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Airbag types

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@GlasgowCyclops, I wasn't counting you, yours was clearly deliberate, but still useful to see.

@spyderjon, yes, I was starting to wonder if that might be the case. It would be very helpful if the manufacturers could agree on a standard, rather than me having to ask "is this a small 18L bag, or a large one" Confused A bit like buying jeans.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
philwig wrote:
under a new name wrote:
... re heli? Really? When I last helied, CMH 2012, they wouldn't let air bags in the cabin. Had to go in the ski rack if there was space. ...

wink Ancient history. Bags were bigger in 2012, and there was talk of CAA (or whatever it is) regulations. These days it's not an issue - bags are fine in helicopters (Powder Mountain, Wiegele at least), just disarm them. I've never seen one go off, but it would not in my view be a life threatening issue: it's not like you're setting a fire extinguisher off or anything. You could reasonably expect considerable hassle if you were to trigger one in a machine. Lots of Europeans (probably mostly bankers) use bags, fewer North Americans. You have been able to buy them at Wiegele's for a few years.

I'd sort of expected them to be included in the price by now. I flew a bit with Eagle Pass years ago and they were. However (unlike helmets) WorkSafeBC have not dictated what should be done, based on the available research which they've published for that purpose. I have read it and I see their point. Oh, when I did the Eagle Pass trip those were early bags and huge, so they had to go in the basket as there was simply no space in the A-Star for them.

It's not the OP's question, and I'm sure there are separate threads for people to have religious wars on this stuff, but to me there are two rational approaches to this type of thing. In case someone gets confused I'm not saying which mine is. They are:
  • If money's not an issue, and if the thing can't reasonably make you less safe, then there's only up-side in having it. This is why bankers always have Avalungs. Pointless, but there's no down-side for a banker, to whom the cost is not a factor.
  • If the guides don't use it, then they can't reasonably sue their employer for failing to provide it, which tends to suggest that the evidence of efficacy is not sufficient for a civil court in BC.


--
Oh, I suppose PPE is "personal protective equipment. That begs the question of if they're actually protective, for which you want those religious war threads I'd say.


Isn't the Euro vs US issue mainly due to US -Canada cylinder issues - i.e. You can't bring your cylinder from US but you can from Yurp ?

In March 2017, airbags went in the ski box, not the Heli (CMH) . 3 US pax using battery Jetforce (ski industry not fin services either).
No dentists on the trip either....

I have now skied with Ortovox ABS, Scott Alpride, BCA Float and Ortovox Avabag and they are all different in different ways . Will try and write up a pros and cons list but generally : # 1 Ortovox Avabag #2 Scott Alpride 3 # BCA Float 4# Ortovox ABS ...
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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?
betterinblack wrote:

Maybe it's just me then but it seems for all their benefit to have had a standard size, for consumer ease to avoid the issue mentioned earlier of an accidental firing and then being at the mercy of what you can get hold of.
In addition to your list there is of course ARVA's new reactor bag, thats without including any legacy bags floating around WARY system in mystery ranch bags, etc.
The last gen ABS bags and the ARVA bag plus latest Ortovox Avabag cylinders all look remarkably similar so you dont want to get a spare mixed up with your mates none identical cylinder.


OK, maybe you have a valid point you could get it mixed up with a mate's. But if that's the case... BE CAREFUL. For crying out loud you can't just go around expecting manufacturers to compensate for your stupidity. It's a serious piece of equipment and it has it's own dangers so you can't just leave airbag cartridges lying around the hotel room and pick whichever one up you fancy and plug it in your airbag and hope it works. You wouldn't do that with any other piece of lifesaving equipment would you?

Or you know, you could put some sticky tape on your cannister with your name on and woohoo you're covered. Shocked


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sun 18-06-17 23:36; edited 1 time in total
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Scarlet wrote:

@spyderjon, yes, I was starting to wonder if that might be the case. It would be very helpful if the manufacturers could agree on a standard, rather than me having to ask "is this a small 18L bag, or a large one" Confused A bit like buying jeans.


I think buying jeans it's more like "this company must use small sizes because I've definitely not gone up a size" because it's better to convince yourself of this, than admit to yourself you're fat.

