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Our Evaluation of the Paxis Swing Arm Straightforward Entry Backpack

The Paxis Twin Lakes backpack is a singular design with a intelligent swing arm system that permits you to entry the within of the backpack with out setting it down and to say it’s distinctive is not any understatement.

In our nearly 20 years of journey collectively, It’s secure to say that we’ve used and reviewed lots of backpacks over that point. We’ve tried practically all kinds from the most affordable backpacks to costly backpacks. We’ve used high loading packs, suitcase fashion backpacks, in a single day backpacks, city backpacks, and even a few of the greatest journey backpacks and the perfect enterprise journey backpacks on the market.

However regardless of how costly the backpack, or how effectively designed, all of them have one flaw: you must take the backpack off your again, and set it down, to entry what’s inside.

This generally is a big problem.

Should you’re caught exterior within the rain, setting your backpack right down to entry the within means inserting it on the soaking moist and muddy floor. Half the time, backpacks aren’t balanced effectively, and the pack topples over on the bottom, soaking your complete factor.

soaked to the skin in the rain waiting for a ferry on Isabela Island in the Galapagos
Our then 12 yr outdated hamming it up a little bit and caught within the rain together with his backpack within the Galapagos Islands

Even when the climate’s sunny, it’s a problem to entry the contents of a backpack while you’re sporting it. If the backpack’s sufficiently small, and also you’re particularly versatile, you might be able to slide the pack round your hips so that you’re sporting it on the entrance of your torso, and entry the within that method. That is fairly tough to do, however particularly tough for those who’re an individual with extra curves.

Accessing the contents of my pack is very annoying after I’m exterior taking photographs. Having to cease, put my pack down, and dig round to seek out my pictures gear has ruined fairly a couple of incredible photographs. Wildlife tends to not pose patiently whereas I set my pack down to seek out the right lens.

So why hasn’t a backpack firm give you a solution to entry your pack’s content material simply when you’re sporting it?

Properly, one firm has.

Paxis backpack assessment

The Paxis Twin Lakes backpack has a pod that swivels round from the again to the entrance of your physique. The entire thing takes seconds, and it means that you would be able to entry the gear within the pod with out having to take your complete pack off.

The Paxis swing arm backpack was designed and engineered within the USA by outside lovers Paul and Cathy Vierthaler.

We reached out, and Paxis agreed to allow us to check out a Paxis Twin Lakes backpack for our readers.


  • Progressive swing arm design that permits you to entry the pack with out placing it down
  • Engaging design with trendy materials
  • Comfy, padded straps
  • Helpful as a day pack, fly fishing backpack, fishing backpack, or day pictures pack


  • At round 6 kilos, it’s a bit heavier than different backpacks of the identical measurement.
  • Time will inform if the swing arm mechanism holds up over a number of makes use of.
  • Nice for day use, or brief journeys, however small for prolonged journey.

Technical particulars

  • Capability: 30 liters
  • Exterior Dimensions: 21” excessive, 14” broad, 9” deep
  • Shuttle Pod Capability: 5 lbs.
  • Shuttle Pod Inside Dimensions: 11”W x 4.5” H x 5” D
  • ARC Swing know-how swings decrease a part of backpack to the entrance
  • Free standing design
  • Waterproof base
  • Inside pill/laptop computer pocket
  • Lifetime restricted guarantee
Paxis swing arm backpack review in action
Charles sporting the Paxis backpack on a day hike

How does the swing arm work?

There are two elements to the Paxis backpack with swing arm: the higher half, which acts like an ordinary small day bag, and the decrease pod, which swings round so you possibly can entry the pod contents with out eradicating the pack. The highest a part of the pack doesn’t swing round – solely the underside pod swings round to the entrance.

To function: Maintaining the straps on, and sternum strap closed, pull the discharge deal with with one hand. The decrease a part of the pack (the pod), swings out of your again to the entrance, letting you entry the pod gear (snacks, digital camera, fishing gear, and so forth), with out taking the backpack off.

I wasn’t certain what to anticipate of the swing arm. Would it not be laborious to function? Would it not really feel flimsy and low-cost?

The swing arm labored precisely as Paxis mentioned it could – with one fast pull of the discharge, the underside pod swung easily from the again to the entrance. Good for grabbing snacks from the underside on a day hike!

accessing the lower pod in a Paxis swing arm backpack
Getting snacks from the Paxis pod

The movement felt clean and easy, and it simply required as mild push to swing the pod to the again of the pack and a small faucet to click on it again into place.

lever to release swing pod on new Twin Lakes Paxis backpack

Paxis Twin Lakes Supplies and Design

The Paxis Twin Lakes swing round backpack is made out of nylon materials, with hi-tech polyethylene foam.

