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  1. #61
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    The weather in N.California delayed trucks, so I received my review bag last night and haven't had time to do extensive photos or packouts yet, but maybe my first impressions will help some of you for tomorrow.

    For reference, I don't have a Daylight backpack anymore because I never liked the shingled back pockets, shoulder straps, and lack of water bottle pocket. For that sort of quick packable pack, I use an LL Bean Stowaway which has lightly padded back & straps, water bottle pocket, big main compartment and a couple small pockets.

    Quick First Impressions/Comments of Taiga /Taiga DL-Paragon:

    The 400d / 200d Halcyon combo with the thin padded open top laptop sleeve is a very flexible pack. I can easily fold the pack in half (it springs back open) and it's not very bulky, so this is more 'packable' to me than it appeared based on the photos. I would consider this to be only slightly less packable than my LL Bean pack referenced above - mostly because that bag's padded back is segmented.

    The design is more squared off than the Synapse/Synik families, as you can see in the product page photos. This makes it really easy for dump & go type of packing flexibility. If you were carrying a lot of small things, I'd definitely suggest using cubes. Like with the Daylight, the structure of what you pack can affect how it carries/feels, though the padded laptop/back makes it less so than with the Daylight.

    The base of the bag is straight halcyon, so if you put heavy/smaller items there that don't spread out across the full base of the pack, it will sag below the level where the padded laptop/back is. It was the first thing I noticed and would probably induce me to ensure that something flatter was on the bottom to prevent that.

    The laptop sleeve is super easy to use and holds my 15" HP work laptop (yay!) as well as my smaller 13" personal MacBook Air. The lack of a closure to the compartment doesn't bother me - I don't normally invert my bag.

    The upper inside pocket can hold my Kindle Paperwhite, in it's case, sideways if I tuck it under the zipper area, which is easy to do. If you look at the bag, the inside pocket ends where the outside pocket zipper flap seam starts.
    The inside pocket is just shy of 6" and the outside just shy of 10". They aren't fully 3D pockets so the space used would expand into the main compartment.

    I would use a leakproof water bottle with this pack and throw it into the main compartment or (if it was small enough like my 16oz Nalgene) into the outside front pocket if the pack wasn't jammed full.

    The straps are Edgeless and seem to be spaced a bit wider than the Synapse/Syniks I have...they're about 3" between them at the top edge and my Synapse/Syniks are about 1/2" less.
    The waiststrap location, as with my Synapse/Syniks, hits too high on my wait for my comfort so I'll never use it.

    Hope my first impressions help!

    ETA: Yes, shoes can fit in this bag, probably any size normal dress or running shoe or sandal, depending on how much else you stuff in there, because the main compartment is wide open.

    A PCSB can fit sideways or on end in the main compartment.

    ETA: couple photos...the Kindle inside the inside pocket (fills the vertical space, but not the horizontal)

    Early preview of the upcoming Paragon backpack-pxl_20210202_185756033-jpeg

    And the Kindle sitting on top of the pocket

    Early preview of the upcoming Paragon backpack-pxl_20210202_185811813-jpeg
    Last edited by G42; 02-02-2021 at 03:03 PM.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    The weather in N.California delayed trucks, so I received my review bag last night and haven't had time to do extensive photos or packouts yet, but maybe my first impressions will help some of you for tomorrow.

    For reference, I don't have a Daylight backpack anymore because I never liked the shingled back pockets, shoulder straps, and lack of water bottle pocket. For that sort of quick packable pack, I use an LL Bean Stowaway which has lightly padded back & straps, water bottle pocket, big main compartment and a couple small pockets.

    Quick First Impressions/Comments of Taiga /Taiga DL-Paragon:

    The 400d / 200d Halcyon combo with the thin padded open top laptop sleeve is a very flexible pack. I can easily fold the pack in half (it springs back open) and it's not very bulky, so this is more 'packable' to me than it appeared based on the photos. I would consider this to be only slightly less packable than my LL Bean pack referenced above - mostly because that bag's padded back is segmented.

    The design is more squared off than the Synapse/Synik families, as you can see in the product page photos. This makes it really easy for dump & go type of packing flexibility. If you were carrying a lot of small things, I'd definitely suggest using cubes. Like with the Daylight, the structure of what you pack can affect how it carries/feels, though the padded laptop/back makes it less so than with the Daylight.

    The base of the bag is straight halcyon, so if you put heavy/smaller items there that don't spread out across the full base of the pack, it will sag below the level where the padded laptop/back is. It was the first thing I noticed and would probably induce me to ensure that something flatter was on the bottom to prevent that.

    The laptop sleeve is super easy to use and holds my 15" HP work laptop (yay!) as well as my smaller 13" personal MacBook Air. The lack of a closure to the compartment doesn't bother me - I don't normally invert my bag.

