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Camp Trails Explorer

Camp Trails is no longer in business, and the Explorer has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best external frame backpacks for 2020.

photo: Camp Trails Explorer external frame backpack


Price Reviewers Paid: $100.00


4 reviews
5-star:   1
4-star:   2
3-star:   1
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

This pack is sturdy and roomy. Perfect for the average amateur hiker.


  • Sturdy
  • Versatile
  • Will hold more than I can carry


  • None

Bought this pack in 2007 for a five-day hike of the Appalachian Trail (from Springer Mountain to Neels Gap—36 miles). A group of me, two adult brothers, and a teenage grandson each. I hauled all my gear—food, water, water filter, sleeping bag, etc., plus the tent for myself and my grandson—through the heat and thunderstorms of July.

This pack was flawless. I don't have anything to compare it to. I've never had any other quality pack. Probably wouldn't try Mt. Everest, but if I was up to it I'm sure the pack would have been fine for the entire Appalachian Trail. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Don't remember—less than $100


Welcome to Trailspace, Ol Sarge! Thanks for the review. Have you used your pack much since that AT hike?

2 years ago
Ol Sarge

Yes,a couple of shoter trips of 1 or 2 days. Did 3 days on Black Mountain in Pisgah NC. Nothing since then. I've had two knee surgeries.

2 years ago

Thanks for sharing that, Ol Sarge. I hope the knees are holding up.

2 years ago

Solid, moderately lightweight, and tons of organization options. If you pack intelligently, this pack is more than capable of hauling your "bug infested, soggy footed, what do you mean there's no more trail mix" self over, through, and around anything under 10,000 ft elevation.

I've had the pack since my second year of Boy Scouts and I'm 30 now, and this pack has seen it all from the bayou, :to the rockies CO, black hills SD, AT through hike, Poconos, PA, and many more.


  • Expandable top loading compartment is separated from lower comp which is easily accessible by a U zipper.
  • Zippers, stitching, seams are all very hefty
  • Several lash points, four external pockets, and insulated bottle compartment (which you can ACTUALLY reach while pack is on) make it incredibly versatile for even the most anal retentive packer.


  • Requires a seasonal application of water repellant
  • Not recommended for mountaineering due to lightweight nylon material the pack is made from. Bag and contents are too susceptible to extreme elements encountered above 8,000 ft

Awesome pack for weekends to week-long. Whether you're a first timer or a seasoned vet, this is a great "anywhere" go-bag.

Source: received it as a personal gift

This is a very sturdy pack and has a lot of room. Pockets are nice and the water bottle pocket is accessible while the pack is still on.

The owner need to be kinda stocky for the best fit. I am 175 lbs and the shoulder straps are not too adjustable for me. The pack is very adjustable, just not to my size.

However, I would recommend it.

Size: 3690
Number of Pockets: 1 main, 1 lower, 1 long side, 1 short side, map pocket, and water bottle holder
Max. Load Carried: 60-70 lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 91/2"
Source: received it as a personal gift
Price Paid: Gift

This pack holds up well in most conditions. It is just big enough for one day and two nights, but you are PACKED. Overall it was too small for my needs, but good for the begining backpacker.

Design: external frame
Size: 4250
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 40
Height of Owner: 5'9"
Price Paid: $100 (about)

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