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Mammut Untralight 3.0

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I read some stuff here on various airbags, but not much about actually using them. By which I don't mean setting the things off - something I never intend to need to do - but just using them.

I've been using this pack for a week or so now and it's the best shovel pack I've used. In their time the old Ortovox bags were neat, then the DaKine Heli packs were the business... but this is better than all of those.
  • It weights nothing significant. Check the specs - it feels like an ordinary shovel pack, not like any of the horrendous things you can still buy with air bags in them. I'd say that these lightweight designs will destroy those older things pretty soon - they're just so different in weight and handling.
  • Handling - it's a form-fitting pack, so it rides like it's not there. I can't see how you'd improve that. The leg loop is easy to fasten, and the harness thing is small and not fussy. The trigger zips away and is easy to see when it's out.
  • Like all the best back packs it opens from the correct side.
  • Storage-wise you're looking at a shovel & probe plus a few extra bits and pieces.




Air Canada want you to put the thing in the hold.

The Carbon cylinders are not US-legal, so that's a big disadvantage. I think you can rent cylinders there, but then I don't ride avalanche terrain significantly there.

Oh yeah, and it matches the colour of my helmet and looks great in photographs.

I'm still unclear on what the padding insert in the back pocket is for. Maybe I'll wrap my camera in it or something.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
They look really nice. You can get a 207 bar compressed air cylinder for US use if you like (or European use), which can be filled by dive/paintball shops, or a hill hand pump and some elbow grease
ski holidays     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
A little update on this.

I saw fewer airbags in BC at the start of this season, mostly likely because the Euros are staying home as they've got plenty of their own this time around. I saw no locals with them. The ski shops stock last season's ABS and also the big US electric systems (on which I heard some very poor feedback from owners). Several people were surprised you can now get these at the same size as standard shovel packs. As usual I did see several people who had chopped the crotch strap off their ABS systems...

I've always liked a good shovel pack because you don't notice them, and this is absolutely up with the best on that. Obviously I didn't have to use the thing. The trigger is a T-shaped handle which is slightly less than ideal with mitts, although so long as you know that I think it'll be fine. The shovel scratches the carbon cylinder a bit; probably that doesn't matter but I put the back-insert foam thing there to stop that anyway. Access is easy even without removing the bag. The leg strap (it's not really a crotch strap as it's fastened at one side) is easy to use and doesn't drag if not fastened. You don't notice you're wearing it. It's easy to wear in lifts where legal. The trigger can be extracted and safely replaced with one hand (with mitt hanging on wrist string in my case).

I spent much of yesterday demonstrating to the whole thing to the check-in and baggage people in Vancouver airport. I had all the documentation, and I'd called them, but it was still a bit of a diplomatic exercise to get it on board. Whilst LHR was happy to take it with the cylinder in place but disconnected (in my opinion meeting the regulations and the safest approach), the YVR chappies wanted the cylinder attached to the system. I think they're reading the regulations incorrectly, but as they were happy, I was happy anyway. It probably took an hour of fannying about to do all that - not a problem as they'd delayed my flight by 2.5 hours (not quite enough for the EU compensation... once we have taken back control I look forward to old style 8 hour delays....).
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Hi Philwig,

How much more can you get in the pack apart from probe and shovel? I am currently looking to replace my ABS vario with something lighter as more of the time I use it without any of the zip-ons in any case. Would you recommend this bag?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@SnowPenguin, probe, shovel, water bottle, extra layer, maybe skins at a push

Agree with Philwig. My only issue with the pack is that it is pretty hopeless for carrying skis. You can just about do it but if you anticipate bootpacking or other situations where you need a decent ski carry system, it isn't great
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You'll need to Register first of course.
OK, that sounds interesting, need to get hold of one to have a look at. Ski carry is only diagonal right? And the airbag system is removable?
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
The photo shows probe & shovel shows it with standard probe & shovel plus a serious GoPro pole. There's easily space for an extra layer and a water bottle.

I'm a snowboarder and I don't hike for my turns. The carry system appears to cater for both it doesn't look particularly beefy so I would think Arno is correct. One day I may use it to walk to the bus stop and it's likely fine for that. I think it is diagonal for skis - for boards there are basically two horizontal straps.

The airbag can be removed and the instructions explain how. I doubt I'll ever do that though.

For me I want the smallest shovel/probe/airbag carrier I can get. When it's below minus 20 I can carry an extra layer in there for lunch. My pants have 8 pockets in them and my jacket has another 8, so I don't need any small storage space in a backpack. I like the weight, design, and construction. The carry system isn't relevant to me. The straps for that are a bit tricky to stow, but I'm loathe to chop them as one day in emergency I may need them.

