Paxis Pack Review
In the world of backpacks, I’ve seen a lot of gimmicks and novelty features that are integrated with the bag that really don’t add to the overall experience or functionality. These days, you can find no shortage of backpacks with integrated mobile technology. This really just adds up to components and wires that will break down in all-weather situations, and bring little more than new ways to connect your iphone to your backpack. Not very interesting.
Paxis has done something much more. The Paxis Pack was born out of Paul Vierthaler’s (Co-Founder, Paxis) desire to have a pack where he could access critical gear without the need to stop and remove the pack. He designed the articulating hinge technology – or “ARC Swing” technology that makes Paxis a unique and extremely useful design update to daypacks.
We’ve been testing the Mt. Picket 18 – Bright Green & Black Paxis Pack.
The Paxis Pack is separated into two main compartments: the upper, larger section, and the lower, ‘shuttle pod’ section which I’ll cover in depth in the FUNCTION section.
The upper section has a large exterior pocket as well as a soft zippered pocket at the top to carry sunglasses, a watch or smartphone. The interior hosts a soft sided tablet pocket and two zippered pockets. The interior is a bright green, which helps you locate items inside. You’ll find most packs are dark on the inside, which can make it difficult to find small, loose items.
The lower section, or ‘shuttle pod’ has enough room to store a camera with accessories, a small lunch, plenty of fishing tackle, first aid gear, travel documents or just about anything you’d require access to quickly, without needing to remove your pack from your back. The built in wallet is a great addition to the pod, and works great for travel documents or tech media.
The pod is reinforced with interior armour in the bottom that adds to the durability and protection to your belongings, as well as adds an additional waterproof barrier. It also helps the pack stand upright when set on the ground. This feature is AMAZING. There’s additional armour to purchase that will allow you to divide the pod into multiple units to keep your items separated. We didn’t get a chance to review these items, but they would definitely be a very useful addition.
For a day pack, the size of the Paxis is perfect. It’s not too bulky and sits comfortably on the back after cinching the waist and chest belts. All zippers are waterproof with rugged pulls. The material is a highly water-resistant fabric, water actually beads up and runs off of the pack. The following specs are taken from the Paxis website and to be honest, I don’t think it even covers all the bells and whistles you’ll discover on your own after you’ve got the pack in your own hands.
- Full Pack Exterior Dimensions: 18’’ x 12’’ x 7’’
- Shuttle Pod Interior Dimensions: 11’’ W x 4’’ H x 5.5’’ D
- Weight: 5.2 lbs.
- Shuttle Pod Capacity: 5 lbs.
- NYLAR™ Ballistic Fabric Technology [Hydrophobic, Highly Water-Resistant Fabric]
- Waterproof Zippers
- Waterproof Base
- Padded Shoulder Straps and Hip Belt
- Ergonomically Designed, Padded and Vented Back
- Interior Tablet Pocket
- Hydration Port
- Two Interior Zippered Pockets
- Soft Interior Pocket
- High-Visibility Lining
- Tripod / Ski / Fishing Pole Pocket
- Nylon Daisy Chain
- Exterior Accessory Pocket
- Shuttle Pod
- Exterior Mesh Pocket
- Interior Zippered Pocket
- Built-in Wallet
- Interior armour
- Shuttle Pod
The shuttle pod is reinforced with a rigid support along the back and bottom that offers added protection to your items within. The base offers added ruggedness to also protect from any moisture that might find it’s way in. The pod is also key to providing a strong base for the Paxis’ Free-Standing design.
The pod boasts a built-in wallet on the inside, a small, zippered change purse and a mesh, elasticized pouch.
- Free-Standing Design
This is the one feature that is lacking from most backpacks on the market today. The Paxis Pack sits. Sturdily. It does not waver. This simple ability allows you to set down your pack anywhere without it falling over and spilling the contents out all over the ground. You’ll be amazed at how useful this is when you set down your pack, and need to reach in for something. No balancing it against your leg, tree stump, curb. Just joyous, steady, free-standing backpackedness. Amazing.
- ARC Swing Technology
ARC Swing technology is what makes Paxis stand out from every single pack out there. The shuttle pod is attached to the backpack frame via a solid aluminum arm and two articulating hinges. The pod can be released and swung out in front of you in one very smooth and fluid motion, where you can unzip it and access some of your more used items – cell phone, first aid kit, travel documents, gloves, food, etc. There’s a strap that can be used to secure the pod in place while it’s swung out in front of you, so that it stays in place so you can keep your hands free. When you’re done, the pod is easily swung back behind you and clips into the frame securely.
- Adjustable Shuttle Pod Release Handle
The shuttle pod release handle sits on the right strap and can be easily adjusted to 3 different locations on the strap, to suit various body sizes. The release is attached to a cable that runs alongside the right shoulder strap and into the back of the pack to the mechanism that secures and disengages the shuttle pod.
- The ARC Swing technology makes it incredibly handy to access important items quickly, without removing the pack.
- The rugged, waterproof base of shuttle pod gives you confidence to set down your pack virtually anywhere, and know that your items are protected from unwanted moisture.
- Pod Armour for dividing the pod into useful storage areas. Key to keeping your items organized and neatly stowed. Very cool feature.
- The free-standing design is so simple but totally rocks my world. With every single one of my previous day packs, I’d need to lay down the pack or lean it against a tree or rock… Not the Paxis Pack. It stands upright and gives you even more access to your gear.
- Built-in tablet sleeve. Integrated perfectly with a nice snug fit and and soft interior to protect your technology.
- The waterproof fabric and zippers lets you continue your romp in the woods or through the streets well after the rain starts.
- High visibility lining on the inside makes finding loose items a breeze.
- The only way to access the shuttle pod is to pull the release and swing the pod out. This is not easy to do when you’re not wearing the pack. You almost need to be wearing it to access the shuttle pod. A small change to the zipper design could fix this access concern.
- The aluminum arm of the arc-swing technology adds some weight to the back pack. Without the solid, reliable structure of the arm, though, you might compromise the fluidity and accuracy of the pod swinging open and closing shut.
There are many day packs to choose from – some are more lightweight, some have more technology and gadgetry baked into them, but I can’t think of another pack that is as well thought-out as the Paxis pack. The quality of every stitch, every component is the highest I’ve seen.
The arc-swing technology, freestanding design, waterproof fabric and plenty of space makes this the most unique and useful day pack I have found. I highly recommend taking a look at the Paxis pack as your next rugged, feature-rich day-use backpack.
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