As you know, Avalanche Airbags Technology has moved on in the last 5 years and 90% of snowsafe customers now choose the supercapacitor Electonic airbags.
Electric and canister-powered avalanche airbags are now available on the market, both to protect you in the event of an avalanche and both working in fundamentally the same way.
Airbags are used for two simple reasons:
Alpride – Alpride E1 is a fully electronic avalanche airbag, its supercapacitor technology replace the traditional Li-ion battery and results in the lightest electronical device on the market.
Airbags using Alpride:
Jetforce Technology – The Jetforce Avalanche Airbags system is a state-of-the-art technology that inflates your Airbag electronically, meaning you can store more than a single use and use it repeatedly by simply re-inserting the deflated airbag into your pack.
Airbags using Jetforce Technology:
Ortovox Avabag – Ortovox offer innovative airbag processing technology, the avabag systems are the lightest canister powered airbag system currently operative in the world, weighing in at only 640g. Ortovox offers a compact, effective and removable airbag unit system.
Airbags using Ortovox Avabag:
Mammut RAS – The Mammut RAS Removable Airbag System 3.0 is an avalanche airbag system based on a square, brightly-coloured airbag that deploys behind the wearer’s head within seconds.
The new system is safe and easy to use. It is even lighterand smaller than before and can be attached to all RAS Removable 3.0-compatible backpacks.
Airbags Using the RAS Airbag System:
Electrical and canister-powered airbags have both pros and cons, snowsafe breakdown below:
Rapid Inflations, not relying on canister.
No need to carry cartridges.
Each charge of the lithium-ion battery can provide enough energy for multiple inflations.
No Folding your airbag, simply stuff it back in the avy pack.
Easy to use.
Because they are fan-powered, they can be heavy.
Rapidly inflates and does not rely on a fan.
Low weight: some state-of-the-art canister-powered devices weigh around 2.6 kg.
The canister is not user refillable.
Not all ski resorts provide canister refilling facilities.
Folding your airbag to ensure that it inflates again.
While you can inflate electronic airbags multiple times using the high-powered fans, they do not inflate as quickly as their canister-powered counterparts.
The high-powered fans work well, but it takes 1 second longer then canister powered airbags. If you suspect an avalanche, it’s best to pull to trigger immediately instead of waiting for confirmation.
While canister-powered airbags are light and fast to inflate, you can’t always replenish the canister. Some ski resorts have refill services, but many don’t, meaning that you’ll need to prepare in advance and take canisters with you.
If you get into an avalanche situation, your life depends on your airbag deploying. You would prefer it, therefore, if you could test whether it works ahead of time, just to make sure.
The advantage of electronic airbags is that you can test them as many times as you like to see whether they inflate or not, giving you peace of mind.
The same is not true for gas canisters unless you have more than one with you. Once you use a gas canister, it’s gone until you refill and refilling in resort is not easy.
Some canister powered units offer a test activation service, the Ortovox Avabags are supplied with rearming tools where you screw this into the canister unit and pull your trigger to test if this is working, a small pop noice will indicate that the unit is working.
Once your airbag is deployed deflating the air can sometimes be a pain, almost like wrestling with your bag. The electronic airbags offer a easy deflation mode where the air is removed automatically.
With Canister powered airbags you have to hold a deflation button and compress the air out of your bag until its ready to fold back into your bag, This can sometimes be time consuming.
You can fly with both electronic and canister-powered airbags. However, because the canisters contain compressed gases, you can’t bring them with you in your hand luggage.
Traveling with electronic airbags is usually hassle-free, but canister-powered can be more of a pain because you have to put the canister in the hold.
Some countries like USA , Canada , Japan will not allow you to bring in Airbag Canisters in full stop .
Since season 18/19 we have seen a huge shift in the market with 90% of snowsafe customers choosing the new supercapacitor electronic Alpride Airbags.
Both canister-powered and electronic airbags have both advantages and disadvantages. The type you choose, therefore, depends on your personal preferences.
If you would prefer something lightweight, then canister-powered is the way to go. If, however, you want convenience when you travel and to be able to test your airbag before you head out on the piste, then electric is better.
It’s important to stay safe and have the correct training when skiing or snowboarding off-piste please check out further blogs below:
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