Avalanche backpacks can help skiing or snowboarding come with less risk.
Whether you’re drawn to canister or fan-powered avalanche airbags, this list is for you.
10 Best Avalanche Backpacks You Need for 2022
1. Black Diamond Jetforce Pro Pack 35L
The JetForce Pro avalanche airbag system by Black Diamond. This fan-based electronic system is light and small.
As far as versatility goes, the entire system is modular. You can attach different size packs ranging from 10-liter, 25-liter, or 35-liter. These split boards are perfect for various outdoor missions.
Each pack comes with an ice ax attachment and a tool pocket.
Since the pack comes with zero cost user-practice, you can master deploying the airbag before going out.
Once in the field, you can have up to four deployments on a single charge before recharging
Lastly, automatic deflation after deployment comes in handy when you need to create an air pocket should you be buried. A Bluetooth feature allows you to stay updated.
2. Black Diamond Jetforce UL Pack 26l
The Black Diamond JetForce UL avalanche backpacks are very light. In fact, they are one of the lightest airbag packs in the market.
They feature the Alpride 2.0 cartridge system. This tech utilizes two small canisters of compressed argon and C02 gas.
One canister can inflate a 150-liter airbag in under five seconds.
Besides reducing user error during assembly, the canisters are sealed to make them easier to move around with.
For user-friendly function, JetForce UL avalanche backpacks come with an adjustable trigger handle.
This way, you can easily change the height or move it from left to right to suit your preferred deployment style.
The UL System has an ultra-light 20-liter pack. It features a specialized equipment pocket and a diagonal tuck-away ski carry. This allows easy deployment even with your ski attached.
3. Black Diamond Jetforce Tour 26L Backpack
The JetForce Tour utilizes the new Alpride E1 airbag system. This electric fan-based system is fueled by cutting-edge supercapacitors and charges via a micro USB.
You can also charge the avalanche backpack using AA batteries for backup when in the field.
Besides a turbo-style blower, the JetForce Tour has a low-cost deployment that allows you to practice before heading to the field.
It is a 26litres pack with a dedicated avalanche tools pocket. It also has a spacious front accessory pocket for anything you need for a day in the backcountry.
The supercapacitors charge in an hour after inserting the batteries in case of accidental deployment.
4. Mammut Avalanche Airbag Backpack Pro X Removable Airbag 3.0
Not many avalanche backpacks come equipped with the Removable Airbag System 3.0, but the ProX by Mammut does.
Whether you are on one-day snowboard and ski tours or are freeriding, this backpack will comfortably sit on your back for safety.
The high-performance backpack raises the bar as far as material, comfort, unique features, and construction.
For instance, the fully opening rear zipper offers access to the main compartment, even with a snowboard attached to the front.
Inside, you will find a soft-lined pocket for your ski goggles. The icing on the top has to be that the pack’s main material can be entirely recycled.
5. BCA FLOAT 2 Avalanche Airbag 2.0
The BCA Float 22 avalanche airbag 2.0 is your go-to avalanche backpack for all your mechanized or freeride snowboarding or skiing adventures.
Besides decreasing your burial depth, the buoyancy of the 150-liter airbag also comes in handy at protecting your neck and head from trauma caused by an avalanche.
As one of the most affordable and lightweight avalanche backpacks available, the Float 22 has enough room to hold all your winter survival tools, refreshments, and an extra layer of clothing.
What’s more, all BCA Float avalanche backpacks feature dual-zippered shoulder straps, a hydration sleeve, a back panel, and an integration for BC Link Radios.
Remember that the Float 2.0 air cylinder is purchased separately and has 200 authorized refill locations worldwide making it the easiest airbag to refill in the market.
6. BCA FLOAT MTN PRO Vest Avalanche Airbag 2.0
Avalanche backpacks don’t get better than the Float MtnPro Vest avalanche airbag that is designed for high-performance mountain snowmobiling.
Like regular avalanche backpacks, this low-profile vest also integrates external equipment like BC Link Radios and hydration systems.
The Float MtnPro Vest ensures total side, front, and back protection thanks to a 1mm hard shell laying between two PE foam layers.
This way, you don’t have to worry about rocks, trees, or handlebars during your sled adventures.
That’s not all. The vest also comes with articulated shoulders, external shovel carry, bigger pockets, and secure side-release buckles at the front.
Lastly, all the Float 2.0 system elements sit separately in a different compartment, freeing up enough space in the main section for supplies, gear, and first-aid kit.
7. Ortovox Ascent 30L Avabag Kit Airbag
You will love the Ortovox Ascent 30L Avabag Kit Airbag if you wish to move quickly in the mountains thanks to its ultra-light nature. It has provisions for diagonal and A-frame ski carry, not to mention removable snowboard straps for maximum convenience.
The lightweight compressed air-powered Ortovox Avabag Airbag System is extremely compact and has an easy and quick removal from the pack.
Unlike others in the list, you can undertake activation training without the cartridge thanks to a featured rearming tool. This is even better with the pack’s ambidextrous airbag activation mechanism.
8. Osprey Soelden Pro 32 Men’s Avalanche Backpack
High-performing avalanche backpacks don’t get better than the Soelden Pro 32. Its high-quality fabric makes it extremely lightweight and durable—so you can worry less about your pack and enjoy scoping the best lines.
This airbag pack includes the Alpride E1 electronic avalanche airbag system which is user-friendly, recharges quickly, and is travel-ready. What’s more, it is available in a women’s specific fit to guarantee maximum safety.
When it comes to convenience, this avalanche backpack allows a diagonal or A-frame ski carry, not to mention a horizontal and vertical front panel snowboard carry.
On the other hand, accessibility is easy with a J-zip for the large safety tools panel and a U-zip for the main compartment.
Lastly, you can also attach your GPS or radio on the strategic attachment points with mic harness webbing.
9. Scott Patrol E1 30 Backpack
Avalanche backpacks don’t get better than the Scott Patrol E1 30 Backpack Kit. A 30 liters capacity accommodates all your outdoor gear and of course, the Alpride E1 Supercapacitor System.
All in all, you get a lightweight and compact package that is air-travel friendly since it does not have a canister. What’s more, you can recharge this airbag system even when outdoors using 2 AA batteries.
10. Mammut Light Protection Airbag 3.0 Backpack
While these avalanche backpacks are slightly heavier than their Light Removable Airbag 3.0 counterparts, they feature an added wrap-around side protection for your head. This gives you an increased safety margin from impacts.
Besides the wrap-around contour of the pack’s airbag, it is lightweight enough to ski or snowboard without a worry.
It also has an adjustable height for easier reach of the deployment handle. Though the pack comes with the Protection Airbag 3.0 internals, you have to purchase the cartridge separately.
Safety always comes first whenever you are out in the backcountry. Thankfully, these avalanche backpacks come in all sizes, shapes, and mechanisms, spoiling you for choice.
All in all, you can rest assured that you cannot go wrong with any of these avalanche airbags.
Do you have your avalanche backpacks ready for your next hike? Share your experiences in the comment section below.
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