Our review of Paxis Swing Arm Easy Access backpacks


The Paxis Twin Lakes backpack has a unique design with a smart swing handle system that allows you to access the inside of the backpack without delay, and to say that it is unique is not an understatement.

In our almost 20 years of traveling together, it is safe to say that we have used and reviewed it a lot backpacks at the time. We tried almost all types, from the cheapest backpacks to expensive backpacks. We used top loading packages, suitcase-style backpacks, overnight backpacks, urban backpacks, and even some of the the best travel backpacks and the best backpacks for business travel there.

Paxis backpack a review of backpacks with a swing for fishing, hiking, camping or photography

But no matter how expensive or well-designed the backpacks are, they all have one drawback: you have to take the backpack off your back and put it away to access what’s inside.

This can be a big hassle.

If you’re stuck outside in the rain, putting down your backpack to access the inside means placing it on damp wet and muddy ground. Half the time, the backpacks aren’t well balanced, and the package rolls over on the ground, soaking up the whole thing.

soaked to the skin in the rain waiting for a ferry to Isabella Island in the Galapagos
Our then 12-year-old knocked him down a bit and stuck him in the rain with his backpack on Galapagos Island

Even when the weather is sunny, it is a hassle to access the contents of the backpack when carrying it. If the backpack is small enough, and you are particularly flexible, you may be able to slide it down your hips by carrying it on the front of your torso and thus accessing the interior. This is quite inconvenient to do, but it is especially difficult if you are a person with more curves.

Access to the contents of my package is especially annoying when I take photos outside. I had to stop, put down my pack and dig around to find that my photographic equipment had destroyed some pretty fantastic shots. Wilderness usually doesn’t pose patiently as I put down my pack to find the perfect lens.

So why hasn’t a backpack company come up with a way to easily access the contents of your package while you’re carrying it?

Well, one company did.

Review of Paxis backpacks

The Paxis Twin Lakes backpack has a pod that rotates from the back to the front of the body. It all takes seconds, which means you can access the equipment in the pod without downloading the entire package.

The Paxis casual backpack it was designed and designed in the US by outdoor enthusiasts Paul and Cathy Vierthaler.

We held out our hand and Paxis agreed to let us test the Paxis Twin Lakes backpack for our readers.


  • Innovative swing arm design that allows you to access the package without delay
  • Attractive design with modern fabrics
  • Comfortable, padded straps
  • Useful as a day pack, fly fishing backpack, fishing backpack or day photo pack


  • At about 6 pounds, it is a little heavier than other backpacks of the same size.
  • Time will tell if the swing mechanism is held repeatedly.
  • Great for daily use or short trips, but small for longer trips.

Technical details

  • Capacity: 30 liters
  • External dimensions: 21 ”high, 14” wide, 9 ”deep
  • Shipping capacity: 5 lbs.
  • Internal dimensions of the minibus: 11 ”W x 4.5” H x 5 ”D
  • ARC Swing technology swings the bottom of the backpack forward
  • Freestanding design
  • Waterproof base
  • Internal tablet / laptop pocket
  • Lifetime limited warranty
Paxis swing backpack sleeve in action
Charles carried a Paxis backpack on a one-day hike

How does the swing arm work?

There are two parts to the Paxis swing backpack: the top that acts like a standard small day bag and the bottom that swings so you can access the contents of the pod without removing the packaging. The upper part of the package does not swing – only the lower pod swings in advance.

For work: Keeping the straps and sternum closed, pull the release lever with one hand. The lower part of the package (pod) swings from the back forward, allowing you to access the pod equipment (snacks, camera, fishing equipment and so on), without taking off your backpack.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the swing. Would it be difficult to manage? Would it feel weak and cheap?

The swinging arm acted exactly as Paxis had said — with one quick release, the lower pod swung smoothly from the back forward. Perfect for catching snacks from the bottom on a daily hike!

access to the lower pod in a backpack with a Paxis swing
Getting snacks from Paxis pods

The movement felt smooth and effortless and it was only necessary to gently push the pod to the back of the package and a small tap to put it back in place.

a swing release lever on the new Twin Lakes Paxis backpack

Paxis Twin Lakes materials and design

The Paxis Twin Lakes swing around the backpacks is made of nylon fabrics, with high-tech polyethylene foam.

