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Lifewire / William Harrison
Rolltop compartment makes extra room for items
Durable nylon exterior and water-resistant finish
Padded front pocket offers plenty of compartmentalization
Foam protection does a great job of absorbing impact
Sternum straps aren’t stowable or removable
Lacks compartments for multiple items despite its increased potential carrying capacity
Tablet sleeve isn’t secure
The Thule Paramount 24L Daypack bag is a capacious and durable bag with a spartan design. While it won’t win any beauty contests, but it’s unmatched for outdoor adventurers.
There’s nothing worse than getting stuck outside in the rain and no options for retreat. The Thule Paramount 24L Daypack is meant for those looking for more protection from Mother Nature while also guarding your precious electronics. A nylon exterior, water-resistant finish, and internal “Safe Edge” foam protection all combine to make the Paramount Daypack as durable as it is spacious. That said, this isn’t the bag for you if you’re looking for something stylish enough to carry into the office.
Might as well get it out of the way: The Thule Paramount Daypack is a bit of an ugly duckling. With a welded rubber bottom, questionable light blue palette interior, and a rolltop compartment that, when extended, makes it look like an ugly rucksack, the Daypack is not for business professionals. The bag is very much meant for the great outdoors and those looking for something durable to withstand the elements. As it turns out those exact features what the Paramount Daypack excels at.
We like a bag that can withstand a beating, and the Daypack does that inside and outside. A 420D Nylon exterior, when combined with a water-resistant finish makes for a sturdy bag that’s ready to keep your stuff safe when caught out in the rain. And while we critique those bottom welded panels for being ugly, they also do a good job of keeping the bag’s shape.
The Paramount’s biggest and most important features are its durability.
The insides of the Daypack keep up the defense, with rubber lining and foam padding they describe as “Safe Edge”—a semi-rigid support pad that is great at edge protection, and absorbing shock and impact. Despite the inside laptop and tablet sleeves not always feeling secure, the padding is impressive and survives any amount of bag abuse. The lack of secure compartments, however, is a downside.
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The Daypack’s biggest and most important features are its durability, so we’re not shocked that it lacks the compartmentalization and security of other bags. Both the tablet sleeve and the laptop compartment allow for objects to slide around, and a few times we found objects stowed in the sleeve to have come out of their holding. And while the front zipper compartment has three internal zipper and mesh pockets, they didn’t feel particularly useful. Our phone didn’t even fit in the one padded pocket at the top.
Foam on the backpack straps are some of the most comfortable we’ve used.
We’re also puzzled at the choice of adding a briefcase handle and two-way opening just under the said handle, as the sternum straps aren’t removable or able to be hidden. You could carry it that way, but the straps just get in the way despite having plastic clips to tie them together.
Read through our laptop safety tips.
Briefcase handle notwithstanding, the Paramount Daypack is quite comfortable to wear and haul around. The foam padded sternum straps adjust to a wide scale, fitting even around our wide shoulders, all while remaining comfortable when weighed down. The foam on the backpack straps are some of the most comfortable we’ve used, which is good since you’ll likely be carrying heavy things with a bag like this.
Take a peek at our guide to the best laptop cases you can buy today.
It’s pretty obvious that the $129.95 MSRP is due to the durability and resilience of the daypack. Other bags we’ve recently looked at in a similar price range offer more features or better storage options, but those bags lack the durability the Thule Paramount Daypack offers. This is definitely a bag for those looking for substance over style.
The Thule Paramount’s 420D nylon and the InCase ICON Backpack’s 840D heavy nylon are rivals for the durable bag category, both boasting “ballistic nylon”. The nylon of the ICON backpack is actually the same protection used during World War II before the invention of Kevlar as a method for resisting shrapnel.
Both are water resistant, but it’s important to delve into the names and labels of these types of nylon to understand what they mean. The “D” in both types of nylon refers to denier, a metric for density or thickness. The Thule bag’s nylon is listed as 420D, and that refers to the weight of the fabric in grams. The higher number sometimes means a stronger fabric, but not always. It’s more in reference to the weight of the yarn used in the nylon.
Both are strong enough to resist the elements, but the inside rubber padding of the Thule bag appears to have a significantly lower denier number than what should go into a backpack for hiking (typically ranging between 450-600). That seems to indicate that it has less durable nylon than the ICON, though again, that may not mean one is stronger than the other.
Built to last, get the job done
The Thule Paramount 24L Daypack is a tough bag meant to carry more than its small frame suggests, all while providing protection and resistance. While it isn’t the most feature-laden bag on the market it makes up for it in comfort and protection both inside and out. If you’re looking for a bag you can use and abuse, then look no further than the Thule Paramount Daypack.