Paradigm in Red Blend (red-purple) 1000 Cordura Paradigm in Red Blend (red-purple) 1000 Cordura with Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior Paradigm in Mayura (blue-green) 1000 Cordura Paradigm in Mayura (blue-green) 1000 Cordura with Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior Paradigm in Orange-152 (bright orange) 1000 Cordura Paradigm in Orange-152 (bright orange) 1000 Cordura with Coyote (brown) 210 Ballistic interior Paradigm in Canary (bright yellow) 1000 Cordura Paradigm in Canary (bright yellow) 1000 Cordura with Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior Paradigm in Beaver Camo (Brown, tan, black, and green) 1000 Cordura Paradigm in Beaver Camo (Brown, tan, black, and green) 1000 Cordura with Coyote (brown) 210 Ballistic interior Paradigm in Boreal (green) 1000 Cordura Paradigm in Boreal (green) 1000 Cordura with Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior Paradigm in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic Paradigm in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Black 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Black 525 Ballistic with Coyote (brown) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Black 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic Paradigm in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic Paradigm in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Nebulous Grey (medium grey) 525 Ballistic Paradigm in Nebulous Grey (medium grey) 525 Ballistic with Island (bright blue) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Nebulous Grey (medium grey) 525 Ballistic with Ultraviolet (purple) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Mars Red 525 Ballistic Paradigm in Mars Red 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Alphaviolet (bright purple) 525 Ballistic Paradigm in Alphaviolet (bright purple) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic Paradigm in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic with Tidal (faded blue) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Black 400 Halcyon Paradigm in Black 400 Halcyon with Island (bright blue) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Black 400 Halcyon with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Night Walk (grey-blue) 400 Halcyon Paradigm in Night Walk (grey-blue) 400 Halcyon with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Taiga (olive green) 400 Halcyon Paradigm in Taiga (olive green) 400 Halcyon with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior
Paradigm in Red Blend (red-purple) 1000 Cordura Paradigm in Red Blend (red-purple) 1000 Cordura with Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior Paradigm in Mayura (blue-green) 1000 Cordura Paradigm in Mayura (blue-green) 1000 Cordura with Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior Paradigm in Orange-152 (bright orange) 1000 Cordura Paradigm in Orange-152 (bright orange) 1000 Cordura with Coyote (brown) 210 Ballistic interior Paradigm in Canary (bright yellow) 1000 Cordura Paradigm in Canary (bright yellow) 1000 Cordura with Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior Paradigm in Beaver Camo (Brown, tan, black, and green) 1000 Cordura Paradigm in Beaver Camo (Brown, tan, black, and green) 1000 Cordura with Coyote (brown) 210 Ballistic interior Paradigm in Boreal (green) 1000 Cordura Paradigm in Boreal (green) 1000 Cordura with Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior Paradigm in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic Paradigm in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Black 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Black 525 Ballistic with Coyote (brown) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Black 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic Paradigm in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic Paradigm in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Nebulous Grey (medium grey) 525 Ballistic Paradigm in Nebulous Grey (medium grey) 525 Ballistic with Island (bright blue) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Nebulous Grey (medium grey) 525 Ballistic with Ultraviolet (purple) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Mars Red 525 Ballistic Paradigm in Mars Red 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Alphaviolet (bright purple) 525 Ballistic Paradigm in Alphaviolet (bright purple) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic Paradigm in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic with Tidal (faded blue) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Black 400 Halcyon Paradigm in Black 400 Halcyon with Island (bright blue) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Black 400 Halcyon with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Night Walk (grey-blue) 400 Halcyon Paradigm in Night Walk (grey-blue) 400 Halcyon with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior Paradigm in Taiga (olive green) 400 Halcyon Paradigm in Taiga (olive green) 400 Halcyon with Northwest Sky (light grey) 200 Halcyon interior 3/4 shot of the Paradigm Close shot of the Paradigm's main and front pocket zippers. Rear view of the Paradigm, showing the sternum strap, webbing grab handle, and new Contour shoulder straps. Person wearing the Paradigm Person carrying the Paradigm backpack in Taiga 400d Halcyon. They're standing outdoors in front of a brick building. Close-up of the new Contour shoulder straps debuting on the Paradigm. Person wearing the Paradigm from a side view Person hold the Paradigm by the grab handle. Example of a pack for the Paradigm, including a thin hoodie, a pair of sunglasses, some keys, a wallet, a phone, a water bottle, a small Ghost Whale Pouch with pens, an eraser, and some sticky notes, a half-letter sized journal, an eReader, lotion, hand sanitizer, and some nail polish in a mini Q-Kit. A filled Paradigm with a notepad, eReader, and a hoodie visible in the main pocket. A person retrieving an eyeglasses case from the front pocket of the Paradigm The open front pocket of a Paradigm showing the water bottle pocket and the open-topped organizational pockets. A person removing a water bottle from the water bottle pocket in the front pocket of the Paradigm. A person retrieving a mini Q-Kit filled with personal care products like chapstick from the main pocket of the Paradigm. A top-down shot of the Paradigm's front pocket filled with a water bottle, a wallet, keys on a carabiner, a Small Ghost Whale Pouch, some lotion, and hand sanitizer. A video that shows off the features of the Paradigm backpack.
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Paradigm

$140.00

A modern small backpack design.

