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 Post subject: Re: Avalanche Air bags? New standard in avi safety
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:18 am 
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Location: The Magic City
Powder_Rider, have you ever taken a writing course? I have no idea what you're trying to say. For starters, try isolating and condensing the quotes so they can be easily separated from your own writing.
If you're seriously looking for the facts and not just trying to toot your own horn, this article has links to most, if not all, of the studies that have been done concerning airbags and their effectiveness at saving lives: http://www.wildsnow.com/3736/airbag-overview/.
Can anyone give a valid argument for when deploying an airbag will actually decrease your chances of survival?
Like Tremper (and others) have said, airbag packs are eventually going to become a standard safety equipment, much like a seatbelt or PFD for whitewater enthusiasts.

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 Post subject: Re: Avalanche Air bags? New standard in avi safety
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:58 am 
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Nick, I will take your comments under consideration,

I did not take your comments harshly, on the contrary:

I needed to do rewrite and not a novel. Because were talking about safety and peoples lives. I need to get it write / right :wink: .

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 Post subject: Re: Avalanche Air bags? New standard in avi safety
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:27 pm 
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Sorry man- I didn't mean to come across so harshly and your commentary is definitely welcome!. Just saying it's easier for others to understand the points you're trying to make if you can take only what you need from others' articles (a sentence or two that illustrates the point you want to comment on) and isolate it. Use text breaks, italics, bold, whatever. It all has the same effect.
I'm curious if there are any valid, stats-based arguments against using airbag packs.

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 Post subject: Re: Avalanche Air bags? New standard in avi safety
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:23 pm 
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Location: CO
I just picked up an ABS Vario and I think it was a good decision. I understand that an airbag won't keep me out of an avalanche and isn't a guarantee from death or injury, but accidents do happen. I think the statistics so far and documented incidents where airbags saved lives is enough reason to pony up and make the purchase.

My initial impresion is the pack and airbag system is sturdy. The pyrotechnical pneumatic trigger and dual airbag system is arguably superior to anything else on the market. The freedom of sight and movement when deployed is also advantageous. Comparatively, the Snowpulse system does offer the potential to protect against head and neck trauma, but I don't know of any accident study or report to support this. The BCA float system has shown to work in most of the recorded accidents involving their device, but it's still very new- I think BCA products are a good bet regardless. The thing about ABS is the 30 years of experience behind their system and 97% survival rate resulting from airbag deployment reported in 292 incidents. German engineering is apparent in this system. The bag is light and has plenty of space including a dedicated compartment for emergency and avalanche tools. There are multiple size and color options. The interchangeable packs for the Vario base unit is a great feature.

All this being said, I never want to be in a situation where I will need to use the system beyond a touring pack. Theres no tool more important than careful decision-making and choosing the right terrain given the conditions. I just hope more people will choose to to take a course, read books, and get educated before going into the backcountry rather than thinking "oh I've got a beacon and a pack. I'm safe".


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 Post subject: Re: Avalanche Air bags? New standard in avi safety
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:52 pm 
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i was leaning towards the mammut 30l but its proven difficult to find one in person to check out - saw the ABS in the store and i agree, it seems really legit. i would have bought it. one ?

does anyone know what TSA thinks about trying to fly with the "explosive" trigger on these?


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 Post subject: Re: Avalanche Air bags? New standard in avi safety
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:34 am 
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Location: Sweden
rmchi wrote:
I just picked up an ABS Vario and I think it was a good decision. I understand that an airbag won't keep me out of an avalanche and isn't a guarantee from death or injury, but accidents do happen. I think the statistics so far and documented incidents where airbags saved lives is enough reason to pony up and make the purchase.

My initial impresion is the pack and airbag system is sturdy. The pyrotechnical pneumatic trigger and dual airbag system is arguably superior to anything else on the market. The freedom of sight and movement when deployed is also advantageous. Comparatively, the Snowpulse system does offer the potential to protect against head and neck trauma, but I don't know of any accident study or report to support this. The BCA float system has shown to work in most of the recorded accidents involving their device, but it's still very new- and I have to say, it's not very attractive and only offers one colorway. ABS, on the other hand, has 30 years of experience behind their system and 97% survival rate resulting from airbag deployment reported in 292 incidents. German engineering is apparent in this system. The bag is light and has plenty of space including a dedicated compartment for emergency and avalanche tools. There are multiple size and color options. The interchangeable packs for the Vario base unit is a great feature.

All this being said, I never want to be in a situation where I will need to use the system beyond a touring pack. Theres no tool more important than careful decision-making and choosing the right terrain given the conditions. I just hope more people will choose to to take a course, read books, and get educated before going into the backcountry rather than thinking "oh I've got a beacon and a pack. I'm safe".


Just saying, deployment, there are quite a few accidents where for some reason (not saying the packs fault) the airbag did not inflate. Sometimes people don't pull the trigger etc. I heard from a guy who works with avy control that a new study showed there is about 30% increase in survivability with an airbag. If I can get a hold of the study I will post it.

ShredLife wrote:
i was leaning towards the mammut 30l but its proven difficult to find one in person to check out - saw the ABS in the store and i agree, it seems really legit. i would have bought it. one ?

does anyone know what TSA thinks about trying to fly with the "explosive" trigger on these?


