View Full Version : Paradox packs?

05-29-2014, 05:26
Anyone have any experience with these?


05-29-2014, 21:25
I bought one this past winter. So far I used it on a dozen or so long day hikes (15-20 miles) and I'm happy with it. I'm an older, tall (6'5) guy and I really like the way it puts just about all of the load on my hips. The padding on it is very comfortable and the versatility it offers on how you can load it is impressive. I attempted a thru last year and had to get off the AT in Duncannon due to a knee injury. I started with a ULA Circuit and switched to an Osprey Atmos in Hot Springs. They were both okay but at about 22 lbs. but they both caused me to have to lean forward from my waist a bit too much and I'm certain that contributed to my knee issue. As a test, I've had as much as 42 lbs. in the Paradox without any problem going uphill or down. The multitude of straps on the Paradox was intimidating at first but they add a lot of versatility for loading and compression options. The empty weight of the Paradox is about the same as the Circuit and Atmos. The real test will come later this summer and fall when I have the chance to use it on a few week long section hikes. The price of the Paradox is high but I'm hopeful it will prove worth it. I will say that at the 18-25 lb. weight that I normally carried on my thru attempt the Paradox handles it very comfortably.

05-30-2014, 14:57
I just bought their new 4800 ci unaweep pack and got it a couple days ago. It is like the same suspension as their regular pack but does not have a removable packbag. I'm also taller 6'6" I have an aether 70 and a granite gear crown vc 60, use a ULA cataylst for a while but never thought it was comfortable at all. I use the crown for shorter trips but don't like it with 5 or 6 days worth of food and find it tight in the winter. I had been using the aether for winte or /extended trips but it is heavy and not as comfortable as the crown. I decided to try the paradox pack as a potential replacement for my aether for a couple reasons.
1.) I don't like stiff lumbar pads, they hurt my back and the paradox system has no lumbar pad.
2.) The paradox pack is made out a material that will not wet out and gain a lot of water weight like my aether
3.) it is only a litte over 3 pounds for a pack that will support any weight I want to carry

My first impression is that it is different than any other pack I have ever used. It is an external frame but because they added articulartion it feels more like an internal. I have yet to take a long walk with weight in it. It has a lot of straps but they are for a purpose and allow you easily compress any load. I got the optional talon packbag. You can also play with the frame height to suit your torso size. The pack is very well built.

05-31-2014, 18:33
Thanks for the replies. Let me know how the pack performs after you've put some miles on it.

08-22-2014, 10:14
For those interested, I obtained the following weights from seekoutside:

Unaweep Evolution 3900 (cuben fiber): 2 lb 8 oz
Unaweep Evolution 4800 (cuben fiber): 2 lb 9 oz
Base Talon (cuben fiber): 3.7 oz

I requested the weight of the lid (cuben) and they advise 6 oz. I'm not sure this is correct as it seems heavy given the cuben material. Additionally, these weights do not line up with the weights shown on their website.

09-16-2014, 12:45
I have an update on the paradox unaweep. I used it for my first long trip last month when I did 70 mile/6 day trip through glacier national park. I have the 4800 cubic inch version in the VX-21 xpac material. My starting weight in pounds with a couple liters of water and 6 days worth of food was in the upper 30s. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with how well it performed. The thing that sells the pack for me is the hipbelt. In the past I have used a couple of osprey aethers, a ula catalyst, and a granite gear vc 60. I have at least 150 miles on each of those. They all are fairly typical internal frames with stays/framsheet that terminate where the belt attaches to the pack in the back at some sort of lumbar pad.. I have never found this very comfortable. These packs always irritate my back after a while. This probably has to do with the fact that I am skinny, have bony hips, and no butt. I find I have to synch the belt tight to get it to stay in place and this invariably irritates something or makes my hip flexors fall asleep and is very uncomfortable after multiple days. In the paradox system the frame just "hangs" from the belt. There is no lumbar pad. The belt is wide and soft and distributes the weight better around your hips than any other pack I have ever used by far. I don't know what else to say other than that for me is just plain comortable, more so than any other pack I have used. I found the packbag easy to use. The water bottle pockets were big and it was easy to get a 1 liter gatorade bottle out even when the pack was full. The talon compression panel swallowed all the things I needed during the day like a shell, water filter, water bladder, etc . . .
I didn't get a chance to see how the vx-21 fabric performed in the rain as we never got rained on while hiking. I'm curious to see how quickly it dries and how much water it absorbs. This is one thing I hated about the osprey packs, they gain a lot of water weight.
Overall if I could only have one pack this would be it. I do find that I need to use the 4 inch frame extensions (the pack by default comes with 2 inches extensions) because of my torso length. The only minor complained I have is the shoulder harness. I like the contouring on the osprey packs better but the hipbelt more than makes up for this.

09-17-2014, 09:49
Mankind, thanks for the update. These Paradox packs look very interesting.

10-06-2014, 12:56
Another update. I used my unaweep on two more trips a 2 day, 24 mile trip in Pennsylvania and an easy 3 day 14 mile trip in the Grayson Highlands of Virginia. On these trips my pack weight varied from the low to high 20s. I keep becoming more impressed with the pack. After using it on these two trips I'm sticking by my belief that it is the most comfortable pack I have ever used. I had a chance to use it in the rain this last weekend. On our climb up from Grayson highlands state park to our base camp it rained all day, sometimes hard. The VX-21 fabric did great. Everything inside stayed dry even with the zipper on the side of the pack and the VX-21 is most certainly waterproof. I was pleased with how little water the fabric absorbed the weight gain due to water was minimal. The next morning it dried out very quickly. I used is as a daypack during the trip and the compression allowed me to really compress it down so it functioned quite well in this capacity.

10-15-2014, 15:13
mankind, I've found that our packs do well in real-world rain. I can force water to penetrate the seams in testing, but in most situations I don't believe seam sealing is necessary. The side zip has almost no effect of water penetration if the pack is worn or sitting upright. Laying suspension side down I suspect that would change.