Gregory Paragon 38 pack for men is the smallest pack from a completely new series launched by Gregory in 2017. This is a very lightweight hiking tool, 1.36 kg only, and with several bonuses and unique features, ideal for overnight and day tours.
Benefits & unique features
- Rain cover included.
- Very lightweight.
- Adjustable harness.
- New Aerolon suspension.
- Quick-stow feature on the shoulder strap for attaching glasses on the go.
Paragon 38 backpack – details
The Paragon 38 looks like a classic top-loading pack, so it comes with a lid and an extendible spindrift collar underneath it. There is also a bottom zippered entrance with a large zipper as yet another alternative access to the pack.
The bonus with this pack is its rain cover which stows in an external zippered pocket beneath the front shove-it pocket.
The suspension system
The pack is built in two sizes S/M and M/L, so choose your proper torso length in the moment of purchase. In addition, you also have an adjustable torso for a perfect fit. The adjustment is simple, just push your hand behind the harness to break the Velcro tabs behind, and then slide the harness into the desired position. After that press the harness to re-engage the connections.
The suspension system used here is what they call Aerolon. It utilizes an ultra-light 7 mm hollow 7001 aluminum flexible frame with entirely new geometry and flexibility. So when you have ordered your proper size you still have 4 inches (10.2 cm) range for torso adjustment. This is useful if several people from a family use the same pack, and in particular, if it is used by a growing person.
They have introduced what they call Matrix Ventilation System, a foam-matrix back panel structure covered by a very breathable mesh with an excellent air flow and moisture evaporation. The mesh is partly suspended, as you can see from the picture above, so ventilation should be great in these packs. I myself have several backpacks with a suspended tensioned mesh, and I have no doubt this is the best system in this regard.
In the lumbar zone, they have built the gripton pad system with a soft-molded silicon overlays for enhanced load transfer and energy savings, you can see it in the picture below.
The hip belt is contoured and with a multi-density LifeSpan EVA foam. A very similar padding is on the shoulder straps.
You have side strap stabilizers on the hip belt. This allows you to pull the pack closer to the body if you need more control in some scramble.
This pack is nicely built and it has many attachment points. To mention very functional dual side compression straps. The lower straps are with the inside-out feature, so you can run them through the pockets in order to compress the pack or over the pockets to secure the items in the pockets.
One useful detail which you have here is the quick-stow feature for sunglasses on the left shoulder strap. It includes a webbing loop and a tie-off cord. When you attach your glasses there, you can secure them with the cord.
Dual compression straps are on the bottom, so you can attach a sleeping pad or a tent. There is a bottom loop for an ice axe or trekking poles attachment, and higher up it is paired by a tie-off bungee cord.
There are four webbing attachment loops on the top of the lid, some are visible in the picture below.
A large stretch shove-it pocket is on the front (see the picture above) to store things which you may need when you are on the go, or to store wet stuff.
Dual stretch pockets with angled access for water bottles are on the sides. Dual zippered pockets are on the hip belt, one is built of a mesh and one is fabric. There are two zippered top pockets on the lid.
Pros & Cons
Here is my summary:
**My usual objection about my favorite feature; all my packs have them. It is a bit of a trend nowadays to build packs with a streamlined design and without such pockets, but see this new model from Deuter, the Deuter Groeden, they still build such packs.
Review of Gregory Paragon 38 pack
Specifications & summary of features
- Gender: for men.
- Purpose: hiking, mountaineering, travel.
- Two sizes: S/M, M/L.
– S/M: 1.25 kg (2 lb 12 oz).
– M/L: 1.36 kg (3 lb).
– S/M: 35 l (2136 cu in).
– M/L: 38 l (2319 cu in).
- Size (L x W x D):
– S/M: 64 x 33 x 25 cm (25 x 13 x 10 in).
– M/L: 69 x 33 x 25 cm (27 x 13 x 10 in).
– Main fabric: 210 D ripstop nylon.
– Secondary fabric: 210 D HT ripstop nylon.
– Frame: aluminum.
- Maximum weight: 40 lb (18 kg).
- Torso length:
– S/M: 38 – 48 cm (15 – 19 in).
– M/L: 46 – 56 cm (18 – 22 in).
- Access: bottom, top.
- Adjustable harness.
- Hipbelt circumference:
– S/M: 58 – 122 cm.
– M/L: 64 – 135 cm.
- Ventilated back panel.
- Compression straps.
- Rain cover included.
- Ice axe/pole attachment.
- Hydration compatible.
- Hipbelt pockets.
- Colors: 3, see the pictures.
- Warranty: limited lifetime.
Comparison with competitors
See how Gregory Paragon 38 backpack stands in comparison with some top models available on the market:
|Zippered side pockets||no||no||yes|
*This is for the M or M/L size. To see more about the packs, please follow the links.
The prices at the moment of writing this text for the packs in the table are, respectively, $160, 160, 140. Obviously, the Paragon pack is lightweight, but there are even more lightweight options on the market. Its price is reasonable in view of so many nice features.
To conclude this Gregory Paragon 38 pack for men review, this is a modern design and an advanced construction, probably one of the best series Gregory has built so far. I can fully recommend this pack. I see it as a great tool for overnight tours, but it is not too big even for day adventures.
The adjustability of the torso length makes it suitable for several users, family members or couples, or for growing youth. So this is a good investment in any case, a tool which will serve you for years.
The series includes also three bigger packs with 48, 58, and 68 liters of volume. The biggest two packs in the series offer more features, you can see this in my review of the Paragon 68 pack. Note that there is a corresponding Gregory’s Maven series for women, with the same features and with the volumes 35 liters, 45, 55, and 65 liters.
Thank you for reading. I shall be happy to hear from you, so let me know what you think about this new Gregory’s series, there is a comment box below. I wish you a pleasant day.