The Evolution frame and suspension system features a patent pending articulating frame that is comfortable with both ultralight and very heavy loads. X-Pac packbag material is forever waterproof meaning you can leave the raincover at home. This configuration is incredibly lightweight for it's combination of capability, capacity and durability. Frame height is adjustable from 24 to 28 inches.
This includes the Frame, Harness, Hipbelt with PALs, Load Sling and a Roll Top Packbag in your choice of colors and size. Talons must be purchased seperately. We highly recommend a Talon. These includes side access zipper in the pack bag.
Suspension 2 lbs 6 ounces standard frame, 2 lbs 3 ounces with UL frame. Weight does not include Talon.
Packbags : Gray 4800 with Side access zipper 16 ounces, 6300 adds an ounce (17), 3900 subtract an ounce (15). Add 1 ounce for X33 MultiCam (17), subtract 5 ounces for 210 D Tan (11).
Hipbelt sizing guide:
Choose your waist size while wearing the clothing you will wear most often. For instance, you may be a 32" inch waist, but you nomally carry heavy loads late in the season when wearing a jacket or two to keep warm. Use this expectation for sizing your belt.
Posted by Clifford on 11th Jul 2014
I did not buy this pack to haul heavy loads. I bought it because it was lightweight, external frame an offered a non-slip hipbelt. I took it on a shakedown backpack trip to see how it would fare. My start weight was 32 lbs. Empty pack weight with 4800 pack bag, frame extenders, hydration talon and two accessory pouches (water & small internal) was 4 lbs, 1oz. My configuration was with the water pouch attached to the frame top (extended) and it contained a 3 ltr water bladder, which was attached by a small carabineer to a very small loop in the top of the pouch. While I did not have any problems with the loop on this trip, I wonder how long the stitching will hold up to a 3 ltr water bladder. It should be reinforced. The hydration talon carried the items I would normally put in my pack lid. The hydration pocket was a handy place to stuff wet items. I think it would change the CG of the pack too much to use it for a 3 ltr water bladder, which is why I bought this version. I found it to be difficult to refill/reload the water bladder with a full pack. You loosen the top pack bag strap and pull the pack bag away from the frame, but its not far enough to get a full bladder back into this pocket without unloading a lot of the pack.
The top pack bag strap is also supposed to function as a haul loop. I found it to be unsecure when I attached a carabineer and suspended my full weight pack, as the straps came loose. This pack needs a secure haul loop. Most straps, and there are a lot of them, are not dog eared, including the hipbelt and harness, which means one mut be careful not to pull the strap through the buckle. This is very annoying. In all the packs I have owned, this is the first that did not have all straps dogeared. Some buckles come loose too easily. The side pockets are corded and secured with cord locks. The cord locks slip easily on the cord and as a result, I didn't feel good about securing items in these pockets. Elastic cord with good cord locks would be a welcome improvement. Adjustment of the harness is easily done once you understand how to do it. Unlike Nathan's video on this procedure, I found I needed to take the pack on & off to make adjustments up & down to get it right. The video is very helpful in understanding where the harness should fit the back/neck. I used a thin sleeping pad to pad the back of the pack, so I don't know if I would have had some discomfort otherwise. The hipbelt worked as advertised and did not slip. This is a huge benefit and the main reason I purchased this pack. I did notice a little lurch factor, when walking, that is a function of this external frame, but it is minor. The pack material is waterproof and the 4800 bag (roll top) will hold a ton of stuff, more than I want to carry. Overall, a keeper.
Posted by Steve Skinner on 26th Feb 2014
Parts of the following review also appeared in Backpacking Light.
I found out about this external frame pack that feels like an internal frame on BACKPACKINGLIGHT. That (and other reviews, I read them all) haunted me until I purchased one and tried it out. It boasted an external aluminum frame that was articulated so that the shoulders could move forward and back without any more resistance than an ultra light pack and still maintain it's vertical stiffness. Being a lightweight EXTERNAL FRAME pack and not having the old problem of feeling like a stiff board on your back was very inticing. So I spent the half grand for the pack and hoped for the best.
