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  • Backcountry Access - Float Cylinder -

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  • Backcountry Access - Float Cylinder -

Backcountry Access Float Cylinder

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18 Reviews


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.

List of refill stations can be found on the Backcountry Access webpage.

  • 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)
  • Be sure to check with airlines about flight restrictions prior to arrival at airport
  • Item #BCA2933

Tech Specs

Deployment System
compressed air
290 mL
2700 PSI
BCA Float series Backpacks
1lb 6oz
Recommended Use
backcountry touring
Manufacturer Warranty
1 year

Tech Specs

  • Reviews
  • Q & A

What do you think about this product?

Have questions about this product?

Refill it yourself

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

I bought one of these for my recently purchased BCA Float 22 pack. I also purchased a Benjamin High Pressure Hand Pump off Amazon so I can refill this myself. The pump readily connects to the BCA cylinder, so no extra parts needed. Now I can test my airbag periodically and not deal with the hassle of exchanging/returning/paying to refill the canister.

Small and easy to use

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

Super easy to install in your BCA bag. Great thing is that it doesn't take up very much room at all. You don't even notice its there with how light weight it is. Awesome cylinder and very trustworthy!

Super Simple

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

Read through the instructions and this canister is really easy to install. Refills are relatively cheap (I paid about $10 at a local board shop) so I would recommend testing it in the parking lot to make sure that you have a clear understanding of hookup and use.

Very easy

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

I traveled with this but only actually deployed this as practice, but thought I'd share what I found out so far. First, it is very easy to refill, even in a city (scuba shop). 2nd it is very easy to install (did it into the Float 22) with just 2 pairs of pieces to screw together (follow the manual the first time and then it's super easy after that). Deploying the canister and filling the airbag is easy, with a strong pull of the trigger cable.
Travel is easy - deploy the airbag thus emptying the canister, unscrew the top, put the bottle and the valve in a ziplock, and you will be good to go. I took BCAs travel instructions with me to the airport just in case they gave me any issues, but nothing thankfully. Took it from the US to Canada, and again, easy to get refilled (Banff area).

Easy and Accessible refills!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Easily refilled so no need to "save" your pulls. Let her rip and test her out in the parking lot! then get back in there and refill her -

At most scuba shops and BCA authorized dealers with refill canisters - see BCA's site for details!

Great for traveling

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The compressed air (BCA and Mammut / Snowpulse) systems are great for air travel, especially in North America. As long as the cylinder is empty you can take it on the plane in any piece of baggage you want. It helps to have the head removed so if you do get stopped by TSA they can clearly see that the cylinder is empty. The BCA canisters are nice in that you can unscrew the entire head of the cylinder by hand (just make sure it's empty first). My wife and I flew up to Alaska in the spring an had a pair of these in our carry on. We left them packed in our bags through security and didn't get any questions on them from TSA in either airport. Getting these refilled was easy enough - we found a dive shop in Anchorage that refilled them in about 10 minutes for $10 each.

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.

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


  • 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!

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.

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.

    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.

      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.

        Oxygen is a Cinch

        • 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.

        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?

        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

        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.

        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?