3/4 shot of the Paragon in Nebulous Grey 525 Ballistic. 3/4 shot of the Paragon in Black 525 Ballistic. 3/4 shot of the Paragon in Taiga (olive green with grey grid) 400 Halcyon Taiga Halcyon Paragon with the main pocket open to reveal the Taiga interior. Nebulous Grey Paragon with the main pocket open to reveal the Acuity interior. Nebulous Grey Paragon with the main pocket open to reveal the Sitka interior. Nebulous Grey Paragon with the main pocket open to reveal the Ultraviolet interior. Black Paragon with the main pocket open to reveal the Northwest Sky interior. Black Paragon with the main pocket open to reveal the Taiga interior. Black Paragon with the main pocket open to reveal the Solaris interior. Black Paragon with the main pocket open to reveal the Coyote interior. 3/4 shot of the Paragon in Original (black with white grid) 400 Halcyon Original Halcyon Paragon with the main pocket open to reveal the Island interior. 3/4 shot of the Paragon in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon Black Halcyon Paragon with the main pocket open to reveal the Northwest Sky interior.
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$180.00


Color: Black 400 Halcyon/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon

An updated version of a backpack design made by Tom back in the 1970's.

20 liters / 1200 cu. in.

Are you looking for the Paragon 2.0?
We've retired the Paragon so we can focus our efforts on other projects. You can sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page to receive updates on what we're working on next!

TLDR

The Paragon is a simple and classic 20L backpack that is perfect for everyday use.

  • Horizontal zippered flat front pocket for your quick-access items (comes with Key Strap)
  • Interior zippered pocket (comes with O-ring) in the main compartment 
  • Padded back panel with built-in laptop pocket (comes with 2 O-rings)
  • Comfortable, durable, edgeless shoulder straps
  • 1"/25 mm webbing hanging loop/handle
  • Removable sternum strap and waist belt

Full Description

The Paragon is an updated version of a backpack design made by Tom back in the 1970s. Classic rectilinear shape with radius corners, horizontal zippered front pocket, flapped zippers, and not a whole lot else going on, which is what some folks love about this design. Folks who love our Daylight Backpack but want some laptop protection, a padded back, and replete-with-comfort shoulder straps will appreciate this pack.

Horizontal Zippered Front Pocket

The horizontal zippered front pocket is spacious enough to store your cellphone, wallet, and/or a small tablet. There's also a Key Strap attached to an O-ring inside this pocket, which is perfect for attaching an organizational pouch like the Clear Organizer Pouch, Double Organizer Pouch, or Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch.

Main Compartment With Built-In Laptop Pocket + Interior Zippered Pocket

Inside the main compartment are 2 O-rings and a minimalist built-in padded laptop compartment. It's a straightforward pouch of the same foam laminate that we use to make our Caches. It's able to fit laptop models like the 16" Macbook Pro and the Dell XPS 17" (see laptop fit guide for more details). Even if you decide not to carry your laptop, the compartment provides additional padding for your back. There's also an interior zippered pocket in the main compartment with another O-ring.

Edgeless Shoulder Straps

Conformity is overrated — except, perhaps, when it comes to shoulder straps. The edgelessness of this new strap allows it to more softly conform to your shoulder — we (and most people who have worn these straps) find that this increases comfort. Yet the straps aren't too soft: the 1/2" thick EVAZOTE® OEKO-TEX® certified foam means the strap is robust enough to carry a heavy load.

Durable Materials + Expert Construction

No bag lasts forever, but choosing the best and most durable materials and taking care not to abuse it (no washing machine or dryer!) can help a quality bag serve most people well (with maybe a repair or two) for up to 10-20 years.

This bag requires significant skill to sew and construct; it's not just any sewing factory who can pull this off and do it well, it's ours, and it's because of the talent of our crew. They're the reason why our designs can be made in an ongoing practical fashion.

The horizontal zippered front pocket is spacious enough to store your cellphone, wallet, and/or a small tablet. There's also a Key Strap attached to an O-ring inside this pocket, which is perfect for attaching an organizational pouch like the Clear Organizer Pouch, Double Organizer Pouch, or Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch.

Inside the main compartment are 2 O-rings and a minimalist built-in padded laptop compartment. It's a straightforward pouch of the same foam laminate that we use to make our Caches. It's able to fit laptop models like the 16" Macbook Pro and the Dell XPS 17" (see laptop fit guide for more details). Even if you decide not to carry your laptop, the compartment provides additional padding for your back. There's also an interior zippered pocket in the main compartment with another O-ring.

