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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    695

    Combining the ABS Airbag Pack with the Avalung

    I just received what is (to my knowledge) the worlds first and only backpack that incorporates both the ABS airbag and the Black Diamond Avalung.

    I call it my Ultimate Mutant Avalanche Pack.

    For those who don't know about the ABS airbag pack, there is a description of it here:

    http://www.backcountrymagazine.com/n...ves_oct07.html

    Here are some pictures of my mutant pack:





    Here is how it came about. I got tired of wearing both the Avalung and ABS pack. Too many straps, and I didn't like having to remove the Avalung every time I put on or took off a clothing layer (because the Avalung has to go on the outside.)

    So, I called Ron Rob at R2 Packs.

    http://www.r2packs.com/

    R2 is a truly custom pack maker. They work with you to design and build literally anything you want.

    I went to Ron with the idea of combining the avalung pack with the airbag pack.

    The task was made somewhat easier by the fact that the ABS airbag pack I have is modular. There is a standard frame, that contains the airbag, and then you can zip on different pack bags of different volumes.

    http://www.absairbag.de/vario.php?ch...c237c2f4033364

    So, we didn't have to tweak the frame or airbag portion of the pack, we just had to figure out a way to incorporate the Avalung into the pack bag.

    Initially, I thought that I could just incorporate my existing Avalung into the pack, but after examining the BD Avalung packs, it became apparent that the pack avalung has some important differences compared with the stand alone avalung. So, I bit the bullet and bought a BD Covert avalung pack.

    The Covert pack was canibalized for parts, and the avalung parts were incorporated into the pack bag. The packbag itself was created by R2 from scratch, using lightweight fabrics, and was designed to my specifications, with pockets sized to fit my shovel, probe, and snow saw, in addition to other features like a larger main compartment, hydration pocket, and a floating lid that I could secure a helmet under (unlike the fixed lid on the ABS packbag.)

    The final finished product is pretty cool, and is lighter weight than the original ABS pack, even though it is significantly larger in volume.
    I'll be skiing with it on Saturday.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    A Chamonix of the Mind
    Posts
    3,695
    $100 shipped?
    "Buy the Fucking Plane Tickets!"
    -- Jack Tackle

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Tahorado
    Posts
    23,441
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeStrummer View Post
    $100 shipped?
    You don't wanna get one of these in a blem sale, Strummer.
    We don't make the snow. We just make it more enjoyable.


    Git Your FKNA On!

    You Like?

    fkna.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sweden/b'ham
    Posts
    1,105
    damn dude, that is the ultimate pack. thats rad you even got the avy gear/helmet storage in there. probably was rather pricey by the end of it all, huh?

    now you have got to go get flushed and see how it works!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,835
    You're a bit late, JONG. It's been done. AFAIK the original AvaLung pack idea came about from people modifying their AvaLung 2s to fit to packs, so my idea was hardly original. Mine's since been rebuilt but the idea's the same. FWIW the standalone AvaLung 2 is exactly the same as the internal components of the AvaLung packs, except the packs have longer hoses. I've used components from the old school vest, the standalong AvaLung and the packs.

    Where's your mouthpiece? Is that it inside the zip right next to the ABS trigger? Did you try rigging up the pack with trigger and mouthpiece together - I reckon they might get in each other's way. I've got the AvaLung mouthpiece on the right shoulder strap and the ABS trigger on the left.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    LCC / BCC
    Posts
    65
    anyone know how to get the co2 cannisters for ABS packs???? I have a friend with an ABS pack and no charge.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    At the beach
    Posts
    5,503
    Quote Originally Posted by Researcher View Post
    anyone know how to get the co2 cannisters for ABS packs???? I have a friend with an ABS pack and no charge.
    Have them go to the manufacturers site or contact them for the refills.
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

    Quote Originally Posted by telemike View Post
    at this point I don't care about gnar - I care about having teh funz skiing

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Income Spillage
    Posts
    898
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Where's your mouthpiece? Is that it inside the zip right next to the ABS trigger? Did you try rigging up the pack with trigger and mouthpiece together - I reckon they might get in each other's way. I've got the AvaLung mouthpiece on the right shoulder strap and the ABS trigger on the left.
    That was my question, too. Other than that, it looks like a sweet custom job. How much was the whole enchilada?
    Do you by chance happen to own a large, yellowish, very flat cat?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Up on the hill where they do the boogie
    Posts
    6,159
    I've gotta admit - that's a clean job.

    $$$$$$?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Income Spillage
    Posts
    898
    p.s. what's the weight and interior volume specs?


    p.p.s. how old is your sister?
    Do you by chance happen to own a large, yellowish, very flat cat?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    In between
    Posts
    278
    Hmm. I just thought of something. Would it not be much better to inflate the abs with air rather than co2? I guess the balloons deflate after awhile when buried(?), and I'd rather get some extra air in my pocket down below than some extra co2...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,835
    It actually uses N2, not CO2. And it has a venturi value, so it's something like ~3 parts air to 1 part N2. And the bags don't deflate. And the intent is that you don't get completely buried anyway. So all in all there's not much to worry about with respect to your comments.

    Various places sell replacements and refills. Google will reveal them. If you're in Europe there are a bunch of shops that will sell canisters if they sell the packs.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1
    Hi Kai,

    I am thinking of integrating the stand alone avalung into the ABS vario pack.

