- CAPACITY: 22 Litres
- PRICE: £609 (£119 for cartridge)
Ortovox is a backcountry behemoth; from transceivers to technical socks, there’s not much you’ll need for exploring the mountain that it doesn’t make. Amongst its best achievements is the compact AVABAG system, as found on the Ortovox Free Rider 22 snowboard backpack.
While it’s by no means a guarantee of safety, an avalanche airbag system significantly increases your chance of survival. Inflating the bag increases your overall surface area, making it less likely that you’ll be buried deep underneath the snow. Then when it deflates, it creates an air pocket that lets you breathe for longer, giving the rescue team more time to find you.
“The airbag system itself is remarkably compact, so even with its low-profile outline there’s still 22 litres of space for the rest of your gear”
The Ortovox Free Rider 22 pack is among the lightest, sleekest designs out there, even down to the activation grip that stashes away neatly into one of the shoulder straps. The airbag system itself is remarkably compact, so even with its low-profile outline there’s still 22 litres of space for the rest of your gear. Plus the AVABAG’s removable nature means that you can free up even more space for the days when you’re staying well within the resort boundaries.
Despite its light weight, the nylon construction is actually incredibly durable, and has a water-repellent coating to prevent it from taking on more weight as it comes into contact with snow or rain. The new ‘safety blue’ colourway isn’t a bad idea for showing you up nicely against a white background, and same goes with the orange version. If both are a little too jazzy for you, there’s also a black one with coloured details.