Conformity is overrated — except, perhaps, when it comes to shoulder straps. The edgelessness of this new strap allows it to more softly conform to your shoulder — we (and most people who have worn these straps) find that this increases comfort. Yet the straps aren't too soft: the 1/2" thick EVAZOTE® OEKO-TEX® certified foam means the strap is robust enough to carry a heavy load.

No bag lasts forever, but choosing the best and most durable materials and taking care not to abuse it (no washing machine or dryer!) can help a quality bag serve most people well (with maybe a repair or two) for up to 10-20 years.

This bag requires significant skill to sew and construct; it's not just any sewing factory who can pull this off and do it well, it's ours, and it's because of the talent of our crew. They're the reason why our designs can be made in an ongoing practical fashion.

Zippers

2x #8 YKK coil zipper with metal sliders (exterior zippers)
1x #5 YKK coil zipper with plastic sliders (interior zipper)

Back

Closed-cell foam

Straps

Edgeless EV50 1/2” / 12mm shoulder straps (EVAZOTE® OEKO-TEX® foam)

Laptop Compartment

.25" / 6 mm thick foam padding laminated between black, heavy-duty polyester knit and brushed tricot

Components

Duraflex®, Nexus, and Woojin buckles and related components

Specs

Dimensions

13.4" (w) x 17.9" (h) x 6.8" (d) / 340 (w) x 455 (h) x 175 (d) mm

Weight

525d Ballistic: 1 lb 7.6 oz / 670 grams
400d Halcyon: 1 lb 5.0 oz / 595 grams 

Volume

 20 liters / 1200 cu. in. (ASTM Standard Measure)

Laptop Compartment

14.09" x 9.68" x 0.64" / 357.9mm x 245.9mm x 16.2 mm

Total O-Rings

4 (2 in the main compartment, 1 in the interior pocket, 1 in the front pocket)

Choosing an Exterior Fabric

You like choices and we like to give you choices! That's why the Paragon is typically available* in two different exterior fabrics. Our Materials Glossary explains each fabric in great detail, but here are some quick facts that may help you decide which to choose. And we're always here if you have questions: emailus@tombihn.com

400d Halcyon

Weave:
plain weave with 1/4” / 6mm ripstop
Fibers:
400 denier type 6 filament nylon (base fabric); 420 denier ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene ripstop grid
Coating:
light urethane
Made in:
Japan

Choose this fabric if

  • You want a lighter weight alternative to traditional nylon fabrics that has remarkable tear strength and good abrasion resistance.
  • You're looking for a fabric with a modern, "technical" appearance.
  • You have pets: 400d Halcyon doesn't collect pet hair, reducing your monthly lint roller costs.

525d Ballistic

Weave:
2x2 “ballistic” weave
Fibers:
525 denier type 6,6 (high tenacity) filament nylon, twisted
Coating:
heavy urethane
Made in:
South Korea with Canadian yarn

Choose this fabric if

  • You want your bag to be soft and supple yet tough as nails.
  • You want a fabric that's stately enough to be at home at work, the mountains, or a nice hotel.
  • You don't want your bag to collect pet hair or abrade your clothing.
*There may be times when one of the exterior fabrics mentioned here isn't available. Even with our best efforts, the demand for our bags occasionally outpaces our production capabilities: at times, some products, color combinations, or fabrics might be temporarily unavailable or "In Production." See the In Production color combinations as a guide to what our factory crew is making and what will be available next.
4.8
Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars
Based on 50 reviews
96%would recommend this product
50 reviews
  • Ioannis K.
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Good Storage Size, Comfortable, Versatile
    9 months ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Good Storage Size, Comfortable, Versatile
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Great everyday bag!

    Very nicely designed and well made!

    Very happy with the bag!

    I think may need some more O rings on the inside top of the bag!

    That’s all!

    Hope you get more of your halcyon fabrics back??

    Thank you!

    Tom Bihn

    &

    Team!

    Good work!

