Thursday, December 1, 2011

Skiing w/o Airbag pack an INCREASE in risk?

In response to Romeo's post on TetonAT about airbag packs still being too heavy:

Outlaw avalung = 1710g
BCA Float 30 = 3000g
Are you saying that 1300g (less than 3 lbs) is preventing you from carrying a piece of safety equipment in the backcountry?
Since avoiding burial is the most important survival factor in an avalanche, it seems to me the most obvious gear upgrade of the season. I bought last year's BCA float that really doesn't work that well as a pack. It's more of a pack built around the airbag system than an airbag built into a pack. BCA packs have always been really well thought out so it was hard to understand this blunder coming from them. Looks like the redesigned line that just came out this year is really well done although they can still work to bring the wieght down, but it may never get below 6-7lbs. The extra weight may make the airbag more optional than a beacon for low-danger days or high and long. Now that I have it though, I feel that deciding to tour without it is actually a reduction in my margin of safety (as opposed to seeing it as an optional piece I can use to increase safety). How worthwhile is an airbag to you?

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