Although maybe for women and bags its the same deal... filling a 32L bag with your crap and still having some left to go, better convince yourself it's a small bag than you're a diva who carries the kitchen sink?
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To be fair Scarlet bitches less than most blokes even when deploying her face as the means of stomping a landing.
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Or when being sniggered at for her application of the word damp?
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mishmash wrote:
.... Isn't the Euro vs US issue mainly due to US -Canada cylinder issues - i.e. You can't bring your cylinder from US but you can from Yurp ?

In March 2017, airbags went in the ski box, not the Heli (CMH) . 3 US pax using battery Jetforce (ski industry not fin services either).
No dentists on the trip either....


Euro/ US: possibly. There are other factors, for example the different terrain and resultant difference in efficacy of the approach; the fact that air bags "came out of Europe" rather than the other way around. I've no data to suggest which, but it's probably not cylinder related, I'd guess (because it's no big deal to buy/rent a cylinder at the destination or to get one shipped, if you can't fit it in your G500.

CMH: interesting. It's not a legal issue. But then CMH always were slow to change wink

They changed the law regarding dentists and their tax. I kid you not. However my own teeth owe a fair bit to having ridden with the best orthodontists in the world wink
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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!
Quote:

Ancient history. Bags were bigger in 2012


Maybe 2013? anyway, the operator won't necessarily know if punters turn up with stone age vs. silicon age packs will they? (And are they that much smaller?)

Also, Scarlet, surely if packs are mandated, you'd either know in advance or one would be provided (perhaps at your cost). Sort of like CMH mandating that you use their Arvas. They test them, monitor batteries, etc. as there's going to be some litigious responsibility attached.
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Haven't read the whole thread, but my take is get the one that works best as a backpack for you - sizing (fit), sizing (internal capacity), comfort, stability. Hopefully the performance of the actual airbag function will be irrelevant for you!

I tried on a bunch when I bought mine, and still very happy with the Mammut RAS Ride On 30. One of the big reasons I preferred this to some of the ABS systems with the 'wing airbags' is the side compression straps on the bag. The bag is big enough for longer touring days or to carry glacier and (just - though easily if I remove the airbag system) overnight kit, but for standard days out I can cinch it down so it's no bigger than a 15l pack.

However, I did recently have the BD Jetforce on test and was impressed. If I was buying now, I'd find it very hard to look past it even if I had to stump up more. OK, it is a little heavier (but not much), too small for anything more than day trips, and not quite as comfortable as the Mammut. But being able to train and practise with it is HUGE - you need to get pulling the trigger down as muscle memory so you don't have to think about it if ever in a slide; it should just be a reaction. You can kinda do that with the Mammut when the cartridge isn't attached, but it's not the same - and the BD bag packs up again really easily too. More importantly, flying with it is super easy. I took it on 6 flights in total, and was questioned about it once at security (no problem, they just wanted to know what it was). Only time I've flown with my Mammut the cartridge was confiscated at Zurich despite following the rules to the letter.
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under a new name wrote:
... the operator won't necessarily know if punters turn up with stone age vs. silicon age packs will they? (And are they that much smaller?)


Oh, the original SnowPulse bags were huge - I'll dig out a picture if I can find one. I did once have a 90L sack for caving, and these were in that category, only wider, like astronauts would use. The harnesses were pretty serious too. So yes, they are significantly smaller now, hence they're no issue in the machine.

---
.. buying jeans it's more like "this company must use small sizes because I've definitely not gone up a size" because it's better to convince yourself of this, than admit to yourself you're fat.
I find that really annoying. It even happens in ski gear, where I used to be "medium" and now I'm "small" or even "extra small". Yeah, right, fatties.
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mishmash wrote:

I have now skied with Ortovox ABS, Scott Alpride, BCA Float and Ortovox Avabag and they are all different in different ways . Will try and write up a pros and cons list but generally : # 1 Ortovox Avabag #2 Scott Alpride 3 # BCA Float 4# Ortovox ABS ...


