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Thread: 2017 Airbags

  1. #1
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    2017 Airbags

    I had an older 30L Mammut Ride RAS Airbag pack that I sold recently, I never ended up using it that much. The back was a bit heavy and didn't carry that much with the bag guts in it. (~20l) So it was a tight fit to load it up for a long day trip.
    I really want to find a nice pack that has an airbag, vs. the airbag with a pack as a 2nd thought. FWIW I have a really short torso, so multiple sizes is a plus for me. Another pet peeve, shitty tool compartment. It's a fucking airbag designed for someone thats riding in avy terrain and costs a lot of money. I want to carry my avy gear in a dedicated pocket. This isn't like your pressing the REI day pack into avy duty here.

    Decided to poke around and see what is out there.

    New Mammut RAS 3.0 30L light. Meh. One size fits all means the frame sheet sticks up a couple of inches behind my head (bugs the shit out of me when I have a helmet on) , plus the tool pocket is too small to get a blade in there. Tried the Deploy 7 (on the big side) and the Voile XLM blade. Didn't fit either.

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    Black Diamond Jetforce 24. A friend let me borrow it for a few days. On the heavy side, not that big with the airbag in it.
    Being able to deploy/play with it is cool. Pack part seemed typical BD, you either hate it or love it, but I could deal with the pack part. Fit avy tools. Yeah. Comes in 2 sizes.

    Arva Reactor 24. - Played with it in the shop. Guts are really compact, defiantly more room inside then the BD. One size
    fits all again, in the smaller settings the frame sheet sticks up over back again. Tool pocket fit a medium blade but wasn't long enough for the handle. WTF. Seems promising, I'll wait for version 2.

    Arc'teryx Voltair 30l. Holy shit. What an awesome pack. It's a work of art. Heavy as the Jetforce. Super pricey - guess you have to buy the charger and battery separate! Seems a bit boxy, but looks like they nailed the pack part. $1680 complete on BC.com. It better be nice.

    Anyone have any other new packs they've fondled, own, etc? Ortovox has a new non-ABS pack out this season that looks promising. I would also like to check out the Scott Bags. BCA runs on the heavy side, but you could buy 3 of them on sale for less then the price of a Voltair.
    Last edited by sfotex; 12-07-2016 at 10:39 AM.
    Life is a lot like climbing: there isn't anything much more comforting than a good #2.

  2. #2
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    I like the newest BCA Float 32 for my needs and due to cost-effectiveness. Plus it has a good tool compartment and i was coming from a shit-show. Needed to streamline. For your purposes I would suggest looking at it because of the adjustable waist belt. maybe not for everyone, but i think it has a lot going for it.

    Shameless but serious plug: I got one for a friend too, but he couldn't put the funds together, so it's on gear swap. $510 + shipping for NWT and canister.
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...-Bibs-AT-Boots

    i can take pics later if interested.

  3. #3
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    Just picked up a BCA Float 42
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  4. #4
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    Checked out some stuff at the OR show.
    BCA has a Speed 17 and 27 coming out next year. They use a more compact cylinder and reengineered guts to drop the weight to 5ish lbs and take up less room.
    I checked out the bigger Arva sizes (32 and 42) - they had a bigger tool pocket and I liked the fit better.
    Ortovox had their new airbag there, I poked at it but wasn't able to get any specs, felt pretty light though and I imagine this means they will be distributing them in NA next year. They looked like they're using metal canisters in NA.
    Life is a lot like climbing: there isn't anything much more comforting than a good #2.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfotex View Post
    Checked out some stuff at the OR show.
    BCA has a Speed 17 and 27 coming out next year. They use a more compact cylinder and reengineered guts to drop the weight to 5ish lbs and take up less room.
    I checked out the bigger Arva sizes (32 and 42) - they had a bigger tool pocket and I liked the fit better.
    Ortovox had their new airbag there, I poked at it but wasn't able to get any specs, felt pretty light though and I imagine this means they will be distributing them in NA next year. They looked like they're using metal canisters in NA.
    That sounds really promising on the BCA. I picked up a mammut UL 20 this year. Phenomenal pack. Lots of space for the overall size. Very light weight, carries perfect. I would not consider another pack for anybody that knows how to pack a bag. My wife has the new 30L. I'd agree on the high back panel. I'm glad she has it so I can borrow it if ever needed, but hopefully that isnt the case and I can always get by with the UL. I like tool pockets and side pockets and other glamour features, but it turns out that good fit and light weight trump those significantly for my purposes.

  6. #6
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    I also have a BCA Float 42; went with that size since I wanted a one-size-fits-all solution for bigger day trips and hut trips. So far so good; it's a touch heavy but I don't notice the weight too much, and it's nice not having to thing too much about how to cram in all my gear for a day trip, since there's plenty of space. Hut trip packing is snug but doable.

  7. #7
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    I'm still a fan of the ABS. You can zip on a 15L for side country days, and a 40L for a multi-day hut trip. Comes in S/M or M/L.