This bag makes every airbag I've seen (and used) before obsolete - it's a generational change, in my view. I would expect many more designs in the future from Mammut and others which will make airbags more like normal backpacks except a little heavier and more expensive. If this isn't what you're looking for, you probably won't have to wait long as now the way is clear. Anyone near Cambridge is welcome to have a play with this one now it's there.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@philwig, @Arno, any view on the durability? Looks great but suspect iíd be better off with the light or even ride for heavy usage and often attaching skis for hiking. Coming from the original Snowpulse (which has lasted 20 years) assume these will all be much lighter and better fitting
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
As other thread, I used mine a lot for three weeks (mostly heli, 2 days snow cat) and it's like new. But it's definitely ultralight, so not in principle as robust as heavier bags would be. Also see comments above by @Armo re ski carry.

In my view the key thing is that they have the airbag bit down to that 1010g weight. That puts them a generation ahead of the rest of the pack (pun intentional) this season. After that, the question is just "how big/ heavy do you want the bag to be". The "ultralight" is their lightest bag, they have a lot of more durable bags (same airbag technology) if you need beefier. It's hard to gauge without seeing them. I use my stuff a lot, but I'm not sack-hauling or carrying a board other than once in a blue moon.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Do you have any idea how expensive replacement cylinders are? I assume like ABS there is a kind a deposit scheme where as you bring a spent cylinder back and do not pay full price for the new one.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@SnowPenguin, you send them back to the manufacturer for a refill-some details here (no connection to this particular site). No need to purchase another cylinder:

http://www.facewest.co.uk/Mammut-Carbon-Cartridge-Refill.html
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Perfect that is what I was looking for. So around £15. I guess ski shops may do a similar deal also.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Just used the Ultralight 3.0 for a week of bootpacking. Itís well err.... ultra light and easy to use once you get the hang of swinging it round on a hip to get stuff out while on the move. Surprisingly roomy - space for a DSLR as well as all the usual stuff but needs some thought on packing 1) because only 1 pocket 2) no frame so you donít want sharp objects digging into your back. I must have stuck the skis on my back 5 or 6 times and it was pretty easy. Some minor rubbing on the fabric but no damage. All round very happy with the experience and would highly recommend
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Does sound a significant step forward in weight but having said that and ABS vario carbon with either just the cover (enough for shovel/poles) or the smallest zip on (bigger capacity than the mammut and by the sound of it a better ski carry system) is "only" 1.2kg more so I definitely won't be paying up to replace what I have.

What strikes me is how much difference does 1kg make for lift-served? If you weigh yourself in all your gear plus skis and boots, 1kg is a pretty small difference. The argument would be that it effects your balance etc but I have to say the ABS strap systems are really good and stable. If you ever do anything back country then you are going to have to learn to ski well with a significantly heavier load anyway.

Seems to me that the Mammut system will have real value if it can be so low weight that you are willing to carry it on big uphill ski touring days but this is obviously not the right pack for that.

All that said, if you never need more volume and don't have an avy bag already than this does seem to be the front runner.
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@jedster, the Light (rather than Ultralight) has a 30l capacity and is still very light for its size. Nice thing about the removable system is that you can get both and then use the right one for the conditions. I use the Ultralight for days which will basically be lift served and the Light for days where more kit is required- ie full day touring. You could probably use it for hut to hut touring if you pack minimally. Itís got a bit more structure to it so it carries very well.
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Arno,
Good to know.
Do you think you would use it for HtH? Reason I don't think I saw a single avalanche bag in the Conscrits when I was up there last March - no one seems willing to carry the weight on top of everything else. Question is really whether the lighter weight of the Mammut system can change that.
I've just bought a lighter (non-avalanche) pack in an attempt to save myself some grams when I'm hauling my sorry ass up the Aiguille d'Argentiere in March...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I like my home comforts too much to HTH tours these days but the 30l would definitely be OK for a night or two in a single hut and probably ok for more if you pack carefully (and find someone else to carry the rope!). That said, in classic HTH conditions (ie spring) the avvy risk may be so low that the extra weight isnít worth it
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

That said, in classic HTH conditions (ie spring) the avvy risk may be so low that the extra weight isnít worth it


Yes - that's a big factor I think.
Day tours in powder conditions are probably the prime application where you'll see a big benefit from the weight saving.
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