I am not one to usually give the highest score for any product, however this pack, being advertised and rumored to have some truly revolutionary advances deserves a five in my opinion because it did live up to all the claims mentioned, not only those mentioned on its own Seekoutside site but on other reviews I read too.
Reason one for me buying the pack was the claims about a hip belt that did not slip even
with large heavy loads and even without having to over tighten the hip belt. By reading other reviews I believed it might be possible because of the wrap around design which seems to FIRST fit your torso and lumbar THEN carry the attached pack and the weight inside. The first thing I noticed was that it fit my lower back like a glove. The hip belt wasn't as thick and massive as some of my other packs, but it didn't have to be. It was plenty substantial, but the thickness itself is not what made it so comfortable, it was the design! Fully articulated and wrap-around!
True. Hard to believe but true, the pack's hip belt did not slip, not at all! They claim that it won't even at huge 100 pound plus loads. (My load was only about 38 to 40 pounds). I didn't have to tighten the belt so much that it hurt me. The hip belt was almost a forgettable part of the pack. No pain or discomfort at all.
In fact that's the main reason I bought the pack. I have been having trouble with my other pack's hip belt pinching the nerves that run right over the front of the hip bone and it was causing my legs to go painfully and dangerously asleep while carrying anything over 27 or 28 pounds. I had no numbness, no pain and even though it was only about 40 pounds that would have really been a painful chore with my other packs.
Secondly, the pack bag is made from a new sail-cloth material called X-Pac VX21.
￼￼￼Extremely light and seems to be very strong. I opted for the 4800 cubic inch bag with the
Extremely light and seems to be very strong. I opted for the 4800 cubic inch bag with the
￼￼roll top. The weather was rain, freezing rain, drizzle, fog, snow-generally WET. As I looked at my gear under my tarp and hammock, everything that was touched by the moisture looked a little wet, but the pack bag was just beading water, absorbing none. The material is water proof and holds no water in its fibers. Except for the pack's full length zipper (that I opted for), the pack is waterproof completely, and the vertical zipper itself seems made so that water will run down and off the pack, not into it. I carried a pack cover but never used it. The hip belt does pick up some moisture however, as does the compression panel, mentioned later, but not much. My hip belt felt dry all the time I carried it.
The pack bag is rather stark and free of extraneous gadgets and pockets except for large side pockets and ice axe loops. That's the way I like them! (a zippered top lid and hip belt pockets can be added though if wanted. I am waiting on mine to be made). The zippered pocket in the compression panel that is called a Talon and serves as a contact point for the side compression straps and bottom load panel is made from coated nylon cordura, (I opted for the bright hunters orange) it probably carried a little moisture, but I put nothing in it that moisture could hurt and in fact all the contents stayed dry inside.
I took a day hike back to the car to pick up some more supplies and carried the pack almost empty going out. The pack performed as promised. The articulated external frame moved as easily as my shoulders moved. It DID feel as good an internal frame lightweight pack. The pack only weights 3 1⁄2 pounds anyway, so with only some water and a dry ducks rain suit to carry on the way out it was not a detriment being a frame pack with those ultra light weights to carry. I actually enjoyed having the pack on both nearly empty and with my full load. Had I had the optional Talon that is also a daypack, I would still have liked carrying the pack. I personally won't need the daypack.
I carried in and out a huge 5 mil, 14 x 20 foot tarp into camp to accommodate keeping our drinks free of all that precipitation, and wanted to weigh the pack down a bit more that I normally carry in order to test it. I stashed the huge tarp behind the removable pack bag
and synched the pack bag over it using the Talon and side straps. NO problem at all. I could have attached the 4 inch pack frame extensions that come with the pack and put the tarp under the pack bag too, but it worked fine without it. If you use the extensions it lifts the pack another 4 inches on the frame right over the extensions. We bushwhack a bit so I didn't use them. And without the extensions there is about 5 inches of room between the bottom of the pack bag and the bottom of the hip belt, anyway. I actually could have put it there and tried to, but the tarp was slick against the load panel and the pack and it wanted to rotate up to the back of the pack instead of staying on the bottom under the back bag.
