This newly released lightweight backpack is equipped…
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps
This newly released lightweight backpack is equipped with user-friendly features without adding unnecessary weight. Supreme comfort meets a lighter base pack weight! This backpack is ideal for both the casual overnight hiker, and the long distance backpacker covering ground day-in, and day-out.
- Extremely Comfortable
- Feature Rich For Weight
- Included Rain Cover
- Long Term Durability Concerns
- Poor Back Ventilation
- Some Features Unnecessary For A Lightweight Pack
- Minor Design Flaws* (See Review)
Gregory has entered the market with their new line of lightweight backpacks, the Men's Paragon & Women's Maven series. Recreational backpacking has become obsessed with becoming UL (ultralight) over the past several years, allowing hikers to achieve their personal goals without so much of the ‘pain-in-the-neck’. After approximately four months and about two hundred miles of testing, this pack has shown to be truly luxe in comfort, however Gregory has paid the price in long-term durability…
NOTE: Some of the design flaws noted in this review have been addressed By Gregory Packs, and we at Trailspace are waiting to hear back about further information regarding these fixes.
Volume- 58 Liters
Weight- 3lb 9oz (3lb 4oz minimum weight)
Measurements- 31”H x 13”W x 10” D
Load Range (Estimated by tester)- 12-40lbs
Frame Type- 7001 aluminum internal perimeter frame
Fabric- 210D CryptoRip nylon/100D high tenacity nylon
Included Rain Cover- Yes
Fit, Comfort, and Ride
The Gregory Paragon 58 is one of the only packs tested to have no break-in time, with truly out-of-the-box comfort. The MD/LRG 17"-21” pack size was tested, and the fit was right on the target for a 5’10” 155lb tester.
Each size available to the consumer has four inches of torso adjustment, allowing the user to use a simple hook & loop system to get that perfect fit.
The Aerolon suspension in the Paragon 58 is very comfortable, using an aluminum perimeter frame.
Maximum pack weight of approximately 40lbs was used on several winter overnights, and did not overload the suspension system of the pack. As far as carriage is concerned, this is a near perfect system. Gregory specs the maximum carry of the 58L model to be 50lbs.
40lbs on a multi-day winter trip was still found to be very comfortable!
Although the webbing and straps for pack adjustment are more svelte for weight reduction, no flaws were evident with the redesign.
One of the main concerns found testing the pack in regards to comfort is back ventilation. Gregory touts their Matrix ventilation system to provide ‘exceptional airflow’, however the results are far less than exciting.
Understanding the need for the back panel to provide structure for comfort, this ultimately is not a deal breaker considering how comfortable the ride is. The 58 liter volume spec seems to be true to size. When carrying less, the four compression straps (two per side) do an adequate job.
The side pockets are medium in size, but will hold a 32oz Nalgene bottle. The right side pocket has a 45° angle second access point, which is user friendly to get access to water, or a snack.
When removing the top lid, the front attachment straps can easily be removed. Two lower front accessory straps are also easily removable for weight savings.
Although not problematic, the attachment straps for the top lid don’t have a place to stow. Trailspace is waiting to hear back from Gregory about design changes.
Another design oversight is the functionality of the removable main compartment divider as a lid for the pack. When attempting to do so, the user will find the attachment clips are a different size, rendering this option useless. Once again, Trailspace is waiting to hear back from Gregory about design changes.
The Paragon has two generously sized hip belt pockets; one mesh, one water resistant.
The elastic mesh front pocket is a nice place to store wet or quick-access items. Although this very stretchy material allows the user to store lots in the pocket, long-term durability is questionable.
Although somewhat hidden, there is a stash pocket under the mesh for storing the included rain cover.
Moving fast during a rainy winter day near Warner Gap
The included rain cover is highly water resistant
The main compartment of the backpack has two access points; the standard top opening, and the sleeping bag compartment at the bottom.
One hand pull open/one hand pull closed design is used for main pack access
Traditional lower pack access is available for buried items
There are several other notable features of the Paragon, like the useful sunglass quickstow, and the trekking pole attachments.
The sunglass stow is useful, and well designed
The upper trekking pole attachment has a elastic hook system
Some people may find the hydration reservoir sleeve useful, which acts double-duty as an ultra-light summit pack.
Available as a separate accessory, Gregory has a newly designed hydration reservoir for their backpacks. Andrew F. of the Trailspace Gear Review Corps reviewed the Gregory 3D Hydro 3L Reservoir for Trailspace.
The main area of concern with this pack is it’s questionable long-term durability. Following the second or third use, the connection between the mesh pocket, and main upper mount point began to come undone. This is a critical area that has to withstand lots of daily stress! It is not possible to determine if this separation is a design flaw, or poor sewing…
The Gregory Paragon 58 has been tested during the winter 2016-2017 season over approximately 200 miles along the Appalachian Trail, and mid-Atlantic US.
Whether going out for a quick overnight, or thru hiking a long distance trail, The Gregory Paragon 58 can do it all! Many thanks to the people out at Gregory for the opportunity to test this product for the Trailspace Gear Review Corps!