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Your day of skiing doesn't have to end after one accidental deployment.

You can't predict the future, but you can be prepared when you head into the backcountry with a little help from the Backcountry Access Float Cylinder. Even though your airbag-equipped BCA backpack may already have a charged cylinder ready to go, it's always a good to have a backup ... you know, just in case you accidentally set it off while demonstrating your benign intentions to an adamant border agent.

  • Please be aware that the cylinder is shipped empty
  • Compatible with the BCA Float series backpacks
  • After cylinder has been used, send it back to BCA for refilling (costs approximately $50 including shipping and handling) or take it to a BCA-authorized refill station (costs approximately $20 dollars if no shipping is involved)
  • List of refill stations can be found on the following Backcountry Access webpage:
  • Be sure to check with airlines about flight restrictions prior to arrival at airport

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Backcountry Access Float Cylinder

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Unanswered Question

Laura, you said:

"When full, this is considered HazMat - in order to ship it full, you would need to go to a HazMat certified center. We actually have our own HazMat team that deals with this, but for this reason we can only ship via UPS ground within the US."

But this cylinder is shipped empty, so why can it only ship via UPS ground?

5 5

Long Lifetime

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought my BCA cylinder when I purchased my float pack over two years ago and I am using the same cylinder. I discharge the pack at least twice a year because of travel.

What do you do with the full canister when you need to fly home, can you just let the compressed air out like a scuba tank?
Can you send a full tank via post and pick up at your distination?

I got that the cylinder must be empty to fly, but what do you do with the full one before flying, can you just somehow release the compressed air or what?

Best Answer Responded on

Here's a link to BCA's air travel instructions:

Float cylinder must be empty when flying with major commercial airlines in North America. Release air from cylinder before arriving at the airport.
When full, this is considered HazMat - in order to ship it full, you would need to go to a HazMat certified center. We actually have our own HazMat team that deals with this, but for this reason we can only ship via UPS ground within the US.

Responded on

In Europe you may carry the cylinder charged, but sometimes the security guys are really naughty. You may easily discharge the cylinder by pulling the threaded trigger.

4 5

Easy to hook up

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I like that it's pretty simple to hook up to the pack and it's cheap/easy to fill. You don't have to send it back or pay a fortune to get it filled like some of the other refillable airbag cartridges

Unanswered Question

Is the dispatch to Japan possible?

Is the dispatch to Japan possible?

5 5


  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Just filled it for the first time at Salty Peaks in Salt Lake City. It was $10, which is an amazing deal versus the ABS system! Hopefully I wont use the bag but if I do... It will have plenty of air!

5 5

Fills and packs easy

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I haven't had a problem finding a place to fill mine. It has the paintball fill port (as mentioned already), and most dive shops carry the correct adaptor as well. I also have my own adaptor for the cylinder to be filled directly from a SCUBA tank, though, in case the shop doesn't have an adaptor for the compressor.

5 5

Refilling is easy

I have had great experience with refilling and traveling with my cylinder. Scuba and paintball shops can refill it no problem. The fill port on it is a standard 1/8th inch paintball fill port so scuba shops do need an adaptor but it seems to be a common adaptor and most scuba shops have them. When you go on trips I would definitely plan ahead and make sure you know where you going to get your cylinder refilled, but I have had no issues. BCA has a map on their website where you can search for BCA certified refill centers. You can travel on a plane with it as long as the cylinder head is unscrewed from the cylinder and TSA can see inside it. I have never even been questioned at the airport.

5 5

Super easy

It is so easy and cheap to refill. Check any SCUBA shop as well as your local ski shop. And once it is filled up, it just needs a few connections inside your pack and you are ready to go.

To me they look like the same hook up,...

To me they look like the same hook up, as a paintball marker. am I right?

Responded on

SCUBA shops will also refill them. As well as my local ski shop which carries a tank and will refill mine.

5 5

This does NOT fly.

Keep in mind that these cylinders and others like it are not permitted to fly on a commercial airliner, per TSA regs. Plan on sending to yourself via UPS or FedEx or USPS.

Responded on


Responded on

Also disagree. I just flew with one. The canister has to be empty and the valve head needs to be removed so TSA can look inside of it. Do those two things and you're good to go.

5 5

Oxygen is a Cinch

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Looks like these are getting around. I brought it to a SCUBA shop to see if they'd fill it up and they said 'yes' before I even finished my sentence. It takes ~hour, costs only a couple of dollars, and you're ready to go. It's a simple 2-step process to get it hooked up into the pack and will only take a few seconds. Make sure to dub check the pressure before you head out (easily read thru a window on the cylinder's sleeve inside your pack) and get to trail breaking. Have fun be safe.