Also, that huge tarp that I carried between the frame and the pack bag could have been better carried had I folded it so that it went between the attachment points where each side of the pack bag is attached to the frame. It was folded so it did not completely touch the full length of the pack bag, so even though the pack bag was not carrying the tarp inside, the tarp took up room that the pack bag could have used to carry more gear, since it pushed the pack bag in. Had i folded it so that the entire length of the pack bag was pushed out from the frame, the pack bag would have preserved it's original elongated elliptical shape and could have carried more contents, in my opinion.
I mentioned in an email to Paradox Packs at seekoutside.com that I thought the Talon needed another contact point ON TOP to hold the Talon up in place as I tried to push the tarp through from the side. In fact I had sewn one on before the trip and found it to be very useful.
What's not to like? The only thing I can mention is perhaps the lack of instructions. Although there are many places where you can see videos of how the pack works and goes together and is adjusted, I still could have greatly benefitted from a printed guide. I ended up getting the top zippered lid, and could not really understand how it was to be installed without using up some of the attachment points used in other things too, so I installed my own buckles to the point where the load lifters are attached. It works really good.
This pack is worth waiting for! And when you see the prices of other custom packs this is a bargain, and it seems to me the best design as well.
The people at Seekoutside were the best in fielding my questions and explaining their products. They certainly treated me well, what with all my many emails and texts while trying to decide on the details for my pack. All in all a good experience.
Posted by Rosman, NZ Hunter on 27th Nov 2013
I've overhauled a lot of my gear this year to shed the volume and weight. One big difference was in the weight of my pack. I've previously owned 3 packs - a daypack, 45L overnight pack and 75L multi-day pack. Now, the Paradox 4800+Base Talon fits all 3 categories, and it weighs the same as a daypack!
Lots of compartments can be nice, but ultimately they just add weight and bulk to a pack. I've found the Base Talon can fit all the field gear (knife,torches,food,phone,locator beacon,etc.). Meanwhile, the 4800 pack bag has massive capacity for your camp gear and any kill, but can cinch right down to almost nothing when empty. The side pockets are big enough to fit a 1L nalgene or 10x42 binos. If you need more capacity, there's room to be found between the frame and the pack.
Removing the frame extensions gives it such a low profile, a separate day pack is redundant. If you muck around with the Base Talon and wrap it over the waist belt, you've got a bumbag for bush stalking.
The X-Pac material used is proving to be great so far - I left the pack outside of my tent overnight and the rain didn't get through (in fact, we used the pack to shield the windward side of the fly which was blowing rain through). Blood drained into the bottom of the pack as well on my first kill, I simply emptied it and rinsed it out with water before packing up to my next hunting zone. No staining which is impressive.
The waist belt is very comfortable. I've got a small size (32" waist), and it works great. The heaviest load I've had would be around 65-70lb and the belt did not slip. You do need to cinch the pack to the frame properly though as it can slip below the frame (maybe I'm too accustomed to internal frame packs). I really need to get 110lb and hike out a couple of hours to see just how good it really is - I've done that with my old Badlands 4500 and got some decent hip bruising.
I ordered PALS stitching on the belt as well, but found it wasn't the right spacing to accommodate mil-spec pouches. To be honest, most things I want to attach to the belt (like a camera case, or GPS pouch) have regular belt loops anyway so I would be more interested in having a setup to suit that.
I question the belts durability as it is made of lighter weight nylon, so cinching it to what you would find comfortable can mean that it gets pulled around the stitching. That and the pack slipping down the frame at times means 4 stars instead of 5.
So after a few successful hunts I feel very happy considering the coin I've put down on it. Once I get that massive animal, I'll put in another review.
All prices are in USD.