Backcountry Access has a couple of innovative new products for the safety of backcountry skiers that we want to highlight this year -- the Dozer probe/shovel and the Float Airbags.
When assembled, the Dozer, an all-aluminum probe/shovel, is designed to be used upside down, like a bulldozer, which is thought to be more ergonomic than the standard method:
This video of a Float airbag in action during a shoot Jan. 29, near Montezuma, Colorado, demonstrates why any backcountry skier would be in the market for this product:
From the company site:
The Float airbag is unique in that it is reusable and affordable. Other notable features:
The trigger has a hiking mode so you don't inadvertently set it off, and can be positioned either left or right, depending on preference. The valve releases the entire cylinder of air into the bag after deployment.
Because its design increases volume without increasing mass and it is deployed from a backpack, the airbag protects the head and neck while enabling full vision and mobility of the arms and legs so the victim can swim to the surface of the slide.
The airbag apparatus is both reusable and removable to use the pack for other purposes.
Here are the innards.
The cylinder is refillable at 150 authorized stations in the United States and Canada for about $5 to $10.
We asked if a person could buy a second cylinder as a spare; the rep said that wasn't standard but probably could be arranged. "After one avalanche, most people probably wouldn't want to go out again right away."
*The pack comes in 22 liters for day trips and 32 liters for overnight. There's also a specific model for snowmobilers.
Edited by nolo - 2/1/12 at 10:17am