Red Blend 1000 Cordura/Dawn 210 Ballistic
Orange-152 1000 Cordura/Coyote 210 Ballistic
Black 525 Ballistic/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Black 525 Ballistic/Coyote 200 Halcyon
Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Mars Red 525 Ballistic/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Alphaviolet 525 Ballistic/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Ursa 525 Ballistic/Tidal 200 Halcyon
3/4 shot of the Paradigm Close shot of the Paradigm's main and front pocket zippers. Rear view of the Paradigm, showing the sternum strap, webbing grab handle, and new Contour shoulder straps. Person wearing the Paradigm Person carrying the Paradigm backpack in Taiga 400d Halcyon. They're standing outdoors in front of a brick building. Close-up of the new Contour shoulder straps debuting on the Paradigm. Person wearing the Paradigm from a side view Person hold the Paradigm by the grab handle. Example of a pack for the Paradigm, including a thin hoodie, a pair of sunglasses, some keys, a wallet, a phone, a water bottle, a small Ghost Whale Pouch with pens, an eraser, and some sticky notes, a half-letter sized journal, an eReader, lotion, hand sanitizer, and some nail polish in a mini Q-Kit. A filled Paradigm with a notepad, eReader, and a hoodie visible in the main pocket. A person retrieving an eyeglasses case from the front pocket of the Paradigm The open front pocket of a Paradigm showing the water bottle pocket and the open-topped organizational pockets. A person removing a water bottle from the water bottle pocket in the front pocket of the Paradigm. A person retrieving a mini Q-Kit filled with personal care products like chapstick from the main pocket of the Paradigm. A top-down shot of the Paradigm's front pocket filled with a water bottle, a wallet, keys on a carabiner, a Small Ghost Whale Pouch, some lotion, and hand sanitizer.

TLDR

Tom designed the Paradigm (you're here now) and Zeitgeist specifically for folks who’d been asking him for years to design a small backpack PLO (Purse-Like Object; read about the origin of that acronym in the Forums).

Both backpacks share the same main compartment: a slightly teardrop shape with a zipper across the top and down the sides. Same shoulder straps too – a new style of strap offering a gentle contour and a touch of padding. Both have the same padded back panel with an interior padded sleeve suitable for a iPad or similar (sound familiar? It’s a scaled down version of the back panel of the Paragon). 

After that, the Zeitgeist heads in one direction and the Paradigm heads in another…

The Paradigm has exposed #8 YKK RC DWR zippers on both the main compartment and the front pocket. And the Paradigm’s front pocket has a lot of good stuff going on, so take a deep breath and read carefully on. First of all, this pocket is a full 3D pocket, having on its own a volume of about 2.7 liters / 165 cu.in. It’s divided vertically into three sections: if you fully unzip the top of this pocket you’ll be peering down into all three of the sections, but if you only want access to one of the sections then you can simply move the two zipper sliders around in such a way as to only expose that section (much easier to do than to describe!)

Naturally, you can put whatever you want into these three compartments, but the center one is perfect for a small water bottle or mug: remember, keeping your water bottle dead center makes for a more balanced load. Alternately, that center section can be great for a compact travel umbrella — we added a drain grommet at the bottom for that use. 

Lastly, on the interior back wall of the left and right (but not center) sections of the Paradigm’s front pocket are simple open top flat pockets – nice for wallet or smartphone.

Full Description

Walk through the features of the Paradigm.

3D Front Pocket

This pocket is a full 3D pocket, having on its own a volume of about 2.7 liters / 165 cu.in. It’s divided vertically into three sections: if you fully unzip the top of this pocket you’ll be peering down into all three of the sections, but if you you only want access to one of the sections then you can simply move the two zipper sliders around in such a way as to only expose that section (much easier to do than to describe!)

The 3D Pocket of the Paradigm, with a water bottle, snacks, and other small items packed inside.

Contour Backpack Straps

Our new Contour Backpack Straps were designed to be an upgrade from basic webbing straps. They have minimal foam padding to bump up the comfort factor, while remaining light and proportional to smaller or lightweight packs.