The frame itself is made of aluminum for strength and to make it lightweight.

The Twin Lakes package comes in four colors: mineral (aqua), quarry (gray-brown), madroni (orange) and long-range grass dagger (green camo).

cat calico helps in reviewing backpacks with Paxis swing
Examination assistant.

The Paxis logo is large and is located on the front of the package, but since it is white, it is not terribly uncomfortable on the gray, orange or blue version of the package. The logo is in fluorescent orange on the camo version.

The zippers on the Paxis Twin Lakes backpack with easy access feel firm and move smoothly.

The straps are well padded, with a sternum strap for stability. The waist / hip straps are also padded, with a quick-release buckle.

The back of the package is comfortably padded and ventilated and cool when worn.

Paxis backpack inner pockets and outer straps

There are plenty of inside pockets. The most important thing for us, of course, is the pocket for the tablet / laptop inside the upper package. There are two other zippered pockets, perfect for storing electronic equipment, such as chargers and cables.

Twin Lakes Paxis backpack front top pocket with laptop sleeve

The main bag of the upper package is softly placed, with enough space for daily clothes and toiletries.

There is a small pocket for keys or sunglasses on the top outside of the top of the package.

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

Lower Shuttle The floor part of the package is one compartment, lined with soft fabric. It does not come with splitters (although you can buy them separately as an accessory).

inside the Paxis backpack swing

There is also a small outer pocket for accessories on the outside of the lower pod.

Twin Lakes Paxis backpack pocket in front of the swing compartment

On both sides of the upper pocket are external straps for holding tripods, ski poles, hiking poles, fishing rods or other equipment.

There are also outer compression straps with quick-release buckles, on either side of the top of the pack.

buckle on the side of the Paxis backpack

Comfort and convenience on the Paxis backpack

We tested the suitability and comfort of Twin Lakes of Lake Paxis for ourselves (female, 5’4 ″), Charles (male, 5’11 ”) and our 12-year-old daughter (female, 5’0 ″).

The package lay well on my back and was easy to adjust using belts and straps, with the pull of each one.

Charles needed to loosen his waist and shoulder straps a little for comfort, and the backpack rose a little higher on his hips. Still, he said it was comfortable for day walks and well padded.

Switching the package from Charles ’frame to our 12-year-old daughter’s frame took a little more adjustment of the waist and straps.

After a minute or two, she lay well on her back, and said she was quite comfortable, even with a loose grip on her shoulders. There was plenty of room to tighten the straps, but she preferred them a little relaxed.

A twelve-year-old in a Paxis Twin Lakes package
A twelve-year-old in a Paxis Twin Lakes package

Return and refund

Paxis allows a full refund if the equipment is received in “new condition with all labels intact“. The buyer is responsible for return delivery.


The Paxis has two accessories you can buy: a foam pod packaging system that protects valuable equipment such as cameras and binoculars and a rain cover.

Paxis pod dividers – Under Armor Gear Protection

The two (somewhat confusedly named?) Pod Armor inserts allow you to split the bottom of the Shuttle Pod backpack.

Two inserts can protect your camera and photo equipment or other electronics, or they can organize your fishing gear.

The insoles are made of high-density air foam covered with a soft velor fabric.

paxis under armor for backpack floor

Paxis rain cover – RainShield gear protection

The Paxis Twin Lakes backpack does not come with a rain cover.

RainShield rainwater accessory, with elastic binding, can be pulled over any package of 30 liters or less.

paxis rain cover

Use the timeline

Initial use: The backpack is in excellent condition.

  • the swing arm works smoothly and effortlessly
  • the upper fabric nicely repels water balls
  • cool and comfortable back panel

Two weeks of use: The package is in excellent condition.

  • the swing arm works smoothly, there is no visible tying or wear
  • shoulder straps and belts are padded and comfortable for daily hiking

We will continue to update this timeline as we use the package over time.

Price: The Paxis Twin Lakes backpack costs about $ 199.


Like it? Share with your friends!


What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
confused confused
fail fail
fun fun
geeky geeky
love love
lol lol
omg omg
win win


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *