Well, luckily we packed our fur coats for the Arlberg. The complimentary sparkling wine and the ski concierge when we checked into our hotel for the Scott press event were all appreciated by our European travel brutalized physiques.
We’re on-snow testing their skis and boots, but couldn’t help but notice the nicely engineered lightweight airbag backpack they’ll be producing soon: Alpride.
Yes Virginia, I might be wrong about shouting the death knell of compressed gas airbags. Turns out that life preserver technology has been there all along, with tiny but highly compressed C02 cartridges that on their own are perfectly capable of inflating a 150 liter avalanche balloon. Combined with another small cylinder of argon, the process is fast enough for TUV certification — but apparently works fine (inflates in 5 seconds instead of the TUV 3 seconds) with just with the CO2 cartridge for a total 30 liter airbag pack weight of 1.8 kilos (3.9 lbs)! The 2.1 kilo version of the Alpride 30 liter backpack will be available winter of 2014/15, with the non-TUV lighter version being available soon after. (Oh, and the backpacks themselves appear to be weight reduction candidates that will welcome the scissors and razor blade.)
Once these things are in retail, prepare to be amazed. You pick one up and you don’t know it’s an airbag backpack it’s so light. Check it out!
Points to ponder:
- Scott claims that by end of 2014 you will be able to fly any airline with the full cylinders, no problem, due to changes in regulations designed to accommodate various types of personal safety airbag systems.
- MSRP Europe is around 600.00 euros, with goal being to be very price competitive with other products.
- Are the C02 and argon gasses a safety issue? European certification doesn’t think so, and the fact is that due to how this type of airbag works (venturi effect) the gasses are mixed with a large part of ambient air.