You might want to know, there is a new version of Gregory Paragon Packs Series which this brand launched for the season 2020. Are they better now? Keep reading.
What is new/different as compared with the previous Paragon backpacks
If you are not so familiar with this Gregory Paragon Packs, it may be confusing because both new and previous versions are available on the market. I guess it is best to see the top pictures given above and try to remember which is which, the new version is on the left.
Here is a short summary of differences that look the most important to me, this is not a full list:
- From what I see now, the new Paragon series includes only three packs, Paragon 48, Paragon 58, and Paragon 68. The previous version has Paragon 38 that is presented in my separate text. It is not known to me if they will add it to the new version or not.
- The new Paragon packs have an extra side entry point. This is not available in the previous version.
- The new Paragon version is without the daypack. As you probably know, the previous Paragon 58 and Paragon 68 packs have a removable water bladder sleeve that doubles as a SideKick daypack.
- All the new Paragon packs have the same functionality and features, this was not so in the previous version where the two smaller packs have had fewer features.
- In the new packs, there are toggles inside to connect Gregory Nano packs.
- The new packs are slightly heavier, see the table, these are the weight for the M/L size for each of them.
|Paragon 38||NA||1.36 kg|
|Paragon 48||1.60 kg||1.45 kg|
|Paragon 58||1.62 kg||1.62 kg|
|Paragon 68||1.68 kg||1.64 kg|
There are several smaller changes in the design, but they are not so substantial.
Overview of features
This is again a classic design with a top floating lid and collar. You have a drawstring plus a strap that cinch the collar and the pack from above. Such a strap is useful if you add some items like rope, so you can fix it firmly in place, and the lid can be adjusted (raised) to accommodate such an addition.
There is also a bottom zippered entrance to the sleeping bag compartment, and you have a divider between the two compartments. It is not impressive at all, just a removable shelf with toggles so small items can slide from the main compartment to the bottom one. But the same is with the previous version, just to know.
But as mentioned above, there is now also a side entry point with a long C-shaped zipper, so this is a functional difference. If this is really important is up to you. In my view, the long zipper just adds unnecessary weight (now you know why the new Paragon 48 is heavier than the previous version), and you have yet another entry point for rain. The same feature is in all three packs.
The pack is hydration compatible and you have an internal sleeve for a bladder. It comes also with an included rain cover.
The suspension is based on a wishbone alloy frame that flexes with the body movement. But there is also an additional horizontal fiberglass stay behind the back panel that prevents the inner area from bulging when the pack is full. This is a new feature they added.
The back panel is 3D-molded and perforated. This is what they call the FreeFloat breathable suspension. Is it better than before? It looks great this is sure, but see them side by side:
You have a continuous structure on the hip belt and lumbar area and this is completely different from the previous Paragon version. But you have again adjustable hip fins on the belt.
The torso length is adjustable, and this the Velcro hook and loop connection, easy to use and reliable. Note that all the three packs are built in two sub-sizes, S/M and M/L, so effectively there are 6 of them in total. This implies small differences in weight and volume between these two sub-sizes. The same sub-sizes are available in the previous version.
The padding is dual-density foam, and you have it on the shoulder harness and on the hip belt. This is all excellent, one can hardly make any objection here.
You have the usual collection of pockets, 7 in total, you will see them all in the video below. The straps and attachment points are the same by numbers as in the previous version. So you have dual side straps, dual bottom straps, loops on the bottom for the poles, attachment loops on the lid, and attachment loop for glasses on the shoulder strap.
Please see more in this video:
So this was a short overview of the new 2020 Gregory Paragon Packs Series, and the question is if it is better or not. These packs have already been excellent, and their previous version is still around, so check the prices and see what you can afford, the new packs are much more expensive.
There are some differences in functionality and features. Are they substantial? I am sure you will be doing fine with any version.
These packs are available at various sellers, so check the link below to find the best option for you:
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