By: James Veldt
At first glance, you don't notice anything special about the Paxis Mt. Pickett backpack. Conservative styling and seemingly standard features belie the pack's true abilities. I received a Mt. Pickett in the 18 liter size and everything looks like what I would expect to see in a quality daypack. Sturdy construction, waterproof fabric and zippers, as well as chest and padded waist belts give this pack all the basics you need to hit the trails.
What catches the eye is a t-shaped “parachute handle” (as it was called by my friends) on the shoulder strap. Paxis has reimagined the backpack and given hikers and explorers easier access to the items you need to get to most often. Generally, to get at snacks, or a different camera lense, or fishing lures, or whatever you carry while spending a day in the outdoors, you have to either stop and take off your pack or swing it around on one shoulder while trying to dig through to find what you want. With the new Paxis Packs, the bottom third of the pack is a separate pod that effortlessly swings around your body on a series of support bars and hinges that Paxis calls “ARC swing technology.”
When I first got this pack, I transferred all the things I normally carry from my everyday work bag. I found though, that since I normally bring my bag to a worksite and take it off, then accessing things throughout the day, that really wasn't what the bag was designed for and just didn't work out well for that application. Going out for a hike and some fishing though was a different story. When I'm hiking with my young children and they are constantly asking for a snack or a drink, nothing beats the convenience of just swinging this pod around and having instant access to comply with their never-ending requests. This pack is equipped with a small assortment of lures and my little dock demon fishing pole makes moving around the lake easier than ever.
The main section of the pack features the usual assortment of pockets, a padded tablet pocket, a hydration port, and soft-lined accessory pocket. The shuttle pod has a couple of small interior pockets and an exterior mesh pocket.
- Sturdy, weather resistant construction
- Comfortable straps and ventilated back
- Of course the ingenious swing around access to the pod
- Although I love the access to the pod while I'm wearing it, it is quite awkward to access before putting it on (i.e. loading things up before heading out)
- Although it has a hydration port, it would have to be a smaller reservoir, and the exterior pockets don't seem to be designed for a bottle
Whatever your particular pleasure is while enjoying the great outdoors, if you are constantly on the move and still want easy access to items you carry in your pack, the Paxis system has created a great product to fill a desire I think we have all felt.