Gear Review

5 5

Beyond the Airbag

I was reluctant to carry a pack with an airbag. I am touring for most of my turns, and the extra weight turned me off. I changed my mind when I saw the design of the Float 36. I am incredibly impressed with the pack design. The airbag is just a huge bonus.

The Float 36 is big enough to handle my entire guide kit - first aid kit, rescue sled, repair kit, food, water, extra clothes, camera, etc. The zipper design allows easy access to everything in the pack. The back panel access allows for access to the stuff on the bottom if you've got skis attached to the back. The pockets are excellent. The pockets on the waist belt are big enough to be functional. The goggle pocket is in a great spot and doesn't interfere with the rest of the pack.

If I have one negative, it would be that the shovel blade doesn't have a great home. If it goes in the pack, it is awkward. I have a BCA shovel and have managed to get the blade into the compartment with the canister and mechanical pieces of the pack. I haven't asked if this is a bad thing to do. So far it hasn't been an issue.

The pack carries extremely well, and the extra weight doesn't fall onto your shoulders. It doesn't flop around on the descent. Honestly, since touring with it, I haven't even noticed the extra weight. If you're used to carrying a full pack, it's not really a big deal.