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Seeking Airbag System/Pack Recommedations

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Looking at getting my first airbag pack and looking for recommendations based on the following considerations.

> The pack will be used around the Portes du Soleil and will permanently remain in Chatel and doubt I will ever fly with it (unless a one-off trip to US down the road). We normally arrive late in a Friday evening and needs to be ready to go without charging or any special preparations

> Size: probably a day pack that will carry shovel/probe, water bladder, a spare layer or two and spare goggles. Looking for it to be well compartmentalised and good straps for carrying skis. Mainly used for lift-accessible off-piste as not yet considered touring.

> Fairly light weight is favourable as suffered back injury last year (now recovered)

> Can be maintained / serviced locally

> Prefer to purchase in UK and will drive it down at half term

Thanks
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Mammut Flip 22 Removable Airbag 3.0. Lightweight, low profile. Will fit all of that plus just about skins. Separate compartment for shovel and probe and for goggles. Can attach helmet on the back. Has a ski carry system but I’ve not tested 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?
@Gämsbock, That certainly could be what I am looking for - I'll check out some reviews this evening.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Spent a good part of the evening looking at reviews / YouTube and narrowed it down to three packs listed below. All priced around the £500 mark excluding canisters which use compressed air. Anyone out there have any personal experiences with these bags including available space and access to compressed air in France. Any opinions / suggestions / advice most welcome.

(Unsurprisingly my wife has approved this purchase without even blinking!)

Mammut Flip 22 (thanks @Gämsbock)

BCA Float 22

Ortorvox Freeride 22
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
You can easily refill the BCA with a air rifle hand pump (20 minutes) also the air valve is a very simple to work at (replace orings etc). The airbag can be changed between other bca rucksaks (As long as same generation bca 1.0 or bca 2.0) but takes a 5 minutes. I have seen the BCA float 8 (1.0) rucksack only on Amazon as low as £50 which Is a very slim no faff airbag for lifts just switch the airbag part from the other airbag. Often able to pick up a bca in a sale.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Blue tomato seem to have the BCA well under £400 and a good price for the cylinder aswell.
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@WASHOUT, well spotted sounds like a good deal as the Ortorvox is around £600. What I like about the BCA is that it has an adjustable back length as I have a shorter back (long legs!)
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Ortorvox Freeride 22 - get my vote, one of the lightest on the market and very well designed.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Charliee, We have both BCA and Ortorvox normal skiing rucksack in our family and they both make good kit which makes it hard to decide. Weight is important as I have a dodgy back and yes I see Ortorvox is much lighter. I am in Chatel this weekend and I will try to do the rounds of some of the ski stores to see what I am able to try on for fit.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I have the Ortovox Ascent 22. I can the same stuff and you and you almost forget you have it on.

I had an accidental deploy 2 days ago (the handle was packed away and a big tumble seems to have pulled it inside its pocket). It was simple to empty and repack and an exchange carbon canister was €25. They are this price at any Ortovox dealer.

I often wondered if an electric bag would have been better but having had to deflate and repack, this would be very difficult to do on the side of the hill to a satisfactory standard. I was also concerned about the amount of snow that would get blown in by a fan and would later rot inside the bag.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Ozboy wrote:
@WASHOUT, What I like about the BCA is that it has an adjustable back length as I have a shorter back (long legs!)


The length of the bag is probably going to be determined by the length of your folded probe. Mine only just fits my Ortovox.
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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.
@bar shaker, Thanks for the tip about probe length - that tumble sounds nasty and there is a joke in there somewhere about the airbag being deployed to cushion your fall!

I've been engulfed researching this over the last few days and I am down to the Mammut Flip or Ortorvox Freeride in 22L. I called facewest this morning, who were very helpful, and they are happy for me to order a few different bags, without cannister, to try them at home for fit. I was hoping to have all this done to take with me to Chatel on Friday afternoon but decided I wont rush the decision and will instead take the chosen bag and full canister when I drive down at half term.

I will measure my folded probe this weekend - its a bog standard Black Diamond of around 3m. At the moment the Mammut Flip 22 is favoured as its the lightest freeride bag (excluding the more 'fragile' extreme lightweight versions) and also found out there is a Mammut dealer in the next village of Morgins over the Swiss border that will swap out used canisters free of charge. I assume there will also be Ortovox dealers in Chatel or Morgins. Ultimately it will come down to fit as don't think I can go wrong with either.
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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
I have a Float 22 (last gen pack design)

Newer bag has more space I understand and is less "boxy" if that matters. Air is really easy to refill. Used to use a local scuba shop for a couple of quid but air rifle/paintball stores should also be able to oblige although there are some concerns about the risks of non "dry" air. I've been happy with the space in mine - outer pocket for the avy kit. Inner for a couple of water bottles, baguette, choccy, belay jacket etc
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Dave of the Marmottes, do you refill in the UK or in France? My bag will be permanently in Chatel. I plan to do the rounds of shops ski shops this weekned to see if there is local support for BCA bags. I like that bag and they must sell loads of them in the US to skiiers and skidoo riders and have been well tested in the field.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
UK.

But I assume it isn't that hard to find an air rifle store given chasseur culture.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I have BCA float 22 1.0 back pack. It is a great bag, takes everything I need for a days off-piste adventure and pretty light weight. It does not have a camelpack fluid reservoir type system so I put a small bottle in the external pocket on the strap which is easy to grab though limited.

The new Float 2.0 apparently does have a fluid reservoir option. If that takes a camelbag or BCA's own I do not know.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Ozboy, My other half has a very compact Scott Alpride Airbag. In fact it's so compact that we had to buy a smaller shovel and probe. I shopped around and found a probe that has eight collapsible sections as opposed to the usual six making it much shorter when stowed away.
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