  8. #8
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    I love my Mystery Ranch Blackjack. Discontinued, but they show up used for cheap on a regular basis. Even at 35lbs of guiding gear it carries so well you forget you're wearing it.

  9. #9
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    Ended up getting an Arva Reactor 32. I'll throw a review up when I get some time in with it,
    but I can get my avy tools in the tool compartment (crazy I know) and it has plenty of room for a long day trip.
    Life is a lot like climbing: there isn't anything much more comforting than a good #2.

  10. #10
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    Pulled the trigger on the voltair 30. Amazing pack. Yes, it is ridiculously expensive. But retailers (online including) are giving huge discounts on bundling the pack with skis. Got mine significantly discounted. Sizing is great. Arcteryx attention detail is truly the best. If you can save for it get this bag. I travel between Europe and the states to ski during the season and this is way better than any cartridge or compressed air system. Battery holds a charge for a long time (recently forgot to charge it after a trip- still had green light showing after a month of not being charged). I thought the bag was heavy when I first picked it up, but the ergonomics are great that it doesn't feel as heavy when you put it in.

    Save up and get this pack.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfotex View Post
    New Mammut RAS 3.0 30L light. Meh. One size fits all means the frame sheet sticks up a couple of inches behind my head (bugs the shit out of me when I have a helmet on)
    Did you try on the short version? (RAS Pro Short 33L)

    Bummer about the tool pocket not fitting a shovel. Was hoping to buy my girl one sometime soon.

    Love my MR Blackjack, but it is heavy and it sucks that WARY went out of business and the o-rings are hard to source these days. Carries like a dream, and the layout is excellent for mid-winter touring IMHO.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    meager stoke

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    Did you try on the short version? (RAS Pro Short 33L)

    Bummer about the tool pocket not fitting a shovel. Was hoping to buy my girl one sometime soon.

    Love my MR Blackjack, but it is heavy and it sucks that WARY went out of business and the o-rings are hard to source these days. Carries like a dream, and the layout is excellent for mid-winter touring IMHO.
    I had an older regular size RAS that fit me well. I haven't tried the new short model. Ortovox is coming out with a new line (non-ABS) of airbag packs next year, and they have a women's model + are on the light side. Might be worth checking out.
    Life is a lot like climbing: there isn't anything much more comforting than a good #2.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfotex View Post
    Ortovox is coming out with a new line (non-ABS) of airbag packs next year, and they have a women's model + are on the light side. Might be worth checking out.
    Will check it out next season. She's injured and doesn't need anything immediately. Thanks for the heads up!
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    meager stoke

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    Will check it out next season. She's injured and doesn't need anything immediately. Thanks for the heads up!
    https://www.ortovox.com/uk/shop/aval...s-avabag-aqua/
    Life is a lot like climbing: there isn't anything much more comforting than a good #2.

  15. #15
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    For short torso packs:

    I haven't had any trouble getting large-ish shovels in any of the Mammut Pro packs, including the short torso, although I haven't played with the most recent iteration. I say "large-ish" because a few shovels, like the BD Deploy, are super fucking tall. But my Ortovox Kodiak D-Handle fits fine. I still haven't found a pack design I like better than the Mammut Pro - it's not perfect, but it's very good. It's a very different pack than the Mammut Light.

    The Ortovox packs are really nice. For sure worth a look.

    Also intrigued by the Dakine Poacher RAS, which has a ladies option.

  16. #16
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    If you want a women's pack that is ACTUALLY a womens pack and not just a short torso version, check out Dakine
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  17. #17
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    ^^Thanks for the heads up. Will definitely check it out. I'm a little concerned that the largest sizes for the Dakine and Ortovox are both sub-30L, which might be a little small for a full day with glacier gear, depending on layout/usable volume.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    meager stoke

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dee Hubbs View Post
    I'm still a fan of the ABS. You can zip on a 15L for side country days, and a 40L for a multi-day hut trip. Comes in S/M or M/L.
    I've had the Vario 40 for a few years now, and while I do like the pack, I'm not sure how the hell you get enough gear in it for a multiday. I find it's adequate for day tours, but I definitely don't have enough room for a self-supported multi day. Unless my partners carried all my sleeping gear and tent and offered to take a few other things for me too. Honestly although it's a vario I'll likely never buy a smaller pack to zip on it.

    I just noticed there is a 45 + 5l option which you may be able to do multiday with. I also see ABS is evolving (with carbon trigger systems etc).

    Anyway, I'm sort of interested to see what happens with the turbo fan models in the next year or 2 (as regards weight and usable volume).

    edit, just noticed you said multiday "hut" trip. I guess that means hut to hut. hmmmm maybe you could do that if you have no overnight gear... I still think it would be tight.
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  19. #19
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    I find skiers can get away with a heavy pack more easily than snowboarders (me). ABS closest thing to light I have found and the Alps has thousands of them (i.e is proven to be reliable). The carbon canister is stupidly exe though.

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