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How to Buy an Airbag Pack

Increase Your Odds With the Pull of a Handle

You should do everything in your power from getting caught in an avalanche, but mistakes happen, and when it all goes wrong, an airbag backpack may increase your odds of survival. Full burials only have about a 30% chance of survival, so staying on top of a slide is your best chance of making it through alive. This pack features large, air bladders that inflate with air (or a single bladder) to help you stay on top of the snow and this may just be the difference between skiing out on your own or riding on a sled.

Cylinder Type:

Every airbag pack uses either sealed, single-use cylinder or a refillable, multi-use cylinder (usually compressed air) to store the propellent that helps inflate the air bladders. Different systems use different cylinders and cost varies depending on the type of cylinder/propellant, so check the technical specifications and weight your options.

Bladder Shape & Volume:

More volume means a greater chance of using the Brazil Nut Effect to your advantage (shake a bowl of nuts of various sizes and the largest nuts will naturally sort to the top). This 'effect' explains granular convection, a physics phenomenon that makes an airbag pack so potentially useful. Some manufacturers use two air bladders to improve volume or float characteristics, while others use a single, behind-the head airbag to prioritize floatation and impact protection around your head.