    The upper inside pocket can hold my Kindle Paperwhite, in it's case, sideways if I tuck it under the zipper area, which is easy to do. If you look at the bag, the inside pocket ends where the outside pocket zipper flap seam starts.
    The inside pocket is just shy of 6" and the outside just shy of 10". They aren't fully 3D pockets so the space used would expand into the main compartment.

    I would use a leakproof water bottle with this pack and throw it into the main compartment or (if it was small enough like my 16oz Nalgene) into the outside front pocket if the pack wasn't jammed full.

    The straps are Edgeless and seem to be spaced a bit wider than the Synapse/Syniks I have...they're about 3" between them at the top edge and my Synapse/Syniks are about 1/2" less.
    The waiststrap location, as with my Synapse/Syniks, hits too high on my wait for my comfort so I'll never use it.

    Hope my first impressions help!

    ETA: Yes, shoes can fit in this bag, probably any size normal dress or running shoe or sandal, depending on how much else you stuff in there, because the main compartment is wide open.

    A PCSB can fit sideways or on end in the main compartment.
    Great first impression @G42 , thank you for so many details! I wonder if the ballistic version sags on the bottom, Iíll be interested to see.

    I donít know whether to be nervous or excited that the straps are set wider. Iíve had some troubles with the fit of TB straps, and my biggest problem was straps that felt they were cutting into the base of my neck. Maybe Iíll love these straps.

    What do you think of Taiga in a full size bag versus the swatch?

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    Great first impression @G42 , thank you for so many details! I wonder if the ballistic version sags on the bottom, I’ll be interested to see.

    I don’t know whether to be nervous or excited that the straps are set wider. I’ve had some troubles with the fit of TB straps, and my biggest problem was straps that felt they were cutting into the base of my neck. Maybe I’ll love these straps.

    What do you think of Taiga in a full size bag versus the swatch?
    I'm also curious about the ballistic vs halcyon on the bottom. I assume that Daylight users are used to it though.

    I think overall my tolerance for strap variability is high; I've never minded the old straps or the differences in location though I know it causes issues for some. My biggest backpack comfort concern is usually the overall vertical length of the bag so that it doesn't hit me just wrong on my lower back/butt and keeping the straps actually set on my shoulders - I use sternum straps on any walk further than just out to my car because I like the feeling of security. It does also change the angle of how they sit on the front and top of my shoulders.

    The Taiga is definitely different in a large bag vs a swatch to me... it is more chill (I do like lichen as a descriptor) then my impression of the black grid 400d at the swatch level. I don't know that it will replace my love of Original (white grid black) but it's nicer than I thought it would be looking at the swatch. If I unzip and turn the main flap down, it's a good size impression of what the 200d would look like in the PCSB and it's also nicer than the small swatch.
    Overall they're calm, earthy, relaxed neutrals. I don't know if it's the color or the pack style, but the Taiga 400d doesn't have as much of a modern or techy vibe.

    Overall I'm also pleasantly surprised by how much can fit in here & how easy it is.
    I like the Synapse/Syniks for the ability to have lots of stuff stored in specific locations and I tend to leave things packed in them all the time. This Paragon and the Shadow Guide 23 are more versatile in terms of toss your stuff in and just go - maybe the duffel bag of backpacks?
    Smilie

    ETA: it will be good for biking- I can fit a helmet in there, the bulky/heavy u-lock, etc.

    ETA: the sun came out, grabbed a couple photos - note that this is BRIGHT sunlight


    Inside white grid 200 Taiga; outside dark grid 400 Taiga
    Left to Right: Canyon 210 ballistic; Olive 525 Ballistic; Coyote 210 ballistic

    Early preview of the upcoming Paragon backpack-pxl_20210202_215359174-jpeg


    Early preview of the upcoming Paragon backpack-pxl_20210202_215423662-jpeg


    Inside white grid 200 Taiga; outside dark grid 400 Taiga; Coyote Cordura

    Early preview of the upcoming Paragon backpack-pxl_20210202_215503378-jpeg


    Inside white grid 200 Taiga; outside dark grid 400 Taiga; Coyote 200 halcyon; Ursa 525 ballistic

    Early preview of the upcoming Paragon backpack-pxl_20210202_215623002-jpeg
    Last edited by G42; 02-02-2021 at 03:08 PM.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  4. #64
    Forum Member kemote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    The weather in N.California delayed trucks, so I received my review bag last night and haven't had time to do extensive photos or packouts yet, but maybe my first impressions will help some of you for tomorrow.
    Thanks for the information so far, definitely intrigued to see pictures/packouts whenever you get around to it! I am like 70% I am going to buy this bag tomorrow but just trying to read all the reviews/info I can to help me make an informed decision. My only reservations are the lack of water bottle pocket and lack of bottom suspension in the laptop sleeve but I could be convinced that those are not a big deal. However this would be my EDC bag where I will be carrying a laptop and water bottle so right now, it is a big deal Smilie

