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Best Avi Bag for Ski touring

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Opinions for an avi bag to use while ski touring welcome.

Currently got my eyes on this …...
https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/reviews/snow-sports/avalanche-airbag/mammut-light-removable-3-0

30 Litres
Removable air bag system
weight = approx 2kg
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Not that the $229 price from Amazon in the link is for the pack only without the airbag.
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randyw wrote:
Not that the $229 price from Amazon in the link is for the pack only without the airbag.


Yes I expect to pay around €430 to €580 for the whole system.
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Have a look at the new this season Ortovox 40l Avabag at a real 40L and c 2kg
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mishmash wrote:
Have a look at the new this season Ortovox 40l Avabag at a real 40L and c 2kg


Thanks. Of the three main components (Bag, Avalanche System & Canistor/Cartridge) often less than all three components are used to specify the volume, weight & price.

Taking the Ortovox 40l Avabag as an example - it looks to be a true 40 litres (net space available with avi system and canistor installed). It does however look as though the weight of the canistor is not included in the 2 kg weight. Looks like the quoted price of €720 doesn't include the cartidge (€140).

Quote:
Ortovox 40l Avabag
Weight:
without Avabag Unit: 1290g
incl. Avabag Unit 1980g
incl. Carbon cartridge (340g): 2320g


Price = €720 + €140 = €860

https://www.sport-conrad.com/en/products/ortovox/ascent-40-avabag-sc.html?force_sid=ihi6dvljhk3tivop5v5bl8roq7

Quote:
Mammut Light removable 3 30L
Weight:
without Airbag: 1050g
with Airbag and carbon cartridge: 2060g


Price = €529 + €120 (Carbon) = €649

https://www.sport-conrad.com/en/products/mammut/light-removable-airbag-3-0-30-l.html

Also looks like the Mammut is 30l without the avi system so in real terms a few litres less.
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@DB, I have that Mammut bag - it's a decent no frills bag. Sometimes wish it had a separate pocket for the shovel and probe, but that would add to the weight. It isn't particularly hard wearing material so if you're wanting something to last several seasons, you may be disappointed. However, the nice thing about the removable system is that you don't replacing the bag only is a bit cheaper than replacing one with an integrated airbag
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@Arno,

Thanks for the feedback, I was wondering how something so light holds up to longer term wear and tear. As you say at least you can just replace the bag after damage and don't need to replace the whole system.

I have various zip on-rucksacks for my current ABS System but the thickness of some means if I use the pack for lift-served freeriding I have to take the pack off on the lift. The more feautures and pockets the thicker the rucksacks tend to be. In addition the rucksack's centre of gravity is then further away from the back which gives more of that 'monkey swinging on your back' feeling on the way down. Will have to look at the Ortovox Rucksacks to see if they have good compression straps

https://alloffpiste.com/abs-avalanche-backpack-vs-mammut-protection-airbag-system/
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I have the Ortovox system and one of my bags is the 30L

I think to compare the 40L Ortovox to the 30L Mammut Light is not ideal. The 30L Ortovox is 1170g without the system. The two sacks are quite different, the Mammut is a light bag and they produce more functional sacks themselves like the standard Ride which comes in at 1500g for 30L. My normal sack is a Nirvana Pro which is pretty much a perfect winter sack - the RAS Pro is the airbag version of that and is 1680g or about 150g more than the Nirvana pro which gives an idea of the marginal weight of the airbag gubbins.

The Ortovox bag is based on their 32L sack which is around 200g lighter with 2L more capacity. Again, an idea what the marginal weight and capacity are.

I think it's more interesting to compare all the features rather than just make it about weight. The Ascent and Freerider are great sacks, better sacks than the Mammut light IMHO but not as good as the Nirvana Pro or the RAS Pro.

You're also buying a system I think. So it's a balance about all the sacks. I rather like my Freerider and I'm more inclined to use it. Personally, I think Ortovox has done great work here and I'm happier with the system than I've been with most sacks (apart from my Nirvana Pro which is my daily bag).
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So I didn't get around to replacing my airbag last year - anybody have any new info or opinions?

https://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-avalanche-airbag-packs
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Scott E1 without a doubt. Supercapacitor system. Nice backpack.
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Themasterpiece wrote:
Scott E1 without a doubt. Supercapacitor system. Nice backpack.

+1. I haven't stocked anything else for two seasons now and sell loads of the 30L & 40L. Excellent pack design & super durable. And the E1 supercapacity system rocks. The 22L is really too small in capacity (both in volume and length to take a decent sized shovel/probe) so the 30L at the same price is a better buy and if/when running light just use the compression straps etc. I've never had to take the 30L off on a lift even when fully loaded.

