Inflatable avalanche airbag packs, designed to keep the wearer on top of the snow if he gets caught in a slide, are becoming a mandatory part of the backcountry quiver. While they work great, the airbags are also permanently built into the pack: if you want a small avy pack for short excursions and a larger one for longer trips, you have to buy two different packs.
Enter the North Face’s Modulator, the first-ever avalanche airbag system that converts any backpack into a potentially lifesaving ABS avy airbag pack. Two rectangular side pods house the airbag system and nitrogen canister, and the pods’ harness system can be attached to any pack with shoulder straps. Users set up the pneumatic trigger on either the right or left side, great for southpaws or snowmobilers who squeeze the throttle with their right hand. Bonus: the packaging doubles as a storage bag for easy traveling. Avaliable this fall.