There are backpacks for the weekend, then there are backpacks for life.  If you are one of the many living off the grid above the snowline, or if you prefer carving lines beyond the boundaries of safety, you’re all too aware of the risks involved with avalanches. Float Backpacks ($685-$785) from Backcountry Access are designed to minimize excavation time — which is the biggest factor in avalanche fatalities — through an affordable and reusable avalanche airbag system. Here’s how it works:In an avalanche situation (yeah, sounds pretty far from where we’re sitting too), simply pull the trigger to engage a simple-chamber, 150-liter airbag to keep you afloat while protecting your head, neck and upper body from trauma.

The bag also boasts a hydration system that interacts with your body temperature to keep up-to 3 liters of water unfrozen in its reservoir. There are plenty of other pockets and stash points to keep your beacon and ski gear organized, and the entire bag is constructed of durable ripstop fabric and stormproof zippers. The only thing they haven’t considered is just how far off the grid you’re planning, or not planning, to go.

Buy Now: $685-785


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