22L is only for the vertically challenged/juniors etc although I can follow the reasoning on having the 40L for big days/overnighters and a 22L for dicking aound the resort/side country etc. Easy to swap over the system from pack to pack. The differences on the 40L are the addition of a padded waistrap (not padded on the 30L/22L, although that's not a problem) plus the waist straps have a pocket and carabiner loop etc.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I thoroughly recommend the BCA Float 22 high-pressure airpump bag.
(The black bag with the lime trim).
6.3 lbs / 2992 g (full system with cylinder)

Float 22 (It takes a BCA steel shovel and probe inside, plus spare hats, layers, goggles, lunch, nav gear, BCA VHF Radio and so on).

The big advantage is that refills are free, and this encourages frequent test and training inflations.
No problem with air travel. If necessary you can empty the cylinder.
It takes about 10 minutes to pump up.

Here's the pump. (Scroll for choice of bags).
https://www.mountainsports.co.uk/products/portable-high-pressure-4500psi-track-pump-for-all-air-bags
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The 30L E1 is a great pack but really too small for a big day tour or overnight, esp if on interesting terrain where you need added spiky bits / rope. It fits close to the back which is great but takes some shuffling to get stuff into. I've ordered the 40L (the motor can be removed) because of this.
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The harness is excellent and together with the profile, mitigates against the weight very well. For a ducted fan it's also very very light.
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Sharkymark wrote:
The 30L E1 is a great pack but really too small for a big day tour or overnight, esp if on interesting terrain where you need added spiky bits / rope. It fits close to the back which is great but takes some shuffling to get stuff into. I've ordered the 40L (the motor can be removed) because of this.

I think I may get this one too. Assuming skiing is possible again by March I'm supposed to be doing a 6 day hut to hut and need a bigger bag. Even then I'll doubtless struggle to get all the clobber in.
They're on the web for €750 at the moment so tempted.
Let me know how you find it once you have it
Cheers
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Ed_sec, it’s in Switzerland: you may have to tell me what it’s like!
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Sharkymark wrote:
@Ed_sec, it’s in Switzerland: you may have to tell me what it’s like!

The urgency has rather gone out of this purchase.
Since yesterday the Sport Conrad price has gone form €750 to €850.
Still cheaper than elsewhere but not quite so compelling ;-(
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SkiPresto wrote:
I thoroughly recommend the BCA Float 22 high-pressure airpump bag.
(The black bag with the lime trim).
6.3 lbs / 2992 g (full system with cylinder)s


That is still over 500g more that the mass of the Scott E1 22l at 2450g and still 322g heavier than the Scott E1 30l. Then you have well over another kg for the mass of the hand pump. The super capacitor bag just needs a couple of AA batteries. So you are out touring and well you only get one go with a cylinder backpack which might mean you are hesitant to deploy it which cannot be a good thing.

My view is that cylinder bags are dead in the water. They weight more and have the hassle of being a pain in the backside to recharge or take on a plane. The only advantage they have is being cheaper. For how long that will last is anyone's guess but once the development costs are paid off on the super capacitor bags then it's game over IMHO.
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Thanks for all the opinions & advice. Just ordered the Scott E1 40l from spyderjon.
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Sharkymark wrote:
The 30L E1 is a great pack but really too small for a big day tour or overnight, esp if on interesting terrain where you need added spiky bits / rope. It fits close to the back which is great but takes some shuffling to get stuff into. I've ordered the 40L (the motor can be removed) because of this.


Agree the 30L (which I have) doesn’t have much spare room. Only bought it this year in the summer from Jon, so haven’t used it properly. Shovel, probe, spare layer, drink etc is probably about what you’ll get in there it looks. Ok for me though.
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Themasterpiece wrote:
Sharkymark wrote:
The 30L E1 is a great pack but really too small for a big day tour or overnight, esp if on interesting terrain where you need added spiky bits / rope. It fits close to the back which is great but takes some shuffling to get stuff into. I've ordered the 40L (the motor can be removed) because of this.


Agree the 30L (which I have) doesn’t have much spare room. Only bought it this year in the summer from Jon, so haven’t used it properly. Shovel, probe, spare layer, drink etc is probably about what you’ll get in there it looks. Ok for me though.


I wonder what other people carry in their backpacks that makes the 30L too small?!

I've carry all the food (5L water, 2 lunches and lots of snacks) and gear (spare layers, 2 sets crampons) for a long day's glacier tour for 2 people in my 30L without any problem. Only thing I didn't have was the rope.

I've carried everything I need (tent, sleeping bag, spare layers, food waterproofs etc.) for an overnight trail running trip in an 18L pack.
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Agree. I get everything for a day trip into an 18L pack. Would guess 40L is overkill unless you are supporting a group with ropes, backup kit etc
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Have an old (2006) 18L ABS rucksack at the moment and it works out a bit of a squeeze for day tours. Tend not to wear my hardshell on the way up unless it's really windy/cold, plus run hot which means I end up needing a lot of space for clothes that are to be put on just before the descent. Being one of the fitter ones in the group I'm sometimes waiting at the peak for the others so often throw in a primaloft jacket, this all adds up. When on a day tour approx 24l would be ideal for me. I'm also never sure if the quoted volumes are net of the airbag systems or not. If I have to take the 40L off to get on the chairlift I'll get a smaller bag for single day tours and resort skiing. Prefer a larger rucksack that I can flatten with the compression straps than a smal rucksack that gets really thick too.
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DB wrote:
I'm also never sure if the quoted volumes are net of the airbag systems or not.


