German company ABS appears to be the leading the market in avalanche airbag systems. For the 2013/2014 winter season, not only will six outdoor brands fully integrate the ABS TwinBag system into their backpacks, but an additional eight brands will release ABS compatible zip on packs. I have put together a list of all the ABS Inside and ABS Compatible packs you get to choose from for next winter.
According to avalanche experts, the top priority for people caught up in an avalanche is to avoid burial. A quick
tug on the ABS TwinBag’s activation handle is all it takes to instantly inflate two airbags with a total volume of 170 liters. This extra volume helps you float on top of the snow and avoid being buried.
The wide bearing surface due to laterally placed TwinBags stabilizes your body and increases the lifting effect in the critical avalanche run-out zone. Activated TwinBags offer you complete freedom of movement as well
as clear line of sight.
Two separate airbag chambers make the ABS system twice as reliable. If one airbag is damaged during the descent, the other will remain inflated for a sufficient length of time. According to a study conducted in 2010, of the
262 persons who activated their ABS avalanche airbag, 97% survived and 84% of those were uninjured.
The following six brands, Salewa, The North Face, Bergans, Dakine, Haglöfs, and Ortovox have now completely integrated the ABS avalanche airbag system into a number of backpacks. Here is the lineup:
Bergans Hodlekve ABS ($1190)
Dakine Signal 25 ABS ($1000)
Haglöfs Vojd ABS 18 and 30
Ortovox Free Rider 24/26/24(W) ABS, Tour 30+7 ABS ($1200), Tour 32+7 ABS
Salewa Verbier Pro ABS (€1099)
The North Face Patrol ABS ($1179)
A selection of packs from Arva, Dakine, and EVOC, as well as packs from new partners Atomic, Head, Mountain Hardwear, Quiksilver, and Salomon for next winter feature compatible zip-on ABS system attachments.
With the price still north of $1000 for the ABS Inside packs, how many of you will and can afford to purchase one? Or are these avalanche airbag packs desitned to remain only in the realm of the hardcore big mountain skier and snowboarder?