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The revolution will not be pressurized.
When most of us aren't satisfied with something like an avalanche airbag pack, we whine and moan and keep using things we're only moderately stoked on. When Black Diamond's unhappy with what's on the market, it skips the whining, puts some heads together, and does something about it. That, in a nutshell, is the origin story of the Pilot 11 JetForce Avalanche Airbag Backpack, which came about because Black Diamond wasn't sold on the canister-powered, one-time use airbags that dominate the market.
Contrary to the standard model, the JetForce operates on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, giving you at least four deployments per charge, which affords you the opportunity to practice, as well as the chance to deploy your airbag more than once during a day or trip (Imagine being caught in a slide and wondering whether you should pull the trigger now or save it for later. Yeah.) Once you fire it up, the Pilot's rugged 200L Cordura airbag inflates in four seconds to keep you on the surface, and deflates after three minutes to create a potential air pocket in case you're still buried.
At the end of the day, an airbag is only as good as the backpack that carries it, so Black Diamond made sure the Pilot 11 was a killer pack even without taking the airbag into account. At 11L, it's the smallest in the JetForce lineup, perfect for cat and heli skiing, short laps, and resort-accessed backcountry. The easily accessed front panel opens wide to hold water, snacks, and a puffy, while the special avy tool pocket holds your shovel, probe, and other gear easily and comfortably. Black Diamond's ReActive suspension and SwingArm shoulder straps provide a fully adjustable and ergonomic fit, while the padded hip belt includes a stash pocket and the body sports a retractable diagonal ski carry, HiLo helmet holder, and attachment points for a single ice axe, so you'll be ready to go even if you never have to deploy the airbag,
- Ballistic and ripstop nylon fabrics
- Cordura avalanche airbag
- Built-in rechargeable JetForce fan deployment system
- ReActive suspension with SwingArm shoulder straps
- Padded hip belt with stash pocket
- Zippered front panel access
- Avalanche tool pocket and internal accessory pocket
- Stowable diagonal ski carry and single ice axe attachment
- HiLo helmet holder
- Item #BLD007X
- Q & A
Best in Class
I chose the Jetforce for my Airbag as it avoided the canister design of many other airbag packs. it is nice to have a battery and fan system in order to avoid spending more money on canisters, to be able to deploy multiple times easily, and to have systems like the fan that allow it to blow up the bag even if the airbag is punctured during a slide. The avalanche tool compartment is the perfect size for a shovel, probe, and saw.
The airbag deploy system is super easy to use as well, just make sure to charge the airbag on a regular basis, but you can check battery levels at the click of the button, run system diagnostics every time you turn it on, and with the pull of a cord your bag is deployed. After you deploy and it inflates, every 3 seconds it pumps more air into the airbag in case of a puncture in the airbag for the entire deployment cycle. It will stay inflated for 3 minutes total, deflating afterwards in order to attempt to create an air pocket in the case of a burial.
To date this is the most well thought out airbag pack that I have seen and I would definitely recommend that anyone looking for an airbag pack for touring spend the extra money and go with the JetForce !
Feel free to reach out with any questions you have on the pack!
Say goodbye to the canister
My wife bought this for me for my birthday. I have a SnowPulse 32L avalanche backpack that is great for the snowmobiling and skiing for the backcountry adventures I do. The only issue I have with the SnowPulse bag is I can't travel with it because it has a canister and can't take on airplanes, unless I rent a canister and if there's one to rent where I'm going. Also, I'm potentially putting my life on the line on a canister I'm not familiar with, or know if it even works unless they allow me to test it there which I've gotten charged for filling the canister up.
I've had my eye on this bag when it first came out a few years ago and thought this is a great product. Holds up to 3 charges on 1 battery, so if you get caught in several avalanches in a day, you're pretty much increasing your survival chances. But then again, why would you be in those high avalanche conditions in the first place? :)
Although I opt-ed for the smaller bag and less wight as I won't be doing long distances or need to carry extra gear for what I do and that works for me. Also, if you do any Heli-skiing or cat skiing, they usually don't allow you to carry a bag over a certain size due to space restrictions.
Overall I would recommend this product to anyone that's going into the backcountry. It's light-weight, easy to use and you can pretty much travel anywhere with it.
Be aware of Compatible Gear
When buying this pack, take into account the smaller storage size. Especially with larger gear such as shovels. The Voile Telepro shovel for example is too large. So just make sure to get compatible gear, if you plan on buying this product!