The body itself is product of aluminum for power, and to make it light-weight.

The Twin Lakes pack is available in 4 colours: mineral (aqua), quarry (a greyish brown), madrona (orange) and lengthy vary grass camo (a inexperienced camo coloration).

calico cat helping review Paxis swing arm backpack
Evaluation assistant.

The Paxis brand is huge, and up entrance on the pack, however as a result of it’s white, it’s not terribly obnoxious on the gray, orange, or teal blue model of the pack. The emblem’s in a fluorescent orange on the camo model, although.

Zippers on the Paxis Twin Lakes quick access backpack really feel sturdy and transfer easily.

The shoulder straps are effectively padded, with a sternum strap for stability. The waist / hip straps are padded as effectively, with a fast launch buckle.

The again of the pack is consolation match padded and vented, and funky when worn.

Paxis backpack inside pockets and exterior straps

There are many inside pockets. An important to us, after all is the pill/laptop computer pocket on the inside of the highest pack. There are two different inside zippered pockets, good for storing electronics gear, like chargers and cables.

Twin Lakes Paxis backpack front top pocket with laptop sleever

The primary pouch of the higher pack is softly lined, with loads of room for a day’s value of garments and toiletries.

On the highest exterior of the highest a part of the pack, there’s a small key or sunglass pocket.

small pocket for wallet or passport at top of Twin Lakes Paxis backpack

The underside Shuttle Pod a part of the pack is a single compartment, lined with a smooth material. It doesn’t include any dividers (although you should purchase them individually as equipment).

inside Paxis swing arm backpack pod

There’s additionally a small exterior accent pocket on the skin of the underside pod.

Twin Lakes Paxis backpack pocket at front of swing compartment

There are exterior straps on both facet of the higher pocket for holding tripods, ski poles, climbing poles, fishing poles, or different gear.

There are additionally exterior compression straps, with fast launch buckles, on both facet of the highest a part of the pack.

buckle at side of Paxis backpack

Match and luxury on the Paxis backpack

We examined the Paxis Twin Lakes match and luxury for myself (feminine, 5’4″), Charles (male, 5’11”) and our 12 yr outdated daughter (feminine, 5’0″).

The pack match snugly on my again, and was simple to regulate utilizing the waist and shoulder straps, with a pull on every.

Charles wanted to let loose the waist and shoulder straps a bit for consolation, and the backpack rode up a little bit increased on his hips. That mentioned, he mentioned it was lots snug for a day hike, and effectively padded.

Switching the pack from Charles’ body to our 12 yr outdated daughter’s body took a little bit extra adjusting of the waist and shoulder straps.

After a minute or two, she had the pack snugly on her again, and mentioned she was fairly snug, even with a unfastened match within the shoulders. There was loads of room to tighten the shoulder straps, however she most well-liked them a bit unfastened.

12 year old wearing the Paxis Twin Lakes pack
12 yr outdated sporting the Paxis Twin Lakes pack

Returns and refunds

Paxis permits returns for a full refund, if gear is acquired in “new situation with all tags intact“. The purchaser is liable for return delivery.


Paxis has two equipment you should purchase: a foam packing system for the underside pod to assist shield invaluable gear like cameras and binoculars, and a rain cowl.

Paxis pod dividers – Pod Armor Gear Safety

The 2 (considerably confusedly named?) Pod Armor inserts allow you to divide the decrease Shuttle Pod part of the backpack.

The 2 inserts might help to guard digital camera and pictures gear or different electronics, or make it easier to set up fishing gear.

The inserts are hade of excessive density aviation foam lined in smooth velour material.

paxis pod armor for backpack pod

Paxis Rain Cowl – RainShield Gear Safety

The Paxis Twin Lakes backpack doesn’t include a rain cowl.

The RainShield rain cowl accent, with an elastic binding, slips over any 30-liter or smaller pack.

paxis rain cover

Use timeline

Preliminary use: Backpack is in wonderful situation.

  • swing arm works easily and effortlessly
  • higher material repels water beads properly
  • cool and cozy again panel

Two weeks of use: Pack is in wonderful situation.

  • swing arm working easily, no binding or put on seen
  • shoulder and waist straps are padded and cozy for day climbing

We’ll proceed updating this timeline as we use the pack over time.

Price: The Paxis Twin Lakes backpack runs round $199 USD.

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