Tom developed the shape and fit of the Contour straps over several months, asking for feedback from friends and crew of all heights and sizes — many different refinements were made to the shape and fit. The result? While no backpack strap design is likely to work for everyone, it’s surprising to all of us how many of us love these straps in particular — folks ranging from 5’0” to 6’0” find them comfortable and well-fitted. 

The Contour Backpack Straps of the Paradigm on a person's shoulders

Smooth Back Panel

The back panel of the Paradigm is always smooth 525d ballistic nylon in Black, no matter the main exterior fabric or color.

The back panel of the Paradigm. It's always 525d ballistic nylon in Black.

Padded Device Pocket

The Paradigm's padded compartment offers just-right padding without adding bulk or weight. Don't plan to carry a device? Know that most of the padding and construction of the compartment would be there regardless to offer comfort to your back and structure for the bag itself.

The Paradigm will fit devices up to the size of the 11" iPad Pro or Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 (but notably not the S7+).

Paradigm's padded device pocket with an iPad mini.

Grab Handle

We added a simple webbing grab handle to the top of the Paradigm. It'll come in handy if you'd like to hang the pack on a coat hook, grab and hoist it up onto a table, or carry it briefly by the grab handle itself.

Person holding the Paradigm by its grab handle.

What's Included

We include the following accessories to give you a good amount of options for your new bag right out of the gate.

One 8-inch Black Webbing Snaphook/Snaphook Key Strap

A Key Strap is a strip of webbing with plastic snaphooks on the end. The 8” Key Strap in Black that’s included in most of our larger bags is, for many, the gateway to a world of organization via Key Straps and Organizer Pouches. All the members of the Key Strap family are intended to make locating things in your bag easier and more instinctive. Pulling out a small item or pouch tethered to a strap is easier than rooting around aimlessly in the depths of your pack; you can also rest assured that anything hooked to a strap is much less likely to fall out or otherwise be left behind. You can find more Key Strap colors and varieties on the Key Strap page.


One Cord Zipper Pulls w/ Plastic Ends (8-Pack)

Some folks prefer metal zipper pulls. Others prefer cord pulls. So, what to do about that? We think the best solution (in most cases) is to offer metal pulls and include a starter pack of Cord Pulls with most bags. The most popular solution is to weave the Cord Pulls through the metal pulls, effectively silencing them without having to remove them. A video demonstrating various Cord Pull options and more colors/varieties of Cord Pulls can be found on the Cord Zipper Pulls page.


One Sternum Strap Assembly

An adjustable and removable sternum and waist straps with leave-no-trace hardware: if you don't like or don't use your sternum strap, remove it and leave (almost) nothing behind.

3D Front Pocket

This pocket is a full 3D pocket, having on its own a volume of about 2.7 liters / 165 cu.in. It’s divided vertically into three sections: if you fully unzip the top of this pocket you’ll be peering down into all three of the sections, but if you you only want access to one of the sections then you can simply move the two zipper sliders around in such a way as to only expose that section (much easier to do than to describe!)

The 3D Pocket of the Paradigm, with a water bottle, snacks, and other small items packed inside.

Contour Backpack Straps

Our new Contour Backpack Straps were designed to be an upgrade from basic webbing straps. They have minimal foam padding to bump up the comfort factor, while remaining light and proportional to smaller or lightweight packs.

Tom developed the shape and fit of the Contour straps over several months, asking for feedback from friends and crew of all heights and sizes — many different refinements were made to the shape and fit. The result? While no backpack strap design is likely to work for everyone, it’s surprising to all of us how many of us love these straps in particular — folks ranging from 5’0” to 6’0” find them comfortable and well-fitted. 

The Contour Backpack Straps of the Paradigm on a person's shoulders

Smooth Back Panel

The back panel of the Paradigm is always smooth 525d ballistic nylon in Black, no matter the main exterior fabric or color.

The back panel of the Paradigm. It's always 525d ballistic nylon in Black.

Padded Device Pocket

The Paradigm's padded compartment offers just-right padding without adding bulk or weight. Don't plan to carry a device? Know that most of the padding and construction of the compartment would be there regardless to offer comfort to your back and structure for the bag itself.

The Paradigm will fit devices up to the size of the 11" iPad Pro or Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 (but notably not the S7+).

Paradigm's padded device pocket with an iPad mini.

Grab Handle

We added a simple webbing grab handle to the top of the Paradigm. It'll come in handy if you'd like to hang the pack on a coat hook, grab and hoist it up onto a table, or carry it briefly by the grab handle itself.

Person holding the Paradigm by its grab handle.

What's Included

We include the following accessories to give you a good amount of options for your new bag right out of the gate.

