Gregory Paragon 58 ReviewApril 28, 2017
- Lightest bag in test set
- Simple construction keeps organization simple
- Good compressibility for summit tags
- Limited outward lateral expansion
- Only one gear loop on back for trekking poles or ice axes
- Small brain storage compartment
The Gregory Paragon is a very capable bag for weekend excursions or light day use. Its strengths are its light weight and its simple, reliable construction. The biggest drawback is the limited outward expansion, which limits it to weekend-or-shorter trips.
The Gregory Paragon 58 has back and shoulder padding that provides a basic level of air flow, all while cutting down on weight. The grippy rubber at the lower back helps to keep the bag properly positioned on the user’s body in a variety of terrain. The overall level of padding seems to the in the ‘goldilocks’ zone. The sternum strap has a wide range of adjustability.
The Paragon’s brain is small with two zippered pockets that open towards the front. There is a mesh back sleeve that runs the length of the body. There is also a button-fastened divider within the body compartment, with top and bottom access.
Each side of the pack has a Z-cinch and a linear cinch, which provides a high level of lateral compressibility to lock down items. The point at which the brain buckles can be adjusted, which allows the Paragon to deliver unmatched compressibility. When fully loaded up to 35 pounds, this pack seems to have a generally balanced center of gravity.
The Paragon has noticeably thin but well joined webbing for straps. The exterior mesh provides a bit of a weakness, but it’s only used for the water bottle sleeves and the back sleeve. The plastic buckles are small but sturdy. The top cinch for the body is strong.
It’s a bit of a wonder that Gregory was able to keep this pack this light while packing on such extraneous-seeming extras as an elastic on the left shoulder for sunglasses and a sidekick day pack included inside. It has two hip pouches, one mesh and the other water resistant. It has one gear loop on the back for a pair of trekking poles or an ice axe. It has four small loops on the top of the brain.
Scott Morris guides backpacking expeditions and hiking trips for Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. He is a writer, traveler, and runner. Scott tests backpacking equipment.