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Look, you really shouldn't venture out into the backcountry on a red-light day any more than you should practice your kite-flying in a thunderstorm or work on your backstroke in a shark tank. That said, yellow- and green-light days bring risks too, and even a forecaster's green light is no guarantee of stability, so it's always wise to bring a few things with you. A working brain and finely tuned decision-making skills are the most important, but, along with a beacon, shovel, and probe, an avalanche airbag like the ABS Vario Base Unit Grey Edition can help keep you alive if an accident does happen.
The Vario is ABS' classic airbag pack, and it stays in place via an elastic neoprene waist belt and secure leg strap that are exceedingly light and comfortable. It can be outfitted with any one of five Zip-On covers to customize its carrying volume, so it can be an ideal companion for heli laps, short days, ski mountaineering, long tours where lightness and freedom of movement are paramount. The shoulder straps are ergonomically designed, the chest strap is height-adjustable, and the integrated leg strap helps your pack stay firmly on your back even in the turmoil of a slide.
The Vario uses the same deployment system as the standard ABS airbag packs: a trigger handle attaches to either shoulder strap, and it uses a small pressurized capsule to trigger the main canister, inflating the airbags within three seconds of deployment. Once deployed, both the trigger capsule and main canister must be replaced by ABS or an authorized dealer, but the other parts of the system are fully reusable—simply fold up the airbags according to the instructions, pack them in the hook-and-loop side panels, screw on your new canister and trigger handle, and you're ready to ride.
Please remember, an airbag system is NOT a guarantee that you will survive an avalanche; get educated, get the right tools, travel with partners, and be smart out there.
- Powder Base Unit
- Refillable compressed nitrogen canister and trigger
- Ski and snowboard carry
- Neoprene hip belt
- Adjustable shoulder straps and integrated leg strap
- Item #ABS000Q
- Q & A
Does this pack zip into the Osprey Kode Series designed for the ABS unit? (i.e.: ABS-Kode 42 & 22)