The New Avalanche Airbag

Slough Ride

    Photo: Photograph by Inga Hendrickson

Avalanche airbags—backpacks that deploy an enormous balloon to keep you floating on sliding snow—may be proven lifesavers, but they're not all that common. The bags have been available since 1985 in Europe, where they've been shown to dramatically reduce your chances of getting buried in a slide. The problem? They cost upwards of $1,000. But Backcountry Access's new Float 30 costs just $500—a small fee for something that might save your hide. The weight (6.6 pounds) and lack of ski-carry straps make it best for the heli, cat, and snow-machine set, but a touring version is due out next winter. backcountryaccess.com

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