The North Face Powder Guide ABS Vest

    Photo: The North Face

BEST FOR: SIDECOUNTRY EXCURSIONS

TNF figured out how to put the airbag technology in a vest instead of a pack. It’s a bit bulky, cut wide and roomy to fit over your jacket, but with eight pockets up front and three tool sleeves and another pocket in back, there’s no need to carry a daypack as well. 5.5 lbs

All air-bag-equipped packs work roughly the same way: yank the toggle on the shoulder strap to activate a canister of compressed gas, which inflates one or two air bags in two to three seconds.

Brand: The North Face $1,379

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