I looked at reviews for quite a while before buying my Ortovox Ascent 22 Avabag. It is really light but best of all is the simplicity of the triggering system. I didn't want a Jetforce as the thing ingesting snow played on my mind. Refill cylinders are exchange items at any Ortovox selling shop and comes with a carbon cylinder as standard. The armed unit is under 2kg.
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@Scarlet, ABS Vario 18L S (small back length) c/w carbon canister it'd be perfect.
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clarky999 wrote:
But being able to train and practise with it is HUGE - you need to get pulling the trigger down as muscle memory so you don't have to think about it if ever in a slide; it should just be a reaction. You can kinda do that with the Mammut when the cartridge isn't attached, but it's not the same


My Avabag can be practised with in the same way but the trigger feel is the same. When you pull the handle it needs quite a tug and it activates a sprung loaded needle that pierces the top of the cylinder. The feel of the action and force on the handle is the same with the cylinder installed, or not.
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bar shaker wrote:
clarky999 wrote:
But being able to train and practise with it is HUGE - you need to get pulling the trigger down as muscle memory so you don't have to think about it if ever in a slide; it should just be a reaction. You can kinda do that with the Mammut when the cartridge isn't attached, but it's not the same


My Avabag can be practised with in the same way but the trigger feel is the same. When you pull the handle it needs quite a tug and it activates a sprung loaded needle that pierces the top of the cylinder. The feel of the action and force on the handle is the same with the cylinder installed, or not.


Same with my Mammut, but it's still not quite the same as the full airbag deploying. Just more realistic feedback:

https://www.facebook.com/FallLineSkiingMagazine/videos/1413858865320200/
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Found this browsing different options - http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/reviews/snow-sports/avalanche-airbag/arcteryx-voltair-30
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I'm a bit sceptical of the "need for practice" in pulling. Yes to practising reaching for the handle in a variety of simulated circumstances like forward , backward, sliding falls but once you've pulled once you know what a bloody good tug (fnar) feels like. Broadly it comes down to can you reach your dominant hand across your chest. There will be circumstances when that hand may be pinned under the body e.g. in a face first fall - I suspect you can only really train you mind to grab for the handle as you go down.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
I'm a bit sceptical of the "need for practice" in pulling.
(snip)
once you've pulled once you know what a bloody good tug (fnar) feels like.


Is that right? Very Happy Very Happy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
I'm a bit sceptical of the "need for practice" in pulling. Yes to practising reaching for the handle in a variety of simulated circumstances like forward , backward, sliding falls but once you've pulled once you know what a bloody good tug (fnar) feels like. Broadly it comes down to can you reach your dominant hand across your chest. There will be circumstances when that hand may be pinned under the body e.g. in a face first fall - I suspect you can only really train you mind to grab for the handle as you go down.


Hmm I disagree tbh (to an extent at least - agree about the mind part). In a stressful situation reaching and pulling needs to be an automatic instinct/reaction, not a conscious action, IMO. Hard to know if you'll have the presence of mind to think to pull when the snow cracks around you.
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clarky999 wrote:


Hmm I disagree tbh (to an extent at least - agree about the mind part). In a stressful situation reaching and pulling needs to be an automatic instinct/reaction, not a conscious action, IMO. Hard to know if you'll have the presence of mind to think to pull when the snow cracks around you.


But in that case you can't simulate the stress* so you can't make it automatic. Don't get me wrong I think it is a very useful feature of the jetforce that they aren't a one shot deal as it gets over the hurdle of "I should only pull if it looks serious because it'll be a PITA to refill" which at the very least might cause hesitation. You can't get over the "I'll look a numpty if I blow this thing unnecessarily" hesitation (although @dp seems to have be innuring himself to that).

Unless maybe you are suggesting that protocol for a Jetforce should be "pull whenever you fall" - think that would need some moderation ability wise. I'm kinda using fall as a proxy here for stressing the snowpack.

* I think you can probably have a lot of fun trying to simulate the stress e.g. have some topless go-go dancers appear, set off a bunch of firecrackers, push your mate over and blow a rave whistle in his eardrum and see if he has the presence of mind to pull.
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@clarky999, I used to practice suddenly throwing my hand at the handle as I skied in a varity of conditions. The one time I did spot cracks shooting cross the slope in front of me I had my hand firmly on the handle as the snow took my legs away, but then I could see that the slide was very localised so didn't pull it. If I had started tumbling I reckon it would have been pulled just with the movement.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
To be fair Scarlet bitches less than most blokes even when deploying her face as the means of stomping a landing.

