ProView – Gregory Paragon 58
I tested the Gregory Paragon 58 with the 3D Hydro Reservoir to ensure comfort and functionality while completing strenuous backpacking trips. I put it to the test with a loaded pack on a large day hike to ensure it would be the right pack for future overnight trips.
Gregory Paragon 58
Product Description: Stay light on your feet with the Paragon 58. The adjustable FreeFloat dynamic suspension allows the lightweight pack to move with your body, so you stay balanced during the slot canyon section of The Needles loop you've been planning for years.
Offer price: MSRP: $229.95
The Gregory Paragon 58 continues Gregory’s history of making outstanding packs. The pack is comfortable and loaded with features sure to improve your backpacking experience for those longer trips. Note: The Paragon 58 is compatible with the 3D Hydro Reservoir, but the reservoir is sold separately.
- Easy Interior Access
- Bulky Reservoir
- Poor Back Venting
To test this pack’s capabilities I took it into the wilderness of Montana where demanding trails require a comfortable pack for an enjoyable day. In addition to that, I tested it out during an almost 90 degree day to see how well the venting works. I really wanted to get a feel for how the pack would function before taking it out on the job for overnight backcountry patrols.
This pack is incredibly comfortable. It contains an incredible amount of padding in the back and shoulders which makes it a great pack for heavier loads. The back panel did not seem to vent as well as Gregory claims, granted, I can be a pretty sweaty person who hates the heat. But, I’ve had previous packs from Gregory that seemed to vent better than the Paragon.
The blue color of the pack pops out nicely if you enjoy having colors that make you stand out amongst your group of friends. The design is basic but looks great.
The Paragon 58 is loaded with features. The 3D Hydro Reservoir is a great addition to not have to dig in your pack for water. Unfortunately, the handle on the front to grab the bladder is a bit bulky which can make it a little difficult to place back into your pack without removing most of your belongings. Besides that, the reservoir works great and the hose fits great along the shoulder strap. The side access to the water bottle holster is a feature that allows you to access a water bottle without straining your shoulder or taking the pack off. The adjustable hip belt helps the user to customize the fit to exactly what their body desires. The pack includes a small lightweight daypack if you are going on short side trips from camp that you don’t want to haul the whole pack for. The pack includes a rain cover, important for keeping all your belongings dry if the weather turns worse.
Gregory’s claim that this as a lightweight pack is a little bit misleading. The pack weighs in at 3.5 lbs, whereas you can find other packs in the 60L range that weigh under two lbs. This isn’t the heaviest pack out there, but I wouldn’t quite give it the title of being lightweight.
As far as a standard backpacking pack the Paragon 58 works great. It’s not pushing the boundaries in any categories but is a solid pack that will provide a lot of comfort for the user.
After a trip, I found no wear on the pack. The mesh pocket on the back seems like it may have the potential to rip out if you overload it or it gets poked with something sharp. However, if it holds up like other Gregory packs, the Paragon will last for years to come.
Friendliness to the Earth
Gregory continues to strive to improve their sustainability efforts. They resized their boxes to take up less space, thus more product can fit on a single vehicle and less fuel is used to deliver the same number of products. They also have designed their packs for repair over replacement. If a small piece can be repaired, it will keep a whole pack out of the landfill. Gregory is also striving to reduce their carbon footprint in many different ways.
The Final Word
The Gregory Paragon 58 is a great pack for the average backpacker. It’s comfortable with features that create ease of accessibility to your gear. The comfort of this pack does come at a bit of a cost, all of the extra padding does make it heavier than a typical “lightweight” pack. The reservoir could be a little less bulky to improve ease of use and create more space on the interior of the pack for gear.
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About the Gear Tester
Paul Fotter is a Ranger within Glacier National Park during the summers where he works in the backcountry permit office, completes boat inspections for invasive species, completes backcountry patrols, and assists with search and rescue as needed. In the winter, he is a volunteer with the Flathead Avalanche Center where he assists the forecasters with their field work. He is a backcountry skier, climber, and trail runner. Connect with him on Instagram @paulfotter!