Colin Mwrote a review of Backcountry Access Float 18 Winter Backpack - 1010cu in on December 27, 2011
I got my Float 18 as a gift from the best girl in the world. Love it. Really well made and the Float airbag system is really simple and made of high quality parts. $15 fill up on the air canister at my local shop and BCA has you fill out a form so they can create a database of where the canisters are, when they are used, and who owns them. Very cool.
BCA really needs to get more photos of these Float backpacks on the internet. I think it makes purchasing them difficult without seeing a 360 degree view of the outside and a few photos of the inside. Seriously lacking.
The Float 18 is the lightest pack that BCA offers which is great. The downside is that the backpack can only be used for day trips. I wouldn't even go out for a few hour tour with this pack. Your avalanche equipment has storage. Your helmet has a nice stretchy holder. It also has a little belt pocket for your point and shoot camera or your keys. Want to store some water in the pack? Better keep it to around 8oz because you are not fitting a Nalgene bottle in this pack. No spot in this pack for a Camelbak bladder either. SPLITBOARDERS take note. There is no straps to put your poles on this backpack. Nada. Zip. This pack is like the Black Diamond Bandit AvaLung. Short tours, helicopter missions, snowmobiling, and side country.
One last comment. Again this pack is really well made and streamlined to be light and tight on the back. BCA made the back panel to be straight and non-contoured. It is very rigid on the first use and you can feel the Float airbag equipment resting on your back. Not comfortable at all but I hope that the padding breaks in a little. The Float 30 has additional back padding and contours.
Overall I like the pack but to be a pack that gets used everyday in the backcountry I am going to return the Float 18 and get the Float 30 just for the additional space and the additional straps to mount poles when shredding the splitboard.