Over the years, Gregory have developed a reputation for making some of the finest backpacks in the outdoor game. The brand consistently produce bags which, in our opinion, offer first-rate levels of carrying comfort, stability, and adaptability. The Paragon 58, from Gregory, is no exception in this regard. Designed to be used over long distances and in different weather conditions, this is a product that will handle everything an adventure throws at you and more.
The standout elements of the Paragon are the chassis and back panel. The chassis is made of the highest quality lightweight aluminium alloy. What this means is that you’ve got a bag that’s strong enough to easily hold your stuff, generally handle the rough-tumble nature of winter backpacking, and still be pleasant to carry. Likewise the clever-looking foam back panel reduces weight without cutting back on that all-important comfort and support.
“...the clever-looking, matrix ventilated, foam back panel reduces weight without cutting back on that all-important support."
If you’re covering large distances over particularly strenuous terrain, you want airflow on your back. With that in mind, we reckon the Matrix ventilation system on the Paragon 58 has to be one of the best examples of designers getting this area of a bag absolutely bang on. Its foam structure is surrounded by a breathable mesh which channels cool air where you need it, and allows moisture to escape. You’ll be thankful for this feature when you’re trekking about in hot conditions. It’s excellent.
A perfect fit with the Gregory Paragon comes virtually guaranteed. This is thanks to the fully adjustable shoulder harness and hipbelt that actively adapts to different shapes. As a consequence of this, load balance is maintained with the Paragon 58. And while we’re on the subject of load stabilisation, a quick shout-out for the innovative internal wire frame (made of aluminium alloy) which effectively channels the load to the strongest part of your spinal column (aka ‘the lumbar region’). Twisting and turning in-sync with the wearer, the frame helps to keep things stable.
Of course, it’d be silly of us to write a bag review without discussing at some point how that bag’s storage solutions stack up. And with two zipped hipbelt pockets, a zipped compartment at the bottom of the pack ideal for a sleeping bag, a pocket in the top loading section, and an internal sleeve for a hydration bladder, we reckon the Paragon 58 nails it on this score. The inclusion of a Sidekick pack, an ultra-light removable daypack, is the icing on the cake.
Gregory Paragon 58 Backpack