Powder Magazine: avalanche airbags “go mainstream.”
“On February 19, 2012, avalanche airbags went from being an obscure safety device for professionals to the next measure for anyone traveling in uncontrolled terrain.”
Now there’s some convincing evidence that avalanche airbags have reached a tipping point in our industry. The quote comes from an airbag review by writer Matt Hansen in the latest edition of Powder magazine. The review is entitled, “Float On: Avalanche Airbags Go Mainstream.” We won’t rehash the review here since you can read it below (or better yet, buy it on the newsstand). But Hansen’s point is that the well-publicized incident last February at Stevens Pass was a watershed in the adoption of avalanche airbags in North America. This was the day that pro snowboarder Elyse Saugstad survived an avalanche that tragically killed three others: John Brenan, Chris Rudolph, and Jim Jack. Saugstad was wearing an avalanche airbag made by German manufacturer ABS. Just two weeks before the Stevens incident, there was an equally well-publicized success story involving the BCA Float 30.
“Just like the BCA Tracker beacon, the Float 22 is easy to use,” the Powder review says. “With 22 liters of carrying capacity, it behaves like a true ski pack: lightweight, affordable, and able to hold all of your essentials.” That’s music to our designers’ ears, as this was our goal: to make our Floats as simple and intuitive as our Trackers. We’ve done this by making it easy to buy, easy to repack, and easy to refill.
While Hansen’s review was extremely well-done, we’d like to make a small correction: the airbag and engine in the Float 22 cannot be moved to our previous airbag models (Float 18, 30, and 36). They can only be interchanged with the Float 32 and Float Throttle. And that will probably not be possible until later this season, at the earliest, due to demand exceeding supply on our complete systems. More evidence that airbags have gone mainstream!