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avalanche airbag

Winter Lab: Avalanche Airbag 101

Compressed air, venturi valves, horse collars, fans, argon, TSA rules, cable pulls. The lingo alone can spin your head, so let us set you straight.

No matter what airbag pack you’re looking at, the vast majority, if not all of them, use a venturi valve to help inflate the bag. The valve essentially sucks in outside air to fully inflate the bag. Each bag is also repackable, and stores into it’s own compartment. When you pull the trigger, the zipper or Velcro pops, and the airbag inflates.

But beyond price, pack volume, pack features, and aesthetics (like color), there are 3 main differences. Here's what you need to know.

One-on-One with Creator of Avy Airbags

One-on-One with Creator of Avy Airbags
Avy airbag
The creator of the ABS avalanche airbag talks about safety features and how effective avy airbags are at saving lives.

This season saw a high number of avalanche fatalities but also big improvements in avy-safety technology, pushing avy airbags into the mainstream ski market. There seems to be no question that airbags saved several lives this season. But, they also failed to save a few, proving that they're not a guarantee in an avalanche. The only guarantee for surviving an avalanche is not to get in one in the first place.

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