Winter Lab: Avalanche Airbag 101

Compressed air, venturi valves, horse collars, fans, argon, TSA rules, cable pulls. The lingo alone can spin your head, so let us set you straight.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Avalanche Airbag Pack 101

No matter what airbag pack you’re looking at, the vast majority, if not all of them, use a venturi valve to help inflate the bag. The valve essentially sucks in outside air to fully inflate the bag. Each bag is also repackable, and stores into it’s own compartment. When you pull the trigger, the zipper or Velcro pops, and the airbag inflates.

But beyond price, pack volume, pack features, and aesthetics (like color), there are 3 main differences. Here's what you need to know.

Related

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.

JetForce Recall tout

Black Diamond Recalls Avy Airbags

The Utah-based company is recalling all of its JetForce avalanche airbags due to faulty firmware.

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

Winter Lab: Avalanche Airbag - ABS

Skiing Winter Lab Bro-tologist Ryan Dionne talks about the ABS Vario Base Unit avalanche airbag system, which is designed to zip into other ABS-compatible packs. The system uses nitrogen and a charged handle to inflate the airbag.

Avalanche Airbag Pack, Black Diamond Equipment | Winter Lab | Backcountry Ski Gear, Safety

Winter Lab: Avalanche Airbag - Black Diamond Equipment

Skiing Winter Lab Bro-tologist Ryan Dionne talks about the Black Diamond JetForce avalanche airbag system, which inflates via a rechargeable battery and a fan.

Avalanche Airbag Pack, Scott Sports | Winter Lab | Backcountry Ski Gear, Safety

Winter Lab: Avalanche Airbag - Scott Sports

Skiing Winter Lab Bro-tologist Ryan Dionne talks about the Scott Alpride avalanche airbag system, which uses two small non-reusable gas canisters to deploy the airbag.

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.

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.