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ABS - The Avalanche Bag

Freeriding with ABS Airbag

The mountains obey their own rules. Security cannot be bought, and the best life insurance is the careful choice of the safest lines, up or down. However, despite having the best preparation the risk still remains and accidents still do happen. This is where the ABS airbag system comes into play.

How does an ABS Avalanche Backpack Work?

Take a box of cereal and give it a shake. You will notice that the smaller pieces of cereal will move to the bottom of the pack and the larger pieces of cereal will remain towards the top. This principle is called inverse segregation and means that in the case of an avalanche the larger particles remain at the top of the flow. A kilo of snow has more volume than its equivalent in human body mass. The Twin airbags of ABS give you the added volume which you need to stay atop the avalanche debris, or at least, be buried less deep. The Twin Bags of ABS have an added volume of 170L which will make you so to speak one of the larger particles in the avalanche.

What can an ABS Backpack Do?

An ABS airbag avalanche backpack cannot replace mountain safety courses, a buddy system or an avalanche transceiver. However it can and does influence the body when caught in an avalanche, and thus is a valuable addition to any touring or freeride equipment.

ABS Backpacks have the following impressive features:

  • Twin Airbag System- The side airbags give the body a horizontal position in the snow and create less of an anchor effect. If one airbag is damaged in the event of an avalanche the other will remain intact and the whole system won’t fail. The ABS twinbag system is vital here, with one of the bags providing 85L worth of buoyancy.
  • Remote Initiation – The ABS unit can be controlled by radio control. All Twin Airbag ABS systems can be retrofitted for wireless activation.

ABS Vario Base Unit with ABS Vario Zip On Bag

  • Modular Zip On System – The ABS Base Unit is compatible with a variety of different zip-on options which can be changed easily depending on application. The zip on bags are available in a variety of different options with volumes from 5 Litres up to 55 Litres – with partners such as EVOC, Deuter. Head and others. So depending on whether you are just freeriding or doing a multi-day tour, your ABS base unit allows you the versatility to choose between different packs.
  • ABS Activation Handle – The handle is height adjustable and can be mounted for left or right handers. Left handed mounting for snow-mobilers or lefties requires an extra mounting plate. 
  • Carrying System – The backpack meets the TÜV requirements for extreme conditions. These include a crotch strap, ergonomic shoulder straps and a padded hip belt with a heavy duty lock. 

Highly Recommended

The Swiss Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF has proven that avalanche airbags considerably reduce mortality rates in avalanches. An inflated airbag system means that the chance you will be killed in an avalanche by half. The Company ABS are the originators of the Avalanche Backpack and with 30 years of experience by far the longest experience in the field. In just under 300 registered cases with the ABS Twinbag system, there has been no serious injury to the head, neck or back. The ABS twin airbag backpack offers superior protection in case of an avalanche, when used in combination with a transceiver, shovel, probe, helmet and back protector. Speaking of which, you can integrate a back protector into the ABS pack, killing two birds with one stone. Really good, right?