ABS har documentation you have to download at their webpage. You have to contact the airline before and say you have avalache rescue equipment. (Apparently they don't like the word airbag). This is at least what I've heard from people flying with their packs.

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 Post subject: Re: Avalanche Air bags? New standard in avi safety
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:59 am 
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Location: CO
Swedish-banana wrote:
Just saying, deployment, there are quite a few accidents where for some reason (not saying the packs fault) the airbag did not inflate. Sometimes people don't pull the trigger etc. I heard from a guy who works with avy control that a new study showed there is about 30% increase in survivability with an airbag. If I can get a hold of the study I will post it.


It would probably be better to just post the study along with the statement. I'd certainly read it. At any rate, this is a life-saving device. I've done a good amount of research, all my avi instructors wore one, and I've watched several videos of people from last season and others stay afloat during an accident. ABS has published (or advertised, to be fair) the results of their case studies. I feel fairly confident in saying that most avalanche professionals would agree that it's better to have one than not, but probably would say "don't get caught in an avalanche in the first place" too. Ultimately, if you get hit by a giant wall of snow and thrown off a cliff, this little backpack probably isn't going to help much. So before dropping in, ask yourself "what if" and look down before making your decision. As for bags not inflating, I tested mine with the test canister and trigger (it was $40) and it inflated immediately. It was kinda funny. My dogs went apeshit and stuck around after I packed it up to make sure everything was okay. The thing about the ABS is that the triggers all contain a tiny amount of explosives and can only be used once. They have an expiration date. This part of the system is where I'd be somewhat suspect of a failure. I can't speak to other packs because I don't know about any reports where the bag didn't deploy in an emergency. But I'm fairly confident that if I follow the instructions the ABS pack will work when needed.


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 Post subject: Re: Avalanche Air bags? New standard in avi safety
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:55 pm
Posts: 290
Location: Whistler, Coast Mtns
In depth overview........
http://www.wildsnow.com/5014/avalanche-airbag-backpack-overview/

Some good links here from the maggots........
http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/239652-Avalanche-airbags-how-effective-are-they-really?highlight=airbag

Canadian Avalanche Association and WorkSafeBC sponsored report.....
http://www.avalancheresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/2012_Haegeli_CndAvBalloonPart3.pdf


The one quote I remember was a quote from an older european avalanche professional where he was asked about about only having the option of a transceiver or airbag. Without hesitation he said he would take the bag over the transceiver every time.

Oh, and there was that TGR splitboard movie that just came out that was one big commercial for ABS

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 Post subject: Re: Avalanche Air bags? New standard in avi safety
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:58 pm 
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Location: Calgary, AB
I have had my ABS for 4 years now. I won't ride without it any more.

I especially like that fact that I can swap covers. If its short hikes take a 20L cover. for longer hikes I zip on a 50L. With the variety of styles and sizes your not stuck with a huge pack all the time. You can even get covers made by Dakine now.

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 Post subject: Re: Avalanche Air bags? New standard in avi safety
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:40 pm 
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Location: New Castle, Colorado
What I really want to see is for someone to create an ABS that would fit any snow play pack on the market. Meaning like an add-on that would fit on top of the pack as a helmet carry / top pocket and attached to the shoulder straps and the back of the pack. I would be great if the air-bag would deploy around you and down the arm straps like the Sno-Pulse does. Black Diamond, Osprey, BCA, Voile are you listening?

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 Post subject: Re: Avalanche Air bags? New standard in avi safety
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:05 pm 
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Location: CO
uriedog wrote:
I have had my ABS for 4 years now. I won't ride without it any more.

I especially like that fact that I can swap covers. If its short hikes take a 20L cover. for longer hikes I zip on a 50L. With the variety of styles and sizes your not stuck with a huge pack all the time. You can even get covers made by Dakine now.


That was one of the key selling features for me as well. Also, it seems like ABS is avoiding mechanical parts for some reason (they say mechanical triggers and canisters are vulnerable). When you think about mechanical parts and compressed air being used in extreme climates at high elevation maybe there's some merit to avoidin strictly mechanical systems. But having to replace parts after deployment isn't too convenient.

I've been reading that you can't refill the ABS canisters. Anyone have experience with this? Seems pretty steep to drop $180 a pop for a new canister and trigger after each deployment.


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 Post subject: Re: Avalanche Air bags? New standard in avi safety
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:53 pm 
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Location: Salzburg / Austria
I just realized that there is a new Snowpulse (non-RAS) model that is considerable lighter than the known Snowpulse Guide 30 (2600g + 500g for canister): Snowpulse Lite 35. (1720g in M, + 500g for canister)
http://www.snowpulse.com/en/rubrique/pr ... m/lite-35/

Must be one of the lightest airbag packs available.

(and I still prefer the classic Snowpulses, because of their neck-hugging airbag, causing your head to be more likely to stay on top and providing certain protection against mechanical injuries)


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 Post subject: Re: Avalanche Air bags? New standard in avi safety
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:41 pm
Posts: 49
That is correct. I actually picked one up about a month ago from the edmonton sled show. I was impressed by the comfort and by the weight in comparison to others. I have had my split in a frame as well as a vertical solid board in the pack. It is essentially a top loader with a side zip although there is one small insert for avy gear it has a quick access pocket for a probe as well. This is part of the life bag series that also offers trauma protection. I have yet to deploy it as a test just as i have yet to by some spare seals although the compressed air was what convinced me that this was the bag.


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