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by kemote View Post
    Thanks for the information so far, definitely intrigued to see pictures/packouts whenever you get around to it! I am like 70% I am going to buy this bag tomorrow but just trying to read all the reviews/info I can to help me make an informed decision. My only reservations are the lack of water bottle pocket and lack of bottom suspension in the laptop sleeve but I could be convinced that those are not a big deal. However this would be my EDC bag where I will be carrying a laptop and water bottle so right now, it is a big deal Smilie
    If you are not someone who drops or tosses their backpack around, then I think this minimal protection is fine. You can always use an external case (I have neoprene zip sleeves for my laptops) - they fit in fine in this wide open bag and the padded area isn't 'wasted' since it's padding for your back too.

    For water bottle, I have no issues throwing a leakproof one in there, but obviously not a good idea if you don't have leakproof bottles. The reason I prefer an external bottle pocket on the LL Bean bag is because I tend to use that as a traveling light day hiking back and I'd rather reach around and grab it without unzipping the main pack or taking it off.

    Just added a couple quick pics for color to my earlier two posts
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    I'm also curious about the ballistic vs halcyon on the bottom. I assume that Daylight users are used to it though.

    I think overall my tolerance for strap variability is high; I've never minded the old straps or the differences in location though I know it causes issues for some. My biggest backpack comfort concern is usually the overall vertical length of the bag so that it doesn't hit me just wrong on my lower back/butt and keeping the straps actually set on my shoulders - I use sternum straps on any walk further than just out to my car because I like the feeling of security. It does also change the angle of how they sit on the front and top of my shoulders.

    The Taiga is definitely different in a large bag vs a swatch to me... it is more chill (I do like lichen as a descriptor) then my impression of the black grid 400d at the swatch level. I don't know that it will replace my love of Original (white grid black) but it's nicer than I thought it would be looking at the swatch. If I unzip and turn the main flap down, it's a good size impression of what the 200d would look like in the PCSB and it's also nicer than the small swatch.
    Overall they're calm, earthy, relaxed neutrals. I don't know if it's the color or the pack style, but the Taiga 400d doesn't have as much of a modern or techy vibe.

    Overall I'm also pleasantly surprised by how much can fit in here & how easy it is.
    I like the Synapse/Syniks for the ability to have lots of stuff stored in specific locations and I tend to leave things packed in them all the time. This Paragon and the Shadow Guide 23 are more versatile in terms of toss your stuff in and just go - maybe the duffel bag of backpacks?
    Smilie

    ETA: it will be good for biking- I can fit a helmet in there, the bulky/heavy u-lock, etc.

    ETA: the sun came out, grabbed a couple photos - note that this is BRIGHT sunlight


    Inside white grid 200 Taiga; outside dark grid 400 Taiga
    Left to Right: Canyon 210 ballistic; Olive 525 Ballistic; Coyote 210 ballistic

    Early preview of the upcoming Paragon backpack-pxl_20210202_215359174-jpeg


    Early preview of the upcoming Paragon backpack-pxl_20210202_215423662-jpeg


    Inside white grid 200 Taiga; outside dark grid 400 Taiga; Coyote Cordura

    Early preview of the upcoming Paragon backpack-pxl_20210202_215503378-jpeg


    Inside white grid 200 Taiga; outside dark grid 400 Taiga; Coyote 200 halcyon; Ursa 525 ballistic

    Early preview of the upcoming Paragon backpack-pxl_20210202_215623002-jpeg
    Great comparison photos, thanks! It is so helpful to see a larger example of Taiga, which I see as somewhere between Olive and Coyote, though of course it does look different in black vs white grid.

    I am a Daylight BP user but I have never ever thought about the bag sagging at the bottom. I will have to check it out tomorrow in the light. Iím more likely to notice the front sagging as happens with the packing cube backpacks.

  7. #67
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    Thanks for the review and photos. Taiga is pretty similar to my favourite colour, and this pack is so tempting. But, I know I won't be able to get past the grid. I like it in theory, but seeing it run askew or not meet up at the seams would I think drive me nuts.

  8. #68
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    Got my pre-order in for a wilderness GE paragon. Now the waiting!!

  9. #69
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    Success! At precisely 10:00 a.m. EST, I secured a Design Lab paragon in Original halcyon, and a Side Kick in Constellation/Solaris. Life is good!!

  10. #70
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    at 16:01 (CET) I secured a GE Wilderness Paragon Heart Eyes (+ stuff)
    quite excited
    just a Bihnion here

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