Face plants are the future.

@dp, only you have your mind in the gutter. I think of it as a fine expression of British understatement, in the same way that today was warm.
The jeans ref was because if you find a pair of jeans of a stated size, the chances of them measuring that size are slim to none, even when said size is defined by a unit of measurement Confused
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@Scarlet My mind isn't the gutter. But it was funny. Very Happy

I knew what you meant about the jeans. However I am not a shopper so I only buy jeans when the old ones don't fit or have a huge split in the groin (normally caused by ill-fitting). So every time I buy jeans, I have to convince myself that what Levis call a 38 this month is definitely what used to be called a 34...
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Quote:

Face plants are the future


If you're not falling over...etc.
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Scarpa wrote:
@clarky999, I used to practice suddenly throwing my hand at the handle as I skied in a varity of conditions. The one time I did spot cracks shooting cross the slope in front of me I had my hand firmly on the handle as the snow took my legs away, but then I could see that the slide was very localised so didn't pull it. If I had started tumbling I reckon it would have been pulled just with the movement.


From what I have seen in videos of people that started avalanches, you have quite a bit of time to decide on the severity of your jigsaw... certainly a few seconds.

Getting hit by one started above you can be a whole different matter.
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@bar shaker, I started one in January and disagree.

When you watch the video, you know it's an avalanche because the video title says so. In real life, it takes you a moment to work out what it is - especially if you've not really anticipated it.
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dp wrote:
@bar shaker, I started one in January and disagree.

When you watch the video, you know it's an avalanche because the video title says so. In real life, it takes you a moment to work out what it is - especially if you've not really anticipated it.


Call that an avalanche ⛷😛 Toofy Grin
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I heard he just fell in a stream.

bug me, i do that on the way back from the bar, no avi pack needed Razz Razz
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I happily admit it was a tiny little one. And yes it was because I skied into a stream!

But ultimately it still occurs the same way, it still startled me completely and was well and truly in motion by the time I really worked it out.

@PaulC1984 maybe you raise a valid point though, maybe there is an unrealised market for avalanche airbags for pissheads to carry on the way back from the pub, to float better when they fall in a stream. You could be onto something.
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@dp, Toofy Grin
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dp wrote:
... maybe you raise a valid point though, maybe there is an unrealised market for avalanche airbags for pissheads to carry on the way back from the pub, to float better when they fall in a stream. You could be onto something.

Well, wearing a helmet when they do that could hardly increase their risk....
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PMSL Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
clarky999 wrote:


Hmm I disagree tbh (to an extent at least - agree about the mind part). In a stressful situation reaching and pulling needs to be an automatic instinct/reaction, not a conscious action, IMO. Hard to know if you'll have the presence of mind to think to pull when the snow cracks around you.


But in that case you can't simulate the stress* so you can't make it automatic. Don't get me wrong I think it is a very useful feature of the jetforce that they aren't a one shot deal as it gets over the hurdle of "I should only pull if it looks serious because it'll be a PITA to refill" which at the very least might cause hesitation. You can't get over the "I'll look a numpty if I blow this thing unnecessarily" hesitation (although @dp seems to have be innuring himself to that).

Unless maybe you are suggesting that protocol for a Jetforce should be "pull whenever you fall" - think that would need some moderation ability wise. I'm kinda using fall as a proxy here for stressing the snowpack.


No, no real way to simulate the stress, but I think it helps to re-inforce the reaction still.

The only time I've ever set off a (small) slab I distinctly remember seeing the ripple/crack of the snow in front of me, then thinking "huh, what's that... OH! GET THE Be Nice please! OUT OF HERE" and pinning it. Right decision as it was only a small slab and being on a ~40° slope I easily had the gas to get well out of the way - but it was only afterwards that I clocked that at no point did I even think about the airbag.

I guess that goes some way to disproving, at least for me, the issue of risk compensation when using an airbag... But I think there have been quite a few deaths where people carrying airbags have for whatever reason (forgotten or been unable to) not pulled the trigger.

Like I said, it wouldn't be my first criteria buying a back, but I do think it's a big plus point and worth considering.
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