One 8-inch Black Webbing Snaphook/Snaphook Key Strap

A Key Strap is a strip of webbing with plastic snaphooks on the end. The 8” Key Strap in Black that’s included in most of our larger bags is, for many, the gateway to a world of organization via Key Straps and Organizer Pouches. All the members of the Key Strap family are intended to make locating things in your bag easier and more instinctive. Pulling out a small item or pouch tethered to a strap is easier than rooting around aimlessly in the depths of your pack; you can also rest assured that anything hooked to a strap is much less likely to fall out or otherwise be left behind. You can find more Key Strap colors and varieties on the Key Strap page.


One Cord Zipper Pulls w/ Plastic Ends (8-Pack)

Some folks prefer metal zipper pulls. Others prefer cord pulls. So, what to do about that? We think the best solution (in most cases) is to offer metal pulls and include a starter pack of Cord Pulls with most bags. The most popular solution is to weave the Cord Pulls through the metal pulls, effectively silencing them without having to remove them. A video demonstrating various Cord Pull options and more colors/varieties of Cord Pulls can be found on the Cord Zipper Pulls page.


One Sternum Strap Assembly

An adjustable and removable sternum and waist straps with leave-no-trace hardware: if you don't like or don't use your sternum strap, remove it and leave (almost) nothing behind.

Zippers

2x #8 YKK Raquet-Coil Water-Repellent Zipper

Back

bluesign® certified Black 210 denier High-Tenacity 2x2 nylon exterior
Closed-cell foam

Straps

Contour 1/8" / 3mm shoulder straps (#4 Closed Cell Foam)

Components

Duraflex®, Nexus, and Woojin buckles and related components

Specs

Weight

1000d Cordura®: 18.3 oz / 518 grams
525d Ballistic: 18 oz / 511 grams
400d Halcyon/420d nylon ripstop exterior: 16.2 oz / 458 grams 

Dimensions

9.8" (w) x 12.8" (h) x 7.7" (d) / 250 (w) x 325 (h) x 195 (d) mm

Volume

575 cubic inches / 9.4 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)

Device Pocket

Maximum:  11" x 7.2" x .7" / 280 x 180 x 17 mm

Total O-Rings

4

(2 in the main compartment
2 in the front pocket)

Choosing an Exterior Fabric

You like choices and we like to give you choices! That's why the Paradigm is typically available* in three 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 High Tenacity Ballistic Nylon

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.

1000 denier Cordura®

Weave:
plain weave
Fibers:
1000 denier type 6,6 texturized nylon, discontinuous surface fibers that mask surface damage caused by abrasion
Coating:
medium urethane
Made in:
U.S.A.

Choose this fabric if

  • You want a durable, canvas-like, natural-feeling fabric, and don't mind the slightly rough or abrasive texture.
  • You appreciate that it's been the outdoor industry's go-to, classic pack fabric for the past four decades.
  • You don't care about your bag collecting pet hair or lint.
*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.
Lifetime guarantee image

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 for over 30 years 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.

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Rated 4.5 out of 5
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average rating 4.5 out of 5
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100% of reviewers would recommend this product to a friend
Quality
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted
Reviewed by Charlene J.
Verified Buyer
Bought For
Myself
Product Standouts
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • Made in USA
  • High Quality Finishings
  • Durable
  • Compact
Rated 4 out of 5

A cute bag you can cram a lot into

I'm an alphaviolet nut so I order anything in that color. I was excited to get a small bag for an EDC around town. The front pocket is AWESOME, so much room, so many pockets! (besides the three separated pockets, there are little thin pockets against the back of the bag, perfect for a phone, a wallet or pens). I wish they'd put this front section on a bag like the Luminary. The main compartment has a lot of room too! I was told you couldn't really fit a 13" MacBook in there, but you CAN (in the main compartment, not in the padded section)! Mine even had a case on it. However, since there's no padding on the bottom, I wouldn't recommend it. Speaking of the padded section. I tested out putting my 10" iPad in there. it barely fit. The iPad Pro they say should fit would be a tight squeeze. If I'm using this as a purse-like object, it's taking up valuable space to have that padded section in there. I'd vote for a design without it. But the main reason I'm sending it back is it's a very small bag, and I'm not a small girl, and I have a long torso. All this makes a teeny bag look too teeny on my back. A teeny bag looks better as a cross-body, I think. But if you're on the smaller side, this bag might be perfect for you!

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Reviewed by Beth C.
Verified Reviewer
Rated 5 out of 5

Great bag for short people and/or short trips

I received a Paradigm as an advance copy, and after writing up a review, offered it to my sister, who is not "into" Tom Bihn gear like I am, but is 4'11" and appreciates lightweight, no-fuss backpacks that let her pack up and go quickly, without overpowering her small frame. Shortly afterwards we had an emergency one-day trip, and this is the bag she showed up with. It held her essentials, a water bottle, a book and other things needed for a train trip and the rest of the day, and was easy to walk around with. She seems to really like it. (I do too, but I ended up personally preferring this bag's twin, the Zeitgeist).

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