The US-made Backcountry Access Float 22 Airbag Pack is an Avalanche Flotation Device (AFD) and was one of the first available in the United States starting in 2009, having been used for several years in Europe.
European test suggest that wearing an AFD pack increases your odds of floating above the avalanche debris instead of being buried by it, primarily in larger avalanches where the debris flows turbulently.
For 2013, Backcountry Access (BCA) reduced the weight and the price on its avalanche airbags. The BCA Float 22 airbag pack weighs about 5.5 lbs. The Airbag, ejector, and cylinder are fully interchangeable between all this year’s BCA models.
BCA Float 22 Features:
- Float airbags add some more trauma protection to a skier’s/snowboarder’s head, neck and upper body.
- Since the airbag is placed behind the head and away from the hips and arms, it allows for clearer vision in the periphery and helps with escaping the slide.
- The BCA compressed air cylinder can be refilled at any of BCA’s certified refill locations.
- You can repack the Airbag after deployment.
Still not sold? Your car has airbags for when things go wrong, right? Why wouldn’t you have one just in case when you’re skiing?” –Tordrillo Mountain Heli blog
Professional and Olympic skier Daron Rahlves deployed a Backcountry Float 18 while filming the TGR film, “Dream Factory,” in Alaska. Check out a clip on the BCA site.
“It definitely saved my life,” he told BCA a few months ago after his return from Alaska’s Northern Chugach range, where the TGR segment was filmed. Learn more.
Backcountry Access Float 22 Airbag Pack Review in Freeskier Magazine
This 22-liter pack weighs in at 5.5 pounds, with one external pocket for snow safety tools. The single-chamber airbag is in the main compartment, hidden beneath its own breakaway zipper and connected to a cylinder of compressed air. The mechanical trigger is attached to a cable that runs out and down the left shoulder strap where it can be zipped away to avoid accidental deployment. The pack, airbag system and cylinder can be purchased separately and the system is interchangeable between both the Float 22 and Float 32 packs.: –Freeskier Magazine
Probably the best deal on the Backcountry Access Float 22 Pack right now, from merchants that have it in stock, is buying through REI for $500, then getting your dividend back, plus getting another 5% cash back from CleanSnipe.
Remember, if you sign up for CleanSnipe’s Kickbacks Cash Back program, you’ll get 5% cash back on this potentially life-saving item and all your REI purchases.