Back in 2012, Arc’teryx filed a patent for a motor powered avalanche airbag system. Four years later, the Voltair avalanche airbag backpack has finally made it to market. With multiple deployment functionality and quick, powerful inflation, the Voltair is set to become a favorite amongst the serious backcountry set.
Until the Black Diamond Jetforce, traditional avalanche airbag systems used only compressed air cylinders, complete with the associated drawbacks such as single deployment. By comparison, the Arc’teryx Voltair airbag system is powered by a heavy-duty 22.2V Lithium-Ion Polymer rechargeable battery that allows you to deploy the airbag multiple times. Along with routine testing of the system, the multiple deployment advantage allows you to practice deploying the airbag to better train yourself on how to react during an avalanche. “In a high consequence situation, you don’t rise to the occasion, you fall back on your training,” said Gordon Rose, Senior Industrial Designer at Arc’teryx.
Utilizing an advanced engineered centrifugal blower to fill the 150 liter balloon, the Voltair system delivers more initial pressure than any other battery powered avalanche airbag system on the market. This superior system ensures the balloon deploys rapidly, consistently, and continuously–even if small tears or punctures result from colliding with hard objects like trees and rocks. Another advantage of the Voltair’s rechargeable battery is its high-grade automotive quick connector for convenient assembly of the system, ability to be charged in the field with a special adapter, and ability to disconnect the battery completely from the backpack in order to meet air transportation safety regulations.
Made in Canada at Arc’teryx’s own manufacturing facility, the Voltair airbag features include a unique mechanical ‘always available’ trigger handle that is permanently accessible and can be quickly unlocked to deploy the airbag during descent. Borrowing from the company’s climbing harness technology, the Voltair employs an easy-to-use, one-handed wire gate leg loop/harness system that solidly secures the airbag to your body.
Available in 20L and 30L volumes, the fully seam-sealed Voltair is constructed from a waterproof nylon ripstop body fabric with WaterTight zippers for top and side access to the two main compartments. Both sizes offer dedicated compartments for additional snow safety equipment like shovels and probes. Front lash ladders and straps diagonally carry skis or snowboard while ice/mountaineering tool loops keep everything else in place for a stable and safe ride.
The Arc’teryx Voltair avalanche airbag backpack details are as follows:
- Voltair 20L – US $1,650 – price inclusive of bag, battery and Power. Weight – 3235g / 7.1 lbs
- Voltair 30L – US $1,700 – price inclusive of bag, battery and Power. Weight – 3465g / 7.6 lbs