  • Daniel
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, Good Storage Size, Versatile, Compact
    1 year ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, Good Storage Size, Versatile, Compact
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Long review for future design iterations

    I purchased a used Paragon from the Tom Bihn facebook group. It was in a beautiful color combination that was not available on the website anymore - black ballistic with a solaris interior. I've used the Paragon for nearly six months now, and after some tinkering, it is now exactly what I wanted. First, here's what makes the Paragon excellent:

    1. Very low weight.

    2. Minimalist design. The black ballistic in particular does not call any attention to itself. Love the blacked out design lab logo.

    3. Excellent harness. The edgeless straps are better than any other bag I've used so far, including GoRuck, Evergoods, etc. I just prefer the edgeless straps.

    4. The carry comfort is exactly what I wanted and the bag is perfect for my body.

    5. The rectangular shape is very compatible with packing cubes.

    How I interface with this bag is that I sit the bag upright on a surface, like a desk or a table, and I fully unzip it, so that I can access my various pouches and water bottle, which I pull out from their stack as needed. See attached picture. In order for this bag to work well, it needs to not be floppy. It needs just enough rigidity in the fabric so that the bag will stand up on its own and can easily be grabbed from a standing position. The halcyon is too floppy of a material for this use-case. I originally purchased this bag from Tom Bihn in halcyon and I returned it for that reason. The black ballistic, however, has enough rigidity that a few items in the bottom will…

  • Sam T.
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Versatile, Compact
    1 year ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Versatile, Compact
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    The Just-right bag

    This bag is perfect for what I am looking for. The design is simple: not too big, not too small, and not complicated with bells and whistles. The straps are very comfortable. Much better than my previous TNF bags. The overall build of the bag is well done.

  • Alan L.
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Compact, Durable, Comfortable
    1 year ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Compact, Durable, Comfortable
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Paragon Defeats Wizz Air and Conquers Romania, Italy, Monaco & Switzerland!!!!

    Currently using my new TB Paragon on a 5 week trip to Romania, Italy, Monaco and Switzerland.

    The bag is awesome!! Wore long pants, tee shirt and a light jacket. Packed 2 pairs of shorts, 3 tee shirts, sleep wear (tee shirt and shorts) 2 pairs of quick dry socks, 2 quick dry underwear, 3 TB Clear Packing Cubes (1 for tech, 1 as my 3-1-1 for liquids, and 1 for First Aid/Toiletries), a small book (a Bible), and finally my MacBook Air. All fit with no problems!!

    And though the specs say the Paragon is too big to fit in the Wizz Air budget sizer (similar to Ryan Airlines), the lack of a frame sheet meant is squeezed right in!! (see photo)

    I also included a photo of me and the Paragon at the beach at Monte Carlo, Monaco and me at Lugano, Switzerland

    Thank you TB and Staff!! This new Paragon is perfect for one bag minimalist international traveling

    TB Profile picture for TOM BIHN
    TOM BIHN
    1 year ago

    Awesome pictures and sounds like an amazing trip! Thank you for sharing!

  • William F.
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Other
    Product Standouts Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Good Storage Size, Easily Adjustable
    1 year ago
    Bought For Other
    Product Standouts Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Good Storage Size, Easily Adjustable
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Love this bag!

    The material is great. It’s lightweight but really durable!

    Love the classic look without it being usual. So glad I purchased it. I have NEVER been disappointed by a BIHN product.

    One design suggestion ( as if !!!) I would have loved a zipper on both the top and bottom of the interior pocket. When it’s open and flips down, it would be handy to unzip when it’s in that position.

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Sewn in Seattle

Our bags are designed and sewn right here in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

That allows us to be control freaks in the best way possible; we have direct control and oversight of the quality of our materials, our products, and the jobs and working environment that we help create. It also offers us a unique spontaneity: when we have an idea for a new product or accessory, we can design it, figure out how to build it, add it to our website and be ready to ship it out our front door all within just a few weeks. How cool is that?

Intrigued? You can find out more about the unusual way we do business on our Company Philosophy page.

THE BIHN Guarantee

Everything you buy from us here at TOM BIHN is satisfaction guaranteed. We’ve been in business since 1972 and we stand behind what we make.

If something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it for free. Repairs due to normal wear and tear or due to other things that are not our fault will be performed, when possible, at a reasonable charge right here in our Seattle factory where your bag was made. Defects in materials or workmanship are uncommon and almost always evident while the product is still new. Keep in mind that bags and packs are often subject to extreme wear in everyday use: do not expect them to last forever. Only true love lasts forever! You can expect a TOM BIHN product to give years and years of hard service.