For my Pieps the quoted volume of the sack has to be the gross volume, so by the time you take into account the airbag (despite not being removable) it is significantly less. I used the packing chips method for measuring the volume, and then repeated on my very old none airbag (circa 2001) Ortovox rucksack. The latter was very close to the packs stated volume. The former was miles off and has less usable space despite being notionally bigger. I was not greatly surprised as just trying to fit my gear in and it felt smaller.

The packing chips method is to take a whole bunch of packing chips and use to fill the irregular shape you are trying to measure the volume of. Then empty into a cardboard box. Measure the width and length of the box and then the depth of the chips and assuming the use of sensible units when doing the measuring it's a simple calculation to get the volume in litres. Noting that one litre is a 10cm cube which if water weighs one kilogram.
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@snowdave, @BobinCH, as mentioned above I’m pretty sure the volume is not net of the bag and fan unit. Here is my 30-L E1 with my Rab microlight jacket, skins, and gloves, shovel, and probe. Enough space for a drink but not much more!


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 3-11-20 12:36; edited 2 times in total
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Full with mentioned stuff

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Possibly silly question but does anyone use the E1 as just a daybag without the airbag? I can’t justify a full avabag at the moment but would like the option to upgrade in the future and not have to buy 2 bags.
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@Themasterpiece, spooky... I have not just the same airbag as you, but the same shovel and probe!

What I don't have is that enormous yellow stuff-sac (life raft? Happy ) - maybe my use of ultralight clothing (a down vest and running shell) is freeing up space for a second person's kit. In general, my gear is such that if I'm going downhill, I'm wearing warmer stuff which frees up space for the skins, and if I'm going uphill, the skins are on my skis, freeing up space for a warm layer inside my bag.

Yours looks very clean - is it a 2019 one, or the 2020? I thought they'd fixed the compression strap/zip positions in the newer ones.

@RobH2017, expensive daybag! given pace of innovation, I'd have thought it would be cheaper to buy a cheap one now and another in a year's time...
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@RobH2017, not sure if Scott sells the bag only? Get in touch with Jon in The Piste Office as he will know.

I have another Scott rucksack with mammut RAS that is removable and used it just as a rucksack a lot as it’s a great bag too.
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They're definitely available as a bag-only as I looked at getting another as a bag-only. I've seen at least one retailer with them, but c. £180 hence my "expensive daybag" comment.
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@snowdave, bought this summer so unused. Jon would have to confirm which model year (if he happens to read this he can check his email from 1 August to me).

The orange thing is my jacket. It’s more for demonstration as I ski hot so normally don’t need down insulation. But I’m not that fit and definitely need rests when skinning, so some warmth may be needed.
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Thanks. I’ve seen them for slightly less and not far off what I would pay for a daybag anyway (£40 more). Hence if it’s doable I’ll effectively split the payment until I need the airbag element. I have plenty of alpine bags from 30-70 L so don’t need anything generic and I’ve found even the smallest of those too deep and too strappy for skiing.
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Yes, you can buy them as just the bag. 30L is gross not net and the shape/location of the motor reduces the effective space somewhat. Crampons, axe, water, down, skins, axe, grub all goes in...then try to stuff a mirrorless camera in too. Add a gale at the top of a hill whilst transferring and suddenly you wish you had a little more space to play with...40L is the way forward as long as you don't just stuff more stuff in!
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@RobH2017, I've got the 30L & 40L E1's in stock either as full kits or packs only in you want to call in to my shop to peruse etc - although you've only got tomorrow to do it otherwise you'll have to wait until after the lockdown.
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Thanks Jon. I’ll do that; although after lockdown as working tomorrow. If I get avalanched between now and Dec I’ve lots of red ribbon put aside for Christmas that I can tie to my ankle. It’s the latest thing apparently.
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@RobH2017, I would not trust red ribbons. Blue though is a safer bet ...
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@spyderjon are you completely closing or still doing postal orders?
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WASHOUT wrote:
@spyderjon are you completely closing or still doing postal orders?

Still open matey for online orders plus I've got quite a backlog of mounts and Quiver Killer sets to install etc as our early bird Whitedot offer is going really well. Plus my phone's on everyday from 9am to 9pm for enquires, telephone orders and for anyone feeling lonely during lockdown that just fancies a chat.
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@Sharkymark, but have they switched the waist buckle round so you can actually use it with gloved hands??
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