hiking trips. The backpack's thoughtful design, roomy interior, and robust build ensured that it was more than just a gear carrier—it became an integral part of our adventures. For fathers, mothers, or anyone planning family adventures or solo escapades, this backpack offers a great balance of performance, durability, and comfort, making our trips into the great outdoors more enjoyable and memorable.


Some More Helpful Reviews I Found Online

"I've had this pack for almost a year now and am writing a review now based on using the pack hard for week-long backcountry work trips in Hawaii. I bought this pack to replace my old expensive name brand pack (named after a bird/plane) and thought that for the price, this pack would not be very good quality. I was wrong-this pack has held up carrying over 50lbs of gear across rugged terrain, off-trail, through cold and extremely wet conditions. The pack is super comfortable and filled to 50lbs feels like 20lbs compared to my expensive name brand pack. The padding around the waist and shoulders is super comfortable and doesn't dig into my hips or collar bones. I can't believe how much stuff I can cram into this pack and I like that it is simple and doesn't have a bunch of interior pockets that just add extra weight. " - Erika

Get it from Amazon now: $233.74 & FREE Returns


"I originally ordered this bag for my 8 year old son who is always going on outings with me and wanted a bag to carry all his kit. I measured to his tail bone which, once the pack arrived I soon found out was a little too long for him. The pack is super adjustable.. It went from almost fitting Him at 80 lbs to fitting me at 195lbs. The 420D shell is actually more sturdy than I thought it was going to be. The split wishbone design ln the side waist pack is a nice design, it allows me to get my knees over my waist when climbing without any bunching or pack balance being thrown off. The little pouch on the waist belt is too small for my iPhone, but it fits my headlamp perfectly. I like the Daisy chain loops for More connection points and I actually laced paracord through it to add the included Tarp poncho if it's too wet to add back into the pack. The Mesh netting/webbing is the best I've seen on a pack (no joke) I'd trust my Nalgene not to rip through and it'll hold up to the snagging tree limbs and weeds in my trails. I can add a tent into the webbing and use the tip straps to secure it. I can also add my Biolite stove the the webbing and it can be secured by the bottom nylon tensioning straps. The poncho tarp actually fits over me and the pack, The little guy and I used it to keep outselves dry from the spring rain, it was a little tight for two, but doable. This pack may have ended up being a little big for my son, instead of sending it back...I decided to keep it and order the Rock 1800 from Teton. Knowing what kind of quality to expect I didn't even think twice. So many adjustments and options I could go on even more." - Shane A. Coffey

Get it from Amazon now: $233.74 & FREE Returns


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