Gregory Paragon 58
- 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.
How We Tested It
The packs in this test were used throughout the winter and spring of 2017, during day hikes ranging from a few miles to a summit attempt on Mount Hood. Tests were conducted on Maryland’s Western Shore, in the Olympic Range of Washington State, and in the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest. This geographic diversity of conditions allowed for a look into each pack’s strengths and weakness. Each pack was loaded down with at least 15 pounds.
For more reviews beyond this 2017 test, check out our other backpack tests, our Best 3 Person Backpacking Tents of 2017, along with our sleeping bag tests, and other related hiking and camping gear tests.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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- Type of Backpack: Weekend Pack
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