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Winter Lab: Avalanche Airbags Explained

Winter Lab: Avalanche Airbags Explained

Skiing Winter Lab Bro-tologist Ryan Dionne talks about the different avalanche airbag systems including what's used to inflate the bags, how easily they are to refill after deployment, and more.

When the snow melts, you don’t quit playing outside, and neither should your pack. Ski straps and glove-friendly zippers make the Direttissima a true winter warrior. But when summer rolls around, unobtrusive ski features mean it’s hike- and climb-friendly. The TopFlap design lets you remove an entire compartment to shed weight. Two built-in toggle bottle openers on the tool loops bring a whole new meaning to double-fisting. 42-, 46-, and 50-liter models; 55, 58, and 61 ounces, respectively.  [$200; mountainhardware.com]

Backcountry Packs

Why endure an ill-suited pack? Get organized and stay safe, comfortably. haul these packs up the hill; they’ll carry you through the day.

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Top Adventure Gear of 2013

Our favorite backcountry skis, boots, bindings, and accessories this season.

The Element has all the “basic” functions available on the more advanced, dual-platform Pulse (see sidebar), including a handy group test and a mark function that blocks located beacons. The large LCD display is easy to read and understand, and the software is upgradable, which means you don’t have to buy a new unit every few years to keep up with improving technology. [$350; mammut.ch]

Find a Beacon

A breakdown of new transceivers. Just be sure your rescue skills are as up-to-date.

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How to Practice with your Beacon

Don’t think you can head to the backcountry without knowing how to effectively and efficiently use your avy beacon.

Avalanche Airbag Pack, Mammut | Winter Lab | Backcountry Ski Gear, Safety

Winter Lab: Avalanche Airbag - Mammut

Skiing Winter Lab Bro-tologist Ryan Dionne talks about the Mammut Ride Protection Airbag avalanche airbag system, which is shaped differently than other airbags on the market.

Avalanche Airbag Pack, Backcountry Access | Winter Lab | Backcountry Ski Gear, Safety

Winter Lab: Avalanche Airbag - Backcountry Access

Skiing Bro-tologist Ryan Dionne talks about the Backcountry Access Float avalanche airbag system, which is one of the least expensive on the market.

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What Ski Guides Carry

This is the gear Arc'teryx athlete and ACMG assistant ski guide, Christina Lustenberger, trusts for long days of ski guiding in the hills. Photos by Bruno Long.