    You mentioned that

    "Initially, I thought that I could just incorporate my existing Avalung into the pack, but after examining the BD Avalung packs, it became apparent that the pack avalung has some important differences compared with the stand alone avalung"...

    I am just wondering whether there is anything that could come in the way combining stand alone avalung with vario ABS pack along the steps described in the link below?

    http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-co...k-273244/view/

    Many thanks.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Girdwood AK
    Posts
    74
    make sure you wear a helmet, knee pads and a condom at all times.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Couloirfornia
    Posts
    5,201
    Quote Originally Posted by TBski View Post
    make sure you wear a helmet, knee pads and a condom at all times.
    So you're against people decreasing their likelihood of dying in an avalanche?

    That's cool.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Suit
    Oh for sure. Every time I walk in the garage and see that lame-ass Porsche I have to drive now, I think to myself "Better head down to the bus station and suck some dicks until I get my self respect back."

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Kootenays
    Posts
    1,319
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    And the bags don't deflate.
    Yeah they do, at least the Snowpulse and BCA ones.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,835
    Quote Originally Posted by snoboy View Post
    Yeah they do, at least the Snowpulse and BCA ones.
    This thread's about ABS packs, and that's what I was talking about in my old post. I have no experience with Snowpulse or BCA packs.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    The land of lot's of houses, CO
    Posts
    208
    I know the BCA pack does deflate but it is very slow and minimal, I am pretty sure that the ABS pack does not deflate.

    To the earlier question about why the ABS does not use air, they chose N2 because it is not affected by altitude or temperature so you always have the same pressure in the tank to inflate the bladders properly.

    Not saying that the BCA and Snowpulse which use the same CO2 system are not reliable, it is just what each chose and their reason.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Dumont, Blue River
    Posts
    226
    The snowpulse is the only one that deflates at a notable rate, as it wraps around your head this would make sense for this unit to provide you with breathable air.

    Btw, nice work, that looks like a great setup.

    for those looking to pick up a pack, or needing a swap for the ABS (they've recently gotten MUCH cheaper) check out this guy http://www.snowbigdeal.com/servlet/StoreFront

    They're local to CO & UT & may be able to save a decent chunk of $$ on the hazmat shipping if you're around here, but otherwise they sell all 3 brands & have decent prices.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    237
    Float 30 in stock... Love the price, but not the design. Skicarry, Iceax for instance?
    And why not the swapsystem seen on ABS and snowpulse, sure abit for expensive, but 30L is abit small sometimes.
    Made more for sleddnecksm maybe?
    All this is just me thinking, someone actually knowing?

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by backcountryislife View Post

    for those looking to pick up a pack, or needing a swap for the ABS (they've recently gotten MUCH cheaper) check out this guy http://www.snowbigdeal.com/servlet/StoreFront

    They're local to CO & UT & may be able to save a decent chunk of $$ on the hazmat shipping if you're around here, but otherwise they sell all 3 brands & have decent prices.
    Thanks for the link!



    We have the The Float 30 in stock, but it does not have any straps for ski-carry or ice-axe. Next year's design will have the additional straps as well as hydration, but unfortunately the price of the Float 30 pack is going up to $699 instead of $499.
    THE AVALANCHE AIRBAG EXPERTS
    Avalanche Airbags
    Avalanche Beacons
    The North Face Airbags



    Toll Free: 1-877-SNOW-BIG (1-877-766-9244)

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    in the ghetto
    Posts
    80
    Correct. This years BCA pack targets snowmobiles. In there first year of production they just wanted to get something functional to market. Next year, as I understand, they'll have a ski-orientated air bag pack.

    And Wannabe. Why would Nitrogen behave any different then Oxygen or Carbon Dioxide due to pressure or temperature changes? All gases behave more or less the same. Google the Ideal Gas Law.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,036
    Last year i saw this pack save a friend of mines life up in the todrillo range. If he had not had the pack, the slide would have either broken him in two or killed him. He deployed the back and was never taken under. The debris pile was about 8-10 feet deep.

    2 weeks ago, we all used the ABS packs up there. I feel the avalung really does not have much value when compared to the ABS (IMHO). A slide of that size would have crushed him and if he were to have been buried, the avalung would have been useless because of the beating he would have taken.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by Researcher View Post
    anyone know how to get the co2 cannisters for ABS packs???? I have a friend with an ABS pack and no charge.

    The canisters for ABS use compressed nitrogen. If you have an empty canister (and used trigger) that is either black or yellow, then we will exchange your canister for $29 (+ Hazmat shipping charges if applicable).
    If you don't have a canister to exchange, you can purchase the canisters directly on our website.

    http://www.snowbigdeal.com/servlet/t...its/Categories
    THE AVALANCHE AIRBAG EXPERTS
    Avalanche Airbags
    Avalanche Beacons
    The North Face Airbags



    Toll Free: 1-877-SNOW-BIG (1-877-766-9244)

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    237
    Quote Originally Posted by SnowBigDeal View Post
    Next year's design will have the additional straps as well as hydration, but unfortunately the price of the Float 30 pack is going up to $699 instead of $499.
    Anyone seen any blurry spy-pics?

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