2012-13 OUTSIDE MAGAZINE BUYER’S GUIDE RECOMMENDS BCA FLOAT AVALANCHE AIRBAG FOR BEST PRICE AND VALUE
Make sure you pick up a copy of Outside Magazine’s Winter Buyer’s Guide. It has a nice review on this year’s crop of avalanche airbags, including the BCA Float 32, which they rated “best for the budget-minded.”
The folks from Outside are particularly tuned in to airbags because one of their former editors, Megan Michelson (now at ESPN Freeskiing), was heavily involved in the incident at Stevens Pass last year in which three ski industry pros were killed in an avalanche–and the sole survivor was wearing an (ABS) avalanche airbag. They are true believers, which sure comes out in their review.
This year’s Float 32 airbag is over a pound lighter than last year’s Float 36 and it has more useable volume. It also has an improved diagonal ski carry system, hydration sleeve, and dedicated shovel/probe compartment (we listened to your feedback). This year we also have the Float 22, which is has significantly more volume than last year’s Float 18. It should be noted that, on both, the airbag, cylinder and “engine” can be removed, so the pack can be used without the airbag system if you’re not concerned about slides. We’ve also expanded our cylinder refill network, so you can travel by air (with an empty cylinder) to your favorite resort and get a quick refill when you get there.
It’s snowing this week in most of the western U.S. and Canada. Time to gear up!